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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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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Entries in Hotel Transylvania (6)


The Oscar Eligibility List for Best Animated Feature

The 16 official submissions for the Best Animated Feature Oscar have been revealed. The finalists include expected high-profile entries like Pixar's Inside Out and the still-to-come festival darling Anomalisa, and some you are maybe hearing about for the first time. Here's the list:

After racking up Pixar's second highest domestic gross, Inside Out is the early frontrunner. Its potential is also boosted by its Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay prospects, and it has the blend of brains and heart that have lead Pixar to more wins in the category than any other studio. There is also The Good Dinosaur coming for Thanksgiving and hoping to celebrate Pixar's first dual release year with dual nominations.
Pixar isn't alone in bringing a high pedigree. Anomalisa stands to benefit from its uniqueness among the pack: already boasting the Academy-approved pedigree of Charlie Kaufman, it's also a rare entry intended squarely at adults. GKIDS, who have found favor in this category with lovely low profile films, have three eligible candidates, including Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There. Will Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movie register with nostalgic love or will it have similar poor luck to the other releases by the studio?

This category also has some tricky qualifications to note. The short version is that there could be five nominees (provided every single one of these meets release qualifications), but that depends on how well the nominating committee rates each film. If they think the field is weak, we could see less than five.

Box Office: Vampire Hospitality, Unique Internships, and Drug Wars

Though Hotel Transylvania 2 and the Anne Hathaway/Robert DeNiro pairing in The Intern surprised no one by taking the top two spots at the weekend box office, the big story was at the tail end of the top ten chart where Denis Villeneuve's possibly Oscar nomination bound cartel-drama Sicario landed despite still being in very limited release still, with less than 60 locations. That's what's called playing to sold out crowds. I split the charts below into limited and wide release though so Sicario takes the #1 spot on the limited half of the cinema equation. We just talked about that stunning drama on the podcast

There don't seem to be estimates on SPC's German Oscar contender Labyrinth of Lies which is a pity since we're curious.

800+ screens (Sept 25th-27th)
01 Hotel Transylvania 2 $48 NEW Tim on the director Genny Tartakovsky
02 The Intern $17 NEW 
03 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $13.8 (cum. $51.4)
04 Everest $12.1 (cum. $22.1) 
05 Black Mass $11 (cum. $42)
06 The Visit $6.5 (cum. $52)
07 The Perfect Guy $4.6 (cum. $48.7)
08 War Room $4.2 (cum. $55.9)
09 The Green Inferno $3.5 NEW
10 A Walk in the Woods $1 (cum. $27.2)
11 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $.9 (cum. $193.4)
12 Grandma $.8 (cum. $5.1) Review, Poster

Under 800 Screens - Excluding Previously Wide (Sept 25th-27th)
01 Sicario (59 screens) $1.7 (cum. $2.2) Podcast, Emily on a roll
02 Pawn Sacrifice (781 screens) $1 (cum. $1.3)  
03 Lost in Hong Kong (28 screens) $.5 NEW
04 Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (364 screens) $.2 (cum. $8.8) 
05 Meet the Patels (63 screens) $.2 (cum. $.4)
06 Unbranded (58 screens) $.1 NEW
07 Sleeping With Other People (102 screens) $.1 (cum. $.3) Review
08 Stonewall (129 screens) $.1 NEW InterviewReview, Podcast
09 Goodnight Mommy (28 screens) $.1 (cum. $.2) Interview, Oscar Submission
10 Phoenix (85 screens) $.08 (cum. $2.8) Interview
11 Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (10 screens) $.04 (cum. $.2)
12 The New Girlfriend (45 screens) $.04 (cum. $.09) Review

Sicario's success excepted, it was a bloodbath at the arthouse. Stonewall met vitriolic reviews (my "D" grade review is somehow comparatively nice!) and a disastrous less than $1000 per screen average despite a fairly well publicized opening weekend. In other weak openings, 99 Holmes, the housing crisis drama with Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield debuted on only 2 screens and Mississippi Grind, a pool shark drama with Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds, on only one (what the hell, movies !?) and with those extremely nervous toes in movie theater waters, neither made even the top 12 at the arthouse despite well liked indie directors pairing famous stars with reliable well loved character actors to the tune of positive reviews.

Finally, we neglected to mention the opening of the French trans drama The New Girlfriend (starring Romain Duris, left) last week and though the François Ozon drama hasn't made much of a stir at the arthouse (an entire year's wait for a release after its festival debut can't have helped) but it adds to 2015's strong impression that the floodgates are now open for the T to be amply represented in LGBT cinema.

What did you see this weekend?


Tim's Toons: A Genndy Tartakovsky Primer

This weekend sees the release of 2015's latest animated feature, Hotel Transylvania 2, and it is somewhat hard to get excited for it. Being an animated sequel will do that. 

Being a movie where all the shots were being called by Adam Sandler will do that, too. Being an animated sequel under the control of Adam Sandler in the same calendar year that witnessed the deeply repugnant Sandler vehicles The Cobbler and Pixelswill do that most of all. But let me put on my bravest face and try to tell you about the thing that is noble and interesting about Hotel Transylvania 2 despite all the obvious ticks against it: it's a Genndy Tartakovsky picture.

"And who is Genndy Tartakovsky?" you may now be asking yourself
. I very much hope you are, since answering that question is the reason we're here now. The simple answer is that Tartakovsky is one of the great stylists in contemporary American animation.

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Annie Award Nominations - A Real Race For Once 

Michael C here to see if the Annie Award nominations shed any light on this year’s rare neck and neck Oscar race for Best Animated film.

Frankenweenie captured critics and Annie noms. But not audiences. Will Oscar take to the (un)dead dog?

Animated Feature

  • "Brave" – Pixar Animation Studios
  • "Frankenweenie" – Walt Disney Studio
  • "Hotel Transylvania" – Sony Pictures Animation
  • "ParaNorman" – Focus Features
  • "Rise of the Guardians" – DreamWorks Animation
  • "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" – Aardman Animations
  • "The Rabbi’s Cat "– GKIDS
  • "Wreck-It Ralph" – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Without a slam-dunk frontrunner draining the suspense out of the category for once it's worth sifting through the tea leaves looking for omens. Unfortunately the Annie's nominated everything so it doesn't clarify much. At least they had the good taste to leave out The Lorax, Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 25, which I believe takes place in the early 1970’s.

Lots more after the jump including predictions and celebrity voice acting.

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Box Office: Hotel Transylvania vs. Looper

The animation business is a good one to be in. Sure, the movies cost a lot to make but profit margins can be something else with global family appeal and franchising / merchandising opportunities. Hotel Transylvania took a bite out of Looper's grosses but one guess as to which film people will still talk about next year. (Perhaps Looper will be one of those rare films that doesn't drop much at all in its second weekend?) 

But the weekend's big story might just be strong showings for Pitch Perfect at only 300+ locations and a promising 100 theater expansion for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In very limited release Robot & Frank just crossed the $3 million mark... almost entirely on word of mouth. Have any of you seen it?

Box Office Dozen
03 END OF WATCH $8 (cum. $26.1)
04 TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE $7.5 (cum $23.7)
05 HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET $7.1 (cum $22.2)
07 FINDING NEMO 3D $4 (cum. $36.4 this time around)
09 THE MASTER $2.7 (cum. $9.6) Team Experience

What did you see this weekend? Did you love it?


Two Animated Films I'm Excited About (Will Oscar Be, Too?)

This year I had made a silent goal to myself to talk about animated films more often at The Film Experience since I sometimes really enjoy them even if I don't say so and you definitely enjoy them but we tend to not cover them. So far so getting better. Here are two films I'm looking forward to that I didn't even realize I was excited for because I almost forgot they existed.

1. Me and My Shadow (2014) 
This upcoming effort released a teaser poster a few days ago and has a cute concept. It will reportedly be a blending of traditional animation and CG animation with the traditional being the shadow world and the CG being for the "real" world. From the official synopsis...

Stan (Bill Hader), our hero's shadow, yearns for a more exciting life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb (Josh Gad), a timid guy with an extreme aversion to adventure. When a crime in the shadow world puts both of their lives in danger, Stan is forced to take control of Stanley...

 My mind immediately lept to Steve Martin's body controlled by Lily Tomlin's spirit in All of Me (1984) and Linguini's body going all marionette for Remy in Ratatouille (2007) so the concept is just rich for potentially golden physical slapstick and awkward charm. Not that it's easy to be as good as either of those pictures!

More after the jump including Oscar potential...

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