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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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Beauty vs. Beast


I think I know who the twins are voting for in our SHINING poll. But who are you voting for


Comment Fun

Birdman's Secret Advantage
Oscar Loves Theater Stage Movies


"My favorite movie about the theater is ALL ABOUT EVE, but then again that movie is my favorite movie about everything about movies and love and lust and life itself." - Jay

"TOPSY-TURVY perfectly captures the feeling of imminent failure that you get when you're in rehearsals." - Peggy


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One Hundred Years of Linkitude

24 Frames a glowing profile of Shailene Woodley in The Descendants who is looking more and more like a real Supporting Actress contender. Alexander Payne even compares her to a young Debra Winger. 
Empire fun investigation of the parallels between Joss Whedon's The Avengers and the Whedonverse itself (Buffy and the like)
Animation Magazine digs into the Oscar race for Best Animated Film
NY Post Apparently Terrence Malick is a comedy loving Ben Stiller fan. Who'da thunk it. 
Variety Weird but true. Scarlett Johansson directing a Truman Capote novella 

Rope of Silicon likes the cinematography of We Need To Talk About Kevin, Rampart and Shame... and I come away singing Fiona Apple...

But he's been pretty much yellow
And I've been cryin' blue
But all I can see is
Red, red, red, red, red now
What am I to do

Ugh, I miss Fiona Apple so much some times. What happened to her?

Cinema Blend watch an artist transform Rooney Mara to Lisbeth Salander with one finger on his iPad.
Scene Stealers lists the best Twilight parodies online.
Socialite Life Mila Kunis kept her promise and attended that Marine Corps Ball. Good on her.
Coming Soon more Spider-Man set photos
Gothamist Edward Scissorhands on the F train
Tom Shone turns out not everyone loves Martin Scorsese's Hugo.
Guardian UK readers can see A Separation on DVD/BluRay now. By all means, get to it. I love this quote from the Guardian capsule:

It's not so much world cinema as world class." 

Tom Munro check out his awesome photoshoot of Madonna and Andrea Riseborough for W.E.  

Off Cinema
TV|Line Elisabeth Shue has been put out to pasture in the land of procedural television. Nathaniel wept. 
Salon unveils their People-adjacent list of the year's sexiest men. No movie stars or Bradley Cooper allowed though we're very pleased to see the wonderful director Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) on the list. I was also happy to see Marcus Samuellson, star chef, make the list. He touched our table the very first time we ate at his new restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem. It's delicious and afforable, a combo that you can't beat. Try it if you're ever in NYC. 
Towleroad More divalicious links over there... if you want this link party to keep on rolling...


Happy 50th Birthday, Meg Ryan

She rose to fame just before Julia Roberts who rose to fame just before Sandra Bullock. Together the three of them inarguably ruled the Romantic Comedy genre for a full decade back when, and this is an important note, the genre was producing regular classics. (Look at any modern RomCom Queen's filmography and try to find films half as good; the qualitative dropoff is more like a horror movie!) 

Cut to 2011 and the other two members of America's Sweetheart Trinity: 1990s Division are still headliners and now Oscar Winners. So what happened to Meg Ryan and why did goodwill not follow her or rescue her as it did her royal sisters in big screen love and laughter? For a good long while people wondered when her Erin Brockovich would arrive. Eventually they stopped wondering but why couldn't she even stumble onto her own The Blind Side

It isn't a simple matter of talent. While Meg is mostly remembered for romantic comedy blockbusters like When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail (recently revisited at Stale Popcorn) and Sleepless in Seattle she was always alternating those films with dramatic work, sometimes chasing Oscar nominations which never materialized and sometimes, one assumes, merely to stretch herself or work with great actors (When a Man Loved a WomanFlesh and Bone, Courage Under Fire, Hurlyburly, etcetera).

Gwyneth Paltrow and Meg Ryan in "Flesh and Bone" (1993), the year of Sleepless in Seattle

In fact, if you lay their 90s filmographies down side by side, without the benefit of knowing what came after, Ryan was demonstrating far far more range than Bullock.  

Was she simply too good at romantic comedy, making her dramatic work feel unexciting in comparison? Did she push herself too far past her natural talents in films like In The Cut (2003) that may have been better suited to miraculous dramatic thespians like, say, a Moore or a Kidman? Or did her own career stumbles tie in too chronologically well with the decline of her signature genre? Or was it just that her volatile personal life (the Dennis Quaid divorce and the Russell Crowe affair) rubbed too abrasively against her "cute" screen image? That's a problem that Julia never seemed to have despite an even more volatile love life -- maybe because her image wasn't as "cute" but leaned a little spikier and more narcissistic.

I'm just theorizing now... Join me. I'd love to hear your (non hateful) theories and your take on her best work. It's her 50th birthday so we wish her well. Her next feature is an ensemble drama called Lives of the Saints with an eclectic cast featuring Kat Dennings, Kevin Zegers, 50 Cent, and John Lithgow. 

What do you make of her more dramatic work in In the CutWhen A Man Loves a Woman, Hurlyburly, Flesh and Bone, Top Gun, Prelude to a Kiss? Which of her romcoms do it for you: ...Sally? ...Mail? French Kiss? Addicted to Love? ...Seattle? Kate & Leopold?


Mulligan and the Great DiCapsby

True Story: Last night I was walking to a birthday party with a movie-mad friend of mine and we passed a girl with badly bleached short platinum hair. She was wearing a showy vintage coat and her face was squinching up on the verge of drama queen tears. We turned to each other in jinxy double take: 'Carey Mulligan: Shame live in New York, New York!'

It wasn't Mulligan but the look was so spot on it could have been the Halloween parade.

Maybe you had to be there.

But you don't have to be there to enjoy this photo from the set of The Great Gatsby. Normally when an actress turns ubiquitous we get worried (nobody is right for every role) but after her hot mess spin as Sissy in Shame, so different than anything we've seen her do, maybe she can do anything.

Not that "Daisy", another 180˚will be easy to pull off.

I've always loved this description of her voice (the novel is short on physical descriptions but wonderfully evocative in terms of character).

"Her voice is full of money," he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it ... high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. 

More photos and such after the jump...

Click to read more ...


It Won't Bring Her Back.

Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood on "Splendour"For those of you wondering why I haven't written about the reopening of the Natalie Wood drowning case from 1981 there are three reasons. First, recalling a childhood trauma is unpleasant (Natalie was my first experience with the death of a loved one. An abstract "loved one", sure, but still... Traumatic!). Second, it won't bring her back and I'd rather remember the actress than the death. In fact, I have West Side Story 50th anniversary prizes to give out soon. Third and finally, I've been swamped time-wise. But if you'd like the latest updates, The Wrap has been steadily updating the information. It's all still very inconsequential so one wonders why exactly they reopened the case. There were only four people aboard: Natalie, the captain (who claims to have been drunk and has changed his story), her husband RJ (who is supposedly not a suspect), and her then co-star Christopher Walken (who has now hired a lawyer). Natalie and Walken were making Brainstorm at the time which was released two years after her death.

Christopher Walken was 38 (and a recent Oscar winner) and Natalie was 43 when they made "Brainstorm"

CBS 48 Hours Mystery is airing a new special on the 30 year old tragedy tonight. (The boat they were on was long since sold but it's now docked in Honolulu.) I probably shouldn't watch it but I suspect I will.



20:11 Season of the Hornet's "No Stings" Dilemma

Year in Review Fun... Much more to come! 

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 mnemonic challenge, I've written the film titles in invisible ink below each screencap (you can highlight to see them). Would any of these tiny glimpses make you want to stop channel surfing and watch?

january | february | march | april


Our ranks have been decimated. You must deliver her."


Holy....! Kato, are you a pervert?


We are trying to relax! Everything is going to be fine."


["Did i have sex with anyone...?" and other awkward January moments more after the jump.]

Click to read more ...


Oscar News: 15 Documentary Finalists. Major Snubs Are Mandatory.

The Academy have announced their finalists in the Best Documentary Oscar category. Guess what isn't it the running anymore: Senna, The Interrupters, Page One: Inside the New York Times, and The Carrier! And that's just the biggies off the top of my head without research.  Amir was just pontificating about Senna's Oscar hopes and he's hardly that movies only über fan. People will be up in arms. I suppose it wouldn't be the Best Documentary Feature, that storied and oft-controversial category, without these anger-making decisions. Remember when Grizzly Man got the boot? I know, right? Unthinkable though that still is...

The finalists are...


  • Battle for Brooklyn (RUMER Inc.) 
  • Bill Cunningham New York (First Thought Films)
  • Buck (Cedar Creek Productions) 
  • Hell and Back Again (Roast Beef Productions Limited)
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)
  • Jane's Journey (NEOS Film GmbH & Co. KG)
  • The Loving Story (Augusta Films)
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (
  • Pina (Neue Road Movies GmbH)
  • Project Nim (Red Box Films)
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful (Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc.)
  • Sing Your Song (S2BN Belafonte Productions, LLC)
  • Undefeated (Spitfire Pictures)
  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat (JUF Pictures, Inc.)
  • We Were Here (Weissman Projects, LLC)

The highest profile films here are Buck, Pina (also eligible in Foreign Film), Project Nim, and Paradise Lose 3: Purgatory... but that's almost a whole shortlist in and of itself so expect more drama ahead.

Who are you rooting for and which snub makes you crazazy? 



"I slept in a few dumpsters."

"Maybe I slept on some babies."