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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Thursday
Nov262015

Nathaniel Gives Thanks

You've heard from a few members of our team of their quick lists of gratitude so naturally your host and obsessive ringleader, Nathaniel, must chime in. As you read this I'm surely already stuffing myself but this year I've planned ahead with a big diet and exercize program to commence on November 30th.

I'm thankful for...


..."rug" in Room, steering wheels in Mad Max Fury Road, the train sets in Carol and Ant-Man, and Gerda's evolving portraits of Lili in The Danish Girl

... Grandma's bonobos fixation

... Sarah Paulson's ability to elevate every single project she's in whether said project is awesome (Carol) or, let's say, "challenged" (AHS: Hotel and AHS in general for that matter)

... the way 2015's hottest topics kept reminding us of Cate Blanchett's Blue Jasmine speech in 2014

The world is round, people!"

...a tight squeeze, with shimmering bosom, in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth

... bits and pieces of Magic Mike XXL but oddly not the parts involving bits and pieces. [Ahem]

...the rise of continuous shots. Hello Victoria ! Can we keep getting one of these movies every year?

...communal meals in Brooklyn. And speaking of communal meals -- that time Katey, Nick, Joe and I were all in the same room (first time ever) and then that time I met her awesomeness Teo Bugbee for lunch and we retreated, without warning, into the weird pockets of our brains that are completely infected with Isabelle Adjani madness. (After we were done talking about drooling on Carol that is.)

... Tilda Swinton's tan in Trainwreck, Michael Keaton's self-assessment in Spotlight, and Juliette Binoche's laughter in Clouds of Sils Maria

...the beautiful commitment to ugly psychology in UnREAL

... Patton Oswalt's memoir "Silver Screen Fiend"

...the shot of Jack's feet tentatively touching the sterile hospital floor in Room

... *unfolds dread acceptance speech list of names that probably won't mean anything to readers but means a lot to me* Nicolette, Tony, Lisa, Lea, Chris, Gena, Courtney, Amy, Benjamin, Melanie, Denise, Rob, Matt, Thomas, Joey, Cory, Thelma, Todd, Dan, Ed, Kay, Matt, Tim, Jenn & Alan, Vern & Evi, Deborah & Roberta, multiple Williams & Davids & Ryans & Johns & Andrews and many others I'm forgetting right this second who either work in showbiz and make my job more pleasant from their outreach and kindness or don't work in the movies at all but make my life more pleasant and joyful in one way or several others.

... the absurd jump in quality (when the show was already excellent) in S2 of The Leftovers.

... three superb actors we've loved for years that were kind enough to guest blog right here at The Film Experience in 2015 for an entire day: Ann Dowd, Cara Seymour, and David Dastmalchian. Humbled and blessed to have them.

And, finally, a toast to imaginary friends within the movies -- Bing Bong (Inside Out), Lucky the Dog (Room), and Larry & Barry (Mad Max Fury Road) -- since every character we love in a movie serves the same function for us!

We'll end with a reminder of our deep gratitude to all you readers (international and domestic) -- especially those that donate, subscribe, comment, and share their favorite articles -- and to Team Experience who do so much to keep this blog popping daily when I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, offline, travelling, or even when I'm doing just fine and they're just sharing their love for movies in articles and or comments. Community means so much to The Film Experience because what is the obsession with movies other than the thrill of sharing stories together in the dark?

Nathaniel (c'est moi) posing with Natalie (Portman)! Nathaniel R, the creator and owner of The Film Experience, is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He is the film columnist for Towleroad, a renowned Oscar pundit (Gurus of Gold), and his writing has appeared in both online publications (Vanity Fair, Slate) and print magazines (Esquire, Winq). Nathaniel has served on international festival juries and appeared as an on-air Oscar pundit for CNNi, Sky News London and more. Michelle Pfeiffer on a piano top (1989) altered his life's trajectory, and Julianne Moore high on coke and mommy issues (1997) and Nicole Kidman descending from the rafters (2001) at the Moulin Rouge sealed his fate as the hopelessly movie-mad Actressexual you see before you. [Follow Nathaniel on Twitter | See all Nathaniel's Articles

Thursday
Nov262015

A New Trailer for "Krisha"

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We hope you're having a safe and festive holiday. Hopefully, you're at least having an easier go of it than Krisha.

Set over the Thanksgiving holiday, Krisha follows its titular prodigal mother as she drops into her family after a years long (and substance induced) absence. Things naturally don't go so well. Just in time for the pumpkin pie, a24's next stunner dropped a new trailer!

Awarded both Grand Jury Winner and Audience Award at SXSW this year, this is no straightforward melodrama, but a consuming dive into both Krisha's fractured psyche and the absurd chaos of a bustling family gathering. I was lucky enough to catch it on the festival circuit earlier this month and was over the moon for Trey Edward Shults's debut. The overall package is far less conventional than the trailer here suggests, with nerve-wrattling sound design and editing giving the film a fiercer bite. Though it was recently nominated for the John Cassavettes Award (for features with a budget below $500,000), I was surprised it didn't show up elsewhere - especially considering what an audacious first feature this is.

And just you wait until you get a look at what star Krisha Fairchild can do. Rarely is a female leading role as taxing and broadly demanding as this (let alone for an unknown), yet she remains unflinching, raw, and fully realized.

Krisha will be released in March 2016, and it belongs at the top of your Most Anticipated lists.

Thursday
Nov262015

Pfeiffer Back to Work

HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Guys,It's really happening! The happiest news of this holiday is that the elusive movie goddess Michelle Pfeiffer actually went before cameras again for her first feature film since The Family. The superstar was spotted, with dark hair (no bueno Michelle. You're the blonde!), and extremely colorful ensemble on the set of the intriguing sounding Killer Films production Beat-up Little Seagull.


In other just started production news something called Doctor Strange (sp?) also started shooting this week. Anyone heard of it ;) 

Thursday
Nov262015

Jose Gives Thanks

Jose here. As a non-American, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite US holiday because it's the time of the year when it's socially acceptable for people to put marshmallows and cranberries on everything. A practice which I refuse to stop during the other 364 days of the year, but which for 24 hours helps me bond with the people I love, as I argue about why movies with subtitles are as nourishing as turkey and gravy.

Other than complex carbs, I'm also thankful for

...J.Law away from Dior's gold and diamond shackles. She has rarely looked better than in the black Ralph Lauren she wore to one of the Mockingjay: Part 2 premieres.

...Charlotte Rampling's skinny jeans in 45 Years.

...3D movies that challenge everything I thought about the medium (thank you Gaspar Noe and Wim Wenders)

...for world cinema, and for the opportunity I've had to talk to so many international filmmakers this year. It was my personal mission to interview as many directors with Foreign Language Oscar submissions as possible, and I'm appreciative of the warm response you've all given to the interviews (there are more to come...)

...Finally learning how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan's name (sear + sha ♥) so I can tell everyone how much I adored her work in Brooklyn. (Also, kudos to that movie for getting what it's like to leave your home behind to start anew abroad. It's one of the best films about immigration since Elia Kazan's America America.)

... Michael B. Jordan running around in grey sweatpants in Creed.

...The fuzzy feeling, and donut craving, every time I watch Tangerine

...theatre people popping up in movies (Lillias White in Nasty Baby! Brian d'Arcy James in Spotlight! Audra McDonald in Ricki and the Flash! Nikki M. James in Lucky Stiff! Patina Miller in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2) not to mention the beauty that was The Last Five Years.

...Rooney Mara and Kristen Stewart proving they are brilliant actresses and winning awards for their work in France.

...Marion Cotillard's "spot" monologue from Macbeth. 

...Nina Hoss in Phoenix. Greta Gerwig in Mistress America. Rose Byrne in Spy. Laia Costa in Victoria and the girls from The Wonders and Fort Tilden.

...the movie gods granting me an audience with Winona Ryder.

Finally, I'm thankful for  "Oscar Winner Julianne Moore" (and don't you forget it!)

You can read more about our contributors at the about page and click here for all of Jose's work

Jose & Murtada at the Fox Searchlight Holiday PartyJose Solís (Fashion / News / Interviews)
Jose Solís wanted to write about film since he was a child which is why he followed the yellow brick road and moved to Oz (ahem NYC) to make his dream come true. He has been writing about film since 2003 and regularly contributes to The Film Experience and PopMatters. He is also having a torrid affair with Broadway and theatAH and writes about those at StageBuddy.com. He is a member of the Online Film Critics Society. 
[Follow Jose on Twitter]

Wednesday
Nov252015

Campaign Cocktails: Youth & Spotlight

oh it's just me and Jane. just an average Thursday night.More adventures from Oscar's holiday festive campaign trail. This time the Oscar frontrunner (Spotlight) and an Oscar possibility too many people are sleeping on (Youth)...

Should Jane Fonda ever tell you you have good tastes in movies, it'll get you drunker than whatever cocktail is in your hand. My personal guarantee to you! If, hypothetically speaking, you're a self-proclaimed actressexual cinephile Oscar pundit (ahem) and two of your favorite movies of all time happen to be They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) and  Klute (1971), and Jane Fonda says this aloud to you, you might feel a little like you've peaked.  Is this real life...?

The 77 year-old American icon, along with her Youth co-stars Paul Dano and Michael Caine were the glitziest guests of Fox Searchlight's holiday party in New York City last week. (If the star's of the company's buzziest contender Brooklyn were at the sprawling extravaganty catered party at the Park Hyatt  -- truffle shavings? why not! --  I unfortunately didn't spot them).

True legends aren't often as accessible as Jane Fonda was at this particular party, gladly taking selfies with multiple fans and chatting about her movies and Youth, too. Many people have referred to Fonda's work in Youth as a "cameo" including probably myself at one point or another and while that might be factually true it's not spiritually true. You'll hear everything from 4 minutes to 9 minutes about her screentime depending on who you're talking to but screentime is rarely an accurate barometer of impact. Youth spends so much time obsessing on her character, the Fonda-like "Brenda Morel" (not coincidentally also a multiple Oscar winning bonafide legend who has recently made a new home in television) that when she arrives it's with the power of a rumbling fault line, tectonically shifting the movie's entire landscape. Youth as a film experience is basically pre-Fonda and post-Fonda in the telling. I fully expect her to be nominated and have for months now.

Paul Dano is the only actor in Youth that is not working some strange voodoo of their own persona fused with character work. He's playing a full fledged movie star best known for a franchise he despises... and though I expected Keitel to be winning the traction as Supporting Actor, it appears that some people are in Dano's corner. He was in good spirits at the party, and possibly filled with spirits from the open bar (sorry, that was me - I'm projecting)  Dano keeps being paired with estimable superstars or genuine acting powerhouses: Day-Lewis, Jackman, De Niro, Caine, Fonda (though he doesn't share scenes with the latter). I asked him if this trend was disconcerting or intimidating for him on set? 'Are you kidding me?' he answered, excited. 'I love it. I hope it'll make me better.' I won't spoil one of Youth's most disturbing surprises which involves Dano's actor character preparing for a new role but I asked him about that soon to be infamous scene. As it turns out he filmed it on his 30th birthday which is now, he admits,  'the weirdest birthday of my life.' 

Thomas McCarthy and Michael Keaton... (photo from the internet, not this particular event)

Less celebrity hobnobbing occurred at the last party I attended in Los Angeles which happened to be for  Spotlight (you know how sometimes you're shy and sometimes you're extroverted? Same) but the "light supper" event was well-attended and the town's love for the movie was palpable. Writer-director Thomas McCarthy was surrounded by well wishers, a nice mix of Academy members (former 80s Best Actress nominee spotted!) and journos the whole night. I did say a brief hello to Michael Keaton who I had met a couple of times during his Birdman run last season. "Welcome to Round Two!" I said stupidly. Was he ready for all this again, so soon? He assured me it felt much different this time -- the pressure was off since it wasn't so focused on him. It's too soon to say if the  "all supporting" Oscar campaign for Spotlight will pay off with the acting branch, but I personally think it was the right call. It's the very definition of an Ensemble Picture. Can anyone beat that team for SAG's upcoming top prize? 

 

Wednesday
Nov252015

Kieran Gives Thanks

Kieran, here wishing all TFE readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Being part of Team Experience these past few months has been a sheer joy. I’m thankful for a place to share my writing where the discussions are always interesting, thoughtful and fun. Thanks to our gracious host, Nathaniel for providing this space.

I'm thankful for

...Shameless and more specifically Emmy Rossum on Shameless. After her breakthrough in 2004’s Phantom of the Opera, it seemed that Rossum found herself underutilized and underserved in a lot of films. After that rocky slate of film roles, seeing her cast against type on Shameless and doing some of the best, criminally ignored work on television today is absolutely thrilling.

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