Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
BUG - 10th Anniversary 

"Ashley Judd is really great here. Pity she didn't encounter the meatier roles she deserved" - Mirko

"As a horror fan, I loved its slow-burn paranoia and found the whole thing quite terrifying." - Robert

Interviews

James Ivory (Maurice) 4K Restoraton!
Betty Buckley (Split)

Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe

Entries in Oscars (12) (290)

Tuesday
Sep182012

Foreign Oscar Updates. Will France Finally Win Again?

With France's official announcement that the blockbuster The Intouchables will be their Official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film, is the race already over? Its global tally currently rests at an astounding $364 million dollars, most of that from overseas bank. The film hasn't been ignored in American arthouse theaters exactly but it's $9 million gross and mainstream appeal (it's even in the IMDb top 100) qualifies it as a major arthouse hit but no crossover slam dunk; roughly speaking it's a hit the way last year's foreign film winner, the instant classic A Separation, was or the way Beasts of the Southern Wild is.

French cinema has had a complex intermittently passionate long-distance relationship with Hollywood since cinema began and that is reflected in their Oscar success over the years both in this category and others. France leads all countries in most Foreign Film nominations by a wide margin (36 nominees to Italy's 26) but surprisingly they have not won since the Catherine Deneuve drama Indochine rocked US arthouses twenty years ago. Will this Gallic sort-of variation on Driving Miss Daisy (is that too dismissive?) be a lock for Oscar love or will last year's swerve towards critically prestigious international cinema signal a sea change to new glory days for the category? (Yes, I still have impromptu ecstatic flashbacks to A Separation's win)

OFFICIAL SUBMISSION CHARTS 2012 -- everything in one place as we do: posters, trailers, info. Pass it on.

Current Predictions - Australia, Austria, Denmark, France and Romania 
Albania through Iran - 15 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)
Italy through Venezuala - 16 official submissions (thus far... updates in progress)

Amelie netflix illustration by Tim Hodge (click for original source)A collection of France's biggest Oscar hits if you'd like to catch up with a movie marathon at home... after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep172012

TIFF: Oscar Talking Points and Personal Favourites

Amir here, wrapping up my coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival.

I have to apologize for my absence yesterday on TIFF's closing weekend. A broken laptop charger prevented me any access to the internet. As you already know, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook snatched the coveted People's Choice Award. In keeping with my tradition of not watching films with set public release dates at the festival, I passed on the film in my original planning. And yesterday, when people lined up for the film’s honorary additional screening, I was in a different theatre watching my favourite actress Julianne Moore playing a rock star in What Maisie Knew

More including Oscar buzz and a Festival jury of one after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep152012

TIFF: Four Short Takes

Amir reporting from Toronto.

The Place beyond the Pines
Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to his marriage drama Blue Valentine is a three-part genre piece about a stunt motorcycle rider (Ryan Gosling) who enters a life of crime when he realizes that a short fling in the past with Romina (Eva Mendes) has resulted in a son. When a young cop (Bradley Cooper) gets involved with his case, his criminal activities take an abrupt turn.

Fans of Cianfrance's previous film and also those who were expecting "Drive redux" based on the minimal promotional material available are in for a surprise, though in my case the surprise was a very happy one. This robust story of complex morality and corruption is told with grace and gravitas. It is intermittently both a white-knuckle action film that keeps you on the edge of your seat and a dense drama that explores father-son relationships. Think of it as a crime thriller with the emotional punch of Blue Valentine

Gosling gives yet another superbly intense performance but it's Cooper, and arguably Dane DeHaan, who steal the show with their surprising depth.

Prospects: Given the presence of two major stars and the potential to market the hell out of the genre elements, it could be a big hit, but the rumoured early 2013 release affirms my conviction that no one is expecting awards for this one.

Three more movies after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep142012

Chart Updates: Actors and Foreign Films

The Oscar chart updates were temporarily stalled by my thwarted Toronto plans so just fixin' things up now. Enjoy the updates while I jaunt off to Fire Island for a 24 hour getaway. I've just seen The Impossible -- more on that soon -- so I'm accidentally living a rather perverse combo: tsunami picture then beach getaway.  

As always predictions are for entertainment purposes only. They should never be interpreted as endorsements though occassionally deserve has something to do with it.

BEST ACTOR
The big story here is a common one. There are enough buzzing performances to fill out an entire Golden Globe nominee pool, 10-wide, which means there are twice as many contenders as Oscar voters will be able to choose. Am I crazy to wonder if even Daniel Day-Lewis is safe for Lincoln? The trailer does not impress.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin makes huge gains as he's singled out in many Argo reactions. Ewan McGregor's wounded father in The Impossible also rises though I have to wonder if this isn't wishful thinking. He's one of the world's best and most endearing screen actors but he never quite wins Oscar hearts. Still, nomination-less or not, come what may... we will love him, until our dying day.

Finally, add Kiki's new man Garrett Hedlund to your For Your Consideration fields for On The Road. He's the focal point of the film's considerable libido which might work against him (this is one of the most sexually-charged performances since, say, Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley) but they're campaigning him as supporting which will definitely work for him given his enormous amount of screen time.

Garrett Hedlund is "On the Road" with cinematography by Eric Gautier

VISUALSAURALS
Gains for TIFF buzzing Cloud Atlas, On the Road and The Impossible.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM SUBMISSIONS
You can add Romania's Beyond the Hills which is from Cristian Mungui, the director of the magnificent 4 Weeks 3 Months and 2 Days (better luck this time!) and Portugal's Blood of My Blood to the list of submitted contenders. May the best five films win nominations.

CHART INDEX

Which buzzing fall film are you desperate to get your eyeballs on? I chose the beach over The Master (perverse I know given the rarity of P.T. Anderson pictures) but I'll get to that one Sunday...

Thursday
Sep132012

Yes, No, Maybe So: On "Lincoln" and Trailer Premieres

Four score and seven years ago One hour and some minutes ago our Spielberg brought forth, upon this internet, a new trailer, conceived in Marketing, and dedicated to the proposition that all biopics are created equal.

LINCOLN will arrive in theaters on November 16th, 2012, a mere ten days after the election when everyone will undoubtedly be exhausted by politics (if they aren't already). And for reasons unbeknownst to The Film Experience Lincoln became the first movie to have its trailer premiere in this Google Hangout fashion with immediate commentary from fans afterwards. A sober presidential biopic isn't a natural fit for "OMG!" Insta-Reactions that fanboys pics can bring in trailer form as you'll see if you watch. You can watch the event (non-live) right here.

There is some hedge-betting from Steven Spielberg with which I personally great sympathize. The much beloved filmmaker hasn't bought in 100% to this new frightening world where trailers and not movies are the things that get people talking en masse.

Strathairn worries, Nathaniel doubts, and the trailer after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep132012

just another linking ol' dirty birdy!

Bleeding Cool Heathers, Psycho and The Apartment (yes, The Apartment) all receiving TV spin-offs soon. Weirdly the Heathers series is supposed to be about the daughters of The Heathers. Um, they died as teenagers, stupids #23YearOldSpoiler
HitFix reviews Quartet and says Pauline Collins, not Maggie Smith, actually has the best part 
Awards Daily interviews the man behind the visual effects in Snow White and the Huntsman. Oscar bound? 
Unreality Tom Hanks cracks audience up at Michael Clarke Duncan's funeral 

The Hollywood Reporter looks at the way the awards race is shaping up: Argo, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master up front, Best Actress still anyone's game (for nominations)
Stale Popcorn spots an odd critic's pullquote on the Holy Motors quad 
MNPP pic of the day. Thor 2 ... literally
Unreality five lessons learned from Pee Wee Herman from a lifelong fan. I love this article alot but i strongly object to the intro which states:

I was born in 1983. I am currently straddling the border between old enough to know what “cool” is and too old to be writing for a pop culture site.

You're never too old to be immersed in pop culture. Pop culture is culture. It's ageless if you're doing it right. The real world is not Logan's Run ferchrissakes. Are people over 30 not supposed to enjoy anything or have any feelings about anything that's for entertainment? Boo!

Finally...


Please send out your warmest get-well wishes and prayers to Ms Kathy Bates who announced yesterday on Twitter that she had just had a double mastectomy. I personally miss her breasts more than "Harry's Law" (About Schmidt!) but I'm happy she has a sense of humor about it all, laughter being the best medicine. Our thoughts go out to the Oscar winning Misery star and all of her #1 fans.

Thursday
Sep132012

Interview: William H. Macy On "Free Passes" and Trying Too Hard

Amir reporting from Toronto.

One of the films that has played to really strong audience reception on the festival circuit so far is Ben Lewin's The Sessions (opening November 8th). I enjoyed the film quite a lot myself and as I said in my review, it has the potential to go far in this awards season. For the ocassion of the film's premiere at TIFF, I interviewed William H. Macy who plays Father Brendan, an open-minded priest who consults Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) about his sex life.

William H Macy at the Sessions premiere at TIFF © Kara Dillon [src]

AMIR: I wanted to tell you a quick story. When I was a teenager I had a self-made poster of you pointing the gun to your face from your last frame in Boogie Nights. I guess it was my weird way of expressing my teenage angst. I’m understandably really nervous and excited to meet you in person.

WILLIAM H MACY: [Laughing] Interesting. I’ve had the same experiences as I go through my career, sitting in a room with these people that I’ve just idolized my whole life.

I can’t imagine you’re still fazed by it.

No, I meet some amazing actors. I really don’t know how to handle myself in those situations.

You’re newest film, The Sessions, it’s a really heartfelt and genuine film, but were you aware of Mark O’Brien prior to this? At what stage did you get involved in the project?

No. I wasn’t, and I think Helen and John were both set before I read the script. My agent sent me the script. Many years ago I did a film called Door to Door where I played a fellow with cerebral palsy and I got involved with a wonderful organization called United Cerebral Palsy. I think I was predisposed to like the script that way. I read it and I just thought it was a great tale. Well told, simple. It was the perfect timing for me. I’m doing a TV series and I was on hiatus. It was just a no-brainer. I tend to make decisions really quickly. If it’s good I just say yes right away.

AMIR: Did you have any reservations about playing this character? I don’t know how religious you are in your personal life, but playing religious figures is always tricky... [MORE AFTER THE JUMP]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep112012

TIFF: "The Sessions"

Amir reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival

It's hard to think that a film about a man living in an iron lung could be labelled “the feel good movie of the festival.” But The Sessions beats the odds. For director Ben Lewin, who himself struggled with polio as a child, and his stellar cast, sex, disability, Catholicism and humour blend together to shape the unlikeliest of crowd pleasers.

The Sessions centres of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a poet who fell victim to polio in his childhood and lost all his muscle strength from the neck down. His body retains its sensitivity, hence the narratively critical ability to achieve erections, but is unable to move and requires an iron lung to breathe. At the age of 38 and faced with the prospect that his days might be numbered before he ever gets to “meet” a woman, O’Brien decides to lose his virginity; and to do that, he’ll have to overcome two obstacles: an overwhelming sense of anxiety caused by his physical disability, and a fear of being sinful resulted from his devout belief in the Catholic church.

The second obstacle is easier for him to clear as he consults Father Brendan (a hilarious and poignant William H. Macy), an unconventionally forgiving priest who tells O’Brien that in his heart he knows Jesus will give him a pass. With that green light, O’Brien goes on to find Cheryl Cohen Greene (a top-form Helen Hunt), a sex therapist who is willing to take him through the mechanics of sex in six sessions.

The Sessions isn’t exactly a biopic...

Click to read more ...