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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 Oscars (12) (288)

Sunday
May052013

Early Bird Oscar Predix: The Toons

Last year's Animated Oscar race is going to be a tough act to follow. In what was arguably the most competitive race of all 12 years of Oscar's newest category, there was precious little agreement about who might win and even less about who deserved to; Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph all had their loyal camps (Pirates! A Band of Misfits was the only "just happy to be nominated" contestant.) At the very last minute, buzz-wise, it appeared to boil down to Disney vs. Disney/Pixar. Big-fisted Ralph fought big-haired Merida and the Scottish lass won.

But what does 2013 have in store for us? It's looking like a much leaner year, and a least at first glance, a far less animated (heh) one. Monsters University might just be emblematic of what's going on. The prequel to the inaugural loser of this very category (Monsters Inc) is, like all the rest, part of a franchise or would-be-franchise and also a noisy colorful 3D CGI fest for very young children. That's about all there seems to be from The Croods on through Free Birds in which two turkeys (voiced by Owen Wilson & Woody Harrelson) travel back in time to stop the first Thanksgiving. There's less variety both in types of audiences sought and in types of animated styles.

For different styles and tones of animation we'll have to look to foreign films. Pray and pray hard that Hayao Miyazaki's latest The Wind Rises crosses the Ocean in time. I don't know if it's finished since news has been sparse but Ana Y Bruno is a Mexican film about a little girl who meets a goblin (or some such) in the psych ward of her mother's hospitable (?). But even with foreign films they're often just trying to be Hollywood blockbusters. I haven't seen more than a still from South Africa's Khumba! about a half-striped zebra but it looks very much like a Madagascar-spinoff. And one of it's characters is "Bradley, a self-obsessed, flamboyant ostrich." Uhoh. Should we alert GLAAD?

Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" is bowing this summer in Japan

The film that I'm most excited about Song of the Sea, a follow up from the team who made the jaw-droppingly gorgeous The Secret of Kells, will not be ready for this year's race. Big sigh. Which is not to say that this year's race will be lacking in previous Oscar players. One interesting possible development, depending on which films achieve eligiblity is the presence of former Best Foreign Film nominees as directors of new animated features. The Argentinian director of Oscar winner The Secret in Their Eyes, Juan José Campanellahas made a toon called Metegol (aka Foosball) about a foosball team come to life and the Mexican director Carlos Carrera whose drama The Crime of Father Amaro was Oscar nominated is behind the aforementioned Ana

We hope that GKids, the new off-the-beaten path animated distributor, brings us something interesting again but for now my crystal ball says it's Disney vs. Disney/Pixar again this year (Round Two). I'm predicting that the final battle will come down to Frozen (based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale 'The Snow Queen') vs. Monsters University. Only this time maybe Disney will beat Pixar... forcing Mike and Sulley to remain Oscarless. Oscar voters will continue to live with their greatest shame: preferring Shrek to Monsters, Inc.


In the absence of a Pixar original (I'll stop weeping that they've joined the rest of Hollywood in franchise laziness and just live with it though I reserve the right to spit at Toy Story 4 whenever that rolls around given that its existence would forever tarnish the finality . What other choice do I have?) the film I'm most eager to see is definitely Frozen. I loved Tangled (which went unnominated in a narrower field of three) and I'm hoping that their latest musical fairytale -- this one has Kristen Bell and Broadway musical alumni Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff doing the voicework -- is a worthy follow up.

RELATED: New Animated Feature Oscar Chart

Thursday
Apr252013

Some thoughts on the language barrier

For some people who live in the United States, this weekend will be their first opportunity to see Norway’s 2012 Best Foreign Language Film nominee Kon-Tiki in a movie theater. Sort of. In point of fact, nobody in the United States, not this weekend nor during the film’s limited roll-out, is going to see the film nominated for that Oscar, unless it’s because they’ve imported the unsubtitled DVD from Europe. Because the version of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s movie playing in the States is a combination of footage from the “real” version that played in Norway, with dialogue sequences re-shot in English. It is, literally, a different movie, with the exact same plot and shot setups.

(The New York Times had a nifty little demonstration of the two versions a couple of weeks back)

We’re not here to rip apart the Weinstein Company for releasing that version (though seriously, it’s pretty dumb – the audience for Kon-Tiki in English is certainly not significantly larger than the audience for the original version), but to consider the greater questions it raises about watching foreign language movies in the first place. I assume that you, like me, are at least a little bit offended by this bit of Anglophonic pandering, and would all things considered, rather see Kon-Tiki in its original version, and the question I ask both you and myself is: why?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar022013

Reader's Choice Factoids & Acting Oscar Trivia

I thought I was done posting about the 85th Academy Awards but here's one last takeaway post. See I realized we hadn't yet discussed YOUR votes and it is Reader Appreciation Month now (more to come). Plus one Best Actress Supremacy battle I think you'll like to ponder! 

Reader's Choice Stats Takeaway
Biggest Landslide: Anne Hathaway (Supporting Actress for Les Misérables) was the only Oscar winner to nab more than 50% of reader votes here. Though she was obviously the most polarizing actor, male or female, during Oscar season that didn't stop her from crushing her competition at the Oscars or here.
Poorest Showing: Denzel Washington's (Actor) return to form in Flight (seriously he's so good in that film) was, remarkably, in last place only 2% of the votes in his field. Yes even Jacki Weaver 4% and Alan Arkin 3% in the supporting categories won more of your love. What gives?  
Poorest Showing from an Oscar Winner: Though Christoph Waltz was also only third place in your ballots for Supporting Actor, Jennifer Lawrence actually had a weaker 3rd place showing - she took only 19% of your votes in Best Actress
Most Divisive Polling: Best Picture. Votes were all over the place with the winner (Argo) only managing 19% of the votes which was a very slim margin among the top four vote getters (readers also loved Amour, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty)
Agree to Disagree: Best Actress, always our marquee category here at The Film Experience, had the most votes of any of the polls and there was no agreement between Oscar, Nathaniel and The Film Experience readers: Oscar chose Lawrence; Nathaniel chose Riva; Readers chose Chastain. 

Ben Affleck's odd stats and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Joan Fontaine after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Ang Lee at 28. Ang Lee Now

Here is the two-time Oscar winner working on a Spike Lee documentary all the way back in 1982 when he was 28 years old!!! 

(The woman he's with there is painter Ann Yen who posted the photo recently on a social network site, prompting some coverage in the Asian press. Yen and Lee are still friends - I hear that she played one of the Mahjong women in Lust, Caution (2007).

His whole life and career was (way) ahead of him. Ang was one year away from getting married to his charming wife who got a little air time this weekend at the Oscars. He was still ten years away from making his first feature as a director (Pushing Hands), still eleven years away from his first Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Film, The Wedding Banquet) and basically a whole lifetime away from becoming the legendary two-time Best Director Oscar winner (Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi) that he is today.

Well done, Ang Lee. Have a hamburger. You deserve it!

 

 

Thursday
Feb282013

Podcast: Oscar Night Season Wrap

For the final podcast of the season, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, Nick Davis, and me, your host, Nathaniel R let reader questions be our guide for this spontaneous Oscar Night Review.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Musical Performances: Adele, Shirley Bassey, Babs, Jennifer Hudson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones's Jazz
  • Future Nominations or Backlash for the winners: Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway?
  • Ben Affleck's speech
  • Can Michael Haneke ever return?
  • What were the best reaction shots and when did we do our best reaction shots from home?
  • On Naomi Watts' career choices and Oscar's love of "it" girls
  • Documentary and Costume Design
  • Seth Macfarlane versus Jokes and Musical Theme
  • Emmanuelle Riva cutaways

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big NightFun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look BackSeth's HostingFunniest Tweets, & This Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen Men, The Ten Nominated Ladies, Goodbye Glamour

Oscar Night Season Finale

Thursday
Feb282013

Life of Link

Movie Line could The Canyons revive Lindsay Lohan's film career?
The Onion "Area Woman's Baseless Hatred Of Anne Hathaway Reciprocated" LOL
Awards Daily Oscar Post-Mortem. Great 2012 movies that received no Oscar nominations this season. Will you remember them, anyway?  

Wet Dark and Wild what is Jake Gyllenhaal up to? Prisoners
The Carpetbagger explains what's going on with Visual Effects in the wake of that Life of Pi speech so unceremoniously cut off by Jaws music on Oscar night
Vulture a timeline of Oscar weekend parties with appearances from Quvenzhané, Chastain, John Hawkes, a reunion for The Help.  I love this bit on Tommy Lee Jones... I mean who knew:

11:58 p.m. The most romantic moment of the night comes from Tommy Lee Jones, of all people. He's holding up an In-N-Out burger for his wife Dawn to graze on, while looking at her lovingly. She's literally eating out of the palm of his hand right now.

newsy
Coming Soon the new Annie, starring Quvenzhané Wallis will hit movie theaters on Christmas day, 2014 
Hollywood Carrie Fisher hospitalized after bipolar meltdown :(  
i09 Chris Cooper joining The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Norman Osborne. Studios never learn their lessons and this one is getting as crowded as X3!
My New Plaid Pants Annie Wilkes herself, Kathy Bates, is joining the new season of American Horror Story 

Thursday
Feb282013

Goodbye Glamour! Until Next Season. *Sniffle*

We'll wrap up the Oscar coverage this afternoon with the final podcast in a bit, but for now, please to enjoy some more beautiful dresses that I'll remember forever... (aka until the next awards show several months from now).

Nicki, Halle, Zeéeeee, CZJ, & Charlize

 

 

Did you notice the gold, silver, black & white theme this year. A huge batch of former Oscar winning goddesses and the new Best Actress looked like they'd coordinated their outfits.

Bond GIrl, Cannes Fashion Plate, Captain Kirk, Marcia Gay, Jane

Yikes with that slit Naomie Harris. Carefully of your stride. Who invited Fan Bingbing? (No offense but she is at every high fashion movie event and isn't it hard to get tickets to the Oscars?). Is it too much to ask that Marcia Gay Harden and Jane Fonda get another Oscar caliber role soon? It feels like forever since...

Olivia Munn, JGL, Zoe Saldana, Eponine, Rachel Mwanza

Fresh! Olivia Munn is my prediction for next year's Sci-Tech awards (Nick always makes me guess. I called this one first!). Zoe Saldana wass the only actress who was battling it out with Jessica Chastain for Best Dressed of the night in my head. And I included Rachel Mwanza because she was so colorful and also as apology for not mentioning foreign film nominee War Witch on my CNNi spot -- it was not an intentional slight. We just ran out of time.

I would have loved to have discussed these with special guests but after the nominees with Courtney and the men with Guy we were red carpet convo'ed out. The season has finally ground me down into a powdery nothingness.  I drift away...

It's your final chance to sound off on this year's Oscar fashions. Go!