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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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Entries in Arrival (27)

Monday
Feb202017

Guilds-a-palooza: More honors for La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, and... Suicide Squad

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) each won a WGA last night. But they're in the same category at the Oscars.

Last night's Writers Guild Awards were a good sign that Moonlight will take Adapted Screenplay. Competing in Original with WGA (Oscar's writing branch put it in adapted) it blocked La La Land or Manchester from taking that prize. With less fearsome competition at the Oscars it should be able to win... although to do that it will have to fend off the surging Lion and the well regarded Arrival which took home the WGA prize for Adapted and is up for the same prize at the Oscars.

Extensive writing and makeup guild honors after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb182017

8 Days Until Oscar. Do "Moonlight" or "Arrival" have Oscar twins from the past? 

With 8 days to go until Hollywood's High Holy Night let's compare our two pictures with 8 nominations each this year, Denis Villeneuve's thinky sci-fi drama and Barry Jenkins' ravishing memory/identity drama. While both films might come up empty handed on Oscar night they each have a reasonable shot at one or two statues -- Moonlight could theoretically win Supporting Actor and/or Adapted Screenplay and Arrival's best Oscar shot is probably in one or both of the Sound categories unless it surprises with Adapted Screenplay itself in what could arguably be a five way race if Moonlight is not as strong as pundits suspect there.

ARRIVAL MOONLIGHT

Their 8 Nominations

Picture Picture
Director Director
  Supporting Actress
  Supporting Actor
Adapted Screenplay Adapted Screenplay
Cinematography Cinematography
Production Design  
Film Editing Film Editing
  Original Score
Sound Mixing  
Sound Editing  

 

In the categories where they're competing which film do you prefer?

For extra fun, though, let's find out if the either of these films have any exact Oscar doppelgangers from the past shall we?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb172017

The Last Oscar Week

In this weekly feature from Murtada we follow Oscar contender appearances and interviews

The Oscars are just 9 days away so this will be our last Oscar Week column of the season. Let’s look at how contenders are hustling in Phase 2. In this phase campaigns pivot their messages to try and secure the win. This gives us more pointed and sometimes bold messaging. Like the exploitative use of the Muslim Travel ban by Lion. Always happy to see Sonny Pawar's expressive face, but this message is a bit of a stretch. Arrival is going for the heartstrings, showing Amy Adams hugging Jeremy Renner and talking to her daughter, rather than talking up the sci-fi elements. This is smart messaging since the mother-daughter relationship is what most leave the theater talking about...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb132017

The Furniture: Lost in Space and Time with "Passengers" and "Arrival"

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. This is the second of two columns discussing this year's Oscar nominees. Here's Daniel Walber...

On the surface, Arrival and Passengers appear to be the most similar of this year’s Best Production Design nominees. They’re both science fiction films set in the near future. Yet the similarities end there. Passengers is set entirely on an extravagant, colorful spaceship. Arrival splits its scenes between the interior of a minimalist UFO and densely packed military tents.

There is also one more essential difference...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan222017

Personal Ballot: Best Scores, Sounds, Songs...

Though my ears aren't as fine tuned as my eyes when it comes to the cinema, I take pleasure freely from every craft. The best films are the ones that try to engage all senses. (Well, not smell. They tried that with Smell-O-Vision and it didn't work out so well.) 

So here are my choices for Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing and Editing, Best Original Song and a fifth category that's kind of "off-Oscar." The Film Bitch Awards have always had a Best Adapted / Combination / Song Score category for films where the original score is only part of the defining musical sensation and the rest comes from pre-existing material or songs that are woven into the sound mix. Films honored include in these various aural categories include The Handmaiden, Arrival, Moonlight, Lion, Jackie, La La Land, Sully, The Witch, Doctor Strange, Sing Street and more. Which movies did you love listening to this year? 

Friday
Jan202017

Oscar Predix & Personal Ballots: The Moulin Rouge! Categories...

If you've read The Film Experience for any length of time beyond let's say, a week, you'll know that we live for eye candy. Three of the cinematic arts that most regularly provide this are, outside of beautiful movie stars in the acting categories, Production Design and Costume Design i.e. the Moulin Rouge! categories. We love these categories so much we have two weekly series for them, Daniel Walber's "The Furniture" and my own forthcoming costume series "Three Fittings".

Anyway, it's time to make our final predictions for Oscar but it's also time to get those Film Bitch Awards (my own long running awards jamboree) going. So herewith my personal ballot and, putting the pundit hat on, my Oscar predictions. These two modes should not be confused... so apologies for discussing them simultaneously. This is what happens when you procrastinate!

Will Stuart Craig receive his 5th nomination directly from the Potterverse (he had 6 nominations and 3 wins before the Potterverse took over his life)

Production Design - Oscar Predictions
I figure this is a slot for the BAFTA surging Nocturnal Animals and I'm predicting that at the expensive of the haunting minimalistic sci-fi of Arrival (work I really really love. Sigh). That damn outdoor potty and the opening art world light slabs will do it. This is an interesting category, though, and I'm going to predict The Handmaiden both because it is hugely deserving and because of all the critics foreign film prizes and the LAFCA prize in this very category. If Park Chan Wook's brilliant film is going to score anywhere it will be here (with an outside shot at costumes, too). There's plentiful buzz around Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts (they do love the Harry Potter films in this category but come one, how many times do we need to dip in that well with so many richly art directed films of all genres happening each year ?!?). Question: is Doctor Strange really well liked enough to score multiple nods when so many other Marvel Studio films couldn't do it? 

NATHANIEL'S BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN BALLOT
• DANIEL, WHO WRITES "THE FURNITURE," ALSO NAMED HIS 5 FAVORITES 

 

Costume Design
If you really give in to the predictive mania of at home Oscar punditry costume design will surely drive you craziest. What an impossible category to predict this year!  Since the CDG has multiple categories they've covered a ton of possibilities  and the ones they didn't still have buzz for costumes anyway. Just thinking casually about the films won't help. On paper you might think: oh easy, period pieces + a little Colleen Atwood and you're done (Jackie, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hidden Figures, Love & Friendship, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). But not so fast. Silence, Hail Caesar, and Allied also feature period costumes and they're both buzzing for this category which is easily understandable if you've seen them given the gorgeous work. Even stranger, at least in terms of Oscar history, is that people are talking up not one but two contemporary films: Captain Fantastic as a dark horse (yes please) and La La Land as a sure thing. And that's before you even consider outside possibilities like Kubo and the Two Strings (which wants to be the first animated film nominated here, with all those lovingly detailed miniature costumes), less showy period fare like Fences, Cafe Society or Loving, a costuming legend in Albert Wolsky (Rules Don't Apply). Finally there's a foreign possibility in this category, too, via the The Handmaiden. Here's my best guess though I'm prepared to go 1 or 2 for 5 because I've taken quite a chance on two of them that aren't anything like sure things (The Dressmaker and Hidden Figures) but who the hell knows!?!

 

Monday
Jan162017

The 5th Annual Team Experience Awards!

As teased in this week's podcast installment, it's time for The Team Experience Awards, our fifth yearly celebration! While Nathaniel begins his own Film Bitch Awards, here is our growing team's turn to bestow their year-end accolades without our host.

Last year we went all-in on Todd Haynes's Carol, and this year we have another favorite that receives quite a few prizes: Barry Jenkins's Moonlight. And this wasn't even close: the film was the only one to appear on every ballot in at least one category and was a landslide victory to the big prize. Consider Moonlight the consensus favorite here at The Film Experience. On to our awards:

BEST PICTURE
Moonlight

Runner-Up
: The Lobster

BEST UNRELEASED FILM
Personal Shopper
Runner-Up
: The Ornithologist

Click to read more ...