Film Bitch History
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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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

"This movie is one of my favorites - Michael Stuhlbarg the biggest reason, he's so heartbreakingly fantastically good in everything." -Rebecca

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?

Natalie Portman and Rooney Mara TOPLESS !

What? I was feeling jealous of everyone else's sensationalist headlines. It's weblag from that NYFCC brouhaha and that 'lazy journalism' Jacki Weaver was talking about in our interview. So, 'bout that headline. Define Topless. We're most concerned with definition #3...

...although we suspect most actresses would like us to use the obsolete definition, #5.

Ubiquitous NATALIE PORTMAN found that she just wasn't making enough bank this year from Black Swan or her four, yes four, 2011 features. Also, the covers of every magazine weren't enough now and won't be enough when she wins the Oscar and still won't be enough this summer when she gives birth either. So now you can find her photos inbetween the reams and reams of magazine articles about her as as she hawks Christian Dior's cosmetics and perfumes. Here she is posing for Miss Dior. 


Her children's children's children will have their trust funds all insured by the end of 2011. Also: many trees will die in her honor.

For what it's worth she's more naked in Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier (2007) than she'll ever be in a magazine and it's a damn good miniature performance, too.


W Magazine has a whole slide show featuring ROONEY MARA as Lisbeth Salander for David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

The photos are pretty amazing though we're still not crazy about that Millenium Trilogy in concept and apart from the money and that unbreakable serial killer obsessions of David Fincher's, we're still not sure why he's doing it. Especially since you know he's not going to actually make the sequels.

Rooney... remember how much she did with just three scenes in The Social Network? Imagine what she might do over the course of two hours!




Link Catches Us

NOTE: Sorry about the delay in the top ten -- probably tonight. maybe tomorrow morning. Depends on how the day goes. The writeups take awhile. But now... news and linkage.

  • The Advocate Rabbit Hole's John Cameron Mitchell (He never ages. 47!)
  • A.V. Club interviews Aaron Eckhart, also of Rabbit Hole. And in case you missed it...
  • The Film Experience ...that's my 11th favorite of the year
  • The Telegraph Bond is not a director's franchise, Tim Robey, reminds us as Sam Mendes preps Bond 23 (to be titled later obviously)
  • In Contention DGA's documentary nominees. YES on Lixin Fan for Last Train Home. The Academy really botched that one. It's one of the best films of the year.
  • Rotten Tomatoes gives out its Golden Tomatoes for the best reviewed movies of 2010. Naturally the animated films dominate as they're generally critic proof if they're any good at all. Though we're slightly weirded out that the best reviewed ten is very very close to the expected Oscar ten. What happened to the days when Oscar ignored critical darlings? My guess is both Oscar and Critics have changed, everyone moving to the center.
  • Serious Film Great use of pop songs in recent movies

Kerry catches usIf it interests you, Reel Talk has the complete NAACP nominees. Night Catches Us gets some nominations but no Best Picture bid? Just Wright is there, though with For Colored Girls, The Book of Eli, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too and... The Kids Are All Right (???). Confusing. So for what it's worth, here are the actress nominations. You know how I obsess on the actressing.

Best Actress

  • Halle Berry Frankie & Alice
  • Janet Jackson Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?
  • Queen Latifah Just Wright
  • Zoe Saldana The Losers
  • Kerry Washington Night Catches Us

Best Supporting Actress

  • Kimberly Elise For Colored Girls
  • Whoopi Goldberg For Colored Girls
  • Phylicia Rashad For Colored Girls
  • Anika Noni Rose For Colored Girls
  • Jill Scott Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?

The message of the nominations is simple: join Tyler Perry's creative entourage. (I wish I'd seen For Colored Girls. I like almost everyone in it.)


Jacki Weaver "Grinning Like a Cheshire Cat"

Exclusive Interview
Before Animal Kingdom, the Australian crime drama which Jacki Weaver so memorably inhabits as den mother Janine "Smurf" Cody, she was unknown to many American moviegoers including myself. The last time I see her onscreen, perusing a few key scenes from the film prior to the interview, she's training those enormous unblinking peepers on good cop Guy Pearce. They're in a sterile grocery store but the conversation is anything but; the words are loaded and coded. Her stare is equal parts dare, gloating and faux sweetness. "I hope you catch the killers," she tells him, with disingenuous grandmotherly concern, both of them fully aware of who is getting away with murder and why.

In person, what can you expect: An evil granny? A diva actress? A regular woman? When we sit at the Regency for a half hour chat over coffee, Smurf departs leaving only Jacki the "Oscar Hopeful" (more on that in a bit).

try "Greatness" - get that Oscar nom, Jacki!

"I should rewatch it," she tells me when I mention my pre-interview visual cram session with her movie. She's seen Animal Kingdom four times but not recently. She remembers the plot details and her co-stars frequently. She's quick to praise Ben Mendelsohn's "amazing" work. (He plays her son Pope, the only character more unsettling than Smurf.) But when it comes to her own part, the famous dialogue is escaping her. "They keep quoting lines that I said" she says "I have no recollection of them at all. It's been two years since we shot the movie. I've been in six different plays since then so's the slate has been a bit wiped clean."

Why hasn't she watched it recently?

Jacki: I find it quite distressing. It's really heart in the throat stuff. Even though I know what's going to happen.

Nathaniel: Was it disturbing to shoot?

Jacki: It wasn't at the time, no. It was more exhilarating than distressing because I felt we were doing such good work and it had a ring of authenticity about it all the way.

Nathaniel: I know you do a lot of theater and Animal Kingdom actually reminded me a little of a stage play. It's very cinematic but he's [David Michôd, the director] often using medium shots, which I loved, and showing you the crucial interplay between the actors. Do you think of stage and movie acting differently?

Jacki: I think of them the same way. In movies, you have the luxury of being able to whisper [Laughter].

Coffee has arrived and we chat for a bit about filmmaking. Jackie says "I love a good editor" [don't all smart actors?] and shares with me a bit of Oscar trivia that I hadn't connected: Animal Kingdom's editor Luke Dolan was up for an Oscar just last year for the short film "Miracle Fish". "He's just turned 30," she says, marvelling. "That's impressive." While she's on the subject of fresh careers we naturally drift over to her director. He's a fully formed talent already, I think, and this is only his first feature.

Nathaniel: I met with Michôd this summer when the movie came out. He called you a "National Treasure."

Jacki: [Laughter] I'm more of a national relic, i think. I've been around so long. I keep telling people that I think Australians think of me as a comfortable old piece of furniture that they're not quite ready to throw out yet.

Nathaniel: You've been in the industry a long time.

Jacki: 48 years.

Nathaniel: Have you seen it all or this year special? I mean, if i tried to list all your honors from the movie I think we'd be here for hours.

Jacki: I've lost count. I'm totally overwhelmed.

Nathaniel: When you were filming it, did you ever think...

Jacki: No! [Sensing the awards question coming.] Well, you never do...

AFTER THE JUMP... Jacki on awards buzz, "Smurf" character choices, loving Cate Blanchett, kissing Sullivan Stapleton, and her brief scenes in Aussie classic Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

Click to read more ...


NYFCC: Annette's Eyes, Darren's Humor, Kerry's Deliciousness

Yesterday you probably read some purposefully sensationalist headlines about notorious contrarian self-publicist Armond White making Annette Bening cry at the NYFCC ceremony Monday night. I wasn't going to say anything and I'm not going to link to any of the articles but I'm just going to get two things off the chest. 

One, When Annette tears up, be assured that you will feel it. You will find it impossible to be so unmoved as to write snarky misleading headlines about it.

The Bening is All Right

Case in point: Her Majesty's quite awesome and NYFCC award-winning performance in The Kids Are All Right. When she tears up, only non-carbon-based life forms don't feel it.

Her acceptance speech went, according to the Post, something like this.

Click to read more ...


Follow the Red Carpet Road

Just for kicks -- synchronized kicks while singing "We're Off to See The Wizard" -- I've been casting some of this year's behind the scenes Oscar hopefuls as denizens of the that magical land Over the Rainbow. It's less gay than it sounds, I promise. I blame Hailee Steinfeld's pigtails for the inspiration. It's all her fault.

Find out which character each Best Director candidate plays and help me cast the other players. Read the article at Tribeca Film


Y los nominados son... 

Jose here. The nominations for the 25th Annual Goya Awards have been announced and leading the pack is none other than The Last Circus, Alex De La Iglesia's killer clown allegory which not only earned him a Best Director award at last year's Venice Film Festival but also picked up some of the worst reviews of any movie in any festival during 2010.


Best Film

The bad reviews didn't seem to deter the Spanish Film Academy which showered the film with nods (a whopping 15! More than any other movie this year) including Breakthrough Actress for the appropriately named Carolin Bang and of course Best Picture and Best Director. Interestingly enough, de la Iglesia is also the Academy's president. But before we scream nepotism we have to take into consideration that Spain makes fewer movies than many countries with film awards and will, well, sometimes nominate anything.

Best Actor Nominees: Javi & Ryan

Speaking of which, Ryan Reynolds is nominated for Best Actor for his work in Buried (which was made by a Spaniard, Rodrigo Cortés, and is therefore eligible). It's not that Reynolds' work isn't good or maybe better than he had any right to be or better than anything anyone ever expected from him, but when you see he's nominated next to Javier Bardem (for Biutiful) things just seem odd, huh?

Best Actor

  • Javier Bardem -Biutiful
  • Ryan Reynolds -Buried
  • Luis Tosar -Even the Rain
  • Antonio de la Torre -The Last Circus

The lovely Elena Anaya (pictured left) is up for Best Actress for her work in Room in Rome (read my review here) we'll see her next in Pedro Almodóvar's new film! Rome also won nominations for Breakthrough Actress and Best Song (I wonder where its nomination for Best Use of Google Maps is...)

Best Actress

  • Elena Anaya -Room in Rome
  • Nora Navas -Pa Negre
  • Belén Rueda -Julia's Eyes
  • Emma Suárez -The Mosquito

The actress category looks unimpressive when you remember that last year the nominees were Lola Dueñas, Rachel Weisz, Maribel Verdú and Pe! 

Considering that most of the films selected for the Goyas rarely get release dates in our continent let's head over to see international categories.

Best Latin American Film

Best European Film

Don't you just hate when last year's releases compete with this year's releases for awards? Let's all dream of a day when EVERY movie will be released around the world at the same time. It would make for some exciting global unity sort of thing huh?

So, dear readers in Europe, you're probably more equated with these films: Anyone you're rooting for? Anything we should be looking forward to when it's released here?

[More categories at the Goya Awards Official Site]