Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
BUG - 10th Anniversary 

"Ashley Judd is really great here. Pity she didn't encounter the meatier roles she deserved" - Mirko

"As a horror fan, I loved its slow-burn paranoia and found the whole thing quite terrifying." - Robert

Interviews

James Ivory (Maurice) 4K Restoraton!
Betty Buckley (Split)

Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe

Entries in Zootopia (17)

Tuesday
Feb212017

Interview: The Global Resonance of "Zootopia" and its Animal Kingdoms

Zootopia gets a lot of its pizazz from the clash of its odd couple leads but behind the scenes things are much more sympatico. When I sat down to interview the director Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-it Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch) they weren't so much finishing each other's sentences as they were most definitely reciting from the same page. Rich calls Clark the 'best producer he's ever worked with' and credits him for creating a structure so that the creatives didn't have to worry about the minutae but were kept aware of it to keep them on track.

Unfortunately the third key member of their team Byron Howard, who the project originated with had bronchitis on the day we met. He'll be long since recovered by Oscar night which will likely be a happy one for the team.

Zootopia is the second project Moore and Clark have done together but when we sat down to speak over coffee the spectre of Wreck-It Ralph 2 hung like a comic cloud overhead because, as they joked, they've got deadlines! The film doesn't open until March of 2018 but that's a very short time in the production lifespan of an animated feature.

Byron Howard, Clark Spencer, and Rich Moore won the Golden Globe for Zootopia. Will they win the Oscar, too?

But for now, the wrap up of the long journey of Zootopia on Oscar night. This Disney fable about diversity and harmonious living has been successful all over the world grossing over a billion dollars globally, the fourth most successful picture of 2016 behind three films that had a built-in sequel advantage (Captain America, Finding Dory, Rogue One).

In other words, it's been quite a spectacular runaway success. Selections from our chat follow...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb052017

Annie Awards Results. It's Zootopia vs Kubo for the Oscar

The Annie Awards have been happening for 44 years but after some bumpy years in which their loyalties to specific studios were questions, they seemed to have worked things out and their profile is higher each year. Yesterday's even at the UCLA's Royce Hall was a big night for Disney which took 10 prizes. Zootopia continued its dominance by taking the top prize.

Though we should quickly note that Kubo and the Two Strings is still a possible spoiler at the Oscars and took home a few Annies itself. As Kris Tapley recently noted, there is momentum for finally honoring Laika who have never missed a nomination in the Animated Feature category but have yet to win it. While I am in the minority that thinks Kubo is the company's weakest film to date (it's gorgeous, don't misunderstand -- I just think both the episodic plot and the voice work is weaker than in their other films) they're also rapidly outdoing Pixar who have fallen into repetition and sequelizing.

The winners with commentary are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan162017

The 5th Annual Team Experience Awards!

As teased in this week's podcast installment, it's time for The Team Experience Awards, our fifth yearly celebration! While Nathaniel begins his own Film Bitch Awards, here is our growing team's turn to bestow their year-end accolades without our host.

Last year we went all-in on Todd Haynes's Carol, and this year we have another favorite that receives quite a few prizes: Barry Jenkins's Moonlight. And this wasn't even close: the film was the only one to appear on every ballot in at least one category and was a landslide victory to the big prize. Consider Moonlight the consensus favorite here at The Film Experience. On to our awards:

BEST PICTURE
Moonlight

Runner-Up
: The Lobster

BEST UNRELEASED FILM
Personal Shopper
Runner-Up
: The Ornithologist

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov292016

Annie Award Nominations: Kubo, Zootopia, The Red Turtle...

Nominations for the 44th annual Annie Awards have been announced. Zootopia leads with 11 nominations with Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings just behind with 10 nominations. Because the Annies have two separate feature categories (the regular one plus an "indie" category which basically means "foreign") you can probably safely assume that the eventual Oscar lineup will be some mishmash between the two.

nominees and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul192016

Best Shot(s): Disney's "Zootopia"

Each year we throw an animated movie into the mix of our Best Shot season. It's a handy reminder that Best Shot is about more than just camera work and lighting actors and sets but how filmmaking teams choose to tell the stories they're telling. But even if we think of it only as a celebration of cinematography, animated films have been upping their game there, too, famously hiring high profile cinematographers as consultants as CG animation really took over the world in the last 20 years.

Since we're counting on Zootopia,  one of the year's most beloved films, to be one of the nominees (though it's too early to say "frontrunner") for Best Animated Feature we give it pride of place here today now that it's out on BluRay and DVD. My own choice will come tomorrow due to a last minute screening. But please do enjoy these Best Shot articles from around the web today.

ZOOTOPIA
Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush 
Production Design by: David Goetz and Dan Cooper
Lighting: There are over 45 people listed in Zootopia's credits with "lighting" in their title. 

There are so many great things about this film, but it's its world building I'd like to focus on...
-Sorta That Guy 

People say the messaging is too heavy-handed... I would like to introduce you to something called a FABLE!
- Rachel's Reviews 

It's so damn noir... 
-Antagony & Ecstasy 

Despite how simple and brief, it still manages to be the defining moment of the film...
-Conman at the Movies *new participant*


The film’s lesson of appearances vitally works in both ways...
-Film Mix Tape

Judy and Nick’s arc is great. And for me, it culminates here...
- Storyphile 

I have a lot of feels about this masterwork...
-Anna, Look! *new participant*

 

Next Week's Special Party (Monday-Friday)
1977's Cinematography Nominees. Pick one of the five films and join us. Details here!

Tuesday
Jun282016

Halfway Mark: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (So Far)

Mainstream cinema is having a rough summer, qualitatively... but let's honor what mainstream cinema often does best, for this episode of the Halfway Mark Review. Which is to say the broad strokes of Good vs Evil.

Not that mainstream movies always ace this low bar, mind you: Marvel remains mostly terrible at crafting villains, Batman v Superman was so inept that it didn't even understand that you need heroes in superhero movies. X-Men Apocalypse was a crowded repetitive mess on either side of the good/bad divide. But enough about stinkers - happy thoughts:  BESTS! 

Heroes of the Year

• The Avengers (Chris Evans, Cast & FX Team) in Captain America: Civil War
Can't they all just get along? While it'd be silly to say that Civil War doesn't tell you which team to be on (Hint: it's in the title) it does offer up enough sympathetic furrowed brow angst when looking at Team Iron Man that it's easy to understand both sides of this argument. That's half the battle in the selling the film. The other half is staging the battles so that everyone survives but looks deeply affected by the blows, which it also does well. Black Panther and Spider-Man are wonderful new additions, and Black Widow again demonstrates that she's the swiftest, most asskicking, and consistently double sided tape that arguably holds these movies together. If only Captain America, Marvel's most successful comic-to-film translation, weren't having to fight for so much attention in his own damn franchise; Iron Man never had to that. 

Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in Gods of Egypt
What's that you say? 'Gods of Egypt is a terrible movie!' Why yes, Yes it is. But that doesn't mean I can't honor Nikolaj's well shaped silly/serious turn as a blinded God. He's one of only two actors who knows what kind of movie he's in (the other is Geoffrey Rush, even better with the heightened camp) and he's fun to watch, helping to make this a sort of enjoyable terrible movie insteaad of just a terrible movie.  

Zootopia, Warcraft, The Conjuring 2 and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr172016

Box Office: 'Jungle Book' and 'Green Room' Get Vicious

This weekend's box office winners were all about the thrills - one for the whole family, and the other decidedly not. It's like summer is already upon us!

Especially after the deflation of BvS, everyone was expecting The Jungle Book to be a big hit this weekend, though perhaps not quite as massive as the end result. The live action / performance capture retelling from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man and Chef) closed out the weekend above $100M, becoming the second largest April opening behind last year's Furious 7. Maybe the unexpected boost came from interest in 3D (I've seen comments on Twitter calling it second to Avatar for stellar use of the medium).

But Jungle's huge success isn't the only thing that will have the folks at Disney celebrating: their spring animated sensation Zootopia also crossed the $300M mark. This year is going to be one of the tightest races ever Best Animated Feature Oscar, and Zootopia should have a good shot with this level of success despite its spring release disadvantage.

In limited release, fashion documentary The First Monday in May was the highest among the debuts, but A24's Green Room took the weekend's highest screen average on only 3 screens. The indie label has used this strategy before and almost without fail, turning niche films like the uber-violent Green Room into a miniature, must-see event. Oscar is certainly out of the question and the film's reported brutality will likely keep it from trouncing Ex Machina's grosses, but it looks like A24 has another hit on their hands.

TOP SIX
01 The Jungle Book $103.6 NEW
02 Barbershop: The Next Cut $20.2 NEW
03 The Boss $10.2 (cum. $40.4)
04 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Just More Superheroes $9.0 (cum. $311.3)
05 Zootopia $8.2 (cum. $307.5) 
06 Criminal $5.8 NEW

LIMITED HITS AND NEWBIES
16 Everybody Wants Some!! $.4 (cum. $1.5) 134 screens Review & Review
20 Miles Ahead $.2 (cum. .6) 47 screens Review
23 The First Monday in May $.1 NEW 20 Screens Interview
26 Green Room $91K NEW 3 Screens
28 Sing Street $69K NEW 5 Screens
48 The Measure of a Man $11K NEW 2 Screens Review

What did you see this weekend??

Monday
Apr042016

April Foolish Predix: Best Animated Features

It's past time to begin our annual tradition of predicting the future Oscar nominees way before anyone should (yes, I'm aware that nowadays every clickbait site does it the day after the Oscars but we're not into that. Jesus, ppl, let each film year settle!). Let's start with the easiest category in that it's its own world entirely, The Animated Feature. Last year was a relatively thin year for the medium, in that the number of eligible films just barely triggered a 5 wide field. We shouldn't expect a similar dearth this year.

After all 2016's already delivered a possible frontrunner (the delightful Zootopia), a hit that people have already forgotten about (Kung Fu Panda 3... currently #4 of 2016 but have you ever heard anyone talk about it?), trailers to roughly a billion would be cartoon blockbusters scheduled for 2016, and the very tantalizing prospects of an original Disney musical (Moana) and a new Laika feature (Kubo and the Two Strings).

So who do we think will win the nominations this year? I'm not falling into the trap of assuming Pixar is locked up each year (we saw The Good Dinosaur go nowhere, really, in terms of critics and awards enthusiasm) so my big no guts no glory call is that Finding Dory will miss a nomination. Yes, everyone loves Dory and Finding Nemo (2003) but I'm suspicious of a mere fanservice treading of water outing, pun intended, while we wait for a cool original again a la Inside Out. It's a strange reversal that Disney has suddenly taken up the "original" baton and Pixar is wasting its time with sequelitis.

What's below the US radar? Generally speaking online punditry seems to forget that the Academy's animation branch rightly takes foreign cartoons seriously when they're making their calls so something smallish and non American always shows up in the final shortlist. This early -- again, way too early -- I'm guessing that's The Red Turtle. It's due in September from Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli and given those two companies it will surely be beautiful. Plus it's wordless which should be interesting. The other film I'd ink in if I was sure it would be released in time is Loving Vincent, an entirely oil painted (!!!) animated biopic of Vincent Van Gogh. 

There's a lot to consider out there: martial artist pandas, red turtles, amnesian fish, little princes, secretive pets, pissed off birds, delicious trolls, singing pigs, genius artists, island girls and demigods, police bunnies and more. Check out the chart and do speak up in the comments.