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 Supporting Actress (336)


Tilt Your Head, Pfeiffer!

by Murtada

Mother! is my most anticipated film of the fall. And it’s so good that we don’t have to wait that long for it. Just 14 days from today it will be everywhere. The obsession is real, and for the last few days it has become very specific.

Of course it has to do with Michelle Pfeiffer. There’s a new clip making the rounds where Pfeiffer intimidates Jennifer lawrence about having kids...

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Smackdown 1963: Three from "Tom Jones" and Two Dames 

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '63. Well well, what have we here? This year's statistical uniqueness (the only time one film ever produced three supporting actress nominees) and the character lineup reads juicier than it actually is - your Fab Five are, get this: a saucy wench, a pious auntie, a disgraced lady, a pillpopping royal, and a stubborn nun.


from left to right: Cilento, Evans, Redman, Rutherford, Skalia

In 1963 Oscar voters went for an all-first-timers nominee list in Supporting Actress. The eldest contenders would soon become Dames (Margaret Rutherford and Edith Evans were both OBEs at the time). Rutherford, the eventual winner, was the only nominee with an extensive film history and she was in the middle of a hot streak with her signature role as Jane Marple which ran across multiple films from through 1961-1965. In fact, Agatha Christie had just dedicated her new book "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side" to the future Dame. Despite Rutherford's cultural popularity, the only women who would return to the Oscar fold (and quickly) would be Joyce Redman and Edith Evans. The latter was beloved -- voters couldn't get enough of Evans in the Sixties during her seventies.

Notable supporting actresses of the year who Oscar didn't nominate were most of the Globe nominees: Wendy Hiller (Toys in the Attic), Diane Baker (The Prize), Linda Marsh (America America), and Lisolette Pulver (A Global Affair). Other key players passed over for this shortlist were: Maggie Smith (The VIPs), Jessica Tandy (The Birds), Claire Bloom (The Haunting), Gena Rowlands (A Child is Waiting), Constance Towers (Shock Corridor), Claire Trevor (The Stripper), Julie Christie (Billy Liar) and any of the women from Fellini's 8½.


from left to right: McGovern, Scarlett, Bugbee, Mullins, Nathaniel

Here to talk about these five nominated turns are your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience) and the panelists: Teo Bugbee (freelance culture critic), Kieran Scarlett (screenwriter), and Brian Mullin and Sean McGovern (of the Broad Appeal podcast). And now it's time for the main event... 


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Charlize Theron in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"

by Tim Brayton

As part of our celebration of the career of Charlize Theron, I'm revisiting the performance of hers that first made me clearly aware that here was a woman whose career would be worth keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, it's a crap film, one of the worst she's ever been in: I speak of the 2001 Woody Allen project The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a sluggish, mirthless throwback to the screwball comedies of old that is, by some reports, Allen's own least favorite of his career. I can't quite bring myself to agree with that assessment, but it's certainly right down there near the bottom.

In fact, Theron's performance as bored, spoiled rich society woman Laura Kensington is easily the best thing about the film, if not indeed the only good thing about it, period. I'm very happy to report that her work holds up, even without the sense of newness...

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"Being There" -- Essential Viewing For the Right Now

by Nathaniel R

Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979) is a fortune teller. And the future it foretells isn’t rosy. The classic film about a TV-loving cypher who Forrest Gumps his way into history is approaching its 40th anniversary, but its essential viewing for the right now.  Don't wait until 2019 to see it.

Among the film’s many queasy previews of life in the early 21st century is the proliferation of screens. Here that takes the shape of television, with Ashby frequent crosscutting to whatever is on the TV in a given scene. Though the content we see is recognizably dated, its intrusion is evergreen. 

Hidden within the prophecy of multiple screens replacing actual experience, is an even sharper notion of the screen as a mirror...

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C O N S I D E R - Actresses of 2017, 2nd Qtr

With the year's second quarter over, here's a listicle of noteworthy performances we'll eventually compare to what's to come. These are my personal favorites from screenings and releases from April 1st through June 30th (if the film hasn't opened in theaters yet, it's marked with an asterisk). Herewith the 17 best from the year's second quarter, divvied up into three categories. (If you'd like to group them with the women from the first quarter, that list is here). Did these actresses speak to you with their turns?

Disclaimer: Key actress-focused films I missed that I'll have to catch up with later were Beatriz at Dinner, Manifesto, A Quiet Passion and Rough Night. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out.



Gal Gadot as "Diana" in Wonder Woman

Nicole Kidman as "Miss Martha" in The Beguiled...

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Young and Hungry Susan Hayward


by Nathaniel R

Oscar buffs might be the only people who still regularly talk about Susan Hayward but her Oscar record was impressive enough to warrant that conversation. Five nominations with one win, all in the Best Actress category, is not nothing. In fact, her record is a match with Audrey Hepburn and Anne Bancroft and another Susan (Sarandon). But when I first got interested in Susan Hayward before I'd seen any of her films, what drew me in was the abundant hysteria within the posters, titles, and taglines for her movies. Or to quote Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding:

The misery. The exquisite tragedy. The Susan Hayward of it all!"

She lived (onscreen at least) for exclamation points so it's fitting then that her Oscar win came from I Want to Live! (1958). But to close out our celebration counterintuitively in reverse, let's end with a film from when Hayward was a young and hungry actress without much pull...

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Emmy FYC: Samira Wiley in "Orange is the New Black" 

Team Experience is sharing Dream Emmy nominations this week. Here's Deborah Lipp

Reading the list of eligible Emmy performances is an eye-opening survey of how much good and great TV I’ve seen this year—and how much I’ve missed. How can anyone single out an individual, or a few individuals, from this sea of excellence? There is no doubt that Orange is the New Black is a great show, and my favorite show, but even narrowing the list to performances from that one show is daunting.

But then there is Samira Wiley...

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Emmy FYC: Aubrey Plaza's multiplicity in "Legion"

We're sharing our dream Emmy nominations as balloting is in progress. Here's Ben Miller...

TV creator Noah Hawley broke onto the scene quickly with the first season of Fargo.  After delivering a stellar superior second season, he was given the freedom to develop whatever he wanted at FX.  Born from that freedom was Legion.  Borrowing from its X-Men source material, Legion crafted its own little niche in prestige television.  No other series, save The Leftovers, was weirder and more divisive in its execution. 

Legion follows David (Dan Stevens), a mutant with telepathic abilities stuck in an insane asylum who finds love and conspiracy as he discovers he might (or might not) be insane.  His best friend in the asylum is Lenny, played by Aubrey Plaza.  Following a series of mind-bending events, Lenny is killed.  This isn’t much of a spoiler as it happens in the first episode.

After Lenny dies, Plaza comes to life...

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