Oscar History

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April Foolish Predictions: Sound, Score, Make Up & FX

April is almost over and we MUST finish our April Foolish tradition - the first wave of Oscar nomination predictions before anyone knows anything. The film year is still only a toddler but they grow up so fast. The first third of the year always features the least amount of Oscar content but from movies already released we'll hope for miracles that Cinderella and Ex Machina could be remembered in the places they deserve to be. But the bulk of the heavy hitters are yet to come. Even in the more popcorn categories like Visual Effects.

Which movies will have original songs? Will the composer Thomas Newman ever win an Oscar? Will Skyfall, atypically embraced by the Academy, have any sort of afterglow with AMPAS to help Spectre win nominations as well? And who will the composers be on a whole slew of Oscar Bait movies that haven't revealed their composer yet (since the score is one of the last things to happen)? These are the questions we're already asking so please do suggest answers in the comments once you've looked at the charts. 

Is Ex Machina too subtle for Oscar? Will Mad Max Fury Road be too outre for them? Will the visual effects category just be a quintet of franchise favorites they've honored before like Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron and so on? Will the makeup category be dominated by old age latex, fantastical character creations or a trans woman's journey? 

Care to make any predictions yourself? 


Hot Docs "Best of Enemies"

Amir continues his coverage of Toronto's Hot Docs festival. Will he spot any future Oscar nominees?

It is hard to imagine today that there was once an America where political debates in the media were sensational, not just sensationalized. Harder yet is to envision a time when conservative political commentators weren’t complete buffoons, but rather eloquent, smart thinkers. That is exactly the time that Best of Enemies transports us to, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s film about the televised debates leading up to the 1968 Republican and Democratic national conventions. ABC, then trailing as America’s third network and in search of a ratings boost, decided to pit two of the country’s most famous commentators against one another: the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. The two were known to dislike each other and their pairing on live TV was sure to cause a stir.

Their prediction proved to be correct when on the 8th night of a series of incendiary discussions, Buckley reacted to Vidal’s name-calling and being labeled a “crypto-Nazi” with a momentary burst of anger...

Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the face and you’ll stay plastered.”


Click to read more ...


Beauty vs Beast: Tip Top Trophy Wife

Happy Monday, folks - Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" - guess who is celebrating a birthday this week? If you guessed "Nathaniel's Queen Bee" Michelle Pfeiffer then give yourself a cookie... or a toot of the finest Colombian maybe? (The Film Experience does not endorse drug use.) The cocaine reference leads us to this week's competition -- we're slipping into our tightest disco pants and taking on Brian De Palma's Scarface, of course.

Nine years ago this week Nathaniel actually held a Michelle Pfeiffer blog-a-thon and I wrote up my adoration of her performance as Elvira Hancock then - you can read that here. I thought about that post as I gathered my wits about this one today - I might be blinded by my own love but I think this is probably an unfair fight that's gonna leave Al Pacino as bloodied as a body in a bathtub. Oh well. You think he cares? He'll take our fuckin' bullets!

Whose team are you on?
Team Elvira0%
Team Tony0%

PREVIOUSLY "Artificial Intelligence Week" is still going strong here at The Film Experience but a week ago we kicked it off with Fritz Lang's Metropolis and a tale of Two Marias - would Good Maria triumph over Evil Robot-Maria just like in the movie? Heck no! We wanna dance dance dance! Said RobMiles:

"I voted for Robot-Maria, but have to salute Brigitte Helm for playing both roles perfectly. PS. I've done a similar dance in my time!"


Disney's Descendants: Summer TV Camp?

Manuel here bringing a bit of levity to your Monday morning. Sometimes you come across something (a casting announcement, a trailer, a plot description) that leaves you agog. 

Such is the case with this trailer for Descendants, a summer original Disney Channel movie which begins with the premise "what if Disney Villains hadn't died at the end of their respective films but instead were sent to an island prison where they had beautiful children who will now attend the prep school with the beautiful children of your favorite Disney princesses?" I mean. Disney has clearly gone full camp, right? With Kenny High School Musical Ortega, one hopes. Even in describing it it sounds like the sort of thing that'd have made a cool animated series in the early 2000s (you know, alongside Jungle Cubs, Hercules, and The Emperor's New School).

That description doesn't do it justice, so take a look:



I'm sharing the trailer because I NEED to talk about this. There's so much to discuss! Will Disney ever stop seeing its classic animated characters as anything other than endlessly replicable cosplay opportunities? Will Kristin Chenoweth (as a bite-sized Maleficent) and Kathy Najimy (as the Evil Queen) get the spinoff we probably all would guiltily watch? Tell me everything that came to mind as you realized this was indeed a real thing and not a Tumblr post gone viral. 


Tribeca: King Jack

Tribeca might be over but the Team has still got a few reviews for you. Here's Jason on one of the Audience Award winners.

What happens when you see too much of a person you know in a movie? I don't mean literally. Sadly I am not acquaintances on a first-name-basis or even a-polite-nod-in-the-hallway with Chris Evans, so when I finally see the new Avengers movie I'm not gonna be all, "God I just can't buy him as Captain America. That's Lil' Chrissy up there!" No what I mean by "seeing too much of a person you know in a movie" is when a character reminds you so much of a person from your life that it ultimately becomes distracting. You find yourself paying more attention to the ways that character interacts with their real-world counterpart, your friend or mother or whatever, than ever getting lost in the movie itself. As an outside example, Sandra Bullock was just straight-up playing my boyfriend's sister in The Blind Side - it was like at least three or four steps beyond uncanniness. It was impossible to take any of that movie seriously after that.

I had a bit of that going on with King Jack... 

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Yes No Maybe So: Johnny Depp and Yet Another Hairpiece in 'Black Mass'

Margaret here... Johnny Depp is struggling -- as much as anyone who commands a ten-figure salary and goes home to a private island can be said to be struggling. His last real hit was the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie in 2011, and it's been even longer since critics have had much nice to say about one of his performances. He's looking for a comeback, and it looks like he may have one in Scott Cooper's Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, due later this year.

Warner Brothers recently debuted footage of Black Mass at CinemaCon, and the buzz was very positive. The first official trailer was released not long after, which means we can now weigh in on whether the people who are starting to throw the O-word around are on to something, or just experiencing the power of low expectations.

trailer and YNMS breakdown after the jump 

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Tribeca: "The Overnight"

Abstew continues our coverage of the just wrapped Tribeca Film Festival...

Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) are young parents that have recently moved from Seattle to the very different world of Los Angeles. Emily has thrown herself into her career, but Alex bemoans the fact that as an adult that spends his time at home with his young son, there's no easy way to make new friends. It's a very real question that most adults face, if you're no longer involved in institutions like school and business, where exactly do you make new friends? And while that might be the film's initial question, the resulting film has decidedly more adult intentions on its mind...

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