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 Melissa Leo (32)



Village Voice Bilge Elbiri on a film review that changed his live (J Hoberman's 1992 piece on Orson Welles' Othello) - lovely personal piece
Nick Davis Chicago film festival jury picks and his own precise takes on the movies screened including high profile gems like Call Me By Your Name, and several foreign film Oscar submissions
Esquire Bryan Cranston must be seeking to sabotage his Oscar hopes this year with this admission that he's rooting for Trump to succeed
Huffington Post talks to Melissa Leo about Novitiate and becoming a gay icon with those "Consider..." ads

Another Mag amazing photos of the well decorated sets of Call Me By Your Name
EW Moulin Rouge!'s stage musical adaptation sets its debut for next summer in Boston. Which means we're probably looking at a Broadway transfer and contention for the June 2019 Tonys.
SBS an amazing interview with Katya and Trixie whose new series The Trixie & Katya Show starts real soon
Vanity Fair sits down with still-rising Tessa Thompson about her stereotype defying career
Esquire jumps on the "give I, Tonya Oscars" bandwagon. I tell you what dear readers, the ease with which this movie is getting people excited when I though it was genuinely not good (mockumentary stale, politically problematic, and cheap-looking) is going to make this Oscar season a loooong one for me (sigh). Ah well. You can't love everything... or every Oscar season. 


Middleburg: Maggie Betts' "Novitiate"

Continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventures. Here's Lynn Lee

Middleburg is the kind of idyllic Virginia town that makes me wish I had enough independent means to spend regular fall weekends there lodging at a cushy spa, riding horses, visiting local wineries, and binging once a year on Oscar-baity films before they get released in theaters.  As it is, I was happy to get a taste of the latter on a press pass to this year’s festival.  On Day 3, I joined Nathaniel in town (albeit at different events) and took in Maggie Betts’ Novitiate, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, and Dee Rees’ Mudbound.

Of the three, the one I knew the least about beforehand turned out to be the one I liked best.  Set at a convent in the 1960s around the time of Vatican II, Novitiate centers on the struggles and yearnings of young postulant Cathleen (Margaret Qualley of “The Leftovers” and The Nice Guys) and the fellow nun-aspirants and nuns around her.  That may sound like niche fare at best, but I hope Sony Pictures figures out how to market it because it’s an astoundingly assured, riveting debut feature...

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Best Supporting Actress - April Foolish Oscar Predix

With so many of our favorite working actresses in key potential Oscar roles this year this season is either going to be tremendously exciting or crushing disappointing. 

Can Woody Harrelson & Naomi Watts get his & hers nominations as the "deeply dysfunctional" parents of THE GLASS CASTLE?


Answer me these questions three:

  • Who you think we're underestimating?
  • Which performance on the chart are you most anxious to see?
  • Do you think any of the 4 time nominees (Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Michelle Williams) move to 5 nominee status this year? 5 is actually such a major threshold that's really hard for people to break into. Only 29 women, if I'm counting correctly, have done it with Julianne Moore and Amy Adams being the most recent inductees to that exclusive club). With maybe 2 exceptions (Geraldine Page and Thelma Ritter)  everyone who's ever managed 5 has been a rather huge movie star of their day, certainly bigger than Michelle Williams is now for example. Not that she couldn't do it with The Greatest Showman if the part is good enough. Some working giants that are, like Kidman and Roberts, currently at four (acting) nods include: Bening, Lawrence, McDormand, Mirren, and Emma Thompson.



Doc Corner: 'God Knows Where I Am'

by Glenn Dunks

The discovery of a woman’s lifeless body in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse next to a diary that reads how she, if found dead, was the victim of domestic abuse is the starting point for Jedd and Todd Wider’s God Knows Where I Am. These words begin the story of how Linda Bishop came to be in the house, a tragic entry point to a story that takes on further inescapably sad connotations the more we learn about her and what lead to her body lying dead on the hardwood floors of an empty house after the worst winter on record.

It’s not exactly a spoiler to note that domestic violence is not what brought Linda’s life to an end. Perhaps she thought it was...

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Interview: Melissa Leo on Playing 'The Most Hated Woman in America'

By Jose Solís 

Few actors can command the screen like Melissa Leo. She has cemented her status as a true scene stealing chameleon in films like The Fighter, Frozen River, Mildred Pierce, and The Big Short. And while she’s mostly regarded as a character, read supporting, actor, she gets a chance to show off her leading lady chops in The Most Hated Woman in America which debuts this week on Netflix. She plays atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair who led a campaign that banned Bible readings in public schools.

Leo infuses the part with heart and courage, so that she becomes a perfect embodiment of the notion that the personal should be political. Director Tommy O’Haver uses Madalyn’s kidnapping and horrific murder, to frame a film that aims to reach everyone’s humanity, regardless of their religious beliefs. Anchored by Leo’s majestic performance, it becomes one of the most important films of the year, in terms of the conversations and debates it could, and should, spark. I had the chance to speak to Leo from SXSW where the film premiered...

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New Actor Obsession: Dominic Rains

Confession: I normally remember actresses names with their faces straightaway even if they've only had a bit role that impressed me. Sometimes actors take a few roles to reel me in as if I'm face blind. And so it was at Tribeca where Dominic Rains took the Best Actor prize for his strong sympathetic work as Osman, an Afghani journalist transplanted to rural California in Ian Old's The Fixer (2016). All throughout the picture I was like "who is this guy?" like I'd never seen him before only to discover thereafter that I'd already seen him AND loved him in two other movies. In my defense the Iranian-American actor, born in Tehran and raised in Texas, looks different in each of his key roles. But still! I'd never let this talent slip by me with an actress no matter what they did with their hair and costumes.

Rains was the mohawked punk rocker in the little-seen but high-energy Taqwacores (2010) and the sleazy drug-addled pimp in the stunning Iranian vampire picture A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014).

More after the jump...

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Leo Bird Johnson & Other Casting News

Aaron Tveit considering Grease: Live...Manuel here helping you catch up with plenty of recent casting news! 

Broadway hunk Aaron Tveit (Enjolras in Les Misérables, 2012) is our new Danny Zuko in that live musical version of "Grease" which will also star Julianne Hough as Sandy (sigh) and Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo (double sigh). TFE Best Supporting Actor dream Emmy nominee Teddy Sears is joining CW's The Flash as the original Flash Jay Garrick. And Jonathan Rhys-Meyers will front a The Clash biopic called London Town.

But if you made it this far it is because you’re wondering about that amazing retooling of Melissa Leo’s “Consider” Ad we all love so much.

Yes, while we’ve been suffering through close to five years of post-Oscar Leo ubiquity. I’m glad she’s been getting steady work, but I can’t be the only one who wishes she’d say no sometimes to every woman-in-power-suit role that comes her way. I guess they can’t all be Prisoners-style performances, can they? Well, as HBO continues to ready Jay Roach’s adaptation of All the Way (ie. the play that won Bryan Cranston a Tony), they’ve cast Melissa Leo as Lady Bird Johnson and I can’t believe we haven’t discussed that at TFE. I mean, I don’t subscribe to the “actor needs to be a spitting image” of the real-life person they’re portraying but this is just much too perfect, no? To make the casting news even sweeter, they've cast Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King Jr. which just makes me happy as it means we're not losing all of our Hurt Locker boys to solely Marvel-produced films.

"Consider..." Are you excited about the LEOgend’s chance at a second* Emmy?

She previously won for her guest work on Louie