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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FiLM BiTCH AWARDS - Villains, Divas, Heroes, Thirst Traps

"THANK YOU!! I love these!" - Billybil

"sexpot: frankie from Beach Rats - looks like harris dickinson, doesn't talk much, into older guys. so damn hot i had to log onto grindr midway through the movie" -par

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Best Supporting Actress. My Ballot

I'm so tardy with my own awards. I generally get all the major stuff up before Oscar nominations but no such luck this year. I'll try to throw up at least one category per day now so we can finish this month. The actress categories were TORTURE this year because there were definitely more than 5 award-worthy performances per. In fact, the performances were so good this year that it's really too bad they couldn't have been spread out over the past few years when the pickings were slimmer. I'm not finished with lead actress but Supporting Actress was easier. As is the tradition, I only list 12 women as nominees, finalists, and semi-finalists. I could've gone to 20. These are the dozen best in my estimation for the Film Bitch Awards...

Amy & Melissa, Acting Heavyweights for "The Fighter"

  • Amy Adams, The Fighter
  • Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone
  • Anne Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
  • Kirsten Dunst, All Good Things
  • Kimberly Elise, For Colored Girls
  • Ann Guilbert, Please Give
  • Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Rosamund Pike, Made in Dagenham
  • Mia Wasikowska, The Kids Are All Right
  • Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
  • Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer

And even then I had no room for fine work from two of my favorite actresses: Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy). Apologies! Awardage is a hair-tearing teeth-gnashing business when you love too many too much and too often.


Who made your list? Do you share the love of these performances?


New DVD: Let Me In

It occurred to me recently that I had never said anything about Let Me In, post theatrical release, so let's do that now since it's fresh out on DVD. The American vampire film won a few year-end citations here and there as a high-quality film but it didn't fare well with the public. It was featured in Cinematical's surprising and funny list of the lowest grossing wide releases of 2010 a month ago. Here's what they said about the vampire film.

Let Me In (Gross: $12.1 million. Widest release: 2,042 theaters.) Let's face it. No matter how good it was, a moody remake of a Swedish import about a non-sparkling teen vampire was never going to be a blockbuster. But we were still surprised at just how poorly this fared in theaters. For comparison's sake, 'Twilight: Eclipse' made $300 million, and even 'Vampires Suck' made $36 million. This is why we can't have nice things.

I get the sentiment and love the joke but I can't agree that it's a big loss as a "nice thing".

It's true that I objected to the remake so I wasn't automatically the most receptive audience. But I kept hearing how good it was so I finally caved and watched a couple of months ago, at first with great interest, about what they'd alter and how its new American setting would affect it. The strong reviews are not surprising. It's a well made, handsome movie. The cinematography is beautiful and moody (though it heavily borrows from the aesthetic ideas from the original, particularly in regards to depth of field), the performances are solid, etcetera.

But the movie fails to answer the question that all remakes must answer: What is the reason you are remaking this? If the movie presents no answer beyond "because it was in a funny language" the movie has failed.

The American version of Let The Right One In didn't make radical changes or bring in new exciting ideas about the characters/story. The few alterations seemed to merely underline the originals suggestion that the victimized boy (Oskar/Owen) would one day become the serial killing man (Håkan/The Father) because he loves that little monster (Eli/Abby). It's creepier when you have to do the work to connect those dots yourself. The only big alteration (place but not time) adds nothing new. And then there were minor erasures of the first film's more difficult and more ambiguous sexuality. Gone was the shock cut to Eli/Abby's genital area and gone was Oskar's gay (?)  father  -- this character never appears in the remake except by telephone where we learn that he's shacked up with someone named "Cindy". Unless that's a drag queen, he's safely heterosexual for American audiences. Audiences of the original seem to disagree on matters of Eli's gender and on Oskar's father's orientation but the very fact that they prompt argument is another testament to the first film's insinuating ambiguous grip on its audience.

Oskar & Owen

Mostly Let Me In seems content to love and ape Let The Right One In clinging to it as willfully as Oskar/Owen latches on to Eli/Abby. The love is a mark of good taste but a weak excuse for a remake. If you love something, watch it! Be inspired by it. Make your own thing instead. The film it most recalls, other than the Swedish original, is Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998). That earlier much-reviled "recreation" is a far more interesting artistic exercize because it's so weirdly honest about it's own borrowed artistry and masturbatory xeroxing. Critics weren't at all kind but then that one wasn't in a 'funny language' to begin with.

Also New on DVD This Week
Critical darling indie Monsters, the true story Conviction (interview with Juliette Lewis), the sci-fi tinged drama Never Let Me Go (here's a piece on Andrew Garfield) and Oscar doc finalist The Tillman Story.


Happy Groundhog Day

You wouldn't know it to look outside here in New York City where it's been a wintry wonderland (or horror show depending on your point of view) but we're supposedly due for an early spring. Which is to say that the groundhogs trotted out for this occassion each year are reportedly not seeing their shadows this morning.

Only Peter Pan has a more complicated relationship with his shadow. (Free Association so I went with it.) I love Peter Pan. This year I think I'm totally going to give animated films their due. They've gotten short shrift here at The Film Experience. A few moments with Pixar starting tomorrow.


Link Shop

Fandor Sheila O'Malley on Melissa Leo's career and her ship coming in.
Movie|Line 5 Ways The Social Network can reclaim its Oscar mojo.
Observations on Film Art
Facial acting "less with the eyebrows" in The Social Network.
Playbill Actress Jane Lynch releasing a memoir in the fall. Fun.Vulture Harvey Weinstein's canny talking points to win The King's Speech votes. Not to be an ass but should anyone really hold up John Travolta as a taste-maker with a straight face? Yes, that filmography sure shows hisimpeccable taste in movies!
Movie | Line Sundance 11's Most Likely to Succeed

Self-Styled Siren "For the Love of Film Noir" blog-a-thon and restoration fundraiser in mid February
AV Club
asks if they'd ever really give Banksy the doc Oscar for a heavily fictional oddity like Exit Through the Gift Shop
Pop Matters
- Interesting piece on the fallible businees of naming "bests" and awardage in general.

We don’t sort art, it sorts us. Which piece of art tops the list says less about the quality of the art than who made the list. The shiny statuettes are shaped like human beings, because they signify the very human process by which they are awarded.

Finally, JA at MY NEW PLAID PANTS has begun to announce his annual Golden Trousers honors which includes "moments of awesomeness" like this one from Sofia Coppola's Somewhere...

My favorite part of SOMEWHERE

They're always good wacky fun to be had peering into JA's inimitable fever-addled brain.


Red Carpet: Matchy-Matchy, Swans & Sweet Revenge

Previously: SAG live blog and SAG screen shots.

Final SAG Post!
Aren't you relieved? When people say the verb "sag" do you think automatically think of unionized actors? Glam Overload especially after that Vanity Fair cover. But we can't wrap up SAG discussions without a quick fashion run-through, can we? It wouldn't be right. I'm dying to talk about actual movies again. Funny how movie awards season shoves the movies into the background. Must watch some actual movies that don't have awards on their mind this week so that we can better appreciate all the sleek beauties and shiny gowns again by BAFTA & Oscar time.

Amber Riley, Paz de la Huerta, Angie Harmon, Throwback Goddess

Too Matchy-Matchy
Let's start with the TV girls because we never do and this was their last chance in the season to shine. This group is way too frustrating. I didn't know that Amber Riley (Glee) was rooming with Julia Stiles. How else to explain this saloon girl in mourning gown that we just saw at the Globes. Angie Harmon is wearing something that's very suspiciously Penélope Cruzesque and if you're not Penélope... Christina Hendricks remains a goddess but I don't know what to make of this.

Paz de la Huerta from Boardwalk Empire... matching lips with dress? Must she? Is that ever a good idea outside of maybe classic reds and even then. A little bit of red goes a long way. Aren't you glad other actresses didn't do this?

Cara Buono (Mad Men), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Edie Falco (Edie Falco!), Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)

The Pretty. The Unexpected. The Vivid. The Classy. The Va Va VoomLove that Bowen managed to pull off pants at a glam event; risky means big pay off if it works. When Modern Family first started I worried that Julie Bowen would have the boring "straight man" role among comediennes but...

(more after the jump including Best Dressed and the Black Swan girls)

Click to read more ...


Say What, Winona?

Amuse us by adding dialogue or caption to this tete a tete between Black Swan's Winona Ryder and Barbara Hershey at a SAG party.

Noni & Babs at SAG after party

You know you want to!



Vanity Fair 2011: "The Young and Beautiful"

Cover shot by Norma Jean Roy

The annual Hollywood Issue cover of Vanity Fair has been revealed with. It's called "The Young and Beautiful"

After the jump I've broken it down into sections so you can see it more clearly... still waiting for a super hi-res version though you can see a fairly good image at Vanity Fair's site. But nothing hi-res enough to print or see faces beautifully large. VF's site links are  malfunctioning so you can't yet read about the making of the cover just yet.

But here's blown up images for you... I'm a giver.


Click to read more ...


Curio: American Psycho Squared

Alexa here.  As a follow-up to Nathaniel's Birthday Bale post (and all the American Psycho love shown in the comments) I had to share these wood panels by artist Kelly Puissegur, a.k.a. retrowhale.  I've blogged about Kelly's work before; she has a wonderfully artful take on some famous directors, and she's also made panels illustrating other films (I love her sweet 80s movie set).  You can check them all out at her shop.  As you can see, her detailed style is perfectly suited to Patrick Bateman's world.