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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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Saturday
Nov092013

AFI: Colin Farrell, "Harbinger of Hope"

Even if this year's AFI Fest in Los Angeles proves to be entirely frontloaded -- I had such a ball on opening day with the Saving Mr Banks festivities --  the trip will have been worth it. My adventure began with an exclusive pre-screening cocktail party with the Saving Mr Banks team where I met Emma Th-- no, no, she gets her own post... I'm still processing that one! For now two quick tidbits about the men.

The men of SAVING MR BANKS (and Emma Thompson, its star)

Director John Lee Hancock, no longer The Rookie on his fourth picture, was standing tall and proud while we chatted over drinks. I don't mean that metaphorically but literally since he towered over me - so tall! Thoughnot intimidating, I must add, what with his warm smile, and alarmingly good manners. We were interrupted while he was telling a story which is so common at cocktail parties that you think nothing of it as the celebrity is whisked off to meet another well-wisher or member of the press. You certainly never expect to hear the ending of the anecdote but he sought me out later to finish it.

I couldn't resist asking The Blind Side director what he thought of Gravity. "My girl, Sandy!" he blurts out, the grin even grinnier. "I haven't seen it yet!" he adds with a touch of surprise and apology. He'll rectify that as soon as his press schedule for Saving Mr Banks lightens up. Next week, he hopes.

A few minutes later I had a brief chat with Colin Farrell, also in very good spirits but that's probably easy when your movie has Best Picture buzz. He plays the alcoholic father of the author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) in flashback, but it's a substantial role since the flashbacks run parallel to the A story of the making of Mary Poppins, a way of illuminating the author's deep personal attachment to her Poppins creations ("they're family") and why she's so hesistant to sell them to Walt Disney. In the Best Supporting Actor Oscar race Farrell is most likely to be overshadowed by Tom Hanks who gets the plum Disney role (or, as Hancock put it an hour later as he introduced his cast at the screening "an icon playing an icon") but I'm personally confident that one day Farrell will get the right role for the Academy to notice his gift (and not just his celebrity). I told him he'd make my list of Hollywood's Most Underappreciated to which he jokingly replied "I'd make my own list of most underappreciated!" 

We ended the conversation reminiscing about his surprise Golden Globe win for In Bruges (2008). I tell him that's one of those rare deserving moments in awards history that pundits and cinephiles like me point too with 'anything is possible!' optimism. "I'M A HARBINGER OF HOPE!" he volleys back.

 

Saturday
Nov092013

Europa! Europa! EFAs Feeling Broken, Blue and Beautiful

The European Film Awards have announced their annual year-straddling list of nominees and featured heavily are several Oscar contenders from 2012 and 2013. Recognisable names like Keira Knightley, Naomi Watts (not for Diana, thankfully) and Jude Law rub shoulders with Felix van Groeningen, Fabrice Luchini and Luminita Gheorghium, which is just how we like it! 

However, like many award shows at this time of the year the biggest eyebrows isn't so much in what they nominated, but what they didn't. The cries of "snub!" will surely come thick and fast for Adele Exarchopolous and Lea Seydoux who failed to make the actress nominees for their soaring performances in Blue is the Warmest Color. Lucky then that the film picked up major nominations in picture and director for controversial Abdellatif Kechiche. Movies amassing big nomination hauls include Belgian Oscar hopeful The Broken Circle Breakdown, Italian Oscar hopeful The Great Beauty, and Germany's hit Oh, Boy! while films representing Romania, and Spain (albeit last year) also popped up prominently as did Francois Ozon's In the House.

High profile films amongst films that the EFA didn't find room for include Oscar-nominee Kon-tiki, Only God Forgives, A Hijacking, The Selfish Giant, Berberian Sound Studio (sadly - the best horror film of the last few years!), Borgman, and What Richard Did. Here's the list of nominees + the additional technical winners that have already been announced.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov092013

Oscar's Songwriters Have a Difficult Task in 2013

Glenn here and it's the weekend, which means there is no better time to discuss Oscar's original song category (er, right?). Much like that other much-maligned category, animated feature, The Academy's songwriting branch somehow need to come up with five nominees even if there aren't enough worthy contenders. Last year's introduction of a guaranteed five nominees produced "Academy Award Nominee Ted!", although it did allow for the beautiful song from Chasing Ice (performed by ScarJo!) to come to our attention so maybe it's not such a bad thing after all? I strongly believe that this is their penance for not nominating "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" from Burlesque a few years back. Diane Warren's music branch voodoo doll works in mysterious ways, folks.

At least one song we can all be pretty confident about is "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. Apparently the studio will only be submitting this one song from the film despite a wide roster of contenders. They're going for the win it would seem and, at least at this stage, unless reception to the film isn't particularly positive it's probably the best bet for the win based purely on history. The video below isn't the best, but it's all we've got at the moment that isn't a Demi Lovato pop version. 

The Butler, The Great Gatsby, Belgian bluegrass and Tom Cruise after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov082013

Cate's Campaign, Jackman's Pipes, Thor's Hammer, Katniss' Ride

Today's Linkage
a mix of things we haven't found time to talk about and things slightly more hot off the presses

Harpers Bazaar Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen talk Blue Jasmine and more. (The untold backstory of this cover story is 'how the hell did Cate rope Woody along for her Oscar campaign. He doesn't do that!)
In Contention revisits the complicated journey of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Claire Danes in Interview all the headlines are like "Claire Danes goes topless"... which basically means she crosses her arms over her boobs. But glammy photos for the win

Yahoo Movies Hugh Jackman casually name drops new musicals he might do! I just about died reading "Drowsy Chaperone"... love that one so much (although it's very much a stage piece so who knows how it might transfer)
Playlist the first still from Mojave with Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund
The Dissolve explains why a Hunger Games theme park is a REALLY bad idea. You'd think corporate America wouldn't need this explained to them but you'd be wrong. 

While we're on the topic of Hunger Games: Catching Fire (upon us at any moment, gird your loins) I'm sure you've already formed an opinion of Jennifer Lawrence's new haircut without me. Finally she looks old enough to play most of the roles Hollywood's been using her for!  

Gotham Audience Award I was disappointed that my Short Term 12 didn't make it but go and vote on your favorite finalist. 
Happy Nice Time People sums up our feelings about Carrie Underwood's televised Sound of Music nicely
PopWatch Alanis Morrissette jukebox "Jagged Little Pill" musical? Sure, why not. Everybody else is getting them 
Grantland with another take on that Alanis Morrissette musical

and just for exit giggles
...my two favorite Thor related tweets today 

 

 

 

Friday
Nov082013

Why is Rachel Griffiths So Stern?

Glenn here again. Last night I saw the new Australian horror flick, Patrick (a remake of the 1978 classic), and relished in seeing Rachel Griffiths again on the big screen. She was, however, very stern as nurse matron who's hiding secrets about the coma patient in room 15.

She will soon be on screens all over the world, albeit briefly, as the inspiration for "Mary Poppins". Again, very stern.

And now I read that the one and only Brenda Chenowith will be starring in an Australian TV movie about embattled former Prime Minister, and first female leader, Julia Gillard. The casting is actually incredibly smart since they both have very tightly pointed facial features. Still, given everything Gillard went through in her tenure you can be guaranteed that she'll be, you guessed it, stern. And knitting. Stern and knitting (Australian readers will understand that).

Griffiths has always excelled at prickliness both on and off the screen? Remember when she protested a casino opening by wearing nothing but body paint and a crown of thorns? It sure would be nice to see her work in something that's equal to her talents and that people will actually watch once more. Another Six Feet Under? Another Hilary & Jackie for which she was Oscar-nominated. Gosh, another Muriel's Wedding? We were just discussing another Aussie actress, Naomi Watts, and just like her, Griffiths is too talented to be hidden away in duds (that Camp series on NBC didn't really go anywhere, did it?), in movies that almost nobody sees, or in tiny cameos like Saving Mr Banks. What say you, dear readers?

Friday
Nov082013

M Battles the MPAA 

Look, we're all well aware of Harvey Weinstein's history with Oscar campaigning. It's known, it's out there, they've even written books about it. So let's not pretend we're all delicate petals who are shocked by the man's efforts at drumming up heat for his annual roster of year-end awards contenders. Every studio does, most just don't do it on quite the same scale. And let's face it, sometimes his schemes are for the greater good to allow films to be discovered by more audiences. Having said that, however, I think we can all agree that he has well and truly outdone himself this time.

The story is still developing - we'll be sure to share the entire video when it surfaces on Funny or Die - but Harvey Weinstein appeared on CBS This Morning  yesterday to launch a campaign against Philomena's R rating from the MPAA due its use of "two f words". He uses words like "gentle", "humour" and "joy" to describe  Philomena  whilst comparing it to The King's Speech, which also went through a very public ratings controversy. None of this is news. Who he recruited to do battle with the Motion Picture Association of America, on the other hand, is news. Oh boy, is it news. Strange news. Odd news. Just watch for yourself.



That's right, M! Back from the grave of Skyfall's manor, Judi Dench in character as James Bond's boss has come out swinging. To quote Harvey himself on the TV, there's a "Kafka-esque absurdity" to it, don't you think? The MPAA may be able to resist Harvey, but can they resist Dench? Goodness gracious. Oscar season just entered a whole new level. We're through the looking glass, people. This is almost as good as the time David Lynch took to the streets of LA with a cow to campaign for Laura Dern and Inland Empire! As mentioned before, there's more to come, but this is the teaser that Harvey premiered yesterday. I think we can all agree that we're looking forward to seeing how this story develops.

And because I know y'all love you some Julie Andrews...