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Oscar History
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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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Talking Oscar, script doctoring, Liza's "New York" and more... 

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Worst Best Picture Snubs Ever?

"One of the main reasons why I’m proud to be British is that BAFTA nominated Enternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Carol for best picture" - Mikey

"My pick for biggest snub of all time might be Do the Right Thing" - Edwin

"Alfred Hitchcock was robbed three times;- Psycho, Vertigo and Rear Window all were NOT nominated for Best Pic." - Bette

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Thursday
Sep012016

September Means We're Not So Far From Heaven

If you've been melting from the heat all summer, the thought of orange foliage and fallen leaves sweeping in the wind feels as welcome and cozy as a smart headscarf and sensible jacket. And now that sweltery August has thankfully come to a close, let's pretend like autumn's official kick-off isn't a couple of weeks away and start celebrating at the stroke of September - shifting weather patterns, ignored.

Without reservation, the first film that comes to mind when I think of fall is Todd Haynes' other magnificent 50s-set melodrama Far From Heaven. Away from the stuffy judgment of suburban social mores, Cathy Whitaker escapes from her plastic shackles and finds that seasons change swifter in nature and far more beautifully than they do around the cul-de-sac. Thankfully, the camera is under the trees with her.

Which movies instantly transport you into the sweater-draped headspace of the autumn months?

Wednesday
Aug312016

Smackdown '84: Glenn Close, Dame Peggy, Lahti, Crouse, and Page

Presenting the Supporting Actress Class of '84. The Academy looked way back in time for this vintage collecting characters from the 1920s through the 1940s: a British senior on an excursion to see "the real" India, a Depression era beautician, the ex-girl of a ballplayer, and a former singer working in a factory during World War II. The sole contemporary character was a chain-smoking furious mother from Greenwich Village...

Glenn Close and Geraldine Page were the regulars... about to lose again!

1984 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN  

THE NOMINEES: The 1984 Supporting Actress list skewed more mature than usual. Lindsay Crouse, surely buoyed by the love for Best Picture player Places in the Heart, and the promising new star Christine Lahti who was the least familiar face to moviegoers at the time, were the youngest, both in their mid 30s. Glenn Close, on her third consecutive nomination in the category, and Geraldine Page with a surprise seventh nomination from a long and revered acting career, were the "names" of the category... and they were both about to lose again - this time to the stage actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft who had only rarely made films. 

Shut-Outs: There was very little consensus about supporting actresses beyond Ashcroft & Lahti who fought it out for the critics awards...

BAFTA & Globe nominees that failed to make the Oscar cut were many: Melanie Griffith (Body Double), Drew Barrymore (Irreconciliable Differences), Kim Basinger (The Natural), Lesley Ann Warren (The Songwriter), Tuesday Weld (Once Upon a Time in America) and Jaqueline Bissett (Under the Volcano); Other key women that voters could have chosen that year: Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters), Elizabeth Berridge (Amadeus), Polly Holliday (Gremlins), Sabine Azéma (who won the NBR for A Sunday in the Country), Holland Taylor (Romancing the Stone), Sharon Stone (Irreconciliable Differences), Dianne Wiest (Falling in Love), Amy Madigan (Places in the Heart) and Lonette McKee (The Cotton Club

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

Here to talk about the nominees are our panelists: Sheila O'Malley (The Sheila Variations), Noah Tsika (Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY and author of "Nollywood Stars"), Joe Reid (Decider.com), Nick Davis (Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern and author of "The Desiring Image") and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience).

And now it's time for the main event... 

1984 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug312016

Best Picture Updates: La La Land Up, Birth of Nation Down

It's the final blind read Oscar charts update... after Venice/Telluride/Toronto each year things clear up a lot which is both fun because "the Oscar race has begun" and horrible since it's nice to hold on to multiple impossible dreams. After festival season is over you have to winnow the impossible dreams down since so many of the films have shown their faces and people get to decide how attractive they are and if they want to keep talking and thinking and looking at them for the next five months. 

At the very current moment La La Land is enjoying a deluge of ecstatic responses at Venice which makes us feel good about having predicted it from moment one. At the very current moment, The Birth of a Nation is reminding everyone that being a "frontrunner" a year before the actual ceremony is usually an untenable situation for a variety of similar reasons each time (boredom, hype backlash, "that ol' thing?" annoyance, etcetera) and also for specific unique reasons each time.

In the case of The Birth of a Nation we're dealing with the very unsavory business of a past rape incident. It feels grotesque to view such things through the lens of "what does it mean for Oscar?" which is largely why we've stayed relatively mum on the topic at The Film Experience. Nevertheless we should note that this is not necessarily the end for the movie. History is filled with bad press situations overcome and Hollywood is forgiving when they want to be. There are still four months left until Oscar nominations - plenty of time for more hot takes and backlashes against backlashes and so on. Nate Parker's willingness to talk at length about this is probably a good sign for both his future and the picture's, like this candid must-read interview with Ebony magazine. We can debate about how sincere and/or ignorant he is /was about consent (yes, yes, cultural understanding around sensitive topics does evolve over time but it was never okay to invite your friends to have sex with a passed out woman;  you didn't need modern understandings of "consent" to know this in the 90s) but I think we can all agree that rape culture is a very forgiving place for accomplished men, however awful that sounds. 

On the other hand once voters realize how much diversity there is in front of and behind the camera in 2016's movie offerings (Fences, Loving, A United Kingdom, Queen of Katwe, and Moonlight are all still to come) they might be eager to run far afield of the icky Birth of a Nation situation without worrying about any #OscarsSoWhite fallout because they can run right into the arms of less troubled filmmakers and warmer films. 

It's all so gross. So on to something more fun. Did you know that Alicia Keys, Tori Amos, and Sia all wrote Original Songs for movies this year? They did. See it on the music chart. 

CHART UPDATES Pre Festival Edition
INDEX |  BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR 
FOREIGN | FOREIGN A-F | FOREIGN F-N | FOREIGN N-Z
SCREENPLAYS | VISUALS | SOUND & MUSIC ANIMATION & DOCS
Acting chart updates tomorrow!

Wednesday
Aug312016

Norway's Oscar Search Narrows

The land of the midnight sun has narrowed down its contenders for this year's Oscar race. The three films that will be competing for the honor (to be announced on September 7th) are...

  • The King’s Choice (Erik Poppe)
    A WW II drama about German soldiers invading Norway 
  • The Pyromaniac (Erik Skjoldbjærg)
    Dramatic thriller about a southern village terrorized - premiering at TIFF
  • Welcome to Norway (Rune Denstad Langlo)
    A comedy about a couple opening a home for refugees 

Poppe was submitted once before a dozen years back for Hawaii Oslo  and Oscar loves World War II but my guess is it's going to be Pyromaniac or Welcome to Norway. Skjoldbjaerg's history should help with the former since he had a finalist for submission with Pioneer a few years ago, though Norway opted for a lower profile submission, and he was also the co-writer of the internationally popular Norwegian hit Insomnia (1997) which was remade by Christopher Nolan in the Aughts. Welcome to Norway's topicality might help it take the honor, though. Both films won acting prizes at this week's Norwegian Oscars, "the Amandas" where last year's Oscar submission The Wave took the top prize of Best Norwegian Film.

Norway has been nominated five times (1957's Nine Lives, 1987's Pathfinder, 1996's Other Side of Sunday, 2001's Elling, and 2012's Kon-Tiki) but has yet to win the Oscar gold. 

THE AGE OF SHADOWS just announced as South Korea's choice, upsetting THE HANDMAIDENCurrent Foreign Oscar Predictions
10 Official Submissions Thus Far...

Chart 1 (Afghanistan - Finland)
 
Submissions from Australia, Croatia, and Cuba

Chart 2 (France through Morocco)
 
Submissions from Georgia & Germany

Chart 3 (Nepal through Vietnam)
 
Submissions from Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Venezuela.

Wednesday
Aug312016

La La Land Razzle Dazzles Venice

Classic musicals from Singing in the Rain to An American in Paris to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg are being invoked to praise La La Land. There are comparisons to golden age stars like Shirley MacLaine, Grace Kelly and Gene Kelly. The Damien Chazelle film, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has critics at Venice falling in love and believing in the magic of cinema again. La La Land just topped our most anticipated fall film list and it looks like the excited anticipation was proven correct just a day later.

Here is an assortment of what is being said...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug312016

Links: Movies (and TV) Matter, Garrel Picks Pics, Oscar's Centennial

Thrillist "Why everyone was wrong about Warcraft" - the summer's most underrated movie?
MNPP great moments in movie shelves hits Young Frankenstein
The Wrap looks at Colton Haynes winning an HRC award. Why Colton, exactly?

Criterion Louis Garrel chooses movies from the Criterion closet. He likes Jacques Tati, Loves of a Blonde, and Amarcord among others
FlavorWire looks back at Madonna & Sean's Shanghai Surprise in its Bad Movie Night column
Telerama (in French) Alain Guirardie talks about his filmography - he thinks he can do better than Stranger by the Lake
SBS hilarious satire video on White Fragility in the Workplace
Slate pits Bad Moms against Ghostbusters because women have to be pitted against each other!
NY Times on current film restoration anxiety asking the following question which I swear is going to give me regular nightmares:

What happens to an art when its foundational medium disappears? 

Today's Must Read
Richard Brody at the New Yorker wrote a great piece called "Why Movies Still Matter?" that examines the critical circularity that leads people to write things like "Could This Be the Year Movies Stopped Mattering?” We're all inside this ororborus! Help. My favorite part is his contention that the rise in popularity of serial television is actually emulating the college experience. Interesting.

The experience that the watching and the critique of new serial television resemble above all is the college experience. Binge-watching is cramming, and the discussions that are sparked reproduce academic habits: What It Says About, What It Gets Right About, What It Gets Wrong About. There is a lot of aboutness but very little being; lots of puzzle-like assembling of information to pose particular kinds of questions (posing questions—sounds like a final exam), to explore particular issues (sounds like a term paper). For these reasons, television’s actual competition isn’t movies or museums or novels but nonfiction books, documentary films, journalism, radio discussions, and general online clicking. Serial television is designed to gratify the craving for facts to piece together and analyze. The medium seems created for the media buzz that’s generated by the media people who are its natural audience, and to whom the shows owe their acclaim, their prestige, and their success.

Then he goes on to investigate the personal versus the public in our cinema experience. Love this piece. So much to think about and not judgmental about those film or television! Or to quote another great writer...

 

  

News
EW Emily Blunt hears what Julie Andrews says about her casting as Mary Poppins Returns
Guardian Anne Hathaway to star in Live Fast Die Hot  the adaptation of a bestseller about new motherhood and responsibility
Variety Richard Linklater is making a sequel (of a sort) to The Last Detail (1973) called Last Flag Flying
/Film early photos from Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes, his new streaming series
Towleroad Matt Bomer has signed on to play a trans sex worker in a new film called Anything. They're still not casting trans actors for trans roles which is a shame. Especially since we actually have famous trans actors now, proof that there's no reason to not cast them or think they can't win media attention themselves 
Variety Stranger Things renewed for Season 2. (I liked Season 1 but a continuation of that story seems like a mistake to me. Better an anthology template!)
Comics Alliance Stranger Things' breakout "Barb" (Shannon Purser) will guest star on CW's Archie adaptation Riverdale
Awards Daily Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply will open the AFI Fest this year in November 

FINALLY
In case you haven't heard ABC and Oscar have extended their contract. The Oscars will now be held on ABC through 2028 now. In extremely related news: 2028 is when the 100th Academy Awards will be held so imagine that centennial. If you'd like TFE to be around for that (so far away) please consider joining our monthly donaters --see sidebar -- because it's so not easy to keep making this site work each year, financially speaking.