Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

Keep TFE Strong

 

LOVE THE SITE? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe

Entries in Best Actress (358)

Tuesday
May122015

Q&A: Gene Kelly 1, Character X, and Best Actress 2: The Sequel

It's time to answer a dozen reader questions pulled from the last two "Ask Nathaniel" suggestion-box posts. Please to note that in the podcast this weekend, we answered a few already that were Ex Machina related and last night we teased you with an appetizer about the emotions of Inside Out and actors who best embody them.

Jumping right in...

BVR: Do you think audiences will ever flock to dramas again the way they used to years ago?

I hope so, all things being cyclical. It happens once in a while still. The Blind Side (2009) and American Sniper (2014) were both supersized hits in the way movie star dramas of the past have been when they've hit big. Unfortunately they both felt like anomalies and only that successful because they managed to get people who don't go to the movies into the movie theater. The problem today is obviously at least four-fold: TVs got larger, the amount of content exploded, theatrical windows shrunk, and the theaters, rather than stepping up their game to compete, actually made themselves less hospitable with smaller screens and tons of commercials.

Movie theater chains seem to be trying again but once you've lost a regular moviegoer, it's hard to restore their habit. What is next in terms of technological advances? Will we ever get fully three dimensional hologram-like movies you can walk around inside? And if we do, won't dramas be the favorite, rather than special effects pictures, for the 'choose your own proximity adventure' in terms of closeups of the actors? I imagine they'll be performed very much like straight plays for multiple cameras and since you're the one doing the editing, theater training will be important and superb acting could rise again to "favorite visual effect" dominance. 

Or did our recent sci-fi week warp my brain too much? This wasn't the answer you were looking for.

BROOKESBOY: Who will be the next winner of a second Best Actress prize?

More Questions and Answers -- a lot more -- after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May102015

Mother's Day Special: "Now, Voyager" and Bette Davis

Happy Mother's Day, readers! Here's new contributor Angelica Jade Bastién returning to talk Bette Davis, tell all bios, and a 1940s classic. - Editor

When I introduce friends to Bette Davis for the first time I tend to show them Now, Voyager. Yes, the film gives us one of Davis' best performances but my love for it is deeply personal. Whenever I watch Now, Voyager I see my emotional landscape on the screen. As a teenager struggling with mental illness and a caring yet controlling mother who didn’t quite know how to handle it the film was a revelation. It gave me hope that I could become the woman I always dreamed of. Ultimately, my obsession with the film centers upon the multiple ways it explores motherhood. 

Now, Voyager is essentially about the transformation of Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) from spinster aunt figure to badass, emotionally realized womanhood. The film begins with Charlotte teetering at the edge of a nervous breakdown brought upon by the multitude of ways her mother, Mrs. Vale, controls her...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr202015

Tribeca: A Second Look at "Grandma"

Lily Tomlin with writer/director Paul Weitz of "About a Boy" fameJoe Reid reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

After months of feeling left out for not being at Sundance when this little gem debuted (Nathaniel reviewed it), I was at long last able to see Paul Weitz's Grandma, featuring as charming and exciting a central performance by Lily Tomlin as you've heard. Tomlin plays Elle Reid (no relation...though that's not what I'll be telling people), a thorny old lesbian who at times she describes herself both as a misanthrope and as a "terrible person," yet the good heart at her center never gets covered up all that effectively. She's just dumped her lover (Judy Greer) when she's visited by her teen granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner), who needs money for an abortion. Elle doesn't have it, but she thinks she knows where she can get it, and pretty soon, we've got an old-fashioned road trip on our hands!

Road-trip movies have a natural episodic structure to them, and Grandma keeps some fun casting decisions around each corner. Here's Laverne Cox! Here's Sam Elliott! Here's Elizabeth Peña! (I let out a whimpered "aw" when the late Peña showed up; I found out after the film screened that a friend of mine did the same thing when she saw it.) Here's Marcia Gay Harden! The casting decisions are all quite sharp, which keeps it from feeling like a parade of familiar faces designed to cozy up to an indie audience. In particular, Elliott does some impressive work in his one scene. If Tomlin ends up folded into awards talk for her performance (she should), expect more than a few for-your-consideration pleas on Elliott's behalf.

While Grandma becomes as much of an abortion comedy as Obvious Child was, the focus never leaves Tomlin's Elle. It seems for a while that the movie is going to be a succession of dupes for Elle to mow down. Certainly that's how thing's go for Sage's boyfriend (Nat Wolff, making his requite festival rounds this year). But the film proves to be unexpectedly generous to most of its other characters, including an energetic third-act stomping-through by Marcia Gay Harden, who gets my vote for the movie's funniest line (it's about condoms).

Monday
Mar232015

Pretty Woman at 25: An Ode to Julia’s Laugh

Manuel here to share my love for Julia Roberts on the 25th anniversary of that 1990 blockbuster, the movie that netted the star her second consecutive Oscar nomination.

Roberts is the first movie star I ever obsessed over. She was my American sweetheart even though I was nowhere near America and didn’t quite understand what being a “sweetheart” meant. All I knew was that her laugh was infectious, her smile gargantuan and her charm inescapable. This was most (if not all) in part to Pretty Woman. I cannot recall where or how I got to watch the film that made her a megawatt star (I was barely 4 when it came out so I was obviously a late convert) but years of cable reruns made Julia a staple of what here at the TFE would dub my budding actressexuality.

She would later win me over completely with My Best Friend’s Wedding and Erin Brockovich (not to mention my probably unhealthy obsession with Mike Nichol’s Closer) but Julia’s Vivian Ward is a thing of beauty. Yes, it’s a movie star turn in that Roberts’s charm papers over the dark undertones of film and character alike, but she’s so damn watchable. And has been ever since.

More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar222015

From the Vaults: The Etymology of "Actressexuality"

Yesterday a reader by the name of Noah Tsika (who just wrote a book on Nollywood) was asking about the coinage of the term "Actressexual" a word popularized at The Film Experience. The term grew beyond us obviously and people have since used it online who probably haven't even read this site or Nick's. Noah found the original post himself but I thought I'd share it for newer readers.

It was originally published on August 2nd in 2006 (hence the very mid Aughts examples) and went like so: 

Recently, during the umpteenth Oscar Best Actress discussion over at Nicks Flick Picks his partner Derek, continuously bewildered by our communal enthusiasm, quipped "Is Best Actress, like, its own sexual orientation?" After laughing out loud I had to face facts. This was a lightning bolt of truth.

I'm an Actressexual. 

It explains so much. It explains those nights lying in bed dreaming, not of glistening male hardbodies but of actresses swathed in Valentino, Saab, Armani, and vintage whomever. It explains the shared lust, not for their tuxedoed dates, but for that gold statue. It explains the dreams not of Ethan Hawke but of Uma Thurman. I'd like to think my love for Michelle Pfeiffer transcends any sexual orientation but it probably explains that, too.

Come to think of it, it even explains Warren Beatty. Actressexuality defies hetero and homo boundaries. Beatty may have screwed everything with a vagina back in his Hollywood heyday but notice: the only serious relationships --Julie Christie, Natalie Wood, and Annette Bening-- these were women who had just been nominated for an Oscar. Or were named Madonna. But, readers, she somehow counts.

OMG. How am I going to explain this to my parents?

 

Friday
Mar202015

10th Anniversary: Joan Allen, Family Struggles, and 'The Upside of Anger'

a special anniversary tribute from Adam Armstrong


Are you close with your father?”

This was asked of me recently at a social gathering for a graduate school program I may attend in the fall. Not knowing how to respond, or rather, unwilling to respond honestly, I answered by saying, “Yes, you could say so.”

This is the scenario people who come from a family in which the dynamic has been disrupted from a parent abandoning the unit loathe, yet know all too well its inevitability in conversation.

So does The Upside of Anger, which is celebrating its tenth year in release. The film chronicles the means by which a family copes and moves forward with their lives after the patriarch has left them, presumptuously thought to have run off with his younger secretary to live in Sweden. The family, one all too relatable in this modern familial climate of increasing divorce rates, is comprised of a bitter mother and her brood of children, all of whom in some way fail to meet her and each other’s expectations. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar182015

Emmy History, "Empire" Heat, and the Super Competitive 'Best Drama Actress' Race

The two hour season finale of Empire, a show I like to call "The Taraji P Henson Variety Hour," hits tonight and though Emmy nominee balloting is literally three months away (June 15th-26th) so there's plenty of time to weigh the options and discuss them, the Empire team is already working hard to win votes. Taraji P Henson & Terence Howard feel like likely players in the Drama races. I doubt Emmy will ignore the leads in a new primetime soap network drama this buzzy and popular. The 1980s were unquestionably the heyday of this genre of television (with Dallas, Dynasty, The Colbys, Knots Landing and Falcon Crest all popular) though it's probably worth noting that the actors within this genre have had an easier time landing nominations then their series have. Dallas and Dynasty, the two most popular shows of this genre in the history of television, were only up for the top prize three times between them. Why, you ask?

Emmy history and the historic Best Actress after the jump...

Click to read more ...