Oscar History

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Entries in Wonderstruck (20)


FYC: Ed Lachman for Best Cinematography and Carter Burwell for Best Score in Wonderstruck

By Salim Garami

What's good? It's quite frankly a hell of a shame how little attention and love Todd Haynes' adaptation of young fiction book Wonderstruck has received during this awards season, after its Cannes premiere elicited high hopes about its Oscar chances. Ignoring the unfortunate lack of marketing or campaigning from Amazon Studios (opting instead to push Last Flag Flying and Wonder Wheel -- a decision which didn't do them much good), Wonderstruck's main crime doesn't seem to be any true flaw in its material but the fact that it's such a quiet and small movie. Even its champions give it muted praise rather than rapturous acclaim...

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Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Name the "Best" Film and TV of the Year

by Nathaniel R

The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (aka GALECA) have announced their annual Dorian Award nominations. We thought we'd share the list here since a few of us at Team Experience are members. Though you might feel like I determined the nominees singlehandedly (PFEIFFER ALERT !!!) I am but one vote among many so I'm relieved that other voters chose the perpfect thing, while voting.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Call Me By Your Name led the nominees with 9 votes. Shape of Water was close behind with 7 nods. What was a surprise was 5 nominations for the still wildly underseen French drama BPM (Beats Per Minute) already shunned by Oscar in the category it should have been frontrunning in. 

I personally don't vote in every category, abstaining from the ones I feel are most problematic (does anyone actually agree on what "camp" means in 2018?) or in categories where I feel like I have not seen enough (like documentary though I love almost all the nominees they named this year in that category.)  The list with a few notes is after the jump...

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John Waters Annual Top Ten List

by Nathaniel R

Everyone's favorite weirdo kitsch and camp-loving auteur has released his annual top ten list. Though we really wish he'd make one last movie (A Dirty Shame was a weird thing to end on 13 years ago!) at least he's still with us as a cultural voice. His lists are always so fun to read because they're reliably eclectic with a little bit of every type of movie and usually one thing we've never heard of (this time that's I, Olga Hepnarova... a black and white docudrama about a chainsmoking lesbian in Prague). Topping his 2017 list is Edgar Wright's Baby Driver. He writes:

 The best movie of the year is a popcorn thriller, an art film, and a gearhead classic that grossed over $100 million. It deserved to! Watching the star turn of Ansel Elgort was like seeing John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever for the first time.

And he gets sassy to the nation's moviegoing parents about Wonderstruck:

Want an IQ test for your cinephile children? Just take them to see this beautifully made, feel-good kids’ movie about the hearing-impaired, starring a little girl who looks exactly like Simone Signoret. If your small-fry like the film, they’re smart. If they don’t, they’re stupid.

He also likes Wonder Wheel, Lady Macbeth, and the HBO film Wizard of Lies. Check it out.


FYC: Young Performer Award 2017

by Nathaniel R

Remember when the Beguiled girls did that charity lipsynch to "Schuyler Sisters" from HAMILTON?

Each year one of our awards traditions here at The Film Experience is to help fellow BFCA members choose more wisely when it comes to the "Young Performer" category at the Critics Choice Movie Awards by sharing an eligibility list. Ballots don't come with lists of eligible choices so it's up to each member to think up a list and since the category is "under 21" it takes a bit of research for the teen/young adult performances; as is Hollywood tradition almost everyone playing high schoolers in Lady Bird or Spider-Man Homecoming are in their early-to-mid 20s. It's just a guess but I'm betting some members even leave that category blank on their ballots. If true that's a pity because there are always enough strong options to fill out a ballot. This year, in fact, has several high profile movies with options to choose from like the blockbuster horror film It, the controversial remake of The Beguiled, the Todd Haynes puzzle Wonderstruck, and Wonder is a star vehicle for Jacob Tremblay, a previous winner in this very category for Room (2015). 

Ballots go out to the BFCA today so here's a cheat sheet to help them vote after the jump. The actors are listed alphabetically (asterisks by their name indicate a previous nomination in this category). So which of these performances would make your ballot? Let us know in the comments...

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Exploring the Humanity of Deafness in "Wonderstruck" 

By Spencer Coile  

At my showing for Wonderstruck this week, there were only six other people in the audience: a young couple and a gaggle of older ladies who felt comfortable talking their way through the whole movie. And while I was initially annoyed at this inconvenience, I was instantly sucked into the world Todd Haynes assembled in his period piece about loss, life, and the family we seek comfort in. Something was especially strange about my experience, though -- the entire film played with subtitles. Was this intentional and I just didn't know it was supposed to be shown this way? Was this a mistake by the theater? Or did one of my fellow moviegovers request this specifically? 

These questions were never answered, but it didn't matter. I personally consume all my media with the subtitles on, so this was a total delight. But how perfect it was to sit back and enjoy a film that celebrates our differences (one of which being the characters' deafness) while also incorporating a feature that is used to help enhance movie watching for those who are visually impaired. And so it began: Wonderstruck, another story suitable for Haynes' illustrious career. 

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Podcast: Wonder Wheel, Wonderstruck, BPM, and Last Flag Flying

Nathaniel welcomes NYFF buddies and regular TFE voices Jose Solis and Murtada Elfadl to talk highlights from the fest, some of which are in theaters now! 

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Intro, NYFF, and The Mountain Between Us tangent
02:50 Steve Carell and Bryan Cranston in Last Flag Flying
07:00 Mixed feelings on Wonderstruck
14:30 Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake
22:10 The Rider, Western, Lady Bird - a year of great female directors
30:00 France's BPM (Beats Per Minute)
34:21 Thelma, Faces Places
41:00 Wrapping up

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

NYFF Highlights


"Wonderstruck" and "Mudbound"

Lynn Lee continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventure

Dee Rees and Mudbound cast earlier this year. © Daniel Bergeron

It’s always a little weird to attend a talk with a director before seeing the film they’re being interviewed about.  That’s what happened with Mudbound, which concluded a day that began with a very engaging conversation between director Dee Rees and Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday and festival founder Sheila Johnson’s presentation of the 2017 “Visionary” award to Rees.  Rees was charming, articulate, and impressively self-possessed, and had many interesting comments on the directorial choices she made in Mudbound, which I wasn’t sure whether I should keep in mind or set aside while watching the film that night.  Rees made clear that she resists being pigeonholed as a director of color, female director, or female director of color, an aversion reflected in her somewhat bland mantra “let excellence be the standard.”  At the same time, she agreed that the current system is structurally biased against prioritizing excellence and needs to be opened up...

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NYFF Lineup: Call me by your florida project, Meyerowitz

The New York Film Festival's 55th edition begins on September 28th and runs through the first two weeks of October. This year they're super hooked on France (not that there's anything wrong with that) and their longstanding compulsion to screen every single thing that the prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-Soo has ever shot results in him hogging 2 of the 25 slots. Predicting a Hong Sang-Soo at NYFF is like saying "Woody Allen is filming an untitled new project this year"... it's always true so you will always be prophetic. 

Joachim Trier's THELMA - will it be Norway's Oscar submission?

The results of the NYFF lineup are helpful when planning your Toronto festival because many of the titles overlap. If it's showing at NYFF I try to avoid it in Toronto knowing I can see it in just two weeks time. But in some cases the need to shove something in your eyeballs will be too great to wait. 

How many of the foreign titles after the jump will be Oscar submissions this season? I'm guessing at least a few with the most likely being Sweden's The Square and Norway's Thelma. Other possibilities are Argentina's Zama (though Argentina often has several options), Finland's The Other Side of Hope (Finland's sole nomination comes from this director) and Poland's Spoor (two of Agnieszka Holland's previous movies have received an Oscar nomination, Europa Europa in screenplay and In Darkness for foreign language film).

The lineup is after the jump... 

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