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Oscar History

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Entries in Naomie Harris (13)


The Scene at NYFF with Naomie Harris and Kenneth Lonergan

Murtada reporting from a weekend at the NYFF.

The New York Film Festival enables local cinephiles to catch a finely curated collection of films that have screened at other festivals earlier in the year. It is also a veritable hotbed of casual sightings of the New York film crowd: there’s Todd Haynes entering the Alice Tully Hall animatedly chatting with his Carol editor Alfonso Gonçalves (who has two films in the festival: Gimme Danger and Paterson). Here's Mikhail Baryshnikov posing with his daughter Anna who’s in Manchester by the Sea; I see Bob Balaban making his way through the security line. And, look, Edie Falco introducing herself to Casey Affleck after the Q and A for his movie.

Lonergan in conversation with Jones

Most interesting though are the stories filmmakers tell as they screen their films...

Click to read more ...


A Brief Note on Moonlight's Oscar Buzz

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto Film Festival

I'll need more time to process Moonlight, a stunning triptych about a black gay man named Chiron at three stages in his life (played by Alex R Hibbet as a child, Ashton Sanders as a teenager, and Trevante Rhodes as an adult). A full review then is yet to come. Barry Jenkins' film inspired by the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" is beautifully calibrated to explore its central theme of finding your identity. It provides no easy answers as to how to do that and no simple catharsis which could make it a difficult sell. If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24 who will platform release the film beginning on October 21st. 

As to the reductive topic of all the Oscar buzz, I am uncertain. Yes, it's going to be a huge critical success and some people's favorite of the year. Barry Jenkins has most definitely announced himself as a exciting formidable writer/director. Yes the cast is performing the material gorgeously particularly Mahershala Ali as a complex father figure to Chiron in the first act, and Trevante Rhodes who pulls all the Chiron's together with heartbreaking interiority in the last act. (Of note: Naomie Harris as Chiron's drug-addicted mother is the only actor to appear in all three chapters but she's impactful each time). But, how to put this... it's definitely an art film that's going to work best for audience members for whom identity politics resonate (*raises hand*). It's also a double minority story about being black and gay.

Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches Chiron (Alex R Hibbet) to swim in Moonlight's first chapter "Little"

Oscar is, rather infamously, a majority instution if you get me. They normally need some "in" for LGBT or black stories, in the form of an already renowned director for the former or a famous historical event or famous actor in celebrity bio or some such for the latter. We'll see.

I repeat: If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24! 


Best Acting. New Oscar Predictions

Having just taken a trip back to 1984 for the Smackdown and memory sufficiently jogged about how dense the acting branch can sometimes be (the discernment skills vary so much annually it can feel like invasion of the AMPAS body snatchers in some calender years) I'm finding myself in the odd position of defending my more extreme hunches from my more cynical side.

Huppert is amazing... and (more importantly) Huppert-esque in ELLEBEST ACTRESS
Whenever you make a call here suggesting that so & so in some non-Oscary film actually has a shot at an acting nomination, people are prone to scoff. But each year's Oscar races have so many intangibles in the acting categories that it's best to keep an open mind. The four acting categories are arguably the categories that are least beholden to the actual movies since a famous actor doesn't need a strong picture to generate buzz nor do they (in some cases) even need for people to actually like their movie they're in or, in fact, see it. And then you have the vaguely opposite case where a particular movie, whether or not people actually warm to it as a whole, can remind the world how fabulous a particular actor or actress always has been...

Click to read more ...


'Moonlight' Rising

by Chris Feil

We've been excited at The Film Experience for Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, the follow-up to his 2008 tiny but magnificent debut Medicine for Melancholy (which is available on Netflix - you're welcome).You're going to want to catch up to that film if you haven't because if the buzz is to be believed on Moonlight, the writer/director has something special coming our way.

This week the film was announced as part of the lineups of both New York Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival. In Toronto, it will compete in the Platform section meant to launch auteurs to the next stage of their career. If the just released trailer is any indication, Moonlight has the goods to do just that - take a look at this stunner:

Consider our breath offically taken. Not only does the trailer make good on the buzz we've been hearing for Naomie Harris's performance, but the images are full throttle gut-punchers running the spectrum from sexy to devastating. If the film itself is as visually arresting and emotionally investing as these short two minutes, then we are in for something special indeed. A24 also has Mike Mills's 20th Century Women coming this Oscar season, but their success with Room last year shows what they can do with a modest emotional powerhouse like this.

Moonlight opens on October 21. Which moment from the trailer took your breath away?


Oscar Chart Updates: The Acting Races !

The July Oscar prediction chart updates are complete! You're welcome. Each chart has been updated (but for foreign film but we start building the submission tables now). With the acting charts newly updated you'll see new predictions we're trying on for size (Jessica Sloane for Miss Sloane and Naomie Harris for Moonlight) and significant chart gains for the casts of three pictures (which affects the supporting actor chart most) Love and Friendship, Loving and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

Will they be contenders? Who knows.

Here are some questions TFE is asking its Oscar Crystal Ball. Care to answer them in the comments? 

• Which sci-fi picture is more likely to be garner acting praise: Passengers with Jennifer Lawrence or Arrival with Amy Adams? Or neither since sci-fi pictures are rarely regarded, right or wrong, as "actor's pictures"?

• Do you think Love & Friendship can muster up an acting campaign to capitalize on its sleeper arthouse hit status?

• Why is buzz around Martin Scorsese's Silence so quiet and does this mean anything for its formidable male actors?

• Will Fences be seen as just the Viola & Denzel show or will it be a force in Supporting Actor? And can Denzel win a third Oscar, tying Daniel Day Lewis, Walter Brennan, and Jack Nicholson?

• Can Sony Pictures Classics make a critical cause of or controversy 'must-see' event out of Paul Verhoeven & Isabelle Huppert's pairing in Elle?

• When will filmmakers quit wasting Oscar caliber actresses as "concerned wife on phone" and "inquisitive wife at kitchen table"? (Actually this last one is rhetorical. No need to answer lest we all weep.)



Moonlight Gets a Release Date

Yesterday Mahershala Ali got invited to be an Academy member and now he has a movie that might get him nominated next year. Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue (what a great title, why change it?)  by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, is scheduled to open limited on Oct. 21. The movie tells the story of a young man who comes of age in 1980s Miami, focusing on on his quarter-life crisis, challenging environment and awakening sexuality. 

The ensemble cast includes many fantastic actors we’ve all loved and wished they’d get the movie showcase that their talents calls for. In addition to Ali we get Naomie Harris and Andre Holland. Playing the lead character, at different times of his life, are newcomers Trevante Rhodes and Ashton Sanders. The movie not only has good buzz (word is that Harris in particular is a revelation) but also excellent pedigree. One of the producers is Brad Pitt. The director Barry Jenkins was named by NYTimes as one of 20 Directors to Watch, a couple of years ago. His first film was the little seen but hugely admired Medicine for Melancholy (2008), a grittier less romantic but no less absorbing Before Sunset.

Not a lot is known about the film - there are even no pictures released. We have to make do with those three very attractive faces at different awards ceremonies in lieu of that. But it’s definitely one to keep an eye on and get excited about in these slow summer days of great weather and bad blockbusters. 

Are you ready for fall movies? (20th Century Women was also announced for 4th quarter). 


Red Carpet Lineup: Naomie Harris x 4

Naomie Harris on various red carpets promoting Spectre...


Naomie's best "Spectre" Red Carpet Look?


Hello mates. It's Nathaniel back from London where James Bond's latest adventure Spectre is already out and filling houses. When I was there Tim & Guy were talking about a Moneypenny commercial (embedded below) and how Naomie Harris has more opportunity to show off her action chops in that promo than she does in the films. As for Spectre, Harris herself is promising more action for Moneypenny.

TFE has been in Naomie Harris's corner since her apocalyptic fierceness in 28 Days Later (2002). That film was a great launching pad for Harris, Cillian Murphy, and Brendan Gleeson (who all worked a lot in the subsequent years) but it arguably did more for zombies themselves who've been truly ubiquitous since. Hollywood never did capitalize on this British beauty's screen presence and complete ease within the always active action genre, though. Same old story and blindspots one supposes. So we're glad she has the Bond franchises -- nice work if you can get it -- for steady income.

Do Moneypenny and Q and M get recast immediately in the next film when Bond does or do they get another paycheck before they're booted?