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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William Holden in Picnic

"I find Holden has a more earthy sex appeal in his early roles, you could kick your shoes off and put them on his lap and he wouldn't flinch." - Mark

"My mother's favorite actor. His dance with Kim Novak is an unforgettable movie moment." -Jaragon

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Friday
Jan062017

FYC: Lucas Hedges, Best Supporting Actor

by Brian Zitzelman

As a vital player in Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea, which at this point in the Oscar race appears a lock in many a category, if not particularly a frontrunner in any of them,  Lucas Hedges might seem preordained to be a member of the Best Supporting Actor club in the months to come.

However, Hedges isn't - hopefully - getting in by shear wave of momentum for the movie. His Patrick is a vital, memorable part of the Manchester puzzle...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan062017

Isabelle Huppert, French Legends, and Oscar Stats

by Nathaniel R

Are you biting your nails yet? No prediction for this year's Best Actress shortlist can come without some degree of "I could be getting this very wrong!" nerves. We've been Oscar watching for a long time and it's genuinely never looked this open this late in the game (with the possible exception of 2003 but for nearly the opposite reason). If Best Actress is not a five-way lock up by now (and it often is) it's usually at least settled but for a minor battle between two women for the "just happy to be nominated" fifth spot. This year is different. Seven women remain strong and precursor supported and virtually any combination of five names seems possible as long as you include both Emma Stone (with the reliable boost of leading a Best Picture frontrunner) and Natalie Portman (with the reliable boost of Oscar's deep-deep love for mimicry).

We always believed that Isabelle Huppert was a genuine threat for a Best Actress nomination this season for her phenomenal star turn in Elle. It wasn't so much that Elle, in which she plays a video game enterpeneur who becomes obsessed with her rapist, was a a fresh look at an old star (against type) or right in Oscar's wheel house (a dark comedy about rape. LOL, no). The appeal instead is that in Elle is a suffusion of everything that's special about Huppert: her superior intellect, fascinating opacity, tortured psychology, and her daring sexuality. Oscar would be wise to pounce in a year where the media has been this celebratory about her unique place in the cinematic landscape. 'It's time!' feelings don't generally come around all that often for true iconoclasts or women of a certain age. She's both so they must act now.

Binoche, Cotillard, Adjani, Deneuve

Here's another far more superficial but still excellent reason why Isabelle Huppert needs to be nominated...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan062017

The Wisdom of "Postcards"

We've been name dropping Postcards from the Edge a lot this past week, for obvious reasons. I caught the last half hour on accident on television tonight and every split second of it remains marvelous. By the time we get to Suzanne (Streep) reconciling with the director (Gene Hackman) whose film she nearly sabotaged, I am a mess of emotions. It's literally one of my single favorite scenes in all of cinema - so simply staged, so unfussily played by two of the best screen actors of all time, and deeply resonant every time.

Postcards is known for its endless wit but here's something that's less often discussed: even when it's not trying to be funny, it's a total winner. It's a wise compassionate movie, constantly reminding us to go a little easier on ourselves and each other.

Lowell: Growing up isn't like in a movie where you have a realization and life changes. In life, you have a realization and your life changes a month or so later.

Suzanne:  So I just have to wait a month?

Lowell: It depends on the realization. Some of them you only wait a couple weeks.

 

Thursday
Jan052017

An Interview with the Founder of the Seattle Film Critics Society

Please welcome Brian Zitzelman, our newest contributor. He's a member of the newly formed Seattle Film Critics Society and for his first post he's interviewing the founder of that society Michael Ward. A little inside peak for you. - Editor

Michael Ward of "Should I See It"by Brian Zitzelman

Beyond being a genuinely kind, smart man, Michael Ward has done what few have; he's created a film critic's society. The Seattle Film Critics Society to be exact.  

Despite being home to a near month-long film festival, a multitude of cinemas devoted to older movies and generally being pretty comfortably snobby about the arts, the city of Seattle hasn't had a proper Film Society for over a decade. Mr. Ward changed that with months and months of work dealing with studio reps here and cavalcades of other oddities. In between tallying the final votes and writing sensationally for his own site Should I See It, I spoke to Mike about the joys, troubles and curveballs of what it takes to develop something that’s usually an established institution in other parts of the country. 

BRIAN ZITZELMAN: Let me start with the obvious question; How happy are you to have this first year of the Seattle Film Critics Society behind you?

MICHAEL WARD: Well, it feels premature to say that we have a full year under our belts. We are still working with a team to complete the infrastructure but I am comfortable in saying that lots of people have put in lots of time to make this a reality. We are planning on voting in a Board of Directors in February 2017, and at that point, more than two years of hard work will definitely have paid off. 

Moonlight took 6 prizes including Best Picture at the first official Seattle Film Critics Society awards

Can you walk us through the whole concept? I think most people assume every major metropolitan city has its own film critics circle, especially those with a history of the arts like Seattle. 

While this iteration of a Seattle Film Critics Society is new, there was an organization that existed from 2001-2004. Unfortunately, when they disbanded it was an ugly dissolution, and people are still reeling from how that all apparently went down.  But you're absolutely right Brian, most major cities have a film critics society or organization which most people typically only hear about during awards season...  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan052017

Viola Davis Joins the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Chris here. You might think that richly earned (and incredibly likely) Viola Davis's Fences Oscar march will officially begin this Sunday at the Golden Globes, but you would be wrong. It has already begun. Get ready for lots of love all around for one of our greatest actresses alive. She was just awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Davis was tributed by pal, idol, and devotee Meryl Streep at the unveiling, calling her "possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent".

You can call it an archaic pastime or doubt its significance, but a star on the Walk of Fame is a more than fitting achievement for a titan like Davis, especially as our time-honored institutions need to reflect diversity. With a hit television show, two Oscar nominations thus far, and a franchise on the books, it's surprising that it's taken so long for the honor. But just consider it the kickoff for the victory tour (let's call Critics' Choice the warmup). She's simply the person this Oscar season that you couldn't be happier for - unless maybe she'd be rightfully winning as a lead. Details.