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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


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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


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"Critics Choice" Winners From Viola to The Artist

Kirsten Dunst presented Best Supporting Actress to Octavia SpencerWe tried a live blog experiment which was very chaotic though conversational if you'd like to relive it vicariously through us if you weren't here. But otherwise, let's review the big speeches and the winner's roster.

Do you think all five of the major acting wins will translate to Globe and SAG hoopla... and then on to Oscar? It's been a surprising season to date so will it suddenly become a normal season where the same films and performances win each time?

SUPPORTING ACTRESS -Octavia Spencer for The Help

Okay um. Well I'm not prepared. I wasn't a Girl Scout. I guess the operative word here is Best Supporting  becasue I was truly supported by the most amazing cast and crew. Oh my god this is really kind of crazy. Okay. Uh. I'd like to thank everyone at Dreamworks -- Stacey Snyder thank you for giving me this chance. Holly Barrio. Chip Sullivan. Everyone at Disney. Rich [series of names that all blurred together for us] ...and then of course my two champions Tate Taylor and Brunson Green who have always believed in me. And thank God you believed in me enough to give me a job that actually paid this time!

But thank you so much to the BFCA. I am truly truly humbled by this. Thank you.

SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Christopher Plummer, young againWinners and a Tearful Viola after the jump...

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10 Things I Learned About Kathleen Turner This Week

Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins

Those of you in the Los Angeles area have two enticing theater options coming up. The first -- an absolute must see -- is the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. It's coming to LA soon from Broadway intact but for Bernadette Peters who will be replaced by another major but less famous talent, Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza). The other theater option is currently playing. I can't vouch for since I haven't seen it, but it's the one and only Kathleen Turner playing Molly Ivins in the one woman show Red Hot Patriot.

I have however seen Kathleen Turner live on stage twice (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and High) and she doesn't lose even one ounce of her charisma or gift on the stage the way many screen stars do when they attempt the transfer. Earlier this week she had a live chat at the LA Times Culture Monster and, though I've never participated in one of those before it was my darling Kathleen (she along with Pfeiffer and Streep is how I became such an actress-obsessive in my formative years) so I had to!

I told her I missed her onscreen and her response went like so.

I have a film coming out called A Perfect Family sometime this Spring. I still enjoy camera acting, but it's not as exhilarating to me as being on stage."

Ten other things I learned during her chat with fans after the jump...

10 Notable Bits From Kathleen Turner's Live Chat

10. Her favorite actors are Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench. How strange is that? MOMENTS before this live chat we had just made a major plea for them to present at the Oscars together. This is empirical evidence that Kathleen was reading the Film Experience as she answered questions! ;) But in all serious lord knows if she ever googles herself, she's seen the site.  


09. Her favorite of her own films is Serial Mom because she has so many wonderful memories from the set ("most laughs") and she is still close with John Waters. This movie prompted the funnest questions from her gathered fans. Had she ever made a prank phone call "For heaven's sake, no! Nor will I". One fan said the house the real Serial Mom lived in in Baltimore was for sale. Should he buy it and give tours? "Good luck!" was her perfect succinct response. 

8-1 after the jump

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Cast This! Rob Marshall and "Into the Woods"

As frightening... as bewildering... as wrong as it is to say after a decade of breakthroughs (Moulin Rouge!), critical triumphs (Dancer in the Dark, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and box office hits (Chicago, Dreamgirls, Hairspray) and problematic but Oscar nominated efforts (Nine, Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera) ... the movie musical is still in trouble. It probably will be until another Vincente Minnelli or Bob Fosse arrives on the scene, someone who understands and breathes and trusts the very cinematic language of the musical. Until then we'll get bored directors detouring or novices who think it might be "fun" to try one... or Rob Marshall.

Will no young director challenge Rob Marshall as King of the Musicals?

Stage turned film director Rob Marshall was initially seen as something of a savior of the form when Chicago (2002) became a smash hit and Best Picture winner. It had been 34 years since a movie musical had had that honor. But his musical follow up Nine (2009) proved a massive flop and a target of critical derision. Though I thought it was better than it got credit for being (how could it not be given the vitriol?) in tandem with Chicago it revealed too little range and an inherent distrust of the form he had been handed, without competition, to rule; the music in both films emerged on sound stages as hallucinations or performative fantasy. His two subsequent non-musicals (Memoirs of a Geisha and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) were much worse, with listless dramatics and overstuffed weightless business for plot. Nevertheless, Hollywood logic prevails. Disney, looking at the colossal gross of On Stranger Tides, has obviously forgiven Marshall for Nine's red ink and rewarded him with the reigns of the film version of a bonafide masterpiece, Stephen Sondheim's twisted fairy tale classic Into the Woods. Never mind that I could have directed On Stranger Tides (it would have been all about the mermaids and they would have drowned Captain Jack in the first half hour) and it would still have been a top grosser. In Hollywood you get credit for blockbuster grosses even if you are obviously replaceable since anyone helming a long running franchise will produce a similar size hit. Audiences are lemmings when it comes to those big franchises. 

So though I weep that Into the Woods isn't getting a world class auteur, and I shudder most of all to think of those glorious songs sung by people who can't handle the intricacies of the music -- Marshall casts for stardom first even if they can't sing and Sondheim obviously writes only for great singers who can act -- we should try and stay positive. Let's play...

Bernadette Peters leads the cast of the original INTO THE WOODS (1987)


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"Critics Choice" Live Blog

We're trying 'Cover it Live' for tonight's event. We experimented yesterday and we'll see how it goes on an actual awards night. It allows a bit more interaction with any readers who are watching it as we are. I am a member of the BFCA which runs the "Critics Choice" awards though I am not in LA for the event. Sniffle. Play your violins for me people!

So that you may laugh at me during the evening -- I've never claimed to be good at predicting the BFCA prizes -- my predictions are below the live blog window. 

Will you join us?

My predictions
PICTURE The Artist |  DIRECTOR - The Artist  ACTRESS -Meryl Streep (I doubt they'll risk a third "tie" for Meryl) Viola it is! |  ACTOR - George Clooney | SUPP ACTRESS - Melissa McCarthy Octavia it is! | SUPP ACTOR - Albert Brooks Christopher Plummer it is | ENSEMBLE - The Help (though if it's Bridesmaids I bet supporting actress will be Octavia Spencer instead) | YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS - Shailene Woodley wow, Thomas Horn. |  ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Midnight in Paris | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - The Descendants nope, it's Moneyball

I can't remember which of these are presented live and which are off air...
CINEMATOGRAPHY - The Tree of Life (yes, but War Horse also won) | ART DIRECTION -  Hugo |  COSTUME DESIGN - The Artist | EDITING - The Artist nope, it was Dragon Tattoo | MAKEUP - Harry Potter | VISUAL EFFECTS - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
SOUND - Hugo nope, another one for Harry Potter | ANIMATED FEATURE - Adventures of Tintin nope it was Rango | ACTION MOVIE - Drive | COMEDY MOVIE - Bridesmaids | FOREIGN FILM - A Separation |  DOCUMENTARY - Project Nim nope it was George Harrison. They were going full Marty tonight (except for Hugo) | SONG - Life's a Happy Song | SCORE - The Artist (or maybe War Horse. Hmmmm)


Happy 102nd Luise Rainer! Celebrate The Oldest Living Oscar Nominees!

The double Oscar winner (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth) turns 102 today!  She's the oldest living Oscar nominee or winner! Her most recent appearance was just four short months ago when she showed up for her star ceremony in Berlin. They now have a "Boulevard des Stars" much like Hollywood's walk of fame and as the only German Best Actress winner (Hollywood and the media who nicknamed her "The Viennese Teardrop" promoted her as Austrian for obvious reasons in the 1930s), she was a natural for inclusion.

happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear Luise,
happy birthday to you
.......and many more ♫

Odets and Rainer in Hollywood. Odets also romanced actress Frances Farmer (as seen in the Jessica Lange picture "Frances")Luise is on record as saying that she doesn't believe in the Oscar curse and her short-lived Hollywood career was her own doing.

"The Oscar jinx! There is no Oscar jinx. I couldn't carry the burden of being the middle of the universe. I had to withdraw and find myself".

My favorite anecdote about Luise is that her husband during those heady Oscar years activist / screenwriter / playwright Clifford Odets (Luise was not his only actress romance) was so furious with her for flirting with Albert Einstein at a party that he took a photo of Einstein and chopped off Einstein's head with a pair of scissors. Hee! But also: flirting with Albert Einstein at a party???. What storied lives those Golden Age movie stars lived. You can read a lot more about Luise's life at this comprehensive unofficial fan site

My friend Nick is also discussing Luise's odd legacy and one of her lesser known films today on this historic occassion. As per usual he puts her efforts in brilliant context.

I previously published a list of the oldest living Best Actress nominees which is over here. But the following list casts a wider net. Celebrate these folks while they're still with us by renting their signature films.


  1. Luise Rainer (2 time Best Actress winner) is now 102
  2. Douglas Slocombe (3 time nominee) cinematographer of Raiders of the Lost Ark is 99 next month.
  3. Elmo Williams, also about to turn 99, won his Oscar for editing High Noon(1952) one of the earliest movies (though not the earliest) to be told in "real time."
  4. Oswald Morris recently 96. He received all of his nominations for Best Cinematography for musicals (The Wiz, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof) but he also worked frequently with legendary director John Huston. Puppet classic The Dark Crystal (1982) was his last job.
  5. Eli Wallach (Honorary) the enduring character actor is recently 96. 
  6. Olivia de Havilland (2 time winner The Heiress & To Each His Own) is 95.
  7. Kirk Douglas (Honorary Oscar and 3 time nominee), Spartacus himself just turned 95.
  8. Ernest Borgnine (Actor winner Marty) turns 95 in two weeks. His next role is a leading one (!) in The Man Who Shook The Hand of Vicente Hernandez.
  9. Celeste Holm (Supporting Actress winner Gentleman's Agreement) is 94.
  10. Joan Fontaine (Actress winner Suspicion) recently turned 94. 
  11. Joyce Redman (2 time nominee most famous for Tom Jones) just turned 93. [Trivia note: Tom Jones is the only film to have ever won three nominations in Supporting Actress. Pity that Robert Altman's Nashville didn't repeat that trick because it was deserving.]
  12. Michael Anderson (nominee, directed Around the World in 80 Days) turns 92 later this month.
  13. Ravi Shankar (nominee, the co-composer for Gandhi) is 91.
  14. Ray Harryhausen (Gordon Sawyer Award recipient), the f/x legend, is 91.
  15. Mickey Rooney (Honorary Oscar and 4 time nominee) is 91.
  16. Carol Channing (nominee Thoroughly Modern Millie) turns 91 later this month. "Razzzzzbbberrries!"

    This new documentary on Carol Channing opens in theaters in a week. It's really fun if you like yourself some Channing.
  17. Ken Adam is almost 91. He's a two time winner for Art Direction and his nominations stretch across 4 decades of cinema.
  18. Hal David (winner "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" fromButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) is 90.
  19. Deanna Durbin (Juvenile Award winner) just turned 90. She was only 18 when she won her Juvenile statue (shared with Mickey Rooney) but she retired from the screen just nine years later.
  20. Eleanor Parker (3 time nominee Caged) in 89. She's best remembered today as the (not totally) wicked would be stepmother in The Sound of Music but that doesn't paint the whole picture at all. Isn't it time for renewed interest in her career?
  21. Norman Lear (television giant who was Oscar nominated for writing Divorce, American Style) is 89.
  22. Juanita Moore (nominee Imitation of Life *see it* It's a beauty) is 89.
  23. Valentina Cortese (nominee Day for Night) turned 89 a week ago. She holds the extremely rare honor of a supporting acting nomination from a foreign language film. Those are so very infrequent.
  24. Franco Zeffirelli (2 time nominee, director of Romeo and Juliet), another Italian (!), turns 89 next month.
  25. Charles Durning (2 time nominee, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) turns 89 next month.
  26. Richard Attenborough (2 time winner, director of Gandhi) is 88.
  27. Glynis Johns (nominee The Sundowners) is 88. Well done, Sister Suffragrette ♪ ! 
  28. Arthur Hiller (Hersholt Huminatarian winner, Director nominee for Love Story) is 88.
  29. Ron Moody (Actor nominee "Fagin" from Oliver!) turned 88 this week! For a previous article on this underappreciated sixties musical, click here.
  30. Doris Day (Actress nominee Pillow Talk) is 87. Some people say 89. There is much dispute but we'll go with IMDb's birthdate.
  31. Stanley Donen (Honorary Oscar) is 87. He's one of the best musicals director of all time, most famous for that thrilling barn sequence in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the entirety of Singin' in the Rain.
  32. Theodore Bikel (The Defiant Ones) is 87. 
  33. Eva Marie Saint (winner On the Waterfront) is 87.
  34. Martha Hyer (nominee Some Came Running) is 87.
  35. Lauren Bacall Recently won an honorary Oscar and is 87 and going strong. She recently completed Carmel with Josh Hutcherson.
  36. Ruby Dee (Supporting actress nominee American Gangster) is 87.
  37. Dorothy Malone (Supporting Actress winner Written on the Wind) turns 87 later this month. Can she still do a mean mambo?
  38. Hal Holbrook (Supporting Actor nominee Into the Wild) turns 87 next month.
  39. George Kennedy (Supporting Actor winner Cool Hand Luke) turns 87 next month. Bonus Trivia! Funnily enough the oldest living Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor (that'd be Kennedy) is just one day younger than the oldest Supporting Actor Nominee ever (living or otherwise) which would be Hal Holbrook who was nearly 83 when he was nominated for Into the Wild.
  40. Colette Marchand (Moulin Rouge) is 86.
  41. John Briley (Oscar winner for writing Gandhi) is 86.
  42. Cara Williams (supporting actress nominee The Defiant Ones) is 86.
  43. D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room) is a documentarian. He's 86.
  44. Angela Lansbury (3 time Supporting Actress nominee) is 86 and still a big name to multiple generations. Most people know her as a TV and stage star (she's won 5 Tony Awards) but she had quite an ascendance on the big screen. How many people have won two Oscar nominations within their first three movies? Not too damn many.

    Angela Lansbury is still quite active on Broadway
  45. Julie Harris (Actress nominee Member of the Wedding) just turned 86. 
  46. Haskell Wexler (two time winner) the Cinematographer turns 86 next month.
  47. Andrzej Wazda (Honorary) This 85 year old legendary Polish director who is still working has four Foreign Language Film nominees to his credit including the recent Katyn (2007). 
  48. Jerry Lewis (Jean Hersholt Huminatarian Award) this 85 year old showbiz legend and King of Comedy star rarely won competitive prizes but lots of career honors now.
  49. Roger Corman (Honorary) is 85 and the subject of the new documentary Corman's World. Like many celebrities (and me!!!) he is from Detroit Michigan.
  50. Joan Lorring (Supporting Actress nominee The  Corn is Green) is 85

Cloris Leachman as "Maw Maw" on Raising Hope. Are you watching?Just outside the list: Cloris Leachman (Supporting Actress winner The Last Picture Show

We're super glad they're still with us but they were never Oscar nominated: Manoel de Oliveira (103!!! and still directing feature films in Portugal) Danielle Darieux (94), Zsa Zsa Gabor (94), Maureen O'Hara (91), Louis Jordan (90), Esther Williams (90), Betty White (turns 90 next week!), Christopher Lee (89), Elaine Stritch (almost 87) and Harry Dean Stanton (85).

A smidgeon too young for this list though they are Oscar nominees or winners: Mel Brooks, Norman Jewison, Samuel Goldwyn Jr, Albert Maysles (of Grey Gardens fame), Shirley Temple Black, Sidney Poitier, Rosemary Harris, Lee Grant, and Estelle Parsons. 


20:11 The Tree of Midnight Bridesmaids

Year in Review Fun!. Herewith the 20th minute and 11th second of the movies of 2011 in chronological order of US release dateIt's like flipping channels for snapshots of the film year! For those who like a challenge, I've written the film titles in invisible ink (you can highlight to see them) below the screencap. What kind of memories does this bring back? Do these tiny glimpses make you want to stop flipping channels and watch?

Jan | Feb | March | April

Part 5: May

You're nothing but a boy trying to prove himself a man!"


Mmmm. Now that... that feels good. That's a good one. That's a good one."

JUMPING THE BROOM... I still haven't made my mind up about Paula Patton. Have you?

Salvation is right here in my very hands. Authenticated by the clergy themselves. Purchase this holy water and keep your loved ones safe..."


wedding rehearsals, scary fountains, yummy noodles and more after the jump

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Ask Nathaniel... A Brief Test

This post may soon vanish... we shall see. I am thinking of altering the way we do live blogging or Ask Nathaniel Q & A columns so thought I'd monkey around with this to see how it works. Talk to me if you have a minute as I test things out!