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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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NEW PODCAST: lots of Oscar talk!

" I really like Janney a lot in her film, but Metcalf's just my favorite nominee in any acting category." - Nick T

"I wonder who will present Actress this year? I have a feeling it'll be Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Annabella Sciorra... Seems like the right thing to do." - Michael R

 "I've been hoping for months that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway will be invited back to annouce Best Picture this year. It just seems like the right thing to do." - MrW

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Saturday
Sep172016

Review: Bridget Jones's Baby

by Eric Blume

Everyone’s favorite contemporary British heroine is back:  Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is now successful, at her ideal weight, and alas still single.  In Bridget Jones’s Baby, she has two surprising one-night stands with different men:  an American dating guru (Patrick Dempsey) and her former flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).  Then she’s pregnant:  who could the father be?  Will we see misunderstandings and shenanigans along the lines of a typical Three’s Company episode?  Unfortunately, yes…yes, we do.

The original 2001 Bridget Jones’s Diary remains a mini-classic of its kind:  one of the most dignified and intelligent of its genre (romantic comedy), yet it also transcends the genre, truly plumbing some depth (as mainstream movies go) about accepting who you really are, and understanding what love actually is.  It went beyond your typical “boy and girl like each other because they’re in a movie together as leads” mentality and went to the heart of the characters’ specifics.  With sharp, interesting acting from its three leads (Zellweger, Firth, and Hugh Grant), the film had snap and verve; it felt vital.

Diary’s skilled director, Sharon Maguire, didn’t return for the first sequel (Beyond Reason) but is back in the chair for Baby...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep172016

Emmys 2016 - Why Keri Russell should win Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Here’s Lynn Lee, with a closer look at the newcomer and underdog of the six Emmy nominees for Best Lead Actress in a drama:

When I first started watching The Americans, I was blown away by one actor, and one actor alone: Matthew Rhys, as the male half of a pair of KGB operatives hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Reagan-era Washington, D.C.  Oh, the rest of the cast was strong, too, but Rhys—whom I’d never previously seen in anything—left everyone else in the dust, including Keri Russell as his partner in espionage.  She was good, I thought, but not quite at the level of her co-star.

Flash forward three seasons, and Russell’s more than made up that gap.  Not only does she now easily hold her own opposite Rhys, there are times when she surpasses him...

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Saturday
Sep172016

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars E4 - Drag Spoof-quels

By Chris Feil

First thing's first: a hearty condragulations to RuPaul on that Outstanding Reality Host Emmy! The win felt richly deserved after nearly ten seasons of giving us the best competition reality show and her long legacy as a television personality. Now if we can only get the show itself recognized, as well.

After the immediate fallout of Alyssa sending Ginger home last week, the heat was on Miss Edwards for flipping the script on sending the queen with the harshest critiques home. Her defense on keeping Katya on the basis of consistency (being top 2 the previous week, whereas Ginger never registered) fell on deaf ears. Here's the thing: even if they're basing it off judges critique, it's still open to interpretation by the deciding competitor. These girls are acting like their given hard data on who to send home and ignoring how the narrowed field may require them to rethink that strategy.

This week's challenge paired the girls off for drag movie sequels to some of our favorites here at The Film Experience...

... except don't expect anything too familiar to the originals. Licensing sure is expensive!

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Saturday
Sep172016

Lovesick Brides to Be at TIFF

Nathaniel reporting from the last weekend at TIFF where brides-to-be are in the air. It's easy to see little mini-festivals blossom within the overall festival you're watching. Sometimes it happens quite by accident as with three films I caught recently (two of which might be fighting for Oscar foreign film nods). All feature female protagonists who pine for a man they thought they would marry before things went horribly wrong. We've already discussed François Ozon's Frantz. In that film the fiancee is already dead when the movie begins but in these next two films The Wedding Ring from Niger and Sand Storm from Israel, both of the young women begin the movie with a combination of dread and hope: will they be able to marry the man they loved who they met in a liberal university setting or does their conservative rural village community have other futures in mind? Both films are narrative debuts by female directors. In addition to their romantic dramas these two films speak to the clash of modernity and tradition, West and East, and especially to gender roles with young women chafing at the expectations placed on them to be subservient to whims of the patriarchy...

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Friday
Sep162016

Spike Lee Coming to Netflix

by Kieran Scarlett

It was recently announced that Netflix has ordered ten episodes of a TV series adaptation of Spike Lee’s 1986 debut feature film She’s Gotta Have It.  Lee will direct all ten episodes.  The age of prestige television truly allows for more fluid movement (at least behind the camera) from film to TV and back again. Spike Lee’s last few features (despite good notices for Chi-raq) have had trouble catching fire outside of the arthouse the way his earlier work has, for this reason or that. He’s certainly a polarizing figure and resistance to his work is built in to certain audiences.

Tracy Camilla Johns and Spike Lee in SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT (1986)

Have you seen She’s Gotta Have It? It’s a very fascinating piece, both on its own and in the larger context of Lee’s filmography. There’s a beautifully bare-bones energy to it that one would expect from a debut, but it still retains Lee’s voice, vigor and artistry. It’s also has a refreshing focus on female characters in a way that even ardent fans of Lee’s work can’t argue is missing from much of his filmography.

Lee’s previous notable foray into television gave us the beautiful and vital “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” his in-depth and personal HBO documentary about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath (if you haven’t seen it, get thee to HBO on demand as soon as possible). Spike Lee adapting his voice for television is definitely something that could yield interesting results.

“She’s Gotta Have It” is expected to premiere on Netflix next year. Will you be watching?

Friday
Sep162016

Emmy Spotlight - Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

by Eric Blume

We love our actresses, and the Emmy race for Best Actress, Limited Series or Movie on Sunday night is filled with very good ones.  Let’s take a look at who’s in the running and who the winner might be.

Kirsten Dunst nabbed her first Emmy nomination in her freshman foray into television for her role as a deluded hairdresser in season two of Fargo.  Unlike Nathaniel, I’m not a huge fan of Dunst, but her work here is probably the best thing she’s ever done outside of Melancholia.  What she pulls off here is a very tricky blend of naturalism and heightened comedy, a dangerous high-wire act that could have fallen flat quite easily...

Click to read more ...