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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Kenneth Branagh may get those sequels he wants

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Spirit Nominations
Call Me By Your Name leads with 6

"I think Good Time is going to do better this award season then people realize. It's slowly developing a cult following similar to Drive. " - Mike

"Really happy to see Harris Dickinson in male lead. That's a great category." - Joseph

Ugh Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name reeks of Rooney Mara in Carol all over again. LGBTQ film with two obvious co-leads where one is relegated to supporting and pushes out a fantastic, legit supporting player (Sarah Paulson/Michael Stuhlbarg)." - Aaron

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Thursday
Jan072016

Costume Designer's Guild Nods: Sandy Powell x 2. And More... 

It's Guild Week. The week when many artists get their hopes up for nominations since the guilds have so many categories for their particular craft unlike Oscar's mere 5 for the altogether. But since we love costumes, the more the merrier. Congratulations to the nominees who we'll discuss after the jump...

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Thursday
Jan072016

Sicario's Hell in Harmony

Chris here. Available this week on DVD/Blu-ray is Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, a controlled descent into the cartel battles being waged between the Mexican and American borders. Like the ongoing war on drugs, Villeneuve's film presents a complex landscape of violence wherein rulebooks have been forsaken - and on both sides. It's a masterful piece of filmmaking (recently nominated by the PGA, ADG, and WGA), and Villeneuve has assembled an intimidating group of craftspeople working harmoniously to create a living hell.

Front and center is Emily Blunt's idealistic and by-the-book agent Kate Macer, straining composure and grasping for opportunity while in over her head. Blunt is ferociously present and flummoxed, giving as much subtlety and nuance as she has in her broader roles like The Devil Wears Prada. She's so believably rattled that you're reaching for fistfuls of cigarettes along with her. It's a performance that deserves to be right in the thick of the Best Actress conversation, even in such a deep field as this. While many have claimed her to be far too passive, her lack of control is just another element of Villeneuve's all-pervasive synthesis.

more after the jump...

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Thursday
Jan072016

The Revenant's Costume Designer Jacqueline West on Terrence Malick, Ben Affleck, and... Anaïs Nin? 

Jacqueline West at the premiere of The Revenant.© Frazer Harrison for Getty ImagesClothing was always in her blood though Costume Design came later. Two time Oscar nominee Jacqueline West (Quills, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), the daughter of an avante garde designer, originally pursued fashion. After building a successful clothing line of her own her career made a sudden fate-filled turn in the late 80s via a favor for a personal friend, the director Philip Kaufman.

Her filmography in the subsequent 25 years has been a grab bag of film genres --  her latest The Revenant (2015) is a 180 from Henry & June (1990) you must agree -- but the consistent throughline is that she's in demand with the auteur set. She's worked repeatedly with Terrence Malick, David Fincher, Philip Kaufman, and Ben Affleck. The Revenant marks her first, though one assumes not last, collaboration with Alejandro González Iñárritu. To get in the right mindset, she drew on her personal history -- she was intimately familiar with the Hugh Glass story before Inarittu and Leo were all about making it for the screen-- and eventually read a ton of journals by fur trappers, including the invaluable "40 Years as a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri.

Our conversation starts with The Revenant but you know yours truly won't let this talented woman go without talking Henry & June and other more glamourous gigs...

NATHANIEL R: You've designed many gorgeous movie costumes over the years but for The Revenant your challenge is so different. I imagine a lot of your job this time was making the clothes look disgusting!

JACQUELINE WEST: [Laughter]

NATHANIEL: They're overworn. They're muddy. They're bloody. [More...]

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Thursday
Jan072016

The Case For "See You Again"

Kieran, here. Full disclosure—Best Original Song is my least favorite category. Though the last three winners of this category have been worthy entries, this relative hot streak doesn’t overwrite the fact that the category’s mandate for existing is somewhat dubious.  For every “Glory” or “Skyfall” the category of late will award many more “We Belong Together” and “Man or Muppet” level winners.  That’s why when a movie song comes along that feels emotionally or architecturally integral to its film’s narrative, it’s difficult to argue against it as a winner.

That brings us to Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” from Furious 7. Look…I can already hear and see the exasperated sighs and eyerolls that accompany any advocacy for this hit as an Academy Award Winner. Its tedious ubiquity in 2015 can easily (and fairly) prompt the response of “Does it need Academy Awards advocacy on top of everything else?”

More...

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Thursday
Jan072016

What's Next for the Spotlight Cast?

Manuel here talking about the Spotlight cast. If the SAG voting crowd can see beyond their cooky nominations, they might yet crown a handsome roster of winners. That’s what we hope happens, at least in the Best Ensemble category which, besides being quite testosterone heavy, doesn’t really feel reflective of the “best” of ensemble work that we saw this past year. Should the Tom McCarthy cast prevail though, we’ll at least know the Actors went to the right film and its talented cast.

But what are the actors behind the Boston Globe reporters up to next? Let's find out after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jan062016

Watching the Documentary Finalists: Part 1 - Other People's Lives

Glenn here looking at each of the 15 films on the Academy’s documentary finalists which, five of which will be shortlisted for nominations on January 14th

The documentary finalist list announced last month does us a small bit of good.  While it was sad to see such excellent feats of non-fiction filmmaking as The Pearl Button, In Jackson Heights, Sherpa and Stray Dog (to name just a few) removed from contention, reducing the astronomically long submission list of 124 down to a more manageable 15 titles does help us out dramatically in being able to not only get a grasp on the category for 2015, but also to give us a sample of what the Academy’s doc branch thought of the documentaries of any given year beyond the five eventual nominees. This year’s finalist list has its regular faces, but wasn't entirely devoid of surprises and many of the year’s best films found a spot despite some egregious choices thrown in. Each of the three posts in this series are divided into vague groups – (Pt 1) movies dedicated to other peoples’ lives, (Pt 2) movies about the world on the political edge, and (Pt 3) movies about confrontations.

Activists, actors and musicians after the jump...

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