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Entries in Oscars (11) (325)

Tuesday
Oct082013

Be Careful What You Wish For: Lubezki's First Oscar?

"Oscar giveth. Oscar taketh away."

I've said it often and each year the phrase reasserts its truthfulness. One might also substitute this with "Be careful what you wish for." Oscar maniacs know this warning well. They beg for a first Oscar for Winslet or a third for Streep, for example, and then those things come true and no one is really satisifed with the way it came to pass. And that's just two recent examples. I don't much believe in "locks" in Oscar races in the way most pundits and Oscar fans do -- especially pre-Christmas locks. Upsets do happen, fates don't align, narratives don't take hold and so on. But if there's one or two Oscars this year that I feel are most probable at this juncture, yea even unto lock-dom, it's not Best Actress Cate Blanchett (though she's in third place for "most likely"), but the visual effects and cinematography of Gravity

Famed DP Emmanuel Lubezki is a true genius not just a "genius" in the overindulgent fandom sense. His work is exquisitely lit and beautifully composed but never in quite the same way, each time his light beautifully enveloping and serving the film at hand.  If you think of it like vocal range he's a Mariah Carey/Cyndi Lauper 4 octave diva while most other DPs, even the really fine ones, are closer to the standard 2 octave pop stars. I've wanted him to win the Oscar so many times and I still consider it insane that he lost for both Children of Men (2006) and The Tree of Life (2011).

Oscar Trivia, Computer Trouble, and more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep202013

Best Actress "Character" ~ 50 Years 100 Greats

I was cleaning up a few folders on my desktop recently when I noticed this old poll and the accompanying visuals. It was too delicious not to revive. See back in 2011 when The Film Experience got its beautiful redesign as a site, I polled y'all about the most memorable best actress "characters" of the past 50 years (1961-2010) and in chronological order these were the women you voted for...

How many have you seen? I'm still pised that Sally Kirkland's "Anna" and Kathleen Turner's "Peggy Sue" didn't place... but I felt like posting it again right now since 3 Best Actress nominees from 1980, a year we're currently revisiting, placed (Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People, and Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter)

If we updated who do you think would make the list from 2011-2012? Who just sticks in your memory. Let's take a vote on it. You can only choose 2!

 

 

We don't know the 2013 nominees  just yet but I'm guessing Cate Blanchett's very blue "Jasmine" wouldn't have any trouble placing in any such future lists. Which is 90% of why she's still the frontrunner for the win in her category.

Thursday
Jul112013

Emmy AND Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

The eligibility of documentaries for awardage from both that lusted after winged woman (Emmy) and the coveted naked man (Oscar) is a labyrinthine maze from which we would never exit were we to foolishly enter. In fact, someone needs to make a documentary about THAT to sort it all out. Documentaries leave strange crumbs all over both the big and small screens on their long walking journey through often complicated and extremely protacted "releases".

I bring this up because a portion of the Emmy nominations were announced today (like The Grammys there are hundreds of categories) in the non-fiction fields of news and documentary. I was surprised, for example, to see Semper Fi: Always Faithful, The Loving Story and We Were Here as nominees. You may recall they were all Oscar finalists (though not nominees) back in 2011 and now they're up for 2013 Emmys! Actual nominees from that Oscar year show up too, particularly those from the Best Documentary Short category. I thought we'd highlight a few categories in case you've seen any of these films. They might be familiar to you even if you spend more time in theaters than in front of your television. 

OUTSTANDING INFORMATIONAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM

OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM

Awesome cinephile Vito Russo with fellow AIDS Activist Elizabeth Taylor

  • The Loving Story -HBO Documentary Films
  • Vito -HBO Documentary Films (read our interview with director Jeffrey Schwartz. Vito Russo wrote the groundbreaking book "The Celluloid Closet" which is all about the problems of LGBT presence in Hollywood films. That book and his AIDS activism are his legacy. This doc was also nominated for "Best Research")
  • Jesse Owens - American Experience PBS
  • We Were Here - Independent Lens PBS [Available on Netflix Instant Watch]
  • Nostalgia for the Light -POV PBS

And there are several other categories of non fiction programming too like "arts and cultural, science, and economic" . Finally, all the fields seem to unite under the umbrella category "Best Documentary" which has six nominations, all of them previous Oscar nominees or finalists except for Nostalgia for the Light, which nevertheless had a movie awards presence winning Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and winning a WGA nomination as well. That said I should note that this is no guarantee that how the docs aired on television is the same way they aired in cinema since documentaries can shape shift as they switch mediums and details of their stories continue to emerge. Some get much longer and are divvied up into segments for news programs. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Project NIM -HBO Documentary Films
  • Saving Face - HBO Documentary Films
  • The Loving Story - HBO Documentary Films
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - HBO Documentary Films
  • Hell and Back Again - Independent Lens -PBS 
  • Nostalgia for the Light - POV PBS

Do you like docs and if so have you seen any of these films?

P.S. Of Note: 60 Minutes won a nomination for "Outstanding Interview" for their profile of Steven Spielberg during Lincoln's run. If winged Emmy is anything like naked Oscar, it won't win its category. 

P.P.S. The Emmy nominations most people talk about when they talk about Emmys are the ones that will be announced a week from today on July 18th. We'll talk about those soon!

 

Thursday
Dec202012

Premature Jessica Chastain Nostalgia. Is She Streep 2.0 ???

Remember when Jessica Chastain brought her grandma Marilyn to the Oscars in February?

What a sweet moment that was. Do you think she'll take her again this year?

What a difference a year makes, huh? Just last year we were wondering who she was and how she'd arrived to us so fully formed as an actress, and I had the pleasure of asking her just that shortly before she won her first nomination (Best Supporting Actress, The Help). This year she'll be fighting it out for the actual Best Actress trophy for Zero Dark Thirty.

Should Jessica be nominated in January (very very likely), one might even be tempted to think of her as Streep: The Next Generation. Meryl Streep is a tough act to be compared to but consider the similarities. Meryl Streep was a late arrival to the cinema (as actresses go) making her first motion picture in 1977 (Julia) in her late 20s after stage triumphs and degrees from Vassar and Yale. Jessica didn't arrive on movie screens until her early 30s last year though she had been filming movies since her late 20s (some of them were significantly delayed before release) after stage triumphs and an acting degree from Juilliard. By Streep's third year in the public eye she had co-starred in three Best Picture Nominees (Julia ,The Deer Hunter, and Kramer vs. Kramer -- the latter two won) and was a two-time Oscar nominee and winner and a full-fledged movie star. By Jessica Chastain's second year in the public eye she will have presumably co-starred in three Best Picture nominees (The Help, The Tree of Life, and Zero Dark Thirty) and become a two-time nominee.

The only thing missing in the comparison is a) the Oscar win for her second nomination which is a maybe at this point and b) the full fledged stardom. Chastain is definitely a known quantity now but not exactly a household name. Her films haven't had the seismic impact of Streep's breakthrough pictures -- The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer were colossal hits of their day though The Help's box office reign last year was not unimpressive.

Jessica Chastain and her Take Shelter co-star Michael Shannon at a party for Zero Dark Thirty this week.

If Chastain wins this year, do you think she's got a triple the caliber of French Lieutant's WomanSophie's Choice and Silkwood, in her immediate future? Or is this way way way too much to ask? 

 

Thursday
Jun142012

Reunions from the Edge

Meryl Streep has been out and about celebrating co-stars this week including Postcards from the Edge mom Shirley Maclaine who was honored at an AFI celebration.

Meryl, who turns 63 next Friday, is older now than Shirley was back when she played her mom in that great showbiz comedy. Stop spinning so fast, world! Excuse me... stop twirling so fast.

And just this past Tuesday, Meryl was all smiles on the red carpet posing with friend/co-star/rival* Viola Davis at the Women in Film Awards who she handed an award to.

From EW

Davis returned the love as she accepted the award. “I have a confession,” she said, sharing how touched she was when Streep sent her a card after [Doubt] wrapped.... “Okay Meryl, I framed the card,” Davis said. “So you can never come over to the house.” 

So cute.

*honest to god when I first saw the press room photo I thought Viola's award said "WTF" but that was just my image-altering fear of the Great Streep vs. Davis Oscar Debates Resurging To Destroy My Sanity again.