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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Monday
Dec102012

♩lovely ladies come along and join us ♬

Fantine & Cosette at the Les Miz premiere

Les Miz needs to just open already! 

Dying to see it in the theater with an adoring crowd again. An adoring crowd of two at home results in off key sing-alongs and that doesn't have quite the same effect.

Sunday
Dec092012

Oscar Prediction Updates

Just a heads up that I've finished updating the Oscar Prediction Charts. Obviously I shall continue tinkering to prettify and add links and fix and whatnot but this is where I stand now. You'll notice that I am still high on Argo and Les Miz in many categories where others have dismissed them but we haven't even heard from the Guilds (particularly the Actors) and we've only just begun; critics awards aren't everything. The Animation/Documentary and Foreign pages are still being reconstructed and Original Song... well, I'm lost. I'll get to that one this week. It's true that I haven't updated that one in ages. So much new information... no time to process from feverish delirium and screener / screening / precursor frenzy. This accelerated Oscar schedule gets two Uma-Cowgirl sized* Thumbs Down from me thus far. 

I realize that posting has been truly and bizarrely minimal in one of the busiest weeks of the year but I shall eventually rise from the ashes. I think. 2012 has just not been kind to me -- this is not a self-pity party but the plain WTF truth -- but hopefully you will be (kind) and stick around. 

* now obscure 90s reference. my apologies

Sunday
Dec092012

(Do You Know) What It Feels Like For a Girl?

Variety 10 Directors to Watch gets very international this year including the Norwegian directors behind Oscar submission Kon-Tiki and the Argentinian Andres Muschietti who directed Jessica Chastain in Mama.
Pretty Dead Hair dreams up alternative terrible Spielbergian endings to Lincoln. 
Drawn A short history of the GIF. Super cute animated film 
MNPP "today's mood" god, i only wish that had been my mood this weekend! The second gif maybe. At least the stage is set for my weekend of the sick. 

Atlantic looks at beautiful storyboards of classic films from Psycho to Spartacus. And speaking of... happy birthday Kirk Douglas!
The New York Times looks at Working Title and their hunt for awards and a new beginning with Les Misérables
MovieLine becomes obsessed with a supposed Michael Cimino twitter account 
In Contention on the BIFA winners 

List Mania
The Popcorn Reel Middle of Nowhere, Compliance, Lincoln and more... 
Mix Tapes for Hookers Songs of the Year 
Pajiba chooses the Best Posters of the Year. Lists like those are always fun but what the F on The Dark Knight Rises. That rainy Bane poster is SO boring.
Time Magazine's Best and Worst of the Year in Everything has a hundred things to recommend it. My favorite bits are James Poniewozik on Mad Men's "At the Codfish Ball", Richard Corliss on Anna Karenina and Mary Pols on Cloud Atlas.

Today's Must Read Part 1
The New Inquiry has a sensational thought-provoking piece on Pixar's Brave which seeks to rescue the movie from the extremely lazy criticism it suffered upon its release.

"Brave" Sketch by Matt Nolte 2007. From the book "The Art of BRAVE"

A stranger to our film industry might reasonably suppose, reading those sentences, that the American cinemascape is littered with “spunky princess movies” that center around the main character and her mother...

It’s a well-worn genre, the Spunky-Princess-Who-Doesn’t-Get-Married-(Or-Experience-Any-Attraction-To-Anyone)-And-Her-Mother story.

I recently watched the movie again to prep for an interview with one of its directors and it was only on this second viewing when I realized how thoroughly new it is when it comes to its mother/daughter focus. It's well worth a second look as animated pictures go and deserves to be in the mix of answers to the question of "Which are the Best Animated Features of 2012?" 

Today's Must Read Part 2
Some of you will already have read this but I can't in good faith not sing its praises. A.O. Scott has written a wonderful comprehensive essay about the problem of gender imbalance in this era's film narratives touching on the glorious exceptions of a handful of this year's most talked-about films including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Hunger Games. Scott doesn't mention it but an interesting trivia note that would have fit perfectly within the context of this article is that the character of Hushpuppy was originally a boy. The film's screenplay was adapted by the director and original playwright and they reassigned Hushpuppy's gender. 

Sunday
Dec092012

LAFCA Names "Amour" The Best of the Year. (Plus Boston & NYFCO)

Warning this post will contain no photos of Zero Dark Thirty in protest. It's a film I thoroughly enjoyed but critical sweeps do great injustice to the art of cinema each year. No film or performance has ever been so great as to be the only achievement worth rewarding in its calendar year. The modern age of hive-mindedness also does great injustice to awards season which needs drama as fuel. This is not to say that one shouldn't vote one's mind if a certain sweeper is also your personal favorite but if everyone's personal favorites are always the same we automatically a) need fewer groups trumpeting the collective opinion or b) we need more critics who have idiosyncratic taste to keep the art of the discussion of cinema at its liveliest.

LOS ANGELES
We've already heard from NYC's top critics who gave three awards each to Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln and today the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the LA wing of critical-consensus makers get their say. Given that this particular group is something like the Home Team for the bulk of AMPAS members, their votes matter. Stay tuned as voting commences!

FILM Amour (ru: The Master)
DIRECTOR Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master (ru: Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty)
ACTRESS (tie) Jennifer Lawrence Silver Linings Playbook and Emmanuelle Riva Amour 
ACTOR  Joaquin Phoenix The Master (ru: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS  Amy AdamsThe Master (ru: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables & The Dark Knight Rises)
SUPPORTING ACTOR  Dwight Henry Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
ANIMATED FILM  Frankenweenie (ru: It's Such a Beautiful Day)
DOCUMENTARY The Gatekeepers (ru: Searching for Sugar Man)
FOREIGN FILM  tba tba
NEW GENERATION  tba tba
SCREENPLAY Argo (ru: Silver Linings Playbook)
CINEMATOGRAPHY  Roger Deakins Skyfall (ru: Mihai Malaiare, Jr. The Master)
PRODUCTION DESIGN  David Crank & Jack Fisk The Master (ru: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom)
EDITING Zero Dark Thirty
INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL Leviathan 
MUSIC SCORE  Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Jonny Greenwood, The Master)

Last Year's LAFCA Winners if you'd like to compare them...

Boston & NYFCO after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec092012

FYC BFCA

'Critics Choice' Ballots are due today at 3 PM EST and I challenge my BFCA brethren and sisters to squeeze in one more screener / screening before sending off their ballots. I'll unfortunately have to send mine off without having screened Django Unchained (which I'm seeing as ballots are due) but I did not choose to have the flu this last weekend of voting when it finally started screening.

FYC #1 - Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy. Nicole Kidman is 5'11" and wears massive heels but even seated, squatting or horizontal this performance towers over most of the Supporting Actress Field
FYC#2 - Michael Fassbender in Prometheus. He's not being talked up in the Best Supporting Actor race because Oscar taste in acting doesn't ever stretch to androids but you can vote for him in the Best Actor in an Action Movie acting race. FWIW he's on both of those ballots for me because I won't be constrained by Oscar buzz; I'm voting "best" not "most likely to be nominated". 
FYC #3 - Remember that the Young Actor (Under 21) prize has more viable contenders than just Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild. Also age-relevant and therefor eligible: Logan Lerman & Ezra Miller from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Tom Holland from The Impossible, Elle & Alice from Ginger & Rosa and the kids from Moonrise Kingdom. This has the potential to be an amazing category if voters don't get lazy. 
FYC #4 -Weep that they don't televise half the categories because that makes them essentially useless as critical causes go (unless you count fine print on fyc ads) but vote strong anyway: Holy Motors, Les Misérables and Lincoln for Best Makeup! 

Saturday
Dec082012

Ruh Roh. Yet Another New Critics Group Predicting the Oscars!

I had a dream that precursor awards would be... so different from Oscar punditryYou know how we're always complaining about there being way too many critics groups? Well now Boston has a second group. The Boston Online Film Critics Association -- not to be confused with the 32 year running Boston Society of Film Critics -- was formed this summer and from the looks of their first prizes they're looking to be seen as an Oscar bellwether (sigh) with their prizes going to all the arguable front runners at the moment: Picture & Director and Actress: Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow starring Jessica Chastain; Actor and Supporting Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln; Supporting Actress: Anne Hathway in Les Misérables.

I'd type up the rest but I can't go on! Someone save me from the hive mind. I don't want to be assimilated. Will the LAFCA make interesting choices tomorrow? 

I should probably note for fairness sake that their top ten list is not entirely Oscar predictive: Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Django Unchained Oslo August 31st, Holy Motors, The Master, Argo, Cloud Atlas

Friday
Dec072012

Interview: Ann Dowd on "Compliance" and Oscar Buzz

Ann Dowd loves the word "delicious". She describes her children this way and actors she admires, too ("Annette Bening! She's delicious and such a good actress"). And what word could possibly be a better fit to fully convey the joy of this moment in her career?

When the tiny indie Compliance debuted to surprisingly robust critical conversation this past August, Ann Dowd won the kind of reviews that Oscar dreams are made of... even from critics who didn't like the film. Her superbly layered work as "Sandra", the prickly overwhelmed fast food manager at the center of the ethically disturbing drama lingers in the memory. Proof of that is a recent well deserved nomination at the Spirit Awards. I spoke to her a few hours after the announcement of her biggest prize yet, The Best Supporting Actress Award from the National Board of Review.

NATHANIEL: Congratulations on winning the NBR Prize!

ANN DOWD: Thank you so much. I have to say I'm beside myself. Really happy.

Have you seen Ann Dowd's riveting work in Compliance yet?

NATHANIEL: Does all of this attention feel like "It's about time!"?

[Oscar buzz, Freaks and Geeks, and red carpet panic after the jump...]

Click to read more ...