'For a lot of filmmakers, their first goal is to be successful and make some money. But once people start doing that, the real goal is then to win an Academy Award. Because when they do, they know that their obit is going to start out, 'Academy Award winner so-and-so.'
Although I realize how ludicrous it is to get excited about something that always disappoints, I do it every year. I don't think I've really enjoyed the Oscars in years, yet I still look forward to them. I'm sure many of you feel the same, we like to complain about them, how long and boring they are, who should have, and should not have been nominated. I think the disappointment is oddly part of the enjoyment, and part of the experience.
Kind of like Christmas and birthdays, the Oscars come with sentimental baggage. Growing up far from Hollywood, Oscar night seemed to bring the world of movies closer, it was something watched by people together, all over the world. My memories of Oscar night start with begging my mother to me stay up and watch. It was always on Sunday night, and with the school the next morning, it was a battle to get to see more than an hour.
I loved, and still miss, the Billy Crystal hosted years. I loved seeing 'old' Hollywood on stage, the big openings, and the performance of the nominated songs. I still have an old VHS tape somewhere with years of Oscar performances on it somewhere. I still vividly remember the year Madonna came with Michael Jackson as her date and nervously warbled through a performance of 'Sooner or Later' from Dick Tracy. There was something about seeing Madonna shaking, nervous singing in front of the world that made her more human, and spoke to the gravity of the night.
I have been uncovering the Hombres de Hollywood for quite a few years now, and featuring the work of artist Nacho Fernandez Castro (illustrator of Hombres de Hollywood) made for the perfect fit! Hope you enjoy my tribute to Hollywood and this year's awards. Hope you enjoy it, and although long, hope you're not too disappointed.... 😎 Like the show itself, it's become tradition!
This year, my Oscar coverage is spread over the site's first three pages. Once again this year, I am stripping bare the nominee's, and many of the actors and films of the past year.
The naked nominees Best Actor (HERE:) Best Supporting Actor (HERE:)
The first Sidney Poitier film that I saw wasn't one of his more well known films, it wasn't one of his best. I was in school, and went along with my father and a couple of films to see Shoot To Kill. I remember thinking the movie was ok and that Tom Berrenger was hot, but the film didn't really leave a lasting impression.
Shoot to Kill (1988)
It wasn't until I was older that I learned more about his life and his ground breaking career. Although Hattie McDaniel was nominated and won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1939, it wasn't until almost twenty years later that Sidney Poitier became the first male black actor to be nominated for best actor for his role in The Defiant Ones.
Lilies of the Field (1963)
Poitier didn't take home the award, but was nominated again five years later and went on to become the first black actor ever to win an Oscar for 1963's Lilies of the Field. The film tells the story of Homer Smith, an African American handy man and jack-of-all-trades who encounters a group of East German nuns. Smith believes that he was sent to them by God to help them build a new chapel.
Again this year there is a lot of talk about how white the Oscar nominations are. Out of ten acting nominations, there is just one, for actress Cynthia Erivo in Harriet. I often feel the Academy gets a bad wrap when it comes to diversity. There are a lack of diverse nominee's for sure, both in area's of race and of sex. I've never felt the problem however was the Academy, but society and the industry itself.
For Love of Ivy (1968)
There are always actors, directors and projects overlooked, and I'm sure sexism and racism plays a role, but the real issues don't lie with the awards, but the industry they're rewarding. The film industry is simply not making many films for mainstream audiences that don't star white men. Today, those white men are usually wearing superhero spandex or wielding a big gun.
Thankfully, regardless of what Hollywood produces, the Oscars usually cut through the spandex and reward performances over box office receipts and trends. Although it doesn't happen for everyone, great actors like Sidney Poitier often shine through. Although he won an actual acting Oscar, Poitier also won an Honorary Oscar in 2002. The award was given for Poitier's extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence.
'Give me evil, sexy Hamlet. Settle into it. Enjoy it. And cut!'
I don't usually like to compare current actors with movie stars from Hollywood's past. Usually they never measure up. We look at Hollywood icons with a different lens, from a distant, through our memories of their movies, and how they impacted and touched our lives. Some movies and actors hold special places for us, not because of their quality, but because of when we saw them, and what was going on in our lives.
All that being said, after seeing Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, I couldn't help but compare Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. There are many similarities, from their sex symbol status to their ability to sustain thriving careers over multiple decades.
All four actors got their starts on television, before moving to the big screen, and all have had high profile romances, and each has put their fame to good work raising money for charities and causes that they believe in. They're all Oscar nominee's, with both Pitt and DiCaprio nominated for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood this year.
It wasn't really any of those things however that had me compare the two pairings, it was more about the energy created by having Pitt and DiCaprio both in the same film. I never really saw any of Redford or Newman's films until I was probably in my twenties, but in watching many of their films, and reading about them, I could feel a similar energy surrounding the times they worked together in The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Both Pitt and Dicaprio can open and sell a film on their own, like many of you, I've seen most of their films, even the bad ones. They have a quality beyond being actors, they moved into 'movie star' status, something not really that easy to do today. Unlike when Newman and Redford were box office draws, movies are no longer made only for the big screen, and they're not the events they once were. There are so many actors working in the film industry, and not many break through to actually be considered 'stars'.
When I first read the two actors were going to work together, I was disappointed it was a Quentin Tarantino film. I am far from a fan of Tarantino. I see his cinematic brilliance, and his ability to tell a story, but I usually don't enjoy the way he tells it. To me Tarantino more often than not muddles his stories with shock and violence. I've seen most of his films, but more for the actors and the performances. Except for Reservoir Dogs, which I liked, I usually end up loving the performances, but hating the film.
I liked Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Tarantino kept his focus on the characters and story, and I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at Hollywood. There was of course some violence, but it was only in a small section of scenes near the end. Give the story, I was pleasantly surprised that the director actually seemed to be downplaying the violence, and for maybe the first time ever, only included what was needed without all the usual overkill.
Pitt & DiCaprio with Johnny Depp
Instead of including Pitt and DiCaprio in the actor nominations posts, they each have a section of their own. Check out my Actors & Skin piece on DiCaprio HERE: & my salute to all thing Brad on Page 3 HERE:
As has become tradition, FH once again takes a look back at the year in skin, cinema skin that is! I chose to focus on my favorite sex and nude scenes from films, and did not include an television shows in the mix. With so many movies now debuting digitally, on-line and streaming services, sometimes things get confusing. Hope maybe there's a scene or two here you haven't seen, and may want to check out.
I liked, but didn't love Rocketman, but it was far more enjoyable than last year's overly hyped, and overly awarded, Bohemian Rhapsody. Although I would have liked Taron Egerton to have gotten a nod, I actually though the trailer deserved an award, it was spectacular. Although the sex scene didn't show a whole lot, I was surprised to learn that according to NewNow Next, that Elton John (Taron Egerton) and John Reid's (Richard Madden) roll around in the sheets was the first gay male sex scene in a major studio release. Shocking if true.
The Lighthouse wasn't great, but there was something about the film that I really loved. If you go by the movies, sex with fish seems to be really taking off... I also consider this Robert Pattinson's first real nude scene. Yes, he's had a few 'sort of' nude scenes, but this one was at least somewhat decently lit...
The Cleansing Hour
I have not seen all of The Cleansing Hour, but I take every opportunity to see as much of actor Ryan Guzman as I possibly can.
Given his recent string of films with on-screen nudity, often full frontal, I'm not sure actor and comedian Adam Devine is going to be able to shoot any film without audiences expecting (demanding) at least a peak at Adam's anatomy.
As I watched this scene in Hustlers, I kept wondering what was going on in the mind of the actor Rob Stats. According to Stats, its all in a days work. The actor and stuntman has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for nude stunt work and has taken it off in a variety of movies and television shows.
A Million Little Pieces
If there was one nude scene the past year that got the lion's share of attention, it was undoubtedly Aaron Taylor-Johnson in A Million Little Pieces. Checking out the scene, it's not hard to see why, and the piece, as you can see.... is far from little.
I couldn't find any images of Oscar nominee Joe Pesci which I would constitute as sexy or ones showing any skin. I'm guessing that's maybe a good thing. I did find a shot of Pesci (above) with Saturday Night Live nitwit, and real life nitwit Victoria Jackson. The two co-starred in the 1985 TV movie Half Nelson.
ANTHONY HOPKINS in The Two Popes
It's funny how many of Hollywood's biggest movie stars have fun and interesting pasts on television. Also back in 1985, Oscar nominee Anthony Hopkins co-starred along side Suzanne Somers, Andrew Stevens, Candice Bergin and more in Jackie Collin' Hollywood Wives. I've seen a bit of it on Youtube, but despite it's heavy dose of 80's glitz and glamour, it didn't really hold my attention.
Hopkins in another actor without a lot early beefcake roles or images. He does have to 'dark' butt scenes, but neither looked clear enough to cap. I do wish there were more promotional shots from Hopkins turn in the 1971 stage production of The Architect of the Emperor of Assyria. The shot above, and the poster below, certainly hint there was more to see...
TOM HANKS in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Tom Hanks is another actor with a rich television past, from his roles on Bosom Buddies and Happy Days, and even a stint on The Love Boat that Hanks referenced when he won his lifetime achievement award a the Golden Globe's last month. Check out my previous piece on Tom HERE: Hanks in Turner and Hooch (1989)
AL PACINO in The Irishman
According to sources, in addition to Pacino's brief butt flash in Cruising (below) the talented actor also had a nude scene in 1971's The Panic in Needle Park. I did find a copy of the film, but there was no nude scene in the version I watched. If anyone know's if it exists, shoot me a line.