Film Bitch History
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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Marriage Story Review

"They're saying this is for Adam Driver what Kramer vs Kramer was for Dustin Hoffman. More about him than about her.  Scarlett, to me, is the open question. By now it's Driver vs Phoenix for best actor." - Melchiades - Andrew

"Mini-shutout to Alda, whom I loved and thought did absolute wonders in his what, 3 or 4 scenes. Great review!" -Alex

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Oscars (11) (334)


Meryl Streep is... Iron Lady

The first picture of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is out. Courtesy of the BBC.

Meryl Streep and Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady


I worry about this biopic given that the director of Mamma Mia! is helming. Hopefully she learned what a camera was and what editors do and somesuch on that practice run. I'm also curious about what drew Streep to the project. I don't know a lot about British politics but I know enough to know that Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, was no friend to the liberal artsy set (i.e. Meryl's people) and I've heard Thatcher vilified in films like Hunger (2008) and in various songs from the likes of  Sinéad O'Connor. Anyone remember that kick off to Boy George's "No Clause 28" which was fighting against anti-gay legislation at the time?

[Thatcher impersonator] "The aim of this government is to make everyone as miserable as possible!" ♫

I'm sure there are more examples of famous progressives publicly hating on her or at least the politics she embodied as Conservative Leader.

But back to Streep. What I really want to know is why Meryl so rarely works with the great auteurs? Imagine the potent combo. I mean think of Daniel Day-Lewis paired with P.T. Anderson or Emily Watson with Lars Von Trier. If Meryl ever faced a director on her level the earth might spontaneously combust from the artistic fire.

Remember that awesome speech Nora Ephron gave about Meryl Streep playing you? So so funny. Here it is again just for kicks. The best comedy bit that Nora Ephron ever wrote?



Sundance Festival Awards Wrap

Mostly I've been just motoring along, not too sad about having missed Sundance this year until it occurred to me what a jump start it gave me on this current Oscar race -- not too mention my own rooting interests at the film bitch awards. Whoa unto us who cannot afford a week in the snowy Utah mountains. I'm dying to see Vera Farmiga's directorial debut but otherwise I have poured over precious few Sundance articles. There was too much Oscar noise this week to give it much thought. But here's what Sundance went for with a passion.

Vera Farmiga, Dr. Nner and America Ferrara (photo from Zimbio)

The Sundance 2011 Awards broke down like so...

Grand Prize Dramatic Like Crazy
Grand Prize Documentary How To Die in Oregon
World Cinema Dramatic Happy, Happy
World Cinema Documentary Hell and Back Again

Like CrazyThe big breakout of the festival was Like Crazy, a cross-Atlantic romantic drama starring Actress winner Felicity Jones (the new Carey Mulligan they're saying... but isn't that just because Carey was a breakout at the same festival in a romantic drama?). It sold to Paramount for $4 million. If the past couple of festival years are any indication this does mean that Felicity Jones will be in the Oscar discussion a year from now. To be uncharitable and frank, I'm completely weirded out by this because a) she didn't register at all in Chéri despite a key role and b) I thought she was less than say "good" in The Tempest (2010) and all she had to do there was affectively portray falling in love as well as conveying being the sheltered child of a bossy mother. If Felicity Jones is a revelation here after that than Julie Taymor is an even worse director than I previously thought! Also weirding me out is the prospect of lil' Anton Yelchin as a romantic lead. Anton Yelchin. Isn't he that brainy little kid from Huff? Didn't he just look like a 12 year old playing at Chekov in Star Trek (2009)? My god they grow up so fast. ♪ sunrise sunset sunrise sunset ♫

Directing, Dramatic Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Directing, Documentary Jon Foy for Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of Toynbee Tiles
Directing, World Cinema Paddy Considine for Tyrannosaur
Directing, Documentary World Cinema James Marsh for Project Nim
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award Another Happy Day
World Cinema Screenwriting Restoration
Special Jury Prize (Acting) Felicity Jones for Like Crazy
Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) Another Earth
Special Jury Prize (Documentary) Being Elmo
World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Documentary) Position Among the Stars
World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) The Acting in Tyrannosaur

Martha Marcy May MarleneOther than Vera Farmiga's film -- which I'm interested in mostly because I'm crazy for crazy-eyed Farmiga -- the one I'm most personally curious about is Martha Marcy May Marlene which won for Best Director. Fox Searchlight bought it and they do get behind their films. The film is about a young girl (Elizabeth Olsen. Yes, younger sister to the Olsen Twins) trying to adjust to life after fleeing a religious cult. She moves in with her sister (Sarah Paulson -yay) and her sister's fiance (Hugh Dancy - double yay!). John Hawke is the cult leader (triple yay... for Hawkes's involvement not dangerous cult leaders). Olsen won strong reviews and the film sounds like intriguing.

Paddy Considine and Olivia Colman on the set of "Tyrannosaur"Also looking forward to seeing Tyrannosaur. It's about the relationship between a rage filled man (Peter Mullan) and an abused woman (Olivia Colman) but one of our favorite character actors Paddy Considine is directing and if the world cinema jury felt the need to honor both its acting and its directing, maybe it's special and not just gritty miserabilism.

Documentary Editing If a Tree Falls
World Cinema Documentary Editing The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Excellence in Cinematography, Dramatic Pariah
Excellence in Cinematography, Documentary The Redemption of General Butt Naked
World Cinema Cinematography All Your Dead Ones
World Cinema Cinematography, Documentary  Hell and Back Again
Alfred P Sloane Prize Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill
Sundance NHK International Filmmakers Award Cherien Davis
Jury Prize Short Filmmaking Brick novax Pt 1 & 2
Shorts Jury Honorable Mention: Choke by Michelle Latimer; Diarchy by Ferdinando Cito Filmomarioes; The External World by David O'Reilly; The Legend of Beaver Dam by Jerome Sable; Out of Reach by Jakub Stozek; Protoparticles by Chema García Ibarra

PariahFocus Features, who won The Kids Are All Right bidding war last year, also bought a lesbian film this year. Pariah, which won for cinematography, is about an African American teenager (played by Adepero Oduye) who is coming out of the closet in Brooklyn.

Audience Award
Dramatic Circumstance
Documentary Buck
World Cinema Kinyarwanda
World Documentary Senna
The Best of "NEXT" Audience Award to.get.her

CircumstanceLast year at Sundance the Dramatic Audience Award, Dramatic went to HappyThankYouMorePlease which was the writer/director debut of sitcom star Josh Radnor and surprise: it felt not unlike a sitcom. But the year before they chose Precious so you never know. This year's winner Circumstance is about an Iranian family struggling with rebellious teenagers.

Anything from Sundance 2011 interesting you from what you've read here or elsewhere?




The Ghost Linker

Filmmaker Magazine a brief video interview with Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) on her new project about a couple adopting a cat. EEEEeeee. Adopting a cat sounds like an EPIC story for a movie*. I cannot wait to see this.
Movie|Line Oscar buzz for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) at Sundance. Hey, lots of Oscar hopefuls kick off there. Here's to next year!
In Contention Guy Lodge's dream Oscar ballot. Other than Oscar, I *so* prefer to read people's individual ballots than see group choices.
The Wrap Like Crazy a romantic drama starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones sells big at Sundance. Hmmm. Could mean big things for both leads.
Inside TV What the hell is going on with Mad Men? I'm so nervous. Give us that fifth season. With Matthew Weiner.

Ghost Writer keeps showing up in European Awards . Could surprise Oscar noms await?

Finally as much as I lie to myself and pretend that each day has 57 hours in it, I need to face facts that there will never be enough time to do a whole post on the Asian Film Award Nominations or France's Cesar Nominations because they're happening during my own awards (which are running much later than usual -- it was building this damn website!) AND just a few days prior to Oscars. I love movie awards so much but I do so wish the calendars were spread out. Let it suffice to say for now that Of Gods and Men and The Ghost Writer did very well with the Cesars and South Korea's Poetry (which I've already raved about), Japan's Confessions (an Oscar finalist) and Thailand's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (already snubbed by Oscar) did well with the Asian awards nominations.

*It sounds like that to me because I am a crazy cat lady.


Reminder: 11 Days...

Two point of business. Two goodies.

I have heard from a couple of people about feed / reader problems but just wanted to make sure everything is working for everyone? If you used to subscribe to the blogspot site, your feeds/readers should be properly updating with info from this site by now. If you switched it yourself manually the second we went live you may have had a problem? (a mistake on my end) You can subscribe from the sidebar (right) or use this url.

Yes, I'll be live blogging the BFCA Critics Choice Awards tonight (we'll start about a quarter to 9:00 PM) and the Globes on Sunday. If you're not hosting your own party, be here for this one.

Just a reminder that we've got two handy-dandy widgets for you to embed in your own personal webspaces if you'd like. (You can see both on the sidebar if this post should mysteriously vanish of you decide to use them later). Both will take you here should you click on them if you see something of interest or just have a jones to visit. Daily. You come every day, right? [/NEEDINESS]

The day after the Oscar nominations, this clock below will shift and beginning counting down to our favorite holiday, Hollywood's High Holy Night... THE OSCARS! And the day after that historic night (provided enough of you download this to make it worth my while) it'll shift to countdown to next year's Oscar nominations. [Translation: We're all crazy!]



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