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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Michelle Williams' Oscar Moment might be in Manchester

by Murtada

Williams this week at NYFF

There was a time - say early 2012 - when Michelle Williams could do no wrong with Oscar. Basking in her third overall nomination for My Week with Marilyn (2011), the second in as many years as she was nominated the year before for Blue Valentine (2010), she had the heat, she had the momentum. She also had the critical and cinephile love with acclaimed performances behind her in Take this Waltz (2011), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and Wendy and Lucy (2008).

The win was definitely coming and soon. How times change.

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NYFF: Uncle Howard & Brillo Box (3 ¢ off)

Here's Jason reporting from NYFF on two docs that deal with a younger generation being affected and influenced by the art dealings of their elders.

It seems like every other gay person that I meet has a gay aunt or uncle who informed their childhood in some way - I never did; the closest I got was a friend of my mother's who was whispered about as a weird bachelor type, but he was out of her life before I was born. But you remember such things, small weird whispers as they are, when they're your singular life-line to a big world actually existing out there where you can figure your own stuff out. 

I don't know or care if director Aaron Brookner is gay himself but you get the same sensation from watching Uncle Howard, his new documentary on his uncle, a film-maker who died at the age of 34 from AIDS - the thirst to eat up all he can about this fabulous person who lived a fabulous life in the margins of his own, and what that was like for him... 

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Isabelle Huppert Lands AFI Fest Tribute

by Daniel Crooke

Isabelle Huppert is having a pretty great year. Which is saying something, because it's hard to imagine her having a bad one. Between her raves for Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come and Paul Verhoeven’s instantly infamous Elle, a sexual assault thriller that’s accrued steady word of mouth since its Cannes debut earlier this year, Huppert continues to sit pretty upon her throne of breathtaking unconventionalism. But while her oeuvre of compelling, challenging performances has garnered her a red-hot reputation across the globe as one of the best and bravest actresses of her generation, her domain of awards acclaim has rested largely in her home country of France. She holds the record for the most César nominations by an actress and yet Oscar has never paid her mind. With the news that AFI Fest plans to fête Huppert with a Tribute and matching Gala screening of Elle this November, perhaps she’ll push her way into the hearts and minds of Angeleno Academy voters in attendance before ballots go out.


If Huppert’s awards record of European cries and American crickets sounds familiar in this Oscar race, you’d be forgiven: we’ve already had a similar discussion a couple times this decade about under recognized actresses from the other side of the Atlantic. Last year, AFI Fest hosted a similar Tribute for Charlotte Rampling with a screening of 45 Years and then a scant few months later, Rampling was back in LA for the Oscars as a first-time Best Actress nominee. Emmanuelle Riva – iconic in Hiroshima, Mon Amour but mostly unknown to mainstream American audiences – found herself in the thick of the Best Actress race for Amour and became the oldest nominee in history for the prize. For my money, she should’ve been the oldest winner too. Couple this with the statistic that a European actress from a foreign language title has landed a Best Actress nomination three of the past five Oscar ceremonies (the third being Marion Cotillard for the Dardennes’ Two Days, One Night) and a precedent emerges that may give hope for Huppert landing that first Oscar nomination this year.

Although, as has been oft discussed in the infancy of this season, this is an usually competitive year in Best Actress. Do you think Huppert will make the cut, or it simply too tight a year for a performance in such a provocative film to squeeze in?


Break me off a link of that

Vulture Amy Landecker is Julia Roberts' voice double. This is amazing. Especially if you love the movie Duplicity
Geek Tyrant yummy yummy fandom pies
Coming Soon backwards told and trippy actually is commercial Strange Dr new the

Variety Robert De Niro's The Comedian will be getting an Oscar qualifying run. I guess Cinelou really wants to make these Oscar Qualifying runs their thing (see also Cake). Sigh. 
Women & Hollywood Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci will star in the adaptation of Ian McEwan's bestseller "The Children Act" to be directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) -- ooh, sign us up. 
Awards Daily Oscar hopeful Loving about the famous right to marry case from the 1960s has released interracial and same sex emojis
Tracking Board Wolverine 3 gets a title, Logan, and a spirit of the beehive poster moment 
The Guardian another report on Hollywood whitewashing of Asian stories and characters. I love Billy Magnussen but am sad that he's now involved in this too. Apparently the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon has been saddled with a white character as lead, sidelining Bruce Lee in his own story What the actual fuck?
Variety Ian McKellen is getting the documentary treatment in McKellen: Playing the Part  

Today's Video
Kristin Chenoweth sings the Game of Thrones theme song

Winter is Coming looks at the top paid actors per TV episode via Variety. These are so weird to look at. The numbers rarely align with what you think of as pop cultural worth. Though if you're on a phenomenal success like Game of Thrones the two sometimes line up. One assumes the numbers have a lot to do with how long a show's been running and whether actors have been able to renegotiate. And also network pays more than streaming which pays more than cable, etcetera. For instance... how weird is it that Taraji P Henson as the key figure on one of TV's biggest smashes (Empire) makes the same figure per episode as Michelle Monaghan a less famous star on a show people don't talk about (The Path).


George Sidney Centennial: "Kiss Me Kate"

by Tim Brayton

Our centennial tribute to MGM mainstay George Sidney continues with the director's 1953 musical Kiss Me Kate, and such a curious beast it is. Adapted with a slightly free hand from Cole Porter's hit 1948 musical, it's a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew that's also a backstage comedy about the staging of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, in which the actors playing Kate and Petruchio are recently feuding exes.

Don't let the plot worry you, though. Since this is a 1950s MGM musical the focus is obviously one one thing first and foremost, and that's big, heaving SPECTACLE.

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NYFF: Almodóvar's Julieta

Manuel here catching up with Pedro's latest at the New York Film Festival

Following the New York Film Festival screening of his 20th film, Pedro Almodóvar admitted that, in adapting Alice Munro’s short stories (from her collection, Runaway), he had aimed for a more restrained tone. Indeed, especially in comparison to his previous outing—the mile high club comedy I’m So Excited!Julieta is an aggressively austere affair. Of course, “austere Almodóvar” is still inimitably Almodóvar. Take the film’s first shot: we’re awash in a sea of red fabric. It looks like draperie, perhaps a bedsheet or even a curtain. It pulses like a heart...

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Stream This: Bachelorette Married to the Warrior Mobs in Chinatown

It's that time again when we receive a new batch of instant movies to watch. As per usual Amazon Prime is running circles around Netflix in terms of selection because Netflix's focus has long since shifted from movies and TV to movies and TV that they create themselves. After becoming the 21st century Blockbuster they ditched it to become the new HBO. Which is fine except those of us who like to watch movies need better streaming services that function more like the way rental houses used to so that we can find the movies we want when we want them.

Okay. Let's play our game of freeze framing the new streaming selections at random moments and seeing what comes up, no second guessing...


-Oh no, I'm not talking to you. At all.
-I just waited up all night for you!
- Oh She waited all night? How Cinder-fucking-rella.

Stonewall (2015)
I need more of you to share my pain of having watched this. Sacrifice yourselves immediately so that we may discuss.

Seven more streaming entertainments of vastly varying quality after the jump...

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Judy by the Numbers: "Together Wherever We Go"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

Episode 3 of The Judy Garland Show (which would eventually air in its eighth week) was an episode of personal importance for Judy. Her oldest daughter, Liza Minnelli, was joining her for a family-themed show. Liza was only 16 at the time, but she'd already begun building an entertainment resume. While in high school (or rather, while skipping high school) Liza appeared on a Gene Kelly TV special, The Jack Paar Program, Talent Scouts, her mother's London Palladium concert, and was in rehearsals for her Off-Broadway debut in Best Foot Forward. However, young Liza somehow found time in her every-busier schedule to put on a family act.

The Show: The Judy Garland Show Episode 3
The Songwriters: Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics)
The Cast: Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, directed by Bill Hobin

The Story: Two observations stand out watching this clip: 1) These are two talented women who love to perform and 2) These are two talented women who love to perform together. There's something delightfully meta-textual about their decision to sing a song from Broadway's most dysfunctionally overbearing stage mom. As Judy watches Liza, Garland exudes nothing but pride and excitement to share the stage with her daughter. Likewise, teenage Liza - not yet fully confident in her own overwhelming talent - takes her cue from her mother.

Though they're both polished and skilled performers, this song does not come off as a professional production number. Every improvised forehead touch, handhold, or giggle renders a public performance into a personal mother/daughter moment, exposing that vein of reckless vulnerability that made both women incomparable performers. Anyone who grew up in a musical household will recognize this kind of musical intimacy. This is a mother and a daughter goofing off around the piano at home, or belting showtunes in the car on the way to school. Liza and Judy sing together with real affection and private joy. It just happens a TV camera caught it on tape.