Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
First Time Oscar Nominees - who will be back first?

"Probably the last nomination for all of them." - Fred

"From this group, I'd say Ruth Negga, Lucas Hedges, and Dev Patel are likely to return again." - Aaron

"Out of all the nominees I think it's a little strange that Garfield was the least deserving but most likely to be nominated again. " - Tom

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

INTERVIEWS

Oscar Nominee Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival
Krystof Deak (Sing)
Robert Legato (The Jungle Book)
Rich Moore (Zootopia) 

 

Subscribe
Wednesday
Dec242014

Yes No Maybe So: Woman in Gold

Manuel here trying to fend off urgings to unwrap all my (cinematic) presents today ahead of schedule (why must so many good films come out on Christmas Day?) Thus, while I have to wait until tomorrow at least to catch Selma, A Most Violent Year, Two Days One Night and Into the Woods, I’ll have to settle for some christmas stocking stuffers in the form of a new trailer featuring the one and only Tatiana Maslany.

Oh, and some Oscar-winning Dame as well.

The Woman in Gold follows Maria Altman (Helen Mirren), a Jewish refugee hoping to get back the family possessions taken from her by the Nazis, with the aid of a young lawyer (Ryan Reynolds). Among these possessions is the Klimt painting "The Lady in Gold" which gives the film its title.

Let’s break it down with the TFE-patented approach of YES/NO/MAYBE SO, shall we?

YES

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec242014

Quick Links Over Coffee. And "LISTEN!" It's the Critical Decision

Jude Law drinking coffee back in the dayWhoa! Off to such a late start today.
 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE

Here are a few links for you to enjoy while I drink my lunch (aka coffee) and prepare a few posts... posting continues through the holidays so if you're having a Blue Christmas, please know that we're here for you in the comments section / posting form with reviews coming up for Selma & Into the Woods. If you'll be offline for most of the holiday week, collect your belated gifts when you return. The Oscar stuff, year in review collections, chatty interviews and podcast, and silly polls will all still be here when you return. (Just click on that  "pages" thing once you run out of the freshly baked articles at the bottom and you'll get to the day old stuff and so on. Only a few of the articles have expiration dates, you know.

Mic I somehow missed all the hubbub about Shiloh "John" Jolie-Pitt but agree that the Spawn of Our Most Beloved Celebrity-Celebrity Couple On the Planet looks spiffy in a suit.
Vanity Fair David Fincher wants to make a movie about music videos? YES PLEASE. The man for the job obviously.
In Contention Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) is joining the Jobs biopic... you'd think this movie would scare people away after all those Sony emails
Pajiba chooses the most exhiliarating TV characters of 2014
The Daily Beast Idris Elba wanted for next James Bond maybe.
Mediate I love how upset this is making idiots like Rush Limbaugh. Hee.
Film Stage What would you add to their list of Cinematography bests this year? 
Cut Print Film asked you to reconsider Shia Labeouf. I have been!
Vox 30 best tv shows of year 

Ah, and thanks to Arjan Writes for pointing out Jennifer Hudson doing a playful impromptu take on Beyoncé's "Listen" when she visited a radio station just the other day if you need a dash of Christmas 2006 in your Christmas 2014... and who doesn't?

(Critics List Navel Gazing / Blog Tracking Decisions after Jennifer sings!)

 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec232014

"Extra" FYCs? Your Last Chance

OPEN THREAD
We hope you're the Year in Review thus far.  We've already suggested stocking stuffers, gawked at great fashion, stroked furry friends, and named the year's MVP. I'm still madly cramming movies into my eyeballs but have begun drafting the FiLM BiTCH AWARDS this site's long running Oscar alternative. I'm willing to listen to FYCs for any of the special categories and aiming for Monday December 29th to kick things off.

Any 2014 "Best" suggestions for... Line Reading? Action Sequence? Cameo? Kiss? Musical Sequence in a Non-Musical?  Sex Scene? Credits/Title? Scene of the Year? 

P.S. If you're heading out early for Christmas festivities have a happy holiday. There wlll be many blog post presents under this tree to catch up with when you get back. 

Tuesday
Dec232014

Crazy Cat Lady Yearbook

Year in review. Two yummy look backs each day.

People often get my name wrong in the comments. I do not answer to "Nate" or "Nathan". "Nat" or "Nathaniel" will do.  I also answer to "Crazy Cat Lady".

Cats do not get enough screen time if you ask me but they're not pack animals so there's no cat union to promote their representation in the movies. I actually felt a bit betrayed this summer when Toothless, one of my all time favorite screen cats suddenly seemed almost doggish in How To Train Your Dragon 2. If Dreamworks wants to know why they struggled a bit at the box office there I can only point to Toothless. There was  A) Not nearly enough of him in the movie and B) He seemed to have gone to the dog side. 

So herewith the four cats from the film year I couldn't love more...

BEST SCREEN CATS 2014

04 Hairy Baby (Big Hero Six)
If Baymax weren't already off-the-charts adorable, it turns out he's also a cat person robot? (Though he probably shouldn't be petting a happy kitty who might well start kneading him since he's already sprung a leak at this point in the movie. 

03 Ghibli Cat (The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)
From my review of the Studio Ghibli documentary... 

Particularly wonderful are the many shots of a black and white short tailed cat that wanders freely around Studio Ghibli demanding doors be open for it. This cat, who almost seems like an animated character, strangely never ventures into Miyazaki's workspace as if blocked, staring, by some invisible wall. Still, Miya-san likes him. They share a brief funny moment at a picnic table outside late in the film, the cat sleeping, the filmmaker looking on with envy; Miyazaki has since retired 

02 Felix (St. Vincent)
A veritable cloud of comfort in a sea of smelly clutter, cantankarous moods, and unhappy peoples. Felix is so fluffy, docile, well fed and people-loving that even the most misanthropic or lonely of film characters -- that'd be Bill Murray, natch -- can't remotely pretend to not worship him. (Vulture also couldn't pretend indifference, devoting a whole photo spread to him.)

01 The Cat (Gone Girl)
Every single shot of the orange tabby* in Gone Girl is perfection. He's the perfectly detached observer of all things Mr & Mrs Dunne. Even when he's allowing Nick to be comforted by him, not desperately waiting for food, or staring at the throngs of police and press circling his home, he never seems less than cool and in control. His allegiances also beautifully shift with the opposing chapters. For so long he seems to be Nick's man, until suddenly he's not. Note the way, in the film's best shot (yeah, I couldn't wait) he stares Nick down, a perfect unknowable mirror of Amy, standing just behind him, once they're all back in the kitchen. Is this tabby an "emotional marker" for Gone Girl as some claim or is he something more? An omniscient observer, perhaps? Or David Fincher in feline form, prowling around his own movie preternaturally aware of every shadowy corner, shared space, hiding place, and neutral ground. 

*the cat is never explicitly named in Gone Girl though Nick calls him "Buddy." In the novel I understand his name is "Bleecker".

Tuesday
Dec232014

Podcast: Wild Catcher

In this new episode of The Film Experience, Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel go wandering with Witherspoon and wrestling with Tatum to try to make sense of it all. And by 'all' we mean the directorial styles of Jean-Marc Vallée and Bennett Miller, our complicated and divided personal reactions to the films and the performances, and a light sprinkling of Oscar talk. 

Breakdown
00:01-15:32 Wild 
15:33-41:57 Foxcatcher

Recommended Supplemental Material: 
"The Making of Foxcatcher" - by Mark Harris

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. 

WILD & FOXCATCHER

Tuesday
Dec232014

some say the blog will end in fire, some say in ice

GeekRex on great sounding movies of 2014. So glad they included Wild but I don't understand the defense of Interstellar's sound mix given how difficult it sometimes was to hear the dialogue
Gurus of Gold I believe there's an update today but look at where things stand now in the big Oscar categories
AV Club Sarah Jessica Parker may be returning to HBO sitcom glory via Divorce (no, not from Matthew Broderick. On the show!)
In Contention Antonio Sanchez is not happy about his disqualification from Best Original Score for Birdman and why shouldn't he be. Their rules are so arbitratily enforced. Remember when Gustavo Santaolla won his second consecutive Oscar for a film FILLED with pre-existing music (Babel) and his score only being a small percentage of it.

The Dissolve Robert Rodriguez to helm a live action remake of Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice. I used to love that rotoscoped sword & sorcery movie so much but Rodriguez seems like he'll amplify what was already turned up to 11
MNPP I love this review of Mommy by Jason
Newsweek Maggie Gyllenhaal working all the actor mediums
VF Selfie hijinx with Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, The Baker's Wife and Cinderella
The Atlantic on the year's best trailers
Carpet Bagger looks at the costumes of The Homesman
Playboy Matt Patches goes looking for Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman) in this cinematic true life detective story 
Comics Alliance Mike Coulter will play Luke Cage (Power Man) for Netflix's Marvel Series. No word yet on Iron Fist but now would be the perfect time to do that reverse white washing and cast an Asian man in a lead role, since he's white in the comics but his origin story involves growing up in an Asian mystical city in the Himalayas, you know? Please money and Marvel people -- Come correct!  It's a whole new world than it was was in 1974.

Happy (?) Christmas

Yikes.

Sorry about that.

Binge Watch Worthy?
I enjoy being an Opinion-Maker but I'll admit I am usually happy to cede that responsibility to others when it comes to TV. There's just too much product to keep up with.  So whoever is binge-watching Mozart in the Jungle let me know, will you? The cast includes two of my all time favorites (Gael García Bernal and Bernadette Peters) but this is my single busiest two-month stretch of the year so I need someone else to do such scouting. Report back!

Top Ten Film Critic Frenzy
If you love reading top ten lists, pick an article any article... 'tis the season!

Richard Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel to Butter on a Latch) | Justin Chang (Boyhood to Interstellar) | Manohla Dargis (Beyond the Lights to well mostly Beyond the Lights) | Peter Debruge (Calvary to Class Enemy) |  David Denby (Ida...well, mostly Ida) | Scott Foundas (Goodbye to Language to American Sniper) | Stephen Holden (Boyhood to Only Lovers Left Alive) | Lou Lumenick (Boyhood to Into the Woods) | Omar PL Moore (The Grand Budapest Hotel to The LEGO Movie) | Wesley Morris (Norte the End of History to Stranger by the Lake) |  A.O. Scott (Boyhood to The Babadook) | Dana Stevens (The Babadook to We Are the Best) | Stephanie Zacharek (Under the Skin to Top Five)

Tuesday
Dec232014

Scarlett Johansson, 2014's MVP

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day

Tim here. Among its many charms and disappointments, 2014 was an extraordinarily good year to be a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

No, I can go bigger than that: 2014 was a year that could make somebody a fan of Scarlett Johansson in the first place, or in my case, knock the dust off a fandom that had been growing stale over the last several years.

What makes it such a particularly interesting year to have watched the actress is the way that three of her four performances released in the United States in ’14 are variations on each other (the outlier is what amounts to cameo in Chef, more of a favor done for director Jon Favreau than a real part). Let’s take a quick look at each of them:

Under the Skin
In a holdover from the 2013 festival season Johansson played a non-human being in the human form of a gorgeous woman under the guiding hand of director Jonathan Glazer. Icy good looks married to a deliberately unknowable inner life pretty neatly describes the opinion that tends to be held on Johansson’s acting skills by people who don’t like her, which makes this, on the one hand, an easy casting decision. [More...]

Click to read more ...