Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Alternate Oscars: Best Actress Of 1945 (Re-Vote)

This is a simple re-vote. There were some clear-cut shenanigans the first time around so I shut down the ballot early ...

Tough choice for you. All five actresses, in my opinion, turned in the best performances of their career. If it means anything to you, Joan Crawford already has an alternate Oscar in the bank with her turn in 1932's Grand Hotel. But don't let that influence you if, like me, you're a fan of Mildred Pierce.

Have at it.
My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Alternate Oscars: Best Actor of 1944 (Re-Do)

Okay, let's start with an easy one — the best actor of 1944.

Note: I'm nominating American movies by the date of their Oscar eligibility (so To Have and Have Not will show up in 1945 not 1944), but foreign-made movies, including British movies, by the date of release in their home country. Foreign films, even British ones, tend to show up here late, sometimes years late, so that from the perspective of using these alternate awards to reveal movie history, nominating a foreign film in terms of its Oscar eligibility is somewhat counterproductive to my purposes.

For example, Olivier's Henry V showed up in the United States in 1946 and received four Oscar nominations, very nice, but the movie actually premiered in London in 1944 while the war still raged in Europe. Henry's famous St. Crispian's Day speech — "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother" — must have made for one hell of a morale booster. So, I've nominated Olivier here.

(By the way, I think it's a great performance, which is saying something. Between me and thee, I'm not a fan of Olivier's generally. But Henry V is a great movie.)

As always, my choices are noted with a ★ (or in this case with a ✪ where there is a tie — sue me). Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Alternate Oscars: The Re-Do's, The Re-Vote's And, Before Too Long, The Results

For years this blog was all about alternate Oscars. And then for the last two-plus years, it's been about nothing at all.

I blame cancer.

To clarify, I beat cancer. It was a knockdown, drag-out fifteen rounder, but twenty-six months after a surgery to end all surgeries, I'm standing over the prostrate body of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
But that's not to say that the battle didn't take its toll. Chemo, radiation, 13 hours of surgery and months of recovery. More surgery during the peak of the pandemic. Frequent bouts of nausea that continue to this day. Plus two years of insomnia, keyed by violent nightmares.

My brains are tired.

I used to write every day, if not on this blog, then on the great American novel, or for Sharpologist and even for Flicker Alley! But not for two years now. I got the nightmares under control with my own version of exposure therapy (binge-watching all 15 seasons of E.R.) — now it's time to wrestle the rest of my brain into line!

As you may recall, from April 2018 to November 2019, I posted weekly polls offering my alternate nominations for the big six Oscar categories (picture, actor, actress, director, supporting actor, supporting actress), plus various special awards.

Overall, I'm pleased with the results. Well, mostly.

What you don't know is that I received my cancer diagnosis right in the middle of that project — November 8, 2018, to be exact, or more precisely, right between 1957 and 1958 as the alternate Oscar flies. I went from very methodically working my way through a given year over the course of a week to advance posting about ten years in a single week, trying to squeeze it all in between various treatments.
As a result, I got more than a little sloppy at times. My choices for 1963 and 1995 were especially poor, leaving out some true classics.

On top of that, there was some occasional hanky-panky at the voting booth, with clear-cut cases of ballot stuffing that left me with some truly idiosyncratic results.

So, this is what I propose. Starting this week, I'm going to launch a handful of re-do's, where I give you a new set of nominees, as well as some re-votes (using a different free voting service), and then I'm going to start posting the results of all the voting, revealing my choice, your choice and the Academy's choice.

At this point, I suspect there are maybe three people who ever check in here — even Katie-Bar-The-Door doesn't drop in anymore — so the vote totals on the re-do's and re-votes might be a bit sparse. But I'm nothing if not a completionist, and besides, the real point of the exercise is to force myself back into the habit of writing. Part of me has really missed writing. Just not the part of me that does anything about it.

Time to wake up.