Advertisement
Advertisement
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.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

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

Comment Du Jour
Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

Keep TFE Strong

Love the Site? DONATE 

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

INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

Previous Interview Index

 

Subscribe

Entries in Oscars (12) (290)

Sunday
Nov252012

Best Actor Battles and Hugh Jackman's Oscar Obstacle

Though most of my Oscar prediction chart updates have to wait for today's screening of Zero Dark Thirty (eeeeeeee! Bring it, Bigelow) it was safe to go ahead and revamp the Best Actor chart since Jessica Chastain can't compete there without significant alternate universe alterations. The chart has all new text, new rankings, links to reviews and past articles, and thoughts on locks, dark horse campaign angles. There's also an extensive list of vote siphoners that probably won't factor in but for random ballots from their most ardent admirers. That doesn't mean they aren't worthy of attention. It never does and never will since "Best" will always remain in the eye of the beholder.

HUGH vs. DANIEL
This weekend's debut of Les Misérables sent numerous industry professionals and media types (including myself) into a frenzy. (lots more after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov242012

The Perks of Being Anna Karenina's Guardian

By the end of each and every November I am buried in piles and piles of screeners in addition to screening invites each night (I'm not complaining) that all arrive within the same two week period (I am complaining). To give each film a fair shake you'd have to do nothing but watch movies for two weeks before ballots are due -- I'm terrified at how quickly my Critics Choice voting begins! In order to see all the films you want and rescreen those you have foggy memories of you'd have to a) give up Oscar parties, networking and campaign luncheons, b) turn down filmmaker interviews c) decline visits from family and friends and choose not to attend any holiday parties with them d) abandon your blog, your writing, and any work for clients and consulting jobs and thus all your money and e) refuse to sleep.

As I am unwilling and/or unable to give up any of those things, I admit to a certain distressing ohgodImafailure feeling each November. This is a longwinded way of saying that I'm super far behind and overwhelmed and I hope you'll all be patient though I know your first instinct is probably sympathy-free; "Bitch, you already saw Les Miz. Shut it!"

BRIEF THOUGHTS ON THREE MOVIES I HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT

Rise of the Guardians
Santa isn't the main character but he's the character I kept thinking about while trying to organize my thoughts. Santa has "naughty" and "nice" tattoos and the movie is that way, too. In every respect it's a mixed bag, no matter how many gifts it has stuffed inside. Despite confusing character design (why are tooth fairy and easter bunny so scary looking?) and steady but strange characterizations (Santa laughs a lot but there's no vocalization whatsover that might be interpreted as a "ho ho ho"), the characters were sort of endearing. I really enjoyed Sandman, who doesn't speak but communications through shape-making, and Jack Frost who is visualized here as a teenbeat icy hipster twink. The film is often gorgeous but it's also so over-designed as to be instantly forgettable as it leaps from busy lair to busy lair of these iconic characters. The story is both overly familiar and alien (what's with that 'listen to the man on the moon' messaging?) and nonsensical. Most of it all it just smells weird; that's the aroma of frenzied "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?" flop sweat. C-
Oscar? There is still plenty of debate as to which toon will win the Best Animated Feature this year, but given the strength of the field, Guardian's chaotic overkill doesn't bode well for its chances.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Logan Lerman is Charlie, an introverted troubled high school freshmen (hence the title) who finds solace in writing and literature and renewed energy for life when a group of "misfit" seniors take him under their wing. The best moments of this adaptation of the beloved best-seller resonate with tender universality but the screenplay (and I assume source material) are problematic. High school is traumatic enough without actual trauma as ever present backstory. Why all the gilding of such a delicate lily? B+/B
Oscar? Traction would be a stretch in any category given that youth oriented films, no matter how heartfelt and soulfully performed, are rarely recognized. Still... this is a significant leap forward for all three of its principles: Logan Lerman does his best work yet anchoring the film; Ezra Miller proves he has a much wider range than After School and We Need To Talk About Kevin suggested; and yes even Emma Watson -- who longtime readers will know I've been ice cold on -- impresses.

Anna Karenina
Brief Thoughts: If Joe Wright's brazenly theatrical take on this oft adapted classic about a respectable Russian wife who loses her place in society to her obsessive affair with a young soldier isn't the year's strangest film (The Master and Holy Motors fight for that honor), it's still one of the most compelling high wire acts. The stylization, which mostly turns on an ever shifting stage set and constant art and film history referencing, isn't always consistent and the film feels like an almost-musical so often it borders on torture (for musical aficionados at least). But there's something about all the eye-popping scenic changes, grand acting gestures, mobile camera, and plot riffing rather than storytelling that give the film a propulsive self-absorbed energy that dovetails perfectly with the stubborn sexual obsessiveness of Anna herself.  B+
Oscar? The film will undoubtedly prove too divisive for major prize-gathering -- hell, I'm the target audience and even I am of two minds about it -- but it still has a fighting shot at the eye candy categories or, as we like to call them, the Moulin Rouge! prizes (a film it often recalls). If the actor's branch is feeling daring, they might want to take a closer look at Keira Knightley's huge star turn. She's getting braver and more adept at stylization all the time. She's the ideal model for Joe Wright's picture-making. Knightley will never be everyone's favorite actress but there's much to admire in this gutsy editorial posing performance.

Recent Reviews / Discussions
Les Misérables (first screening)
Lincoln (on the podcast)
Skyfall (review)
The Master (with a little Holy Motors thrown in) 
Silver Linings Playbook (Beau's review) 

Saturday
Nov242012

P.T. Anderson on "The Master" & An Errant Oscar Thought

An hour long conversation about his divisive movie. Sometimes you have to hear it from the filmmaker's mouth.

Somewhat off topic now...

Occasionally with the great filmmakers it feels unseemly to bring up the great compromise of Oscar. Anderson is probably too much of an artist to care too deeply about golden idols but I do wonder -- tis the season -- if The Master can hold on to any Academy plays or if the year is just getting too crowded with traditional but very satisfying entertainments (Lincoln, Les Miz, Argo) for any of the "difficult" s (The Master, Amour, Anna Karenina, maybe even Beasts of the Southern Wild) to squeeze into the major categories.

What say you?

P.S. In case you missed it, my thoughts on The Master

Friday
Nov232012

I Dreamed a Dream That The Film Version of Les Miz Would Be Awesome.

It came true.

Tom Hooper, looking very confident, took the stage at Alice Tully this afternoon to welcome everyone to the screening with a Happy Thanksgiving and a confession that he had finished the film at 2:00 AM in time for today's all guild screenings, the very first! If we were sitting there "It must mean I've finished it," he quipped.

Though reviews are embargoed until December 11th, let it suffice to say (for now) that my fears about the film adaptation of the classic musical were alleviated quickly. MORE...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov222012

THR Actress Roundtable Final Thoughts

But what she really wants to do is laughSee Part One for the full video and commentary on first half hour

The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable has become an event I impatiently await more than any other non-awards part of the season. It's how I used to feel about Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue before too many dud covers and too many other types of issues using that template. But I digress. Though I am deeply thankful for actresses on every day of the year it IS Thanksgiving so I'm eager to get to the festivities with my family of friends. So just a few quick final notes on each actress before turkey and pie!

Naomi Watts
Her palpable terror about auditions is fascinating when you pause to connect it with the exact moment that essentially made her a star: her persona-switching audition scene in Mulholland Dr. Unlike Anne Hathaway my tendency is not to go pollyanna and I completely don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' as most people are so fond of saying in a soothing way when bad things happen but maybe those years of career trauma were worth it because Mulholland Dr just wouldn't have been so special without her absolute genius in that dual role. (I do not find her amnesia about I ♥ Huckabees amusing. That movie is so great and she is quite funny in it. "Fuckabeeeees!")

Helen Hunt
The Sessions star flips the questioning on to the reporters who completely lie through their teeth 'Yes, we'd ask the men the same questions'  LOL. (I've never heard that 'when were you last victimized?' school of questioning toward male actors that the "when did you feel forced into doing something you didn't want to do?" question belongs to.)

Helen Hunt is a smart one. "would you ask the same question of the men?"

Sally Field

It's cute the way she's so embarrassed about how much she hogs the conversation but if you're a good raconteur, as she is, hog away. I'm desperate to see this spy movie that Anne Hathaway wanted to write for her and how random is that?!

Anne Hathaway & Marion Cotillard
I will think of little else for the next hour than which movies they were talking about when they expressed that they were in over their head and can't even watch it (Anne) and so miserable and in hate with the director that they couldn't perform (Marion)... though I suppose Marion's will be easy enough to figure out given the clues.

Amy Adams
Still looking like she doesn't want to be there in this Part 2. What gives?

Rachel Weisz
The most surprising contender in the roundtable and, quite possibly, the most fun to have a drink with afterwards. I'm really pissed to hear that the studios responded with "no one makes movies like that" about her proposed very solitary Julia Butterfly-Hill movie. Um... Cast Away? 127 Hours?

Let's end with a poll.

Each actress was asked to share a role she really wanted to play or write or make happen somehow. Which of their imagined movies do you most want to see?

"I would like to play a monster. Like the Gollum."