Oscar History

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Entries in The Social Network (21)


On This Day: Glenn Close Born, Ben Kingsley Knighted, Sean Connery Bonded

Programming Note: Apologies that we're off schedule on episodes of Pfandom and Three Fittings. Performance anxiety (aka writer's block) at Film Experience HQ. While Nathaniel course corrects...

On this day in showbiz history...
Here are a few cinematic things to think about today March 19th. Which will you feel most festive about?

1859 Charles Gounod's Opera Faust premieres in Paris. There are multiple Faust operas just as there are multiple film versions of the 
1897 Betty Compson (The Barker, 1928), the only Best Actress nominee born in Beaver, Utah (I mean, she'd have to be, right?) enters the world. 
1915 Happy 102nd birthday today to 40s star Patricia Morrison (Dressed to Kill, Song of the Thin Man). Yes, she's still alive!
1947 Glenn Close is born in Connecticutt. 70 years later she still hasn't won her Oscar! She's back on Broadway in Sunset Blvd at the moment...

Click to read more ...


Andrew Garfield: free from Hollywood's web

For our impromptu and informal Actors Month, members of Team Experience were free to choose any actor they wanted to discuss. Here's David on Hollywood's outgoing Spider-Man.

Andrew Garfield wasn't made for Hollywood; an interview with Vulture last year saw him raging at the very convention of interviews themselves, tired of the constant insistence on self-analysis and invasion of privacy. He was, however, born in Los Angeles, with a father who dreamt of Hollywood - but the Garfield family moved back to his mother's English homeland when Andrew was just four years old. Now he is, by his own admission, firmly transatlantic, "equally at home in both places". He has fulfilled his father's latent dreams of movie stardom, but Garfield grew up on the British stage, an arena where character comes first and celebrity is a rare imposition. Many commentators have made note of how many British actors have taken on major roles in Hollywood franchises, but none seem so conflicted and contradictory about their place there as Garfield.

Click to read more ...


Top Ten: Most Deserving Oscar Wins of the Decade (thus far)

It's a special "top ten day" to kick off fall film season. Lists all day long. Enjoy!

As we move into awards seasons it's a good time to think positively and hope for the best. Though AMPAS is too high profile to ever get an entirely fair shake (people will always take them to task because one man's treasure is another's junk and because it's easier to remember the gross dereliction of their duties more than their classy moments) they don't screw up all the time. Some Oscar wins are highly deserved no matter how you look at it. Though it seems weird to call this young decade "the Teens" already given that we've just left the pre-teens, that's what it'll surely be called when it wraps in December 2019


Honorable Mention
 Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables (2012 Supporting Actress)
"I Dreamed a Dream" and its fearful preamble "At the End of the Day" had seismic emotional impact. Performances this raw are always risky (and usually divisive!) but I'll never forget her confrontational mix of anger, sorrow, memory and beauty; a woman staring into the abyss, still stunned she's at the brink of it.


10ish  Christian Bale, The Fighter (2010 Supporting Actor)
Christopher PlummerBeginners (2011 Supporting Actor)
I couldn't decide which of these fine actors I wanted on the list and on an earlier draft I accidentally left both off as a result. Oops. Both are arguably leads, so it felt a bit strange to include them but they are two very fine instances of overdue actors finally winning the top gong. While they probably won at least in part as "whole career" honors, that much derided Oscar tactic that often gives actors Oscars for one of their lesser performances, doesn't always backfire; both were, happily, incredibly deserving.

09 Lupita N'Yongo, 12 Years a Slave (2013 Supporting Actress)
A close call, perhaps, with "It Girl" JLaw nipping at her barefeet. Or maybe not close at all given how much of its operatic sorrow the sometimes cerebral Best Picture owes to her proud wails and immeasurable pain.  "I'd rather it be you" 

8 more greats after the jump from Gravity to A Separation

Click to read more ...


Top Ten 2010s... So Far

I just spent 108 minutes catching up with Jesse and Celine. We've met them twice Before... and I spent the first 2/3rds of the movie grinning like a damn fool I was so happy to be marinating in their always passionate detour-filled conversations. It's too early to say how much I loved the movie (though I did) but it got me to thinking what an achievement this series is and got me to thinking of true movie magic and how much of it we've had lately. So while so many of my fellow critics enjoy their mad rush through Auteursville at Cannes tonight I'm remembering the time I fell in love with this movie...

...and that one

...and that one

...and that one.

Here's my ten favorite movies of the 'Teens (2010-2019) ... so far of course

the bonafide masterpieces -it'd be tough to imagine them not being on the decade best list 6 years from now
1. I Am Love (Luca Guadagnini)
2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
3. The Social Network (David Fincher)

indelible achievements

4. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
5. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko)
6. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)

movie magic

7. Amour (Michael Haneke)
8. The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
9. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn)

10 ... let's leave this spot open for a current passion since this list is silliness until 2019 rolls around. How will Frances Ha and Before Midnight age? They'll certainly make my top ten list this year. And if they don't this will be a startlingly fine year.

And while I still have your attention you should "like" The Film Experience

Honorable Mention: Beginners, Weekend, Magic Mike, and Moonrise Kingdom
Growing?: Blue Valentine and The Fighter and Melancholia are aging well
Fading?: I admit my initial passions for both Black Swan and The Artist have cooled a bit.

Which films this young decade have already staked a claim on your 4ever heart?

Previous Top Ten Quickies
1930s | 1950s1970s | 1980s | 1990s


Reader Spotlight: Lynn Lee

"Reader Appreciation Month" continues. Get to know The Film Experience community! Today we're talking to the very delightful and smart Lynn Lee who has her own blog where she muses on film & tv.

When did you start reading The Film Experience?

LYNN: I think around 2005. I remember our mutual friend Nick Davis hooked me on to TFE, and I've been reading it ever since. You bring such great insight, without a speck of pretentiousness, into such a wide range of films. And I love the variety of content on the site - the reviews, the links and blogathons, the first line/last shot series, and of course your raging actressexuality. 

Awww thanks. That last part I can do nothing about. It's just who I am! So, what's your first movie memory?

LYNN: The first movie I remember watching at home, over and over again, was The Sound of Music. I loved it, never got tired of it, could sing all the songs before I even fully understood all the lyrics. My first movie theater experience, on the other hand, was really traumatic - my parents took me to see E.T. when I was only 4 or 5, and I still remember crying hysterically at all the scary government men in white suits and E.T. appearing to die. Funny, E.T. is now one of my all-time favorite movies, but I still think it's way too intense for very young kids.

Since you went to Harvard I have to ask what you were thinking during The Social Network's opening scenes.

LYNN: Ha! I knew going in that none of the campus scenes were actually shot at Harvard, so at least I wasn't disappointed on that count. And some of the outdoor shots were actually pretty credible. But the party scenes - well, let's just say that if they had any basis in reality, I must have been going to the wrong parties when I was there.

Okay, three favorite actresses. Go.

LYNN: Ahh, favorites are so tough. Among those working today, Laura Linney is my #1. I first really noticed her in You Can Count on Me, but I remember the movie that sealed my devotion was an awful piece of dreck called The Life of David Gale, which was so terrible that none of its heavyweight cast escaped unscarred... except Laura Linney. Somehow, *she* managed to be fantastic when even Kate Winslet couldn't. I'm also kind of in love with Rachel Weisz, who brings class and intelligence as well as beauty to all her roles. And finally, Emma Thompson: will no one give this woman a role worthy of her talents?

You Can Count On... Laura Linney

Also a fan of Joan Allen (see note for Emma Thompson), Susan Sarandon, Amy Adams, Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Kirsten Dunst, and too many more to list.

How many movies do you see a year?

Not as many as I'd like! Generally between 40-50 - most of them in theaters, if that gets me any extra points.

It does. It does. Have you ever dressed up as a movie character for Halloween?

Last Halloween I dressed up as Gwen Stacy from The Amazing Spider-Man, although I don't think I look very good as blonde. It was mainly an excuse to carry around a clipboard with a picture of Andrew Garfield attached to it.


Previous Spotlights


Distant Relatives: Citizen Kane and The Social Network

Robert here with my series Distant Relatives, which explores the connections between one classic and one contemporary film. This week a request from Ryan M. Feel free to make your own requests in the comments.


Tell me how you remember it

Last year I compared Citizen Kane and There Will Be Blood as two films about the consequences of achieving the American Dream. Later I compared The Social Network with Raging Bull as two character studies of antisocial overachievers. But all four of these films belong to a sizable sub-genre, the drama about a man who gets everything he wants and nothing he needs. Of the four, the two that go together most closely are Citizen Kane and The Social Network. Citizen Kane, written, directed by and starring Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper magnate (and fictionalized version of William Randolph Hearst) follows the life of this giant, his friends, his marriages, his successes and failures, his ascension and fall. The Social Network stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg (a fictionalized version of Mark Zuckerberg) as he too rises to great heights and how this affects his friendships, relationships and life.

The natural comparisons are obvious. Both are films about men who set out to do something great, accomplish it, and lose something even greater in the process. They're films about how lonely it is at the top. But, with many films in this mold, the devil is in the details. Structurally the two are centrally related. Neither of them has a single narrator, nor do they have necessarily reliable narrators. Both are told in flashback in mostly but not always chronological order. Both stories are told by individuals attempting to answer a question after the fact. In Citizen Kane the question is the meaning of Kane's last words "rosebud" for a news story. In The Social Network, the question is Zuckerberg's intent to steal the idea of Facebook and force out his partner for the sake of a lawsuit. Now we come to our first juxtaposition of the good old days against the new. But it hardly matters. The point is the device which gives a sense of immediacy and relevance to things already past.

Love and Money

Both of these films are certainly about immediacy. These two men make their living not through oil or sport or some old established profession but through media, new media. They influence the world they control and control the world they influence. In their work they shape public opinion, yet ultimately they cannot find a way to shape it in thier favor. There's an irony to the fact that their talents have won them extensive influence, but that extensive influence cannot convince anyone to love them. And love, and acceptance are what these two men are truly after. Kane's friend Jed Leland says as much, that what he really wanted was to be loved. Zuckerberg too demonstrates his desires through his continual search for approval from Erica, the girl who got away. And perhaps it's just a slight bit of spite toward the Winklevoss twins, members of the crew team, the epitome of Erica's "type' in a mere throwaway comment, that motivates Zuckerberg to be the jerk that he becomes. Much in the same way Kane's initial pure intentions are tainted every so obviously by the way the newspaper business allows him to expose and punish his foster father.
Yet we've barely scratched the surface of these two films. Within these worlds there are also smaller tales of ego-driven misogyny, domination over and objectification of women, of friendships terminated with a termination, of defiance in the arms of authority, of paths never taken. That last one may be a key too. To many, the most memorable moment in Citizen Kane doesn't involve its star at all. It comes in a brief monologue by Everitt Sloane's Mr. Berenstein who speaks of a pretty girl with a parasol he saw once and has never forgotten. These are films about memories, the remembered lives of men who build empires to compensate for the shadows of their pasts. And those pasts are forged by regret of actions not taken or actions not possible (like Mr. Berenstein's lost girl), and the desire to rise above them, take control of a life and become a giant. Citizen Kane and The Social Network are films about men who are giants who can't escape the small truths of their lifes.


Other Cinematic Relatives: Giant (1956), The Godfather part II (1974), The Aviator (2004), There Will Be Blood (2007),


Introducing... Armie Hammer

Let's celebrate the Quarter-Century mark of one Armie Hammer... (happy birthday!) also known as Armand Douglas Hammer. 'He's 6'5", 220, and there's two of him.' Well, actually just one. But his twinned Social Network role as Cameron and Tyler, "the Winklevii", sure doubled tripled quadrupled    okay greatly multiplied the size of his acting career. Hammer has the Prince Charming role in Tarsem Singh's upcoming Untitled Snow White picture but we'll next see him in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar as Clyde Tolson, the alleged longtime lover / official longtime employee of Leonardo DiCaprio's J Edgar Hoover. So there's two of Hammer this time too in a sense.

Just for fun given his newness on the scene, I thought we'd look at how Armie has been introduced in each of the feature films he has made thus far (excluding Billy Graham the Early Years which I couldn't find. Inbetween the first few features andThe Social Network he had recurring guest roles on Gossip Girl and Reaper but we've seen neither television show.) 

Introducing Armie Hammer in...

... Flicka (2006)

In Armie's film debut you can see him walking down the school hallway as "Male Prefect" as the credits are still going. In just seconds he's right near the camera and Alison Lohman is looking up at him. Them's long legs; tall people walk fast.

He says.

Catherine McLaughlin, you need to come see the headmaster.

And that's it! The whole role. Movie line = SAG card. In the credits he's sandwiched between a couple people who actually get names "Mrs Masterson" and "Gracie" just before the rodeo announcers, puppeteers and stuntmen. Auspicious beginnings.

... Blackout (2008)

Just two years later he gets his own title card, third billed, as "Tommy" in an indie thriller about three people trapped in an elevator. He's introduced mysteriously, his back turned away from the camera. Maybe he's killed the girl in the bed behind him? It's unclear but her back has some weird bloody marks on it and he's wrapping his own bloody fist. And then he dresses and loots her apartment (not nice!) before heading out to jump on his motorcycle. Armie abandons his usual preppy film look. It's amazing what a difference a haircut, earring, and tattoos can do for your look. 

... Spring Breakdown (2009)

Amy Poehler to Crowd: We're going to blow your mind with a little thing called Electric Slide."

Armie is back to namelessness in his next film as "Abercrombie Boy". He appears out of focus and all judgey in the background with one of "the Sevens", the mean sorority girls that Amy Poehler's 35 year old dog trainer is hanging with. But he eventually cheers up and starts dancing; no lines.

In the scrolling credits Armie appears between "Teen Dude" and "Hookers" (LOL) but despite the esteemed company he's keeping he does actually gets to share Amy Poehler's actual title card wherein she directly adresses him and then tongues him.

You are a pretty puppy."

Shouldn't he have have been credited as "Poehler's Pretty Puppy" instead of "Abercrombie Boy"?

... The Social Network (2010)


The Harvard Crew is practicing on two-man sculls. There are three baots that are running roughly even with each other and the two-man crews are rwoing with all they've got. We're gliding along with them in the water --

Those guys are just freaking fast.

And we PULL BACK TO REVEAL that there's a fourth boat which is already five boat lengths ahead of the other three.

The fourth boat is being crewed by CAMERON and TYLER WINKLEVOSS -- identical twins who stepped out of an ad for Abercrombie & Fitch.

They know that the others aren't in their class and even though they're highly competitive athletes, they don't like showing anyone up, least of all their teammates.

Is there anyway to make this a fair fight?

We could  jump out and swim.

I think we'd have to jump out and drown. 

Oh those smug Winklevii... Their Ivy League / Human Specimen superiority established we immediately cut to the news of a real competitor. The rest is movie (and legal) history.


When did your eyeballs first meet Armie Hammer? Are you looking forward to further introductions?


20:10 The Patriarch's Wishes. 

The 11th annual Film Bitch Awards have wrapped... finally. Just for fun and a bit of retro nodding, here's the image from the 20th minute and 10th second of 2010's Gold Medalist,  I AM LOVE.

It's that fateful dinner time scene when the Rechhi patriarch makes a shocking announcement that will begin to tear at the fabric of the wealthy clan, eventually weakening their solidarity and collective grip on their prized exotic possession, Emma (Tilda Swinton). Ugh, I love that movie so much!

He picked me, mommy. Did you hear me?

Black Swan was the leader with 16 nominations and 13 medals all told spread out on every awards page: major nods, acting, visuals, sound, line readings, character & extras, and scene work but it was The Social Network which took home the most gold (8). The South Korean marvel Mother managed the best nomination tally without any accompanying medals (4) and Rabbit Hole, which just missed the year's top ten list, had a strangely not-so strong showing with only 2 nominations and one gold (Nicole Kidman, Best Actress) ...

But awards are never a 100% accurate reflection of one's love.