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Missi Pyle's Oscar Memoir!

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Entries in Acceptance Speeches (28)

Wednesday
Jan012014

Interview: Sally Hawkins on Cate Blanchett, Woody Allen, and Godzilla

One of the most delightful surprises of the season was the Golden Globe Supporting Actress nomination for Sally Hawkins in Woody Allen's latest hit Blue Jasmine. While Cate Blanchett rages through the movie like a force of nature as Jasmine (née Jeanette) and has won dozens of prizes, Hawkins has the less showy but difficult task of keeping the movie grounded and the mood breezy while navigating her screen sister's stormiest weathers. Blue Jasmine, which comes to DVD and BluRay on January 21st, is yet another reminder, that Hawkins is one of the stealth MVPs of current cinema.

Sally and I had spoken once before (at length) during the Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) press tour and getting reacquainted was unusually good fun; I've rarely laughed so much during an interview. To give you a sense of the easy rapport and how delightful Sally is in person, I've included a little audio segment of my favorite bit of our conversation, when we were talking about her key directors: Woody Allen (2 films together) or Mike Leigh (3 films together) again. 

Nathaniel: So anyway… Blue Jasmine. When I first saw it I thought ‘this is good’ But then it just wouldn't leave my head. So it’s moved up in my estimation.

SALLY HAWKINS: Those films that sit and resonate with you, that you keep thinking about, are really interesting.

Do you experience that when you're reading a script? Or is that something you don’t discover until you’re on set. Like ‘oh, this one is going to be good.’ [more...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug032013

A Raisin in the (Hollywood) Sun

Dancin' Dan here with the news that made my week: Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun is coming back to Broadway. This news alone might not necessarily be cheer-worthy since it was just revived in 2004 but other than one of the great American plays back on the boards it's the starry cast attached to it that brings the excitement. Denzel Washington will lead the ensemble in the role of Walter Lee Younger which was played by Sidney Poitier on both stage and screen. So Denzel's Training Day Oscar speech continues to be true.

I'll always be chasing you Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir."

Joining Denzel will be no less than three Oscar or Tony-nominated actresses: Sophie Okonedo (as Walter's wife Ruth, originally played by Ruby Dee), Anika Noni Rose, and Diahann Carroll (as Younger family matriarch Lena, most recently played on Broadway by Phylicia Rashad).

WOW.

Taking a page from Cicely Tyson's book and returning to the stage after 30 years, Carroll is certainly my main draw here, despite Denzel's wonderful Tony-winning turn in August Wilson's Fences which was his last Broadway performance. He said he wanted to do this because his wife was outpacing him on the theater front and he wanted to catch up. Love that healthy competition!

Despite the play's acclaim, the original production of A Raisin in the Sun won none of the four Tony Awards for which it was nominated (it was a crowded year, with The Miracle Worker, The Best Man, and Toys in the Attic all being major players), and while the 2004 revival missed the Best Revival of a Play Tony (which went to Henry IV), it did score nods for its three main actresses, including a win for Phylicia Rashad.

Fun fact: Diahann Carroll was the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (for No Strings in 1962). Can she pull the same trick as Rashad and add one for Drama to her mantle? Can Washington finally catch up to Poitier? Will the third time be the charm for this gem of American drama? We'll find out in April 2014.

Monday
Jun172013

"I'd like to thank the Academy..."

...for uploading this video of the 1994 costume Academy Award presentation when I asked them to. Here's how it began...

I had found myself in one of those YouTube wormholes of watching Oscar clips at 3am. I am sure we've all been there. I've watched them all so many times that I honestly don't know why I keep going back - especially since rights issues force The Academy's YouTube channel to delete the acting nominee clips (boo! hiss!) Alas, like a masochist I just keep going back. Don't we all?

Nevertheless, I am always frustrated at the selection of videos that The Academy choose to upload. I always want to watch costume designers, art directors, special effects artists, and so on. I like hearing the applause for left-of-centre selections. I think it's fun to see how the writers and presenters represented these categories and people. So, in a joking fashion I tweeted The Academy stating that, gosh, I really just want to see the 1994 costume design category.

 

AND THEY UPLOADED IT. FOR ME!

"Ask and you shall receive", so they say. And quickly, too. Well, who can say no to The Academy uploading a video just because you ask? This is inarguably one of my favourite Oscar moments and I was so sad when the original video got taken down years ago, but now it's here again for us to watch and marvel whenever we feel like. Watching it now and I still grin from ear to ear when Sharon Stone (a rare Oscar presenter who surely doesn't feel like the telecast's dodgy writing is beneath her) announces a low-budget Australian movie about drag queens as the winner of an Academy Award. When winner Lizzy Gardiner gets on the stage in a dress made of American Express credit cards. When lovably weird Lizzy shoves her co-winner aside: "Shut up, it's my turn!" When they joke about going to "cry with some dignity" and "get a drink." Who can deny it was an amazing moment and now it's there to watch again and again.

"And the Oscar... goes to... And the Oscar goes to Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." - Sharon Stone.

The video has already been viewed some 1300 times in just a matter of days, so there are clearly plenty of people out there that want this stuff. Are they all Film Experience readers?If you could ask The Academy to upload one category from what year, which would it be? Maybe they'll read this and upload it for you! And don't forget to watch the Priscilla video over and over again. Maybe then we'll get more like it.

Saturday
Mar162013

Today's Pet Peeve: Why Doesn't Oscar Allow Embeddable Videos?

The title is all wrong. It's Everyday's Pet Peeve. I was as thrilled as any Oscar Fanatic when they established a YouTube channel and began to upload plentiful old acceptance speeches from ceremonies past. But why, pray tell, are they non-embeddable? I legitimately wonder what purpose this serves when what's shared on social networks is so determinative of what gets seen, discussed and becomes beloved.

Of course the dread "embedding disabled by request" message is most tiresome and even downright evil when a YouTube channel that uses it is just a fan channel which owns the rights to nothing but still insists that you can't steal what they stole. (This is especially icky when it's exactly the clip you need and want to share.)  I won't name account names but my guess is this refusal to share is an older generation problem dating back to mindsets that existed before the internet -- I also existed before the internet but some of us adapted --  when sharing was something your parents told you to do with your friends and siblings but would never have dreamed of telling you to do with complete strangers. This is my guess primarily because the accounts most likely to refuse embedding seem to be the ones that are most devoted to material that predates the internet be it old movies, music, tv or what have you. I think this is terrible for everyone and does a great injustice to the art. If things aren't shareable in the modern sense they're more likely to stay forgotten and relegated to the dustbins of history.

Morgan Fairchild and Robert Hays -- anyone remember them?

This came up today because the latest video the Oscar channel posted was the Costume Design presentation for 1981's "Chariots of Fire" and I wanted to discuss it for about 10 different reasons but then thought "why bother?" since I couldn't embed it with the discussion and didn't have time for screencaps. Pity that. It's not that it's 'must-see' interesting. I shouldn't oversell. 

Moving on...

Thursday
Feb282013

Podcast: Oscar Night Season Wrap

For the final podcast of the season, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, Nick Davis, and me, your host, Nathaniel R let reader questions be our guide for this spontaneous Oscar Night Review.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Musical Performances: Adele, Shirley Bassey, Babs, Jennifer Hudson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones's Jazz
  • Future Nominations or Backlash for the winners: Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway?
  • Ben Affleck's speech
  • Can Michael Haneke ever return?
  • What were the best reaction shots and when did we do our best reaction shots from home?
  • On Naomi Watts' career choices and Oscar's love of "it" girls
  • Documentary and Costume Design
  • Seth Macfarlane versus Jokes and Musical Theme
  • Emmanuelle Riva cutaways

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big NightFun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look BackSeth's HostingFunniest Tweets, & This Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen Men, The Ten Nominated Ladies, Goodbye Glamour

Oscar Night Season Finale

Thursday
Feb212013

I Linked a Link

Yahoo Movies Best Actress Roundtable - I chime in with Thelma, Peter Knegt and others
Buzzfeed Julianne Moore in Elizabeth Taylor's jewels. I'm glad she chose green
Playbill Shia Labeouf departs his intended Broadway debut. Apparently there were issues between him and Alec Baldwin. Drama!
Coming Soon the X-Men set is rebuilt for X-Men: Days of Future Past
LA Times Nominee Herbert Kretzmer on writing the Original Song nominee "Suddenly" 

The Guardian talks to director Joe Wright. "I go nuts if I'm idle." Oh if only some other directors felt this way (*cough Lynch/Luhrmann/Anderson)
Film.com Joe Reid picks the best Oscar acceptance speeches of all time. 
/Film Mark Hamill probably coming back to Star Wars. 
Movies Now that best director race sure is confusing
Pajiba shares their favorite casting notices from new pilots: Kyle Chandler, Tricia Helfer and more... 
Rebecca Rolfe has been studying body language of Oscar winners - huge chart! Everyone is into the art of acceptance speeches this year. I started a trend last year, I did.

Watch It
Gollum sings everyone's favorite precious song this year "I Dreamed a Dream"... but he changes up the words a bit.

 

Speaking of things I hold precious...

Have y'all heard that the glorious but not exactly movie-ish Kristin Chenoweth will be closing the Oscar ceremony with the host. Wild, right? I wouldn't have expected that but we loveses the Cheno.