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It's Lucky Number Seven for the Asc

8 January 2014 1:00 PM, PST

Jose here. As if this year wasn’t already complicated enough in terms of finding "the one" frontrunner (don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!), now the American Society of Cinematographers has gone and made matters worse (in a totally beautiful way) by having their first three-way tie in history which led to a whopping seven nominees for their Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Theatrical Release Award. Joining usual suspects 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis were much less “obvious” choices including The Grandmaster (which our friend Michael has been championing) and Prisoners (which is kinda obvious...) and for those who think this means a snub for American Hustle should remember that none of Russell's movies have ever been nominated for a cinematography award by either Asc or AMPAS. 

The full list of nominees:

Sean Bobbitt, for 12 Years a Slave

Barry Ackroyd, for Captain Phillips

Philippe Le Sourd »

- Jose

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Costume Designers Guild Hustling for 'Gatsby', '12 Years a Slave', 'Her'

8 January 2014 11:00 AM, PST

Glenn here to share the Costume Designers Guild nominations that were just announced this morning (what? you think they pay attention to whether other award organisations are announcing the same day?) I think it's safe to say that the costume category is The Film Experience collective's favourite category outside of the actressing ones, and this year's category looks like it will be a fight to the death between the spectacle of The Great Gatsby, the refined flare of American Hustle, and the authenticity of 12 Years a Slave. All three showed up in today's guild nomination - the first "below the line" guild citations of the season - alongside titles like Blue Jasmine, Her and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Excellence in Period Film

12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson Dallas Buyers Club, Kurt & Bart The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin Saving Mr. Banks, Daniel Orlandi

The aforementioned three »

- Glenn Dunks

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Will Eight Be Enough? BAFTA & Best Picture Predix

8 January 2014 8:30 AM, PST

If you haven't been to the Oscar charts as of late, know that the final predictions will be up Monday night come rain or shine (Sunday is too crowded - Golden Globes Day and after that yours truly is off to La and Sundance for festivities). The Best Picture chart, though, which I've just updated, might stay as is.  

I am currently predicting 8 nominations for Best Picture though the number can annoyingly vary from as little as 5 and as many as 10 (note: we've only seen 9 since the voting process changed). But the way I see it in my crystal ball, which goes from foggy to crystal clear from year to year (win some you lose some), it'll shake out like so:

Locks / Nomination Leaders:

12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity

If We Stopped At Five: Nebraska, Capt Phillips

But We Don't, So: Wolf of..., Dallas Buyers Club

And Also Philomena 

BAFTA nominations, »

- NATHANIEL R

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BAFTA nominations

8 January 2014 12:16 AM, PST

Good morning! David here, up bright (so to speak) and early (definitely) to bring you this year's nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Awards. These are the last set of nominations before AMPAS weighs in next week, so these are the last hints you might get for any surprises and any big wave of British support that might be coming.

Your headlines: Gravity leads the pack, with 12 Years A Slave and a surprisingly strong American Hustle - scoring four acting nominations - just behind, while Dallas Buyers' Club misses out everywhere, and June Squibb is omitted for Sally Hawkins. Nat will be weighing in later today with what it all means for the Oscars, but please get discussing in the comments with your own thoughts. And if you'd like to save yourself some reading, watch Helen McCrory and Luke Evans reveal eleven of the categories:

Best Film »

- Dave

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Top Ten: Best Red Carpet Looks of 2013

7 January 2014 6:00 PM, PST

Jose here. The Golden Globes are on Sunday and with them comes one of my favorite seasons of the year: Red Carpet Season. As we speak, dozens of starlets, screen goddesses and a few fashion-forward men must be texting/emailing/buying nice things to/screaming at their stylists who year after year must procure them the most exclusive gowns and accessories. But before we say hello to a new season, let's take a moment to remember the red carpet looks that took our breaths away last year.

Honorable Mention

As Nathaniel has rightfully pointed out in the past, models, TV presenters and famous people's girlfriends/wives shoudn't be discussed with the same importance we bestow on movie stars, but I felt it would be sinful to deny you the pleasure of seeing the Stephane Rolland couture creation worn by Spanish TV presenter Nieves Alvarez at the 2013 Goya Awards (pictured left »

- Jose

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Interview: Sarah Paulson's 12 Years of Breakthroughs

7 January 2014 1:00 PM, PST

There are few things in cinema more satisfying than watching those with true gifts prosper and develop. Overnight sensations are exciting but watching careers that build slowly, continually showing new facets and amassing fans piecemeal is a richer experience. Such is the case with the actress Sarah Paulson. With her key role as Mistress Epps in the likely Best Picture contender 12 Years a Slave and her starring role on the anthology series American Horror Story (returning to TV tomorrow night), it's time to get our appreciation on.

I first noticed her in that undersung fanciful homage to 1960s romcoms Down With Love (2003) though her carer stretches back into short-lived television gigs in the mid 90s. When we sat down to talk recently, I confessed to Paulson that I had been completely intimidated by her when I met her at a party for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). I had no explanation »

- NATHANIEL R

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DGA Howls for Scorsese, Russell and Three First-Timers

7 January 2014 10:59 AM, PST

The Directors Guild of America, more commonly referred to as simply DGA, have announced their nominees for the film year, and the expected nominees prevailed… with the possible exception of the final slot, alphabetically and most in doubt, which went to Martin Scorsese for his controversial satire.

The nominees are…

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (first time DGA nominee) Paul Greengrass, Captain Philllips (first time DGA nominee) Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (first time DGA nominee) David O. Russell, American Hustle (second DGA nomination though curiously not honored in 2012 when Silver Linings Playbook was all the rage) Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street (12th DGA honor*)

In the past DGA nominees were literally the surest indication of which five movies would be nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture, even moreso than accurate bellweathers of what would happen in the director race itself. But since the upheavals in Academy voting since 2009, it »

- NATHANIEL R

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I'm Linking As Fast As I Can

7 January 2014 9:35 AM, PST

Who can keep up this week?

Vanity Fair Katey Rich on the embarassing Armond White display at the New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony. I seriously don't know why the Nyfcc risks their reputation this way each year?

BBC Jane Campion will head the Cannes jury this year. Yay! (Although this article weirdly states that Campion is the only female to win the Palme D'Or which is no longer true. Lea Seydoux & Adele Exarchopoulus won with their director for Blue is the Warmest Color

ScriptNotes with John August and Craig Mason wonder if filmmakers will ever be able to release a surprise feature a la Beyonce's surprise record

Time 50 things you didn't know about Nicolas Cage for his 50th birthday

The Carpetbagger Will Forte on his surprise detour into Nebraska

Towleroad Lily Tomlin finally marries longtime partner/collaborator Jane Wagner

THR hilarious interview about the forthcoming Golden Globes with »

- NATHANIEL R

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Mini-Symposium: Oscar's Fifth Spot (Part Two of Two)

7 January 2014 6:15 AM, PST

Will American Hustle win multiple acting nods?Icymi we are starting a new tradition here at The Film Experience. Though we usually gather a handful of prominent film bloggers to discuss the Oscar nominations in great detail (once they've had time to sink in), this year we're doing a mini-symposium before the nominations to discuss the always competitive situations surrounding the "just glad to be nominated" spot. Yesterday,  Kurt Osenlund (The House Next Door), Nathaniel R (The Film Experience, c'est moi), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and You (in the comments) began with the supporting categories and who might rise should one of the expected five in each category falter at the finish line. (Though if you really think it over, isn't Nomination Morning really the starting gate?)

Where we left off yesterday: Sasha thought Robert Redford's All is Lost nomination would still be nominated, despite »

- NATHANIEL R

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Curio: Screenwriter Love

7 January 2014 5:01 AM, PST

Alexa here. Josh Abraham is a man of many hats: writer, producer, cartoonist. At his etsy shop he sells some of his artwork that has a film spin; I particularly like his Manic Pixie Dream Girl print, which is updated to include Samantha from Her. In a series of prints he's titled "Screenplay Heroes," Josh has turned his had to sketching some famous writers like Woody Allen and the Coen brothers (in the running for Oscar noms again this year) onto pages of their screenplays. His vaguely Hirschfeld-esque portraits really lend themselves to the black and white pages.

I love the idea of displaying your favorites as a collection. Here are seven fine examples of his work from Nora Ephron to John August...

»

- Alexa

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Linker and Commander

6 January 2014 8:11 PM, PST

My New Plaid Pants the greatest "which is hotter?" of all time

Pajiba's bitch rankings for the new season of Downton Abbey. So happy it's back. Love Mary so much. 

The Backlot Did Sir Ian McKellen out gay actors who everyone knows are gay even though they're not actually really out even though they're gay? The silliest "controversy" of the weekend. Gay gay gay

Awards Daily seems convinced that American Hustle is going to win Best Picture and everyone knows it. Ummm... we don't even have the nominations yet. I'd say the race is still on.

The Carpetbagger let's ask Siri about Samantha in Her why don't we? Yes, let's.

Variety Judi Dench, Bruce Dern and 12 Years get props from the Aarp in their annual "best movies for grownups" list

In Contention oooh, it's BAFTA's rising star nominees! I always forget that they do that.  The nominees are: Dane DeHaan »

- NATHANIEL R

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The 50 Best Movie Posters of 2013

6 January 2014 3:00 PM, PST

Glenn here with my yearly tradition of counting down 2013's best movie posters. I've done this for the last however many years at my own blog crowning such gorgeous designs as An Over-Simplification of Her Beauty, Here I Am, The Runaways, and Antichrist. but this year we've shipped it on over to The Film Experience. I've gotten a bit of a reputation as "the poster guy" due to being one of the only people online who seemed to look at poster art in details and with any sort of critical eye. Thankfully that's not so much the case anymore with more and more websites starting features and writing lists dedicated to key art. For once I was ahead of the curve!

This year's list was remarkably easy to compile. Perhaps it goes hand in hand with being a good year for film in general, but 2013 was an excellent year for the art of movie posters. »

- Glenn Dunks

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Oscar's One Hit Wonders or When Bad Nominations Happen to Good Actors

6 January 2014 1:00 PM, PST

[Here's abstew to talk about a semi-annual Oscar tradition. Even if you disagree with the picks you surely recognize the curious problem. Will any of 2013's future nominees qualify for this list? -Editor]

When it comes to acting nominations, let's face it, not everyone can be Meryl Streep (17 nominations and counting). And with only 20 acting nominations to hand out each year, there's always going to be people left out. So many factors affect nominations: how well the actor is liked in the industry, whether they've been nominated (or won) before, how visible they've been promoting the movie, whether or not it's their "time". Sometimes the actual performance doesn't weigh in as heavily as it should.

Which is why the Academy gives something I like to call the "Oh, sorry we didn't nominate you for that great movie you were in a couple years ago, but let's call it even by nominating you for this instead" nomination. For many actors their body of work greatly out-weighs the single nomination. (For purposes of this list, I'm focusing only on actors who've received their nomination in »

- abstew

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Podcast: Those Polarizing Wolves on Wall St.

6 January 2014 9:00 AM, PST

Nick and Joe rejoin Nathaniel & Katey this week to talk about Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. In the endless twitter battle over whether Wolf condemns or celebrates Jordan Belfort, several interesting questions have been swept aside or glossed over: does it earn its running time?; is Leonardo DiCaprio great or just better than he's been recently?; is Margot Robbie amazing or just sexy; "is it even well made?" Nick wonders, challenging its fans to name even three interesting shots. The gauntlet is thrown down!

Other (brief) topics / shoutouts include the WGA Nominations (Lone Survivor?), Philomena, and why American Hustle & WoWS lovers can't just get along.

Shea Wigham's Amazing 2013: American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, and Fast and Furious 6

Can't we all just get along? If only for Shea Wigham's sake!

Referenced Articles:

Richard Brody's Wolf review Joe Reid on the aggressive defense »

- NATHANIEL R

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Oscar Symposium: The Fifth Spot (Part One)

6 January 2014 6:00 AM, PST

In which a new Film Experience tradition begins. A pre-nomination mini-symposium about fifth spot battles...

Nathaniel R: Things that are awesome that come in sets of five: fingers, boy bands, the filmography of John Cazale, golden rings to be used for Olympics or in song, toes, Oscar nominees... It always comes back to the Oscars here at The Film Experience, don't you know?

I never thought of myself as any more averse to change than the average person but when the Academy changed the Best Picture system in 2009 and 2010 to a top ten and then to anything between 5 and 10, the magic number suddenly becoming 9 in both 2011 and 2012, it felt like a direct attack on my sanity. But Oscar categories come in fives!!! I've never stopped internally protesting and whenever anyone suggests that the acting categories should widen as well, a little part of me dies inside or reaches for smelling salts. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Box Office: The January Drought

5 January 2014 4:43 PM, PST

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. The first week of January is without doubt host to the least exciting crop of new films every year. Generally speaking, the only type of wide release is horror mediocrities like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D or this year’s The Marked Ones. Do Not let the presence of ‘paranormal activity’ in the title fool you. It’s a trick to get you to see another film in the same found footage series that started five years ago. Because I’m a masochist, I have seen all previous installments, the best (and first) of which I can, at my most generous, describe with a shrug. Ever since, the franchise has been in a qualitative downward spiral that is now drowning its box office too. $18m is dismal business for this series, though it frankly surpasses my expectations.

The real story, like last week, »

- Amir S.

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