HOT TOPICS

IN THEATERS

DVD / BLURAY / STREAMING

Welcome

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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Q&A: Which Oscar nominees will be back soon?

"I like your 2026 predictions for longevity (Bale, Vikander, Hardy)" - Bella 

"I can understand saying McAdams, but I actually think this will ignite an improved career for her and she'll get another nomination within the next five years." - Philip

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

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe

Entries in precursor awards (217)

Tuesday
Jan052016

The Confusing Art Directors Guild Nominations. Is "Crimson Peak" Period? Where is "Carol"?

Coco here, ready to talk about the Art Directors Guild and their wacky nominations. 

Usually we reserve the term category fraud for when lead performances are nominated in less competitive supporting categories, but the Art Directors Guild suggests we expand the definition. The Guild divides its film categories into period, fantasy, and contemporary, which makes senses. But this year's nominations suggest the division between the three categories are rather arbitrary. (The Film Experience is on the record saying that categories only matter if you follow the rules, so maybe the ADG should read this piece by our beloved Nathaniel.)

Anyway, here are the nominations:

Production Design (Period Film)
Bridge of Spies - Adam Stockhausen
Crimson Peak - Thomas Sanders
The Danish Girl - Eve Stewart
The Revenant - Jack Fisk
Trumbo - Mark Rickner 

Thomas Sanders's gothic sets are gorgeous, but Crimson Peak is a movie about ghosts. The production design is not historically accurate either unless gigantic bleeding houses used to actually exist in the real world. How is this not in "fantasy"?

The question one everyone's mind has to be "Where is Carol?" Judy Becker's designs are not only richly detailed, but they're integral in a film that's all about its precise visuals. It's worth remembering, though painful: Todd Haynes previous 50s masterpiece, Far From Heaven, did not get an Art Direction nomination from this guild or from the Oscars (!!!). 

Meanwhile, Trumbo continues its inexplicable love affair with awards voters.

More surprises and category confusions after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan042016

ACE Noms Ignore Spotlight, Love Joy. What is Happening? 

The ACE Eddie Nominations are out and as usual there are some real head-scratchers. The guild nominations that precede Oscar noms tend to throw something or other for a loop in terms of perceptions of what the industry loves. Or perhaps it's less complicated than we always assume and it's merely that those who vote on awards just don't see that many movies. Guild types are often more busy making movies than watching them after all.

One head scratcher: I'm not sure how we've ended up in a world where Joy, David O. Russell's latest ode to Jennifer Lawrence, is nominated for its editing. I don't mean to pick on the picture as I actually think it's far better than its reviews imply and am happy to have company with Nick and Jose on this; it seems fairly obvious that the nation's film critics are working through their David O. Russell issues now that he's made a woman's picture. But for all of Joy's underdiscussed strengths the editing is not one of them. This is no mark against any of its four editors who've done great work in the past but it's fairly obvious that they're struggling with a film that is so multi-toned and multi-authored and possibly unfinished and trying to make the most of its competing impulses and weird detours. The picture struggles to find its rhythm throughout. 

But let's not pick on Joy because people have been way too mean to it. The nominees and more thoughts are after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan032016

National Society of Film Critics: Love for Spotlight, Carol, Creed....

The last important critics awards have been announced and in the week of Oscar nomination voting too. Though they went with many of the names that have previously mentioned at other stops, they made one particularly welcome new call in Michael B Jordan as Best Actor? But are Oscar voters still looking for suggestions? When you've got a field as potentially anemic as this year's Best Actor race where no one seems all that enthused about the very famous probabilities, dig a little deeper. It can only help! The NSFC, formed in 1966 and the third most important US critics group outside of NYFCC and LAFCA (yes some members overlap since "National" includes multiple cities) spread the wealth. Only Spotlight and Carol took more than one prize. 

The winners and runners up are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec302015

Oscar Ballots Out Today. Three Simple FYCs for Voters.

Let the Oscar balloting begin. The image we use to illustrate is envelopes because they're pretty but they're also analog when even as ancient an institution as Oscar -- he's 88 years old now! -- has gone digital. Academy members can start nominating their favorites TODAY.  I won't barrage AMPAS members with requests other than these three wishes:

1. Please ignore precursors. Surprise us! 
The precursor bodies make terrible mistakes in trying to predict you (SAG & Critics Choice in particular this year are just a mess of lazy "what will the Academy vote for?" impulses rather than a searching for what constitutes great work which should always be the only concern). Two fine movies off the top of our heads that nobody expects you to vote for this year but why the hell shouldn't you? Sicario and Tangerine. People also seem to agree that you won't get behind stories about women but we know you have it in you. The public is enjoying reliving 1977 because of Star Wars: The Force Awakens but remember in 1977 how 80% of your Best Picture lineup was about women? Good times! I mean, why shouldn't you vote for something as gentle, resonant, and well modulated as Brooklyn, for example?

2. FYC: Remember that love stories require two leads. 
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are a beautiful team in Carol - so don't separate them in two different categories. Think of the classic screen couples (Gone With the Wind, The Way We Were, Titanic, It Happened One NightCasablanca, Coming Home, etcetera). In none of those romantic dramas do people pretend one movie star is "supporting" the other movie star. Be reasonable and put an end to greedy campaign strategies that make the very notion of awards seem crassly opportunist when the conversation should be edifying and fun; "Best" is a beautiful word! And love stories are love stories are love stories whether the couple is straight or LGBT. (See also: The Danish Girl)

3. Most ≠ Best
This isn't just about the acting categories but how about a deserved nod here or there that you could never call "Most" but could definitely argue "Best".  Three examples of many: The Production Design of Room (a top notch technical achievement but also emotionally intelligent and a true creative challenge); The Visual Effects of Ex Machina (there's no grand setpieces, sure, but damn if these fx aren't a master class and hugely impressive in comparison to the typical CGI shenanigans of blockbusters like Jurassic World); and the Original Score of Steve Jobs (unusual, contemporary, and creatively retro too).

HAPPY VOTING EVERYONE!

Thursday
Dec242015

Holiday Podcast Part 1: The Ballot Rush

Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe all return for a two part discussion -- something you can listen to while you're travelling for the holidays, a gift from us to you. This was recorded on December 13th (apologies for the delay) so it predates the Critics Choice nominations and subsequent Star Wars kerfuffle which is why we don't discuss those. But we're here to talk precursors and more. (Part Two will be up tonight)

42:30 minutes 
00:01 The Big Short is suddenly a factor. Why?
07:30 Helen Mirren in Trumbo and Woman in Gold
11:00 Sarah Silverman and Best Actress
15:00 Randomness and SAG voters
22:00 Spotlight and the Globes
24:30 Rooney Mara & Alicia Vikander & BFCA
32:00 Best Director & Picture Possibilities
35:00 Original Song Contenders
40:20 Weird Stats plus Hair and Makeup

Further Reading for Context:
SAG Nominations
Globe Nominations
Original Song's 74 Contenders
Oscar Charts

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Holiday Podcast Pt 1