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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 NBR (14)

Wednesday
Dec072016

Podcast: Critics Awards, Elle, Hacksaw Ridge, More...

This week a bifurcated podcast. In the first half Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel continue their discussion of Elle. Then Katey joins us to talk about the recent surge of critics awards. 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 A little more on Elle, Huppert, and provocateur auteurs
13:00 Bleed For This, The Fighter, Hidden Figures
19:20 Katey joins us & Nick goes to New Zealand
23:00 Critic prizes, Critics Choice Nomination, NBR, the lack of transparency, and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge
40:00 A bit on Hell or High Water

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. On the next podcast: Manchester by the Sea and Reader Questions Answered! 

Critics Award Rush...

Wednesday
Nov302016

Why Amy Adams May Have to Sit This Oscar Year Out... 

The news of Amy Adams winning the NBR delighted many and also stirred up the usual "The Film Experience hates her!" complaints in the commentary. We do not. Being frustrated by an actor's ubiquity and dullness at one particular annual event is not the same as hating them or their work. Amy Adams is a very fine actress. She has given many delightful performances, two of which would have even made non-controversial Oscar wins had she managed to actually nab the statue (Junebug or The Fighter).

Amy Adams (5), Albert Finney (5), and Glenn Close (6) are the living actors with the most Oscar nominations who have never won.

And it's true that she's quite amazing in Arrival, serving as the audience vessel to in two simultaneous and important ways that the movie couldn't succeed without: she's awestruck by what she's watching (she's our eyes and surely our facial expressions in the dark); apart from that awe she's emotionally and intellectually engaged with the events in order to grapple with them and suss out meaning which is what the audience is always doing when they're watching grand films that demands that they pay attention with both their heart and their mind.

But for all of that I don't think she's making the Oscar lineup and here's why...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov292016

NBR Loves Manchester by the Sea

The National Board of Review, the only non-industry and non-journalist/critic group of note that passes out awards each year have announced their winners. They are notoriously secretive and hard to predict apart from three things: their eternal love for Clint Eastwood (even when no one else is loving him as with titles like Hereafter) so we knew Sully would be on their list; their recency bias (they love December releases historically more than Oscar); and their magical not-at-all suspicious divvying up of prizes to make sure each studio must purchases a table at their banquet.

Their top winner this year were Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea which won four awards and Moonlight which won two. No other film took multiple prizes though some received a prize plus a citation on one of their top five / top ten lists. Notable Oscar hopefuls that received no mentions whatsover: Jackie, Lion, Loving, Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins, Toni Erdmann and Love & Friendship.

The winners and list are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec012015

NBR takes Fury Road... but to where?

The National Board of Review used to be the unofficial kick off to awards season / best of year honors but though it's still early, the race for "first" got so ridiculous that we've crept into November of late. They lost that distinction but they're still doing their thing super early in December. The first day of it. Welcome to month twelve!

THEY LOOKED AT ME. THEY LOOKED AT ME.

This year they named George Miller's feminist action epic Mad Max Fury Road as the year's best and we salute them since we love it so and it's peak spectacle filmmaking. But Furiosa will be pissed to hear that they mostly ignored the other big female driven films this year.

Let's investigate after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov302015

Mark Your Calendars!

With the Gotham Awards coming tonight, it's time to look at the awards season calendar. Here's a handy prep list. Dates in italics are not official just right around when it happened last year. Dates in bold are nomination dates or televised ceremonies.

Are you ready? Can you ever be?

DECEMBER 2015
 

1st (ish) Oscar's Documentary Finalist List announced
1st National Board of Review Awards
2nd New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards
6th Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC) Awards
7th Golden Globe nomination ballots due
9th SAG NOMINATIONS
10th GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS

13th Toronto Film Critics Awards
14th BFCA "CRITICS CHOICE" NOMINATIONS
18th (ish) Oscar's Foreign Language Finalist List announced
20th FiLM BiTCH AWARDS begin. That's ours... (I know I know. we'll try to trim the running time this year.)
30th Oscar nomination ballots go out to AMPAS

JANUARY 2016

5th PGA & ADG Nominations
5th NBR Gala
6th ASC Cinematography Nominations
7th SAG nomination ballots due
8th Oscar nomination ballots due
8th BAFTA Nominations
10th GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC)
10th Visual Effects Society "Bake-Off" presentation for the Oscar finalists
12th DGA Nominations
13th FiLM BiTCH AWARDS Nominations Wrap-Up
14th OSCAR NOMINATIONS - Rejoice!
17th CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS (Annual BFCA Awards on A&E)
21st  Sundance Film Festival Begins
23rd PGA Gala
29th SAG ballots due
30th SAG AWARDS (22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on TNT/TBS)
31st Art Directors Guild Gala

FEBRUARY 2016

6th DGA Gala
12th Oscar ballots out to AMPAS
14th BAFTA AWARDS
and American Society of Cinematographer's Gala
17th (ish) 18th Annual Costume Designers Guild Gala

23rd Oscar Ballots due
27th Film Independent Spirit Awards

28th OSCAR NIGHT! (aka Hollywood's High Holy Night aka The 88th Annual Academy Awards)

MARCH & APRIL 2016

It all starts again for a new film year!

 

Saturday
Jan032015

Meet the Contenders: Oscar Isaac "A Most Violent Year"

Abstew continues his weekly look at acting contenders as their films open...

Oscar Isaac as "Abel Morales" in A Most Violent Year
Best Actor

Born: Óscar Isaac Hernández was born in Guatamala, but the internet can't agree on the actual date. It's either January 5th, 1980 or March 9, 1979

The Role: The setting is New York City, the year is 1981 - on record as a time of one of the highest crime rates in the city's history. The third feature film from Oscar nominated writer and director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost) stars Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales, the head of a lucrative heating oil company that has found itself the target of theft and violence. His trucks are being hijacked, the oil being siphoned, the series of events inhibiting his plans to expand his company with a profitable purchase of a new building with a prime location. His method of handling the problem also puts him at odds with his wife Anna (Best Supporting Actress contender Jessica Chastain), who is the daughter of a Brooklyn mobster and has her own ideas of how things should be taken care of...

Trivia, Critical response and Oscar chances after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec022014

National Board of Review's Most Violent Awards

Glenn here with the NBR results as they come to hand. They used to be the first awards of the season to announce their winners, but now the National Board of Review are trumped annually by the Gotham Awards and the NYFCC in the merry-go-round that is award season. I maintain that unless you're a guild, your absence is more or less moot. However, it can definitely help get your name and face out there to be acknowledged early and often. The NBR is where the likes of Moulin Rouge! and Amy Ryan made it known that they would be forces to be reckoned with. What did this 105-year-old group select this year? Let's find out...

NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW WINNERS

  • Best Film: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • Best Director: Clint Eastwood, AMERICAN SNIPER
  • Best Actor: (tie!) Oscar Isaac, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR and Michael Keaton, BIRDMAN
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore, STILL ALICE
  • Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, BIRDMAN
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, THE LEGO MOVIE
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, INHERENT VICE
  • Best Animated Feature: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Appears to not exist this year?
  • Breakthrough Performance: Jack O'Connell, STARRED UP and UNBROKEN
  • Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre, OBVIOUS CHILD
  • Best Foreign Language Film: WILD TALES (Argentina)
  • Best Documentary: LIFE ITSELF
  • William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
  • Best Ensemble: FURY
  • Spotlight Award: Chris Rock for writing, directing, producing and starring in TOP FIVE
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award: SELMA and ROSEWATER

What exactly does Clint Eastwood have on these people that they give him an award for almost every single movie he makes? Best director for American Sniper and a placement on their top ten (below) seems... extravagant.

 

 

Anyway, it was a big day for A Most Violent Year winning three big prizes including best film. Will this film fall alongside the likes of Quills as a NBR best picture winner without a corresponding Oscar nomination in the same category? That super, ultra, very-very late release date still makes me worried. Whatever the case may be, the NBR loved it and good on A24. Ever the wealth-spreader, the mysterious organization liked The Lego Movie enough to give it a rather shocking (although not entirely undeserved) screenplay win and top ten placement, yet Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 took out the animated film prize. They consolidated their breakthrough prizes into one award for handsome Jack O'Connell. Fair enough, I suppose. Meanwhile, after Jennifer Kent's win at the NYFFF and now Gillian Robespierre's win at the NBR, women directors are staking a claim to breakthrough director awards in 2014!

TOP FILMS
(alphabetical)

  • AMERICAN SNIPER
  • BIRDMAN
  • BOYHOOD
  • FURY
  • GONE GIRL
  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • INHERENT VICE
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • NIGHTCRAWLER
  • UNBROKEN

Remember, this is basically places 2-11 hence A Most Violent Year's omission. I don't claim to know how that works, but let's just roll with it. Very happy to see Nightcrawler here as now that the flurry of indie nominations have surpassed, citations for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie may be hard to come by. The rest of the list is pretty standard, although the people behind The Theory of Everything, Big Eyes, Foxcatcher, Into the Woods, Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild and Whiplash will all be a bit miffed that they didn't receive a single token nomination anywhere amidst the NBR's field. Selma, too, being stuck with that kiddie-table "Freedom of Expression" award feels like a disappointment for that team, too.

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(In Alphabetical Order)

  • FORCE MAJEURE (Sweden)
  • GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIAN AMSALAM (Israel)
  • LEVIATHAN (Russia)
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (Belgium)
  • WE ARE THE BEST! (Sweden)

I think the recognition of Lukas Moodysson's ace teen movie We Are the Best! is my favourite of the NBR's choices. Way to go, NBR! Y'all should go watch it immediately. Three of these films (plus Wild Tales, their actual foreign film winner - again, confusingly) are eligible for Oscar, with the Dardennes' Two Days, One Night now appearing on multiple award lists after the NYFCC yesterday.

Top 5 Documentaries
(In Alphabetical Order)

  • ART AND CRAFT
  • JODOROWSKY'S DUNE
  • KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON
  • THE KILL TEAM
  • LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM

All six documentaries cited - Life Itself won the big prize as noted up top - are on Oscar's 15-wide doc shortlist. That's some good dart-throwing, NBR!

Top 10 Independent Films
(In Alphabetical Order) 

  • BLUE RUIN
  • LOCKE
  • A MOST WANTED MAN
  • MR. TURNER
  • OBVIOUS CHILD
  • THE SKELETON TWINS
  • SNOWPIERCER
  • STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS
  • STARRED UP
  • STILL ALICE

Ignoring the pure idiocy of a list like this that makes no sense (are independent films not eligible elsewhere?), this is a good batch of flicks. Blue Ruin! I was ecstatic to see Stand Clear of the Closing Doors get an acting nomination at the Indie Spirits the other day, and now this little mention. That film is so good and I suggest y'all check it out if you can. It's small, but beautiful. Beautiful can't be used to describe Starred Up starring Ben Mendelsohn and breakthrough winner Jack O'Connell, but I'm glad it showed up, too. Likewise The Skeleton Twins and Obvious Child, two of the best comedies this year that I'm sure the Globes will ignore almost entirely.

What do you make of this year's NBR awards? I'm sure we'll have more to say about them later when Nathaniel returns from hobnobbing with Angelina Jolie and I am salivating at the thought of another hilarious podcast as they discuss Clint Eastwood's magnetic hold over the NBR, but for now did they get it right? Embarassingly wrong? Let us know!