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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Raiders of the Lost Link

Total Film Idina Menzel on the long delayed Wicked movie adaptation
AV Club a Hilarious takedown of Nikki Finke's awful couching of Nelson Mandela's passing (RIP) in movie terms 
Boy Culture Happy birthday Boy Culture. Matt selects his 100 favorite posts from 8 years of blogging
The Onion "Google Streep View Panorama" LOL! (This could not be more appropriate to share at The Film Experience since we're always discussing Meryl Streep's Ubiquity). 

i09 Disney buys Indiana Jones. all the franchises will soon belong to them [insert evil laugh]
Playbill Sutton Foster will lead another TV show. This one is not a musical though... boo.
Playbill but another Broadway diva Alice Ripley will be starring in a film called Sugar which she'll do music for. Yay.
MNPP Which is hotter, Brad Pitt edition
me says
 wishes there were people of color in Frances Ha. I remember people had the same complaint about Girls and Woody Allen films before it. NYC is a very multi-ethnic place but movies and tv are less so
EOnline Mandy Patinkin Holla! He shaved off his beard
Boston Online the upstart critics group in Boston (not to be confused with the 32 year old institution that is the Boston Society of Film Critics) has given nearly 50% of their 2nd annual awards to 12 Years a Slave
Coming Soon Have you heard that Brie Larson and Emilia Clarke are the two finalists for the role of Sarah Connor in a Terminator reboot? Allow me to dry heave a little at the idea of rebooting a series that has already had three lives and whose concept allows for sequels on end without pretending the (great) originals never happened. Ugh!  Normally I'd root for my favorite actresses to get whatever parts they wanted but I'm hoping Brie finds something else instead. She's too good to waste on another tired 'no new ideas' franchise. 


FWIW, Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street was widely seen by critics on both coasts today, all three hours of it. Some onliners immediately broke the embargo (sigh) but I play the rules. Sure it costs me, but what can you do? I actually like embargos. They give you time to sit with a movie and consider before mouthing off. But it's definitely... um... a talking point. The only thing I'll say for now is that I was so proud of Margot Robbie for shaking off whatever dullness clung to her beauty in "Pan Am" (remember that show?) and really going for it. This is a hungry performance and Hollywood will surely reward her with a buffet of new roles to feast on. The competition for 'Hot Young Actress I Wish I Could Sleep With' critics org prize (commonly known as Best Supporting Actress... but critics can be so transparent) just got stiffer.


Let It Go... (In More Ways Than One)

I'm sorry. Was I singing too loudly? I'm just watching Frozen's "Let it Go" on loop (what?) now that Disney has uploaded it to YouTube*

One thing that is hard to miss while watching it repeatedly is that a) drag queens will be lipsynching to this in 3...2...1... and b)  new gay anthem and c) Elsa is letting more than just her old repressed identity go in this key scene. Magical makeovers are a guarantee of FABULOUSNESS of course but this one seems to involve not just dress-making but elaborate undergarment construction. Push up bra and a girdle, amirite?

Note how she's just a slip of a thing in her queenly garb. But as soon as she lets her snowy powers out she's suddenly sexualized with larger breast and teensy waist. All the better to strut at you with, my dear. I'm suddenly flashing back to those complaints people had when Brave's Merida joined the princess line and tilted from tomboy towards boytoy with less freckles and a more womanly figure. 

* Color me surprised that Disney released the Oscar-seeking "Let it Go" scene in its entirety, though. More and more if you just wait a month you can piece together about 33% of every movie playing for yourself if you just collect all the clips they release from everything -- even big draw scenes like this one. Such a strange give the farm away media world we live in these days. Here is the movie. Now come see the movie. 




Team Experience: Great Losers, Actor Edition (Pt 2)

ICYMI we polled all contributors and came up with a list of The Greatest Losing Best Actor Nominees. As ever I must thank Handsome Joe Canada (aka Amir Soltani) for organizing these Team endeavors. If you really wanna dive in (and why wouldn't you?) you should also check out Michael, David and JA's individual lists here, here, and here.

My own list was topped by Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie who came in at #7 in the finals. It was a joy to be asked to think about that star turn again for the write up, though once I was happily ensconced in reminder clips it was hard to pull away; Tootsie is a longtime resident of the Rewatchable Hall of Fame!  A full 70% of my personal choices made the communal top ten, which is the most overlap I've ever had with a Team list. My missing heroes were Paul Newman in Hud (1963, previously discussed), Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking (1995) and Roy Scheider in All That Jazz (1979, previously discussed).

Did these men almost make our group list? Find out who did after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Posterized: Christian Bale

In the Posterized series we look at a whole career though the most enduring bit of movie marketing: the poster. You'd think that when two of your first three film roles as a young boy were Oscar nominated wonders (Henry V and Empire of the Sun), there'd be nowhere to go but down. In the case of Christian Bale, you'd be wrong. His rise to the top, though, was not without its long stretches of 'this might not happen at all.' Younger readers might not realize that Bale was a fan favorite in the 1990s -- "Baleheads" they called his stans -- long before fandom was empowered by the internet. His star might have risen a lot faster if tumblr had been in existence during his slow climb.

Bale is back. And so is his yo-yo dieting

Now, of course, his career is very much happening / has happened.  The literally shape-shifting A lister has two new movies opening this weekend (Out of the Furnace) and next (American Hustle) and he's skinny in one and thick in the other as is his way. Also his way: winning "Great Actor" reviews for every single performance. It's always an unpleasant surprise to remember that he's only ever been Oscar nominated once (The Fighter). At least he won on his first and only shot at gold to date.

Let's look at his career from the very beginning. How many of these 36 have you seen

Click to read more ...


VFX Finalists. Which will have the honor of losing to Gravity at the Oscars?

The Academy has named ten films finalists for the visual effects Oscar and now the branch members will screen 10 minute clip packages from each film and make their selections.  Half of these films recede into the ether and the other half enters the history books as "Oscar Nominated" on January 16th, 2014. 

the cavalry in Iron Man 3... soon to be Oscar nominated


I am clearly not adept at predicting the finalists because two of the film's I had actually predicted for nominations did not even make the list: say goodbye to the Man of Steel and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Other films that Oscar won't even be considering now for this prize include: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Conjuring and The Wolverine. 

Each of the ten films listed above will be able to hide their clunkiest CGI and just show the really great stuff to the branch. Which films will be nominated and share the honor of losing to Gravity? Time will tell but it might be too steep a wall for World War Z to scale since Oscar doesn't like zombie flicks (in any category) and a bridge too far for Thor since he wasn't nominated last time around. Franchise history suggests that the crews on Iron Man 3 and The Hobbit can start fitting their tuxes. If we still had only 3 nominees in this category the nominees would be Gravity, The Hobbit and Iron Man 3. Which means there are essentially only two spots open. Any combo of the others seems possible which means we'll soon be haunted by this agonizing possibility: will The Lone Ranger be forevermore referred to as  'The Oscar-nominated The Lone Ranger'?)

A final tangential thought: I'm glad that we don't have bakeoffs and "showreels" for acting categories. Could you imagine? Not that greatest hits clips aren't how some people experience the acting nominees in the age of YouTube but you can't properly judge a whole unless you've seen all the parts. Even the lesser parts. Each of these ten films will be able to hide their clunkiest CGI and just show the really great stuff. Which films will be nominated and share the honor of losing to Gravity? Time will tell. 


Animated Feature Contender: Ernest & Celestine

Tim Brayton will be looking at the key contenders for Oscar's Animated Feature race. He previously reviewed Frozen and Letter to Momo. This week: Ernest & Celestine...

The French animated import Ernest & Celestine manages to dispel two related myths. The first of these, encouraged by so many thoughtpieces on the juvenile status of American animation, stuck in an eight-decade reliance on the codes established by Walt Disney’s cartoons, is that foreign animation is somehow inherently more mature and grown-up than homegrown stuff. This is emphatically untrue of Ernest & Celestine, which is as much a “kids’ movie” as anything that Pixar or Disney or DreamWorks of Blue Sky has put out in a decade.

The other myth is that kids’ movies are merely that – movies best or even solely enjoyed by kids, with maybe some feeble gesture in the direction of keeping their parents barely amused. This is emphatically untrue of Ernest & Celestine. Certainly, if some farcical complication on the model of an ‘80s adventure comedy put me in control of children, I’d be hugely enthusiastic about putting them in front of the film, which is very warm and sweet, with an unmistakable moral about accepting people who aren’t like you, fleshed out by deeply appealing characters. But I don’t have those children, and without any such excuse, I’m still hugely enthusiastic about the thing; warmth, sweetness, and well-meant life lessons aren’t solely the province of the very young, after all.

Click to read more ...


Team FYC: Stories We Tell for Best Editing

In this series our contributors sound off on their favorite fringe contenders. Here's Jose Solis on "Stories We Tell" It's winning Best Documentary critics prizes but let's talk another category.

Sarah Polley’s brilliant Stories We Tell isn’t as much a “documentary” as it is a psychological thriller. As the film begins she teases you suggesting this will be a simple case of “let’s find the truth about my mother” kind of film, only to then pull the rug from under your feet and reveal that she’s not exactly interested in delivering a beautiful conclusion tied up with a pretty ribbon. Delivering more twists and turns than any other film this year, Stories We Tell owes much of its success to its byzantine editing (by Mike Munn), which takes us on what feels like an emotional roller coaster ride.

Earlier this year, I spoke to Polley who explained how and why this structure came to be:

[instead of going for a traditional linear structure] what if we’re revealing information that is from before this story starts and reveal it halfway through this story, so that it gives a whole new meaning to what we’ve seen and for me it felt like it would give the audience a sense that was similar to mine. You know you hit bottom and a trap door opens, then you hit bottom again and another trap door opens and you never really got solid ground under your feet, because the amount that you can learn about something and its context is infinite.”

The fact that she wanted audiences to share her experience the same way she had lived it is admirable and humble, the fact that she pulled it off by reminding us that memory might very well be the essence of cinema is nothing if not brilliant.

Previously on Team FYC