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The Turning Point (1977)

"This film is like Beaches long lost relative." -Mark

"I've said it before and I'll say it again, this film's 2 Best Actress nods should've gone to 3 Women" - Yavor

"I really loved Tom Skerritt in this. I think he deserved a nomination for Supporting Actor." -Tyler

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Entries in Oscars (00s) (119)

Thursday
Dec312015

To Gong Li on Her 50th Birthday

One of the screen's all time great beauties turns 50 today and she's still completely ravishing. Gong Li holds the fascinating distinction of being the only Chinese cinema star that Oscar has ever been consistently interested in. Despite Oscar's historic (and frankly bizarre) resistance to Asian cinema, even in the foreign film categories, an incredible six films from her resume have been nominated for Oscars.

Alas she has not been nominated herself, though she was "in the conversation" as it were on two separate occassions.  A Gong Li beauty break and those six of her most famous films after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec102015

Team Experience: The Best of Brokeback Mountain

Ten years ago Brokeback Mountain arrived with truly bracing power.

10 years later Brokeback Mountain has lost none of its power

It was the rarest of things: an honest to god "instant classic". The phrase is overused but once in a while hyperbole proves true. The Oscars were stingy with it (just three prizes) but ten years on the film is as sturdy and majestically irreducible as the mountains that haunt the protagonists. When you're watching it you're breathing rarified air - not from the high altitudes of Wyoming but further on up, think cinematic heaven. The invaluable Ang Lee won his first Best Director Oscar for the film and it's easy to see why given the sensitivity of the performances (early career peaks from four promising ascendant stars), the classicism of the filmmaking, and his unshakeable hand as he sutures the neo western to the romantic tragedy with the thread of American masculinity.

I asked our contributors if they had a favorite scene they'd like to share with us and here were their responses.

FAVORITE SCENES IN BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov202015

His & Hers Oscars? Happy 10th to June & Johnny

Ten years ago right about now Reese & Joaquin took the stage in movie theaters with a full sung duet as June and Johnny Cash. Both were Oscar-nominated for their ringed fire as tempestuous country superstar marrieds with Reese going on to win in a strangely non competitive Best Actress year. His & Hers Oscar nominations for lively onscreen marriages aren't anything new of course but they also aren't dependable since one of the partners is often foregrounded while the other is window dressing or is equally brilliant but just not nominated.

But of the ten double nominees who did it best in the intervening years? (I included the divorced couples just to up the numbers). You decide. To make this more exciting, judge the performances FUSED. Who wins your vote then? These are your ten options

Lead unless otherwise noted
2005 Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon*, Walk the Line
2005 Heath Ledger & Michelle Williams (supporting), Brokeback Mountain
2010 Helen Mirren & Christopher Plummer (supporting), The Last Station 
2011 Colin Firth* & Helena Bonham Carter (supporting), The King's Speech  
2012 Daniel Day Lewis* & Sally Field (supporting), Lincoln 
2012 Amy Adams & Phillip Seymour Hoffman (both supporting), The Master 
2013 Bruce Dern & June Squibb (supporting), Nebraska 
2013 Christian Bale & Jennifer Lawrence (supporting), American Hustle 
2014 Eddie Redmayne* & Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything 
2014 Patricia Arquette* & Ethan Hawke (both supporting), Boyhood 

*won the Oscar

What of 2015?

The "His & Hers" teams of married possibilities this year are Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl (Hers & Hers in that case, though she's pretending to be supporting), and Charlotte Rampling with Tom Courtenay in 45 Years. Neither of those pairs are locked up for nominations just yet. As befits this year with blessed multiple female-centric films, Vikander and Rampling both have more nomination heat than their male actor screen spouses.

 

Monday
Nov022015

Q&A: Hotel's Casting, Woody's Men, Oscar's Quartets

It's time for our semi-weekly Q&A session. Let's just jump right in since there was no uniting theme this time. If I didn't answer your question, apologies. I select by a very scientific process of Which Ones I Feel Like Answering. 

Jeff Daniels should've been Oscar nominated for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)LIZZY: What are your favorite male performances in Woody Allen films?

Hee. So typical that I've never even thought of this before as the ringleader of Actressexuality. Let's see. Towering above them all has got to be Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both Mia and him should have been nominated that year at the Oscars with threats to win. It's such a delicately specific, stylized, and endearing performance in a movie that's aged superbly well. Completing a top five in no particular order I'd go with: Woody himself in anything/everything between 1977-1986, Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris, and Chazz Palminterri in Bullets Over Broadway. But I really had to think on this one... his movies are all about the women, for all his neurosis and intermittent misogyny and/or misanthropy.

It's true. The only man who's ever won an Oscar for acting in a Woody (Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sisters) is not one I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't call myself allergic to Michael Caine but he's in the "don't quite get the appeal" column of legendary actors. 

PATRYK: Do you consider Kate Winslet's performance in Steve Jobs annoying? I was surprised how drastically her accent changed. Shame on the Academy if she wins on a tag-a-long nomination instead of someone like our Elizabeth Banks, who might actually be a real contender without tag-a-long Winslet and fraudulent Vikander and Rooney. 

No. I thought Kate was great in the movie. Yes, the accent was dodgy but I've already explained why I'm okay with that. Otherwise she really nailed the most important part: a psychic kind of work wife connection to Fassy's Jobs. I also agree that Banks was fabulous in a potentially dull/underwritten part in Love & Mercy but I'm not so sure she isn't the lead of that movie. I'd like to see it again before determining. 

TYLER: What is your favorite film set in New Orleans?

the answer (not Interview with a Vampire) and enticing Oscary questions after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct232015

Posterized: Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan at the Women in Hollywood Awards earlier this weekTwo Oscar hopefuls will hopefully dominate the conversation. Steve Jobs went wide today and the scrappy fighting-for-our-rights British period piece Suffragette is finally starting its US release in select cities. The movie has whethered some controversy of late and unexpectedly muted reception critically... at least in its first round. But release is a different challenge than pre-release buzz. If audiences like it, expect the Oscar buzz to reheat. At least for its leading lady who, we should remind ourselves, already had a minor unexpected hit this year with Far From the Madding Crowd.

Which means it's time to think about Carey Mulligan again.  How many of Carey Mulligan's 14 films have you seen? The posters (and more commentary) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct142015

Ranking Kate Winslet's Oscar-Nominated Performances

Kieran, here. With this week's wide release of the already heralded Steve Jobs and yesterday's Elizabeth "Lee" Miller biopic casting announcement, it could well be a entering a second era of peak Kate Winslet. Winslet was on a career high with six Oscar nominations, four before her thirtieth birthday. Then things slowed down considerably. Yes, she had that awards run for Mildred Pierce and she was Globe nominated for her turns in Carnage and Labor Day. However, the consensus these past few years is that Winslet has been in a bit of a slump. If her Steve Jobs work does indeed land Winslet a seventh nomination, it'll be thrilling to see her return to the ceremony.

It's been seven years since Winslet last nomination for The Reader (which she won). In honor of one of our favorite actresses/shampoo-bottle-Oscar-speech-rehearsers let's look through her list of nominated performances, and rank them. Heavenly Creatures and Holy Smoke!, two of her best, are missing, but that's another story.

 

6. Little Children 
(Best Actress, 2006--Lost to Helen Mirren in The Queen)

Her turn in Little Children is an excellent example of how Winslet is rarely uninteresting to watch on-screen, even when she happens to be miscast. Todd Field makes good use of her highly-charged eroticism and her gift for conveying inner turmoil. Unfortunately, the screenplay forces her to tell more than show.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct082015

Best Actor 2000: Who Gets Your Vote!

RETRO REMATCH FUN!  Apropos of nothing, let's time travel back to [spinning wheel of randomness] 2000. Who gets your vote in... [spinning wheel of randomness again]... Best Actor? Make your case in the comments.

  • Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls
  • Russell Crowe, Gladiator
  • Tom Hanks, Cast Away
  • Ed Harris, Pollock
  • Geoffrey Rush, Quills

Bonus Q: If you could replace any of these men with these other key 2000 leads tell us who and why:

  • Michael Douglas, Wonder Boys (GG Nom)
  • Jamie Bell, Billy Elliott (SAG Nom)
  • George Clooney - O Brother Where Art Thou? (GG Win)
  • Christian Bale - American Psycho (zero nominations... except right here at The Film Experience where he medalled in our infant online year albeit at a different web address and a Boston non-profit indie film awards group called Chlotrudis then in their 6th year)

*Our actually serious Oscar competition investigation -- the "Smackdown" Series -- is not dead. There were just some speedbumps. News on the delayed 1963 Smackdown coming soon.