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.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 478 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


Comment Fun

Nick went to the Oscars!

"After an absolutely crappy day at work; when life feels like a total roadblock - this podcast just makes me so happy!" - Adam

What'cha Looking For?

Box Office: Melissa Shows Batman Who is 'Boss' (and Other Female Hit Stories)

To keep ourselves entertained, we like to spin the box office charts so it's not just "copy/paste" from week to week. So let's look at the box office top ten through the lens of current movies with female leads. Melissa McCarthy (in a photo finish for #1 with superheroes) and Helen Mirren keep proving their box office consistency over and over again, don't they? We're also happy to see Sally Field doing so well in what could have been a blink and you'll miss it VOD movie. Field's already outperformed last year's senior female sleeper indie hits Grandma and I'll See You In My Dreams.

But the 10 female names below make up such an odd odd sorority you must admit...

01 The Boss (Melissa McCarthy) $23.4 NEW Melissa McCarthy
03 Zootopia (Ginnifer Goodwin) $14.3 (cum. $296) 
04 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Nia Vardalos) $6.4 (cum. $46.7)
06 Miracles From Heaven (Jennifer Garner) $4.8 (cum. $53.8)
07 Gods Not Dead 2 (Melissa Joan Hart) $ 4.3(cum. $14.1) 
08 Divergent: Allegiant (Shailene Woodley) $3.6 (cum. $61.8) 
09 10 Cloverfield Lane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) $3  (cum. $67.9)
10 Eye in the Sky (Helen Mirren) $2.8 (cum. $10.4) 
13 Hello My Name is Doris (Sally Field) $1.6  (cum. $9.3) 
21 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Tina Fey) $.2 (cum. $22.7) 

As for the films we aren't including in this spun chart, Batman v Superman: Birth of Manic Depressive Anti-Heroes  at #2 is still a ginormous money-devourer even if with $296.6 domestically and $780 globally it's underperforming given it's behemoth budget and its launch pad to dozens of other proposed movies (there's already a huge crack in the foundation? Yikes). Meanwhile the latest stop on Jake Gyllenhaal's 'look what i can do on screen -- anything!' tour flopped coming in 15th for the weekend atnearly 900 screens. While it's true that Jake runs circles around his movie Demolition the fact that his starpower alone couldn't wallop what looks like the most unpleasant movie-watching experience of all time (Hardcore Henry took $5 million finishing at #5 for the week) is just f***in' depressing.

This is why we can't have nice things.



Anyway -- What did you see this weekend?
I mean, other than WITNESS (1985) on Netflix which you surely watched for Tuesday Night's Best Shot. (Can't wait for this one since that movie is such a beauty.) I personally couldn't take in any movies people have heard of because I'm cramming for my upcoming "New Directors" jury duty at the Nashville International Film Festival which kicks off this weekend.


Beauty Break: Happy National Siblings Day!

Let's hear it for siblings, fictional and otherwise! Today is National Siblings Day so I dedicate this to my sister and brothers even though they're not movie people and won't read this. But let's look at beautiful photos of three of our favorite sets of screen siblings. Starting with the most successful of all...

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Review: Melissa McCarthy in "The Boss"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Melissa McCarthy cuts an imposing figure in her first scene in The Boss and I’m not talking about her plus size physique though we’ll get there in a minute. In the new comedy she’s Michelle Darnell, a mega-successful businesswoman (details are fuzzy on what kind) descending into a stadium on a giant faux phoenix that’s shooting off fireworks. The sound mix is as uniformly deafening as that image is unsubtle so you can’t make out a single word of the rapping, mob chanting, pandemonium that follows. This should be annoying but it comes as a weird relief in this relentlessly politicking season of pandering narcissistic windbags wearing saggy human costumes on TV every night. It’s better to close your ears and laugh at the inanity of the spectacle than really contemplate what they’re saying and what their cults are cheering about; that way lies nihilistic depression about the state of the world and we’re here to laugh, damnit, this being a Melissa McCarthy movie. (In short: I was in the right mood to see this movie. And that often matters with comedy.)

Shortly after that insane entrance, which presents Darnell as a Susan Powter style self-help guru (for economics), the movie recasts her as a less specific cutthroat executive who buys and sells companies in the blink of an eye — and buys and sells out people with equally swift mercilessness.  [More...]

Click to read more ...


Linky Dreadful

The Guardian talks to Jessica Chastain and she is fired up about gender in Hollywood - as a cool non-competitive 'everyone wins' take on Best Actressing awards that's pretty cool to hear.
Kenneth in the (212) a protest of the Cats musical revival. LOL
Tracking Board Judy Greer is moving behind the camera! She'll direct A Happening of Monumental Proportions. The cast is now coming together
Girish Shambu on recent excellent micro-budget indie cinema
Variety Star Melissa McCarthy and her Husband/Director Ben Falcone already have their next movie lined up: Life of the Party
Gothamist Netflix is upping the prices for its longtime subscribers. Okay, cool Netflix. I guess this means you're going to add good movies to streaming again? Hello? Hello? [dial tone]
MNPP which is hotter, annual Taylor Kitsch fetish-wear edition
W Magazine for some reason Disney thought a fashion collaboration with Kenzo was smart marketing for The Jungle Book so here it is  
Film School Rejects rewatches No Way Out (1987) with directors commentary. Ugh, that's such a good little thriller. And Sean Young and Kevin Costner were scorching hot together at that precise moment in history
Pajiba shares screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie's story about how Close Encounters of the Third Kind changed his life. 

Superheroes still
/Film shares early nerd joy tweets from Captain America: Civil War. As a Captain America nut I was excited until I started digging deeper and one person who loved it like crazy still says it's not as good as Deadpool (which is not even a *good* movie, let alone a great one) so I'll continue to downplay expectations as Captain America: Winter Soldier is the best Marvel Studios movie ever and it's difficult to top #1s in any subgenre. 
Coming Soon Confirmed: Marvel Studios characters will appear in Sony's 2017 Spider-Man movie surprisingly virtually no one.
/Film Boyd Holbrook circling villain role in Hugh Jackman's superhero swansong Wolverine 3 with filming starting next month. The movie is said to be very loosely based on "Old Man Logan" story of the comics 

Political Mic Drop
I have announced on another platform and now here that I will stop talking about politics... at least until, oh, September. The why is that I find it absolutely damaging and yet strangely addictive like being a chainsmoker after a lung cancer diagnosis. Everyone hates everyone and I lose faith in almost everyone daily (including you. haha) when I listen to them talk about politics. And clearly people lose faith in me when I talk about politics (#imwithher). So since I will make a valiant effort to not speak about this until it's more relevant -- the next time anyone complains about how "long" the Oscars take I want to point them to this interminable two year long ordeal we're all living through politically --  I only ask that you read this hilarious, scathingly truthful Hilary Clinton endorsement from Ellie Mystal (thanks to MattRett for pointing it out) which sums up my feelings more than I thought was possible. And it put a smile on my face... which I didn't think was possible anymore politically.

(And that's it. Radio silence on politics after tonight. That's my plan at least.)

Today's Watch
The ghoulish tortured cast of Penny Dreadful are almost back! It took me a second to realize that the new poster was not a deformed skull performing its best Munchian scream but actually a man's body; Josh Hartnett's perhaps? Just 22 days until Season 3 begins. If you're not watching the show you don't deserve Eva Green, who may well be the most under appreciated supreme sorceress of the acting arts. 

Official Synopsis:

This season on PENNY DREADFUL, Tony® Award-winning star Patti LuPone (American Horror Story), who guest starred last season as the Cut-Wife, returns as a series regular in the new role of Dr. Seward, an American therapist who treats Vanessa (Eva Green) with an unconventional new approach. Wes Studi (Hell On Wheels) joins as a series regular as Kaetenay, an intense, enigmatic Native American with a deep connection to Ethan (Josh Hartnett) who also becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton). The third season also adds Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif). Other guest stars include Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Christian Camargo (DEXTER®, The Hurt Locker) as Dr. Alexander Sweet, a zoologist who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vanessa; Sam Barnett (2012, Jupiter Ascending) as Dr. Seward’s mysterious young secretary; and Jessica Barden (The Outcast, Far from the Madding Crowd) as Justine, a young acolyte to Lily (Billie Piper) and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Perdita Weeks (THE TUDORS), as Catriona Hartdegan, a scholar with expert knowledge of the supernatural. Simon Russell Beale returns as Dr. Ferdinand Lyle. Rory Kinnear (as The Creature) and Harry Treadaway (as Dr. Frankenstein) also star.



Chastain Fashiongasm

It's a fashiongasm. Or at least a #swoon, yes? It's Jessica Chastain in Beijing promoting The Huntsman: Winter's War. W Magazine informs that this is a Giles Deacon, a designer also favored by two of our truest fashionistas, Cate & Kerry. 

P.S. I understand that the early buzz on this feature is all about Emily Blunt if it's about anything but my body is so ready for Chastain to mesmerize again. When's that going to happen? Come on, Jess! I don't mean to be disrespectful because when she delivers... but perhaps, there's no middle ground with her? She's either underwhelming or ectastic to watch. In short: yours truly is eager for the next Most Violent Zero Help Thirty jawdropping star turn. Where isssss it?


Happy Birthday, Robin Wright

Tim here. Robin Wright turns 50 today, and it's my good fortune to wish her a very happy birthday on behalf of the Film Experience. She's entering the decade of her life that generally finds actresses facing the worst odds they ever get from the powers that be in Hollywood (there's that infamous stat that only two women have ever won a Best Actress Oscar in their 50s), but for my tastes, she's never been more interesting than in the past few years.

Indeed, it's been only in this decade that Wright has gotten some of her best-ever movie roles, on top a key performance in the Netflix hit House of Cards, and really gotten to show off as an actress. Some of her best film work, sadly, has been in underperforming movies that most people have never seen or heard of; what better excuse than a birthday to go out and track one of these down?

In 2010, Wright appeared as the title character in The Conspirator, director Robert Redford's story of an idealistic young lawyer defending Mary Surratt, whose boarding house sheltered John Wilkes Booth and company as they devised their plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. It's hard to go to bad for the movie as a whole, which wants very badly to be a history lesson rather than a piece of cinematic entertainment. Certainly, Redford's very prim and precise direction of James D. Solomon's research paper-feeling screenplay turn this into a social studies diorama rather than a living, breathing character drama.


Click to read more ...


Posterized: Melissa McCarthy, Unlikely Superstar

Though Melissa McCarthy's star went supernova just five years ago in a role so popular that she won both an Oscar nomination and an Emmy statue (Bridesmaids... oh please, you know the Emmy wasn't actually for Mike and Molly!) she's wasted approximately zero days since in cementing her unlikely place as a box office titan with star vehicles emerging annually since. Right now that means her new capitalist diva comedy The Boss and if it isn't Spy (2015) or The Heat (2013) level funny (sorry... but few things are) it's not bad. It sure as hell runs rings around Identity Thief (2013) and Tammy (2014) so it's firmly middle of the pack, if you ask me. (It's weird that the reviews so far are the worst of any of her solo vehicles.)

We call her place as a truly bankable actress 'unlikely' because it's just that. Guess how long it's been since audiences embraced a hefty actress as a (regular) lead? I can't think of a single one from my lifetime though we occassionally get a one time debut hit (Gabby Sidibe in Precious, Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray - they had to settle for supporting work thereafter) or a frequently employed secondary lead (Rebel Wilson). You might argue for Kathy Bates but she's only headlined a few times.  I think you have to sail back to the early 1930s to the odd case of Marie Dressler who was a true box office sensation and quite awesome (see her Oscar winning Min & Bill; It's a blast!)

Though Bridesmaids entirely changed McCarthy's career her debut was way back in the cult favorite Go (1999) which she soon followed with the role that most people think of as her debut "Sookie" on several seasons of The Gilmore Girls, a role she'll reprise for the upcoming reunion. Hooray!  All the McCarthy movie posters are after the jump. How many have you seen?


Click to read more ...


Sterling K Brown: A Star is Born

As we continue celebrating actors this month, here's Murtada on a new one to cherish. He's our TV MVP this week...

Sarah Paulson brought both pathos and steeliness to spare to her portrayal of Marcia Clark. Courtney B Vance was fiery bluster, daring viewers to take their eyes off him as Johnny Cochran. John Travolta was so infinitely alien as Robert Shapiro that he proved fascinating to watch. Almost every single performance was top notch*. What an ensemble.

And yet the clear standout is Sterling K Brown as Chris Darden.

The finale cemented what everyone watching The People Vs O.J. Simpson suspected throughout the past few weeks; we have a new fantastic actor to be excited about. The calm authority he brought to Darden’s closing argument alone should earn him a lot of accolades. Yet he wasn’t finished. At the post-verdict press conference, he goes about delivering a heartfelt speech and then in a split second he realizes words don’t matter, that’s when Brown breaks our hearts. He walks towards the Goldmans with a hunched back and overcome emotions, his body clearly telling us that’s a defeated man. No that’s not all of it. He then earns more of our admiration in his final standoff with Vance. Again bringing an eerie calm to Darden’s final testament.Through him the show delivers its statement about our current world.

Then there’s his final scene scene with Paulson; clasping hands as they walk away as Nina Simone begins to sing. Throughout the series Brown displayed palpable chemistry with his co-stars. The rat-a-tat of give and take acting with both Vance and Paulson, so riveting to watch. But also more. Didn’t you swoon when he took Paulson into his arms for a dance? Their chemistry is already generating both headlines and obsessive fandom! He’s not only a great actor but perhaps a matinee idol? Those don’t come along that often. I bet a lot of us would look at Brown the way Paulson’s looking at him in the photo above if we got the chance.

We shall be seeing a lot more of Sterling K Brown, starting with the Emmys in September. Have you watched the finale?

*I would’ve said all if it wasn’t for Cuba Gooding Jr.