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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Sir Ian prepares for Cats

"In Six Degrees of Separation, Ian McKellen's character is tickled about the possibility about being in a movie version of Cats. 25 years later, here we are..." -Ian

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Pippi Long Linkings

Some links and/or movie news for your perusal

  • Playbill Greenday's "American Idiot," once an album then a Broadway stage musical could eventually be coming to the screen.
  • Deadline Hollywood Daniel Craig will be back as James Bond (whew) in November 2012. No title yet though we're betting it'll easy trump "Quantum of Solace". Sam Mendes is directing. 
  • Cinema Blend Katey shares the news that Debra Granik (Winter's Bone) wants to bring Pippi Longstocking back to the screen. How peculiar/fun!
  • The House Next Door takes an interesting Baltimore-specific look at both Hairspray (1988) and Hairspray (2007).
  • Gold Derby rounds up the Golden Globe predictions from the experts, including moi. Can you believe it's this weekend?
  • My New Plaid Pants obsesses over new HBO Game of Thrones pics. I keep hearing that George R R Martin loses the thread of his story a little bit on the 3rd book (and that there's no book 4) but I tell you. I'm already on book 3 but I think he lost the thread on book 2. It took forever and when it was all over it's kind of like "so, what happened?" everyone is still at war with each other and no closer to resolution on any of their stories. The end. You know, long arcs are fine. But you have to stagger them a bit so that SOMETHING happens. I mean a lot of things happened but few that advanced the big arc. It was a bit like how I felt at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One only less angry because Martin's writing is so beautifully assured. My how he can paragraph.
  • i09 on the American cast of new Being Human series (based on the British series of the same name). Normally I oppose remakes but there's no reason why this couldn't be better since (spoiler alert: NOTHING HAPPENS in Being Human either). It's turning into a theme today. Seriously, where were the stakes in Being Human? It was just a whole lot of supernatural moping.

David E. Kelley, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Henry and Claudia Rose

Finally, as you may have heard, Michelle Pfeiffer is getting back to work in 2011. The goddess is currently filming the Valentine's Day sequel New Year's Eve which opens this December and now she's confirmed for Alex Kurtzman's Welcome to People (2012) where she'll play the mother of Chris Pine, a man who must deliver his deceased dad's fortune to a long lost sister (or some such. I'm no good with plots.) Now, I know we're all getting older every day and I know that my favorite movie star is 52 BUT her own children (pictured above in 2009 are not even in their 20s yet. Claudia Rose is 17 and John Henry is 16. Michelle is not old enough to play a 30 year old's mother. Well, yes, she technically is but I don't have to like it. Please to remember that her last onscreen lover Rupert Friend is only a year older than Chris Pine.

Given the cinematic year the world's 50-to-60something actresses just had (I'm talking about Tilda Swinton, Isabelle Huppert, Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Kim Hye-Ja, Barbara Hershey, Helen Mirren, Jacki Weaver, Melissa Leo and Lesley Manville who all starred or co-starred in complex roles in successful films) I think Pfeiffer is totally slacking. Pick it up lady. Challenge yo'self.


Cinematography Honors

The seasonal wheels keep turning. I can't keep up. I literally have three, count them, THREE interviews to type up. Plus the top ten list. But awards news waits for no man. Not even Nathaniel, man. If you don't peruse every awards website known to man, the following info regarding visual work that's somewhat safely on the Oscar nomination track will come as fresh news to you. If you do, you've already sussed out what you think it all means and you're ahead of us.

I Am Vertigo

First, a moment of silence for I Am Love's Yorick Le Saux who was not nominated for ASC's cinematography prize despite having better Vertigo hair bun homages than Black Swan! I only partially kid because both movies are byootiful (biutiful?) but...come on. I Am Love is not going to get any Oscar nominations and that is going to make me jump off my web cliff.


ASC Feature Nominees

  • Danny Cohen for The King's Speech
  • Jeff Cronenwerth for The Social Network
  • Roger Deakins for True Grit
  • Matthew Libatique for Black Swan
  • Wally Pfister for Inception

127 SpeechesThis list could transfer intact to Oscar -- they're all handsome movies for sure -- but you never know. ASC nominees, like all guild honors, generally differ a bit from the final Academy pronouncement. [2009 FLASHBACK - LOOKOUT!] Last year for example Oscar dumped Dion Beebe's ASC nominated work on Nine for Bruno Delbonnel's work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If you ask me it was a downgrade. Sure everyone hated Nine and blah blah blah... but awards aren't supposed to be about whether you loved the film (that's Best Picture) but what was done in that category. And Nine was beautifully shot. The weirdest thing about Rob Marshall's oeuvre is that the art directors are always getting credit for how well the DP's shoot those big cavernous somewhat empty stages.[/FLASHBACK] The King's Speech and The Social Network are probably the vulnerable ones here as they're the least showy and "best" often equates with "most" in awards season. You may see either or both of them replaced by Robert Richardson's work on Shutter Island (I'll never forget Nick calling that one "gangrenous") or the two gents from 127 Hours (who might get credit not just for the beautiful lighting but also for the inventive setups given the claustrophobic environs. But me, I'm rooting for a surprise foreign attack from I Am Love. Stop laughing! Popular foreign films sometimes show up here. Especially the visually wondrous ones.

The question on everyone's mind: Is Deakins EVER going to win an Oscar? It won't be an easy get this year either.

ASC TV Nominees
(announced last month)

  • Eagle Egilsson for "Shell Game" Dark Blue
  • Jonathan Freeman for "Home" Boardwalk Empire
  • Christopher Manley for "Blowing Smoke" Mad Men
  • Kramer Morgenthau for "Family Limitation" Boardwalk Empire
  • David Stockton for "Pilot" Nikita
  • Michael Wale for "Shield" Smallville
  • Glen Winter for "Abandoned" Smallville

Sigh. I miss Mad Men so hard, don't you? The nominated episode is the one where Midge (awesome Rosemarie DeWitt) returns all drugged up.The ASC Awards ceremony is on February 13th.



Will Natalie Portman be this year's Eddie Murphy?

No strings, NorbitKurt here from Your Movie Buddy, not happy to have found a link between two otherwise un-linkable actors. The more promo material I see for Natalie Portman's considerable 2011 output – trailers for Your Highness and Thor, posters for The Other Woman, constant TV spots for No Strings Attached (not to be confused with fellow ballerina Mila Kunis's Friends with Benefits) – the more my heart sinks. It takes you back to 2006, when Eddie Murphy all but had the Supporting Actor Oscar on his mantle for his work in Dreamgirls, then saw his dreams shattered by the inescapable marketing campaign for Norbit.

 Some may argue that Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin, with his endearing character and veteran status, had the upset in the bag, but comeback kid Murphy was the frontrunner. I'm of the firm belief that he did himself in by putting the awful taste of Norbit in voter's mouths. Portman's upcoming offerings can't rival the, shall we say, uncouthness of Murphy in a scantily-clad female fat suit, but none of them look too promising, either, least of all No Strings Attached. Is it such a stretch to think the Best Actress hopeful may become the victim of her own Norbit effect?

After all, Portman finds herself in a much more precarious position than Murphy did...

Her category's field of contenders (and eventual nominees) is leagues stronger than Murphy's was, and she also faces a far more formidable and voter-friendly vet than he did. Unless I'm mistaken, and have misread the mood in the air, Portman's precursor lead – and additional off-screen attractors like pregnancy – have done little to change the fact that she's in a head-to-head with Annette Bening. Despite the awesome power of her Swan performance, an unappealing 2011 slate could be just the thing to sway voters to select her long-overdue rival.

one of many Swan premieres

Or, maybe not.

Maybe Portman's 2011 ubiquity is instead just another thing to give her yet more of an edge. As an educated, gifted and especially comely actress whom Hollywood has loved since childhood, she may only benefit from flashing her pretty face all over the place. Rather than recoiling, voters may just smile and say, “ah, yes, there she is again...sweet girl.”

What, if anything, do you make of this? Could Portman have clipped her own wings?


Best Achievement in Messing With Josh Brolin's Face

Brolin as himself. Brolin as Jonah Hex. Brolin as Tom Chaney.

The Academy's makeup artist and hairstylist branch has announced their finalist list. Three films from their list of seven will likely go on to become Oscar nominees.

The Finalists

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Barney's Version
  • The Fighter
  • Jonah Hex
  • True Grit
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

The makeup branch is among the hardest to predict each year because there never seems to be any rhyme or reason to their selections despite all of these rules. For example: How the hell did Black Swan miss? Never mind, I don't want to know. The answer would undoubtedly be depressing like "but those removable body parts in Alice in Wonderland that they wore to make Helena Bonham-Carter not feel bad about her CGI enlarged head were hilarious!". This branch also rarely remembers the "wigs and hairpieces" part of the equation always failing to honor the oeuvre of Nicolas Cage. They always ignore achievements wherein an actress becomes a total glamour goddesses with extra help from wigs and makeup. I mean they didn't even nominate Cate Blanchett wig-orgy Elizabeth: Turn Off The Dark (2007) sorry Joe, I'm using that podcast joke forever.

Nor, do they nominate "deglam" movies for actresses which definitely require the services of makeup artists and hairstylists. I still think the makeup on Monster (2003) is one of the great Oscar snubs of all time; Charlize didn't blotch her own skin or have dental surgery.

The official criteria for the "makeup" award is...

...any change in the appearance of a performer’s face, hair, or body created by the application of cosmetics, three-dimensional materials, prosthetic appliances, or wigs and hairpieces, applied directly to the performer’s face or body.

In other words, everything that Black Swan did (minus maybe the wigs).


Curio: Orphan Elliott on Film

Alexa here. I've been following the work of Mat Hudson, a.k.a. Orphan Elliott, for some time.  Mat is an illustrator and designer living in the state of Washington.  He does some of the finest pop culture illustrations out there; if you love Gogol Bordello, Martin Starr, or Buffy, his work will be right up your alley. He also does marvelous film portraits and posters, and has a bit of an obsession with David Lynch.  You can buy prints here.  When I saw that he posterized Cassavetes' Gloria, I knew I had to buy one.  



Gloria poster


The Body Bale

The good folks over at /Film published this neat infographic on Christian Bale's body created by /Film reader Matt Ellerbrock.


The weight information is priceless but there's something very wrong with the chart: Bale is wearing clothes in half the photos. Plus there's no American Psycho (2000). No overview of The Body Bale, in sickness and in health, is complete without it.

American Psycho (2000). lbs: Oh, like it matters.

You're welcome.


When Bale wins the Supporting Actor Oscar on February 27th, do you think he'll finally stop this dangerous yoyo'ing for art? Normally we're all for suffering for your art but Bale takes it so far it's more like torture for art's sake which is way less glamorous than traditional respectable "suffering". Bale will return to buff form for one last go at Batman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) but as of right now he's filming Zhang Yimou's The 13 Women of Nanjing (2011). We'd like to say that he's already in peak shape again but since he's playing a war refugee struggling heroically to save schoolchildren we suspect the weight loss continues. Nevertheless we're excited for the film since Zhang Yimou makes frequently excellent movies .