Oscar History

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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The 2017 Actress Roundtable Lineup

Chris here. There may already Gotham noms and film festivals, but Oscar season doesn't really start until The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable - at least in our hearts. This year's lineup includes returning folks Jennifer Lawrence (mother!), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), and Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game), while the newbies are Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound - finally arriving on Netflix today!), and Allison Janney (I, Tonya).

The reliance on returning guests is still irksome, and that is particularly felt this year with a smaller lineup. The ongoing reckoning with sexual predators in the industry looms large over the conversation, but we also get the usual soundbites on creative risk, career advice, and dream collaborators. Who who you like to add to this lineup? Or what film would you recast with these ladies? (I'll offer Tiffany Haddish, and a Steel Magnolias where Lawrence plays Ouiser) Tell us your thoughts in the comments!


Beauty Break: 10 Greatest Photos from the 2017 Governors Award

by Nathaniel R

Varda & Jolie dancing

As you surely know by now the Academy held the annual Governor's Awards last night honoring directors Agnes Varda and Charles Burnett, actors Donald Sutherland, and cinematographer Owen Roizman who we've been celebrating here on the blog this past week. The giddiest moment was surely Angelina Jolie and Agnes Varda doing a little dance when the Mother of the French New Wave was presented with her statue, complete with spins and everything.

As something of a surprise to yours truly (did I miss a press release somewhere?) they also honored director Alejandro González Iñárritu with a special Oscar for an experimental VR project...  

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London Film Festival: Roundup and Oscar Chances

Pivotally positioned in October, the BFI London Film Festival boasts the distinction of having some of the most feted films of the year, champions newcomers and not without its stalwart festival curiosities. On the ground this year was Film Experience contributor Seán McGovern who saw only a fraction of the films on offer, but nonetheless a taste of potential Oscar contenders.

Call Me By Your Name
Worried that I would be tranquillised by the hype, I nonetheless could not resist it. Yes, it's a film about gorgeous people of immense privilege, but who can dismiss how hard it is to successfully capture the furtive horniness and confused intensity of young love? Timothée Chalamet's Elio teeters between brazenness and vulnerability, and Armie Hammer captures a strange aloofness that is hard to do on screen. It actually made me want to have children - just so I could grow up and be Micheal Stuhlbarg.

Oscar chancesDirector, Picture, Best Actor (Chalamet), Supporting Actor(s) (Hammer, Stuhlbarg), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score. Whether Academy voters embrace two LGBT films in a row is another thing.

 Six more films after the jump...

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Box Office: Golden Circle and Gold Prospecting

by Nathaniel R

Weekend Box Office (Sept 22nd-24th)
800+ screens
excluding prev. wide
1.🔺 KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE  $39 new  1.🔺 STRONGER $1.7 on 574 screens new REVIEW
2. IT $30 (cum. $266.3) REVIEW | 5 TAKEAWAYS  2.🔺 BRAD'S STATUS $1 on 453 screens (cum. $1.1) REVIEW
3.🔺 LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE $21.2 new  3.🔺 BATTLE OF THE SEXES $525k on 4 screens new
4. AMERICAN ASSASSIN $6.2 (cum. $26.1) 4. 🔺 VICTORIA AND ABDUL $152k on 4 screens new 


Kingsman: The Golden Circle got off to a fast start with its all star cast and Looney Tunes broad violence (only I guess people die unlike Wile E. Coyote) while It continues to power on determined to be the biggest horror hit of all time right now trailing only The Sixth Sense (if you don't adjust for inflation) and that and The Exorcist (if you adjust for inflation).

Meanwhile since Fall has officially begun, so too has the Oscar-hopeful release cycle (FINALLY). All four of them that opened this weekend are off to great starts...

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Yes No Maybe So: "Battle of the Sexes" (plus some Holly Hunter trivia)

By Nathaniel R

Keep talking, Bobby. The more nonsense you spout, the worse it's going to be when you lose.

One of this fall's potential crossover films, in that it has both crowd pleasing and awards appeal (should it be any good that is) is the retelling of the super-famous Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs tennis match from 1973. Though I was alive at the time, I was way too young to know anything about that. I grew up in the age of Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert and John McEnroe vs Everyone, though, and that match was a common cultural reference point. And tennis was the only sport I really fell in love with. Why? Couldn't say for sure but I suspect it was because it has more easily understood interpersonal dynamics (just two people... or four) at war... only non-violently. My best childhood friend and I even played tennis regularly together. I never got very good but later in high school he made the team! Which is all a terribly long way of saying, tennis movies hold instant interest in theory. They don't make them very often and they're largely unsuccessful when they do. Don't believe me, try to name more than one or two! (I'll wait).  

So let's breakdown the first trailer to Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes after the jump. Are we optimistic, worried, or somewhere inbetween?

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Best Actress - April Foolish Oscar Predix

We always save the best category for last.

The April Foolish Oscar predictions are officially complete with the BEST ACTRESS chart which has just gone up. So many talent women. So much luscious actressing to come. We cannot wait to see these performances, wherever they happen to fall on the chart. Predictions are for fun and do not indicate who we're rooting for ever -- we try not to root for anything without actually seeing the films because "may the best performance win!" and we don't know what that will be yet, now do we? This year the April Foolish crystal ball says "all previous nominees" but that's largely because it does not appear to be a year where many women who aren't previous nominees have managed to land leading roles. But we shall see. 

Answer me these questions three:

1. Which actress's double feature are you most excited to see? The busy choices are: Jessica Chastain (A Woman Walks Ahead, Molly's Game), Kate Winslet (Wonder Wheel, The Mountain Between Us), Sally Hawkins (Maudie, The Shape of Water), and Charlize Theron (Tully, Atomic Blonde). Let's leave the very busy Nicole Kidman out of this survey since the size of her roles aren't totally obvious this year.

2. Do you think Annette Bening has momentum due to that near-miss last season (those sometimes build goodwill) or do you think 20th Century Women is irrelevant to this year's prediction equation?

3. Which performance are you convinced will be great sight unseen? ...and vice versa if you're feeling irritable today.

Past articles on this new Oscar race
Last year's Oscars, the full index


Beauty Break: The Time 100

Chris here to start your weekend with some star gazing. Time Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people is here! While there's the usual assortment of world leaders, innovators, and executives (not to mentions some unsavories), it's the magic makers of the entertainment sort that catch our hearts here at The Film Experience. That ebullient Viola Davis cover to your left is nothing if not a factory for happiness.

The assembled talent and wavemakers run the gamut from Ava DuVernay to Sarah Paulson to Riz Ahmed to Constance Wu, the kind of future Hollywood we actually want to see. But the real fun of the lineup is the profiles written by other famous types about the honorees - Naomi Campbell paying tribute to RuPaul? Your icon wishes! Take a look at the photo set and tell us your favorites in the comments!

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Red Carpet: Best Dressed Women at the Oscars

Here's Jose with best looks from the 2016 Academy Awards...

And on Oscar Sunday Meryl said "let there be fashion", and then there was fashion.

The 2010's should not only be remembered for being the decade in which the greatest living actress earned her record-breaking 20th nomination, but also as the decade when she found a red carpet style that fit her iconoclastic image as both the Grand Dame of American cinema and someone who wants the world to think she "woke up like dis". In 2017 she even had her very first fashion feud (paging Ryan Murphy) when she had a PR battle with couture supervillain Karl Lagerfeld over a Chanel dress that was to be worn by no one (perhaps we will see Nicole wear it at Cannes someday?) In the end Meryl showed up in a statement-making Elie Saab couture creation in deep regal blue that combined pants with a ballgown, perhaps a nod to Hillary and the ultimate dig at T**** who believes there is only one way for women to "dress at work"? 

PS: She also forgave Karl.

Following in Meryl's magnanimity this year I present you my favorite looks from the Oscar red carpet unranked... 

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