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 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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Entries in Best Actress (225)

Wednesday
Jan152014

A Year With Kate: Morning Glory (1933)

Episode 3 of 52  Anne Marie is screening all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order. On the eve of the Oscar nominations, Morning Glory (1933)

In which the seeds of Oscar history are sown...

Sometimes, Katharine Hepburn’s career seems too charmed to be real. At the 6th Academy Awards, Kate won her first Oscar. For her third movie. In her second year. To put that in perspective, it took Bette Davis 23 movies and 4 years to get a nomination alone (on a controversial write-in ballot). Ingrid Bergman: 6 movies and 5 years to be nominated. Olivia de Havilland: 29 movies and 10 years to win. The other record-holding actresses of the Studio System had to slog through bad scripts and bit parts to get their golden statues, but young Kate practically waltzed into the Academy and casually picked one up (figuratively speaking, since she didn’t actually show up)

Morning Glory is the by-now cliché story of a naive actress making it big in New York. 1933's model was Eva Lovelace. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan122014

Sing Out, Luise. You're 104 !

We usually take time each January 12th to count down the oldest living Oscar honorees on Luise Rainer's birthday (January 12th, 1910) but since we recently did a significantly long post on oldest living actors of note and we've had so many sad goodbyes in the past month (Joan, Peter, Martha & Juanita), we're just going to focus on Luise Rainer & her other records.

This gorgeous photo was taken four years ago when Luise had the big "100". I think you have to admit that "The Viennese Teardrop" aged really well! Quitting Hollywood so early seemed to be good for her. Four years later she's still alive and kicking and currently living in the UK.

I had hoped to do something more focused on The Good Earth (1937) -- which we've never discussed here at TFE -- but I ran out of time. Maybe next year for Luise's 105th since she's clearly not going anywhere. Luise currently holds not just one Oscar record but four of them, the last two she'll be able to keep forever since "first to ____" cannot be unbroken with time but the second record will be swiped if Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle prevails on March 2nd, 2014 (but more on that this Thursday) 

Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld (1936... a role which would surely be demoted to supporting in today's Oscars) and The Good Earth (1937)

  1. She's the oldest living Oscar winner
  2. She's the youngest performer to ever win two Oscars. She was 28 when she won the second, so Jodie Foster just failed to top her record with that Silence of the Lambs win at the age of 29)
  3. She the first actor to win two Oscars (Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis both won their second Oscars in 1938, the year after Rainer's double)
  4. She's the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars (36/37 both in Best Actress). Only four other performers have ever won back-to-back Oscars though surely Russell Crowe came close at the turn of the millenium:

    • Spencer Tracy (37/38 both in Best Actor)
    • Katharine Hepburn (67/68 both in Best Actress)
    • Jason Robards (76/77 both in Best Supporting Actor)
    • Tom Hanks (93/94 both in Best Actor) 

 

Which of Luise's winning roles is your favorite? And which back-to-back Oscar wins are you most satisfied with/horrified by?

Monday
Jan062014

Oscar's One Hit Wonders or When Bad Nominations Happen to Good Actors

[Here's abstew to talk about a semi-annual Oscar tradition. Even if you disagree with the picks you surely recognize the curious problem. Will any of 2013's future nominees qualify for this list? -Editor]

When it comes to acting nominations, let's face it, not everyone can be Meryl Streep (17 nominations and counting). And with only 20 acting nominations to hand out each year, there's always going to be people left out. So many factors affect nominations: how well the actor is liked in the industry, whether they've been nominated (or won) before, how visible they've been promoting the movie, whether or not it's their "time". Sometimes the actual performance doesn't weigh in as heavily as it should.

Which is why the Academy gives something I like to call the "Oh, sorry we didn't nominate you for that great movie you were in a couple years ago, but let's call it even by nominating you for this instead" nomination. For many actors their body of work greatly out-weighs the single nomination. (For purposes of this list, I'm focusing only on actors who've received their nomination in the past 25 years or so but this has been happening since the beginning of (Oscar's) time.)

With so many greats yet to receive a nomination, perhaps we should be grateful that the following actors can precede their name with "Academy Award Nominee", but knowing how much better they are than this single nomination implies... 

Single Nomination: Best Actress, Catherine Deneuve Indochine (1992)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec302013

Podcast: A Disney Double, "Frozen" and "Saving Mr Banks"

On a quiet Sunday Nathaniel & Katey get together for a Disney Double that we are surprised to realize we hadn't yet discussed as a group.

Is Saving Mr Banks a 'corporation knows best' propaganda nightmare or a rich investigation of artistic compromise or somewhere inbetween? Does the existence of Mary Poppins, automatically make Disney (Tom Hanks) the hero and P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) the villain? We're more enthusiastic about Frozen. We see its gears and its formula and we don't necessarily love the song score but it transcends. Katey loves the message it's sending little girls.

Asides, as we do, to: Titanic, Tangled, The Hobbit, Blue Jasmine, and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

You can listen to the podcast right here or download it on iTunes and let us know what you think of this Disney holiday double in the comments. 

Disney Double

Monday
Dec162013

Joan Fontaine (1917-2013)

First Peter O'Toole, and now Joan Fontaine (née Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland)? It's going to be a rough week. Hollywood lost another of its living giants this weekend when Ms Fontaine passed away of natural causes at 96 years of age. The two-time Hitchcock heroine, bizarrely the only actor to ever win an Oscar in one of his films, is survived by her daughter Debbie and her older estranged sister Olivia. Though Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland are the most successful sister movie stars of all time (both A listers, Oscar winners, and stars of at least one immortal classic) they were famously competitive, never got on well, and haven't spoken since 1975!

The actress would undoubtedly shoot us one of those delicious cocked eyebrow looks to hear her sister mentioned so prominently in all of her obituaries but Old Hollywood Mythology is too enticing to ignore. 

Though her career was very successful in the 40s, the 50s weren't as kind and like many Oscar winning actresses of her time she went Grande Dame Guignol in the 60s (American Horror Story didn't invent the stunt casting tradition of aging Best Actress winners in horror flicks); her last film was the Hammer Horror The Witches (1966). Have any of you seen it?

Five Must-Sees For Your Queue: The Women (1939), Rebecca (1940, Best Actress nomination, Best Picture winner), Suspicion (1941 Best Actress Oscar), The Constant Nymph (1943, Best Actress nomination) and Letters from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Sunday
Dec152013

"12" It Is For Detroit (Short Term) & the AAFCA (Years a Slave)

The Detroit Film Critics Society should really grant me honorary membership given that I'm a Motown export. Although, had I never left home I probably wouldn't have ended up where I am today as a *cough* wildly successful internationally reknowned superstar film blogger (shut up) so I won't press the issue. I'm feeling Michigan pride at the moment because the DFCS has given Brie Larson not one but two of their acting prizes for her work in Short Term 12.

Detroit's favorites and more awards hoopla after the jump...

Click to read more ...