In Reader Spotlight we get to know The Film Experience community one by one. It's taking forever for which you know I'm grateful. Today we're talking to Grace in Toronto.
NATHANIEL: Hi Grace. Why do you read The Film Experience?
GRACE: I originally read it for your Oscar predictions, but I got hooked on the thoughts and insights in your movie reviews - and actressexuality! It's a little Ebert-esque, but love or hate a movie, you have an undercurrent of overall admiration and appreciation for the medium that keeps me coming back.
What's your first movie memory or obsession?
GRACE: E.T. I'm so blood/gore-averse that I distinctly remember hiding my face behind my hands when Elliot cut his finger on the circular saw. And wanting a flying bicycle.
I know we have a mutual love of Tilda Swinton and Tony Leung since you've told me so. Name three other actors you always love to watch.
Nicole Kidman! I know she's on everyone's list, but her Monster Year in 2000/2001 kind of sealed the deal for me - I loved her in "Moulin Rouge", "The Others", then later in "Dogville" and "Birth". She's always good, but with an auteur director, it's absolute magic to watch her.
Maggie Cheung. I really miss seeing her onscreen, especially since Tony's still working (such amazing chemistry!). I was SO excited to hear that she was going to be in Inglorious Basterds and disappointed that they cut her scenes. She's one actor who, like Tilda, I can buy in anything and any role. Plus very few people can make Cantonese Chinese sound as elegant as she does.
I saw Ralph Fiennes in Quiz Show in a high school English class and it sent me digging through his filmography and my Dad's video library. For years, I just couldn't get enough of him (though I skipped "Maid in Manhattan") - I could be repulsed by him ("Schindler's List"), swoon over him ("The English Patient") and every time he speaks, I just want to curl up and fall asleep in his voice. I could see someone like Tom Hiddleston following in his footsteps.
If I could pick runners-up, I'd choose Peter O'Toole, Kirsten Dunst and Russell Crowe.
If you were in charge of Hollywood for a year, what kind of movies would you greenlight?
At this point, I think I'd greenlight virtually anything that isn't a prequel or sequel. I'd give the go-ahead to works that put story and character development at the forefront; if Lars Von Trier/Kar Wai Wong/Alfonso Cuaron/Hayao Miyazaki/David Lean's ghost are in any way involved with the project, I'd give it an automatic pass to production. And I'd have Christopher Doyle be the DP for everything.
What's the last movie you watched before answering these questions [note: we had this conversation a couple of weeks ago]
I'm embarrassed to say G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but that wasn't a voluntary choice. Can I redeem myself with No starring Gael Garcia Bernal, which I saw the week before with my BFF?
Yes you may. Good choice. Which movie would you love to live inside of?
The Fall. Specifically in Roy and Alexandria's imaginary world, in Eiko Ishioka's costumes.
Name your three favorite movies from each decade: 80s, 90s, and 00s
80s: My Neighbour Totoro (I grew up on Hayao Miyazaki - I could have easily filled up this section with everything he produced that decade), The Last Emperor, and Ran
90s: LA Confidential, Porco Rosso, Apollo 13
00s: The Barbarian Invasions (my Dad had cancer years ago and passed away in 2010, so I can't tell you how much this movie resonated with me. I was weeping in my seat), Children of Men and Dogville (Trying to narrow down what I loved from this decade drove me nuts. I want to cram Spirited Away, In the Mood for Love and Amelie in here as well)
Thanks Grace! P.S. This picture you sent is amazing! So I GIF'ed it. I cannot believe you were an extra in Mean Girls. That is so fetch.
GRACE: I was. Right after the Mathletes victory is announced. Two Lindsay Lohan movies, one with Hillary Duff, a TV movie with Anna Sophia Robb and a handful of TV series, including "Monk"!
NATHANIEL: Well done!
Previous Reader Spotlights
And our imaginary Honorary Reader Oscars go to...
lovely ladies: Mysjkin, Lynn Lee, Ester, Leehee, Jamie and Dominique
(and yes we need to hear from more of the girls)
dashing gents: Peter C, Daniel M, Troy H, Morgan, Patrick, Christian, Lucio, Joey Moser, Zé V, Tony T, Andy H, Ferdi, K.M. Soehnlein, Sergio, Borja, John, Chris, Peter, Ziyad, Andrew, Yonatan, Keir, Kyle, Vinci, Victor, Bill, Hayden, Murtada, Cory, Walter, Paolo, and BBats