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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 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 Picture (89)

Saturday
Apr122014

Ten Reasons to Remember Tom Jones, a Foundling

Andrew here to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago tomorrow, Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones won the 1963 Best Picture Oscar at the 36th Academy Awards. Up until a few weeks ago it was one of my most glaring cinematic blindspots from that era.

A cursory glance over the Best Picture winners of the 60s (ha, who am I kidding? I know the list by heart) reveals that by my faulty empirical research Tom Jones is easily the least discussed Picture winner from that decade today. Even Oliver, arguably the decade's least respected winner, seems more oft considered and it’s a curious thing because even ignoring the actual quality of Tom Jones it’s not business as usual as far as Oscar winners go. And, usually, we like to talk about when AMPAS throws us a curveball with its winners, for better or for worse.

Certainly, from an outsider's perspective it doesn't seem to be much of a curveball. What's the fuss about another period-piece turned Oscar winner? Although period films are lucky with awards they don't tend to be well remembered, or loved, on the internet. I could imagine what Tom Jones seems to represent to someone on the outisde looking in, another stuffy British drama Oscar bait film. (Something's that plagued Merchant Ivory films two decades after their heyday, but that's another story.) But, Tom Jones in all its unusualness has much to savour and enjoy, fifty years after its release.  

Here are ten reasons to give it another or your first look...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar032014

An Open Letter, Some Linkage, Blurry Photos

The Dolby Theater was quick about getting 12 Years a Slave up in their awesome atrium of Best Picture winners in Hollywood. I stared at that so much while I was in LA, trust. But naturally it must prompt my annual outrage again.

Dear, Internet. If the Academy themselves understand that we just watched the 2013 Oscars, so can you! - Love, Nathaniel R

This is really all the IMDb's fault and then Google, too. Now virtually everyone except the Oscars and The Film Experience calls the Oscars by the wrong year, which will wreak so much havoc at future trivia nights and in every way of documenting film history. I have a friend who did really great work on several Wikipedia pages and people kept trying to change his dates to the wrong year so now it's a mess of conflicting pages. This madness must stop. Cate Blanchett is not the Best Actress of 2014... (at least not yet. Will Carol be ready in time?). She's the Best Actress of 2013. The Oscars aren't like a Beauty Pageant where you get a title andtour the country for the following year before you pass on the tiara. It's not like that. It's for a movie you did. Pretending that Cate is the Best Actress of 2014 puts you in People's Choice territory where people just win prizes even if they sat at home that year but are still popular. It's not really territory you want to be in. 

Five completely random links (more time to catch up what's happening elsewhere tomorrow)

  • Vanity Fair on their Oscar Party 
  • Daily Mail on that pizza guy and the tipping situation at the Oscars
  • Buzz Feed if John Travolta had to pronounced other people's names at the Oscars
  • Vulture Pharrell's Happy performance gifs of the stars joining in. This was SO smart to include so early in the show. The energy was perfect. 
  • Vanity Fair [LONG READ] I bookmarked this story about trying to find out what happened to the real "Patsey" from 12 Years a Slave and I haven't had time to finish it yet but it's totally an interesting subject. I WILL carve out time to read it this week and so should you. 

After the jump my favorite blurry photos I took of my TV last night. But why blurry photos, you ask?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar012014

Throwing the Link Bones

Gurus of Gold the final predictions. It's fascinating to see where the differences of opinion lie on this handy chart of top pundits
Telegraph Tim Robey picks the five best Oscar years ever from 1939 forward. Good choices.
Deadspin's "Hater's Guide to the Oscars" is insanely funny. Get on over there. Finally a piece making fun of the Oscars that is not dumb (Honestly I've had it with all the takedowns of Oscar we get every year. Even the 140 character type of takedowns. They're all so stupid and whiny ("why can't my favorites be nominated. waaaaaa") and clueless about how it all actually works and what movies, you know, exist in the world. 

Finally, you must read MTV Styles "United Colors of Lupita"... I know Oscar prediction is an inexact science, roughly akin to tossing small animal bones on the ground and pontificating but this is why I think Lupita is going to win.

This. 

Who needs all the precursors to line up when you can do this?

Friday
Feb282014

2 Days Til Oscar. Final Oscar Predictions

This article originally appeared in my column at Towleroad and is reprinted here (albeit slightly altered for the TFE crowd) with their permission

Gravity will win how many Oscars? The most at any rate.

Oscar Weekend is upon us! Those damn Olympics forced it into March so it already feels like its running late and pushing back the local news broadcast yet further into the AM hours. And it hasn't even started yet! But soon Ellen Degeneres will be dancing down the aisles and we'll be on our way. [Before we get there make sure to like TFE on facebook so you don't forget about us during the spring/summer. We hit it all year round!]

I've been an Oscar blogger for over ten years (yikes) and usually predicting the winners in the high profile categories is easy; it's about getting out of your own way since it's easy to overthink it and create scenarios which aren't likely to happen. This year is more volatile than usual, though, with Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and American Hustle all displaying strength after strength during "precursor season" but meeting plenty of resistance, too, on their awards path. Anything might happen in Best Picture, which is not something you can usually say going into the big night. It'll be a groundbreaking night almost any way it turns out with a first in Best Director (first Hispanic winner or first black winner) and a first in Picture (first sci-fi winner or first film that's totally about black people) 

Oscar never presents the categories in the exact same order from year to year, but let's take these in the order the envelopes opened last year just as an outline on which to hang our predictions after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb262014

Burning Questions: Is '12 Years a Slave' Really Too Rough For Oscar?

Michael Cusumano here. Oscar balloting closed 24 hours ago and this final crunch before Oscar night has me pondering the gap between pre-Fall buzz and the reality heading into the big ceremony.

If the breathless predictions about 12 Years a Slave that sounded out of Toronto last September were to be believed there should have been zero suspense left in the Best Picture race long ago. Like The King’s Speech before it, McQueen’s film appeared to be such a direct hit to the Academy’s sweet spot that many called the race then and there. So what happened? 12 Years may still emerge victorious but why isn’t it rolling over the competition like a Sherman Tank? 

The popular theory is that 12 Years is turning off the more squeamish voters with its unsparing physical and emotional violence. These voters are supposedly fleeing to the comforts of Gravity, which is nerve-shredding but in the unthreatening context of an action-thriller. This seems logical enough but I wonder if it's too easy an answer.

Is 12 Years a Slave really too rough for awards voters? Or is something larger at play?

Click to read more ...