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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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A HANDY GUIDE TO ALL THE OSCAR COVERAGE

"Oh no, what will I do without my daily reminder that Julianne Moore won an Oscar?!" -Steve G

 

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Sunday
Mar012015

Box Office: You Must "Focus"

I kept thinking of Agent Carter's Russian villain whenever I saw the trailer to Focus, because he said "you must focus" every other line in that series while he performed his instant super-hypnosis. Which was ridiculous but the show is really fun. Anyway: Will Smith! The media tour around Focus kept focusing (sorry) on how Will Smith is not concentrating on box office now! and Box Office doesn't define him! so they were obviously prepping for disaster should it happen. But no disaster. He's still bankable even if a $19 million opening isn't what he used to be able to carry off with ease. I wonder if the presence of Margot Robbie helped? Or maybe people don't even realize yet that it's "that hot girl from Wolf of Wall Street".

The other new wide release was the horror film The Lazarus Effect which did over $10 million. 

In news we care more about Julianne Moore entered the top ten for the first time with Still Alice during her Oscar-winning weekend and at $12 million already the Alzheimers drama is turning into quite a little hit for her. As beloved as she is, she's not a box office star so this is a major success --along the lines of a Far From Heaven. Unfortunately her other movie, the David Cronenberg picture Maps to the Stars, tanked in limited release. I'm sure the distributor utterly confused its potential audience by holding it in reserve during those weird intermittent bursts of buzz it had for well over 9 months and then releasing it quietly while everyone was concentrating on her other movie. But she's marvelous in that one, too.

The Irish thriller '71 starring Jack O'Connell and set during 'The Troubles' also opened in very limited release (reviewed) and it's very good so you should see it. 

What did you see this weekend? Or maybe you just stayed in to bingewatch House of Cards?

Saturday
Feb282015

The New Oscar Actress Hierarchy - 33 Most Beloved Women

This is your daily reminder that Julianne Moore is now an Oscar winner!

 I thought it might be fun to revise the Oscar Acting Hierarchy which I did once very long ago, I believe in connection with the rapid rise of Kate Winslet through the ranks. 

What follows is a List of 33 34 All Time Favorite Actresses of Oscar... restricted to women with 5 or more nominations. Only the acting statistics are accounted for so Emma Thompson, for example, is not ranked. If you included her screenplay win or had she been nominated for Saving Mr Banks last year than she would have been on the list. If you counted non-acting nominations, you'd also see Shirley Maclaine jump a rank as she was nominated for documentary once. Now that virtually every major star is a producer these types of extra nominations stats are going to get progressively murkier in Oscar lists of the future so we're opting not to include them. 

How the ranks were determined. Number of nominations determines general placement. Once that's established wins are most important. In the event that someone has the same exact stats in nominations and wins, the tiebreaker factor in rank is that lead counts more than supporting. If the tie stubbornly remains the tie is broken by endurance (thus Vanessa Redgrave beats Kate Winslet though they have the exact same stats because her nominations are spread across 26 years instead of 13). Further mitigating factors: Three statues is so uncommon that it gives the actress a phantom extra nomination in terms of ranking (thus Ingrid Bergman trumps Geraldine Page). Honorary statues (Oscar or Jean Hersholt) give the actress a phantom extra boost with the same affect as an additional nomination and win (thus Liz Taylor jumps Jessica Lange)... unless she never won a competitive Oscar in which case it only counts as a phantom win or nomination (thus Kerr cannot pole vault up to do battle with Lange or Blanchett) which of those to be determined by the gatekeeper (yours truly). In the event that someone has multiple wins they may vault over the next immediate rivals if said rivals have never won a competitive Oscar and/or half or more of their nominations are in supporting (thus de Havilland trumps Glenn Close & Thelma Ritter despite having less nominations but can't displace Kate Winslet. This also accounts for two women with only 4 nominations entering the 5 nomination only "Most Beloved" ranks.) 

OSCAR'S HOLY TRINITY 
And Thirty More Royals 

after the jump

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Saturday
Feb282015

For Hattie...

Hattie receiving her Oscar from the awesome Fay Bainter, the previous Supporting Actress winnerWe hope you enjoyed The Film Experience's Black History Month miniseries. I asked team members to pick one Oscar nomination or win to talk about hence the very random skip through history. It was our intention to dedicate it in retrospect to Hattie McDaniel, the first black person to win an Oscar, on the exact 75th anniversary of her win. And then... discovery: The 1939 Oscars, a big night for Gone With the Wind, were held on February 29th, 1940, a leap year. So technically we can't. There is no February 29th in 2015.

And yet somehow that's fitting that her history-making win should occur on a date that's elusive. So here's to Hattie and to all who came after.

the episodes
Song of The South (1947) -Timothy
Sounder (1972) - Andrew
Endless Love (1981) - Nathaniel
Street Smart (1987) - Nathaniel
Do The Right Thing (1989) - Matthew
Ghost (1990) - Abstew
Schwarferer (1993) - Special Guest Paul Outlaw
Pulp Fiction (1994) - Jason
Four Little Girls (1997) - Margaret
Monsters Ball (2001) - Special Guest Philip Harville
Benjamin Button (2008) -Matthew

Should we do it again next year? We'd cover Women's History Month for March except we basically do that all the time already.

 

Saturday
Feb282015

Birdman Post-Mortem

BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR | BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | BEST CINEMATOGRAPHYWe're nearly a week out from Birdman's big win and as we close out 2014 coverage (I'm hurrying backstage with our awards and the podcast Sunday night is our Oscar finale) I'm feeling more and more satisfied with the way everything panned out. Oh sure the Julianne Moore Coronation kept my mood up but there were other things to cherish.

Share the wealth years are usually more satisfying not to mention more representative of a film year and all the Best Pictures took a statue (or more) home. And with Boyhood winning so many prizes on the way to Oscar, well that labor of love got plentiful rewards too. I know those awards weren't the Oscar but what's the point of having all of these awards if they all go to the same things. We should celebrate the teensy tiny bit of diversity of wins when they happen.

My delight in Birdman's win is, of course, in direct opposition to what seems to be the majority of critics, which is odd since the film had strong reviews originally. The internet was downright furious when it took Best Picture but when isn't the internet furious, you know?

Depression, navel-gazing and recommended reads after the jump...

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Friday
Feb272015

Black History Month: Monster's Ball and Representation

We were just wrapping up Black History Month when I heard from longtime reader/commenter Philip Harville who wanted to discuss Monster's Ball (2001). I wasn't touching that one with a ten foot pole (!) but here's Philip with a guest column on this perpetual hot potato. -Editor

 

As we know, black films are hard to come by and good black films can be even harder to come by.  This raises the question of what exactly a black film is. Is it simply a film that focuses on black characters? Or do we need to also have a black crew telling the story? The conversations unraveling from that thought are endless, but watching a certain film recently got me thinking. Monster’s Ball’s Leticia (Halle Berry) really suffers from a white male perspective behind the camera. The film gained a wide audience crowning Halle Berry as the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar, but did it create the conversation it should have? Good black films aren’t exactly churned out with the frequency of superhero movies (or Tyler Perry movies), so a flawed complicated film is a gift in its own right.

The film isn’t set in a definitive year, though it seems to be in a time where lynching and protesting were out of style, and casual racism has become the norm. We see the generational divide on the issue between the three males in the central family. [More...]

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