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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Entries in politics (270)


Doc Corner: 'The Most Dangerous Man in America' Goes Where 'The Post' Doesn't

By Glenn Dunks

If The Post gave you a hankering for the truth behind the Pentagon Papers, then the 2010 documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers will prove uncommonly fulfilling. In fact, watching this Academy Award-nominated doc (it lost to The Cove), you would be hard-pressed to believe that it's about the same events as portrayed in the Steven Spielberg movie.

Last week we looked at The Price of Gold and how closedly I, Tonya mimicked it, so it's actually quite amusing to see that this week's Best Picture / Documentary cross-over is the complete opposite. Sure, they overlap here and cross-over there, but The Most Dangerous Man in America goes longer, deeper, wider, and somehow all but completely ignores The Washington Post and the personalities within the 2017 film...

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Review: The 15:17 To Paris

by Eric Blume

Has Clint Eastwood lost his mind?  That’s the thought that swirled through my mind for the first hour of 15:17 To Paris, because every choice is so shockingly wrong-headed that it feels unfathomable. Say what you will about Eastwood’s films, but even his detractors would need to admit that his movies are generally well-acted and sure-footed.  I had to stay through the end credits not to see the name of the cinematographer, but to ensure that there actually was one.  In fact, it’s Tom Stern, who has shot most of Eastwood’s films.  Out of respect for these two gentlemen and their intelligent work together in the past, let's assume that on this film they were attempting to take Eastwood’s infamously brisk, limited-takes directorial and shooting style to its ultimate breakneck limit.  Their new film looks uglier and less artful than your average TV procedural...

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Doc Corner: 'The Price of Gold' Brings Clarity to 'I, Tonya'

By Glenn Dunks

The defining trait of I, Tonya that has separated it from a glut of biopics is that darkly comedic tone achieved significantly through fake direct-to-camera interviews by an assortment of ghoulish villains and anti-heroes. One could argue that with its cast of monstrous characters and flamboyant yet true-to-life costumes and wig-work, the film’s mock documentary device was entirely unnecessary at achieving its desired laughs.

Yet while I saw the value of its method as a sort of short-hand directorial device used to wrangle the story’s many real life contradictions and he-said-she-said-he-said-she-said-he-said narrative, having watched Nanette Burstein’s sublime The Price of Gold, it comes off as actually just lazy...

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Link Trip

Boy Culture took on a massive and fascinating project: A "brief" (haha) history of LGBTQ moments on television starting from TV's beginnings! (I Love Lucy might contain the first actual gay joke on TV... but things really pick up in the 1970s). It's a must-read if you care about these things
The Grio Get Out takes four prizes at the AAFCAS while Girls Trip and Detroit both take home two
Deadline reports on the Sci-Tech award where there was a an impassioned speech and a transgender winner
IndieWire MoviePass is driving its subscriber base to Oscar-nominated movies

Lots more after the jump including Oscar news, Sarah Jessica Parker making headlines, Quentin Tarantino's response to Uma Thurman's story, and three memorable actors passing away...

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Doc Corner: Democracy, Nostalgia and Deadly Protest at Slamdance

by Glenn Dunks

We will be looking at both the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject category in February as we approach the Oscar ceremony, but this week we're taking a small trip to the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah. Situated alongside Sundance, this smaller festival obviously doesn’t get the attention of its much larger cousin – not helped by also happening at the same time as Oscar nominations – but we’re proud to give it a visit.

Here are thoughts on three of their documentaries this year....

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Months of Meryl: The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep.

#4 — Karen Traynor, a Southern political operative who has an affair with a popular senator.

JOHN: I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to be an actressexual in 1979, the year when Meryl Streep catapulted herself from that interesting, up-and-coming actress of The Deer Hunter, the Holocaust miniseries (which brought her first Emmy win), and the New York theater scene, to first-class movie star, appearing in three successful films and winning her first Oscar for the year’s highest-grosser and Best Picture champ, Kramer vs. Kramer. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves; buried in the middle of all this impressive acclaim is perhaps Streep’s least-known triumph of her early period: Jerry Schatzberg’s The Seduction of Joe Tynan.

This story of a liberal senator (Alan Alda, who also penned the script) struggling to balance political ambitions with family life, is a keen, sophisticated relic from a time when studio movies were risky, inspired, and targeted towards an adult audience, free of gimmicks or condescension. They were capable of making bank to boot.

In Joe Tynan, Streep plays Karen Traynor, a Louisiana lawyer who, while aiding Tynan’s campaign against a racist Supreme Court nominee (Remember when racism disqualified you from office?), begins a fling with Alda’s fast-rising political star...

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Doc Corner: 'The Final Year'

by Glenn Dunks

There is a pall that lingers over The Final Year. And rightfully so considering how everything turned out within the 2016 American presidential elections. And yet, that emotional baggage is brought to the film more by viewers and less so by director Greg Barker. The Emmy-winning director of Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden makes odd choices throughout this otherwise straight-forward documentary, not least of which is barely referencing the elephant in the room for the majority of its (brief) 90 minutes...

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Reviews: "The Post" and "The Greatest Showman"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in slightly altered form...

If you take film critics, Rotten Tomatoes, or any review aggregate site seriously you might think that future Oscar contender The Post (86%) is a pricey gift from Santa Spielberg that’s come exquisitely wrapped for Christmas. You might also believe that the new Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman (51%) is an oversized lump of coal fouling up your otherwise pretty stocking. Don’t fall for that anti-fun / theme=worth messaging; See both for a well-rounded holiday week at the movies...

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