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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New Q & A - Actors who should be more famous and more...

"For the life of me I will never understand why Audra McDonald isn't bigger outside of Broadway." - Brian

"I will add to that list Irfhan Khan; he gets roles steadily, but in my mind he should be a household name." -Rebecca

"I'll also echo that Rosemarie DeWitt is one of the most talented working actresses, full stop. There is no other Best Supporting Actress of 2008." - Hayden

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Great Moments in Gay - Sexual Confusion in "Kissing Jessica Stein"

Team Experience is sharing favorite LGBT scenes in cinema for Pride Month. Here's Deborah...

Kissing Jessica Stein is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I could make a whole list of “great moments in gayness” just from Jessica Stein scenes, but there’s one in particular that’s my favorite.

Here’s the quick plot summary: Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt), cute, quirky, neurotic, single, is reading the personal ads (for you youngsters, that’s the paper equivalent of Tinder or OKCupid), and is struck by one ad in particular. Realizing she’s accidentally been reading in the “Women Seeking Women” section, she throws the paper away, but then decides to answer it anyway. 

Helen (Heather Juergensen) and Jessica begin tentatively seeing each other; Helen, too, is exploring bisexuality for the first time. Helen wants to dive right in, but Jessica is nervous, skittish, and afraid. 

Cut to Helen at Jessica’s place. Jessica presents Helen with a pile of brochures, dons her comically serious reading glasses, and says one of the greatest lines ever uttered in the movies: 

I was surprised to learn that lesbians accessorized.


I love everything about this. First, because the word “accessorize” is inherently funny, like “pickle”. Second, because it’s even funnier when referring to a dildo. Which is another inherently funny word. Finally, because there’s an underlying truth: No one seems to have any idea what two women do in bed together. Both straights and gay men seem to kind of go all cross-eyed with, “But, but, but…What do you do?” And studying? Getting brochures for a date? That’s just hilarious, but also not horribly removed from anything that might really happen. 

I love movies about sexual ambivalence. I love straights having gay sex and gays having straight sex and people trying to figure out the difference between love and love. Can I love you and not desire you? Can I desire you and not want to desire you? Why is “best” friend” so different from “romantic lover”? I love the exploration of the gray space where we try to figure all that out. (See also: The Object of My Affection.) Kissing Jessica Stein is a movie that gives us real gay people, and real straight people, and real people exploring the space in between. It’s funny about family, funny about desire, funny about being confused, and funny about coming out. Also, it has Tovah Feldshuh, and she makes everything better. 

previously in this series...


Share Your Emmy (Drama) Ballots

We've already discussed our comedy ballots and though we've got a few more individual FYCs coming and are still trying to sample various new series we missed that others are rooting for before the nominations, let's talk Drama Series. Emmy is always loathe to change up its nominations so the actual nominees this year are likely to be the exact same as last year which means that you're looking at...


Do you think GAME OF THRONES can repeat its win?

  • Game of Thrones (Season 6 -- nominated for all previous seasons. 1 win for Season 5)
  • Better Call Saul (Season 2 -- nominated last year, too)
  • Downton Abbey (Season 6 -- nominated for all previous seasons. 1 win for Season 1 as "limited series")
  • Homeland (Season 5 -- nominated for 3 of 4 previous seasons. 1 win for Season 1)
  • House of Cards (Season 4 -- nominated for all previous seasons)
  • Orange is the New Black  (Season 3 -- nominated for all previous seasons. though first was in "comedy")

Basically you're looking at the same lineup that's been going on for half a decade (since Better Call Saul just replaced its origin series Breaking Bad). But with Mad Men out of the picture there is exactly one slot free, which we assume will be taken by...

  • Mr Robot (Season 1 -- since its won so much buzz, acclaim, and fandom in its debut season)


If I was in charge rare would be the series that was always nominated since nearly all series have some ebb and flow in terms of quality and there is (thankfully) so much quality competition out there. The only long-running television show of my entire life that I would have nominated every single year was Mad Men...

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Tweetweek: Skarsgård, Fences, and... yes... Politics 

Time for a quick diversion - tweets that amused or edified this week, somewhat randomly selected.

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Great Moments in Gay - Shortbus Threesome

For Pride Month Team Experience is looking at favorite scenes from LGBT cinema. Here's guest contributor Steven Fenton...

John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus explores issues of identity, pride, and patriotism at the intersection of sex and otherness in response to the pervasive anxiety in New York post 9/11. The film’s unabashed, unsimulated sex scenes challenge the audience to look beyond the bodies, reframing sex as a universal language; a means of creating connection; and a path toward self-discovery.

One of the film’s best moments is a brilliantly staged threesome where Ceth (Jay Brannan), Jamie (PJ DeBoy), and James (Paul Dawson) are locked in a sexual pyramid.

[NSFW after the jump...]

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The Linkening

But can she actually act? Golden Globe or not, American Horror Story: Hotel was not much to go on in that regard...The Ringer the No Strings Attached vs Friends With Benefits war of 2011 revisited
THR We'll believe any new version of A Star is Born when we see it because someone is always trying to remake it. The latest proposal is Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga (with Cooper debuting as a director)
Deadline Captain America: Civil War is first title of the year to hit $400 million domestic. It just happened.
Playbill Phillipa Soo, currently starring in Hamilton, will play Amelie in the Broadway musical version of the Oscar nominated french film next year
The Guardian celebrates Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring 2) with five memorable moments 
Tracking Board Vera Farmiga's next co-star gig is with Liam Neeson in The Commuter as a mysterious woman who propositions him.
/Film Hollywood is so desperate for franchises they're even going to try The Saint again. Remember that Val Kilmer movie from the 90s? No? Don't tell Hollywood 

It's a Wrap
Coming Soon Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has wrapped - expect it to thoroughly demolish the box office next May.
Viola Davis Fences is also a wrap. Looks like it'll be ready for Oscar after all. Viola tweeted a cute pic from the set

Oscar Hopeful?
/Film The Story of Your Life, the Amy Adams Denis Villenueve sci-fi drama on our Oscar charts has a new super generic title The Arrival. (sigh) It arrives on November 11th
Coming Soon welp, it looks like Judi Dench still wants that Best Leading Actress Oscar. She's playing Queen Victoria for a second time (after her nomination without a win for  Her Majesty Mrs Brown) in a forthcoming Stephen Frears film called Victoria and Abdul. Abdul (a young clerk from India) has not yet been cast though if we know Hollywood they won't even bother looking beyond Dev Patel. But it'd be cool to see someone else get a shot at leading a film.

...and it turns out Hozier wrote an original song for The Legend of Tarzan. Here's the video which just came out


Emmy FYC: Riley Keough in "The Girlfriend Experience"

We're sharing Emmy FYCs as nomination balloting continues. Here's our much missed contributor Matthew Eng (who now mostly resides at Tribeca Film)... 

Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz’s The Girlfriend Experience, the glossy and gripping new series loosely “suggested by” Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 feature experiment of the same name, has, in all honesty, about the same chance of becoming a serious Emmy contender as Fuller House. This is in no way a blight on the series so much as an indicator that a work like The Girlfriend Experience, which airs on STARZ, is at once too under-the-radar and, more significantly, too polarizing to appeal to the Television Academy, who probably wouldn’t even know how to categorize a half-hour drama that sports a restrained tone, a notoriously well-known premise, and a uniquely challenging connection between protagonist and audience.

It’s on this last front that The Girlfriend Experience has made its most provocative and absorbing strides. And that’s largely due to the perfectly-cast Riley Keough, who turns in the type of confident, commanding, and utterly distinctive star performance that immediately makes one question and reformulate every preconception ever held about this actress, still best known as one of Mad Max: Fury Road’s rebellious war-brides, although The Girlfriend Experience (and a well-received turn in Andrea Arnold’s American Honey) are destined to change that...

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