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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Nick went to the Oscars!

"After an absolutely crappy day at work; when life feels like a total roadblock - this podcast just makes me so happy!" - Adam

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Entries in Kenneth Lonergan (15)


Beauty vs Beast: Sibling Rivalry

Jason from MNPP here wishing us all the happiest Lovely Laura Linney Day! Today Linney is celebrating her 54th birthday, which means we're celebrating as well because she's a national treasure that one. But that happiness and celebration might not last long, I ruin everything, because I'm about to force a horrible choice on you with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" contest and ask you to consider choosing between the siblings of Kenneth Lonergan's 2000 sibling masterpiece You Can Count On Me -- Linney's hometown mama and boss-schtupper Sammy versus Mark Ruffalo's home-crashing money-grubbing seatbealt-wearing Terry. Vote and then tell us why you voted how you voted down below in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Best Actor contest handed Timothee Chalamet a win as sound (to the tune of 87% of the vote!) as his trounced competitor Gary Oldman's eventual win at the Oscars next month is assured, so let's just enjoy us getting it right anyway. Said hepwa (and this is a fine list that I'd love to hear if anybody has any of their own to add to this list, too):

"There are five great young male performances in the past forty years, in chronological order: Dennis Christopher in "Breaking Away", Michael O'Keefe in "The Great Santini", Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", River Phoenix in "Running On Empty" and now Timothee Chalamet in "Call Me by Your Name"."


6 Days Until Oscar: Manchester vs Hacksaw vs Lion

With 6 days to go until the big show, let's play like we did with 8 days, and look at the Best Picture nominees with that particular number of nominations. Three movies received six nominations this time though they'll facing off less directly and only in the marquee categories at that. Nevertheless, remove the other nominees from the equation for this exercize and tell us who wins in these particular face-offs...


Their six nominations

Picture Picture Picture
Director   Director
Andrew Garfield 
Casey Affleck 
  Supporting Actress
Nicole Kidman 
Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams 
  Supporting Actor
Dev Patel 
Supporting Actor
Lucas Hedges 
  Adapted Screenplay  
    Original Screenplay
Film Editing    
  Original Score  
Sound Mixing    
Sound Editing    



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27 days until Oscar

Here are 27 ways you can celebrate today...

Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill01 Ponder Winston Churchill's awards pull after John Lithgow's SAG win last night for the crown and Gary Oldman's upcoming portrayal in Darkest Hours... will we be talking about that next year at this time? The beloved Prime Minister's very big deal state funeral was held on this day in 1965
02 Go see Fences which won two SAG awards last night
03 Then read some more August Wilson and decide which upcoming adaptation you're most excited to see
04 Send out those invites to your Oscar party - time's a wastin'. Or
05 ...RSVP to that Oscar party if you're not hosting one.
06 Go see Hidden Figures which took the "outstanding cast" prize
07 Wish two time Oscar winner Gene Hackman a happy 87th birthday and beg him to come out of retirement
08 Watch Vanessa Redgrave's Oscar winning turn in Julia (1977) on her 80th birthday today because it's streaming on Netflix 

19 more ways to celebrate today after the jump...

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The Oscar Week

In this weekly feature from Murtada we will follow the Oscar contenders and examine how their many interviews and appearances impact their chances. This week we check in with Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Ryan Reynolds, and Michelle Williams.

Emma Stone
It seems every week there is some event or interview with one of the stars of La La Land. That campaign is going on full throttle to maintain the film’s frontrunner status...

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Who's Joining Jenkins & Chazelle in the Best Director Shortlist? 

While working on Oscar chart updates, Best Director suddenly felt quite loose and ripe for shifting favor. While the Directors Guild Nominations will surely clarify that race to an extent those aren't until January 12th, a week after Oscar nomination voting begins. Right now though the coveted nominations for Best Director look fairly up in the air beyond the two thirtysomething wonder boys who have been showered with the most honors already: Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). 

La La Land is only Chazelle's third feature (though many would mistake it for his second) and Moonlight is only Jenkins second (though many would mistake it for his first) so they're relative newbies. Oscar, however, is an octogenarian institution and they aren't always comfortable handing everything over the reigns to fresh blood. In fact the Best Director's race isn't usually that amenable to multiple fresh faces. You have to go back to 2009 to find an Oscar year with two directors nominated that were this green in their filmmaking careers (Jason Reitman's Up in the Air was his third feature and Precious was Lee Daniel's second) and they definitely weren't the frontrunners. For a long this year we were predicting a shortlist of all first-time nominees in the directing category but that hasn't happened since 1999. It's not a common occurrence.

Oscar's love of long-since proven directors suggests good news for Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Eastwood (Sully) or Scorsese (Silence) but the only one of those films with any noticeable precursor heat is Hacksaw Ridge and are they really going to welcome Gibson back in the year of angry white men upsetting the world with their prejudices? 

Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve both have heat with Best Picture probables Manchester by the Sea and Arrival respectively but performance pictures like Manchester can sometimes suddenly be absent when the director's nominations are read out and critically acclaimed sci-fi pictures can also stumble come nomination morning due to genre biases. They might be in but they might not.  In a year when the buzz hasn't totally settled on a handful of auteurs, Oscar can sometimes surprise with a left field foreign or indie choice but even that seems hard to parse this year since so many different pictures have small passionate devotees but not huge mouthy legions of them. 

Are we overthinking this? Check out the New Best Director and Best Picture chart and report back. 


Podcast: Manchester by the Sea & Reader Questions

KateyNick, Joe and Nathaniel answer reader questions and discuss the new Kenneth Lonergan weepie

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Manchester by the Sea
12:30 Separating art from artists
24:00 Director nominations and Ruth Negga in Loving
26:28 Things you should see that won't be nominated
31:00 Almodóvar's Julieta which we'll discuss later
34:30 Nomination Announcement Memories
37:20 Did we see these movies or not? 
39:00 How did Nick, Nathaniel, Joe, and Katey meet?

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. Next podcast: La La Land and Lion

Manchester by the Sea


Team Experience: Favorite Globe Nods  

We bitched and moaned about WTF snubs and inclusions earlier so now it's time to turn those frowns upside down. We polled Team Experience about their favorite Globe nominations in movies and tv and we hope you'll answer the same questions in the comments! Ready? Here we go...

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NYFF: Manchester by the Sea

From the New York Film Festival here's Jason on the new film from Kenneth Lonergan.

The scene that we've been waiting for all during Manchester by the Sea comes pretty much where you might expect it to, that climactic slot about 3/4ths of the way in right where stories usually come to a head. And yet, and yet, the way that it comes showcases what makes Kenneth Lonergan such a fascinating writer and director. The way we get to this emotional head is typically, for this director, winding - the film is suffused with flashbacks that don't so much announce themselves as they do sneak in through the window and climb into bed beside you, surprise spooning you til sunrise. So when this climax comes where it should come, well that in itself is a surprise, but one you only notice in hindsight.

But it's more than that. Without going into specifics about what happens, what's so fascinating about this scene (and I'm using it as a microcosm for the whole film here) is how it lays there in wait in the broad daylight for its sneak attack. It just happens. And in Lonergan's hands this feels like the sweet hard mess of real life - broken boat motors and a bumped head; the moments where we catch up while our friend is bringing the car round and suddenly the world around us crumbles. Miniature hurricanes that don't announce themselves but sweep you up and slam you down without actually moving you an inch.

Manchester by the Sea is awash in such flashes, such sudden floods. Casey Affleck gives an astonishingly light performance of utter devastation. We spend the film putting together the puzzle of him only to find out the puzzle is broken and the pieces are vanishing in our hands as we gather them up. The actor makes us gather faster, and gather harder. He makes us want to sort it out alongside him. That his performance and the film are so much much funnier than you're anticipating only makes its foundation of bottomless grief all the more vertiginous - it is, like honest-to-goodness life, disorienting with drilled deep possibilities of goodness, and honesty, and pain.