Oscar History
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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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William Holden in Picnic

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Wednesday
Feb172016

Interview: Josh Singer on pushing deep with Spotlight's Screenplay and his time on The West Wing

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer at the Gothams. It would not be the last award for their SPOTLIGHT screenplayAs we head toward Oscar night in an unusually complicated Oscar race, Spotlight is one of the films that's still in the thick of it. And with good reason. This finely tuned gripping account of the Boston Globe's long investigation into sex-abuse coverups was, by any measure, one of the most acclaimed films of the year.

The director Tom McCarthy is a flexible talent -- he acts, writes, and directs -- so it was something of a surprise that he shared writing duties on Spotlight with Josh Singer (The West Wing, The Fifth Estate). But that's somehow perfect since the film places such beautiful emphasis on community and teamwork. And when I began to speak with Singer about his involvement this communal spirit was also obvious. He immediately began deferring praise to the actors, and Tom's gift with them, and was so pleased that they'd been honored already this awards season. 

Here's our interview, edited for length and clarity...

NATHANIEL R: Spotlight is unusual in that the lead character is really the investigation itself

JOSH SINGER: It’s really an ensemble piece. Tom wanted this to be about the Spotlight team. It made me nervous early on, not having one or two protagonists. We have six!

NATHANIEL: Tom McCarthy doesn’t usually collaborate on his screenplays. So tell me what happened there.

 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb172016

Links: Misunderstood Meryl, Angry Leo, Cheap Deadpool

MNPP All is well since Jason has seen The Witch and loves it. It's so spooky, guys. Go see it this weekend
Pajiba "11 Things I Learned from 'Star Wars and the Power of Costume' Exhibit"
Playbill Bull Durham: The Musical (?) may be headed to Broadway soon
Scriptnotes how to introduce characters in screenplays without being mocked on Twitter. (For those of you are like what? This is in reference to a recent writing controversy that we spoke of right here)
i09 says Zootopia is the best film Disney Animation has made in 20 years (!) 


MNPP freaks out over the new Pee Wee Herman Netflix trailer
Simply Streep Screencaps of Meryl Streep in the Florence Foster Jenkins teaser
Boy Culture have you heard about Strike a Pose, the documentary about the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare?
Boy Culture your semi-annual reminder that Miriam Margolyes is an international treasure and gay hero 
Awards Daily "everyone owes Meryl Streep an apology"
/Film Julianne Moore offered the villain role in The Kingsmen 2. This historically hasn't gone well for her (See: The Seventh Son or Hunger Games) Why Julianne? You already have tons of money.
Hairpin "how not to write something" 
Toyland the coolest stuff from Toy Fair 2016 including *gasp* female action figures

Deadpool at #1
i09 everything they cut out of Deadpool to get the budget way down (which now means its going to be insanely profitable)
/Film Rumors are that Wolverine 3 is considering an "R" rating following Deadpool's success 

And James Gunn, who did the superheroes being mocking and sarcastic before Deadpool, took to Twitter to hype his forthcoming blockbuster...

 

 

Oscar Mania
The Guardian on why The Big Short should win Best Picture. I haven't to admit I couldn't follow this argument at all (perhaps you can?) but maybe I was just thrown because they start the video talking about surprise winners and cite Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump? Of all movies. That was a behemoth that year and couldn't lose. People say such strange things when they're talking about the Oscars!
• THR Robert Richardson and other cinematographers calling for a separate category for VFX heavy films. I absolutely agree that this is a problem - this year not so much but usually
RED CARPET RAMPAGE. Help Leonardo DiCaprio finally win his Oscar! I tried to play this on my phone last night. It's actually hilarious. Especially the bonus round "Act Harder!" LOL...

 

 

Wednesday
Feb172016

HBO’s LGBT History Oscar Break: 1993 Supporting Acting Races

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

 Last week we looked at some of HBO’s period dramas to see how LGBT characters fared in ancient Rome, New York in the 1920s, and in the wild wild west. But now, we’re taking a two-week hiatus to play a game I like to call “Oscars What If…”

HBO has been producing great films for decades now and give or take an Elephant, they’ve been content to solely screen their made for TV movies on their network without any theatrical release. (Curiously, their documentary branch has been more eager to nab gold, understanding perhaps that statuettes can do wonders for that genre’s visibility). And, really, some years, you’re just left wondering how certain performances and films from HBO’s roster could have crashed that year’s Oscar race.

The two most obvious recent examples are Grey Gardens in 2009 and Behind the Candelabra in 2013 — the latter you’ll remember was actually eligible at the BAFTAs where Matt Damon scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Could they really have pushed Barrymore, Lange, Douglas, or Damon to a nomination? But those races remain much too recent, and have in themselves sparked the type of discussion in their respective comment threads that inspired me to take this detour as we focus on Oscar these weeks. And so, I went as far back as I could find a viable Oscar player which coincidentally features two also-ran nominees from this year.

More after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb172016

11 Days Until Oscar! Trivia Party

I'm beginning to have butterflies. You? Just for fun some random trivia surrounding the number 11 today. Links go to previous articles here at TFE on these films or performers

Pictures with exactly 11 Oscar nominations
Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Rebecca (1940), Sergeant York (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Sunset Blvd (1950), West Side Story (1961), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Oliver! (1968), The Godfather Pt II (1974), Chinatown (1974), The Turning Point (1977), Gandhi (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), Amadeus (1984), A Passage to India (1984), Out of Africa (1985), The Color Purple (1985), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Aviator (2004), Hugo (2011), and Life of Pi (2012)

Movies that won exactly 11 Oscars
That's the most any movie has ever won and it's a three way tie: Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), The Lord of the Ring: Return of the King (2003). Currently Ben-Hur is being remade and is supposedly opening this very summer... wish them good luck because living up to such a legendary film is never easy and remaking one at all is a fool's errand. 

Only person to win exactly 11 Oscars
Cedric Gibbons won the Production Design category 11 times, back when it was called Art Direction. His first was for The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929) and his last for the Paul Newman film Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956). That's the second most Oscars won by anyone. Walt Disney has the most with 20.

Directors who've helmed exactly 11 Best Picture nominees:
None. Steven Spielberg is almost there, with Bridge of Spies being his 10th. He's in second place currently for most with only William Wyler ahead of him with 13. Wyler's record, which once seemed invulnerable, is sure to be defeated in the future now that we have more Best Picture nominees per year.

Oscar winner of 2011
The Artist, a silent comic homage to the early days of Old Hollywood. And speaking of...

Oscar winner of 1911
Just kidding, the Oscars didn't exist back then. The first American "feature films" as we know them (i.e. over an hour in length) started showing up soon thereafter and by the mid-teens 100 years ago Hollywood was on fire, and I'm not talking about the flammability of celluloid. By the mid teens the industry was producing over 500 features a year (most of them lost now of course) and some of them totally epic. See: D.W. Griffith's influential 3 hour double whammys of The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916)

Bette in DARK VICTORY (1939) which I might call her third best performance

Actors with exactly 11 Oscar nominations
None. Unless you count Bette Davis's write in for Of Human Bondage (1934) in which case she has 11 nominations. Curiously she won for her first two official nominations (Dangerous and Jezebel) and then just got better and better but never won again despite frequent nominations!

YOUR TURN. Use the number 11 wisely in the comments, however you'd like! 

Wednesday
Feb172016

Judy by the Numbers: "In Between"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...


At age 16, Judy Garland already had six pictures and three years as a studio contract player under her belt. Judy's seventh picture would reteam her with Mickey Rooney for her first in many guest appearances in the wildly popular Andy Hardy series. Judy was worked hard - rumors of how hard include studio "medication" and rigid diets - and over the course of her MGM career she would average 3 pictures per year. The result was studio stardom at the expense of self. But incredibly, she never showed it when she sang.

The Movie: Love Finds Andy Hardy (MGM 1938)
The Songwriter: Roger Edens
The Players: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, Lewis Stone, Fay Holden directed by George B. Seitz

The Story: Young Judy was on a roll, but her biggest smashes were still to come. After the success of Thoroughbreds Don't Cry, it became clear to the studio that Judy and Mickey had something together--at least onscreen. Their lifelong friendship translated to innocent romance on celluloid, though offscreen Rooney was busy chasing the newly-minted "Sweater Girl" Lana Turner, who was only a year older than Judy. Turner plays a naive proto-vamp in Love Finds Andy Hardy too. It's telling that even though there's only a small difference between their ages, Turner was an overnight sex symbol while Judy was dressed in frills and sang about being "too young for boys." It was a false formula, but it worked. Judy would continue to play young and naive for the next 8 years.