Saturday, February 02, 2008

31 days of oscar kickoff

Well Shelfers, it's that time of year again. That time when film industry and fans turn their focus towards the awards season, and the grandmaster of them all: The Academy Awards. That means that Turner Classic Movies has now turned their programming over to their annual 31 Days of Oscar. And again this year we will join the celebration here at The Shelf by giving you our daily picks and a whole lot more. In addition to our Shelf picks, we will feature an exclusive interview with TCM host and Officail Oscar Historian, Robert Osbourne and in depth looks at some of Oscar's biggest winners and films that should've been winners. You can also expect DVD reviews, return of the weekly roundup, and more Shelf madness. It's gonna be fun so stick around.

So to kick things off we'll give you our picks for this weekend. This year, TCM has a great website devoted to 31 Days of Oscar, and they've done things a little different. Each day is devoted to different decades: 1980s Saturdays, 1990s and 2000s Sundays, 1920s and 1930s Mondays, 1940s Tuesdays, 1950s Wednesdays, 1960s Thursdays and 1970s Fridays.

Saturdays pick: The Trip To Bountiful (1985) An aging woman escapes her controlling family to visit her childhood home. Starring: Geraldine Page, John Heard and Carlin Glynn. Directed by Peter Masterson. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards: Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Geraldine Page won for Best Actress.
Geraldine Page. How can you go wrong with a legend like Geraldine Page? I mean, she was with John Wayne in Hondo. This is a great little movie about a woman whose life is domineered by her brood, and yet all she wants is one last look at her hometown. Unfortunately, her hometown of Bountiful has dwindled and passed on to abandoned homes and buildings; as abandoned as she feels.

Sunday's pick: Quiz Show (1994) A blue-blood academic gets swept up in the quiz show scandals of the '50s. Starring: John Turturro, Rob Morrow and Ralph Fiennes. Directed by Robert Redford. Nominated for four Academy Awards.
I have written here previously of my love for this film. It's a slice of life look at the 1950s and different strata of classes and the one place where they meet and merge into a whole other animal: television. The film turns in some very powerful performances from Rob Morrow, Ralph Fiennes and Paul Scofield in a great supporting role as Mark Van Doren. Robert Redford does a great job directing this film, and the story itself is powerful enough to carry it through. But the performances turn it into a great drama with characters who you can't let of.

Stay tuned for next week! More to come...

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.

I guess when you've lived longer than your house and your family, then you've lived long enough.


Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Agree with your assessment of "Quiz Show," a terrific film. Especially impressive is the way it captures an era without either self-consciousness or resorting to campy parody. The effect is quite natural and genuine.

PB said...

i love tmc because it was the only channel that, oddly, came into focus when i was growing was as if the universe was sending me signs or something. unfortunately i no longer get it with my current cable setup. thanks for the introductions, though, i'll definitely check the rest of the lineup on their website and maybe go rent them instead.


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