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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 | letterboxd

 

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JASON CLARKE INTERVIEW

"I loved Clarke's scenes with Edgerton in The Great Gatsby. I thought, oh now I'm watching men not boys, and now I'm watching actors not movie stars.-Adri

"He has become someone I look for in films because he always comes across with such honesty." -Henry

 

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Friday
Nov302012

Nicole & The Noise

Last week, I started prepping the 2012 "film bitch" awards pages and while staring at the rough draft of the acting awards which will be posted the week before the Oscar nominations, I kept thinking "something is wrong here." I slept on it. The next morning I realized with complete horrror that I had left Nicole Kidman off of my rough draft nominee list for The Paperboy. I, a self-described Kidmaniac, had forgotten "Charlotte Bless." If *I*  was able to forget Nicole, how could I rage at the non-adventurous critics and staid Oscar voters a month and a half from now when they presumably forget her in their year-end polling.

The Thanksgiving to Christmas movie season is filled with "Best of" Noise: big glitzy openings, highbrow movies, lists everywhere you look, forum discussions, critics org announcement. They're all reflecting "Oscar Buzz" whether or not they mean to. Oscar buzz is noisy and the noise can, paradoxically, drown out actual conversations and thoughtful consideration of who might qualify for the word "best"... not who is in the best movie or who is most likely to be nominated. It's understandable human error. Fact: it's easier to remember names you hear every day than names you don't. 

This past week while staring hard at the Supporting Actress Chart  (since revived), I kept staring at Nicole Kidman's photo and cursing the world that this amazing actress's about-face work as a trashy convict-loving beautician wasn't more firmly entrenched in the discussion.

Then a miracle occured...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov302012

Awards Calendar: Precursor Madness Begins in 3... 2... 1... 

Which film will lord over NYC film critics this year?You've probably heard by now that the city-by-city / guild-by-guild precursor madness begin next week. Golden Globe ballots went out to members yesterday and The New York Film Critics Circle will be the first to announce winners on Monday, December 3rd. I'm having breakfast with a director during their announcement -- priorities! -- but we'll be sure to discuss that day.

The rush to "first!" means that Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is right on the wire of "will voters see it or not see it before voting?" Apparently it's now locked and screening (my December 1st screening was cancelled and I have not -- as of yet -- been re-invited though our BFCA balloting begins on December 3rd)

IMPORTANT DATES / GROUPS TO WATCH
12/3 -New York Film Critics Circle 
⅓ of the Holy Trinity of critics groups. Founded in 1935!!! Last year's winner: The Artist
12/5 -National Board of Review
In recent years they've finally cried uncle about "first!" and conceded. Last year's winner: Hugo
12/7 -Los Angeles Film Critics Association
⅓ of the Holy Trinity of Critics Prizes founded in 1975. Last year's winner: The Descendants
12/9 -New York Film Critics Online
This upstart group began handing out prizes in 2003. Last year's winner: The Artist
12/9 - Boston Society of Film Critics
Announcing since 1980. They were once among the most iconoclastic of groups but in the past decade have, like nearly all critics groups, begun to merely choose their favorite from the handful of true Oscar hopefuls. Last year's winner: The Artist
12/11 Broadcast Film Critics Association "Critics Choice" Nominations
Announcing since. Full disclosure: I am a voting member.
12/12 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations
A very big pre-Oscar deal... since 1995. Their unique system of choosing nominees -- a different randomly-selected nominating pool each year from their vast membership --  should technically be capable of delivering bigger surprises now and then. We'll see... Last year's winner: the cast of The Help
12/13 Golden Globe Nominations
Woot!
1/8 Directors Guild Award Nominations (Feature Films)
Before Oscar started monkeying with their Best Picture rules this was the single most predictive award as to which films would be nominated for Best Picture. Voting annually since 1948. Last year's winner: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.
TBA - Chicago Film Critics
Annoyingly they announce nominees and then wait for the winners, upsetting the traditional critics prize routine. Last year's eventual winner: The Tree of Life
TBA - Online Film Critics Society
Annoyingly they announce nominees and then wait for the winners, upsetting the traditional critics prize routine.  Last year's eventual winner: The Tree of Life
TBA - National Society of Film Critics
⅓ of the Holy Trinity of Critics Prizes, founded in 1966, though they've been losing plentiful media steam over the years... partially due to the explosion of ridiculous critics groups -- does every city really need their own when regional prizes for smaller film markets would make much more cumulative sense ? -- and their late in the game announcement.


THE BIGGIES

1/10 OSCAR NOMINATION MORNING!
aka Nathaniel's Christmas... and it's coming so early this year.
1/10 Critics Choice Awards 
1/13 Golden Globe Awards

1/27 SAG Awards
2/24 OSCAR NIGHT

aka Nathaniel's New Years Eve

Which groups do you care most about? Which film, if any, do you think will dominate this year? Or are you hoping, as I am, that it'll be a free for all. It's been so long since different groups had wildly different opinions! Oh how we long for critics groups to do their jobs in an entertaining thoughtful way and actually challenge each other with "no, this!" lobs. 

Friday
Nov302012

SAG Award for Best Cast: Predictions & Wish List

Amir here, to write about one of my favourite awards of the season: the SAG award for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture". I say "favourite" because, in principle, I love the notion of awarding actors who work together as a group to make a film tick. In my ideal world, the best cast award is more about collective achievements than multiple individual ones but over the years, SAG’s top award has sadly become synonymous with Best Picture. Genuine ensemble pieces have often been ignored in favour of Oscar’s best picture frontrunners or films with the highest number of nominees in other SAG categories. Yet, despite my disappointment, I can’t stop obsessing over this award or detach myself.

Who will follow the cast of The Help to a SAG cast win?

This year is bound to be a similar affair, with the three frontrunning Oscar films all poised to win SAG nods in this category. Nonetheless, let’s look at what will get nominated and what should

Les Misérables
I have yet to see Les Misérables, but the rapturous response from this week’s screenings (Nathaniel was at the first one) suggests that we will collectively forgive Hooper for stealing The Social Network’s thunder once we finally lay eyes on his newest film. (Though, I'll still begrudge The King’s Speech for winning the SAG "cast" award two years ago. Two great performances and one default “supporting wife” nominee don't merit a best cast prize, especially in the presence of The Kids Are Alright and The Fighter.)

More hopefuls after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov302012

Visual Effects Finalists: Superheroes Rule, Subtlety Drools

Yesterday the finalists for Oscar's Visual Effects prize were announced. In the end there will be five nominees but for the next month ten films can dream of winning the nomination before the great culling on January 10th, 2013. Once again we see a preference for computer generated imagery with only Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises as obvious examples of films which tried mightily to rely on in-camera practical effects and stunt work. At a recent "Evening With Christopher Nolan" here in NYC (more soon) Nolan revealed his preference for in camera work with computers relegated to touch up work. 

Did you know that that infamous collapsing football field that led into the seige of Gotham was actually, in part, a collapsing football field (!) and not a figment of a computer artists imagination!? 

Snubs: Generally speaking you can expect the more subtle fx work to be shut out each and every year. This is why Skyfall probably won't be nominated in the end. But my eyes were instantly drawn to the absence of Looper which is a shame, since it's most effectsy sequences, like that finale in the cornfield, were weirdly hypnotic and even the tiny touches like the frequent telekinetics were unfussy and unshowy but totally served the film. Plus, it's a good film which is more than can often be said about nominees in this category. It's also strange, at least in a multi-year context, to see The Impossible miss the finals when Hereafter's less impressive tsunami (in a less impressive film at that) went on to actually be nominated. More traditionally nominatable CG heavy movies shown the door were Battleship, Men in Black III, and Dark Shadows.

Which 50% of the films still standing will prevail? 

still hanging. I hate this film more and more in retrospect.

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Avengers
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • John Carter
  • Life of Pi
  • Prometheus
  • Skyfall
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

Your guess work in the comments, please.

Thursday
Nov292012

Busy Busy. What Are You Busy Thinking About?

Kerry Washington interview forthcoming!I apologize for my radio silence. I've been busy preparing for interviews (4 exciting ones this weekend) and updating Oscar charts (director, picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress) and otherwise terribly occupied with only half terribly interesting things (like Oscar campaign events). Regular blog posting speed recommences this weekend.

What have you been doing... and which movies can't you stop thinking about?

Thursday
Nov292012

Actress Battles: Jessica vs. Jennifer, Quvenzhané vs. History

In a rather beautiful turn of events, both Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty arrived to implications of raves (ah, pointless Les Miz embargo) and actual ones (ZDT had no embargo) and though neither are opening until Santa's elves are deep into overtime, they've made the forthcoming Oscar race much more exciting. What we have are real competitions in multiple categories. At least for now; precursor prizes have a way of flattening out the drama if they arrive at consensus too quickly. We've already discussed Les Miz's first screening and the Hugh vs. Daniel Best Actor race.

But while you're waiting for my Zero Dark Thirty review, let's discuss the confusing Best Actress race.

This particular shot is the second half of one of my favorite cuts of the year... from the screen she's watching to this face.

BEST ACTRESS
What's the confusion, you may be asking. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is still the frontrunner for Silver Linings Playbook and yes Jessica Chastain will be nominated for anchoring Zero Dark Thirty with single-minded determination. More...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov282012

Roundtables Galore. Tarantino to Retire?

The annual Actress Roundtable (pt 1 & pt 2) is the only member of THR's delightful tradition of one hour conversations that I can carve out time to cover in full but since the Directors video has arrived, you should watch it!

Quentin Tarantino's threat of retiring is very annoying. He hasn't been prolific enough to earn retirement. If he is ever going to retire I pray he does it in the Steven Soderbergh all bark and no bite kind of way. I'm not counting but I think Soderbergh has already made as many movies as Tarantino has ever made SINCE he announced his retirement.

I also love Tarantino's comments about editing his writing. I don't mean to single Tarantino out in the conversation but he is a chatty one.

Are all of these men draws for you when they're the name behind the movie? Who do you wish had been included and who would you boot out to make room for them? For me I'm wishing Kathryn Bigelow and

After the jump, in case you missed them, the Actors and Writers Roundtable

Click to read more ...