Over the past couple of months, with the Oscar season drawing to a close, I've been mulling over possible projects to dive into during the post-season. In the past, I've reviewed every year of Best Original Song, plus all acting categories graced by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Those, plus more modest side projects, like Horror at the Oscars. All of these were a blast to work on, so I've of course been eager to approach another 'Oscar Flashback' for this year.
Ideas crossed my mind like reviewing every Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn category, or even 'The Fondas,' a mix of the Henry, Jane and Peter years. Or perhaps veering from actors to directors, reviewing each category in which say, Steven Spielberg or William Wyler appeared. I've also considered approaching a single category, as I did with Original Song, like Best Costume Design or even Best Animated Short Film (of which the vast majority of past nominees are available for online viewing).
While I won't rule out tackling any or all of those in the future, I don't quite feel the fire in the belly at this moment. Instead, I'm going to try something a little different but probably just as challenging and time-consuming (and, hopefully, rewarding).
There is no shortage of Oscar rankings to be found online, lists composed by fellow awards season aficionados of their favorite Oscar-winning performances or Best Picture winners, ranked from best to worst. Which is fantastic...but what if someone, a film buff who has inexplicably had the time and dedication to see nearly every Oscar-nominated performance, looked back and compiled a list (including commentary) of the 100 greatest acting turns recognized by the Academy?
Yes, over the coming months, I'll be traveling back in awards season history as I reveal my picks for the 100 best performances ever nominated for an Oscar. First, I need to fill in a few gaps - there are a handful of recognized turns I've yet to get around to, plus a few performances I've seen but barely recall and I'm not about to put this thing together without revisiting them. After that, the list shall be compiled and, beginning with #100, I plan to reveal five performances each week, looking back at what made each portrayal so special and what ended up going down in each Oscar race.
I'm fascinated to see what comes of this pet project and hope you'll join me in reminiscing about what will no doubt be 100 truly remarkable performances.