"A must read for fans of the Oscars"
STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN, Amazon.com, 9 December 2016
"In this entertaining first book, historian and film fan Brian Lindsay uncovers the reasons behind the insidious practice of category fraud, whereby lead performances are campaigned for awards in supporting categories. He traces it back to 1936, the year the supporting Oscars were introduced, through the 1950s when an outcry led to the Academy changing the rules to outlaw the practice. The prohibition was soon dropped and category fraud has reached ever more absurd heights with movie stars like Julia Roberts and George Clooney being nominated for - and sometimes winning - supporting Oscars at the expense of character actors in genuine supporting parts.
The first section of the book goes through the rarer instances of supporting turns in lead categories (like Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs). The second section looks at why child stars and established character actors can rarely break out of the supporting categories - even when they are in lead or co-lead roles, but especially when they are 'supporting' a bigger movie star (movie stars like Tom Cruise in Collateral, or Denzel Washington in Training Day). Finally, he explains why and how established movie stars with billing above the title are now playing lead roles and getting nominated for supporting Oscars. Over the last 15 years, 13 stars have received supporting nominations for lead roles in films where they were credited above the title!
Lindsay has obviously seen all the films he is talking about. He considers contemporary reactions to films and performances as well as behind-the-scenes Hollywood lore about award campaigns, movie stars and Oscars history, from the 1930s to today. The book is fully unauthorised and offers suggestions to the Academy on why reforming this area of the awards is so important, even in the age of #OscarSoWhite.
It's rare to find a book about the Oscars that isn't a list or coffee table book, but that has some depth and history to it. Even movie fans with an obsessive interest in the Oscars will learn something new from this entertaining and enjoyable book."
"A must read for the film award season"
LEIGH SCANLON, Amazon.com, 23 December 2016
"A must read for the film awards season. Lindsay's passion (and knowledge) of film is infectious and I have not only walked away with a good bout of Hollywood controversy but also a list of must-see films."
"Fascinating read ... I would recommend this For Your Consideration"
MATT, goodreads.com, 23 December 2016
"Fascinating read about studios and stars bending or stretching definitions of Oscar categories to suit their marketing efforts or their careers. Anybody who enjoys quality movies, whether you prefer the classics or modern Oscar worthy films, will enjoy this book
This well researched yet easy to read book outlines obvious cases of category fraud, examining the politics behind them, suggesting alternative candidates who might have got a run if the "fraud" hadn't taken place, and suggests changes that would restore some fairness to the process.
Whether you are an industry insider, an awards buff, or one of the lazy billion or so who tune in every year for the ceremony, I would recommend this For Your Consideration."
"I really enjoyed this book"
PG, Amazon.co.uk, 4 April 2017
"I really enjoyed this book. It's one for Oscars aficionados or readers with a casual interest, exploring and exposing the category fraud that has become endemic in Hollywood. Your outrage will grow as you read of leading players robbed of recognition due to the presence of a more famous actor in a lesser role, or supporting players neglected because two big stars won't duke it out in the Best Actor or Actress category.
It's fascinating and pleasingly dense, and written with authority."
"Interesting ... and an enjoyable read"
GIUSEPPE, goodreads.com, 23 July 2017
"Interesting book. Takes a subset of the criticism of the Oscars (category fraud), and runs with it, providing clear examples ... the book is an enjoyable read."
"Indispensable ... the book is organized elegantly and succinctly"
STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN, Amazon.com, 16 January 2018
"Brian Lindsay has written an indispensable handbook to the first 30 years of the Oscars and the awards for Best Film, Directing and acting. The book is organized elegantly and succinctly and with minimal comment from the author. For each year - this first volume covers 1927 to 1959 - there is a separate section listing the nominations and awards for Best Film, then Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
The commentary for each section focuses on which film or performance was nominated and who missed out, supported by brief comments from critics of the time in leading publications. As well as the Oscars, he includes nominations and winners for other major award groups like the New York Film Critics' Cricle, Golden Globes, British Academy Awards and the Directors' Guild of America, and I assume this will be added to in later volumes. He also frequently mentions the major prize winners at the key European festivals (like Cannes, Berlin and Venice), which adds a welcome international perspective, often lacking in books on the Oscars.
Unlike other awards books, you can see a range of key film citations as well as the Oscars and the book has the simple but innovative plus of grouping the films and actors by category. While you can find lots of the award citation information online, you can't see it combined in one place like this, including quotes from reviews from as far back as 1927!. A comprehensive index of films and people means you can look up a film you've just watched to see if it figured in the awards chatter that year, and in what categories.
I look forward to Volume 2"
"A great gift for the film buffs in your life"
STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN, goodreads.com, 28 June 2020
"The latest, and for now final, in an indispensable guide to film awards season. I say final, because it goes right up to the awards for 2019, distributed in the first few months of 2020 (to Parasite, 1917, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood et al.).
Although you can leave it on your shelf as a reference book, I enjoyed reading this hefty volume (600+ pages) cover-to-cover. It brought back a lot of memories of films I've seen over the last 20 years and left me keen to revisit a lot of them, as well as catch up with some of the ones I'd missed. A great gift for the film buffs in your life."