Oscar History

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Entries in Boyhood (31)

Sep 30 2015

Ellar Coltrane and the Burden of the Iconic Role

Kieran,here.Ellar Coltrane,the boy at the center of Richard Linklater's much heraldedBoyhoodhas landed his next role,a supporting part inThe Circle,an adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel about privacy paranoia in the age of social media.Tom Hanks is already attached to star in the thriller,which will be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now).Coltrane will reportedly play Emma Watson's boyfriend who wants to go off the grid,out of the grasp of the eponymous Circle (which is not,repeat NOT Google).That's kind of funny,considering Mason's somewhat self-conscious,adolescent arrogance screed against social media and smart phones inBoyhood.

The Spectacular Nowsuggested that Ponsoldt has a gift for pulling great performances from young actors,stretching our imaginations as to what they're capable of.Can he do that again for Ellar Coltrane?

Let me just say that I was an enthusiastic fan ofBoyhoodand I quite liked Coltrane in it.Er...maybe that's an entirely honest appraisal of my feelings about Coltrane's performance.I thought the movie acquitted itself well while working around a performance with very clear peaks and valleys.Coltrane's doe-eyed befuddlement works really well in certain key moments of the film,as when he witnesses the domestic abuse inflicted on his mother.That same blankness (and the role of Masondoesrequire him to be somewhat blank) tends to fail him in moments when he's expected to communicate a clear persepctive,like the aforementioned scene where he's railing against Facebook.I didn't leaveBoyhoodwith a clear idea of his acting chops in either direction.Boyhoodwas such a specialized project in conception and execution that it's hard to extrapolate how someone might perform beyond that.(Especially with very little frame of reference.Other than a very brief appearance inFast Food Nation,Coltrane hasn't appeared in anything else.)

Are you curious to see what we get from Coltrane going forward?

From Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl) and Justin Henry (Kramer vs.Kramer)to more recent examples of Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense)and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)it's rare that young actors who have their debuts or breakthroughs in heralded projects go on to have careers that match that initial acclaim.One can certainly debate the merits of each (and my opinion ranges from very warm to very cold),but these famous examples all demonstrate that it can be very hard to crawl out from under the weight of a culturally resonant breakthrough performance.

Feb 22 2015

Last Pre-Oscar Link Roundup!

Best Picture & Oscar Mania
Nicks Flick Pickspreferences and predictions
Varietyhow to watch the Oscars online亚博主页
Salonon theBirdmanvsBoyhoodbattle for Hollywood's soul
GuardianonIdaandLeviathan's troubles at home as they head to the Foreign Film Oscar decision
NY Postgoes out on a clickbait limb and predictsAmerican Sniperfor the Best Picture win
Disquson which Best Pictures people are talking about in which states.Chart and graph madness!
SlantEric Henderson has finally convinced me thatBirdmanis winning Sunday night.I don't know why I've been so resistant to that idea?It just seems way too experimental and funny and weird to me to think of it as a Best Picture winner but I guess I have to adjust my thinking.
Slatehow to accept an Oscar properly
In Contentionon the dead heat for Best Director

Our Final PredictionsPodcast
Category OverviewTowleroad Article
Film Bitch AwardsOscar Correlative Ballot ~ Nathaniel's Votes

Meet the Movie Press
I guest-starred on this show yesterday (I come in at about 24 minutes but I'm sad I missed the discussion of Alien cuz I love me that slimy acid-blood franchise) just as I was crashing into miserable sickness.Good timing.You can watch it right here.Thanks to the @theinsneider and for having me on.We discuss Oscar predictions.

Off Oscar Miscellania
Pajiba10 movies John Cusack's made recently that you've never heard of.Pajiba's Cusack obsession is always fun
Coming SoonBirdmanhas convinced Hugh Jackman that he should keep playing Wolverine until he dies.Say what?
/FilmScarlett Johansson will star inThe Psychopath Test.The synopsis (very lengthy) suggests two major male characters so I'm not sure who she'll play.Perhaps the psychologist that gets the plot rolling before the men take over?
/FilmWonder Womanto shoot in the fall
The Film StageTom Ford finally has his follow up toA Single Man(2009) lined up or his follow-ups really.Continuing Hollywood's most hateful trend it's said to be a two-part film.Movie people stop.You arenottelevision.The mediums are for different things and TV is where the longform stories are supposed to go.If you want to tell a long story that's where you belong.(People hated me for hating that movie but I'm eager to see his next because he does have an eye.)

Feb 20 2015

Post Predictions Oscar Jitters

Do you think Oscar wishes he had more of a bubble butt?

Have you voted on our Oscar charts?It's your last day to vote for yourPICTURE,DIRECTOR,ACTOR,ACTRESS,SUPPORTING ACTRESS,SUPPORTING ACTOR,andSCREENPLAYpreferences.I'll announce the Reader's Choice winners tomorrow.

If you found my "final predictions post"here yesterday a bit baffling in its haphazhard order -- I'm always a mess on Oscar weekend -- I'd suggest readingmy far more organized final take at Towleroadwhich reiterates all the arguments I've been making the past month but in a more \readable fashion.If you read this blog every day you already know what I'm expecting but naturally I'm having "I'll be so wrong!"jitters.Ilikebeing wrong,don't get me wrong (super predictable set in stone years are dull) but I don't like being too wrong.It's a fine distinction but an important one!

My Great Fearis thatGrand Budapestloses two prizes I predicted it for (Makeup and Costumes) to inferior work (i.e.all of its competitors in those categories).

My Great Dreamis that Michael Keaton surprises and takes Best Actor against the odds because it has been forever since we've had an "all fictional characters winning"years.1997 to be exact whenAs Good As it Gets,LA Confidential,andGood Will Huntingprovided a brief reprieve from the exhausting dominance of biopic mimicry.

Everyone was applauding Shirley Booth in the 1952/1953 seasonMy Great Confusionis shared with all.No matter how I weigh it,I can't figure out theBirdmanvsBoyhoodsituation.No matter what your feelings about either,you have to admit that they'd be atypical winners.Birdman is quite cerebral and weird and funny (none of which generally describe Oscar winners) and Boyhood is quite "small"and indie-feeling despite its epic 12 years in the making slant.So I remind myself that I love both of them and either will make a great Best Picture so let the chips fall where they may.

But in terms of the Academy both seem "soft"if you will.If people loveBirdmanso much why isn't Keaton the Best Actor frontrunner and if people loveBoyhoodso much why doesBirdmankeep winning guild prizes?I keep coming up with scenarios wherein the Best Picture wins onlyoneother Oscar and that has not happenedsinceThe Greatest Show on Earth (1952).And never before that until you go back to the 1940 and earlier when they had far less categories than they have now.Only 2 Oscars for the Best Picture winner seems highly unlikely but then亚博主页1952might be a magic coincidence film year since that was also the last year a woman in her fifties won Best Actress.

Feb 18 2015

Podcast Pt 2: Oscar Predix Finale

In case you missed part one of this finale,that's here.Let's wrap up our final pre-Oscar prediction discussions: Joe pretends he'snotanInherent Vicefan,Nick sadistically hopesImitation Game"getsUp in the Aired",and Nathaniel goes full blurb whore onMr Turner.

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2
41 Minutes

00:01-Production Design & Costume Design.Into the Woods spurs dark memories and self parody.But canGrand Budapestactually win both and will Wes Anderson career tribute be the cause?
08:40-Cinematography.Beautiful across the board
13:12-Screenplays.Are these the two most difficult categories to predict?Consolation prizes,career tributes,or Best Picture heat?
21:45-Acting Races.Whose running second behind Julianne Moore?
27:32-Best Director & Best Picture.Who would we vote for and what about the Academy: will it be Richard Linklater andBoyhoodor Alejandro G Inarritu andBirdmanor some combo thereof.Either way long-standing theories of everything get disproven and the Academy gets dinged.
36:10-Exit Game: Who would last year's winners vote for?We read the minds of Blanchett,McConaughey,Leto,and Nyong'o.

Supplemental Material for this Podcast:
Prediction Finale Part 1
Nick's Top Ten List (in progress)
Joe Reid ranks all 60 Oscar nominated films

Please to enjoy and continue the golden conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the postor download from iTunes.

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2

Feb 13 2015

Best Film Editing: Drums,Guns,or Twelve Years of "Boyhood"?

They call Editing the "invisible art"but when it comes to Oscar Watching each year,the prize is highly visible.Most pundits,armchair and professional,think of it as a bellwether.Everyone knows this one key stat: No movie has won Best Picture without an Editing nomination sinceOrdinary People(1980).But that stat is actually kind of misleading because it IS possible to win without an editing nomination and it's not even super rare.Birdman,should it triumph,would bethe eighth film to do used to happen about once a decade.Birdman's failure to get nominated in the category isn't particularly telling,if you ask me.Inarritu's technical gamble has very little visible editing given that the picture is a series of continuous shots stitched together in clever ways to appear to all be one thing.

The Nominees:

American Sniper- Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Boyhood- Sandra Adair
Grand Budapest Hotel- Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game- William Goldenberg
Whiplash- Tom Cross

ShouldBoyhoodlose the editing Oscar many people will be all "it's over,Birdmanis winning!"but this isn't necessarily the case.In fact,Best Pictures only win this award about 50% of the time.Which is why this category feels up in the year.Any of the contenders could win: comedy doesn't win this category much (a pity since editing is so crucial to comic rhthyms) butBudapest feels like a real threat in all the craft categories;Boyhoodcould win on love for the film + respect for the time commitment but it's far less showily edited than the others and Oscar often wants toseeyour work;If they want to honorAmerican SniperorThe Imitation Gamethis could be the place for either with the ticking time bomb suspense that these former Oscar winners drum up;But speaking of bet is thatWhiplashis the surprise winner here and I was going to make that call,I swear,before it won the BAFTA in this category.Whiplash's very masculine energies,focus on rhtymic intensity,and taut energy (despite repetitive scenes) are well served by this department.Bonus points for the editor's name being "Tom Cross".It's like an old fashioned stage name for a young movie star.It's just great.Well done,Mr & Mrs.Cross.

Will Win:Whiplash
Could Win:Boyhood
Should Win:Grand Budapest Hotel

My ballot for this category

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