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Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Only supporting actress winners are allowed to play this role!

"What on earth can Alicia bring to this role, and why bother? Good luck." - Tom F

"How long must we wait for Dianne Wiest as Lara Croft!?" - Mike

 

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Entries in FYC (100)

Friday
Feb122016

It's all over but the voting! Share your final FYCs...

Oscar ballots are out today so we've reached the homestretch. Beginning today and continuing on through February 23rd, Academy members can decide if Carol takes costuming and Mad Max takes editing or whether they'd like something far inferior to win those particular statues?

I kid I kid. They should vote on what they believe is "best". And that includes the Acting categories. Obstinate voters who refuse to run with the crowds / accept the status quo can decide who they'd most like for an "upset" in the Acting categories if they're not feeling the frontrunning quartet of Brie, Leo, Alicia, and Sly. But what the hell will they vote for in Best Picture and Best Director? It's a real scrappy fight this year but since it's the 25th anniversary of Silence of the Lambs, which happens to be both an atypical winner and one of their best, we hope they treat Mad Max Fury Road well. If they can't go there in Best Picture (even though they should) can't they at least hand George Miller a well-earned statue? That's my final prayer!

What's your final wish as they begin voting? 

P.S. If you're curious to see how pundits are viewing the races, here's the new Gurus of Gold chart. And here's our index of Oscar charts

Friday
Jan152016

First Impressions: Oscar's Best Screenplay Nominees Say "Hello"

Manuel here. Getting a new batch of Oscar nominations is always overwhelming but since right now it’s all about first impressions, I figured we’d check in with the recently minted Oscar nominated scripts and see how they quite literally introduce themselves.

As most of these screenplays are cannily available online as FYCs (links here take you to the script), find below the very first line uttered in each nominated screenplay of 2015.

Think of it as a way of saying "Hello!" to these ten contenders...

Best Adapted Screenplay

Perhaps it's the inclusion of Nagy's beautiful adaptation but I kind of love this category, give or take the McKay script. Also, the doodle on The Martian's script is courtesy of Ridley Scott who sent that page out into space!

 

MODERN TRADER (V.O.)
In the late seventies banking was not a job you went into to make large sums of money. It was a good stable profession like selling insurance or accounting.

The Big Short, Adam McKay, Charles Randolph

 

EILIS (mouthing)
Go back to bed.

Brooklyn, Nick Hornby

eight more opening quotes after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan072016

Interview: Affonso Gonçalves and the Art of Editing Great Actresses

Affonso Gonçalves with this ACE win for editing True Detective (2014)Affonso Gonçalves is a man that every actress lover ought to both thank and envy. Over the course of his career in TV and film he has been privvy to a consisently vivid series of strong and sometimes downright iconic performances by several of our greatest actress. He's helped shape the way we see them, too.

His career began in earnest with as an assisant editor on Todd Solondz's cult hit about a nerdy teenager Dawn Weiner in Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and soon thereafter he was editing multiple films for Ira Sachs and other independent minded directors. In the 20 years since his debut he's edited performances by Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce), Kerry Washington (Night Catches Us), Michelle Williams (The Hawk is Dying), Kim Basinger (The Door in the Floor), and  Patricia Clarkson (Married Life). More famously he's edited two star-making young performances that went on to be Oscar nominated for Best Actress in Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone (2010) and Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Next week he'll likely be able to add two more Oscar nominated performances to his editing triumphs with Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara's duet in Carol.

I had the pleasure recently of grilling him about watching and shaping these Best Actress performances in Winter's Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Carol. Here's our conversation (edited for length and clarity) with very mild Carol spoilers if you haven't yet seen it. The film opens in additional theaters this weekend. More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan072016

The Case For "See You Again"

Kieran, here. Full disclosure—Best Original Song is my least favorite category. Though the last three winners of this category have been worthy entries, this relative hot streak doesn’t overwrite the fact that the category’s mandate for existing is somewhat dubious.  For every “Glory” or “Skyfall” the category of late will award many more “We Belong Together” and “Man or Muppet” level winners.  That’s why when a movie song comes along that feels emotionally or architecturally integral to its film’s narrative, it’s difficult to argue against it as a winner.

That brings us to Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” from Furious 7. Look…I can already hear and see the exasperated sighs and eyerolls that accompany any advocacy for this hit as an Academy Award Winner. Its tedious ubiquity in 2015 can easily (and fairly) prompt the response of “Does it need Academy Awards advocacy on top of everything else?”

More...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec312015

FYC: Sarah Paulson, Carol's Best Supporting Actress

The Film Experience is proud to welcome back Matthew Eng for this personal FYC

Sarah Paulson photographed for VarietyThese days, to simply see Sarah Paulson’s name in the opening credits of any project is enough to make me sit back, relax, and sigh with deep and reverent relief that — no matter the lapses in storytelling, the dubiousness of politics, or the haphazard efforts of other actors — I am in the hands of at least one supremely assured and eternally convincing performer.

As someone who missed Aaron Sorkin’s infamous Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the extensive list of sitcoms and serials she appeared in from the mid-nineties to the late-2000s (not to mention her numerous stage roles and occasional film appearances), my Sarah Paulson fandom is fairly recent. Of course, like many, I’d seen and admired her wry gal pal in Down with Love, which remains a fun but frankly flaky memory.

But truthfully, I wasn’t fully onboard the Paulson bandwagon until 2012, when she offered American Horror Storys peak Asylum season a truly new and refreshingly tough-minded depiction of devastated-turn-mobilized female victimhood and then, a year later, sauntered into Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave as one of contemporary cinema’s most memorably unrepentant villainesses, terrorizing Lupita and manipulating Fassy with ferocious, bone-chilling conviction.

When I heard Paulson had joined Carol, I took another of those deep and reverent sighs of relief, as if to say, 'Alright, this film will actually be as perfect as I need it to be.'  [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec312015

Don't Forget About Michael Keaton

Greetings from Chris, wishing you all a Happy New Year! And a Happy Voting to Academy members finally filling out their nomination ballots. With plenty of FYC blurbs out on the internet proclaiming personal favorites outside of the race, I want to talk about someone much more obvious that's somehow missing out on the love: Michael Keaton in Spotlight.

Of course, he's winning attention as part of Spotlight's ensemble, but it's a headscratcher that he missed nominations from SAG, the Globes, and BFCA. Even various regional critics groups are favoring Mark Ruffalo to single out. The potential reasons for Keaton's omission (too much competition from his own film, category confusion, the notion he doesn't have a "scene") feel petty given the gravitas and soulfulness he brings to the narrative.

Some say Spotlight lacks threat or conflict, that the big, bad church we keep hearing will put their weight on the Boston Globe for their investigations never actually does. But what Spotlight is really about is getting the story right and facing up to our own culture of ignorance and the times we've looked the other way. All of that is perfectly embodied by the resurgent Keaton. It's not just that he's the member of the ensemble that has the clearest arc, but the grace to which he fills Walter "Robby" Robinson with regret and anger. Ruffalo's "scene" allows that actor a catharsis that Keaton's coiled disposition doesn't receive until the final moment when his team's efforts are shown to have an effect on the lives of victims.

The performance is a study gentlemanly rage. He underplays every scene where he is calling for justice, filling silences with loaded pauses and a judging stare that fuels the film's angry undercurrent. If you think he doesn't have a showy moment, rewatch any time wherein he studies the layers of spin and bullshit delivered by Billy Crudup's sleaveball lawyer and tell me that Spotlight's central conflict isn't right there on Keaton's expressive face. Where Birdman allowed him to run wild with mannered anxiety and deep well of emotion, Spotlight serves us the actor at his confident and naturalistic best.

Following the Birdman miss, it's particularly odd that Keaton is on the outside of the nomination conversation. Best Supporting Actor often favors combacks from older actors and previous losers, so you think he'd be a plum candidate to ride the past year's momentum in a Best Picture frontrunner at that. He'll soon return to leading roles in John Lee Hancock's McDonalds biopic The Founder, but don't let the opportunity to reward some of his best work pass you by!

Wednesday
Dec302015

Oscar Ballots Out Today. Three Simple FYCs for Voters.

Let the Oscar balloting begin. The image we use to illustrate is envelopes because they're pretty but they're also analog when even as ancient an institution as Oscar -- he's 88 years old now! -- has gone digital. Academy members can start nominating their favorites TODAY.  I won't barrage AMPAS members with requests other than these three wishes:

1. Please ignore precursors. Surprise us! 
The precursor bodies make terrible mistakes in trying to predict you (SAG & Critics Choice in particular this year are just a mess of lazy "what will the Academy vote for?" impulses rather than a searching for what constitutes great work which should always be the only concern). Two fine movies off the top of our heads that nobody expects you to vote for this year but why the hell shouldn't you? Sicario and Tangerine. People also seem to agree that you won't get behind stories about women but we know you have it in you. The public is enjoying reliving 1977 because of Star Wars: The Force Awakens but remember in 1977 how 80% of your Best Picture lineup was about women? Good times! I mean, why shouldn't you vote for something as gentle, resonant, and well modulated as Brooklyn, for example?

2. FYC: Remember that love stories require two leads. 
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are a beautiful team in Carol - so don't separate them in two different categories. Think of the classic screen couples (Gone With the Wind, The Way We Were, Titanic, It Happened One NightCasablanca, Coming Home, etcetera). In none of those romantic dramas do people pretend one movie star is "supporting" the other movie star. Be reasonable and put an end to greedy campaign strategies that make the very notion of awards seem crassly opportunist when the conversation should be edifying and fun; "Best" is a beautiful word! And love stories are love stories are love stories whether the couple is straight or LGBT. (See also: The Danish Girl)

3. Most ≠ Best
This isn't just about the acting categories but how about a deserved nod here or there that you could never call "Most" but could definitely argue "Best".  Three examples of many: The Production Design of Room (a top notch technical achievement but also emotionally intelligent and a true creative challenge); The Visual Effects of Ex Machina (there's no grand setpieces, sure, but damn if these fx aren't a master class and hugely impressive in comparison to the typical CGI shenanigans of blockbusters like Jurassic World); and the Original Score of Steve Jobs (unusual, contemporary, and creatively retro too).

HAPPY VOTING EVERYONE!