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Months of Meryl: Sophie's Choice

"This is the best Streep performance ever captured on film. "That's all."" - Dorian

"I support this movie, partially because I loved the Styron novel and, along with Schindler's List, it's one of the best American movies to teach people about the holocaust. Streep is sublime in it, and it's such a great role - she gets to play Sophie before the war, during the war, after the war, etc. " - Tom

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Entries in Blade Runner 2049 (21)

Sunday
Feb182018

BAFTA Winners + Precursor Consensus = No Surprises on Oscar Night?

by Nathaniel R

Kaluuya wins "Rising Star"With only 13 days left until Oscar, the race in most of the marquee categories is sadly settled. BAFTA, held today in London, cemented the frontrunners honoring the exact same actors as the Critics Choice Awards, SAG, and Golden Globes. It's Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Janney for the Oscars. Engrave the statues now. That's just too much consensus for Oscar to overthrow though we're personally baffled that none of that quartet's strong (and arguably better) competitors managed to put up a fight. What's more it's the first time in history when there's been no variation whatsoever in the prizes despite none of that foursome winning any of the top critics awards (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC). Usually there's at least one 'we're-doing-our-own-thing' moment within the four categories in the televised precursors. Not this year. What happened to the tough battle we were suppose to have in Best Actress for example with Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, and Sally Hawkins all seeming possible early on as victors. 

The only real question on Oscar night given this lock-step agreement from all of the major precursors is within the rare categories wherein there wasn't total agreement...

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Monday
Feb122018

The Furniture: Canadian Brutalism Comes to L.A. in Blade Runner 2049

Daniel Walber's weekly series on Production Design. Click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

While planning the look of Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve asked production designer Dennis Gassner for something very specific: brutality. As Canadians, Villeneuve and Gassner know a whole lot about that, at least architecturally. Canada’s big cities are inflected by brutalist buildings, stark and intimidating structures that have made their mark on cinema. Enemy is a good example, along with a lot of David Cronenberg’s early work.

Of course, Blade Runner 2049 takes place mostly in Los Angeles and was shot in Hungary. But its use of brutalist design transcends the specificity of place, resembling a vaguely Canadian nightmare as much as any waking version of California...

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Monday
Jan292018

Lukewarm Off the Presses: More Precursor Prizes!

by Nathaniel R

Time to catch up with developments in movie awards land! Much has been happening these past few days.

London Film Critics Award
The event was held over the weekend with Three Billboards continuing its triumphant awards run by taking Picture, Actress, and Screenplay. Isn't it peculiar how if you believe the internet it's the most hated movie that ever existed but IRL it keeps winning prizes that actual humans vote on. In news that will strike others as much happier Timothée Chalamet and Lesley Manville took Best Actor and Supporting Actress respectively. And Hugh Grant emerged victorious in Supporting Actor (for the Oscar ineligible Paddington 2), quipping:

Brexit, Trump, and now me getting prizes. Truly, we are in the end of days.

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Saturday
Jan202018

The 6th Annual Team Experience Awards!

Chris here, on behalf of my fellow Team Experience writers! Before Nathaniel shares his Top Ten and Film Bitch honors (not to mention the Oscar nominations on Tuesday - eek!), we've polled all of the other writers here at The Film Experience for their favorites of the past year without our kind and benevolent leader. It's our 6th Annual Team Experience Awards!

You'll remember last year we awarded eventual Oscar Best Picture winner Moonlight with seven prizes, and this year the wealth is slightly more shared. We had a lot of readers asking to see what our full ballot of nominations would be, so this year we have opened it up to reveal our winner and four runner-ups in each of our categories. Our nomination leader is Call Me By Your Name with 9 mentions, and craft-heavy Phantom Thread and The Shape of Water are right behind with 8.

Our most awarded however was granted to one of our most discussed, Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird. Because as Lois Smith's nun ponders: aren't love and attention the same thing? Check out our winners...

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Wednesday
Jan102018

13 days until Oscar nominations... Can Roger Deakins win with a 14th nod?

by Nathaniel R

the great Roger Deakins on set

Is 13 an unlucky number? Not particular with Oscar, no, but Roger Deakins is surely anxious to move beyond it. The 68 year old cinematographer is still hugely in demand and a regular Oscar competitor but he's currently sitting at 13 nominations and STILL has no statues to show for it. Will #14 prove lucky should he be nominated for Blade Runner 2049 this year (as is widely expected)? His nominated film list is just one beautiful astonishment after another: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, Kundun, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn't There, No Country For Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Reader, True Grit, Skyfall, Prisoners, Unbroken, Sicario. His filmography also includes films like Thunderheart, The Secret Garden, Barton Fink, and Sid & Nancy. Will he win on March 4th or will someone else steal his thunder yet again at the last moment...

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Tuesday
Jan092018

"Darkest Hour" Joins the Fray at BAFTA 

by Nathaniel R

Nomination leaders: Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Three Billboards, Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049

Though The Shape of Water (12 nominations) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (9 nominations) continued their stamped across precursor season as the (probable) films to beat come Oscar night, Darkest Hour finally made a significant awards mark. The Joe Wright helmed World War II Winston Churchill drama really should have started its theatrical run in October in the US to build steam but perhaps it wasn't too late if the BAFTA nominations convince Academy voters this week to check the film out before completing their ballots. The other nomination leaders were Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk (with 8 nominations each). Other major Oscar contenders had to settle for less. I Tonya continued its Nathaniel-defying (argh!) upward trajectory this awards season with 5 nominations beating out previously more ballyhooed prestige competition like Call Me By Your Name (4 noms), Lady Bird (3 noms) and Get Out (2 noms).

But the biggest loser this morning in terms of nominations is Steven Spielberg's The Post which received not a single nomination. That also happened to it at the SAG nominations, this complete shut-out. Most pundits don't seem to think it's in trouble but wouldn't any other film shut out completely from SAG and BAFTA be considered "in trouble" for Oscar nods? Is its Mecha-Bait 'done-deal-on-paper' status working against it in this new more volatile "what makes a movie an Oscar movie?" era of voting? It's surely food for thought if you'd like to nibble in the comments.

Phantom Thread with 4 nominations and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool with 3 nominations also did better than expected this morning. Full list of nominations with commentary for each category is after the jump...

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