Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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First Time Oscar Nominees - who will be back first?

"Probably the last nomination for all of them." - Fred

"From this group, I'd say Ruth Negga, Lucas Hedges, and Dev Patel are likely to return again." - Aaron

"Out of all the nominees I think it's a little strange that Garfield was the least deserving but most likely to be nominated again. " - Tom

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Oscar Nominee Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival
Krystof Deak (Sing)
Robert Legato (The Jungle Book)
Rich Moore (Zootopia) 



La La Moonlight, an Unexpected Finale to Oscar Night

My head is still spinning. As I cleaned up after the Oscar party, I imagined an Oliver Stone like JFK treatment of the 89th Academy Awards finale. We need evidence and diagrams, I thought to myself while filling up the recycling bag with empty bottles.  People might argue and theorize about this forever and make themseleves conspiracy theorists in the process. What was it, exactly, that happened?

First there was Warren Beatty's excruciating pause when he opened the envelope, a look of disbelief or was it confusion or 'how about that?' smirking. Inscrutable really. At first I'd assumed he was just trying to create suspense where none existed or maybe he was actually having his own Crash moment like his friend Jack Nicholson's surprise on that awful Black Sunday 11 years ago when Brokeback Mountain unexpectedly lost its rightful Oscar and Jack didn't disguise his surprise.

As I wiped the kitchen counter I though of Beatty handing the envelope over to his Bonnie, Faye Dunaway... for help or just to give her the honor? She seemed less confused and said "La La Land". Cue the usual anti-climax to the Oscar party each year when the expected happens and the show is running way over time, anyway. My guests were already tuning out the producer's speech.

But then the unthinkable. My head is still spinning.

La La Land has left the building

There'd been a mistake and La La Land hadn't won after all. The winner was Moonlight, and for a brief moment the stage was a jumble of people and more confusion with two teams as one key Oscar changed hands and suddenly the Moonlight team was there, bewildered but then happy -- a direct reversal of the trajectory of La La Land emotions. One team robbed of their triumph, the other unable to celebrate theirs in the traditional way. So much confusion. Warren Beatty tried to explain -- something about having the Best Actress envelope.

My party guests and I argued back and forth. How did they get the Best Actress envelope? Didn't Leo have it? Was there a duplicate? Nothing made any sense except that Moonlight will look great in the history books as an Oscar winner. One of my guests, a black gay man, said he needed a moment. He couldn't believe he was seeing a movie like that on the screen and definitely didn't expect to ever see it win Best Picture at the Oscars. When he left I thought about my own heart breaking when Brokeback lost and now a gay picture actually did win the big prize. 

As I put the mixers back in the fridge I thought back to the commotion behind the La La Land team during their speeches. I didn't think much of while it was happening other than a passing thought "why are people moving around so much -- was that someone running across the stage?" More thank yous followed. And then suddenly the chaos, and holding the envelope up to the camera. Moonlight was the winner. 

My head is still spinning but it's all too fresh to watch the recording again to verify. Tomorrow. As I took out the garbage my mood changed. Empathy for both teams experiencing their wins and loss in such a strange way. But didn't this make a kind of poetic sense? Moonlight's arc is a slow road of self-actualization, and always, always a struggle, melancholy even in its happiest moment.  La La Land's enormous success, on the other hand comes with significant loss. In the musical's last act we leave the current moment for a rewind and a 'dream ballet' like segment wherein we envision a different reality that might have been. The 89th Academy Awards finale was messy and chaotic rather than elegant and inspired but in its own way it was a dream ballet; a sliding door, an alternate reality, which suddenly closes off. This new reality is fine but the 'what if' may never quite subside. 


PICTURE Moonlight
DIRECTOR Damien Chazelle, La La Land
ACTRESS Emma Stone, La La Land
ACTOR Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
SUPPORTING ACTOR Mahershala Ali, Moonlight 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Manchester by the Sea
COSTUME DESIGN Fantastic Beast and How To Find Them
FILM EDITING Hacksaw Ridge
SOUND MIXING Hacksaw Ridge
MAKEUP Suicide Squad
ORIGINAL SONG "City of Stars," La La Land



"Elle" Wins the César 

Huppert's trophy haul from ELLE is getting crazy!This post title was originally "Elle triumphs" but that would be too emphatic a statement. Paul Verhoeven's provocative black comedy about an infamous woman who reacts strangely to a rape did win the top category, oui. But Isabelle Huppert's awards magnet fascinating star turn was its only other win in Best Actress. For the 42nd annual Césars, then, it was a spread the wealth year. Xavier Dolan's all star ensemble It's Only the End of the World, the debut feature Divines, and the acclaimed toon My Life as a Zucchini also won multiple prizes.

The winners and George Clooney's Honorary César acceptance speech are after the jump...

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Film Bitch Award Winners

This site's own prizes, Nathaniel's long-running Film Bitch Awards, the Oscar correlative categories at least, all arrrived before the Oscar nominations this year. I was on schedule for once!

Amy & Jeremy wondering how they only managed one gold medal in the first round of Film Bitch Awards

I'm behind schedule on the "extra categories" which are supposed to be done by now (sigh) but for now, please to enjoy the medal ceremony in the standard categories. If you're a purist and only want winners and not "gold / silver / bronze" which is my personal awards preference because spreading the wealth is the only way to go with awards for things as apples & oranges beautiful as movies, the list of gold medalists is after the jump...

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A Clean Sweep for "Moonlight" at the Spirit Awards

Moonlight won in every category it was nominated in yesterday in Spirit Award's big tent. That was five prizes as well as a sixth (non-competitive) with their annual Robert Altman award honoring great ensembles. Smartly the prize goes not just to the cast but the director and the casting director. The A24 hit won't be quite that lucky tonight at the Oscars but hopefully it won't go home empty-handed either.

a moment between Mahershala Ali and The Bening at the Spirit Awards

History is full of wonderful films that had big nights at the Spirits as their last hurrah before Oscar shut-outs or Screenplay- only wins (The Wrestler, Far From Heaven, Sideways come to mind). But if you'd like to maintain hope that Moonlight takes Best Picture tonight at the Oscars there is always this factoid: The Spirit Awards Best Film winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture four out of six times this decade: The Artist (2011), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Birdman (2014), and Spotlight (2015)

The winners list as well as videos of some moments under that famous tent after the jump.

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Last Minute Drama: Oscar Nomination Rescinded

It wouldn't be the Oscars without drama. Or in this case, draaaaaa-maaaa. The day before the Oscars -- yes, the day before the Oscars -- the Academy rescinded a nomination. Greg P Russell had received his 17th nomination (he's never won) for his sound mixing on 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi but that nomination is no more. The decision was announced yesterday in light of information about phone calls to branch members. Telephone as well as email lobbying is against the rules. The other members of that particular sound team have retained their nominations so there are still 5 nominated films in the category.

Sing along at Greg's house "Alone...Yet Not Alone...♫ " 

For those who recall. The song "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the movie of the same name was the last rescinded nomination just 3 Oscar seasons ago for something similar, emails to branch members. While this is unfortunate, especially considering Russell's long history without a win and big contributions to blockbuster cinema (past nominations include Spider-Man, Transformers, and Skyfall), how do AMPAS members not know not to do this by now?


Are you a patron saint?

big sad eyes. show us love.I have sad news to report. The Film Experience has lost its chief patron who underwrote some of our expenses due to a shift in their personal economy (plus our ad revenue was down this year). This won't mean anything to you reading (at least immediately) but in order to insure our continued success as we scramble to find other income streams, we do need more funds than usual for dull things like rent and food and exciting things like film festivals and tech improvements on the chart pages and better microphones for the podcast and so on. We're working on solutions to further monetize the site beyond the occasional movie ad and hopefully we'll start selling ebooks or other items. We'll have more time to figure this out after the Oscars. But for now there are two things you can do to help.

One: Shop at Amazon under our affiliate program. Next time you need to buy something -- anything -- just click from here (ads to your left) to purchase it. I'd love to see if this is a feasible option for extra funds

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Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

by Steven Fenton 

I’ll start with a confession. I’m not typically the first in line for a horror fact, I’m rarely in line for them at all. But recently I’ve found myself opening up to the possibilities of the genre, and it feels like I’m not the only one. There’s something in the water (and no, I’m not talking about Blake Lively). This new wave of “sophisticated horror” (for lack of a better term), from high profile festival hits like The Babadook and The Witch and critical sensations like Get Out, has done an amazing job of re-branding the genre for new audiences. So that’s why when I heard one of my favorite festival programmer sing the praises of The Autopsy of Jane Doe, I knew I had to check it out.

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