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.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

"Still amazes me every time That it's a real film. It always feels too good to be true, but it is!" -Roger

Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.


Entries in moviegoing (84)


Go See a Movie!

Go see something this weekend and report back!

New York and LA
Two incredible new films have arrived: Moonlight and The Handmaiden. I'd argue the latter is Park Chan Wook's best film yet. You absolutely must not miss either of them though I wish distributors would stop releasing films that can appeal to the same audience at the same time (I mean the last few weeks haven't had ravishingly artistic auteur films with queer storylines, so why two at once?). I wrote up a little snippet on The Handmaiden at Towleroad and we've previously reviewed Moonlight tag team style right here. I believe that both plan to expand into more cities next weekend. Both coasts also get an Icelandic mystery called Autumn Lights and NYC gets the indie porn drama King Cobra (with Christian Slater, James Franco and more)

Multiple Cities
Expanding into several more cities this weekend: the Holocaust related courtroom drama Denial (reviewed), Mexico's violent Oscar submission Desierto (reviewed - you've been warned), and cinephile favorite Kelly Reichardt's latest Certain Women with Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams (reviewed). Ewan McGregor's debut directorial effort American Pastoral hits Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas.


What's your most vivid memory of "The Departed" and the 2006 Oscar Race? 

by Nathaniel R

Ten years ago today Martin Scorsese's smash hit The Departed opened in theaters. I remember that day well especially that beat just past this still above when the entire sold out movie theater exploded simultaneously with shock, excitement, screaming, whooping, collective chills. A master playing the audience perfectly so it's no wonder that Martin Scorsese finally won the Oscar for it. Strangely I have few other vivid memories of the movie other than the feeling that that deep line in Leonardo DiCaprio's perma-angst expression had never and would never be put to better use again. Also something about Vera Farmiga flirting in an elevator, and the movie's perfect final shot.

The Film Experience was definitely having an "off consensus" year -- we were all about Marie Antoinette, The Fountain, & Volver so the Oscars were kind of a let-down -- but at least it was one of those interesting years where the Best Picture contenders didn't hog all the nominations. In fact only 1 of the 10 leading acting contenders came from a Best Picture nominee. Strange, right?

What do you remember most about The Departed? And how comfortable were you with the 2006 Oscar's lineup. As a reminder the Best Pictures were:

  • Babel (7 noms / 1 controversial win - for the barely there Original Score) 
  • The Departed (5 noms / 4 wins including Picture)
  • Letters From Iwo Jima (4 noms / 1 win)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (4 noms / 2 wins)
  • The Queen (6 noms / 1 win)

Complete the Sentence

The last movie I saw twice in theaters was ___________  and I went twice because _________. 


Ben-Who? Weekend Box Office

The name "Ben-Hur" wasn't enough of a brand on its own to lure moviegoers to theaters this weekend for the remake. My guess: Those who know of Ben-Hur love the 1959 version too much to care about a 2016 version. I have zero desire to see it so if you dared the movie theater this weekend to do so, tell me this: did any of the 1925 sensuality or the 1959 homoeroticism survive in the 2016 version. Or is this just all antiseptic generic blockbuster action mode? 

Ben Hur in 1959, 2016, and 1925If you didn't see Ben-Hur, what did you see? Did you like it? More after the jump including the fate of Kubo and the Two Strings and the best thing I saw this weekend...

Click to read more ...


Link Up

REMINDER: tomorrow night we're doing the first episode of "The Get Down" (now streaming on Netflix) for Hit Me With Your Best Shot

The Best Picture Project advice for taking your toddler to the movie theater
Los Angeles Times report on a South Korean thriller called Train to Busan that's striking a deep chord with moviegoers there
In Contention Kris Tapley has a new podcast called "Playback" - interviews and the Oscar race
Comics Alliance Flash Season 3 News. I cooled a bit on The Flash with the interminable and convoluted plot of Season 2 but season 3 is sounding like great fun: a musical episode (which we were hoping for since so many of the cast members have musical theater backgrounds) and more Gorilla Grodd for starters

MTV Teo Bugbee celebrates the 10th anniversary of Step Up, the sexiest family-friendly dance movie of the decade
Tracking Board we get the movies we deserve (on the success of Suicide Squad despite everyone agreeing that it's not good)
Coming Soon Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has assembled quite a stellar cast (including Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins & Sally Hawkins) and production has begun. It's  "an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963."
Theater Mania Remember Lesley Headland's Bachelorette? It started as a play before it was a movie and now it's coming back to the stage in September (sadly it's the exact dates I'm in TIFF so I won't get to see this production).
/Film Some of the titular characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Variety Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker responds to new reporting about a rape trial 17 years ago.
Variety Cirque du Soleil is making several changes to its Broadway show "Paramour" after opening night and reviews, which is quite rare. 
This is Not Porn Harrison Ford working out for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Coming Soon Patty Jenkins respondes to rumors that Wonder Woman, like other DC superhero productions before it is a mess in post. Calls them "entirely false" with a "transparent agenda"
Theater Mania Fyvush Finkel of Picket Fences and Fiddler on the Roof fame has died at 93 years of age 
Tracking Board more discussion of "genderless" acting awards. I maintain that this would be a disaster for actresses because sexist society (and Holllywood) values men so much more and that would only exarcebate the problem of women not getting their deserved kudos in film and television. This particular article seems to think the male acting categories have more range in roles which I think is flat-out crazy. The male acting categories are so much duller and generally only have a few types of genres honored. You get a wider spread with the actresses from all the same genres as men (bios, dramas, dramedies, epics) plus romances, comedies, musicals, etcetera. 

Olympic Fever
E!Online best reaction faces from the Olympics 
Slate on Kohei Uchimura, "the greatest gymnast of all time"
Slate on why Puerto Rico gets its own Olympic team
Towleroad The IOC has deemed the Daily Beast's awful homophobic article about gay Olympians using apps to hookup "unacceptable" (the article has since been removed from the Daily Beast's website but honestly people should be fired not just 'oh we're sorry') and the straight journalist behind it Nico Hines has been recalled from Rio. Still one has to wonder what damage he's already done given that he basically outed athletes from notoriously anti-gay countries whose lives could not be at stake 
Towleroad The Daily Mail has also been on the homophobic attack, labelling hugging between Olympic divers 'unmanly' 


HFPA Donates Half a Million Dollars to Renovate Historic Egyptian Theater, Site of First Movie Premiere

by Daniel Crooke

While known most casually as the Cool Mom of awards ceremonies – here, you and your friends can drink as much champagne as you want but make sure you do it under my roof, in front of my cameras – the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accomplishes much more every year than pulling off Oscar season’s liveliest, sloppiest party. At their annual Grants Banquet last week, the HFPA awarded over two million dollars worth of grants to non-profit arts organizations, higher education fellowships, professional trainings, and other film-centric or adjacent projects and spaces.

To Angelino cinephiles, film history buffs, and fans of landmark cultural sites, one additional grant announcement might spark some interest: a $500,000 grant to renovate and restore the legendary movie palace, the Egyptian Theater. Home to reams of Golden Age Hollywood lore and, contemporarily, the encyclopedic repertory organization American Cinematheque – the recipients of the grant, and masterminds of the theater’s first major renovation in 1996 – the Egyptian has held a special place in the past, present, and future of Hollywood film culture since its construction in 1922 by film exhibition (and cultural appropriation) impresario Sid Grauman. While Grauman’s Chinese Theater would go on to secure higher iconography in the pantheon of movie palaces and cemented handprints, the Egyptian arguably influenced the practices of the Hollywood hype machine more integrally and with more longevity; after all, it hosted the first ever movie premiere in history, for Allan Dwan's Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks.

Which is all to say, where we see movies matters. Whether it’s a packed AMC with the comfiest seats and strongest air conditioning, a local independent theater with roots in the community, or a trusted repertory house with a taste-expanding slate, the environment in which we watch has the capacity to add a special new flavor to your filmgoing experience.

Do you have a favorite theater around where you live that makes you feel warm and fuzzy when the lights dim? Personally, The Neon in Dayton, Ohio makes me as bubbly inside as one of their homemade Italian sodas.



Variety Emmys are revoking Peter MacNicol's "Guest Actor" nomination for Veep since he appeared in 50% of the episodes (it's supposed to be under 50% a rule we support after years of abuse by studios and actors) but who gets his spot? Stay tuned.
Pajiba reacts with glorious schadenfreude to the news that Divergent is being demoted to TV for its final film
What Mama Said the best review of The Legend of Tarzan out there
THR the resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons in showbiz as geek culture reigns

Interview revives an old cover story from 1991 on Kathy Bates
Decider Who is the worst character on Gilmore Girls?
No Film School on AMC's giant purchase of Odeon (they're going to be way too powerful for one company in terms of how you see movies) -- and China's growing rapidly growing theatrical business.
Towleroad IFC picks up James Franco's latest gay endeavor, King Cobra, the true story of a murder in the gay porn industry 
Pajiba Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson have split up after 10 years. Sad face. So Pajiba looks back on their coupledom.
The Film Stage chooses the 50 best sci-fi films this century thus far. 50 is a lot for 16 years. The top ten feels substantial but I can't forgive them for having The Lobster so low it's practically sitting alongside those terrible Matrix sequels and Ex-Machina and Mad Max Fury Road not in the top ten feels... well, these lists are made to get people riled up (and clicking) so I'll stop there.
The Guardian interviews the undervalued Rebecca Hall 

Today's Watch
If you haven't yet seen this bit from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, you must. Longtime readers will know that TFE worships Broadway musical star Laura Benanti. Her voice is spectacular but her comic skills are just as strong. Here she is doing Melania Trump just one day after people noticed their resemblance. [Hat tip: Vulture]

And James Corden gets both FLOTUS and Missy Elliott in the car (Holla!) for some Carpool Karaoke and talk about "Let Girls Learn". Joyful. Inspiring. Just what we need right now.