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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FYC: Lauren Weedman for Supporting Actress, Comedy

Team Experience shares their personal dream picks in multiple Emmy categories as voting begins. Here's Adam on an actress we're all hoping to see a lot more of... - Editor

Lauren Weedman was to the first season of Looking what Joan Cusack was to Working Girl. They each drifted in and out of the main narrative, never the primary focus, but neither restricted entirely to the background. Their sharply delivered lines punctured their scenes, dick-slapping the audience, demanding attention. While they may have been vital to their best friend’s stories, they couldn’t tell their own stories. 

During the second season, Looking realized the strength of Weedman’s performance, allowing the indispensable Doris to come into her own as a character. Adding another individual to their mosaic of souls wholeheartedly discovering who she was, searching for where she wanted to be, and loving the people that surrounded her elevated the show. We followed Doris as she dealt with the repercussions of losing a parent and revealing her childhood of abuse. We championed Doris when she reclaimed her autonomy by confronting an unhealthy codependent relationship. We swooned when she allowed herself the possibility of a romantic future by finally exposing her vulnerabilities without the masking of her humor.  

Lauren Weedman positively throttled me like a famished crocodile death-rolling a dehydrated antelope during the Doric-centric episode, “Looking for Plot.” That raw, acerbic wit, and melancholic longing Weedman was able to express with only the constricting of her chin muscles split my sides and welled my tear ducts simultaneously. Her fucking CHIN made me feel feels I didn’t even know I was capable of feeling. Jesus.

We will no longer be able to follow this group of friends and lovers around each week but when I reminisce on my times spent with the boys and gal of Looking, I’ll always cherish Lauren Weedman’s performance as Doris. I'll cherish it in much the same way I once, while at a funeral, devoured an entire Edible Arrangement centerpiece while fellow mourners shot me disapproving looks as I selfishly grieved. It may seem reductive to compare Lauren Weedman’s affecting, poignant, barbed performance to that of a gloriously displayed collection of sculpted fruit, but each supported me while I accepted circumstances I couldn’t change, and helped me move on. 

The Americans
Jane the Virgin
Cara Seymour, The Knick
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Ruth Wilson, The Affair 
Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife 
Gwendolyn Christie, Game of Thrones 

Coming This Week:
Ann Dowd, The Leftovers ...and more!


Yes/No/Maybe So: The Martian

Manuel here to talk space trailers. It’s been a week since the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest project about Matt Damon getting stranded in Mars dropped, and we have been mum about it here at TFE. Is it because we have no Fassy to look forward to this time around? Or because we prefer our Scott vehicles better when they involve a certain Ms Weaver? The Martian centers on Watney (Damon), an astronau that finds himself stranded in the red planet when a NASA mission is forced to quickly retreat. Alone, unable to contact Earth and armed only with a month's worth of food, he sets out to survive in a planet where, as he says in the trailer, nothing grows. Will his science-know how keep him alive long enough for him to call for help and wait for his team to rescue him from Mars? We'll have to wait until November to find out! 

In the meantime, let's break down the trailer in true TFE-fashion:


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Sydney Film Festival: '54' Rises Like a Phoenix

Glenn here offering thoughts on some of the films at this year's Sydney Film Festival. Here he is on the '54: Director's Cut'.

The history behind Mark Christopher’s wannabe decadent, sexually-charged disco epic 54 is almost as interesting as the real life nightclub it uses as its setting. Originally conceived as a disco-themed coming-of-age drama like Saturday Night Fever blended with the hedonistic dungeon-like underworld of Cruising, all signs pointed to the film being a crazed and sexy paean to a world that no longer exists. And then Miramax got involved. There's a long history of director's cuts of famous films or those from famous directors (Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now) or cult titles (Dark City). 54 was neither, so how did it get into this position?

After a few fated audience test screenings, Miramax decided to change tact with 54. Cutting out 40 minutes of footage that showed an openly queer antihero and replacing it with 25 minutes of newly filmed material aimed to exploit the exploding popularity of stars Ryan Phillippe and Neve Campbell. Released to scathing reviews, the film ultimately limped at the box office, Mike Myers had a supporting actor nomination rescinded by the New York Film Critics Circle (at least according to the director) and was likely never thought much of since. Mark Christopher’s career was essentially ruined in the process.

Knock on wood with more after the jump...

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Middle Child


Golden Oldies Rule The Box Office

Fact: People love themselves from prehistoric monster movies. 

Jurassic World (aka Jurassic Park 4) took absolutely no chances whatsoever on losing the collective global nostalgia for Steven Spielberg's original dino-blockbuster, modelling itself almost exactly on its predecessor. The only plot elements and story beats missing in this very very familiar movie are the kind you can't regurgitate: Spielberg's brilliance, Laura Dern's Face o' Wonder, and that scene with the dinosaur poop. As a result its opening weekend was big enough to fund the development of a real life theme park with ½ a billion in worldwide grosses in just 3 days. It's now the second biggest opening of all time after Marvel's The Avengers (2012). Which means that it's fairly certain that Jurassic Park 4 or Star Wars 7 will be the Crowned Champ of 2015 when the year wraps up. Sorry about it Avengers 2, Hunger Games 4, Furious 7, and Originality; you've all lost!

This way towards ridiculous grosses, you monster!

June 12th-14th Weekend
01 Jurassic World NEW $204.6 Jurassic Park Articles 
02 Spy $16 (cum. $56.9) Rose Byrne FYC
03 San Andreas $11 (cum. $119.3)
04 Insididous Chapter 3 $7.3 (cum. $37.3)
05 Pitch Perfect 2 $6 (cum. $170.7) Review 
06 Entourage $4.3 (cum. $25.8)
07 Mad Max: Fury Road $4.1 (cum. $138.6)  Review & Podcast & Random Articles
08 Avengers: Age of Ultron  $3.6 (cum. $444.7) Review & Marathon & Podcast
09 Tomorrowland $3.4 (cum. $83.6)  Review
10 Aloha $.9 (cum. $18.9) Review

June 12th-14th Weekend
01 Love & Mercy 573 screens $1.7 (cum. $4.7) 
02 I'll See You In My Dreams 246 screens $.8 (cum. $2.9) 
03 Home 584 screens $.7 (cum. $119.3)
04 Furious 7 357 screens $.5 (cum. $350.7) Review
05 Far From the Madding Crowd 366 screens $.4 (cum. $10.7) Review 
06 Cinderella 270 screens $.2 (cum $199.2) Review
07 Ex Machina 194 screens $.2 (cum. $24.7) Review & Podcast & Random Articles
08 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl NEW 15 screens $.2 Review 
09 Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 234 screens $.2 (cum. $68.8)
10 Woman in Gold 198 screens $.1 (cum. $32.2)

The story in limited release was also oldies but goodies: The Beach Boys & Blythe Danner. Love & Mercy got quite an enthusiastic critical (and audience) response and Mama Paltrow continues to headline the non-story story of the summer in that her movie has received very little press but has somehow found an audience anyway and steadily accumulated a very nice little gross for a septugenarian romantic drama. Do you think Bleecker Street will have the guts to fund her an Oscar campaign? 

What did you see this weekend?
I saw the dinosaurs (guilty), finished up Sense8, and wisely decided not to binge Orange is the New Black but to truly savor it this time. I'm savoring my visitation privileges with these convicts this year for as long as I can manage will-power wise. Maybe I can make it last through Mid July?!?


Blogs He Linked

The Dissolve Disney's announces the replacement voice cast of The Good Dinosaur - what is going on with that movie?
Guardian this sounds really cool. Director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, Mrs Soffel) has made a documentary about the Oscar winning costume designer Orry-Kelly called Women He Undressed. He had a fascinating career and was quite a famous figure in Hollywood's golden age, friends with Bette Davis and more than friends (rumored) with Cary Grant
They Live By Night "This is our Furiousa" a reflection on a rare quiet moment in Mad Max Fury Road
Elle randomness! Talking to the art director of the cover of Madonna's debut album 
NYT talks to the cast of Goodfellas on their 25 year old classic

The Playlist new images from Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups. Isn't it time to release this one? (I'm getting a To the Wonder vibe)
The Guardian looks back at Helen Mirren's breakout part at 22 (!!!) in Age of Consent (1969) 
Shadowplay has a super fun series called "The Sunday Intertitle" and the latest is about Tarzan (1929). I was brainstorming a similar series years ago but never committed so I'm so happy someone else has one! My only complaint is there is no way to link the complete series.
Pajiba wonders why critics and the internet are turning on Game of Thrones for doing the exact same things it's always done (gorey violence, lots of rape, brutal torture, etecetera). I knew to get out after the first season and second book -- definitely way too sadistic/sexist/exploitative for me -- so I've found the recent outrage peculiar since it's describing the show I saw five seasons ago to a T. 
EW Mark Harris on the sudden pop culture fascination with actual transgender celebrities as well as their fictional counterparts, particularly on television

Geeky Fandom
CineMunch continues their amusing favorite actress podcast showdowns. This one's about Pfeiffer, Witherspoon, Binoche, and The Lovely Laura Linney among others
Toybox Penny Dreadful action figures!
New Statesman Excellent piece on the enduring appeal and fan obsessiveness towards Star Wars
HuffPost Disney princes reimagined in queer context
Twitter Mulder & Sculley reunited

Two stories from the real world.
The first is horrific and the second heartwarming. A gay man has been severely tortured and his family's business vandalized in Delta, Utah. I bring this up because I've actually been to this tiny tiny city innumerable times in my life. My mom lives near there in an even tinier city and I've even posted about Delta's one movie theater before. Because that story is just too terrible to contemplate -- it could have been me or any LGBT person or any person thought to be gay whether they were gay or not and will likely be someone else in the future of any stripe (hate & violence being dumb, nonlogical, non discerning and pathological) unless the people are caught. Because that story is too depressing for words, here's a cute story about a NYPD officer who saved a kitten and now the kitten is named after him! Awwww. 


Bryce or Jessica: Which Redhead is Which?

In the endless press tour leading to this weekend's Jurassic World opening, the best thing to emerge is the internet's obsession with how Bryce Dallas Howard (you know, the one actually in the movie) looks just like another famous ginger, former co-star Jessica Chastain. There's already been a music video (just try getting "I am NOT Jessica Chastain!" out of your head after hearing it - our vote for Song of the Summer). And the two have been playing it up on social media with Chastain posting a video of Bryce Dallas Howard lip synching to the song on her instagram account. 

"Wait, how could people confuse us? I've never been fat..."

Look alikes in Hollywood are a common occurence. (Remember when everyone kept comparing Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel?) And if there's anything we know here at TFE it's our actresses. Confuse two-time Oscar nominated Chastain with the daughter of Ron Howard? I don't think so! But just to make sure, let's play a highly scientific and educational game. Below are 10 images of the actresses. Try to guess which one is Bryce Dallas Howard and which is Jessica Chastain. If you get any wrong, lie about it in the comments so we don't start questioning your actressexuality. (The answers after the jump)











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FYC: Amy Schumer for Best Actress, Comedy

Members of Team Experience were asked to share personal dream picks for this year's impending Emmy nominations. Here's Jose...

Amy Schumer often gets credit for her ingenious writing, larger than life personality and her lack of fear when it comes to addressing controversial topics like the media’s obsession with youth, the importance of the female orgasm and Bill Cosby. However, like most stand up comedians, she rarely is commended for her acting on the assumption that she’s playing herself. And yet, in just a handful of episodes during the third season of "Inside Amy Schumer "she has played everything from clueless spouses, to child beauty queens and even a black & white heroine.

She was recently rewarded with the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy, and if the Emmys dare to break out of their rut of picking perennial faves, they would do much good including her in a lineup with more established actresses:  her timing is as flawless as Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Selina Meyer, her lack of vanity is akin to Lisa Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish, and her idealism (while slightly more infused with cynicism) makes her as strong a role model as Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope. For someone who’s always playing self conscious characters, it’s astonishing to see how self aware and controlled Schumer can be as a performer. And unless she has multiple personality disorder, she's not just playing herself.