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Mia Farrow (#110 of 10)

Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions Actress

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Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions: Actress
Oscar 2014 Winner Predictions: Actress

If there’s anything with even the slightest ability to nudge Cate Blanchett’s path to Oscar victory off course, it’s the seemingly endless Farrowgate scandal, which has Woody Allen’s allegedly molested daughter calling out his muses by name, and guilting them in an attempt to harm the director by extension. As Mark Harris brilliantly observed in his Grantland essay “Oscar Season Turns Ugly,” this kind of linkage of Oscar results to actual sociopolitical issues is at once necessary and ludicrous—a tricky conundrum that can’t be assessed “without acknowledging that something horrible is being inappropriately trivialized and something trivial is being inappropriately transformed into a crisis of situational ethics.” I don’t think anyone ever felt that Blanchett, an unerringly shrewd celebrity, would have indulged the open invitation to address this scandal in her subsequent acceptance speeches. But few likely foresaw that, amid a pop-cultural atmosphere in which the topic simply cannot be ignored, the Aussie frontrunner would find a way to dodge it while taking an unimpeachable high road, dedicating her Best Actress BAFTA win Sunday night to the “late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.” In raising her Stoli martini with a twist of lemon to one of the Academy’s departed elite, odds are Blanchett closed whatever case Dylan Farrow had in terms of exacting revenge by setting a trip wire for Blue Jasmine’s leading lady.

15 Famous Oscar Snubs

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15 Famous Oscar Snubs
15 Famous Oscar Snubs

No Kathryn Bigelow?! No Ben Affleck?! Yesterday’s Oscar nominations brought their fair share of shocking snubs, but it certainly wasn’t the first time the Academy stuck it to likely contenders. Looking back over Academy Awards history, there are many dumbfounding, surprising omissions to be found—realizations that underscore the belief that Oscar nods hardly indicate long-term quality. Be them unforgivable or just bewildering, we’ve selected 15 snubs that no doubt had people talking…heatedly.

15 Famous Movie Sisters

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15 Famous Movie Sisters
15 Famous Movie Sisters

In Your Sister’s Sister, Lynn Shelton directs Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt as complicated siblings, whose relationship is further tested by Mark Duplass’s grief-stricken houseguest. Both Blunt and DeWitt have played the sister role before, Blunt as recently as 2008, when she starred as Amy Adams’s sis in Sunshine Cleaning. From The Parent Trap to Crimes of the Heart, divine secrets to divine intervention, cinema has given us all manner of sisterhood, with no shortage of tears, laughs, and catfights. Herein are 15 films that stand out most in memory, their ladies leaving a mark as strong as a thicker-than-water bond.

5 for the Day: Mia Farrow

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5 for the Day: Mia Farrow
5 for the Day: Mia Farrow

It’s been close to twenty years since Mia Farrow did battle with her one-time boyfriend/boss Woody Allen, in actual law courts and in the even nastier courts of public opinion. She wrote an autobiography in 1997, What Falls Away, in which she described her life up to the point Allen started an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi, which resulted in accusations on both sides that were so ugly that we’ve all made a kind of pact of forgetfulness so that we can go on seeing Allen’s movies. Farrow has continued to work as an actress, but in fairly obscure films. She turned up this year in Michel Gondry’s loopy Be Kind Rewind; at 63, she looked almost exactly the same as she had in Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and it was a reminder that she has spent her whole life pursuing a dream of childhood, both in her compulsive adoption of children, many of whom have special needs, and her determination to keep herself childishly pure in looks and attitude. “She lived all alone in her own world,” said Bette Davis, observing a teenaged Farrow on the set of John Paul Jones (1959), which was directed by her father, John Farrow.

5 for the Day: Motherhood

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5 for the Day: Motherhood
5 for the Day: Motherhood

Mom: Well, you thought like Old Lady Anna. She thought a dick was a banana!

A saint? Methinks not. “How the hell could I be a saint?” she would ask. “We’re Baptists!”

My Mom is a larger than life character crafted with one part June Cleaver, two parts Mahalia Jackson, three parts Oprah, and four parts Dorothy Parker. As the primary disciplinarian of five children, she is also eight parts Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. My Mom could threaten with words of such forceful violence that the MPAA would rate her NC-17. “Boy,” she would begin, “I will kick your ass so hard your great-grandchildren will be born with footprints!” It wasn’t hyperbole either. That aforementioned party? I went to it anyway. When I got home at 3 AM, my mother was standing in the doorway, illuminated by light like John Wayne at the end of The Searchers—an appropriate image as she loved Westerns. Except instead of holding her arm like Wayne, she was holding a belt. “I hope it was good,” is the last thing I remember her saying.

The occasional (and always deserved) ass-whipping was not all she dispensed. No one I knew could deliver common sense with a blunt honesty that ensured the lesson would be learned and never forgotten. In our house, The Awful Truth was more than a Leo McCarey movie. Sometimes I would say “well, you didn’t have to say it like that!” To which she would reply, “well, that’s too bad. I did.”

Through Mom, I was introduced to two things I love dearly: life and movies. I was born after a movie, in fact, which only serves to highlight her uncanny knack for consolidation. Through countless hours of movie watching on TV she introduced me to her favorites: Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Sidney Poitier, Abbott and Costello and Cicely Tyson. She had an opinion about every movie, and held unreasonable grudges against actors for roles they played. Her tastes ran from 40’s women’s pictures to horror movies too gory even for my cast iron stomach. And even though she liked the worst movie I have ever seen, I can still list her as the primary source of my love for movie knowledge. I love noir and screwball comedies because the dames were smart, tough and clever with words. Just like my Mom.

So, to honor her, and mothers everywhere, today’s Five for the Day salutes movie motherhood of all stripes, shapes and species. The sayings that precede each entry are Momisms courtesy of the person who brought you the Odienator.