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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Cannes Jury

"The Jury Lineup is very diverse and unconventional " - Amy

"I love Agnes Jaoui! If you haven't seen her movies yet, you are in for a treat." - Adri

"Huppert's chances of winning seem increased to me with her biggest fan Chastain on the list." - Tyson


Betty Buckley (Split)
Michael O'Shea (The Transfiguration)
Filmmakers (Cézanne and I)
Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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What Did You See This Weekend?

I had a busy movie weekend with Southpaw (better than it should be), Ant-Man (fun but also *shrugs*), a second viewing of Tangerine, and a double-podcast recording session (coming soon). Last night I nearly slipped into a coma of boredom when accidentally catching a half hour of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (As I type this The Boyfriend is watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One but not even Julianne Moore can get me near that. The appeal of that franchise continues to escape me -- not scary, not moving, dull action sequences -- and since it does I'm not sitting through a padded four-hour finale.)

Pixels high concept was so review and quality-proof that it seemed likely to explode just from brand(s) familiarity alone (like, oh, Jurassic World). But nope. Slightly lower on the list Jake Gyllenhaal had his best opening where he was the main draw since Jarhead in 2005. (I'm not  counting Prince of Persia since the video game was the main draw and no one seems to remember that movie just 5 years later, including Jake Gyllenhaal). 

What did you see this weekend?

Early Estimates. July 24th-26th Weekend
01 Ant-Man $24.7 (cum. $106) 
02 Pixels $24 NEW 
03 Minions $22 (cum. $261.5) Tim on the Minions phenom
04 Trainwreck $17.2 (cum. $61.5) Podcast
05 Southpaw $16.5 NEW 
06 Paper Towns $12.5 NEW
07 Inside Out $7.3 (cum. $320.3) Podcast
08 Jurassic World $6.8 (cum. $623.7)
09 Mr Holmes $2.8 (cum. $6.4) 
10 Terminator Genisys $2.4 (cum. $85.6) Review


Ask Nathaniel (and Sundance Delayed)

It's time for another Q&A round. Ask some questions in the comments, get some answers. Maybe. I'll choose a handful or two to answer for Tuesday. 

Meanwhile: Sundance Delayed
Last night I took my two besties to Tangerine and they both l-o-v-e-d it. We had such a good time (and I finally figured out what the title refers to though I'm not saying because it's such a good easter egg in the movie). Hopefully some of you have seen it by now. It was just as hot the second time, so funny, so lived-in, so authentically seedy LA, so high energy, so sneakily moving. We discussed it on the podcast last week in case you missed it.

Isn't it weird how randomly festival titles hit movie theaters?  Several films from this year's Sundance have arrived or will arrive by the end of August (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Lila & Eve, Strangerland, Tangerine, Dope, Grandma) but we're still waiting on hard-to-get tickets from January's fest like The Witch (which A24 bought if I recall) and also had several titles from 2014's fest emerge with tiny or VOD releases in 2015. And if Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm arrives as currently scheduled in August, we'll even have a title from TIFF 2013. I wish distributors wouldn't be so weird and wishy washy about their pickups and release dates but what can you do? 


Best Actress Fall Film Calendar

Manuel here to help you sort out your actressexual film calendar with some key release dates. The following list is prompted by the news that Sandra Bullock’s political drama, Our Brand is Crisis is set for an October release date. Based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, the film was written by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and was directed by David Gordon Green and features TFE favorite Ann Dowd in the all star ensemble.

With that, our growing list of “Fall films featuring a recent Best Actress Oscar winner that might find their way into awards season” ballooned to an even twelve and well, it's time to share. Yes, some of these will be longshots (word is not good on Dark Places, though hopefully some critics and voters remember Charlize's work in Mad Max Fury Road) but it’s exhilarating to see so many juicy and high profile actress-centered projects coming our way!

In chronological order after the jump... 

Click to read more ...


Links: Video Game Movies, Big Lebowski Reads, Oscar Site Purchases

David Poland won't review Pixels 'because... why?'
Variety Our Brand is Crisis starring Sandra Bullock gets an October 30th release date. With that film, The Walk and Freeheld all coming out it could be a huge year for features based on documentaries at the Oscars
TFE in case you missed it Ann Dowd is in that film, too and loved being part of the ensemble
Towleroad I interviewed the director/star of Do I Sound Gay?, a documentary on the gay voice that's out right now
The Guardian reviews the latest Jason Reitman live read (The Big Lebowski) and loves on Michael Fassbender as "The Dude" and Patton Oswalt (in John Goodman's role of "Walter" and Mae Whitman (multiple parts) in particular. Not so much Jennifer Lawrence in Julianne Moore's original part

Variety interviews legendary documentarian Barbara Kopple. My shame: I've still never seen Harlan County, USA but people always say it's amazing
Comics Alliance on rumors about "Robin" in Batman v Superman. He might be played by Zach Snyder's son Eli who has only worked for his dad but it's "not entirely" and only "sort of" nepotism. (Related: on the internet, words continue to lose their meanings)
/Film looks at upcoming video game based movies. I don't play video games so none of this means anything to me but if you do... (I amend. There's one I'll see called Assassin's Creed but that's only because Fassy and Cotillard are both in on the heels of co-starring in Macbeth)
Awards Daily loves Grandma and agrees with us that Lily Tomlin needs to be in the Best Actress conversation 
Gold Derby I forgot to mention that they were bought up by a larger media company so congrats to Tom O'Neill. That leaves David Poland, Jeffrey Wells, Sasha Stone and little ol' me as the last of the original indies still doing this. Not everyone wants to be bought up... I'm not sure who I'd be without The Film Experience... but on the other hand, money is nice. green. useful.   

Off Cinema
Esquire has a fascinating/terrifying long read on climate scientist 'what if the end of the world was your day job?' 
Stage Buddy for Kander & Ebb's 50th anniversary, a ranking of their top 50 songs. Wow this is comprehensive. The order is all out of whack (Cabaret and Chicago combined only get 3 songs in the top 25!)  but still, good job Andrew! This reminded me how much I loved the music in The Visit and how great the music is in New York New York.

Speaking of... here's your Showtune to Go from The Scottsboro Boys (2010) which I'm so sad I never saw during its Broadway run (this song "Go Back Home" which comes fairly early in the show is so gorgeous). I only heard raves and it won 12 Tony nominations but in the season of The Book of Mormon there was no oxygen for the competition. Maybe someone will one day make it into a movie?


"Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door"


Meryl Sings "Cold One" - A Best Original Song Contender

[Editors Note: In the neverending soap opera of Nathaniel's lifelong on again/off again romance with Meryl Streep, they are in love again at the moment. Just thought you'd like to know.]

Everything about this clip is promising. Streep's raspy voice, that low-key estranged but still domestic comfort vibe, the fluffy dogs, it's matter-of-fact history "...a long time ago". People didn't seem thrilled by the trailer to Ricki and The Flash but but with Jonathan Demme behind the camera and behind the script, there will surely be moments to savor regardless of whatever it does or doesn't amount to as a film.

Jenny Lewis wrote original songs for the film including this one. Do we have our first Oscar contender in that category? (I updated that speculative chart to include this tune as well as the two Southpaw songs by Eminem.) 


174 Days Until Oscar Nominations... Here Comes Festival Season!

Are you ready? My body is rehdd-deee. 

As per usual I'll be reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 10th-20th). The films are not yet announced but here's a golden tease for you podcast fans: for the first time in recorded human history, Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich andd Nathaniel R (c'est moi) will all be attending the same festival. We're quite excited about it even though our paths surely won't cross too often given the sheer volume of things that go on at that festival.

Team Experience will also be out in force again at the New York International Film Festival (Sept 26th-Oct 12th). Opening Night film: Robert Zemeckis & Joseph Gordon Levitt's feature version of the Oscar winning tale of Philippe Petit (Man on Wire); Closing Night film: Don Cheadle's directorial debut (he also stars) Miles Ahead about the lfe of musician Miles Davis. Nathaniel and hopefully our Los Angeles divas (Anne Marie & Margaret) will hit the AFI Festival (November 5th-12th) in Los Angeles again, if all goes well. 

We have no plans (aka funds) currently for Telluride (Sept 4th-7th)Venice (Sept 2nd-12th) Opening Night film is the all star mountain climbing thriller EverestSan Sebastian (Sept 18th-26th) , Fantastic Fest (Sept 24th-Oct 1st), Reykjavik (Sept 24th-Oct 4th) at which David Cronenberg will be the guest of honour!, Zurich (Sept 24th-Oct 4th), or London (October 7th-18th) where Suffragette will do Opening Night honors,  but you never know. Perhaps TFE will finally win a millionaire patron, finally convince hundreds of you to join our tiny circle of patrons that contribute $2.50 a month (a cup of fancy coffee - come on)  to help fund us, discover the secret to cloning so we can be everywhere at once, and/or find contributors in each city.

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What are you excited about for the fall prestige season?
Sometimes it's mere existence can be enough after weak summer popcorn seasons.