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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Entries in Jeremy Renner (34)


Will "Wind River" Find a Second Life?

by Nathaniel R

Last night word spread round that this summer's sleeper success Wind River, about a rape/murder investigation on an reservation, had possibly found a new lease on life. It was a Weinstein Company release this summer -- their only "hit" this year actually -- and that connection was thought to have obviously doomed its chances this awards season following Harvey Weinstein's banishment from Hollywood after the numerous sexual harrassment and rape allegations. 

If you remove that associative stain, though, the film is, in essence, a non-genre sleeper hit aimed squarely at adults and thus theoretically Oscar compatible...

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C O N S I D E R - Favorite Actors of 2017, 3rd Qtr

With only three months of the year to go - eep! -- it's time to look back on the past three months for movies we saw from July through September (excluding films with firm release dates in the next three months). Herewith Nathaniel's 17 favorite male performances from the year's third quarter (plus first week of October to keep us up-to-date), divvied up into three categories.  (Movies with asterisks have not yet been released.)

Did these men speak to you with their turns? 


Daniel Gimenez Cacho as "Don Diego de Zama" in Zama*
One of my favorite Mexican actors. Though I found the film impenetrable, he's always strong.

Harris Dickinson as "Frankie" in Beach Rats
Here's to debuts that reveal both fully-formed star charisma and film-carrying craft

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Review: Wind River

by Lynn Lee

It should come as no surprise that writer-director Taylor Sheridan, currently hot in Hollywood after his Oscar screenplay nomination for Hell or High Water, is an actual, bona fide cowboy.  Perhaps that’s why his work feels like such a throwback—to an era in which quietly capable men, silently toting unspoken burdens, took on the joyless task of meting out frontier justice.  At the same time, he’s shown a canny gift for placing such old-school archetypes in a distinctly modern, of-this-moment social and political context, making their struggles feel unexpectedly timely or, rather, timeless.  That gift is on ample display in his new film, Wind River, which is now in wide release after nabbing the best directing prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes earlier this year.

Set on a remote, wintry Indian reservation in Montana, the film marks the third installment in a loose trilogy of Westerns penned by Sheridan (the first two being Sicario and Hell or High Water), though Wind River is the first one he directed...

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Podcast: Arrival, Loving, and Cape Fear

We're back to weekly podcasts! This week Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel discuss two new Best Picture hopefuls and one bold remake

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Arrival - thinky empathetic sci-fi just when we're starved for understanding in the real world + Amy Adams!
19:35 Slight spoilery territory on Arrival and comparing it to other movies
27:05 Cape Fear's 25th anniversary. One of our favorite Scorsese's.
33:30 Loving a quiet civil rights drama
41:11 Almost Christmas and goodbyes

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Loving and Arrival...


Reasons Why Rachel Weisz is in "The Light Between Oceans"

by Murtada

Mild Spoilers, proceed with caution.

The Light Between Oceans opened this past weekend to OK reviews (including a positive one from Nathaniel). But as I sat watching Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander fall in love, I was waiting for Rachel Weisz. And I kept waiting. She appears very late in the film and even then her character is still secondary to the main narrative. So I tried to imagine why would Weisz take this part. Why would she play second fiddle to an up-and-comer (Vikander wasn’t well known when this was shot almost 2 years ago).

And actually there a few good reasons: 

• Shooting in gorgeous New Zealand. Besides the knitwear, the locations are the most breathtakingly beautiful thing in Light. Weisz never actually makes it to the lighthouse, but the quaint town where her character is ensconced has beauty to spare.

• Deepening her relationship with Derek Cianfrance. Apparently an early iteration of Blue Valentine (2010) was supposed to star Weisz and Jeremy Renner. It fell through because of financing woes.

• Sharing scenes with Michael Fassbender. What an actor, what a man. Maybe Weisz was shown pictures of him in period undershirts - his best look in the movie - and that's why she signed on. 

Three very good reasons (besides liking the story and the part). Have you seen Light yet? And could you imagine Blue Valentine without Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling? 

A First Glimpse of Villeneuve's 'Arrival'

Chris here with a first look at one of the fall's big Oscar question marks. Last year, Denis Villeneuve's Sicario did quite well by Oscar standards if you consider its punishing bleakness and divisiveness even if it missed the major races. This year he's returning with the sci-fi Arrival, and we've been patiently waiting to see if this will raise his Oscar cache.

To go with the building buzz, here are our first looks...

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National Gay Killers Day. What? Ewww!

Because we're having fun with this little feature we'll continue. On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1881 Ahead of her time Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross. She doesn't get a biopic because Hollywood is only interested in "Great Man" biopics
Happy Centennial to author Harold Robbins who penned 25 best-sellers some of which became famous movies like The Carpetbaggers (1964), the Elvis flick King Creole (1958), and the notorious Pia Zadora Razzie winner The Lonely Lady (1983)

Rope (1949) and Swoon (1992) - two great movies inspired by the Leopold & Loeb case

1924 Chicago college students Leopold & Loeb murder a teenage boy in a "thrill killing." Their crime inspires the story of the gay deviants in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1949), the Cannes Best Actor winning Compulsion (1958) and is recreated in the New Queer Cinema classic Swoon (1992)
1926 Kay Kendall of Les Girls (1957) fame is born
1952 Two time Oscar nominee John Garfield (best known for The Postman Always Rings Twice and Gentlemen's Agreement though those were not his nominated films) dies unexpectedly at the age of 39. The stress from the blacklist and Communist witch hunts (he'd refused to name names) were said to cause his heart attack.
1959 Gypsy opens on Broadway starring Ethel Merman. Mama Rose becomes the defining female role of musical theater, as Hamlet is to male drama thespians. Dozens of divas play her thereafter on stage, tv, and film. The best of them is Imelda Staunton, no joke. 

1960 Jeffrey Dahmer is born in Wisconsin. Becomes an infamous gay serial killer in the early 90s just in time for America's obsession with serial killers to go truly perverse and mainstream. Within a decade or two they're the heroes on television shows for f***'s sake (This has always bothered me about showbiz - assassins and serial killers are professions as popular as being a doctor or a waitress.) Jeremy Renner plays Dahmer in the eponymous movie which yours truly has never seen. Have you? the general critical consensus is that Renner was very very good in it. But nobody was annoyed by his total franchise sellout-ness back then because it hadn't happened yet.

1970 FINALLY some role-model gayness for May 22nd, redeeming the day from infamy. Harvey Milk picks up Scott Smith in a subway station as a 40th birthday present to himself, as lovingly reenacted by Sean Penn & James Franco in Milk (2008)
1974 Fairuza Balk is born. As soon as she can speak she calls the four corners to insure that no other actresses gets her signature role in The Craft years 22 years later. 
1979 "White Night Riots" in San Francisco because the gays are rightfully furious about the "manslaughter" conviction in the assassination of Harvey Milk
1980 Star War: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) released in theaters. It's still the best one.

1992 Johnny Carson welcomes his last guest on "The Tonight Show," Bette Midler, after 30 seasons on air. She wins the Outstanding Individual Performance Emmy for this performance. Two years later she is nominated for Gypsy and loses. 
1999 Susan Lucci spoils her fame-boosting status as the ultimate awards show loser by winning on her 19th consecutive Daytime Emmy nomination


Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Tim here. After Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol came out in 2011, it seemed that the series had finally figured out how to become the best version of itself and could go on forever doing the same thing. And that's exactly what has now happened: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is slightly worse than its immediate predecessor in nearly every way, slightly better in a couple of others that are especially important, and is light years beyond the first three movies released between 1996 and 2006.

Like every M:I film, Rogue Nation is an almost perfect standalone object, with a couple throwaway lines referencing previous adventures and the assumption that you already know and like brash, middle-aged Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, the series' producer as well), but otherwise assuming that it needs to make its own case for existing (it's enormously gratifying in this age of shared universes and heavily choreographed multi-film narrative arcs that there's still one franchise out there that's willing to just make movies that work solely in reference to themselves. And it does this splendidly, throwing us right into the action with that "Tom Cruise hanging from the side of a plane" setpiece that has been the the focal point of the ad campaign, and building up to bigger and better things from there. [More...]

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