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Best Actress -- Who will be nominated?
Davis? Blunt? Adams? Chastain?

"I'm glad everyone is cheering Fences on, but I feel that people are overestimating its Oscar potential. The furor reminds me of when people were going ga-ga for August: Osage County. " - Jes

"Davis  in Fences. I saw it on Broadway ... it is a true blue supporting role." - Charlie G

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Entries in release dates (82)

Thursday
Mar172016

Screening Room Attempts to Recreate Theater Experience In Your Living Room By Subtracting Everything That Makes It A Theater Experience

Daniel Crooke, here. In one corner: art house cinemas, regional and independent theater chains, and the flickering hope that sitting in a dark room while watching strangers’ problems projected onto a screen will warm you from the inside out. In the other: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, Justin Timberlake in The Social Network and the redheaded squirt from The Andy Griffith Show. Somewhere beyond the ropes, off in the stands, or wherever spectators chill in a sports metaphor: you, the audience, wondering how the hell you can just lean back and watch a damn movie. The fight: whether Sean Parker’s in-home moviegoing composite, Screening Room – which offers the chance to stream day-in-date releases of top shelf studio releases in the comfort of your own home – accessibly accessorizes or fundamentally destroys movies as we know, watch, and profit from them. Is it a forward thinking, easy-making application or Napster’s file sharing, older sister with a Friedkin poster on the wall? A brave new venture or a brave new world?

Doomsday scenarios and potential benefits after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar102016

IFC Films Acquires Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women

Daniel Crooke here, with the news that Kelly Reichardt’s sixth feature film, Certain Women, has found a home at IFC Films after screening at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim but no immediate buyer. While some of her (unnamed) louder, male peers from the American indie scene of the ‘90s have gone on to beat their chests across multiplexes with Great Big Cinema, Reichardt has kept fixing nitrogenous empathy to her storytelling roots over the years and elevated them into a premiere form of living, breathing naturalism. Certain Women stars Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart as an intersecting triptych of Montana ladies, whose “performance style is as casually organic and democratic as in any of her more scrappily cast early projects,” according to Guy Lodge at Variety.

For longtime fans or recent converts evangelized by Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, or Night Moves, this distribution partnership is a particularly exciting one as it promises Reichardt her largest release platform to date – with no offense to sage curatorial lookouts Oscilloscope Laboratories and Cinedigm, this is a big bump in maximizing eyes on the screen and seats in the theater. IFC Films has yet to announce a specific release date but assures that it will hit theaters at the tail end of 2016.

As if upping the ante for exposure weren’t enough, this puts Certain Women in the excellent company of other, ahem, certain exemplary women from female-forward stories in the IFC Catalogue. At their poker table of daring heroines with complex agendas, you find no less than: 45 Years’ shatter-glass Kate Mercer holding a royal flush (which she’ll soon discover is actually just an Ace high); Maria Enders and Valentine of Clouds of Sils Maria bluffing one another under the table; and the ultimate in unpredictable poker faces, Phoenix’s Nelly. So welcome to the IFC Films party, Certain Women, and know going in that Two Days, One Night’s Sandra has already paved the way in pressuring them to sacrifice a little extra dough when it comes to Oscar campaigning for a critic’s favorite. But above all else, per Amelia, watch out for The Babadook!

Monday
Mar072016

2016's Tentative Calendar

We'll begin awardable speculations all over again starting April 1st as we do. Don't hate us because we're OCD. So I'm prepping a cheat sheet list of releases that could factor in in ways very minor or major. Let me know if I've missed any juicy titles you're awaiting after the jump.

January through April
Which ones will people still care about in 10 months when top ten lists / awards season begins
10 Cloverfield Lane, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Boss, Demolition, Everybody Wants Some, Hail Caesar!, Hello My Name is Doris, A Hologram for the King, The Huntsman: Winter's War, Krisha, The Meddler, Midnight Special, Miles Ahead, Sing Street, Tale of Tales, The Witch, and Zootopia

Popcorn Season (May-August)
Some Oscar nominees always emerge in the summer. But the question is in which categories?
Alice Through the Looking Glass, Ben-Hur, The BFG, A Bigger Splash, Captain America: Civil War, Captain Fantastic, The Conjuring 2, Finding Dory, The Founder, Genius, Ghostbusters, Hands of Stone, High Rise, Independence Day: Resurgence, Jason Bourne, Kubo & The Two Strings, Last Days in the Desert, The Legend of Tarzan, Money Monster,  Pete's Dragon, The Secret Life of Pets, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Warcraft, X-Men: Apocalypse

Festival Friendly (Sept-October)
October & November are now the best months for release (statistically) if you'd like to win Best Picture
The Accountant, The Birth of a Nation, Bridget Jones Baby, Deepwater Horizon, Girl on the Train, The Light Between Oceans, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, A Monster Calls, Storks, Sully, Snowden, 

Holidays (November-December).
December continues to be the most popular month to schedule Oscar hopefuls though no eventual winner has been released that late since 2004. Still, it's usually good for way too many Oscar nominations even if few wins come of them... 
Assassin's Creed, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Collateral Beauty, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Lion, La La Land, Moana, Passengers, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Sing, Trolls, Untitled Robert Zemeckis / Brad Pitt World War II Film

Liam Neeson in Martin Scorsese's Silence 

Have Yet to be Scheduled But Expected in 2016
20th Century Women (Mike Mills directs The Bening and other stars)
Charming (animated comedy about the Prince's multiple storybook romances)
A Tale of Love and Darkness (Natalie Portman)
Silence (Martin Scorsese directs Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Etc...)
The Last Face (Charlize Theron & Javier Bardem)
The Book of Henry (Naomi Watts, Lee Pace, Jacob Tremblay)
The Zookeepers Wife (Jessica Chastain, WW II drama)
Gold (Matthew McConaughey)
Suite Francaise (Michelle Williams... this is still out there somewhere. It's been finished for how long?)
The Queen of Katwe (Mira Nair directs Lupita Nyong'o)
A United Kingdom (Rosamund Pike & David Oyelowo)
Untitled Howard Hughes Project (Warren Beatty, Alec Baldwin, Lily Collins, The Bening)
Loving (Jeff Nichols directs Joel Edgerton & Ruth Negga, true story)
LBJ (Rob Reiner directs Woody Harrelson in the biopic) 
Untitled Woody Allen (Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell) 
The Seagull (Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, and The Bening in a Chekov adaptation) 
Beat-up Little Seagull (Michelle Pfeiffer) 
The Lost City of Z (James Gray directs Tom Holland and Charlie Hunnam in 1920s jungle exploration) 
HHhH (Rosamund Pike, Mia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke in WW II thriller)  
War Machine (David Michôd directs Brad Pitt in Afghan war satire)
Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford directs Amy Adams & Jake Gyllenhaal. Based on the book "Tony & Susan") 
The Secret Scripture (Jim Sheridan directs Rooney Mara & Vanessa Redgrave in mental hospital drama) 
Una (Rooney Mara & Ben Mendelsohn)
The Whole Truth (Courtney Hunt directs Keanu Reeves & Gugu Mbatha-Raw)
Our Kind of Traitor (Damian Lewis & Naomie Harris) 
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan directs Casey Affleck & Michelle Williams)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt directs Kristen Stewart & Michelle Williams)
Tallulah (Ellen Page & Allison Janney)
Trespass Against Us (Michael Fassbender & Brendan Gleeson)
Alone in Berlin (Brendan Gleeson & Emma Thompson) 
The Promise (Terry George directs Christian Bale & Oscar Isaac & Charlotte Le Bon in Ottoman Empire love triangle) 
The Circle (James Ponsoldt directs Emma Watson & Tom Hanks) 

Intended for 2017 but they're already filming so you never know...
Live by Night (Ben Affleck directs Prohibition Era crime story)
Miss Sloane (Jessica Chastain)
The Snowman (Tomas Alfredson directs Michael Fassbender)
Trainspotting 2 (the whole cast returns)
All Eyez on Me (Tupac Shakur bio) 
The Dinner (Oren Moverman directs Richard Gere & The Lovely Laura Linney)

Thursday
Feb252016

Bad Movies on Oscar Weekend

This weekend's release of Gods of Egypt got me thinking about the fact that we never get great movies opening on Oscar weekend. Studios must be betting that those of us watching the show are too busy prepping movie-themed party snacks to sneak in something special at the movies. Instead, they usually cater to an audience who'll likely be avoiding the big show. Hardly a new standard for release schedules, this weekend has been a dumping ground for forgettable cinema for some time.

Like the notorious poor quality of early months of the year, this weekend rarely gifts us with cult classics or enduring pleasures either. You have to go back 1997's Oscar weekend to find releases that still have vocal fans: TNT staple Selena (remember good Jennifer Lopez?) and Liar Liar (remember good Jim Carrey?). The previous year had David O. Russell's underappreciated sophmore film Flirting with Disaster, which did get some precursor love.

However, for something timeless and Oscar recognized, this weekend's biggest standout in modern memory is Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts performance as What Do You Want It To Be Vivian wasn't the most recent Oscar nominee debuting the weekend of the ceremony.

Let's see how far back we have to go to get an Oscar nominated film released on Oscar weekend!*

*full disclosure: I cheated, but you will totally agree why after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan312016

Podcast: Sundance Buzz and SAG Awards Chatter 

Nathaniel,  NickKatey, and Joe vape with Leonardo DiCaprio at the SAG Awards. Also we share the Sundance titles we're most curious about...

39 minutes 
00:01 Sundance Winners: Swiss Army Man, Netflix and Amazon
09:30 Birth of a Nation and other black films that could take the pressure off of it as the #OscarsSoWhite corrective
13:52 Most anticipated titles
16:30 SAG: Boosts for Spotlight, Alicia Vikander
22:20 Don's Plum vs. Flora Plum
25:15 Brie & Leonardo & final SAG thoughts

Related Reading For Context:
Best Ensemble Choices -From Nathaniel
Best Ensemble Choices -From Joe
Nick's SAG Blogging - a first for him
Leo's Vaping - via E!

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

SAG Reactions

Thursday
Jan212016

come with me if you want to link

Huffpo The story of the first trans Oscar nominee, Angela Morley in the 1970s
Gothamist This will be such a sad day in Manhattan. The last remaining gala premiere type single screen movie theater in Manhattan is closing in a couple of weeks for good. Goodbye Ziegfeld Theater where I first saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh, where I first laid eyes on Moulin Rouge!, where so many filmmakers and actors premiered their films.
The Film Stage Taylor Sheridan who wrote Sicario is looking to make his directorial debut with his new screenplay Wind River 


Variety Ettore Scola, the Italian director has died at 84 years of age. Among his best known films were three Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees: A Special Day (1977), The Family (1987) and Le Bal (1983) 
Coming Soon Jennifer Lawrence will star in Marita about Fidel Castro's young lover who became involved in an assassination attempt on his life. (Finally a role she's basically the right age for!)
AV Club Kevin Spacey to play JD Salinger's mentor in a Rebel in the Rye (what a title, eh)
MNPP David Lynch's surreal use of animals in his work - damn my favorite one is missing. The talking bird from Twin Peaks. "Leo, no!" 
BuzzFeed The Hateful Eight as the meanest film in Tarantino's filmography. I haven't actually read this piece -- I'm so tired of this movie -- but people keep tell me it's the best piece on the film. 
/Film The polar bear cartoon Norm of the North is our first 0% of 2016 on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone hates it!
Guardian Kenya thinks Netflix will lead to 'declining moral values'. (I mean... tif you bingewatch bad tv and movies then, sure, yes)

Franchise Watch
Guardian Terminator Genysis sequels have been cancelled. Be grateful for small miracles. That franchise's first two films were amazements but diminishing returns with all the xeroxing
Decider can Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn save the DC film universe from its self? (That's a lot to place on one ensemble player, even if she does carry a baseball bat) 
/Film Christmas 2017 showdown: Avatar 2 and Star Wars VIII now scheduled to open on the exact same day. But the hilarious thing about this article is they call Avatar 2 an "unmovable force" even though James Cameron never makes his release dates. LOL. Expect that one to movie for sure. 

Today's Watch
The Sky in Sicario. Do we think there's any chance Emmanuel Lubezki doesn't win for The Revenant (which would be his third consecutive win -- which has never happened before -- and if so) 

 

Sky in "Sicario" from Ordog on Vimeo.

 

Wednesday
Dec232015

While We Wait for Carol...

The natives are growing restless.

Greetings friends. Chris here, the newest member of Team Experience. Like I'm assuming many of you, I live far away from the lucky 16 theatres currently housing Todd Haynes' return to the big screen. So I'm happy with even the slightest shift that brings Carol's glacial release to my local screens. Non-US readers have an even longer wait. We've all become the human embodiment of that inescapable Rooney Mara image.

It's worth noting amid all our impatience the cautionary tale told this year by the likes of Steve Jobs and The Diary of a Teenage Girl: going too wide too soon can result in a quick crash and burn in this increasingly crowded marketplace. So let's take a breather and feel grateful that Carol has a distributor like The Weinstein Co. focused on reaching a passionate audience, even if it means waiting longer than we want. After all, the film is still the film no matter when we see it.

Meanwhile, I've got 10 fun homework assignments to keep you occupied while you wait...

 1. Read Patricia Highsmith's novel (also published as The Price of Salt). The film is not a page-to-page adaptation, so some surprises will still be ahead - including more of our titular love interest!

2. Rewatch the Todd Haynes filmography! I'll do the leg work for you: Velvet Goldmine is availble on Netflix Instant, Poison and I'm Not There on Amazon Prime...

Click to read more ...