in theaters

review index

new on DVD/BluRay

review index



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 | letterboxd


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan


Keep TFE Strong

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


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Sing "Far From Heaven", Sing!

Far From Heaven, one of our favorite movies here at TFE, is stage bound. Musical stage bound to be more precise. Not every property was meant to be reinterpreted for the musical form but you've generally got a head start on greatness if the story or appeal is already heightened as it were...

Some emotions are too deep to speak. You have to sing them. Imagine Cathy Whitaker's voice soaring over some poignant melody while her heart is quietly breaking? Imagine the opportunities for a great 11th hour duet that maybe becomes a solo at the train station.

Gives you chills it does.

Viola Davis in "Far From Heaven"But this could all go horribly wrong. Perhaps big brassy pastiche numbers like "Mr & Mrs Magnatech" await us? And Mr Whitaker's gay escapades in musical context could veer way too far into unintentional camp rather than 50s homage. The musical will premiere in July 2012 at the Williamstown Theater Festival but no cast has yet been announced.

Do you think they'll give the best sidebar song to Sybil the maid (the Viola Davis role) or Cathy's evil bestie Elle (the Patty Clarkson role)?

Invent song titles in the comments. May the best amateur composer win!

The musical is being written by the team behind the musicalized Grey Gardens. If you've never heard any songs from that show I've included the best one after the jump "Around the World".

Click to read more ...


Review: "Haywire"

If you've ever wanted to see Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender or Channing Tatum punched in the face repeatedly, HAYWIRE is your movie. At one time or another, the actors take quite a believable pummelling from rogue CIA agent Mallory (Gina Carano) in Steven Soderbergh's experimental action picture. Soderbergh first spotted his new muse, a real life mixed martial arts champ, while channel-surfing and was so transfixed he ended up building a feature around her. 'Why can't there be a female James Bond?' went his reasoning. He must have meant it in a loose sense for Mallory is no Bond. She's not super verbal, isn't at all comfortable at elegant black tie events, and has no discernible signature catchphrase. She orders no martinis, neither shaken nor stirred.

Carano's lack of acting experience shows when she's not fighting but thankfully that isn't often. Soderbergh, ever a resourceful director, keeps forcing her to dodge bullets, fists, and sharp objects...

Read the rest at Towleroad

P.S. What movies will you be catching up with this weekend? Have you ever wanted to punch Ewan, Channing or Fassy in the face?


Link Crumbs Trail

Mike Myers Oscar BuzzLinks. I Know These People Edition
<-- This Had Oscar buzz is a new tumblr from Joe Reid. I was totally giggling gawking at it earlier. It's all true! It's all true!
Pajiba Joanna on Michael Fassbender Penis Expert
Do Dump or Marry is but one of me pal JA's great features on My New Plaid Pants but I particularly enjoyed the latest all ladies 9 to 5 edition. 
Critical Condition looks at five stars who squandered their goodwill.
Nicks Flick Picks have you been following Nick's Best Actress Birthday party? It's amazing. Next up Patricia Neal and Geena Davis 
In Contention Kris Tapley is a Sundance Virgin. Virgin!
Slant Kurt interviews Steven Soderbergh 

Awards, Special Interest Edition 
The NAACP has released their Image Award nominees and Awards Daily is pleased to see the Cicely Tyson mention in supporting actress. That's all well and good as she was quite touching in the movie but it seems utterly bizarre to have FIVE actresses nominated from The Help for acting prizes and no sign of Jessica Chastain. It's Viola, Octavia, Cicely, Emma... and Bryce!?! Pariah, which is finally in theaters, also did very well in their nominations. Congratulations to the nominees especially Regina King who was nominated for Southland... so underrated. 

Team "Help" when the Oscar buzz was but a whisper at their world premiere.

And though I forgot to mention it a few days back, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (aka GALECA) gave both of their best film prizes --the standard best film plus the best gay film prize -- to Andrew Haigh's Weekend. Michael Fassbender won the "We're Wilde About You Rising Star Award". We Were Here, a documentary about the early years of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, took their Best Documentary honors. It's also an Oscar finalist this year.

Overseas the London Film Critics Circle took their cue from Nathaniel (kidding) splitting their prizes between his two favorite films of the year The Artist (Picture, Director) and A Separation (Screenplay, Foreign Film, Supporting Actress). And back here in the States the Iowa Film Critics yearned for Hawaiian vacations with The Descendantszzzs


Jamie, Gary and Emile for Prada

Thanks to TFE reader Grace for pointing this out. While some Hollywood male stars were walking the red carpet at the Globes, still more were walking the red and black carpet for Prada.

Globe snubbee Gary Oldman, Emile Hirsch, Garret Hedlund, Tim Roth, Our Jamie Bell (what? we've claimed him... the extended TFE family I mean which of course includes Glenn, Jamie's #1 fan), Willem Dafoe and Adrien Brody. The stars come out for Prada.

Some of them are more comfortable doubling as male models and not necessarily the ones you'd think. But you can't be rich, famous, good looking and good at everything... now can you?


Red Carpet Globes Pt 2: Ursula's Daughter & Brad's Show Cane

In Part 1, Kurt and I discussed the Best Actress fashions Tilda's alien goddess versatility, Steven Sodebergh and Paula Patton's obsession with yellow, Rooney Mara's lack of humor, and more. Read it. Vote on the polls! Now we move on to a Supportizzzzzzzzzzzz


Nathaniel: Sorry. Sorry Propping eyes open! The Globes were mostly an all the colors of the rainbow affair which is just how we like our red carpets. "On trend" is a death rattle for awards show excitement. The Supporting Actress lineup was definitely on trend, what with all those faint blush colors.‪ I had to include Evan Rachel Wood, so as to add the drama.‬

...With Evan there's always drama.


Evan, Chastain (one of them at least), Janet, Shai, Octavia


Kurt: Is she not the scariest thing? i'm getting such a fletsom and jetsom ‬‪vibe here. Come pick up your daughter, Ursula‬
Nathaniel: Ha. I kind of love it. It's so fecund. She's some sort of sea creature all right. The thing that would have really made this look work for me is more drama in her hair. I want the wildness to continue up top. This might have been the most supernatural horrifying and therefore the very best if, say, Jessica Lange's lions mane were up top or a weave for slickness and length. 
Kurt:  Oh, jessica lange. No, Evan looks good, and it's a very cool dress. i just think she's terrifying.‬
Nathaniel: In general? Evan?

Kurt:  ‪LOL. Pretty much, yeah. She'll eat your first born.‬
Nathaniel: And not put on a single pound!
Kurt:  ‪Truth.‬
Nathaniel: ‪I don't really want to discuss this lineup. Why did I spend the time photoshopping? Harvey may be the Punisher but I'm all about self-abuse. I really want to rearrange the dresses at least.
Kurt: Well someone's gotta put something else on dear Jessica Chastain. That poor woman.
Nathaniel: Or maybe put all of them in Evan's dress!‬

Nathaniel: Ahhhhh. Anyway... Janet McTeer is a very handsome woman with an amazing rack.
Kurt: Don't we know it.
Nathaniel: She's also the very best thing about Albert Nobbs and also: her man is hot. Just had to put that out there. 
Speaking of amazing racks, MADONNA!
SMG, Macdonald, Garai, Madonna & Muse


Click to read more ...


Great Costuming... According to Costume Designers

The Costume Design Guild has spoken! As with all guild awards... it's a combination of "Really?" and interesting "Oh, yeah!" choices.

Clothes Horse Royals in "W.E." via Arianne Phillips

Mark Bridges for The Artist
Michael O'Connor for Jane Eyre
Sharen Davis for The Help
Sandy Powell for Hugo
Arianne Phillips for W.E.

Good news: I have an interview coming up with Arianne Phillips, who is one of my heroes. And not just because she's worked with Madonna for 15 years or so.  
Notable Omissions: AnonymousCaptain America (unless they considered it a fantasy), My Week With Marilyn, A Dangerous Method, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Oscar transferrence? The costume designers within the Academy, a much smaller number than votes on the guild awards, tend to prefer period work to other types of work so you could theoretically see all of these nominees repeat at Oscar, though Phillips is certainly most vulnerable as her movie is probably the least seen of these. Still royalty porn goes a long way with Oscar voters and Andrea Riseborough looks like she's wearing the entire budget of the film.

Jany Temime for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Penny Rose for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Cindy Evans for Red Riding Hood
Alexandra Byrne for Thor
Sammy Sheldon for X-Men: First Class

Oscar transferrence? I'm guessing the best bet here is Alexandra Byrne for Thor.
Superheroes!: Interesting to see the fantasy category overtaken by superheroes (and yes I include Harry Potter there). I wonder if they categorized Captain America here or in "period"? Either way it didn't manage a nomination.
Strangest nods: Hasn't the Harry Potter cast been wearing essentially the sameish robes for the entire franchise? I have not seen Red Riding Hood so my apologies to Cindy Evans but I found that pink dress with red coat so painful to look at in tandem (even in the space of a 2 minute trailer!)  that my face lost a little of its color reading this nomination. Maybe every other costume in the movie is enticing?

Leesa Evans and Christine Wada for Bridesmaids
Wendy Chuck for The Descendants 
Erin Benach for Drive
Trish Summerville for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Manon Rasmussen for Melancholia

Yay! We figured the scorpion jacket would get its due here but it's fun to see my double feature of bridal depression nominated. 
Oscar transferrence? Unfortunately that only happens for contemporary films when the entire movie is about the clothes (see The Devil Wears Prada).
Sigh. REALLY?: The contemporary category is where you often see guilds failing to live up to their duties as awards organization and just grab at whichever FYC screeners they're loving. No offense to Wendy Chuck who has done fun work on several contemporary pictures, not just Payne's movies, but apart from Clooney's hilarious run in inappropriate shoes the costumes aren't contributing a fifth as much to the success of The Descendants (consider it this year's Slumdog Millionaire with bizarre guild triumphs) as say the costumes of Young Adult, Beginners, Shame, Crazy Stupid Love, The Iron Lady (unless they considered that "period"), Martha Marcy May Marlene or The Skin I Live In are to their movies. The contemporary categories are almost always where you see the limits of guild imagination when it comes to defining "awards worthy". It's a fancy way of saying "WE LIKE THIS MOVIE A WHOLE LOT!"

How do you like these nominations and where would your votes go?


Film Bitch Awards Continue: VFX, Animation, Makeup

Film has always been a collaborative artform but the computer seems to be the great unifier these days. Is there any contribution that isn't tweaked these days in post? Maybe costumes? It's hard to know where the disciplines of stunt work, visual effects, performance capture, animation, prop and makeup effects begin and end these days but that's all right. It's always been hard to separate the film disciplines. A great many art direction nominations have happened because a cinematographer maximized the beauty of the sets and so on. What matters is that everything works in harmony to serve the movie.

We haven't really discussed The Adventures of Tintin and I'd love to hear your opinion. I was continually startled by the dense complexity of the imagery and effects but I also found the movie utterly exhausting, the movie equivalent of certain film scores by certain uh composers that begin with a climax and climax in each and every scene. I like a little more contours of beginning, middle and crescendo endings. But I had to credit its technical marvels somewhere.

My personal ballots for Visual Effects, Animated Feature and Makeup ... (the latter of which I treat more like Bafta and less like Oscar, considering hair and non-fx based makeup as well)

The Skin I Live In, Rango, The Tree of Life, Captain America: The First Avenger, Rise of the Planet of the Apes