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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 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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Hunter is so expressive, like a firework (intended) exploding again and again.
❞ - Henry

I took a "fluff" class senior year of high school called Mass Media, and we were allowed to do a project on anything we wanted. My friend Meaghan and I decided to do our project on Brad Pitt,..I had never seen "Thelma & Louise" and found myself obsessed with it. I think I watched it five times by the time my senior year was over. ❞ -Jakey


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Empire Parker Posey (who has been teaching an awesome course in Emmy acceptance speeches ---teehee) joins the cast of Grace of Monaco as Nicole Kidman's frenemy lady-in-waiting
Monkey See shares notes on Quartet's gala premiere at TIFF
Stale Popcorn discovers The Perfect American Psycho Billboard
CHUD I didn't know this: Director Rian Johnson's (Brick, Looper) brother Nathan paints posters for each of his movies 

TMZ crew member on The Lone Ranger dies 
Wax Word the new Keanu Reeves action epic 47 Ronin is having a nightmarishly expensive post-production phase Helen Mirren to reprise her Oscar winning role as The Queen on the stage in a new play
Advocate Scarlett Johansson will scratch at limp Benjamin Walker in Broadway's millionth revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ciarin Hinds, so ubiquitous right now, will play Big Daddy. Oh the mendacity of it all!
Movie|Line those hoping for a quick stage-to-film transfer of Nina Arianda's star-making Broadway outing in Venus in Fur might be disappointed to learn that the film adaptation is indeed underway... but in French directed by Roman Polanski and starring his wife Emmanuelle Segnier.  

Finally... the trailer for Amy Heckerling's Vamps starring her Clueless muse Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter has arrived.

Distribution is getting so confusing as of late. Get this: Vamps hits various on demand digital thingies on October 19th, theaters on November 12th and DVD/Bluray the next day on November 13th. What-the-whanow? That's more confusing than seeing Dan Stevens all shirtless and not in the arms of Lady Mary... which is plenty confusing enough!


NYFF: "Hyde Park On Hudson" Historical Oscar Fluff

Michael C here with my first dispatch from the 50th New York Film Festival. First up is one of the Fall's two big president-starring prestige pictures.

Roger Michell’s Hyde Park on Hudson is a perfect example of that particular type of high-end, finely crafted period piece that hits theaters every autumn on its way to an Oscar nomination for Costume Design. These titles exist to provide awards voters with two hours of comfort food nostalgia wrapped in a thin packaging of historical significance. In recent years this subgenre has provided us with films like Finding Neverland, Mrs. Henderson Presents, and My Week With Marilyn. This year it’s Hyde Park on the Hudson, a film on the low end of this particular style. To call it a dud would be too harsh - kinder to say that it’s a missed opportunity.

The story is narrated by Daisy (Laura Linney), FDR’s devoted mistress as well as his fifth or sixth cousin, depending on how you count. Their courtship leads to the presidential handjob scene that America was undoubtedly clamoring for, (ball’s in your court Lincoln) presented in a montage that verges on the unintentionally hilarious in the extent to which it goes to remain tastefully inoffensive. Think close-ups of wild flowers while the sound of FDR’s limo a-rockin’ is heard off-screen.

The set up: With the threat of World War II looming, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) have embarked on the first ever journey to America by British royalty in the hopes a meeting with Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) at his upstate New York getaway can persuade the Americans to intervene. Other major players in the story include FDR’s busybody mother (Elizabeth Wilson), his stalwart assistant (Elizabeth Marvel) and the brash and outspoken Eleanor Roosevelt (Olivia Williams) who has little patience for the pomp and etiquette of royalty. All her bows are unmistakably sarcastic.

Of course, the main attraction here is Murray...

Click to read more ...


"Fill The Void", "The Clown" and "After Lucia" Join the Very Crowded Foreign Race

Brazil, Israel, and Mexico -- three countries that have yet to produce an Oscar Foreign Film champ despite a small handful or two of previous nominees -- have now joined the fast-growing list of Oscar's subtitled contenders.

The tally now stands at 35...42 films 44 films and 4 finalist lists!

 Which means we've only got about 20 films left to hear about officially before the list is complete. October 1st is the deadline for submissions and in mid October Oscar will provide us with the official list which will usually contain a few surprises -- either a last minute film switcheroo, a disqualification, or a country that hadn't publicly announced suddenly surfacing on the list. Let's look at our new contenders and their countries nominee history after the jump.

Israel's New Contender: FILL THE VOID by Rama Burshtein which gives us an intimate look at the Hasidic community in Tel Aviv.

Israel's Nominee History - 10 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages -- all but one available for rental!
1964 Sallah
1971 The Policeman
1972 I Love You Rosa
1973 The House on Chelouche Street (instant watch!)
1977 Operation Thunderbolt
1986 Beyond The Walls
2007 Beaufort (instant watch!)
2008 Waltz With Bashir
2009 Ajami (instant watch!)
2011 Footnote 

Brazil's New Contender: THE CLOWN is about a father (Paulo José) and son (Selton Mello, also the director) who work together as clowns in the circus. The son no longer thinks himself funny and wants to settle down. 

Brazil's Nominee History - 4 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages if available
1962 Keeper of Promises
1995 O Quatrilho
1997 Four Days in September
1998 Central Station is by far the most universally beloved of Brazilian Oscar contenders even netting a well deserved Best Actress nomination for Fernanda Montenegro. In any other year it would surely have been a winning entry but it had the timing misfortune of going up against Life is Beautiful which was that year's even bigger foreign crossover hit, winning 3 Oscars on the big night (Actor, Foreign Film and Original Score) from its hefty 7 nomination tally which included Best Picture and Best Director nods.

Mexico's New Contender: AFTER LUCIA by Michel Franco is about high school bullying and was a hit at Cannes where it won the Un Certain Regard sidebar

Mexico's Nominee History - 8 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages -- unfortunately spotty
1960 Macario
1961 The Important Man 
1962 The Pearl of Tlayucan 
1975 Letters from Marusia 
2000 Amores Perros (instant watch!)
2002 The Crime of Father Amaro
2006 Pan's Labyrinth 
2010 Biutiful (instant watch!) 



Plenty of countries in South America and Asia as well as three European biggies. The three countries with the mightiest Oscar stats that have yet to announce this year are...

 Denmark everyone assumes it will be the festival hit costume drama A Royal Affair... which has won acting awards and critical favor. So why haven't they announced that yet? Rumor has it they're announcing today so perhaps it's a done deal by the time you read this.  YEP. IT'S A ROYAL AFFAIR
Italy Reality had some buzz but NYFF is playing Caesar Must Die so it would sure be convenient... for me ;) ... if it were the latter.
Spain announces next Friday though they've already narrowed it down to three contenders. I'm hoping it's the silent black and white Snow White picture starring the internationally recognized Maribel Verdu (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Pan's Labyrinth, etcetera) because I like annual themes, don't you? See we're drowning in Snow White movies in 2012 -- you'd think this ancient story had just hit the public domain or something? -- so let's finally get a good one in the mix!


Open (Sick Bed) Thread

My mysteriously morphing flu has been unmasked: it's actually pneumonia. Please exhibit patience whether I blog like a maniac from bed (possible) or just sleep for next few days.

What's on your cinematic mind?

update as of 8:30-9:30 am'ish  friday -- in just 110 days we'll be hearing the Oscar noms read out!


Hitchcock Arrives Early

Hitchcock, which was formerly known by the very expositional title Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will now open Friday November 23rd says Fox Searchlight. The Oscar game board was already quite crowded but Searchlight isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to their own chess pieces. With The Sessions opening in October, and Hitchcock ideally positioned a month later for Thanksgiving weekend, they're clearly feeling confident.


2012 was already so crowded (particularly in Best Actor!) but what the hell, right? It's not like anyone will have an easier time being invited to Oscar dinner again than Anthony Hopkins if he nails the mimicry. While it's absurd to suggest that an Oscar for someone playing Alfred Hitchcock is like an Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock, who AMPAS is consistently flogged for not honoring properly, but... well you know how people love a proxy.

And the man himself was always particular about timing. If Fox Searchlight, really wanted to go all out with this movie they'd get really fussy about the screenings, too, to further the Psycho for Psycho homaging.

Imagine everyone being forced to sit down before a movie starts in 2012! Although this might constitute cruel and unusual punishment rather than a savvy marketing ploy; in 1960 they didn't play 25 minutes of commercials before movies began. (In 1960 they still understood that 'no commercials' was a major pro for the movies, something TV could never offer you.) 

Sacha Gervasi, who previously directed the very winning documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! helms his first traditional feature but if he can bring the humor and pathos of that documentary to this biographical comic/drama than this might be a winner. The all star cast includes Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Toni Collette plays Hitchcock's longtime personal assistant Peggy Robertson. Might we have new Supporting Actress candidates to consider too? Even leads if the story thread about Hitchcock's marriage gets lots of screentime.

Time to update the charts again. I just did and this news and the new Oscar dates have already made them seem so out of date and long ago. And now we've even got a new "live singing!" Les Miz video to enjoy. This Oscar race? It's on.

P.S. My weirdly persistent flu -- which you've seen reflected here in erratic posting -- turns out to actually be pneumonia. Boo. So I am a mess and must stay in bed rather than attend my NYFF screenings.... [weeping]! But perhaps I'll be a blogging maniac as I mend. Laptops were invented for bed rest.