Oscar History

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Open Thread

Are you joining us for the Amadeus edition of 'Best Shot' Wednesday night? Have u thought of a question for this week's Ask Nathaniel? Have you listened to the podcast on '79 Oscar nominees? I'm so proud of the latter. It came out so well. One never knows if a film year might spark truly interesting conversations but this one did. Thanks to the panelists again.

If none of these topics are on your mind, what is? Sound off on anything. You know what to do.


Cara Seymour ~ TOMORROW !

The Savages (2008)

See you in the morning.
-Cara Seymour 


The Film Experience proudly reminds you that Cara Seymour (currently starring in "The Knick") guest blogs right here, all day, tomorrow!


Beauty vs Beast: When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- actually it's more of a "Beast vs Beast" this time around, as we're finally tackling the movie franchise sixty-five million and twenty-two years in the making and as much as I love all of the Ellie Sattlers and Ian Malcolms let's not fool ourselves - we go to Jurassic Park movies to see the dinosaurs of our childhood dreams be brought to (terrifying, realistic) life. Jurassic World is out on Friday and as much hyped in the trailers they're giving us a new dinosaur, the Indominus Rex. It's a genetic hybrid, spliced together from blah and blah and didn't they learn anything from the Spinosaurus fizzle in Part III? We know they need new toys to produce but we just want the classics. The originals are, as always, the best. But which is King of the Park?


Before anybody nerds out on me I know that scientists now believe the T-Rex's "movement-based vision" thing is no longer the case but hey, it's what the movie believes, so it's true for this T-Rex. You've got a week to vote! And please, no write-in's for Chris Pratt. Doesn't he have enough already?


FYC: "Jane the Virgin" For Best Comedy Series

Team Experience shares their preferred picks in top Emmy categories as voters ready their ballots. Here's Denny...

Jane the Virgin shouldn't work. But it does, in every way, in every episode. Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, the show tells the story of Jane (luminous Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez), a straight-A college student working at a posh Miami hotel as she completes her degree in Education, who gets accidentally artificially inseminated.

Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman pulled off a miracle with Jane's first season. There is not a single bad episode. NOT. ONE. And that feat is even more impressive when you consider what a high-wire act each episode of Jane is: Each episode juggles an ever-expanding cast of major characters, multiple flashbacks, in-show telenovelas, fantasy and/or dream sequences, one character (Jane's abuela Alba) who speaks exclusively in subtitled Spanish, and a third-person omniscent narrator who has become a character in his own right.

Oh yeah, and onscreen text, including the only onscreen twitter hashtags that are not only usable but laugh-loud funny. AND real-world issues that surround the show's beautifully-written Latina/o characters

All of this may sound like too much, but somehow it isn't. There's a lightness of touch here missing from most TV comedies - heck, most TV shows PERIOD. The show is able to earn copious amounts of tears while still remaining one of the funniest shows on TV, thanks in equal part to the remarkably assured writing, the tremendous performances (#emmyforrogelio), and the smart direction on display.

While it's true that Emmy hasn't noticed anything on The CW before, honoring Jane the Virgin with a nomination for Best Comedy Series would not only add diversity to the usually lily-white category, it would add credibility. It would show that Emmy voters not only care about quality, but that they don't care where they find it.

P.S. Two brilliant FYC ads if you haven't seen them after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Musical News & Tom Hardy in London Road

Manuel here. I’m still drunk on showtunes after last night’s Tony Awards (so glad I finally bought my tickets to Fun Home yesterday, anticipating its various wins!), so what better way to keep the mood going than continuing to talk musicals!

And while I could point out NBC’s The Wiz cast Stephanie Mills (the original Dorothy) as Auntie Em, or that Paul Dano’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy opened to respectable reviews this weekend, or that we should all be actively anticipating that Dolly Parton TV movie musical, "Coat of Many Colors," or that Spike Lee’s Chiraq (a musical comedy adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata set in Chicago) has cast Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West and Dave Chappelle (with rumors of Common joining the cast), I realized I needed to talk about London Road which opens this Friday in the UK:

London Road, which includes Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy in its ensemble cast, is an adaptation of the award-winning National Theatre production about the arrest of Steve Wright, an Ipswich man who was convicted of murdering five sex workers in 2008. Rufus Norris's film uses the dialogue from the real townsfolk who were interviewed by author Alecky Blythe as they came to terms with the fact that a serial killer had been living in their community.

I mean, you had me at “Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy” but it sounds like a fascinating show (anyone catch it in London?) and an intriguing film adaptation. Check out the trailer below:

There’s no US date set for this yet, but I can’t be the only one looking forward to seeing Tom Hardy sing (he must sing though the trailer gives me no indication that he does), can I? It just makes me confident that more challenging musicals may make it to the screen. Last Five Years already made it, but what other unorthodox musicals do you think would be well-suited for the screen?


Podcast: Smackdown Companion 1979

You've read the new Supporting Actress Smackdown. Now hear its companion podcast. Our panel widens its view from the supporting nominees to talk about the unique cinematic landscape of the late 1970s, the women's lib movement and concurrent movie gender wars, and which movies give the best period punch and which we've misremembered completely.

Host: Nathaniel R
Special Guests:  KM Soehnlein,  Kristen SalesBill Chambers, and StinkyLulu.


  • 00:01 Introductions and memory vs. reality w/ Breaking Away
  • 03:20 Gender Wars of 1979. Misogynistic or merely non-coddling and complicated? 
  • 09:00 Cynicism and Optimism in Starting Over and Manhattan, which is particularly self-critical and discomforting
  • 15:50 Contextualizing the movies. 1979 versus what was to come with shifting tastes. Do people still make movies about "how we live now?"
  • 21:00 Meryl Streep's command of subtext and Kramer vs. Kramer as a film 
  • 28:00 The oddity of Starting Over's comedy - we recommend
  • 31:30 Movies we wish we had had to watch for the Smackdown: Alien & All That Jazz and non-nominated supporting actresses
  • 36:45 Final random observations: valium, money in 1979, and new actors who weren't yet famous
  • 39:00 Meryl Streep then vs Meryl Streep now. Of course we spend the last five minutes on Meryl Streep.

And because we joke about it - Here is Candice Bergen's off-key hit single "Better Than Ever" from Starting Over.

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes tomorrow. THE NEXT SMACKDOWN IS AT THE END OF JUNE. WE'LL BE LOOKING AT 1948 SO ADJUST YOUR QUEUES ACCORDINGLY.

Smackdown Companion 1979