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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Welcome Back Andrew Garfield

"Okay. I felt exactly the opposite way about Garfield's presence in 99 Homes." - Goran

"I'm just glad he got rid of that beard and GOD-AWFUL man bun." - Chris


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Sondheim to Streep "Don't F*** It Up!"

I am normally loathe to share soundbyte interviews from TV  -- especially when I have full delicious ones to offer with a whole slew of actors (soon, darlings, soon) -- but this little bit with Meryl Streep explaining what it's like to play Violet Weston is choice. The 'shiv in her hair' reference is perfect. But mostly I dug her enthusiasm about Into the Woods. Hey I'd squeal too if Sondheim wrote a new song for me!

He only asks that Meryl not fuck it up. (That's all we ask too) Which delights her. Because Meryl is delightful. 

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Is Frozen the Closest We Will Get to 'Wicked: The Movie'?

Glenn here, asking you to consider, if you will, a fantasy movie about two young women in a magical faraway kingdom, one of whom was born with a severe affliction. When her “powers” go wrong, everybody in their homeland believes she’s a monster. Wicked, you could say.  

That’s the plot to Disney’s new musical, Frozen. It could, of course, easily be the logline for Wicked: The Movie if the powers that be had been smart enough to get the film adaptation of the massive Tony-winning Broadway musical off the ground. The failure to do so remains baffling and there's been just too much other Oz-related product on the market lately that it would risk brand-damaging saturation to make it now. At least Les Miserables showed that film versions of famous musicals can still be hits decades after the fact so maybe we will get one someday. Until that someday occurs, however, at least we have Frozen. A film that feels so obviously indebted to Wicked (yes, despite being loosely adapted from Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen), so much so that they even cast Idina Menzel and got her to sing a big mid-film song about embracing the dark side that could have been called “Defying Gravity Part 2”.

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Spirit Award Nominations. Discuss!

Oscar Best Picture hopefuls 12 Years a Slave and Nebraska ruled the Spirit Award nominations this afternoon with seven and six nominations respectively. All is Lost was a distant third place with 4 nominations. A bunch of other critical darlings managed 3 or less in a year that seemed to be about spreading the wealth... as least at the nomination stage. (Nominations for Enough Said but NOT Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in it. Hmmm. Best Feature for Frances Ha but only one other nomination? Curious though at least it was for the very deserving editing.

Complete list of nominees is after the jump... 

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Curio: Our Annual Hunger Games

Alexa here. With Thanksgiving arriving on the heels of Katniss this year, that cornucopia centerpiece suddenly seems an ominous symbol of turkey slaughter rather than a bountiful symbol of the harvest. So, why not embrace the convergence and have a Hunger-Games-themed celebration?  After all, extended family get-togethers can be pretty torturous. Or maybe that's just in my family. 

In any case, here are some foodie curios after the jump to give you a very Katniss Thanksgiving.

Pass the gravy t-shirt, available here.


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Team FYC: Cameron Diaz for Best Supporting Actress

[Editor's Note: The FYC series brings together all Film Experience contributors to highlight our favorite fringe Oscar contenders. Jose Solis asks you to reconsider Cameron Diaz's supporting performance in The Counselor.]

It’s not only her scenery chewing, her car-fucking skills, her ability to pull off excess jewelry and animal print or the lustful-yet-motherly way in which she looks at her pet cheetahs. It's her commitment to this insanity that makes Cameron Diaz brilliant in The Counselor. Playing the heartless envoy from hell, Malkina, she creates one of the most compelling visions of evil contemporary cinema has given us. Because her evil seems to have roots in a horrifying childhood (her parents were thrown out of a helicopter!) she escapes the burden of just being a universal symbol of cruelty (a la Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men). She even shows us a glimpse of what might be underlying human qualities underneath her faux-bronzed skin when she shows envy and certain disappointment at not being able to love the way her friend Laura (Pé) does. Diaz delivers Cormac McCarthy’s senselessly beautiful lines with such passion and purpose that we can’t help but pretend we know what on Earth she’s going on about or why anything is in this movie.

The film was trashed by both critics and audiences; they failed to see beyond the movie's failure as a thriller and recognize that this is experimental film of the highest order, with references to American literature, Italian excess cinema and one of the most chilling reinterpretations of a Tennessee Williams scene I’ve seen. The Counselor is post-noir cinema. The best way I've found to explain why I loved Diaz was to compare the film to classic noir and suggest that if The Counselor had been made in the 1940’s, Malkina would have been played by Gloria Grahame. Like that Oscar winning actress, Diaz is the kind of “dame” who would make us kill for her and then slit our throats when we came back looking for the reward she promised us.  

previously: World War Z


Why Michelle Pfeiffer Probably Won't and Probably Shouldn't Do "American Horror Story"

I've mentioned this topic in the comments but enough people are interested that I should sound off in a more official capacity. Recently, given that most people know that Jessica Lange plans to depart after Season 4, Ryan Murphy has started dropping casting wishlists for future seasons of American Horror Story. He name-checked both Reese Witherspoon (errr...okay?) and Michelle Pfeiffer (duh!). Pfeiffer is, of course, the most logical choice with which to fill the imposing vacuum that will be Lange's absence as the anthology's resident grande dame guignol. Like Lange, she's a huge respected talent from the 80s (formative years for Murphy) who can really tear it up onscreen but who today's younger TV-watching legions might still feel a certain "discovery" mania about since she hasn't been properly utilized in years.

There's only three problems.

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Cast This: J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic

When I read over at Film School Rejects that JRR Tolkien was getting a biopic, I let out a big ol pipe-smoking sigh. Wouldn't this have been a better use of Peter Jackson's time than what he's been spending the last few years doing? If you're going to gild the lily, find a new way! The only time Jackson did a true story (Heavenly Creatures) it was quite impressive and still made use of his imaginative fantasy aesthetics. A bigger sigh followed when I pictured J.R.R. Tolken in my head from this photo to your left embedded in me brain from childhood.

How long before we hear the casting announcement and then a photo of Anthony Hopkins in full makeup with a pipe, I thought. That's EXACTLY who Hollywood would cast because they never think outside the box.

But - yay! - the biopic will cover the formative younger years in World War I and at university which led to The Hobbit through The Lord of the Rings (so one presumes the biopic ends in the 1950s when Tolkien also reached his fifties)/ CGI de-aging is not yet advanced to subject us to the defacto Hopkins casting of old man biopics (yes he gets them all: Kellogg, Nixon, Lewis, Picasso, Hitchcock...) 


Here's two photos of J.R.R. Tolkien which I believe are from his younger years in the service and at university but even in his mid to late 20s / early 30s (?) he already looked like a distinguished older man!

It'd be smartest to cast someone in their 30s or early 40s who can look younger and older. My first thought was Ryan Gosling, solely because the Gos is never far from the mind and I think he popped up because of his similar longish face. But then I have trouble picturing him aging up into that jovial ol' pipe smoker from all the book jackets, so that's not quite right. I think I just had a better idea but I want to hear your suggestions to see if anyone reaches a similar conclusion

So who would you cast? Ready, set... comment!