Advertisement
Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
Big Little Lies

"I am blown away by this miniseries." -Michael R

"Laura Dern's Renata is crazy but she reminds me of several professional women that I know in the San Francisco Bay Area." -Jono

"Loved the jarring editing this week, and the reveal of what Perry did with the toys..." - DJDeeDay

Interviews

Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe
Monday
Sep212015

Triple (Poster) Threat

Manuel here with posters for three upcoming films we’ve been surprisingly quiet about here at TFE even though I know we're excited about (some of) them.

First up, Pan. I am vaguely curious about this Hugh Jackman/Joe Wright film but is it just me or has the marketing team been not really been doing their job on this film? It’s like that Rooney Mara Telluride Tribute was for naught! I mean, sure it was mostly for Carol, but you’d think they’d want to capitalize on her buzz!

Next, The Intern. Is this the film that will win Hathaway’s fans back (most of us never left!) or will it just fuel the fire? On a side-note, did you all read this fantastic interview with Nancy Meyers for New York Magazine? It’s worth a read in its entirety but my favorite line, obviously, was:

“Women can direct dinosaurs. Believe me.”

I am now imagining a Jurassic Park film directed by Nancy Meyers (imagine that raptor scene in a Meyers kitchen!) and boy would that be more enjoyable than the Trevorrow flick I finally caught up with this weekend.

And last but certainly not least, we have this bizarre poster for Steve Jobs (I do so love its main one), We at TFE will be catching this one soon at NYFF and will have plenty to say then, I’m sure. But for now, I’m going to obsess over Kate’s glasses and icy stare.

Which of these films are you most excited about?

Sunday
Sep202015

Best Emmy Night Tweets

Too exhausted from travel for the typical live blog so we'll just share the best tweets from celebrities, friends and awesome people for the night. So refresh on occasion... 

But first of all here's "Taystee" herself Danielle Brooks. TWIRL, GIRL! 

more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep202015

Emmy Winners, 2015

Which of the prizes warmed the cockles of your heart? Which caused a blind rage? And which caused you to make these Amy Poehler or Lena Headey faces? 

Comedy Series, Comedy Veep (1st win in this category)
Lead Actress, Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (6th win, 4th consecutive from this series, from 20 nominations from 3 series) which means that two iconic characters Lisa Kudrow's "Valerie Cherish" and Amy Poehler's "Leslie Knope" were never rewarded for their genius
Lead Actor, Comedy
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (1st win for this role, 7 total nominations from 3 series)
Supporting Actress, Comedy
Alison Janney, Mom (6th win, 2nd consecutive for this role, 10 total nominations from 3 series)
Supporting Actor, Comedy Tony Hale, Veep (2nd win for this role from 3 nominations) 
Writing, Comedy Veep (1st writing win for this series from 2 nominations)
Director, Comedy Jil Soloway, Transparent (1st directing win for this series)

Drama Series Game of Thrones (1st win in this category)
Lead Actress, Drama Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder (1st win, also the 1st woman of color to win in this category
Lead Actor, Drama Jon Hamm, Mad Men (1st win in this category)
Supporting Actress, Drama Uzo Aduba Orange is the New Black (2nd consecutive win for this character)
Supporting Actor, Drama Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (2nd win this category)
Writing/Directing Game of Thrones 

Limited Series / Movie Olive Kitteridge
Lead Actress Limited Series/Movie
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge (1st win)
Lead Actor Limited Series / Movie
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge (1st win)
Supporting Actress Limited Series/Movie
Regina King, American Crime (1st win)
Supporting Actor Limited Series/Movie Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge (1st win)
Director, Limited Series/Movie Lisa Cholodenko, Olive Kitteridge (1st win)
Writer, MiniSeries/Movie
Olive Kitteridge 

Reality Competition The Voice
Variety Talk Show Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Sketch Show Inside Amy Schumer 

Sunday
Sep202015

"Room" is the People's Choice

Great News: Room won the People's Choice award at TIFF! 
It couldn't have happened to a more deserving film and I mean that literally since it was the best of the 29 films I caught there. Confession: I really thought that Spotlight would take it since festival goers wouldn't shut up about that one. In the past twenty years the People's Choice Award has been a very solid indicator of a future Best Picture nomination. In fact, with one exception only (Hotel Rwandaif the winner was from the States or the UK, it was nominated at the Oscars. Canadian winners (Eastern Promises and The Hanging Garden) as well as most of the non-English language winners weren't so lucky. A Best Picture nomination would be a very big deal for A24 as a young distributor but they've already released so many fine and daring films they've earned one, don't you think? 

How high would you rank the film now in your predictions? 

Winners List
People's Choice Room (Lenny Abramson)
    1st Runner Up: Angry Indian Goddesses (Pan Nalin)
    2nd Runner Up: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

FIPRESCI DiscoveryEva Nová (Marko Skop) 
FIPRESCI Special PresentationDesierto (Jonás Cuarón) 
NETPAC Asian Cinema AwardWhispering Star (Sion Sono) 
Toronto Platform AwardHURT (Alan Zweig) 
    Honorable Mention: Neon Bull, The Promised Land, The Clan
Best Short Maman(s) (Maïmouna Doucouré)
     Honorable Mention: Rate Me (Fyzal Boulifa) 

Best Canadian Feature Closet Monster (Stephen Dunn)
    Honorable Mention: My Internship in Canada (Philippe Falardeau)
Best Canadian First Feature Film Sleeping Giant (Andrew Cividino)
Best Canadian Short Overpass (Patrice Laliberté)
    Honorable Mention: Bacon & God's Wrath (Sol Friedman)

The odd thing about the Canadian prizes is that Closet Monster, my favorite LGBT movie from the fest, which won the "Canada Goose" for Best Canadian Film is also a First Feature; there's another prize for that that it did not win! Of the other award winners, I only managed to catch Spotlight, Room, and the Toronto Platform Honorable Mention The Clan. It's a gut-wrenching true crime drama about a notorious family in Argentina who kidnapped members of other upper class families, some of whom they knew personally, for ransom money. I suspect it will be Argentina's Oscar submission but they don't announce until the end of the month.

Sunday
Sep202015

Box Office: Johnny Depp gets Scorched

Tim here with the weekend box office estimates. After an exciting nailbiter last weekend, things got a lot more sedate. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials took the #1 slot without too much effort, continuing the dominance of YA adaptations about attractive 20something teenagers fighting their way through a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Let's not crack open a bottle of champagne for all those Chosen Ones just yet, though; The Scorch Trials came up just short of the first Maze Runner's debut weekend last September, suggesting that if the franchise isn't necessarily on death's door, it seems to have already hit its theoretical peak.

WEEKEND TOP 10, ESTIMATED
01 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $30.3 new
02 Black Mass $23.4 new
03 The Visit $11.4 (cum. $42.3)
04 The Perfect Guy $9.6 (cum. $41.4) Tim's Review
05 Everest $7.6 new
06 War Room $6.3 (cum. $49.1)
07 A Walk in the Woods $2.7 (cum. $24.8) Reviewed at Sundance
08 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $2.3 (cum. $191.7) Tim's Review
09 Straight Outta Compton $2.0 (cum. $158.9) Podcast
10 Captive $1.4 new

The weekend's other major wide release, Black Mass, opened to a satisfactory number for what it is - a crime drama for adults, which means it's likely to hold on much longer than Scorch Trials - but it's not quite the triumphant return for Johnny Depp that some of us were quietly hoping for. Compared to his last couple of mega-bombs, it's already an unqualified success: by the end of Sunday, it will have already grossed more than three times as much as the notorious Mortdecai from last winter, and its opening weekend is about as much as the entire lifetime domestic gross of Transcendence. Still, aspiring thinkpiece writers can put away their "Depp is a major movie star again!" ledes for right now.

The most impressive performance in the top ten probably belongs to Everest: the star-packed thriller had a smallish platform opening, mostly limited to IMAX and other large format screens, that propelled it up to an impressive $13,872 per-screen average, by far the biggest of any film in the top ten. But even that pales next to the film that I suspect most of the Film Experience faithful want to hear about: Denis Villaneuve's Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, opened to $390,000 on 6 screens. If that doesn't sound like much, try this on for size: the film's $65,000 per-screen average is the highest of any 2015 release so far. Let's keep out fingers crossed that this means great things for the film as it starts to expand over the next two weeks.

How did you spend your moviegoing weekend?

Sunday
Sep202015

Emmy Watch: Actress in a Drama Series

Andrew here with a final Emmy tribute before the Emmy Awards are announced tonight.

When we tallied our lists of favourite nominees it was Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series which was the most mentioned category and since all Film Experience writers and readers love actresses we devoted a special post to the category. In a few hours the category will see a new winner that will be historic in some way - a win to put Claire Danes among the most feted in this category? A rare win for a sci-fi show? A win for the first Black actress in this category? The first acting win for Mad Men or the first win in a non-guest category for a Netflix show? Although popular vote will eventual coalesce among a single performer, each of these women in their submission reveals something special in their performances worth remembering. And, so, as a tribute to this talented sextet, our writers take a look at each of the nominees.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep202015

TIFF Quickies: 45 Years, Invisible, The Witch, and more...

Five quick takes because otherwise I won't get around to writing about these! Grades are not binding and these are first quick impressions.

45 Years (UK, Andrew Haigh)
That sound you hear over a black screen as the film opens is a slide projector. If it hadn't been for Mad Men's Carousel that long defunct sound might not have been so easy to place. The slides will be important later on but to quote that famous episode:

This is not a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards, and it takes us to a place where we ache to go again."

Don Draper's famous monologue could well be a description of this film, too. The past suddenly rushes forward into the present via a letter bearing strange news and the husband (Tom Courtenay) aches too visibly to go back to it as the wife (Charlotte Rampling) slowly begins to reframe their lives between then and now. In his very short film career Andrew Haigh has shown a remarkable skill at romantic drama through the prism of time  (the impactful of the moment and the brevity of a Weekend, and the half century of a marriage through recalled feeling). The film is cooly mounted, not just in its color palette and the weather but in its chill vibe; nothing at all is really happening but everything is being considered and reframed. 45 Years opens on December 23rd - Sundance Selects is apparently trying the exact same play they did for Marion Cotillard last year for Charlotte Rampling. Let's hope it works because she rises exquisitely to this film's challenge. A-

Invisible (The Philippines, Lawrence Fajardo)
The first scene in Invisible focuses on a steam pot that's getting ready to blow as we hear a conversation offscreen. That's a non too subtle way to announce a slow simmering drama ahead but typical of the visual strategy of placing a camera in one place and just watching, even when there's little to see. Fajardo looks at the plights of Filipino immigrants in Japan with both tenderness and hopelessness in these interconnected stories. Aunt Linda () ties the stories together as a landlady who permits illegals to rent her apartments -- she is not an illegal as she has been married for decades to a Japanese man -- but her heart is still with the Filipino immigrant community who she checks in with regularly.

Among the stories is a middle aged gay romance, a sad hustler aging out of good paychecks and starting to look pathetic in the stage shows with his young twink competition, and a hardworking young man who runs into dangerous trouble with a coworker. I really wanted to love this picture. It's heart is in the right place and certain scenes have distinct empathetic pleasures. But the director, who admitted in a Q&A afterwards that he was trying to convey the drudgery of these lives, does that too well. The pace is excruciating in the way only art films can be when they aren't careful about when to hold a shot and when to let one go since there's actually no scene there. B-/C+


As I Open My Eyes (Tunisia, Leyla Bouzin)
I believe this is the first Tunisian film I have seen and I was often at a loss for exactly what was happening. To explain: the plot is easy enough to follow but the politics are not. Set during the Arab Spring this sensitive picture circles a young woman who is due to start medical school but just wants to sing for her band. The band is continually warned that they're in trouble with the police -- but they each have different ideas about what they can get away with -- but listening to their lyrics I could never suss out exactly why they were so threatening. The music is a major selling point and the young star is lovely though I wish the concert scenes and the camerawork had not been so repetitive from a visual standpoint -- the star's innocent but flirtatious smile is totally endearing but there are a thousand closeups of it. The combative but loving mother/daughter relationship which starts as the subplot and gradually takes over is unexpectedly compelling by the melancholy older-but-wiser end. B

Eva Doesn't Sleep (Argentina, Pablo Agüero)
Finally a movie for Argentinian Politics Majors who are also Necrophiliacs!

What did I just watch? I think it was good --- possibly very good though it's unpleasant. This brilliantly titled film was among the most challenging films at the fest. Agüero presents a stylized history of Argentinian politics from the 1950s onward through the much-fetishized dead body of Eva Peron and the various men in charge who are defeated by both her memory and their inability to rid the country of her body. It's rare to see a film so fully embrace the POV of its villains -- the various narrators, dictators, politicans, soldiers and so on are nearly all misogynists who hate Evita (you hear "that bitch" more times than you'll be able to count) and despise the working classes who adore her. Some scenes go on interminably but many of the images have a weirdly hypnotic resonance and willfully begin or end in abstraction from lighting (particularly in Gael Garcia Bernal's segment), color (particularly in the Embalming sequence) or Denis Lavant (particularly in the Denis Lavant scene).

GradeWTF

The Witch (Robert Eggers)
If you've managed to stay blind and deaf to this film's content, stay that way. Do not read this blurb because it's best to go in cold. The Witch takes place in the 17th century when a Puritan couple, banished from their village community in New England, seek to begin anew. They build a home and farm in the clearing near a heavy wood for their goats, chickens, and four children. Almost immediately an unthinkable tragedy strikes. Debuting director Robert Eggers is supremely confident with the slow build even though he has the nerve to reveal the culprit immediately and then make you wait. Though some of the scenes are predictable once you're inside them, by then the film already has you frozen in your seat with its commitment to the unfortunate collision of Pious, Ignorant, Paranoid Christians and Terrifying Unfathomable Evil. It's hard to describe how spectacularly creepy and perverse it all feels in the last half hour. What a ballsy debut!  A-

more from TIFF