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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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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HBO’s LGBT History: Be Like Others (2008)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at Bernard and Doris, which gave us a chance to wax on about two underrated actors, Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes. This week, we look abroad as we pause to think about Tanaz Eshaghian’s documentary Be Like Others (also known as Transsexual in Iran). More...

Click to read more ...


6 Questions. Best Actress / Supporting Actress Races

With the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress (or "Best Actress Pt 2" if the category fraud forces have their way!) charts updated, all Oscar charts are now up to date. Next update is...? Well, we'll see. But October tends to be instructive. Here are question prompts for the comments after you've checked out the charts.

1. Will it help to be the first FYC screeners out?
Blythe Danner (72) who carries I'll See You in My Dreams and Lily Tomlin (76) who drives Grandma already have screeners out. I can't wait to watch both again. I'd hold them in my hands to prove my eagerness for you but then how could I type? As previously expressed in "either/or" paranoia (The Martian vs. Mad Max or Truth vs. Spotlight situations) "either/or" is often a false lose-lose game. But it will be interesting to see how much room the Academy has for stellar older women nonetheless. Speaking of...

2. Older Titans or Fresh Excitements?
For the senior set, there's also Charlotte Rampling (69) in 45 Years but she's risking being the last person out of the gate, as Marion Cotillard tried (successfully) in a much thinner field last year.  Even if Oscar decides it wants all fresh young things this year -- and there are plenty of them with Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander leading that particular pack -- and none of the enduring thespians end up nominated how refreshing is it that we have three senior women in the running this year whose names are not Mirren or Streep or Dench?  Answer: very! 

3. How can we ever stop Category Fraud?
Alicia Vikander is The Danish Girl (but, yes, so is Eddie Redmayne so it's a perfect title) UPDATE: But the studio has confimed to us that she's running in supporting. The same is true for Rooney Mara who is 100% definitively absolutely totally inarguably a lead in Carol (there should be no doubt as to how we feel) no matter what the campaign strategists claim. I firmly believe both Mara & Blanchett could be nominated if pushed as a box set in Carol, a la Thelma & Louise... if Thelma & Louise had been excited about bedding each other on their road trips instead of, say, Brad Pitt.  Romantic dramas, requited or unrequited, usually require two leads... it's the nature of the beast. Pretending Mara is supporting in Carol is like pretending that Kate Winslet supported Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine or Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (or vice versa) or like pretending Blanchett supported Dench in Notes on a--- oh ah. DAMNIT!

With Mara & Vikander both in high rising star demand and Oscar's history of LOVING to crown young beautiful actresses near the beginning of big careers, Supporting Actress could well be Best Actress 2 with these two leads battling it out for that win. IF Oscar is okay with the fraud that is... which they usually are, yes. (sigh)

4. Among the actual supporting players/characters this year who could win traction? 
Category Fraud tends to be a bigger problem in years when memorable actual supporting characters show up late in the year. And 2015 is definitely having that problem. Usually I have a full list by this point that I'm eager to hold on to but it's been a weak year for female parts in the ensemble. Case in point: It's exciting to think of Elisabeth Moss squaring off with Blanchett in Truth, but she only has a few lines here and there. And Sarah Paulson is as wonderful as everyone has come to expect in Carol but as with 12 Years a Slave, other much more famous or less famous actresses have much larger roles in her movies. When will a filmmaker give her THE key female role, supporting or otherwise, in a movie? She's earned it.

Jane Fonda has just one scene in Youth (and a flash cut from another scene) but boy is it a doozy. Half of the movie points right at this scene.

I'm currently predicting Jane Fonda in Youth, Julie Walters in Brooklyn, and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Hateful Eight for the more traditional type of strong candidates, making big marks in well liked movies either by way of the script blazingly focusing on them or by way of scene stealing or by way of being the key woman in a man's movie. All three of these are risky bets for different reasons (Leigh mostly because people haven't yet seen the film ... and because she has historically proven easy for the Academy to ignore even when she had juicy big roles) but the supporting actress race is looking like the last of the four acting competitions that will come into proper focus.

5. Who do you think we're underestimating and which chart position do you think is spot on?
Sound off. 

6. Remember that New Best Actress Hierarchy we published in February?
Jane Fonda (#6), Cate Blanchett (#11), Maggie Smith (#12) and Kate Winslet (#18) could all move up a rung or two this year if Oscar voters embrace their latest roles.  


Great Moments in... Craft Services

Clint Eastwood likes broccoli.

This report just in from the set of Sully, Clint Eastwood's latest. It is not a biopic about the star of Monsters, Inc. The 85 year old workaholic's latest project will star Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who landed a plane in the Hudson River in 2009 (remember that?) to save everyone's lives onboard. It seems a slim premise for a whole feature but maybe Clint will keep the running time short for a change? That would give him more time to squeeze in a second or third picture for 2016, you know. 


"my link saw something that night"

• The next James Bond will be... Damian Lewis? Our first ginger 007 you guys! Rumor only but I could see that happening. [Mirror]
• It's weird that there's not a definitive feature about the airplane-building Wright Brothers. Steven Spielberg wants to make one as it turns out. Seems like a good fit, no?  [/Film]
• Life on the red planet? There's water at least. Did Fox pay NASA to announce this the week before the opening of The Martian ;) ? [The Guardian]

• Rising star Jonny Beauchamp says he owes everything to Roland Emmerich. Oh noooo. Tough debt. Also there's a photoshoot [Interview magazine]
• "I was being talked to like I was a silly pop singer." Grace Jones is still quotable/fabulous/singular. Just released a memoir [Time Out]
• "I've got tea. I've got cookies. No cake!" I cannot tell you how often my best friends and I quote The Log Lady from Twin Peaks. RIP Catherine Coulson [Wired]
• "Marlene Dietrich believed her pussy was magic" is the first sentence of this article so you know you want to read it. Why can't we get a biopic about THESE anecdotes? [Pajiba]
• Is this really Frank Grillo (from Captain America: Winter Soldier) younger & NSFW? [OMG BLOG]
• Everyone in the world has forgotten that Disney was going to make an Enchanted sequel. Except Disney apparently. It's going to be called Disenchanted. I shudder to think of the web exploding with "who should replace Amy Adams?" articles  [Coming Soon]
• "we were certainly looking for shots that told the story without a lot of cutting." - Roger Deakins on point of view and action sequences in Sicario [The Film Stage]
• First image of Woody Harrelson as LBJ in Rob Reiner's forthcoming biopic [Empire

Image of the Day
Thor and The Vision making out from the Avengers: Age of Ultron gag/blooper reel. Love the elegant placement of Thor's hammer. The best part of the image is surely that man about to shoot in the corner. 

P.S. My favorite part is Elizabeth Olsen dropping her accent when she messes up a line

Video of the Day #1
The Revenant gets a new nearly 3 minute trailer. I won't be watching it because I love the teaser so much (previously discussed, the one with all the heavy breathing) and I don't want any more information in my eyeballs before seeing it than we've already gotten.  The reaction online seems breathless/"MASTERPIECEY"! but one should never bank on trailers to tell you what the finished quality of a movie will be, only to tell you whether it looks like you must see the movie. The last trailer that fooled me with "oh, this will be a masterpiece, hands down!" was Little Children (2006) and that's where I learned my lesson once and for all that the art of cutting trailers into 2-ish minute expressive gems was an entirely different art form (a beautiful art form if you don't give too much away) then making a 2 hour movie. 

Video of the Day #2
"Bitch Better Have My Money" Barbershop Quartet Quintet style with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 



"Oh, what a tweet. What a lovely tweet!"

In case you needed another reason to love Edgar Wright...




P.S. I know this is a terribly silly thing to worry about but I worry about it every day. Can Mad Max manage any Oscar nominations?

Mad Max Fury Road is a freaking miracle. Obviously a Best Picture nomination would be a lot to ask for (though deserved) and without precedent (No live-action sequel has ever been nominated for Best Picture unless its predecessor had also been... no not even The Dark Knight or Skyfall despite their abundant nominations elsewhere. And, no, Silence of the Lambs was not a sequel to Manhunter. The only sequel to win this honor was Toy Story 3... in an expanded field). But if Mad Max Fury Road isn't on track for cinematography and sound and editing and the like... what good are any of these craft branches at all since they're meant to recognized inspired work? 


Matt's Mouth Tastes Like Foot. And Other Truths & Lies

For those who aren't on Twitter where I got kind of worked up about Matt Damon's latest foot-in-mouth disease, a quick recap what went down is in order. Before we begin I think it's important to note that I have liked Matt Damon as an actor since School Ties (1992). I still like him as an actor and movie star and The Martian is a lot of fun. Go see it next weekend! What follows is in no way bitching about his work, his fame or even his character (I do not believe he's a homophobe, just that he doesn't quite "get" what he found himself talking about and should probably stop).

Why people (including me) got worked up about what he said after the jump... 

Click to read more ...


NYFF: Les Cowboys

Our coverage of the New York Film Festival turns to France - here's Jason line-dancing along with Thomas Bidegain's modern-ish spin on The Searchers called Les Cowboys.

Much like the killer whales that hover so symbolically over the film there are several themes swimming above and below the surface in Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone. The one that landed the biggest blow was its dissection of patriarchal macho via Matthias Schoenaerts' character (Matthias has built his career on the dichotomy between his hulking frame and his tender heart). As a result Rust & Bone's final act, which felt like a detour at first, proved inevitable and invaluable to the film's ultimate achievement. Absence, it turns out, makes the heart grow colder, and only sacrifice - in this case the shattering of exceptional fists - could pound it back to life.

Les Cowboys, the first film directed by Thomas Bidegain, who wrote Rust and Bone (and other famous French films like A Prophet and Saint Laurent), similarly becomes a story of paternal symbiosis - the effects of a father's psychic touch, bruising adjoining generations. In fact the father in Les Cowboys (played by the usually comic François Damiens) and Matthias Schoenaerts' character in the earlier film share the name Alain. While they're both fixated on saving those around them, they're very different men. Cowboys' Alain, though, never finds his way to the forest from the trees. His obsession and his abandonment make eventual islands of everything he comes into contact with.

It's he first who is abandoned, when his sixteen year old daughter steals away in the night with her Muslim boyfriend, sending a letter behind saying not to follow. But follow he must, his pride as a father maligned. The daughter's action at first seems only thoughtless and cruel, an erratic whim of a love-struck teenager. With time - and there are long passages of time in Les Cowboys, trailing across similarly long and distant frontiers - as her father's eyes and words narrow and harden, we begin to understand she might've had more cause to search for breathing room.

There is also a son, a brother, barely even noticed at first. He's a footnote in his own father's eye-line, until he ages up into a capable third hand. What might become of him, dragged along in the wake of these two outwardly moving forces, both as good as ghosts to him? Les Cowboys has smart things to say about these almost ritualistic cycles of abandonment. Yes, one can be a wanderer, and yes two together (or, it turns out, two also apart) are always going some place, but three? Well, three leads to four and five and that universe, once thought ever expanding, manages its own ways to close itself back up again.

Les Cowboys screens at NYFF on Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2.

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