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 Octavia Spencer (39)


Red Carpet: Supporting Actress. (Plus: Octavia's Amazing Record!)

by Nathaniel R

Manville, Janney, Blige, Metcalf, and Spencer (click to embiggen)

Just last week we held a Smackdown honoring these five women and a follow up conversation on the podcast, too. Laurie Metcalf emerged as the Smackdown winner with Lesley Manville as a close runner-up. The readers poll emerged with the same winner but a different runner-up. Like so...


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Smackdown Companion - The Shape of Phantom Billboards

NEW PODCAST! *Updated with correct podcast file*

For this week's podcast Nathaniel R presents a companion conversation to our Supporting Actress Smackdown (which we'll presume you've read already!). Joining him to discuss the Best Picture race and more generalized discussion about supporting actressing in 2017 are: Andrew Carden (Awards Connection / Gold Derby) Chris Feil (The Film Experience), Candice Frederick (Reel Talker), Erica Mann (NYC Film Chick), and Kevin P O'Keeffe (Into). 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Intros & Rewatches
02:30 Favs That Weren't Nominated
13:00 Mary J Blige and Carey Mulligan and Mudbound
17:00 Shape of Water, Get Out, or Three Billboards to Win?
31:00 Switching Roles Around: Octavia Spencer
37:30 Allison Janney and Julianne Nicholson and I Tonya
40:00 Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf and Goodbyes

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown Companion 17


Smackdown '17: Allison, Laurie, Lesley, Mary and Octavia

Presenting Oscar's Chosen Supporting Actresses of the Films of 2017


Two mothers with combative relationships with their daughters (Janney and Metcalf). One sister/business partner (Manville). One mother struggling with oppressive farm life (Blige). And one cleaning lady (Spencer) whose coworker/friend is mute and in love with a fish crea... listen, it's a long story!

But here's a beautiful thing that's too little remarked on this season: they're all actually supporting characters. No leads masquerading as support for once! 


From top left: Andrew Carden, Chris Feil, Candice Frederick, Erica Mann, Kevin O'Keeffe, and Nathaniel R

Here to talk about these five nominated turns, are in alpha order: Andrew Carden (Awards Connection / Gold Derby) Chris Feil (The Film Experience), Candice Frederick (Reel Talker), Erica Mann (NYC Film Chick), Kevin P O'Keeffe (Into) and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience). And now it's time for the main event... 


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Beauty Break: Stars in Halloween Costumes

by Nathaniel R

Octavia Spencer announced on Halloween that she'd be dressing up as an actor "instead of a cat with boobs."That's a perfect nonsense funny to make while sharing a photoshopped portrait of yourself, don'cha think?! But the girls who won Halloween on the internet were these three adorables in this widely circulated photo of Hidden Figures costumes. Little mini Tarajis, Octavias, and Janelles, yaaas. 

Some celebrities actually did dress up for the holiday -- and not for an acting job --  this holiday so we're sharing the pics we could find. Patricia Clarkson, Zoe Kravitz, Samuel L Jackson, Busy Phillips, Kristen Bell and many more after the jump...

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Best Supporting Actress - Chart Updates

With Venice, TIFF, and Telluride passed, the Oscar races become clearer. Not crystal clear mind you but apart from films no one has seen (like Spielberg's The Post or Scott's All the Money in the World) we know which dozen or so actresses might want to start thinking about red carpet lewks if the tide turns in their favor. SUPPORTING ACTRESS CHART UPDATES

Ronan and Metcalf in "Lady Bird"

One new intriguing possibility is Tony & Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird. If she's nominated could she complete her triple crown with an Oscar win?

And I know we've asked this before but is Octavia Spencer the Thelma Ritter of her generation? She sure is reliable at warming up a film and giving it some salt of the earth wisdom and comedy, too. Guillermo del Toro's romantic fantasy The Shape of Water could be looking at a triple Oscar play in the acting categories with its mute heroine and her loyal mouthpieces. Both Richard Jenkins as Sally's neighbor and Octavia as her favorite co-worker defend our voiceless heroine and translate for her, too, in numerous scenes. They're an endearing unlikely trio of "little people" up against the goliath of big government, shady military operations, and the broad moustache twirling villiany of Michael Shannon.

Updated Charts: Pic | Director | Supp Actress | Lead Actress (more to come)


Black History Month: Spotlight on Octavia Spencer

by Steven Fenton

On February 26, 2012, Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her endearing performance as the feisty Minny Jackson in Tate Taylor’s The Help. With her win, Spencer joined an elite group, becoming just the sixth black actress to win an acting Oscar (and only the seventh overall, if you count Irene Cara’s Original Song win for Flashdance, since she also starred in the film). Prior to 2011, Spencer had worked steadily since the mid-90s, gaining a reputation as a warm and generous co-star and a beloved character actress. So her win in February 2012 felt like an authentic opportunity for the academy to recognize an industry favorite.

Spencer was an indomitable force in the 2011 awards season, snatching wins at the Critics Choice, SAG awards, Globe Globes, and BAFTA, and beating out a talented crop of women in sensational breakout performances, including: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), and Spencer’s co-star, Jessica Chastain (who had taken both the LA and NY Film Critics awards for her outstanding trio of performances in The Help, Take Shelter, and Tree of Life). Spencer’s Oscar win was a foregone conclusion early in the race. The real competition that was year between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep in Leading Actress. Viola could have made history that night as the second black woman to win in lead, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, Spencer walked away with The Help’s only win that evening. Little did we know then, Octavia’s Oscar story wasn’t over, and she definitely wasn’t done making history...

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Podcast: Smackdown Companion Discussion

Nathaniel welcomes fellow team members Murtada, Chris, and Abstew to discuss this year's Supporting Actress race. It's a verbal companion piece to the "Smackdown" we just held

Index (42 minutes)
Longform discussion of this year's supporting actress contenders Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Octavia Spencer, their futures, their films. What, if anything new, did they reveal to us this year and what would we like to see next from them?

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown Companion - 2016 Supporting Actress


Smackdown '16: Nicole, Viola, Michelle, Naomie, Octavia

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '16. This year's slate of nominees features a selfless adoptive mother, a doting but suddenly resentful wife, a woman whose tragic past has suddenly resurfaced, a savvvy mother hen and supervisor struggling to gain respect, and an addict who makes her sensitive son's life a nightmare of instability.


One long-time-coming breakthrough for an exciting actress (Get it Naomie Harris), two Oscar winners elevating their films with warmth and precision (Kidman & Spencer), and two Oscar darlings who arguably should have won already attacking tragic material (Williams and Davis). Who will be triumphant in the smackdown?


Though we usually arrange for special guests including actors, writers, and film critics, for the first Smackdown of the new season, we opted to do it all 'in house' with only TFE crew just to get the series back up and running: Nathaniel, Abstew, Chris, and Murtada (you can read about the team here) are discussing the nominees. And now it's time for the main event... 


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