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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| John Ford |||
John Ford

One of the art form's grand masters of all time, Ford is responsible for influencing the seminal directors of generation after generation. Strongly associated with the impressive body of work created over a lifetime with collaborator John Wayne, it is nearly impossible to choose just threeÖ but here it goes.

This powerful winner of the Best Picture Academy Award is set in Wales at the turn of the 19th century, and tells the story of a family of miners, whose lives are filled with danger and repression. The film is beautifully crafted, lovingly depicting the gut wrenching sacrifices and light-hearted moments that are elemental to family life, making this film a true representation of the craft that is unmistakably John Ford.

This film is told in flashback as James Stewart, after a long absence, returns home for the funeral of a friend who saved his life from a sadistic outlaw. This classic covers every essential element required to qualify as a western epic from unlikely friends to the girl who comes between them, to the enemy they both despise, but handle with extremely different approaches, to Fords signature cast of supporting characters, all combine to make this a staple for every fan of this uniquely American genre.

This romantic comedy seen through the eyes of John Ford has John Wayne ( an American-raised boxer) go to Ireland to the village of his birth, fall for feisty Maureen O'Hara, and fight with town ruffian Victor McLaglen in one of the all time classic screen brawls. This is an exceptionally fine romantic movie that with Fordís capable bravado manages to be a film that any manís man can openly enjoy.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Oscar Handicap 2014: Leading Actor and Actress

By EdwardHavens

March 1st, 2014

Here, we will examine the results of voting patters for Best Actor and Best Actress.

Oscar Handicap 2014: Leading Actor and Actress

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

Best Actor

The Breakdowns
1) As long as you're not the nominee in the lowest grossing film in this category at the time of the nomination announcements, you've won 32 of 35 (91.43%). Advantage: Bale, DiCaprio, Ejiofor, McConaughey
2) As long as you're not the youngest nominee, you've won 28 of 35 (80%). Advantage: Bale, Dern, DiCaprio, McConaughey
3) The SAG Award winner in this category has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category 15 of the 19 times the former award has been awarded (78.95%). Advantage: McConaughey
4) Those who received the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama have won the Best Actor Oscar 23 of 35 (65.71%). Advantage: McConaughey
5) Playing a fictional character has helped the winner 22 of 35 (62.86%). Advantage: Bale, Dern
6) Actors working from a screenplay adapted from a previously published work have won 20 of 35 (57.14%). Advantage: DiCaprio, Ejiofor
7) Those previously nominated for an Oscar have won the Best Actor Oscar 20 of 35 (57.14%). Advantage: bale, DiCaprio
8) The winner of at least two awards from four major critics organizations (Los Angeles Film Critics, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle) has yielded an Oscar 18 of 35 (51.43%). Advantage: Dern

By The Numbers
Hopefully, an Oscar will convince Mr. McConaughey to stay far away from dumb rom-coms for the remainder of his career
Christian Bale, "American Hustle": +1, +2, -3, -4, +5, -6, +7, -8 (150 of 264, 56.82%)
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska": -1, +2, -3, -4, +5, -6, -7, +8 (117 of 264, 44.32%)
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street": +1, +2, -3, -4, -5, +6, +7, -8 (146 of 264, 55.30%)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave": +1, -2, -3, -4, -5, +6, -7, -8 (120 of 264, 45.45%)
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club": +1, +2, +3, +4, -5, -6, -7, -8 (158 of 264, 59.85%)

Best Actress

The Breakdowns
1) As long as you're not the nominee in the lowest grossing film in this category at the time of the nominations announcement, you've won 33 of the last 35 ceremonies (94.29%). Advantage: Adams, Blanchett, Bullock, Dench
2) The winner of the Golden Globe for Drama has gone to win here 28 of 35 (80%). Advantage: Blanchett
3) As long as you're not the youngest nominee, you've won 27 of 35 (77.14%). Advantage: Blanchett, Bullock, Dench, Streep
4) Playing an American has helped the winner in this category 26 of 35 (74.29%). Advantage: Adams, Blanchett, Bullock, Streep
5) Playing a fictional character has helped the winner 24 of 35 (68.57%). Advantage: Adams, Blanchett, Bullock, Streep
6) The SAG Award winner in this category has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category 13 of 19 (68.42%). Advantage: Blacnhett
7) The Best Actress winner has starred in a Best Picture nominee 23 of 35 (65.71%). Advantage: Adams, Bullock, Dench
8) First-time nominees in this category have won 18 of 35 (51.43%). Advantage: Adams
9) Actresses working from materials previously published or produced have won 18 of 35 (51.43%). Advantage: Dench, Streep

By The Numbers
Blanchett is the statistical leader, but sometimes forces outside the award show can cause a great upset
Amy Adams, "American Hustle": +1, -2, -3, +4, +5, -6, +7, +8, -9 (162 of 299, 54.18%)
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine": +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, -7, -8, -9 (197 of 299, 65.89%)
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity": +1, -2, +3, +4, +5, -6, +7, -8, +9 (187 of 299, 62.54%)
Judi Dench, "Philomena": +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8, +9 (151 of 299, 50.50%)
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County": -1, -2, +3, +4, +5, -6, -7, -8, +9 (142 of 299, 47.49%)


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature