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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Monday
Feb172014

Box Office: Everything Is (Still) Awesome!

Amir here, with the long weekend’s box office report. It was Valentine’s so romantic flicks opened, one of which didn’t do too well financially. But enough about RoboCop! How about that About Last Night? It’s been a few weeks since the last time we were collectively surprised that a “black” film did well at the box office, so let’s go at it again: can you believe that a film with a non-white cast can sell tickets too? Unbelievable, no? It turns out Hollywood doesn’t need to cast white people in every role, not even in all romantic comedies. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the last rom-com to do this well, Think Like a Man, starred three of the actors in this quartet: Kevin Hart, Regina Hall and Michael Ealy.)

oh, wait. that's not right somehow

BOX OFFICE
THE LEGO MOVIE
$63.5m (cum. $143.8m)
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
$28.5 new
ROBOCOP
$25.6m (cum. $30.3m) new
THE MONUMENTS MEN
$18m (cum. $46.1m)
ENDLESS LOVE
$15m new
RIDE ALONG
$10m (cum. $117.4m)
WINTER’S TALE
$8.1m new
FROZEN
$8m (cum. $378.2m)
LONE SURVIVOR
$4.7m (cum. $119m)
THAT AWKWARD MOMENT
$3.8 (cum. $21.9m)

The other new release targeted to the lovey-dovey crowd was Endless Love – three 80s remakes in one weekend is a new low for the creatively constipated Hollywood – and according to Box Office Mojo, it nearly broke a record for the absurd title of “the most front-loaded release of all time”; 56% of the film’s gross was pocketed on Friday. The LEGO Movie held on to the throne, though, and after two weeks, is already a major contender for 2014's year-end top ten. I re-watched it and it was even funnier and smarter than I’d remembered --  we already have our first solid contender in the best animated film race. I also watched Blue Jasmine a second time and this one also improved significantly upon a revisit. Later tonight, I’ll be off to see Palestine’s Oscar nominee, Omar. (You can always follow everything I see here on this page.)

What did you watch this weekend?

Monday
Feb172014

13 Days Til Oscar: Matthew McConaughey... And the 2000 Best Actress Race?

[The Oscar countdown continues with new contributor Matthew Eng - he wrote that popular Jennifer Lawrence piece! -- making a fascinating cross gender lines comparison to 13 years back]

Thirteen years ago, the only acting prize Matthew McConaughey seemed likely to ever win was a Razzie*. Or, you know, at least a Teen Choice Award. And yet, here we are, thirteen years later, all those Wedding Planners and Failure to Launches gone (but not forgotten), and Matthew McConaughey just so happens to be:

  1. an Oscar nominee
  2. the indisputable frontrunner of the Best Actor raceand
  3. a presumable Oscar winner.

It’s the Second Coming of McConaughey, a shockingly successful, rule-breaking career reversal that approximately zero people saw coming. But can you really blame us, especially considering that pre-Magic Mike McConaughey seemed pretty intent on solidifying his status as a Hopeless Hollywood Himbo, continually submerging his skills behind a pair of wide-eyed peepers, a self-satisfied smirk, and a notorious, Southern-fried catchphrase that may have made for one great Matt Damon impression but which can still send even some of the more willing McConaughey converts up the wall?

It’s always nice to see a performer sizably step up their game, to start choosing roles for the challenge, rather than the check. Maybe it’s the nature of the Dallas Buyers Club role or maybe it’s the inconsistent reputation of the genre he spent the better part of the past decade residing in, but McConaughey’s performance and subsequent awards trajectory have been giving me major flashbacks to Julia Roberts and the 2000 Best Actress Race, which culminated with Roberts’ inevitable coronation nearly thirteen years ago. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb172014

Monologue: Kate Hepburn Jabbers Away in "Alice Adams"

It's actually difficult to find speeches for our monologue series which accounts for its haphazard appearance at The Film Experience. With Anne Marie's brilliant chronological "A Year With Kate" hitting the Oscar nominated Alice Adams (1935) in two days time, I thought it was time to revive an old episode of this series.

Screenwriters generally favor single sentence utterances and the ole trusty shot / reverse shot conversation, leaving the bulk of monologue-writing to playwrights. But watching Alice Adams (1935), it's easy to think of virtually every scene as a Katharine Hepburn monologue. Occasionally her co-stars will start a sentence in response but Kate as Alice rarely lets them finish a thought. She spends the whole movie jabbering away as if she's the only character...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb172014

Beauty Vs Beast: Oscar Hustle

JA from MNPP here with this week's edition of everybody's new favorite fun-time activity Beauty Vs. Beast, wherein we pit a movie's good and bad guys against each other in a death-match of public opinion. First things first let us congratulate the winner of last week's inaugural poll - Rebecca's diabolical Mrs. Danvers pretty much shoved The Second Mrs. de Winter right out the window at the starting line and never looked back. We do love our maleficently repressed domestics. Viva Team Danvers!

And so on to this week's face off. I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but the Academy Awards are coming up in less than two weeks. Did you know that? I know! It's nutso bonkers. So in the spirit of the season let's do some Oscar-themed showdowns til then. And what better place to start than with the cinematic ode to financial slash follicle excess which translated into similar nomination generosity - David O. Russell's American Hustle, which really when you come down to it is just a series of show-downs itself between actors being looney-tunes all up on each other. And with that spark of gladatorial excess let's make this week a two-fer, lads versus ladies style.

 

 

 

 

 

You've got one week to vote, and we'll be back with the winners and a brand new round next Monday! And please do make your cases  for these folks in the comments...

Monday
Feb172014

All the BAFTA Acceptance Speeches

I would like to thank the academy... the audiences... the clipreels... the cast and crew... the parents of the cast and crew... the podium... the microphones... the cameras... the gown-makers... and anyone or anything else that made awards shows and acceptance speeches possible. My deepest gratitude...

Sincerely, Awards Show Addict

Monday
Feb172014

When All Acting Nominees Come From Best Pictures...

If you're an Oscar stats geek, you should check out the new blog 1:37:1 which responded to the recent debate about whether or not the number of Oscar-nominated films is shrinking due to the expanded Best Picture field with lots of charts. It's fascinating but requires concentration. Then a follow up specifically looking at the acting categories.

All was lost this year for male actors without Best Picture heatThe most interesting finding in the second article is how enormously rare it is for an acting category to feature only performances from Best Picture nominated films. It's happened only 10 times in Oscar's entire 86 year history and 2 of those times were this year alone including, for the first time ever, in a supporting category. That's a disturbing development if you're of the opinion (and you should be) that great performances can happen anywhere including within movies that aren't otherwise popular or great.

The Only Times (Once All Acting Categories Were Invented) When All Acting Nominees in a Category Came From a "Best Picture"

• 1939 BEST ACTRESS Davis (Dark Victory), Dunne (Love Affair), Garbo (Ninotchka), Garson (Goodbye Mr Chips), Leigh (GWTW)
• 1940 BEST ACTRESS  Davis (The Letter), Fontaine (Rebecca), Hepburn (Philadelphia Story), Rogers (Kitty Foyle), Scott (Our Town)
• 1942 BEST ACTOR Cagney (Yankee Doodle Dandy), Colman (Random Harvest), Cooper (Pride...), Pidgeon (Mrs Miniver), Woolley (Pied Piper)
• 1943 BEST ACTOR Bogart (Casablanca), Cooper (For Whom The Bell Tolls), Lukas (Watch on Rhine), Pidgeon (Madame Curie), Rooney (The Human Comedy)
• 1964 BEST ACTOR Burton (Becket), Harrison (My Fair Lady) O'Toole (Becket), Quinn (Zorba the Greek), Sellers (Dr Strangelove)
• 1966 BEST ACTOR Arkin (Russians are Coming...), Caine (Alfie), Burton (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, McQueen (Sand Pebbles), Scofield (Man For All Seasons)
• 1977 BEST ACTRESS Bancroft (Turning Point), Fonda (Julia), Keaton (Annie Hall), Maclaine (Turning Point), Mason (Goodbye Girl)
• 1988 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Cusack (Working Girl), Davis (Accidental Tourist), McDormand (Mississippi), Pfeiffer (Dangerous), Weaver (Working Girl)
• 2013 BEST ACTOR Bale (Hustle), Dern (Nebraska), Ejiofor (12 Years), DiCaprio (Wolf of), McConaughey (DBC)
• 2013 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR  Abdi (Capt. Phillips), Cooper (Hustle), Fassbender (12 Years), Hill (Wolf of), Leto (DBC) 

a sample chart from 1:37:1

As we can see and to no one's surprise if you've ever read an Oscar stat in your life, Best Actor has the closest ties to the Best Picture race. In the 64 year span (1944-2008) in which we had only 5 Best Pictures a year, though, this exact correlation Actor-Pictuer has only ever happened twice (1964 & 1966). 

Do your share Mark Harris's original concern that the Academy is actually looking at less films now than they use to for honors?