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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Carol is genius - we asked the team 'why'


"Peaking at the right time" - Mark

"Todd Haynes. his power his influence his acclaim and yes genius!" - Jows


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It's Kind of a Big Link

i09 King Kong the Musical - check out that enormous expressive ape puppet! But what's with that song and the vague speech-impediment style singing?
Bleeding Cool Harmony Korine is recutting Spring Breakers for a "sizzurped" version. Thankfully Bleeding Cool defines "sizzurped" for us
Coming Soon Anne Hathaway to star in The Lifeboat which is not a remake of the Tallulah Bankhead picture but does involve passengers in a lifeboat. Unfortunately since Hathaway is involved you know the internet will want her thrown off the boat or eaten by the other passengers first to survive.

Empire Robert Downey Jr signs up to be Iron Man until he's old and grey. The check must have been big
Empire and here's a handy infographic of the Marvel Universe plans but if you ask me Phase Two looks pretty UNAMBITIOUS considering what they pulled off for Phase One.
/Film the zombie apocalypse at cinemas will last forever. Arnold Schwarzenegger will soon star in Maggie about a father whose daughter is becoming a zombie. No word on who will play the title character just yet
The House Next Door "Poster Lab" takes on the teaser for Anchorman 2 - the 'stache!
Los Angeles Times on Michael Douglas's third act 
Playbill and as you've undoubtedly heard and probably griped about August: Osage County has been delayed and will now open on Christmas Day because the studios just can't help themselves with their Oscar contenders! Christmas or Bust

Off Cinema
Slate Simon Doonan on the American man's Freudian fear of the Speedo. So true and funny.
Vulture on a cute gender-flipped Robyn video "You Should Know Better". Love Robyn. Miss her. 
Towleroad Madonna debuts the trailer to #secretproject which plays like a modern dance music video without a song to go with it but with lots of black and white violence. Why? Who knows with that one. I prefer "Sex" to this "Violence"

Today's Watch
Since Takeshi Kaneshiro (House of Flying Daggers, Red Cliff) is so rarely on my big screens *sniffle* I will settle for watching the world's most beautiful man in an airline commercial for Taiwan.


I will buy a ticket for any destination in the world if Takeshi is complimentary with purchase. 


Posterized: Disney/Pixar

My review of Monsters University will be up tomorrow but for now, let's revive our supposedly weekly (ahem) series Posterized to look back at all 13 Pixar Features and discuss their chronology and, the fun part, their hierarchy. AND... I just keep gilding this CGI lily,  how they compare to the first 13 DISNEY Animated Features. Yep, throwing a little curveball into the frequent "ranking Pixar" conversations, I am.

Toy Story (1995) 3 Oscar nominations. Won an Honorary Oscar. Basically changed the (showbiz) world forever. [my ten favorite moments from this classic]
A Bugs Life (1998) 1 Oscar nomination (Score, Musical or Comedy)
Toy Story 2 (1999)  1 Oscar nomination (Song). It was right about here that people started arguing for an Animated Feature Oscar category (Tarzan and The Iron Giant were also released this year) but that wouldn't happen for another couple of years. 

And then...

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"The East," Or, What Do We Think of Brit Marling? Alexander Skarsgård?

Please allow me to catch up. The following double feature is "old" news by internet standards but since I am valiantly trying to say at least something about everything I see, it won't always be instantaneous. I know that in my role as a well known film blogger of Oscar leanings, I'm supposed to embrace my role as Opinion Maker rather than point out the fluid mutating nature of opinions. But, here's a little secret about me (and I suspect most critics): I don't always have a clearcut opinion. Which is where you come in to today. Here are two blondes I've been staring at intensely lately: Alexander Skarsgård & Brit Marling. They are also busy staring intensely at each other in the eco-terrorism thriller The East. 

Help me solidify my vague opinion of them after the jump!

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i ♥ glowing eyes

i just do! Beauty Break: Awesome Glowing Eyes

8 more sets o' vibrant peepers after the jump

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Bibbidi Bonhamy Boo ♫

I seriously don't know why casting directors exist anymore because there are apparently only 3 actors for every type of role since famous actors are always cast in exactly the same ways. Need an eccentric older British actress to play someone magical? GET HELENA BONHAM CARTER! 

You've probably already heard that everyone's favorite former Victorian china doll turned black arts ghoul turned Burton Queen will play the Fairy Godmother in the new live action Cinderella. (Thankfully this is NOT a musical. I love Helena but I beg her to stop doing musicals!) Somewhere Johnny Depp is grinning like a cheshire cat as they made a blood pact in the early Aughts to never play anything but cartoon characters again! 

Regardless, she'll be great fun in the role and there is a mild twist to this casting actually. For many years now, The King's Speech aside, Helena has been automatically associated with Demented Wickedness. Unless they rethink the whole story this time she's crossed over to the light!

We haven't discussed this film much beyond the casting of Cate Blanchett as Wicked Stepmother which was something of a surprise (if only because it's been a few years since Cate Blanchett was one of the 4 people who were cast in everything without fail) but I'm curious.

Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Cinderella. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as the Prince. Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) as Drizella

Kenneth Branagh and his casting director have clearly been watching their tellys since they've pulled from Downton Abbey (twice...and yay on McShera as Drizella!!!) and Game of Thrones (Madden gets a happy ending this time!). Branagh is hit and miss as a director but he started off so strong (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Dead Again are all just spirited joys to watch, aren't they?) that I'm always hoping he'll recapture that. But am I the only one who found Lily James almost unbearbably irritating on Downton Abbey? Let's hope that was just her flighty petulant character confusing me!

How long do you suppose Hollywood's recent fascination with fairy tales is going to last?
And if the expiration date is near, which fairy tale do you hope they rethink / revive / regurgitate soon. 


"The Last Five Years" & "Hedwig" Jitters

I've seen a lot of theater since moving to NYC in January 1999 (wow. so long ago!) and four have stuck with me and become my informal holy trinity quadrilogy of modern showtunery: The Light in the Piazza (Adam Guettel), The Wild Party (John LaChiusa), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell & Stephen Trask) and the one I've listened to the most and feel the most proprietary about: The Last Five Years (Jason Robert Brown). 

For reasons which mostly have to do with equal parts scheduling problems, lethargy, and a case of "what if the lightning is no longer in the bottle?" worry, I did not see the recent revival of the latter. But my trip to The Last Five Years's original run with Norbert Leo Butz (brilliant) and Sherie René Scott (always a treat) is one of the definining theatergoing moments of my life. I loved everything about the musical in which you watch a 20something couple's troubled relationship told backwards (Hers) and forwards (His) in time as they both monologue/sing to the audience. They only ever sing together once when the stories meet in the middle.

When news broke that it was going to become a movie I wondered how they'd possibly get around the two character theatrical conceit but they've announced that for the film version they'll be singing to each other and the songs will be adjusted to accomodate this major change. My greatest worry is the casting since total two-handers require both hands to work.

Two time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz originated the role. Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan (pictured in Bonnie & Clyde on stage) will reinterpret it for the screen

Though noone is likely to replace Sherie René Scott in my heart Anna Kendrick is very talented, has good comic timing, and sings well, so I'm not worried about "Cathy". What worries me is "Jamie". Jeremy Jordan (from the late Smash) gets the tricky husband part. Jamie is super cocky, super talented, super charming, and secretive. All four of those traits ostensibly defined Jeremy's role on Smash but he was terrible at playing the "charming" part and just came across as a complete asshole whose career was handed to him on a silver platter but he just had to be all bratty about it anyway. In order for this musical dramedy to succeed he'll have to give the performance of his life and remember not to push the cocky assholism (it apparently comes naturally!) and work very hard on the charming part, the part that might draw a woman to him in an initially loving and supportive relationship. 

I did not see Jeremy Jordan onstage in Newsies (did you?) so perhaps he was charming in that but when I saw him in Bonnie & Clyde The Musical he had the same problem... the "run away with me" charm necessary for any successful take on Clyde Barrow was mostly absent and he just seemed angry. Maybe it's an age problem (Jordan is 28) but he's so bratty for lack of a better word. I hope to be converted since I love this musical so much it's like a part of me, but I am, as of yet, not a fan. If you are please talk me into reconsidering in the comments!

While I wait I will just stare at this NSFW photo (after the jump) to try to generate warm feelings for Mr Jordan...

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To Nicole on Her 46th Birthday

Tim here. The career and talents of Nicole Kidman have been well-examined at the Film Experience through the years, but never by me. So I hope you’ll forgive the indulgence if I take advantage of her birthday to launch into a little celebration of my favorite working actress, one of the only people in the world with a legitimate claim to being both movie star and serious artist. For every big bit of Hollywood nonsense she deepens and improves with her steady presence, there’s an adventurous, even dangerous film that she makes with some of the most interesting directors out there, and she’s equally great in both modes, the odd Stepford Wives remake notwithstanding.

To celebrate, I'd like to share my 5 favorite Kidman performances, in chronological order:


Grace Stewart, The Others (2001)
I yield to no one in my love of Moulin Rouge! and Kidman’s performance therein, but this has always been my pick for her best performance of 2001, and not least because Alejandro Amenábar is less interested in ceding huge chunks of the film’s landscape to her than Baz Luhrmann. Providing the human core to an abnormally handsome, ultimately generic haunted house movie couldn’t have been anyone’s idea of a rewarding assignment, but Kidman dives with intelligence and restraint into the role of a stern matriarch, terrified by the empty old house she lives in. She turns out a leading performance that is deeply sensitive and wounding (that meeting with her husband!) while also paying scrupulous attention to the mechanical needs of the horror script. She’s especially good at converting the twist ending from something ludicrous into a genuinely moving moment.

four more after the jump

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