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 Sonia Braga (8)


Annette and Sonia: Considering Two Snubs

Robert here. With this weekend's Oscars closing up the film year, can we take one final minute and dive into two performances that have been given the prestigious honor of being declared snubbed by the academy? That'd be, namely, Annette Bening in 20th Century Women and Sonia Braga in Aquarius (who are both nominated in Nathaniel's own awards; Braga was runner up for Best Actress in the 2016 Team Experience Awards).

Some minor spoilers and possibly very unpopular opinions after the jump...

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Podcast: "Silence" and "20th Century Women"

Nick and Nathaniel and special guest Chris Feil (who you read hear at TFE at least twice a week) talk new flicks in our post Golden Globe/DGA nominations world.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Globe & DGA intro...
04:00 Martin Scorsese's Silence 
18:31 Extremely wandering conversation alert: Silence, 20th Century WomenPaterson, Rogue One, new movie trailers...
27:00 The brilliant 20th Century Women
39:50 Aquarius, Demon, Pervert Park

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? Are you planning to watch Aquarius on Netflix?

Silence & 20th Century Women


Female Performance Heaven Across Mediums

Our Year in Review is doubling up now, two "best of" lists a daily to wrap up. This afternoon Matthew Eng exercizes his actressexuality.

Here are 25 scenes, songs, shots, reactions, line-readings, gestures, and whatnot that have stuck with me the longest from some — but not all — of my favorite female performances across film, television, music, and theater this year. Remember these? They are... in alphabetical order:

01 Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny’s bravura comic badinage is the main engine driving Love & Friendship, which only ever threatens to turn softhearted when these two catty soulmates are finally forced to part. Beckinsale and Sevigny carefully modulate their straight-faced hauteur during this fond farewell, but refuse to let even an ounce of sentimentality disrupt their regal self-possession. It’s one final, triumphant occasion for game to recognize game.

02 “Value,” the sixth episode of Donald Glover’s extraordinary first season of Atlanta, opens with an extended showcase scene of friendly rivalry between the luminous Zazie Beetz (as long-suffering public school teacher Van) and one-episode wonder Aubin Wise (as her childhood pal, now an “Instagram escort”). Both actresses tear into the scene with a comical trenchancy that scores its necessary laughs but also establishes a layered and fleetingly poignant background of affectionately-waged one-upmanship.

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Here's to the Ladies Who Lush

Year in Review. Each afternoon, a new wrap up list. Today Steven with our first wine soaked entry...

A lot of us were taken by surprise by the results of the election, and now we find ourselves living in a post “11/8” world. Since that day, how many of you have spent a quiet evening at home pondering the winding road ahead with a giant glass of red wine for company? I know I have. If you answered yes, you're not alone in this and you have fine actressy counterparts. Some of 2016’s best narrative moments have played out just this way. Our screens, large and small, have been filled with fierce femmes sipping some wine, reflecting on life, death, pain, joy…you know, existence.

Join us in tipping a glass to some of the best of those scenes (possible spoilers ahead)...

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NYFF: Sonia Braga in "Aquarius"

Manuel here reporting from the New York Film Festival and reminding you that Sonia Braga is a goddess of cinema 

Aquarius is the name of a building in Recife where Doña Clara (a resplendent Sonia Braga) has made her life. The apartment she lives in, which is littered with books and old LPs (she was once a famed music journalist), once belonged to her aunt. Indeed, Kleber Mendonça Filho first introduces us to the Aquarius and to the apartment back when Clara was a young woman who’d recently battled breast cancer, a key detail her aunt brings up in the midst of a birthday celebration. In this lively opening sequence, the camera pauses on an old furniture piece before giving us a glimpse of even livelier days of the older woman celebrating her birthday surrounded by family. We see a memory flash before us of a heated sexual encounter, her lingering gaze having triggered an old but cherished memory...

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Best Acting. New Oscar Predictions

Having just taken a trip back to 1984 for the Smackdown and memory sufficiently jogged about how dense the acting branch can sometimes be (the discernment skills vary so much annually it can feel like invasion of the AMPAS body snatchers in some calender years) I'm finding myself in the odd position of defending my more extreme hunches from my more cynical side.

Huppert is amazing... and (more importantly) Huppert-esque in ELLEBEST ACTRESS
Whenever you make a call here suggesting that so & so in some non-Oscary film actually has a shot at an acting nomination, people are prone to scoff. But each year's Oscar races have so many intangibles in the acting categories that it's best to keep an open mind. The four acting categories are arguably the categories that are least beholden to the actual movies since a famous actor doesn't need a strong picture to generate buzz nor do they (in some cases) even need for people to actually like their movie they're in or, in fact, see it. And then you have the vaguely opposite case where a particular movie, whether or not people actually warm to it as a whole, can remind the world how fabulous a particular actor or actress always has been...

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Red Carpet Lineup: Cannes Best Actress Watch

We'll update the Oscar charts when Cannes wraps up but for now let's talk about the buzziest actresses of the festival. We should note, however, that Cannes juries are notoriously hard to predict and there are still a few competition films left to premiere. What's more, every year people say "this is a shoo in for that!" and it does not come to pass -- especially when it comes to the acting prizes.

But here are five gorgeous and talented actresses at their premieres* who have garnered enough buzz to make us go "hmmmmm"

From left to right...

Sandra Hüller stars in the nearly 3 hour comedy Toni Erdmann about a prank loving father and his overly serious daughter. The film comes from German director Maren Ade who had a critical hit several years back with Everyone Else (2009). Hüller's chief claim to fame is the drama Requiem (2006) for which she won Best Actress in Germany.

Ruth Negga, best known to date for her television work in the UK and in the US, definitely has Oscar buzz for the 50s interracial marriage drama Loving (alongside screen husband Joel Edgerton) but Oscar buzz is only rarely equivalent to Cannes buzz so only the jury knows if this is one of those times. Loving comes to US theaters in November.

Isabelle Huppert stars in Paul Verhoeven's revenge thriller Elle (*which has not yet premiered from my understanding). But ahead of its premiere Sony Pictures Classics picked it up for distribution and word on the performance is hot. That said, until tastemakers truly get a look at it we can't know if that's just PR buzz or something deeper, like another milestone in her legendary career. Huppert has never been Oscar nominated -- she probably frightens the Academy -- but it may surprise you to hear that the equally controversial Verhoeven has, for all intents and purposes. One of his earliest films, Turkish Delight (1973) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Yes, yes, technically that nomination belongs to the Netherlands rather than to Verhoeven himself but we think of it as also belonging to the director since generally speaking the directors are the ones that pick up the statue and say their thank yous. Verhoeven hasn't made a full length feature since his terrific uncomfortably sexy World War II thriller Black Book (2006) so we'll await this with eager eyeballs.

Kristen Stewart starred in the opening night film Café Society (reviewed here) but she's also the lead of the polarizing ghost story of some sort (we're trying not to read reviews) called Personal Shopper. It's been both booed and raved. Will the jury love it or hate it? It's worth noting that her last duet with Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) nabbed her the best reviews of her career, multiple awards notices, and the French César. 

the ever gorgeous Sonia Braga

Finally, there's the enduring 65 year old star Sonia Braga who headlines the Brazilian picture Aquarius. It's getting the kind of reviews that leave us salivating, both because of a juicy lead role for this fine actress (who Oscar totally stiffed in 1985 for her prismatic fascinating star turn in Kiss of the Spider Woman), and for the possibility that Brazil could make some headway in the Oscar race. Consider this tweet from our friend Tim Robey:



Brazil hasn't received a foreign language film nomination since Central Station (1998, a category they should have won) and they've yet to win the Oscar. The director of Aquarius, Kleber Medonça Filhou was previously submitted by Brazil for Neighboring Sounds (2013, reviewed).

Do you want to place any bets on the Jury prizes this year?


Top Ten: Non-Nominated Best Supporting Actresses, 1980s Division

Whew. That title is a mouthful. I know you already know what I mean though, you golden fiends. This very impromptu post is brought to you by a recent Tribeca revival screening of Martin Scorsese's indelible King of Comedy (1983) and this Movie Line interview with Sandra Bernhard herself -- to whom I'm dedicating the list -- who couldn't make it but definitely helped make the movie what it is. My one and only back and forth conversation with Sandra -- over Twitter, the sometimes leveler -- involved how freaking robbed she was for an Oscar nomination for that movie. I couldn't believe I was talking to her but I was not the least bit in doubt that she'd agree with me.

10 Best Non-Nominated Supporting Actress Performances of the 1980s

Honorable Mentions: I think Rosanna Arquette's "Surrender Dorothy" bit in After Hours was quite memorable though the rest of the movie has long since faded; I cherish Martha Plimpton in just about anything but mostly Shy People (1987) and Running on Empty (1988) back in her vibrant teenage River Phoenix-adjacent days.

I Apologize To: Kathy Baker in Street Smart, Mona Washbourne in Stevie (1981), Vanessa Redgrave in Prick up Your Ears and Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places who all won devoted fans for those performances in their respective years (and some awards buzz though not enough for Oscar) but, believe it or not, I haven't seen any of those movies!

10 Bridget Fonda, Scandal (1989)
and nine more divas after the jump...

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