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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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When Actor & Actress are a package deal

"A very cool list though to be honest I wouldn’t have handed these wins to any of the pairs in these years." - Joel

"NETWORK should have easily won The Big Five. It's so weird to see 3 acting winners from a movie whose characters barely even interact with each other, if ever really. " - Craver

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INTERVIEWS

Oscar Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Saroo & Sue Brierley (Lion)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

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Friday
Jun052015

FYC: Jon Hamm for Best Lead Actor in a Drama

Team Experience share their personal Emmy dream picks daily at Noon. Here's Deborah on everyone's favorite ad man...

Emmy voters, you assholes, now is your chance to make it right! 

You have nominated Jon Hamm seven times for his work on Mad Men. Seven times. It’s like you’ve got the hiccups and then, when the actual award-giving comes around, you’re all holding your breath. Stop it!

Okay, so, irritation out of the way, let’s talk about the work this extraordinary actor has done on this show. 

First of all, Mad Men is not an ensemble show. There’s an amazing cast doing supporting work, yes. Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, and especially Elisabeth Moss all deserve acknowledgement. Nonetheless, its Hamm’s Don Draper who carries the show, and the nuance of his performance is what delivers the show to greatness, matching the lofty ambitions of its writing with flawless execution. 

There are moments when the writers of Mad Men have simply stripped out the dialogue, and allowed Hamm’s face to do all the heavy lifting—to go from serene to angry to defeated in a few seconds. To break down and then build back up. There are times when no words are spoken, because words are for lesser actors. (That's especially true in the series' finale which should be fresh in your memory.)

Now, listen, Emmys. You’ve denied Hamm the award when he delivered the Season 3's The Gypsy and the Hobo, the complete breakdown of his façade, as Betty Draper confronted her husband with the evidence that he was another man. You’ve denied it to him when he delivered The Suitcase, the season 4 episode widely considered Mad Men’s finest hour, a two-hander in which Don falls apart, bit-by-bit, as he and Peggy Olson (Moss) tear apart their complex relationship in one long, grueling, drunken night. 

But how about now? How about an award for the series finale, Person to Person, when he learns that Betty has cancer, and silently, eloquently, lets her know he loves her? How about an award for Field Trip, as Don waits to hear about getting his job back, starting with absolute confidence, believing he is already hired, and bit-by-bit, hour by hour, becomes more nervous and more humble, all without any dialogue directly addressing the fact. Or just, you know, give it to him for kissing Peggy on top of her head as they dance in Season The Strategy.

There are many great actors on television today. I’m not saying other people aren’t worthy. I’m saying no one can do what Jon Hamm does. No one is more complex, more plastic, more impressive. Maybe someone out there is equally good, but no one is better, and seven years is too damn long to wait.
 

Friday
Jun052015

Visual Index ~ The Bold Giddy Pop Art of "Dick Tracy" 

Hit Me With Your Best Shot S6.E11: DICK TRACY (1990)
Director: Warren Beatty; Cinematographer: Vittorio Storaro

 

Big Boy: YOU! How do you want it?

May I step on to the screen and interject and answer? Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) is at a very brief loss for words anyway since Big Boy Caprice (Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) just killed her gangster sugar daddy. I won't distract from the action. I'll wear something purple, designed by Oscar-nominated Milena Canonero, with a "Press" card sticking out my fedora so I fit right in to the six-color bluntly labelled production design schemes.

So how do I want my comic adaptations?

Nathaniel: [Excited... Breathless, really]. Want it Graphic. Want it Colorful

Breathless: ...Well I look good both ways. 

That you do, Madonna. That you do.

And as befitting your singular femme fatale position in the most absurdly colorful homage to the mostly black and white noir genre, you're the only person that the genius costume designer won't dress in colors.

Breathless: I'm wearing black underwear.

Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty's expensive primary-colored movie adaptation of the 1930s era Chester Gould comic strip celebrates its 25th Anniversary this month. Though the movie's loud blockbuster arrival in the summer of 1990 during the Blonde Ambition phase (and arguable peak) of Madonna's career, and its subsequent winning Oscar night (3 statues) guarantees that we'll always think of Madonna first and composer Stephen Sondheim second when thinking of this summer hit (you don't wanna know how often I listened to Madonna's "I'm Breathless" cassette tape that year!) I chose this image of Dick Tracy, solo, as the film's Best. 

Why this image?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

Review: When Marnie Was There

Tim here. No one movie should have to deal with the pressure of being "The Last (Probably) Studio Ghibli Film", but that's inevitably the aura that surrounds When Marnie Was There, the company's 20th theatrical feature, and the second movie directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. It's no accident that there's such a big gap in those numbers: one of the biggest problems Ghibli has faced for nearly all of its existence has been cultivating a new generation of directors to take over after Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata finally retired, which is exactly how they found themselves in their current situation.

Even granting all that, and while it's obviously true that When Marnie Was There is rather quiet and small for a farewell gesture from one of the world's premiere movie studios, I find myself entirely satisfied by it anyway. Ghibli has not been, historically, all that concerned with grand narratives and high-stakes storytelling; in fact, one of the best things about the studio for most of its history has been the simplicity and humanity of its films, with their characteristic lack of villains and relative domesticity. With its concerns set no broader than the depression and loneliness of a 12-year-old girl named Anna (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld in the English dub), When Marnie Was There fits right into the tradition of low-key dramas about the inner lives of young women that has included some of Ghibli's best work, from the fantasy My Neighbor Totoro to the more sober realism oft the underappreciated Whisper of the Heart and the unavailable-in-English Only Yesterday.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

Women's Pictures: Agnes Varda's La Pointe Courte

When Agnes Varda was honored at Cannes in May, a lot of titles were tossed around: Ancestor of the French New Wave, New Wave's Godmother/Mother/etc. But I began to wonder: how accurate are those titles? Can we safely lump Agnes Varda, photographer-cum-director-cum-documentarian, into the French New Wave boys club? After all, the New Wave conjurs very specific images: detached Frenchmen smoking cigarettes in black and white, long takes, jarring edits, staged closeups and jazz soundtracks. Does this mesh with our dimunitive director?

More seriously, the French New Wave represents a specific group of radical individuals. They were cinephiles and critics whose radical new ideas came from a love of film, and a conscious decision to reject classical cinema. Varda, by contrast, freely admits that she'd almost never seen a film before her 1955 debut, La Pointe Courte. So is she New Wave? Ur-New Wave? In parallel or in contrast? I don't have the answers yet, I just have a Hulu+ account and some books on French Film. It's going to be a hell of a month.

La Pointe Courte is an improbable film debut.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

YNMS: MacBeth

Jason from MNPP here with a look at the first trailer for this our brand new MacBeth movie, which stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and yeah you all already knew that. The film already played Cannes and won some auspicious notices there; I do believe some people were upset that Cotillard walked away from the fest once again empty-handed. The film has an October 2nd release date in the UK but still nothing official here in the States. Anyway let's give this thing the ol' "Yes No Maybe So" treatment shall we? (We'll try to pretend for argument's sake that my "YES" can't already be seen from space.)

more...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

FYC: Lisa Kudrow for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy

Team Experience sharing their personal Emmy dream picks every day at Noon. Here's Manuel on Lisa Kudrow...

For anyone who watched the criminally underseen first season of Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback, you know how the former Phoebe Buffay created a portrait of an actress so intent on controlling her image and reclaiming her sitcom career that the dark humor and awkwardness of it all was perhaps too much to bear. If the first season was an excruciating exercise in reality TV satire, the second season was an indictment of Hollywood sexism that used the show’s meta structure (Valerie gets cast as the thinly veiled version of herself in an HBO show about the very show she starred in The Comeback’s first season) to force us to yes, laugh at Valerie’s seeming cluelessness but also to examine why and how those laughs are being elicited. There’s humor in Valerie quite literally living out the demented humiliations that a former writer thrusts upon her as part of making his HBO show “edgy” but with every laugh at Valerie (in a trunk full of snakes, standing awkwardly next to two naked women, going down on Seth Rogen) there was a performance that asked you to empathize with this yes, self-deluded character.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

My New Link Parts

Benjamin Walker: still waiting for the mainstream breakthroughPajiba If you needed some contrarian Grace & Frankie critique try this. I love Dustin but he actually thinks that Grace & Frankie are the problems with Grace & Frankie. Say what? Is this opposite day?
The Dissolve Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm getting US distribution two years late. (sigh) So weird that it took so long since it's a) good b) marketable being of the thriller genre and c) only 90 minutes long (that's practically a "short" by the standards of the Dolanverse)
People Actress Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) honored her legendary dad Joel Grey (Cabaret) at a recent event
Broadway World The awesome but still relatively unknown Benjamin Walker (aka 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson' Himself and Former Streep-Son-in-Law) will star in American Psycho: The Musical on Broadway next spring.
Towleroad Tony Award predictions
Gold Standard predicts Best Drama Series at the Emmys - suggests that Breaking Bad dominance will continue with Better Call Saul. NOOOooooooo

Today's Must See(s)

Color me so impressed that this site did a video entry for "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". Why didn't I think of that? Maybe it'll inspire others to join us! *crossing fingers* Now go read Movie Motorbreath and subscribe totheir YouTube channel (I hope STinG does this every week). 

This short video is like Action Filmmaking 101. And obviously a lot of action directors working in Hollywood need to go back to school since John Seale (cinematographer) and George Miller (director) and Margaret Sixel (editor) just reminded everyone how it's done. This video describes one of the main reasons that Mad Mad Fury Road is so incredibly exciting without ever being disorienting. (Hat tip to Polygon for bringing this to our attention.) 

Superhero Link Quota
Heroic Hollywood looks at Marvel/Netflix's Defenders plans post Daredevil success. The proposed Black Widow series is never happening though, get real. ScarJo is too much of a movie star to settle
Comics Alliance Luke Mitchell promoted to series regular for Agents of SHIELD S3. (I liked him a lot but I'm done with that show. It's just far too incoherent and inferior to other Marvel product out there - Agent Carter runs circles around it for one and you can't watch everything.)

Show Tune To Go!

 

Musical hater Jason would not approve of me commemorating his baby My New Plaid Pants's 10th birthday this week by sharing a showtune but that's why I have to. Otherwise this would be way too sentimental because MNPP is my personal favorite blog (4realz). It's always hilarious and sexy and puts a smile on my face when I'm down and Jason is genius. So go and wish him well. For his tenth anniversary he counts down the ten hot movie stars he's posted about the most over the years. Naturally Jake Gyllenhaal wins but the order is interesting and for the show tune to go I've selected features Bachelor #8 Dominic Cooper's Bathing Suit from Mamma Mia! I can't imagine most TFE readers aren't already aware of Jason's blog (since he posts here regularly, too) but if you aren't, get familiar. There's something for everyone: cinephiles will love "The Moment I Fell For..." and "Five Frames From..." and his succinct reviews; Horny admirers of the male form \will love NSFW stuff like "Gratuitous" and "Anatomy IN a Scene" and "Do, Dump, or Marry"; if you're a horror fan you'll be way more at home over there since he has totally gross but inspired series like "Ways Not To Die," too.

So happy anniversary and keep making the internet a better place with "nonsense incarnate," everyone!