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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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with all due respect to renton, the true beauty in trainspotting is sick boy❞ - par

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Monday
Feb202012

Monologue: "My name is Charlene. What are you wearing?"

Time for our Monday Monologue...

Missi, Uggie and Jean DujardinOne of the unexpected joys of this year's edition of Endless Awards Season has been the presence of the very funny, very talented Missi Pyle. She's kind of blink and you'll miss her as "Constance" the 'Lina Lamont' silent star archetype in The Artist. But she's been everywhere at the events. That's oddly appropriate given that she always seems to be blink and you'll miss her in movies but she makes the best of it. Often when I see her in that big ball of joy that is the cast and crew of The Artist (winning makes the joy part a lot easier) I think back to my favorite moment in her filmography to date.

She was the comedy MVP of the oft-delayed and then underseen and weirdly trashed Spring Breakdown (2009) which is much funnier than it gets credit for. Her MVP status says a lot since the three leads Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, and Rachel Dratch have been known to wring laughs from even the weakest material. Somehow Pyle steals the show out from under them.

Pyle plays Charlene a Spring Break junkie well past age appropriateness for the Endless Summer cruising and bingeing. She takes this trio of new girls under her drunken wing.

After a particularly booze-fueled night she stumbles home with her new friend Gayle (Amy Poehler) and goes all weepy pontificating drunk. 

Every spring this place she flares up like a cold sore and I'm back for more, you know? The kids and the sex and the booze. And you think it'll go on forever but it's like one of those videos, you know, of a fireplace that you put on your TV.

 

And, like, no matter how close you get to the screen it's never going to warm you up."

Suddenly then, she's all nonsequitor.

Her moods tilt and slide around like formerly coherent thoughts sloshing around in alcoholic waves.

I just wanted to be a stylist to the stars.

[Suddenly high pitched] 'You think so?' 

 

Oh hello there fine fella! Who is this?

 

She veers towards... a tree.

"Oh honey, that's a tree," Gayle tries to stop her but Charlene is already making her move. 

[To the tree] My name is Charlene. What are you wearing?

[Glancing to the side. Suddenly crying] I love him!

 
[To Gayle] Don't touch me. Please touch me. Thank you.

Let's just stay here for awhile.

Pyle keeps this comic train hilarious, frisky and sharp even as it jumps right off the tracks careening towards its next blackout: Crying jags, weird bursts of horniness, pickled blood stream, and yet she's weirdly touching.

It's comic magic.

It's hot mess tragic. 

Her name is Charlene. I love her!


Monday
Feb202012

6 Days Till Oscar. Remember When...?

Remember when costume designer extraordinary Sandy Powell won her third Oscar for Young Victoria and she was so over it, dedicating it to costume designers on contemporary films who never get recognized? That was kind of great and terrible simultaneously.

Um. I already have two of these."

Sandy Powell is one of the greatest designers in the history of the movies, previously winning for The Aviator (2004) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). But if you ask me she won her first for the wrong film. She beat herself in 1998 as she was double nominated. Velvet Goldmine. Come on.

Winning for the Aviator (2004) and Shakespeare in Love (1998)Do you think Powell can pull off Oscar number four on Sunday?

Consider...

  • Oscar loves period pieces, the older the period the better, which gives Anonymous and Jane Eyre the edge.
  • Oscar loves gorgeous costume work and a whole unmistakable heap of them, which gives Arianne Phillips work on W.E. the edge. 
  • Oscar loves royalty porn which gives Anonymous and W.E. the edge. 
  • Oscar loves Best Picture frontrunners which gives The Artist the edge. 
  • Oscar loves Sandy Powell and Best Picture nominees in general which gives Hugo the edge.

With such a wide range of possibilities that might be attractive to the voters, I'm guessing it's a five way race which slides this over into the win column for The Artist. But you never know on the below the line categories. Weird things can occur.

Jane Eyre. Formidable competition? Tough to say.

OH. I ALMOST FORGOT. Here are my costume design nominees! which completes the traditional Oscar-like categories in The Film Experience's annual Film Bitch Awards so I've added in the tallies at the end of that page. I'll announce my winners tomorrow I think. Let me sleep on the tough calls.

I'll also start the Final Oscar Predictions tomorrow. Wheeeee, we're almost there.

Monday
Feb202012

A "Yes, No, Maybe So" Quadruple Feature!

Hollywood is insisting that we move on to the current calendar year (What is this thing called "2012"?) before we're wrapped with the 2011 Oscar Contenders. Boo! Don't they know we prefer things all regimented like? So we've fallen behind. We've no choice but to abbreviate our Yes, No, Maybe So feature to get caught back up. So let's talk about four new trailers that have...

What's that?!? They're not new anymore? Stop rushing me.

None of the movies have opened yet so they're fair game. Care for a nerve-wracking conversation with Sigourney Weaver? Some senior mugging with Diane & Kevin? Think Jeremy Renner can fill Matt Damon's big shoes?

"Help. I'm lost in the thick woods of movie trailers."

Which of these movies are you eager to see, which will you avoid, and which of these first tastes leave you undecided? Four new(ish) trailers after the jump. Discuss! You've been too quiet and are freaking me out.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb202012

Oscar Isaac... with Cat

 

If Jonesy starts hissing, Oscar, run! He's spotted an acid-blooded alien or at least a Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2.

Actually Oscar is just hauling around a new co-star (role size to be determined) on the set of Inside Llewyn Davis in which he plays Llewyn Davis, a singer songwriter in 1960s New York. The best part of this news is that this is the latest from the Coen Bros and it's filming already. Inside Llewyn Davis reunites Oscar with his Drive wife Carey Mulligan who is contractually obligated to be in every picture released for the next four years. Other costars include Garret Hedlund, Justin Timberlake (now no longer a musician at all though maybe someone should tell him he's more fun as a pop star than as an actor? SNL hosting aside), Stark Sands, F Murray Abraham and Coen Bros mainstay John Goodman.

You only have to wait until 2013 to see it.

Sunday
Feb192012

Oscar's Best Live Action Short Nominees. Predictions!

Amir here. We had a look at the Oscar nominated animated shorts the other day. In the same vein, let’s go over the best live action shorts. As with the previous category, I don’t think this group lives up to the standard set in the past - I would vote for Luke Matheny’s God of Love over any of these choices - but that’s a really high bar.

Pentecost is an Irish comedy about a young altar boy who is grounded by his father after a mishap at the church. When the archbishop visits the local church, the boy’s given a second chance and promised that he can watch his favourite soccer team Liverpool play if he doesn’t screw up again. As someone who cares more deeply about soccer than the church, this film should have been exactly my cup of tea, but I can’t help but wonder how it slid into the top five. I sympathize with the childish sentiments of the protagonist and the film’s funny enough for such a small dose, but the filmmakers should probably be happy with their nomination.

"Raju"

Raju is the only nominee on the serious side. It tells the story of a German couple who are in India to pick up the child they have adopted. Things go awry on the busy streets of Kolkata, however, and dark secrets are revealed about the unfortunate circumstance of their decision. Though Raju effortlessly pulls off the tension in the first half and gives a sense of impending disaster early on, its drama feels unearned. The answer to the central ethical question of the film is so obvious that it seems answered immediately after it's posed. Nevertheless, since the film handles a serious issue, and to its credit is very well made, it might be a serious contender.

Speaking of unearned emotions, The Shore, the second Irish-flavoured entry, stars Ciarán Hinds as a man coming back to Ireland after 25 years of living across the pond. Tepid is the word I’d use to describe it. Director Terry George (of Hotel Rwanda fame) tries to make us feel the emotional charge of the reunion between three old friends, but fails to make any of the characters interesting enough to care for. The scenery is gorgeous and the actors do their best with what they’re given, but this film is only worth watching for Ciaran Hinds’ fantastic voice (and accent) giving us the backstory in a monologue.

Time Freak tells the story of a science student who builds a time machine only to remain tangled in a time web that takes him back to the same few minutes in his life. Of the five films, this is the one that feels least like an Oscar film but I wouldn’t count out its chances. The comedy works very well and the audience seemed to love every minute of it. There was a student film feel to it that I personally could not quite overlook but nevertheless, the new take on the old time machine premise was refreshing enough to give this film a fighting chance at the win.

The final entry is Tuba Atlantic, a Norwegian film about the unlikely friendship between a dying man and a teenage girl sent to be his death angel. The unmistakably Scandinavian absurdist comedy gives its characters more depth and meat to chew on than any other film in the race. Technically impressive, comically violent, and unexpectedly poignant, this is far and away the best film in competition. Quirky as it is, I think it’s ultimately a film everyone will connect with.  

Predictions
This category is tougher to predict than the animated ones. The Shore could potentially appeal to the older demographic, but Tuba Atlantic touches on the same themes and it’s different enough to stand out from the bunch. Time Freak might be a surprise winner. They were open to rewarding young hip comedies last year, weren't they? At the end of the day, I think if anyone can crash Tuba’s party, it will be the topical and dramatic Raju.

Will Win: Tuba Atlantic
Could Win:
Raju
Should Win:
Tuba Atlantic