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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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Mike Leigh 4 Film Retro for his 75th

secrets and lies, vera drake, happy go lucky, and topsy-turvy

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Months of Meryl: Sophie's Choice

"This is the best Streep performance ever captured on film. "That's all."" - Dorian

"I support this movie, partially because I loved the Styron novel and, along with Schindler's List, it's one of the best American movies to teach people about the holocaust. Streep is sublime in it, and it's such a great role - she gets to play Sophie before the war, during the war, after the war, etc. " - Tom

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Saturday
Feb242018

Nathaniel's Top Ten of 2017

by Nathaniel R

Better late than never. If you've been wondering why your TFE host has been so in and out of the proceedings this season, let's just say life has proved significantly challenging offline: the end of a decade-plus relationship, homelessness (not the dramatic kind but the sleeping on friend's couches kind), a long bout with the flu, a new side gig, etcetera). So this list carries a bit of melancholy with it as 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life. (If you also had a rough year: I feel you. Hugs in solidarity). Due to all of this I didn't see as many films as is my preference and couldn't rewatch the key films I usually would have before "voting".

But in the end you have to move forward.  Time changes everything... and time changes all top ten lists also! Some of these placements that you scratch your head about now, you'll either understand in ten years time OR I'll join you in scratching my head about them with a "what was I thinking?" blush. Top ten lists are but time capsules.

People change for better and worse. Circumstances shift dramatically or perception does. The movies of 2017 helped me understand all this, many of them zeroed in on definitive months in someone's life, others hopping around in time, and still more juxtaposing the past with the present...

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Saturday
Feb242018

RPDR All Stars 3: E5 - Can-aroon!

by Chris Feil

Drag Race fans got a mega-serving of the ever popular show this week with an All Stars design challenge followed immediately by the announcement of the season 10 cast. The big tenth season will be following the ongoing All Stars season without a break, so in 2018 the Race is a marathon. We’ll briefly look at the new contestants, but first we have to unpack (oops) the season’s first dud episode.

Last week Shangela played up the drama for a middling Snatch Game and gave once expected frontrunner Trixie Mattel a major fakeout, ultimating sending the beloved but stuck-in-first-gear Chi Chi DeVayne. The first agenda once back in the workroom was to lay the Notegate drama to rest...

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Saturday
Feb242018

Tweetweek: Turkish cats, Billboards legacy, Kidman repurposed

Tee hee. The Best Picture nominees are still very much in the air in this week's tweet collection after the jump. Subjects include but are not limited to: Black Panther, Lady Bird, Best Picture time frames, and a visual reminders of what Three Billboards is good for. Plus a visual reminder why the cat documentary Kedi had such wonderful "characters"... 

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Friday
Feb232018

Mike Leigh at 75: "Secrets & Lies"

By Salim Garami

What's good?

Timothy Spall's character Maurice Purley in Mike Leigh's 1996 Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies is a photographer and every scene we see him at work involves his usually-successful, sometimes-not-as-much attempts to amiably convince his clients to take a big smile before he takes the photo. Sometimes it's a direct appeal and sometimes it's just by making an off-hand joke that catches them. Usually it's preceeded by a very slight window of sadness implying a long and exhaustive story on the subject's part. It feels like a very reflexive move on Mike Leigh's part: Secrets & Lies, like most of Leigh's works, is a humanist tale of some very messy and sometimes sad parts of a large story but Leigh imbues it with a sense of delicate compassion, sometimes injecting a sense of humor about the situations, but always wanting the best for its characters.

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Friday
Feb232018

Get Your Votes In!

Eeeep. In my total disarray I forgot to open the voting for readers choice on the Supporting Actress Smackdown for 2017!

So, if you want to vote, rate the nominees get your votes in on each performance (anywhere from 1-5 hearts) by Sunday morning! For an extra curveball list your 5 favorite performances that were not nominated in that category. It's a quick turnaround but I know you've seen the movies by now people, so do it. 

Friday
Feb232018

Review: "Game Night"

by Chris Feil

An enjoyable, modest studio comedy is a rare breed these days, each entry trying to out-stunt or out-horrify the other for shock laughs. Some miss the mark entirely. Enter Game Night, a formulaic comedy unconcerned with one-upmanship, and quite enjoyable all the same.

Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman star as Annie and Max, a couple struggling to conceive. They're united by their competitive streaks which get full reign over their weekly get-togethers with friends. When the usual gathering gets overtaken by Max’s more successful and handsome older brother Brooks (played by Kyle Chandler), a harmless mystery role playing game is overtaken by an actual violent kidnapping. The group must save Brooks from his kidnappers, and maybe nurse Max’s bruised jealousy in the process...

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