Oscar History

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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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie



Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

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On Kate Winslet's Oscar Win 

As The Dressmaker makes its premiere at TIFF here's Murtada on its leading lady's controversial Oscar win.

Kate Winslet is back! That seems to be one of the many “comeback” stories this fall season. Reviews for her supporting part in Steve Jobs have been stellar. And The Dressmaker is playing TIFF tonight! Has she ever been away though? Since her much maligned Oscar win for 2008’s The Reader, she starred in a much admired mini series (Mildred Pierce) for which she received multiple awards, worked with Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), Roman Polanski (Carnage) Jason Reitman (Labor Day) and her old Sense & Sensibility friend Alan Rickman (A Little Chaos). Some of these have been better received than others but none, with the possible exception of Pierce, have ignited the passion of even her most ardent fans.

Winslet’s a great actress who deservedly won the highest acting accolade in her profession. Yet there is a cloud above that win amongst Oscar obsessives. It is a somewhat unpopular win that still inflames a lot of passionate discourse even years later. Let’s examine why after the jump.

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Judi Dench as Paulina in "The Winter's Tale"

Manuel here to talk theater. Well, theater that will be soon coming to a screen near you at least. Did you know Judi Dench, who has been a staple of the London stage for over 50 years (oh to have been in the audience for her Sally Bowles in 1968!) is starring in Kenneth Branagh's mounting of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale this fall?

Now you do! And now we also have the first look at Dench as Paulina. 

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Red Carpet: 67th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Jose here with shocking news: Thanks to technology and the magic of television, the 67th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards took place in 1988. Or so it seemed based on the number of overtly sparkly, asymmetrical cocktail dresses the stars wore to the event. More fitting for a John Hughes-inspired prom than an awards show in the 21st century, several of the looks defied logic and made me wonder if in fact the show had a theme we weren't aware of? 

more "fashion" after the jump...

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TIFF: Did Dheepan deserve its Cannes win? 

Amir continues our coverage of TIFF '15 with a review of this year's Palme d'or winner, Jacques Audiard's Dheepan.

Whether Jacques Audiard’s latest film, Dheepan, benefits from the pedigree of its Palme d’or or becomes victim to raised expectations isn’t clear. What is already clear, however, is that the film’s reception has been truly baffling: on the one hand, the Cannes prize is one of the festival’s more curious decisions; on the other, the extent of vitriol that the film receives seems equally unwarranted. Dheepan is on the same emotional and stylistic wavelength as Audiard’s previous films, and it is about ten minutes -- admittedly a disastrous ten minutes — away from being on par with his best work...

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Box Office: A perfect guy comes for a visit

Tim here with your box office report for this quiet autumn weekend. Or not. In fact, coming on the heels of a fairly slow August and and absolutely soporific Labor Day, this weekend was kind of unbelievably big, with both of the week's major releases managing to overperform quite a bit beyond all but the very rosiest of expectations. It was a photo finish to see who ended up in the #1 slot

01 The Perfect Guy $26.7 new
02 The Visit $25.7 new
03 War Room $7.4 (cum. $39.2)
04 A Walk in the Woods $4.6 (cum. $19.9) Reviewed at Sundance
05 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $4.2 (cum. $188.2) Tim's Review
06 Straight Outta Compton $4.1 (cum. $155.7) Podcast
07 No Escape $2.9 (cum. $24.2)
08 The Transporter Refueled $2.7 (cum. $13.3)
09 90 Minutes in Heaven $2.2 new
10 Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos $1.9 (cum. $6.7)

That's quite an achievement for both of the top openers. The Perfect Guy becomes the third film with African-American leads in a row, over five consecutive weeks, to take the #1 spot. Before we get too excited about the nascent sea change in American pop culture, it should be pointed out that next week, all of those films are going to be beaten by, among other releases, a movie in which Johnny Depp plays a character with the actual name "Whitey". Still, it's a stark reminder that there's a big audience for movies where the cast isn't all full of Nordic gods, and maybe that audience would even be around anytime that's not the hinterlands of early September.

The other release, The Visit, meanwhile finds famous and infamous thriller-maker M. Night Shyamalan being handed the keys to maybe, perhaps, let himself out of director jail. The film received less than luminous reviews, but they still look  rosy and loving compared to his recent spate of much-despised misfires: 56 on Metacritic, and 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, Shyamalan's first Fresh movie since 2002's Signs. Moreover, produced on a shoestring, apparently with much of the director's own money, The Visit has already turned a profit. No, it's not The Sixth Sense, but it's a definite upswing in Shyamalan's fortunes any way you look at it.

For myself, I've seen neither of them, though I did finally catch up with Straight Outta Compton this weekend. Since I'm boring, let me kick it over to the audience: What did you watch this weekend?


The Morning After: Creative Emmy Award Winners

Andrew on the Emmy Awards, Round 1

Are there too many Emmy Award categories? On one hand, considering that that they need two separate ceremonies to get through all the winners, it seems a reasonable thesis. It lends a longness to the procedures but how nice that they recognise everything, and appreciate the difference between prostethic and non-prostethic make up, credits music, and title design? 

Yesterday, eight days before the regular Emmys, the Creative Emmy awards were presented with prizes for costumes, choreography, production, design, music, guest acting and even TV movie. The creative Emmys, unlike craft prizes at the Oscars, are rarely a good indicator of what wins the big prizes. But let’s look at the notable winners and ponderwhether some of the surprises of last evening might carry over to next week's official ceremony. 


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TIFF: I Saw the Light

Hank Williams' legend came from his songwriting with dozens of hits in a short career. Ironically the star-making song was "Lovesick Blues," a tune he did not write that he promised his producer he would make his own in a crucial recording session. He assures that the audience will love it, praising its simplicity. A studio musician snidely compares it to his original compositions which reminds the star that "simple" is not a compliment to everyone. Williams deflates a little, ego punctured, until he steps up to the microphone and gets the job done as promised. There are multiple metaphors in their somewhere about the biopic genre. We shan't try to unpack them all but let's just say that they're not too flattering to the genre as a whole.

I Saw the Light, directed by Marc Abraham a successful producer, has the shape of an extremely traditional bio, charting key moments in Williams (Tom Hiddleston) rise to greatness and subsequent personal and professional failures fueled by his addictions until his premature death at 29. The moments even come with hepful titles of years / places. You've heard this story a million times now -- only the names / dates / music genre change -- which is perhaps why the movie starts so abruptly in media res...

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