Monday, February 12, 2007

31 days of Oscar: Day 12

This month, Turner Classic Movies celebrates movies and the Academy Awards by presenting 31 Days of Oscar. Each Day from Feb.1 through March 3, a different category of the awards will be the theme of the day; featuring films that were nominated or won in that category. The Shelf will be joining in the celebration by giving you our Oscar pick of the Day!

Today's category is Best Supporting Actress - Nominees. Today's schedule features quite a bit of Romance mixed in with dashes of tragedy, irony and politics; all including some great performances from some fine actresses. Here's today's schedule (all times are EST):

5:45 AM The Spiral Staircase (’46)
7:15 AM The Bachelor Party (’57)
9:00 AM Birdman of Alcatraz (’62)
11:30 AM Lonelyhearts (’58)
2:30 PM Sunset Boulevard (’50)
4:30 PM Merrily We Live (’38)
6:15 PM The Mating Season (’50)
8:00 PM Barefoot in the Park (’67)
10:00 PM Fat City (’72)
12:00 AM The Big Chill (’83)
2:00 AM Silkwood (’83)
4:15 AM Shampoo (’75)

And our Oscar pick goes to... Sunset Boulevard! Billy Wilder's masterpiece is film noir that isn't remembered for being film noir. It's an iconic film which in many ways has transcended itself. Many people have heard the line "I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille." How many know where the line is from, or that it is from a movie, or who Mr. DeMille is? The film features great performances from William Holden and Gloria Swanson and is superbly directed by Billy Wilder. One of the interesting things about this film is its intersection with Hollywood. Several celebrities and personalities play minor roles or in some cases, themselves. Cecil B. DeMille plays himself, and the scene where Norma Desmond visits him on set, is the set of an actual movie DeMille was working on at the time. The intersection with real Hollywood is so interesting given the film's biting commentary on Hollywood.

The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including the 4 acting categories, Best Picture and Best Director for Billy Wilder. It won the Oscars for Best Writing (screenplay) and Best Music (musical score). You can watch the film today on TCM, or you can order the DVD through the usual online retailers and the TCM shop. Sunset Boulevard is available as a single disc release and is also part of the The Billy Wilder DVD Collection Box Set.

For more information on TCM's 31 Days of Oscar, visit the Turner Classic Movies website.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five.

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