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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Who You Gonna Link? 

Samuel Adams has the only appropriate response to news that Ben Affleck will direct and star in a stand-alone Batman movie
Hayley Atwell (and Emily VanCamp) were flirting awesomely @ Captain America himself on Twitter and he didn't respond! Resulting Conclusive Fact: Chris Evans is bad at social media
THR sad. AMPAS lost their swanky screening room in Manhattan

Film School Rejects on Han Solo and other characters who don't need original stories, backstories or prequels. In my opinion that's roughly "all" characters. I need my mystery. I like my introduction to stay an introduction. Hollywood and lemming-like audiences keep stealing the mysteries away!
Guardian in the absolute grossest news of the week Federico Fellini's estate is licensing La Dolce Vita for a remake. Nothing is sacred.
Conan O Brien Jennifer Lawrence does a growly impression of Cher's "Believe"
Movie Dearest gives an advance take on hot tickets at OutFest in LA. I wanna see some of these
Out interviews a very intimidating RuPaul. It's amazing
Variety Teen Wolf renewed for Season 6. Danger! It gets more incoherent each season and they're about to graduate high school, a clear time to end it! 
JoopaDoops awesome Muppets/Mad Max Mashup. I love Animal so much. Always have.
Harper's Bazaar interviews Natalie Portman who isnt so sure about the #AskHerMore red carpet trend

I get asked so many questions about the Middle East, and I'm like 'Can you please just ask me about my dress? Let's just talk about the dress!'"

Theatah People
Time Out this is sad. Jan Maxwell, super duper talented stage actress -- I've seen her in two shows and she was best in show both times despite sharing the stage with people I was otherwise obsessed by -- is retiring from acting citing lack of interest in the type of work you can make a living doing!  
Gothamist Patti LuPone continues to be a hero destroying badly behaving theatergoers -- she's had it with your cel phones!
Broadway.com The Lovely Laura Linney and Bernadette Peters on "Watch What Happens" they talk Downton Abbey, Into the Woods and more 
Playbill John Cameron Mitchell compares each Broadway Hedwig to a Superhero - Fun.

Who You Gonna Call?

Oooh, look. It's the first image of your new Ghostbusters in costume: Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones,Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon. IMDb has no information on who did the costumes yet but Paul Feig has never worked with the same costume designer on a movie twice for some reason so it could be anyone.  

On a scale of 1 to 100 how excited are you to see this movie in 378 days when it opens? Frankly, I'd be a lot more excited about remakes of any kind if they gender-swapped like this. If you're not rethinking, why remake?

Magic Mike XXL x 5
RH Reality Check on why straight men should see Magic Mike XXL 
Variety Guy Lodge argues that its summers "most subversive studio pleasure"
Pajiba on Channing Tatum & Joe Mangianello's reaction to hearing the movie called "feminist"
Same Same and Glenn Dunks loves it too, Jada Pinkett Smith and all

This is all a way of saying that even though my review (icymi) was somewhat south of completely satisfied I did enjoy it and the positive reviews have left me wanting to see it again (since they liked many of the things I didn't) and the negatives have not convinced me to lower my solid grade (B).


Tim's Toons: The minions, then and now.

Tim here. This weekend, all of you with small children will be busy going to see Minions, and oh, how all of us without children will laugh at you, and mock you. The minions, of course, being the yellow lozenges with legs and arms from the Despicable Me movies as what speak using some kind of pan-European pidgin, concocted and delivered by co-director Pierre Coffin. I don't know why I'm bothering to explain this. If you know enough pop culture to read a movie site, you encounter the minions, probably multiple times per day. They have turned into an online meme, pitchmen for unrelated products, and if you have a sufficient imagination and enthusiasm for manufactured outrage, they're also teaching five-year-olds the F-word.

Frankly, the fact that there's a minions movie seems almost irrelevant, as pointless as making a movie out of Hello Kitty. Which they are doing, because the universe is cruel.


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Omar Sharif (1932-2015)

Sharif Photographed by Andrew Walker in 2011Hollywood's first and still only Egyptian movie star passed away at 83 today of a heart attack. It had recently been announced that he was suffering from Alzheimers and after such a full life this may feel like a mercy to some, though his loved one are surely grieving and our hearts go out to them.

Though moviegoers roughly 35 and up surely remember him, here's the gist of it for younger budding cinephiles: Sharif began and ended his career in Arabic language cinema but in the vast middle (1960s-1990s) he achieved global stardom via Hollywood and British cinema. His English language debut Lawrence of Arabia (1962) brought him a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and he became a genuine superstar in short order, headlining one of the all time biggest box office smashes (Doctor Zhivago, 1965). In his third enduring classic from that decade he helped Barbra Streisand ascend into the pantheon in her film debut Funny Girl (1968). 

In fact, his performances in those three hits are rather fine illustrations of what was so special about his onscreen persona: his generosity and a certain intangible 'eye of the beholder' transference. He was one of the greatest romantic leading men precisely because he seemed so believably in thrall to the particular charismas of his co-stars. And he had great ones: Sophia Loren, Barbra Streisand, Julie Christie, Peter O'Toole, Julie Andrews and more. 

And while he drank in their inimitable beauty, he looked like this:

Dr Zhivago (1965)a portrait from the 1950s when he starred regularly in Egyptian cinema
The Tamarind Seed (1974) and More Than a Miracle (1967)

Double the pleasure, then, for moviegoers who were ready to swoon. And swoon they did, all over the world. 

What's your favorite Omar Sharif performance?



If I don't share this list now, "Mad Max Fury Road" won't be on it! 

A final "halfway mark" note. These are...

THE 10 BIGGEST 2015 MOVIES AT THE US BOX OFFICE (jan thru july 4th weekend)

chart via box office mojo

Imperator Furiosa by Cameron Stewart

I share this list only because I love Mad Max Fury Road so much and this is both the first moment (it just crawled over San Andreas) and the last in which it will be a 'top ten movie' for 2015... well, until critics top ten lists emerge but that's a different kind of List Olympics.

Minions, opening today, will surely kick it out of this box office giants chart in the next three days alone. Minions advertising is so oppressive that I imagine every child in the nation wants to see it and every parent has a migraine from hearing about it. (It wouldn't surprise me to hear that they spent as much on P&A as they stand to earn on opening weekend. The first film Despicable Me opened with $53 million and ended with $251 milliion. The second film Despicable Me 2 opened with $83 million and ended with $368 million. So who knows how high this one could go). Maybe it'll end up as the 3rd biggest grosser of 2015 when all is said and done since only Star Wars can will challenge Jurassic World's supremacy from the first half.

Are you like "shut up about 'they year is half over'?"
If your answer to that question is 'yes,' too bad. It is! It's been a decent year thus far in cinema but also a curiously shallow one in terms of mainstream films worth getting excited about. So many weekends have been bereft of interesting or exciting looking choice that it's kind of no wonder that Jurassic World was breaking box office records. It had no competition for like a whole month, aside from the surprise excellence of Inside Out.

Halfway There ~ Year in Review. Nine Parts
pt. 1 Oscar Acting Chart
pt. 2 10 Best Leading Performances
pt. 3 Animation from Strange Magic to Inside Out 
pt. 4 Ubiquitous Alicia Vikander 
pt. 5 Oscar Chart Updates - All Categories
pt. 6 Best Supporting Performances 
pt. 7 Top Ten List
pt. 8 Best Screen Animals  
pt. 9 Eye Candy 


4 Things You Missed at SDCC Day 1

Hi, everyone! Anne Marie here. And by "here," I mean "in LA," because the stars did not align to get me to San Diego Comic Con this year. So, like any geek, I've been glued to social media all day. Here's a quick summary of Comic Con Day 1:

Photo from AP

1) Bill Murray Rocked the Kasbah. No idea why Rock the Kasbah is at SDCC, but nobody rocks a costumed guest appearance quite like Bill Murray.

2) Vanity Fair released a terribly-titled profile on Kelly Sue De Connick aka the woman behind Marvel's Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. About the now-delayed Captain Marvel movie, DeConnick says, 

 “I’ll believe these films are definitely happening when they are on the screen.”

3) Doctor Who released an official trailer to the internet but Mockingjay Part 2 did not because apparently the producers of Mockingjay don't understand how the internet works. It's out there. Just google it.

Click to embiggen

4) Tomorrow's Star Wars panel *already* has a gigantic line. It's been forming since Wednesday. Don't you feel a little better about not going now?

Bonus) Nathaniel already shared The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 teaser cut from SDCC exclusive footage.


Rhythm Hunger Nation



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Halfway Finale: Eye Candy Highlights

½way mark - part 9 or 9
We conclude our celebration of the Best of 2015 (thus far) with a truly random list of visual highlights. Please to enjoy and do share which of these goodies you were sweetest on. Or propose alternate candy for us to suck on. Ready? Let's unwrap those candies before the next movie begins.

Jude Law in Spy. Prettier than James Bond. And Bond Girls. 

Mad Max Fury Road's scorched orange earth, colored smoke fares, white faced war boys, smokey eyes foreheads, and more. A visual feast. Just don't expect water with your meal.


Can we give a special Oscar to the props department on Mad Max Fury Road? Chastity belts w/ bolt cutters, detachable custom steering wheels, blood bags and iron masks, flame throwing guitars? Overachievement, thy name is Fury Road


Magic Mike XXL 

14 more honors after the jump...

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Women's Pictures - Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break

I have a confession to make: people have been telling me for years to watch Point Break, and I always blew them off. "Sure it's a great genre film," I thought, "but the genre is action and the film is about bank robbing surfers." Oh, Anne Marie. You did not give bank robbing surfers (who also skydive, by the way) enough credit. After having watched it (twice in a row), I confess that Point Break is quite possibly the perfect early 90s action flick: that brief bridge between the buffed up ridiculousness of 80s action movies, and the self-serious grittiness of later 90s action films.

It's a space and genre that Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron (who were married in 1989 and divorced in 1991, the same year Point Break came out) occupied gleefully. Point Break was a collaboration between the two writer/directors (though because of Writer's Guild rules, neither's name appears in the writing credits). Together, they created a spectacle-driven, tightly-plotted action movie that manages to both poke fun at, and take advantage of, the hyper-macho tropes of the genre. Action was, after all, the genre of Stallone and Schwarzenegger's muscles, as well as Willis and Gibson's swagger. A lot has been written about movie masculinity and homoeroticism in action films, but I believe that what makes Point Break so good, beyond the adrenaline-high sports scenes and the tense action, is the way director Kathryn Bigelow examines (with a thankfully very thorough lens) the men in her film.

Point Break is a film that improbably can have its beef-cake and eat it too.

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