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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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

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Team Experience - Favorite Presenter Moments from the Oscar Show

The Academy has announced the names of many presenters for the big night on February 28th. The list includes the best actress nominee who gave us this often used gifable funny moment, reacting to the makeup in The Wolfman (2010).

A few writers from The Film Experience share 7 more favorite moments from the presenters after the jump, including Meryl, Jim Carrey and Emma Stone...

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5 Days til Oscar. "5" being the Sacrosanct Number.


The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.

The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year - the only category with 3.

So here's to five, the best number. Five forever. FIVE BY FIVE. Never change the number, Academy! Never.

Just for fun here are the 5 categories this year with the highest across-the-board quality


  1. Best Actress - All wonderful. And from mostly great films, too! 
  2. Original Score - When the worst nominee is __ you've got playlist heaven
  3. Adapted Screenplay - Mostly wonderful and filled with films about women: Brooklyn, Carol, Room. And the two most deserving screenplays are written by women, too: Phyllis Nagy & Emma Donoghue
  4. Cinematography - Don't quite understand what Robert Richardson is doing here again but he's no slouch in general and otherwise this is a list for the all time list of great lists in this particular category. 
  5. Visual Effects - It was a toss up for this fifth slot but it's worth including to point out that for once they didn't go "Most" and actually included two films with very convincing effects (Ex Machina & The Revenant) that would work without those visual effects, too. Worthy Best Supporting Visual Effects is a nice change of pace here.

5 of my favorite Oscar nominee interviews this season in case you missed any: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Sandy Powell (Carol), and Jack Fisk (The Revenant)



Carol-Loving Hero of the Week: Chris Elena

This story must be prefaced by the fact that we don't condone tweeting during movies but this story was too delicious not to share. Christopher Elena, known Carol lover and apparently Australian prankster, took his young brother and his gaggle of 13 yr old friends to the movies with the promise of Deadpool.

But he bought tickets for Carol instead. On purpose. For your reading pleasure after the jump...

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Oscar Screenplay Records That Could Be Broken

Manuel here to talk Oscar nominated screenplays. We first greeted them by looking at their first lines of dialogue, we crunched the numbers about how 2015 was a good year for female scribes, ranked them by quotability, and this week we’re taking a more playful approach. Think of it as a way to find some levity as we near the Big Day.

Now, we know there are frontrunners (and some dark horses) but I put all of that aside and imagined a world where every screenplay nominee has a shot and offered some records that could be broken Sunday night.

IF Bridge of Spies wins
Joel & Ethan Coen would join the ranks of most awarded screenwriters of all time, tying Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Francis Ford Coppola, and Paddy Chayefsky, all of whom have three wins, though Allen holds the distinction of winning all three for Original screenplays.

IF Ex Machina wins
It would be the first film with a Latin title to win (previous failed bids include Equus and Europa Europa)

IF Inside Out wins
It would be the first animated film to win a screenplay award (previous failed bids include Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up in the Original Screenplay category and Toy Story 3 in Adapted)

more after the jump...

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Paul Newman "is"...

We're reviving "Curio" but with a twist. It won't just be arts & crafts any more but any curiousity so here's one about movie vernacular, taglines, and advertisements. - Editor.

Fifty years ago today Harper (1966) hit movie theaters. We only mention this because it gives us (another) excuse to post Paul Newman photos and to talk about a favorite movie poster quirk. Joe Reid recently wondered aloud why we say "Actor 'in' Name of Movie" versus "Actor 'on' Name of TV Show" which is true and curious. Why is that the language?

And why do some advertising campaigns say Movie Star IS... rather than Movie Star IN... or Movie Star AS? With Paul Newman it was "is" more often than not. Here's some proof...

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Beauty Break: Douglas Slocombe, Cinematographer

Douglas Slocombe (1913-2016)Sad news to report. The former "oldest living Oscar nominee" cinematographer Douglas Slocombe died today just two weeks after his 103rd birthday. (If you're curious that makes the goddess Olivia de Havilland, who turns 100 this July, the oldest living Oscar nominee or winner)

Imagine shooting the boulder-roll opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark or lighting its snake pit scene with torches! Douglas Slocombe did it. His other two nominations sprang from far more feminine pictures, the Jane Fonda Best Picture nominee Julia (1977. Also: Meryl Streep's film debut!) and the Maggie Smith vehicle Travels With My Aunt (1972).

More on his iimpressive career and some images from key films after the jump...

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Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

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Interview: Visual FX Oscar Nominees on Lightsaber Duels and Collaborative Arts

For as many articles I've read and videos and movies I've seen, the realm of visual effects remain a mysterious and magical power... not unlike The Force in that galaxy far far away. Speaking recently with two members of The Force Awaken's visual team, I suddenly imagine my confusion is probably akin to how it would feel to act a scene out with Chewbacca; all the Star Wars regulars understand his throat noises but I would definitely need subtitles.

Nevertheless it was a good time sitting down with Roger Guyett, a four time Oscar nominee who does both visual effects supervision and second unit direction for J.J. Abrams -- he tells me this is somewhat normal since second unit work tends to fall in the visual effects arena -- and Pat Tubach, also a previous nominee (Star Trek Into Darkness) who attempts to explain what "plate supervision" is though my brain won't comply. 

Herewith the parts of our interview that I did understand, I think, and Roger & Pat's game answers including what their loved one think of their work and seeing the movie for the first time. 

NATHANIEL: You're both "visual effects supervisors," so how does the work get divvied up? Do you get specific scenes? 

PAT TUBACH: Roger okays everything. We do break things up a little bit for ease given the sheer number of shots and number of people involved. I worked a lot on the opening scenes: the village raid, the TIE figher escape sequence with Finn and Poe. As well as the rathtar escaping and terrorizing the gang. 

So you had Captain Phasma -- I assume she was the most difficult to pull off since her suit is so reflective and much of her environment isn't actually there!

more after the jump...

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