BootLeg Betty

Emanuel Levy – All About Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (2003)

A book with an interestingly cool, analytical approach. Levy has a shrewd section on Oscar-winning acting performances and their tendency towards a cautiously imagined eccentricity or vulnerability. (This is more or less what Robert Downey Jr‘s character in Tropic Thunder was to call “going semi-retard”.) Alcoholism is favourite subject and Levy has a list of Oscar-nominated “drunks”. Male: Ray Milland for The Lost Weekend, James Mason for A Star is Born, Jack Lemmon for Days of Wine and Roses, Dudley Moore for Arthur, Paul Newman for The Verdict, Albert Finney for The Dresser and Under the Volcano and Robert Duvall for The Apostle. Female: Susan Hayward for Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman, My Foolish Heart and I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Deborah Kerr for Edward, My Son, Vivien Leigh for A Streetcar Named Desire, Piper Laurie for The Hustler, Elizabeth Taylor for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Bette Midler for The Rose, Marsha Mason for Only When I Laugh, Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues, Jessica Lange for Frances and Jane Fonda for The Morning After.
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