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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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Free Association: "Sandy" & The Impossible

You may have noticed that The Impossible has been fading on my Oscar charts these past couple of months. I always thought it a chancy Oscar prospect. Though it's undeniably technically impressive -- I'm not sure I want to know what Naomi Watts had to go through to film the tsunami scenes -- and emotionally compelling if you can get past its blonde privileged whiteness in a Thailand-set disaster epic. But its profile also seems quite low for a potentially major player. Summit is either planning a mega-blitz at the tail end of the year (a risky strategy with several giants opening at Christmas) or they're too busy rubbing their hands together gleefully whilst awaiting those Breaking Dawn Part 2 dollars to remember that they have an inspirational drama to push!

But lately I've been wondering if Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath might turn people off of The Impossible. More... 

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Box Office: Wreck-It, Denzel!

A very strong weekend after a quiet one. Wreck-It Ralph's big showing isn't a surprise given the track record of noisy colorful animated films for kids (i.e. they always open big) and its use of nostalgic characters  to hook parents. Denzel Washington, one of the last true movie stars, can also be counted on for strong openings and Flight is no exception. What did you see this weekend?

Box Office Top Ten
01 WRECK-IT RALPH  $49.1 *NEW* 
02 FLIGHT $25 *NEW* 
03 ARGO  $10.2 (cum. $75.8)
05 TAKEN 2  $6  (cum. $125.6)
06 CLOUD ATLAS $5.2 (cum $18.2)
07 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA $4.5 (cum $137.5)
08 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 $4.3  (cum $49.5)
09 HERE COMES THE BOOM $3.6 (cum $35.5)
10 SILENT HILL REVELATION $3.3 (cum $13.9)

I saw Flight on Friday night in a crowded theater (review tomorrow) and though the audience seemed to be with it the whole time -- reacting big in all the key places -- as I was leaving I overheard the following conversation between two 20something girls.


Girl #1: That was not at all what I was expecting.
Girl #2: I know. It was... [unconvinced] good. I think I need a little more feel-good in my movies.

Curious comment since Flight works overtime and some would say inelegantly in its finale to hurdle its feel-bad problem. But, then again, they have been marketing it with the crash and Denzel's ace flying that's only the beginning of the movie so maybe the audience was expecting something more action-packed and heroic? 

Speaking of heroic feats: Ben Affleck's Argo is losing so little of its audience from week to week that he'll totally have his first $100 million blockbuster soon (The Town came close). And all that from a "prestige" movie, too. His ascendance is nearly complete. All that's left on the road to being a wildly overrated filmmaker (he's good don't get me wrong) is another Oscar. Do you think he'll win it?


November Oscar Updates!

With only 66 days to go before Oscar nominations, it was time to overhaul the charts. We're but one month away from the mad flush of precursors but so many questions are still unanswered.


What We Know: Argo is all locked up for Picture and Director having won applause from both critics and general audiences and I've always said that Oscar voter tastes are, roughly, a fusion of those two things; Silver Linings Playbook is a safe bet in the major categories but contemporary films always struggle with nomination counts since the craft branches largely ignore them; Though Les Misérables is as yet unseen it's certain to rack up a handful of nods however it goes -- worst case scenario consider that Nine (2009) won 4 nominations despite scathing reviews -- and two handfuls if it's as good as people are hoping.
What We Don't Know: Can Les Misérables manage two supporting actress nominations or will Anne Hathaway's likely coronation suck the oxygen out of the room for other players; Will Hugh Jackman be able to part the great sea of biographical performances in order to compete for Best Actor -- I'm guessing yes but by a hair; Can Argo manage two supporting actor nominations for Bryan Cranston and Alan Arkin? Arkin has the "fun" role but Cranston has undeniably become a major actor's actor over the past handful of years. Though double nods are common in Supporting Actress that hasn't happened in Supporting Actor since Bugsy (1991)



Click to read more ...


EFA Noms Honor Plenty of Foreign Film Oscar Contenders

The European Film Awards will be held in Malta this year on December 1st, and as per usual they are honoring plenty of possible nominees in Oscar's Foreign Language Film category as well as films that are a little too outre for Oscar (last year Melancholia, completely ignored by Oscar, did well and this year that honor goes to Steve McQueen's Shame)



  • Amour (Austria's Oscar Submission)
  • Barbara (Germany's Oscar Submission)
  • Caesar Must Die (Italy's Oscar Submission)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
  • The Intouchables (France's Oscar Submission)
  • Shame (UK)

Amour appears to be the likely frontrunner here as it leads in nominations but the EFAs are far less predictable than Oscar so anything might happen. Acting nominations, a very handsome director, and more after the jump.

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Posterpalooza Pt. 2: Stoker, Quartet, Oz & Les Miz

(see pt. 1 if you missed it)

So many new posters. So little wall space. Let's look at seven new posters for four movies. Starting with this inky and intricate gothic family tree tease for Park Chan-Wook's Stoker, which works best if it's wall sized since the details will be lost in any other setting including the web...

STOKER (2013)

If you want to try and tease out plot details for yourself, Empire lets you hover over pieces of the poster. I've selected just a couple to focus on after the jump (plus six more posters)


Click to read more ...


Jodie Foster Anyone?

The HFPA, those star-groupies at the Golden Globes, recently announced that Jodie Foster would be the recipient of this year's Cecil B DeMille Award.

The Academy is stingy with women when it comes to honorifics but the less stuffy Globes indulge in their sapphic side quite a lot by way of lifetime tributes. What a treat for Jodie's 50th birthday! She hits the half century mark on November 19th. Now, one might say that a 50th birthday is much too early for a lifetime tribute... but when you consider how infrequently Jodie has deigned to act or even direct since her 45th birthday (that's only three films: Nim's Island, The Beaver, and Carnage in the past five years) it's probably safe to say that the bulk of her career is behind her, so why not?

I'd actually been planning a Jodie celebration right here though details had not yet emerged. We'll celebrate Jodie visually/verbally from November 13th through the 19th inbetween regular posting.



Tell me which films you're most interested in talking and reading about from those we're considering...

Rank Jodie's Oscar nominations

Tell me who you hope gets a Cecil B Demented DeMille celebration next. 


Who Will Be Nominated For The Animation Oscars?

This year's animated feature race still feels like a mystery: Brave wasn't beloved enough to slide right into Pixar winner position; Frankenweenie wasn't popular enough despite its fun aesthetic achievements; ParaNorman was a hit but not a huge one; Madagascar 3 was very well reviewed and a huge hit but the third in a series Oscar hasn't cared for; and so on.

With 21 eligible features this year we'll have five nominees and unless either Rise of the Guardians or Wreck It Ralph (just opened) are across the board sensations, we'll have a real race.


  • Adventures in Zambezia
  • Brave
  • Delhi Safari
  • Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
  • Frankenweenie
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Hey Krishna
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Ice Age Continental Drift
  • A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman
  • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
  • The Mystical Laws
  • The Painting
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • The Rabbi's Cat
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Secret of the Wings
  • Walter & Tandoori's Christmas
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Zarafa

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...