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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Oscar Snubs (30)

Monday
Oct222012

Oscar Horrors: Hush Hush Campy Agnes

[Editors Note: For today's episode of Oscar Horrors, I invited award-winning writer Manuel Muñoz ("What You See in the Dark" "The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue") to join us. I've gave all the contributors a list of every Oscar nomination from the horror genre and they chose their own subjects. -Nathaniel R.]

Here Lies... Agnes Moorehead in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte is either Grand Guignol catnip or the most ridiculous Scooby Doo plot ever, depending on your level of generosity.  The film lacks the sustained camp thrills of its kissing cousins What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Strait-Jacket.  But it remains obligatory viewing, whether to fulfill your quota of the era’s is-she-crazy suspense vehicles starring Hollywood’s aging belles, or to check out Oscar offerings with peculiarly high nomination counts.  Charlotte picked up seven (yes, seven) Oscar nods and while you might shrug off most of them as applause for technical show, a major Supporting Actress bid (and maybe an almost-win) came with the fourth and final invite to the big dance for Agnes Moorehead as 

But first, the tawdry beginnings.  Set on a once sunny Louisiana estate in 1927, the film introduces us to a young Charlotte, whose father doesn’t approve of the news he’s heard from her secret suitor.  At an elaborate party (and in one of the most nimbly arranged sequences of the film), things get downright bloody, and Charlotte emerges from the shadows with one of the most conspicuously stained dresses ever to stun a crowd.

Fast forward decades later, and our fun begins

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct052012

Will Oscar Voters Sing Along With "Skyfall" ?

My freinquaintance Mark Blankenship at New Now Next is in love with Adele's "Skyfall" theme. That crush is sweeping the internet though the song also has its "it's dull!" naysayers.

He's written a fun article but I wouldn't be so bold about predicting an Oscar to go along with the chanteuse's Grammy statues. For one thing you can hear iconic Bond underscoring and you know how the music branch loves to disqualify the best movie songs for stupid reasons or just not nominated the best ones even if they do qualify. (Moulin Rouge!'s über classic "Come What May" -- not that Adele's song is that caliber -- is an example of the former and Bruce Springsteen's Wrestler theme is an example of the latter.)

Here's Adele's song if you haven't yet committed it to memory.

I should stop being a killjoy about Oscar dreams and such a bitch about the music branch but it's impossible for me not to note the statistics -- it's a sickness! -- and they aren't promising. Oscar's music branch has been notoriously stingy about awarding this Original Song Bonanza of a Franchise. To date these are the only three Original Song Oscar nominees from 007 films (four if you count the non-official Bond film Casino Royale from the 60s since "The Look of Love" was nominated)

 

  • Live and Let Die (1973)
    "Live and Let Die" Paul & Linda McCartney (sung by Paul McCartney)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
    "Nobody Does it Better" Marvin Hamlisch & Carole Bayer Sager (sung by Carly Simon)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
    "For Your Eyes Only" Bill Conti & Michael Leeson (sung by Sheena Easton)

 

That statistic will shake your faith but it's not very stirring.

Monday
Sep242012

"Inconceivable!" ~ a Princess Bride Reunion for NYFF

Hot off the presses! And given our wee Carol Kane tangent recently, we'll have fun storming this castle...

The director and cast of the adventure comedy classic The Princess Bride (1987), including Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, Carol Kane, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon and Robin Wright, will reunite for a 25th anniversary special screening and Q & A at the 50th New York Film Festival on Tuesday October 2nd at 8:00 PM! Tickets will undoubtedly go fast for this one.

Oscar Trivia: It's worth noting that the Academy's bias against "light" movies can often cast them in an unflattering light historically. The Princess Bride only enjoyed one nomination -- a Best Original Song nomination at that -- in its year. It didn't even get a screenplay nomination which seems to strain all belief in hindsight. 1987's Oscar favorites were far from an anti-populist crop (Two Best Picture nominees, the wondrous Moonstruck, which definitely holds up in 2012, and the thriller Fatal Attraction were both blockbuster hits and Broadcast News was a major success, too) it's arguably The Princess Bride that remains 1987's most universally beloved film.

Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) and his wife (Carol Kane) in The Princess Bride (1987)

Does it make your top ten list from 1987? It made mine.

 

Thursday
Sep202012

Hitchcock Arrives Early

Hitchcock, which was formerly known by the very expositional title Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will now open Friday November 23rd says Fox Searchlight. The Oscar game board was already quite crowded but Searchlight isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to their own chess pieces. With The Sessions opening in October, and Hitchcock ideally positioned a month later for Thanksgiving weekend, they're clearly feeling confident.

 

2012 was already so crowded (particularly in Best Actor!) but what the hell, right? It's not like anyone will have an easier time being invited to Oscar dinner again than Anthony Hopkins if he nails the mimicry. While it's absurd to suggest that an Oscar for someone playing Alfred Hitchcock is like an Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock, who AMPAS is consistently flogged for not honoring properly, but... well you know how people love a proxy.

And the man himself was always particular about timing. If Fox Searchlight, really wanted to go all out with this movie they'd get really fussy about the screenings, too, to further the Psycho for Psycho homaging.

Imagine everyone being forced to sit down before a movie starts in 2012! Although this might constitute cruel and unusual punishment rather than a savvy marketing ploy; in 1960 they didn't play 25 minutes of commercials before movies began. (In 1960 they still understood that 'no commercials' was a major pro for the movies, something TV could never offer you.) 

Sacha Gervasi, who previously directed the very winning documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! helms his first traditional feature but if he can bring the humor and pathos of that documentary to this biographical comic/drama than this might be a winner. The all star cast includes Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Toni Collette plays Hitchcock's longtime personal assistant Peggy Robertson. Might we have new Supporting Actress candidates to consider too? Even leads if the story thread about Hitchcock's marriage gets lots of screentime.

Time to update the charts again. I just did and this news and the new Oscar dates have already made them seem so out of date and long ago. And now we've even got a new "live singing!" Les Miz video to enjoy. This Oscar race? It's on.

P.S. My weirdly persistent flu -- which you've seen reflected here in erratic posting -- turns out to actually be pneumonia. Boo. So I am a mess and must stay in bed rather than attend my NYFF screenings.... [weeping]! But perhaps I'll be a blogging maniac as I mend. Laptops were invented for bed rest.

Friday
Sep142012

Actress a Day: Joan Allen

My fingers were itchy for some sketching. So let's get back to Actress a Day...

Why Joan Allen today? 
Two reasons...

1) She finally nabbed a new leading role! She'll headline A Good Marriage which is based on a Stephen King short story about a woman named Darcy who discovers her husband and the father of her children has been leading a gruesome secret life. No word yet on who will play the evil husband but apparently the wife's role is juicy. Yay! We need some Joan back in our lives, don't we? [src]

2) In my failed rush toward Toronto I forgot to mention that I was a special guest on the Award Circuit Power Hour this week where we discussed festival buzz, the Best Actress and the Best Supporting Actress races. One of the things they do on the Podcast is a game called "Give Them an Oscar" and the holy name of Joan Allen was invoked. You can listen here.

So... what would you give Joan an Oscar for? Do tell in the comments.

Tuesday
Jul032012

Take Three: Alfre Woodard

A great 1990s duet: PASSIONFISH with McDonnell & WoodardCraig here with Take Three. Today: Alfre Woodard

Take One: Passion Fish (1992)
After dismissing a string of unsuitable nurses, recently paralysed TV actress May-Alice (Mary McDonnell) opts to hire Alfre Woodard’s mysterious Chantelle in John Sayles’ Bayou drama Passion Fish. Chantelle enters the film out of nowhere, off a bus and into May-Alice’s house. She doesn’t let on any overt details about her life, but there’s a hint of intrigue about her, something amiss and troubling. It's evident in the slightly trembling nervous manner in which Chantelle goes about her new position. McDonnell’s icy actress will gradually thaw as a result of her dependency, but not before she attempts to make life miserable for Chantelle – who’s having none of it.

Chantelle is headstrong and defiant and she doesn’t suffer defeat readily. Woodard embodies these traits, but never adheres to over-familiar actorly tics in the way she conveys them. When wheeling May-Alice outside for exercise, Chantelle leaves her to fend for herself with a sarcastic motivational response.

Mary Alice: I want to go back inside!...It’s uphill!
Chantelle: So's life!"

Instead of merely showing us McDonnell’s abandoned reaction, Director John Sayles shows us Woodard's nurse pensively thinking in a swing chair. Chantelle is not the concrete-hard carer she likes to make everyone think she is. [more on Passionfish and two more takes after the jump]

Click to read more ...