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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
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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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Readers' Ranking: Our Streep Fixation

It's our first "Reader Ranking" project. The subject was the one and only Meryl Streep. Recently I gave you a little bit of a statistical tease about reader ballots including little tidbits like Ironweed (1987) being the least seen and Prada (2006) the most. Since it's too early to know where The Iron Lady (her 17th Oscar nomination) will fall in long term evaluations of her career, I asked readers to rank all 16 of her previous Oscar nominations (only the ones they'd seen) and I weighted the ballots so that the more you'd seen the stronger your voice in the final tally. This would give the little seen movies a fighting chance if the people who'd seen them loved them. For the readers who had seen everything, I contacted them to hear more about their Streep fixation.

Wanna hear some of their stories? 

I thought so.

We'll start the countdown tomorrow with #16-#11 but here is a prologue to get you in the mood. Not that you need a mood setter for Streep. You're always in that mood. I'm saving some of the quotes for the countdown but here are a baker's dozen discovery stories...


When did you first discover Streep?
"Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979. It opened on my birthday and at the time my parents were on the verge of divorce. I didn't know anything about Streep at the time but I was transfixed immediately. It was amazing that I could be watching something about a situation I was actually going through but instead of dwelling on that I was so absorbed by her and her performance." 

Top of his ballot?
Bridges of Madison County. "I could have a different 1st place almost any day of the week." 

Hey, couldn't we all?


When did you first discover Streep?
"My first memory of watching Meryl is Death Becomes Her (1992).  I was 11 when it came out and my mom and I watched it in the theatre.  It was just so much fun. My fascination with her and her career came a few years later when I was shown Holocaust (1978) at school.  I will never forget how I felt watching her dedication to James Woods and her eyes telling such a heartbreaking story.  It was after that, at age 13 or 14, that I became a Streep devotee." 

Top of his ballot
Sophie's Choice. (I always forget that it was her second Holocaust related movie. I've never seen Holocaust!)


When did you discover Streep?
"Silkwood, blown away immediately buy her performance. Movie poster was up on my wall next to Duran Duran. I was always addicted to the Oscars and Meryl quickly became one off my favorites next to Katherine Hepburn, Jodie Foster & Doris Day (yeahh I know, but I still think she delivered some great performances - she's my Sandra). I love the way her acting mind works...


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Oscar Symposium Day 1: Tinker Tailor Party Guys

Welcome to the Annual TFE Oscar Symposium! The Film Experience is proud to introduce the following guests (in alpha order): Ali Arikan chief film critic for Dipnot TVNick Davis Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at Northwestern University and the brilliant mind behind Nick's Flick Picks;  Mark Harris author of the instant classic "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of New Hollywood" and Oscarmetrics columnist at Grantland; Kurt Osenlund Managing Editor at Slant Magazine's The House Next Door. And I'm Nathaniel Rogers, of course, your host here at The Film Experience. We started our conversation on Sunday night and here it is for you.  

NATHANIEL: Gentlemen. If I had access to the Windsor font I'd list us all in alpha order in white lettering on the same black title card Woody Allen style so that there won't be any tragic Corey Stoll business where the Screen Actor's Guild leaves one of us out when our inevitable Best Ensemble nomination arrives. Instead, as per Nick's suggestion, we're all pictured in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's conference room. That indelible orange soundproof wall! How did this movie miss an Art Direction nomination?

Despite this visual trapping, I don't for one moment want anyone reading to picture us all as "gray little men" in uncomfortable stuffy suits, withholding. (I am generally too exuberant for secrets and would make a terrible spy.) Though I love Alberto Iglesias compositions for that movie, I'll readily admit that the score inside my head this very moment is more John Williams. Before the opening credits are even over, that man will hit you with the climax, and I'm excited to begin.

Feel free to change the setting at any time (the magic of cinema) but we begin at Tinker Tailor's sad little Christmas party (Don't ask me to explain why MI6 is hosting this party to which it was not invited). All the Best Pictures just walked in. Let's mingle. Who will you avoid? Who do you trust implicitly? Where do you see tension brewing. I think it only looks like Midnight in Paris is friendly with The Artist and Hugo. He secretly judges them for trusting so fully in their own nostalgia.

MARK HARRIS: I'm enjoying this party--who doesn't love wide lapels, long sideburns and ugly plastic eyeglass frames? As for who I'd avoid: The Artist, because I'm pretty sure it'd come up to me, lick my face, hump my leg, do a little dance at my feet, and instantly want to be best friends. Too much too soon--stop being so ingratiating and let me get some punch! I think I'd go seek out The Tree of Life--the cool movie glowering in the corner that nobody's talking to because it never gets invited to parties like this.

And I would be very cautious about eating those little tarts that Octavia Spencer is passing around on a silver tray.

ALI ARIKAN: I've just been talking to "Midnight in paris," who makes for a splendid company.  That guy's full of pithy anecdotes about literary figures of yore.

Well, let's stay at that Christmas party at the Circus.  My favourite scene of the year is set there, when a spook dressed as Father Christmas and sporting a Lenin mask, leads the troops in a rendition of the Soviet National Anthem as Smiley discovers his wife's infidelity.  That's one of the two times where Smiley lets his emotions out (the other being his angry "What are you, then, Bill?" at the end of the film), and we can see how devastated he is.  Oldman's nomination was well deserved. But that film was robbed on so many fronts.  Art direction, as you mention, as well as direction and a supporting nod for Tom Hardy, who is magnificent.  

KURT OSENLUND: Being in any sized room with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is, in my opinion, too close. Moneyball and I are already flashing each other von Sydow-style hand signals. 'Is this guy bothering you?' 'YES.' We meet on the dancefloor, and tap a bit with Jean Dujardin, before heading to see what Smiley is staring at out the window. Is that...Harvey Weinstein? Smooching with Oscar voters?

More including The Artist, critical wars, Moneyball, Songs, and elevating your film...

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Red Carpet SAG: Slinky Angie, Cute Emma, Winning Viola

Red Carpet Conversations continues on the road to Oscar night. The Critics Choice Awards fashions were like something out of easter but the Globes stepped it up with all the colors of the rainbow. Now we've reached the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Pajiba's Joanna has returned!

Joanna:  ‪wooo hoooo fashion‬

Nathaniel:  ‪Welcome back Joanna‬. So how is awards season treating you? You were sick yesterday when we were supposed to talk. Was it red carpet overload?

‬Joanna:  ‪There's only so many ruffles one girl can take.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪So we start on a sun-drenched field.

Lane, Wiig, Carpenter, King, and Mol

It was sunny at the SAGs and I'm not just talking about Jean Dujardin's disposition. Look at all the solar rays powering this first group.

 ‬Joanna:  ‪I love love love love love the sparkles on Jennifer Carpenter.  Also, the length.  It's not something you can wear to the Oscars, but is delightfully SAG worthy.‬

Nathaniel: ‪I think the dress is great but maybe not on her. There's something about the lines on the side (gorgeous) that resemble a jutting rib cage. So skinny that one. But I included her as a thank you for being the only good thing about Dexter anymore (done with that show)‬

Joanna:  ‪Oh, yes, our Deb is in need of a sandwich or two.  That's for sure.   Speaking of curves, I'm not usually a fan of frou-frou, but that purple number looks great on Regina King.  She looks very dishy.  Not quite Viola territory, but close.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪She is SAG's Social Media Ambassador so I want to click "like" on this‬.

Joanna:  ‪Is she? If I were an ambassador I would demand a sash.  A REALLY fancy sash with Twitter birds on it. ‬

Nathaniel:  ‪That's over capacity fo the red carpet.‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Speaking of accessories. I am not a fan of whatever it is Kristen Wiig has on her neck.‬ A choker? From Wet Seal?  It's competing with the neckline of her dress. 

Nathaniel: I can see that but independently I would digg it. I like that she doesn't try to soften her angularity much on the red carpet. She's got a bit of a dark side, yes?‬ 

Joanna:  ‪Are you saying you think she has handcuffs in that bag?‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪Shhhhh. ‬No one must know.

 Joanna:  ‪Ugh, her date is so lucky.‬ Can we talk about Gretchen Mol who looks like the fanciest lady on the USS Enterprise? 

Nathaniel:  ‪Hee.‬  ‪I keep wanting not to like it but I totally do. Which is sort of how I have always reacted to Gretchen Mol. No one remembers this but Vanity Fair was trying to make her happen for the longest and I was like "does Conde Nast have stock in her career?" so I was suspicious but i almost always like her in things.‬ 

Whenever I see Diane Lane I think "movie star without the movies"‬

Joanna:  ‪Mol's fancy space collar looks itchy.‬ ‪Oh I remember her and "Vanity Fair"!  I always felt like Weinstein had his sticky fingers all over that situation.‬ But, speaking of Real Genuine Movie Stars, Angelina Jolie was back in her Cruella style. All slinky and drapey and eeeeeevil. 



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The Link Experience

Towleroad Revisiting Drive on DVD. Ryan Gosling's scorpion jacket is at auction. One more day to bid! (I suspect this is a good investment as movie memorabilia goes.)
Carpetbagger Author Jeffrey Eugenides on his Oscar ballot. He loves The Tree of Life and all things Woody Allen. Has issues with Bridesmaids
In Contention breaking Oscar's biopic addiction. Halleloo. 
Movie|Line today is The Artist day in LA. Officially! Harvey Weinstein continues to be a god amongst mortals when it comes to Oscar campaigns.


My New Plaid Pants JA has gone totes l'amour fou for Jean Dujardin. Pervy animated gifsm, dancing in boxer shorts, gratuitous photo spreads. But can you blame him?
Empire another new role for Jennifer Lawrence in the adaptation of the novel Serena about an ruthless ambitious married couple running a timber empire in 1929. This role was once earmarked for Angelina Jolie so clearly Hollywood has faith in Jennifer Lawrence.
IndieWire for your consideration at next year's Oscars. The Sundance crop.
Towleroad Director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) is out of the closet. I didn't realize he was in. 

The TV Experience?
Brief somewhat random thoughts on Glee vs. Smash and more small screen after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Oscar Ballots Are in the Mail

Soon electronic voting will speed Oscar up. (How long before we see Oscar night moving to January?) Hopefully distributors will take pity on the public and AMPAS members and start opening movies before December to help that along (oh who are we kidding?!?). But until that instant voting happens, the post office will be involved. The final Oscar ballots hit the mail today, with those SAG wins fresh in voter's minds if they were watching. Dujardin, Davis, Plummer and Spencer could well repeat if they liked what they saw.

To mark the balloting occassion our annual Oscar Symposium is about to begin! Day One hits the site tonight. So join the party in the comments once the festivities kick off.