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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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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

"Excellent list. I wish it had included John Frankenheimer's and Rock Hudson's Seconds. The War of the Worlds also coulda been a contender. We won't discuss Soylent Green- BCarter

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Friday
Jan112013

The Twenty: Your Acting Royalty... Until Next Year

I sometimes like to think of each year's Official Oscar Nominees as pageant winners or an ambassadorial relay team representing the Arts. In my imagination they reign for exactly one year until they have to pass on the tiara or the torch. This is probably why the old tradition of having the previous year's winner present the corresponding opposite sex category feels so satisfying on Oscar night and why it's so alarming when they mix it up (I wonder about Best Actor this year. Meryl Streep has supposedly never presented a competitive Oscar category -- can that be true? -- and if so will she finally do so next month?).

This is all a fancy way of saying I've updated the charts and republished. You can pretend you have a ballot and vote on these categories! So check out the charts...

"Anne" & "Hushpuppy" (Emmanuelle & Quvenzhane)BEST ACTRESS
Emmanuelle + Jennifer + Jessica + Naomi + Quvenzhane
We knew the media would eat up the spectacle of the Oldest (Emmanuelle Riva) and Youngest (Quvenzhane Wallis) Best Actress nominee in history sharing a category but I was surprised to see that that factoid got even more screen time than the Beauty Queen Showdown to come in Naomi vs. Jennifer vs. Jessica on these stupid infotainment shows that I watch approximately thrice a year (generally around the oscar noms, golden globes, and sag awards). I'm always interested to see whether the braindead infotainment shows even mention the arthouse nominees each year -- what on earth will they make of Amour? I guess this.

BEST ACTOR
Bradley + Daniel + Denzel + Hugh + Joaquin
Two alcoholics, one crazy person, one poor soul who stole a loaf of bread and never stopped paying for it, and a President of the United States when they weren't so United. Can anyone beat Daniel Day-Lewis? I personally think that's a less worthy topic than this: how on earth did we get a category with this many stupendous performances in it? Even if one of your favorites was left off -- this isn't my exact lineup though it's close -- it would be churlish to complain. It might be my favorite full shortlist since 2003 (Ben + Bill + Johnny + Jude + Sean) without a dud or even an underachieving performance in the bunch. If only certain other categories *cough*thenextone* would have followed suit.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan + Bobby + Christoph + Philip + Tommy Lee
Presenting the only acting shortlist ever in the entire 85 year history of the Oscars that is composed entirely of previous winners. Several shortlists have eventually been composed only of Oscar winners as Joe Reid nerdily researched but that was all after the fact. Increasing the sting for those who like fresh blood at the Oscars, these performances aren't the most exciting. It's basically "good job, sir" and everyone moves on. For what it's worth this will be the category least like my own awards (I usually announce before the nominations but Oscar  threw me by announcing so early)

remember THR's actress roundtable? 5 of their 7 invitees were nominated

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy + Anne + Helen + Jacki + Sally 
Another year, another set of whores, longsuffering wives, and concerned moms. Oh Oscar, you do love your types! In fact, had I stopped to remember Oscar's favorite types in this category (which I've researched and talked about so much in the past that it became common knowledge -- 'longsuffering wife, she's in!' )  I wouldn't have done so poorly in my predictions for this particularly category this year. I somehow forgot everything I knew in the face of the blinding brilliance of Charlotte Bless & such. Now, you might argue that Helen Hunt is a new type and her character makes a point of explaining that she's not a hooker. But that's splitting hairs for Oscar when you're onscreen receiving money for sex.

I bring Helen Hunt up because Thomas Williams on twitter caught an error on the page earlier. I had accidentally copied and pasted and under her photo it read...

Despite an often bizzare and thorny relationship with celebrity, no one can doubt his gift."

Thomas wrote "even though this caption was meant for Joaquin Phoenix, I actually think some of it works here too :-)" Ha! I would agree with that. 

SEE THE CHARTS AND VOTE YOUR VOTES. Unless you have something left to see. The polls will remain up until the Friday before the Oscars so you have some time if you have to catch up on your screenings. (I will be adding to the charts as we go so they're not boring to revisit. Hope you enjoy.)

Friday
Jan112013

Thank God It's Link Day

In Contention talks to Oscar nominated sound designer Paul N.J. Ottoson on Zero Dark Thirty 
Film.com Joe Reid does the research we wanted done on most winningest acting lineups of all time -- but, yes, Supporting Actor 2012 is the only ALL winners acting lineup at nomination time.
We Are Movie Geeks collects all the new official Oscar posters and Oscar promos so click on over if you wanna fill up on Seth MacFarlane.

Heat Vision Christopher Nolan in talks to direct Interstellar. The internet's mind is blown because it's a) Nolan and b) sci-fi and c) a & b together and d) because it's supposedly a surprise... but since Jonathan Nolan wrote it I can't figure how the "d" is true. What did I miss?
National Post contemplates Bradley Cooper's hair, awards schmoozing amd career highs in Palm Springs 

Worthy Long Read
New York Times Magazine "Here is what happens when you cast Lindsay Lohan in your movie" an epic piece on Paul Schrader and the making of Canyons 

Today's Funny
Have you seen College Humor's "accurate movie titles" Best Picture edition. It's funny. Argo and Amour are the ones that made me lol. 

see them all 

Thursday
Jan102013

10 Big Surprises of Nomination Morning: From Batman to Ben

Before you can ever delve deep into the nominated fields, you have do the requisite double takes to process the surprises. Herewith the most shocking turns of events this morning. If I haven't included something you found truly eyebrow-raising and faith-shaking ('how can I ever turst the pundits again?!') make sure to share it in the comments. 

 

 

10 The Supporting Actor List is All Previous Winners
In the entire history of the Oscars, I can't recall any acting category having been composed entirely of men or women who already had Oscars. At least one newbie always manages to join the celebrated. Other than that it's not a surprising list really given that all five of the men had precursor support (typical) and two are leads masquerading as supporting (typical) and all are veterans (typical). This is the kindest category to acting veterans and the most impervious to actual excitement. Year in and year out, it's the dullest major Oscar category even when the field to choose from is brimming with electricity. And to think we could have had a rising star playing an android, a rising star singing and crying his heart out, a rising star shaking what his mama gave him while stoned in Mexico, an A list reaching a career peak with nothing but a G string and a great great performance, and a baker turned actor among the dozens of possibly more thrilling choices.

The Legend Ends... and so do Batman Oscar Dreams09 The Dark Knight Rises with Zero Nominations
It's a beautiful symmetry. Batman f***ed Oscar over by sending them into a tizzy of low-confidence voting rule changes after the infamous 2008 snub (presumably to include more populist choices in Best Picture) and now Oscar has f***ed Batman over by ignoring The Dark Knight Rises altogether -- this despite the series being very popular with voters since long before Chris Nolan took over.  

Eight more increasingly startling morning alarms after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan102013

Critics Choice Awards Live Blog

8:01 Auspicious Beginnings - the sound is already out of sync on the intro!
8:02 Fixed. But Ooh the reaction shots are already rough. Anne Hathaway and Sally Field don't look so happy to be there. Jessica Chastain isn't even faking it well and she usually looks so cheerful. Or maybe I'm projecting since I'm bone tired from the Oscar Nom run up and early morning.
8:04 Sam Rubin, critic, is drooling on the IMPORTANT. FAMOUS. PEOPLE. 

8:05 For some reason Henry Cavill are presenting the first award. Because when you think of Superman you always think... Best Ensemble? 

Ensemble: Silver Linings Playbook
Young Actor/Actress: Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild (who reads her speech from an iPhone which is adorable)

8:18 Some awkward banter for Famke Jannsen where she's not supposed to know what famous action movie quotes are like "I'll be back". Um.... banter isn't supposed to make the star look bad. Do you think she's annoyed that she was a Bond girl before the currrent Bond hoopla? 

Jennifer, Jessica, Rebel and more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan102013

Have a Question?

We might take a few on the podcast. Feel free to call at 1 (917) 725 5162 and leave a message if you have a question for Nathaniel, Nick, Joe, & Katey. Naturally on the next session we'll be discussing those Oscar Nominations.

Thursday
Jan102013

Fun Facts About This Year's Best Picture / Director Nominees

The Official Best Picture and Best Director pages have been posted. I'm brainstorming some way to make the charts less static this year so you can enjoy returning to them whenever the mood strikes you. So now that the pages are up, you can vote on your choice of best (not your prediction) and read about the nominees. Let's spitball fun facts!

Box Office

You mean to tell me a sober drama about old age and death hasn't outgrossed The Avengers? 

  • I believe Amour is the lowest grossing Best Picture nominee ever (with under $350,000 in the can at the US box office as of this writing). At least for now! Box Office Mojo used to have before and after nomination box office gross charts for the Best Picture nominees of each year though I can't seem to find them now. The lowest previous pre-nomination gross I can personally recall was Clint Eastwood's Letter From Iwo Jima (2006), also a subtitled picture in miniscule release before the nominations arrived.

Acting

  • Silver Linings Playbook becomes the first film since Reds (1981) to win nominations in all acting categories
  • No Spielberg directed performance has ever won the gold -- no, not even Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List (only one of the greatest performances of all time) -- but Daniel Day-Lewis and maybe even Tommy Lee Jones may well break that unlucky stat in February.
  • The Best Director Nominees have all directed actors to nominations: Haneke & Zeitlin (1 each), Lee (5 nominees), Russell (7, two of which have won), Spielberg (11 nominees)

Genre

 

  • Les Miz is the first musical nominee since Chicago (2002), which won and it received the same # of nods as Dreamgirls (2006), though Dreamgirls missed BP (back when there were only 5 nominees)
  • Lincoln is the first biopic nominee sinc --- kidding! We don't ever go a year without.

Trends & Stats

  • 5 of the 9 nominees have terrifying scenes involving drowning/flooding/watery-death (more on that here)
  • Les Misérable's Fantine sings about tigers and Life of Pi stars a tiger. Coincidence?! ;) 
  • Benh Zeitlin is the 8th youngest ever at only 30 years of age and also the first with an extra h in his name. He's also the 8th youngest nominee ever in this category at 30 young years.  The youngest is still John Singleton who was 24 when his debut film Boyz n the Hood made him a nominee.  

"Previously On..."

  • Lincoln is almost an exact carbon copy of Schindler's List in terms of Oscar noms. 12 nominations for each and the only difference is Lincoln has Supporting Actress in place of Schindler's List had "Makeup". Schindler's List eventually won 7 Oscars... can Lincoln replicate that success?
  • Life of Pi, with 11 nominations, becomes the great Ang Lee's most nominated picture. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won 10 nominations in its year, also without any acting nods
  • The only other film version of the Victor Hugo novel Les Misérables to win Oscar attention was way back in 1935. It received 4 nominations. 
  • I keep starting trivia sentences about Kathryn Bigelow only to remember she was not nominated, the director's branch nominations being the Most Shocking of the Morning