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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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What'cha Looking For?

"you are a part of me that i could never link without. khob-khun-ka khob-khun-ka"

Chicago Reader insightful piece on the troublesome editing of both Bridesmaids and Margaret.
Critical Condition on why Shame is his least favorite movie this year.
Mark Harris does the best job yet of mapping out that crazy weekend just past of awardage that happened to us.
OQ David Kinzer goes down the rabbit hole to bitch about Sasha Stone bitching about David Denby and Shame. Oh, the internetz.  
Fandor "The Spielberg Face" a video essay

How much do you love the dueling speeches in "Bridesmaids". I think it's the best scene." 

List Mania
IndieWire 25 Best Movie Moments of the Year
The AV Club has a communal top 15 of the year.
Scanners on Shame, The Artist, awards season backlash and the effortful compilation of one's own "best of" lists.


West Side Story Contest Winners

Whenever awards season starts coming at us full throttle it's sometimes hard to remember that what's truly important in life is not who got snubbed at the BFCAs or who might be looking at a 6th place finish in Oscar balloting.  

No, no.... What's most important in life is West Side Story and who won The Film Experience's West Side Story Blu-Ray contest. I enjoyed reading your entries so much! Honestly I wish more people had entered so I could keep on reading them. In the end I had to go all eenie meenie minie moe because there's no way I could choose by stories. So many personal memories and so much love for this film.

I wish I had 10 copies to give away. Alas, there can be only two... THE WINNERS ARE...

LEON in Texas who writes:

 My West Side Story fandom began a half a lifetime ago. After watching Titanic tying Ben-Hur's record, I became enamored with the Oscars, and made it my goal to watch all of the Best Picture winners, and decided to start with West Side Story, which was the oldest Best Picture winner my parents owned. I had seen the film once when I was two, but my memory of it was incredibly distorted. (My memory told me that the final stirring speech was delivered by the tomboy Anybodys.) I was initially a little bit hesitant about watching the film, because at the time I was not a fan of musicals at all. I had made up my mind that musicals were a drab, unrealistic experience full of boring song and dance numbers. 

That notion flew out the window when I finally saw the dazzling Prologue sequence. I was drawn into the finger-snapping music of Leonard Bernstein and the dynamic choreography of Jerome Robbins. The film gripped me in those opening scenes, and never let me go until well after the final somber chords in the credits sequence. I was so blown away that I watched the film again...and again...and again. By the end of the calendar year I had seen the movie 10 times. Even today, it remains my absolute favorite American film. 

The other winner is ANDREW in Washington who writes...

In my freshman English course when I was 14, we had spent a few weeks reading and discussing Romeo & Juliet. My English teacher decided to show us West Side Story as a class as a fun way to cap the subject. Many of the kids groaned when they found out it was a musical, but I was ecstatic since I loved musicals and had never seen West Side Story. I only knew the song "I Feel Pretty" was from it.

My best friend and I were in the corner and we absolutely loved it, especially Rita Moreno. Every time she was on screen we were captivated by her, and couldn't breathe during the scene where Anita is nearly raped. We quietly cried together in the corner during the ending and immediately both got the soundtrack when we got home. From then on we spent many times together breaking out into the songs, especially "America" and "Tonight". We still do so to this day!  What I think I remember best, was how quiet the class was when it ended. And numerous kids were whispering "That was actually pretty good!", many of the same ones that were dreading having to actually watch a musical!  It just goes to show you, that people who stay away from things deemed "uncool" can miss out on so many great things.


The studio tells me your BluRays are in the mail today. Thanks to everyone who entered and who loves West Side Story. Fans of WSS are my kind of people. 

More on the 1961 Oscar Winner will come...




BFCA 'Critics Choice' Nominees: It's Hugo vs. The Artist

As you may or may not know, I am a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. So this weekend, I rushed to turn in my ballot hoping against hope that my tiny voice will save them from their own relentless interest in predicting the Oscars above all else. I hoped, for example, that here is where you'd see a bit of Off Oscar movement for some of the interesting divisive movies such as Melancholia or critical hit only performances like Olivia Colman's in Tyrannosaur or things only critics have seen but that they lovedlovedloved like A Separation (Trust: I'm far from the only one.) While hope springs eternal, this year they held on tight to just what you'd expect: Oscar predictions! There are about 250 members of the BFCA -- you can see a list here --  and remarkably none of us are named Peter Travers though as a group we seem to collectively share his Oscar-hewing choices under the guise of "My opinion - screw Oscar!" (teehee). But what can you do?!

Movieloving duo The Artist and Hugo led the nominations with 11 nods apiece. Let's look at each category. The "Critics Choice" Awards will be held on January 12th, 2012 and broadcast on VH1 as per usual. This year's hosts will be Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer.


  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse 

(SOLE) SURPRISE / BAD NEWS FOR: I really thought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 would place her given that so many media types (many of them BFCA members) are obsessed with those massive franchises - especially when/because they're ending. Otherwise this is just what you'd expect for an Oscar prediction + DRIVE which, yes, I voted for. Duh!
THREAT TO WIN: I think you're looking at Hugo vs. The Artist and not just due to the nomination count. 

It's HUGO vs. THE ARTIST, each with 11 nominations


  • Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo
  • Steven Spielberg, War Horse

SURPRISE: Refn's genre effort paid off. And Spielberg's schmaltz-a-thon? That's not a surprise but: Yikes. I guess the BFCA really thinks War Horse will score big with Oscar. Perhaps it shall. Otherwise, it's exactly as you'd expect though I'm pleased to see Refn squeeze in to the Oscar predictions.
BAD NEWS FOR: Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. He hasn't been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars in a very long time. One wonders if they'll want to welcome him back this year given the "comeback" story with his film's surprise hit status. 
THREAT TO WIN: I'm assuming the BFCA members will swerve towards Scorsese with a combo of hero worship and genuine love for his new film. 


  • Viola Davis, The Help
  • Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
  • Charlize Theron, Young Adult
  • Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

SURPRISE: This is good news for Olsen and Swinton who are both still in the fight for an Oscar nod despite films that are more alienating than Oscar goes for. 
BAD NEWS FOR: From an Oscary standpoint this is another nail in Glenn Close's Albert Nobbs coffin. From the needed a boost file, this is a tough blow for Olivia Colman and Kirsten Dunst.

THREAT TO WIN: The BFCA likes to give Meryl Streep best actresses wins and, extraordinarily, they like to do it with ties. It keeps happening (tied with Anne Hathaway in 2008, tied with Sandra Bullock for 2009). so expect her to win her third in 4 years in January... but...





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Curio: Cinema Comics

Alexa here. I've never been a huge follower of comic culture (although a graphic novel or two has found its way to my heart, such as Asterios Polyp.)  In fact, I've learned of the existence of certain comics because of the film version: I first took notice of The X-Men thanks to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and Watchmen may have been an acclaimed graphic novel, but I'd never heard of it until Zack Snyder took it on.  So I'm getting a twisted pleasure from the reversal in these comic versions of films I spotted on etsy.

Sarah Silverman (no, not not that one) sells hand-drawn comic zines looking to Audrey Hepburn, Margot Tennenbaum and The Devil Wears Prada for inspiration. You can buy copies here. They'd make cute stocking stuffers at only $11 each.

Click to read more ...


'oh, oobee doo. i wanna link like you-oohooh ♫'

Empire Eddie Murphy could play Washington mayor Marion Barry for Spike Lee in a new biopic.
Carpetbagger wonders if Meryl Streep is the oldest person to ever grace the cover of Vogue? We assume she is, unless some male designer once posed there with an 18 yr old supermodel. 
Movie|Line 5 pieces of Elizabeth Taylor's Memorabilia worth paying for...
Time profiles Tilda Swinton

Indie Wire because Martin Scorsese hasn't won enough awards in the past several years, the Santa Barbara Festival is going to honor him with the American Riviera Award 
Yahoo Movies a rundown of awardage thus far. No consensus really.
Rope of Silicon lists the top five movie tattoos. I was happy to see Seth Gecko.
Awards Daily Sasha gets angry at the Shame haters. The movie not the emotion. Feel free to hate on shame the emotion. It's an annoying one. 
Guardian in "Obituaries of 2011" has Shirley Maclaine's memories of La Liz. 
24 Frames The Hollywood Blacklist... hottest screenplays 

Hero Complex on Anthony Lister's Rise of the Planet of the Apes mural at Melrose Avenue.

Love it, don't you? How many pictures do you think are going to be snapped there every day while it's up. 

And finally congratulations to the directors cited by Variety as "10 to Watch". In case the pay wall traps you like it did me they are:


  • Zal Batmanglij (Sound of My Voice)
  • Valérie Donzelli (Declaration of War) -French Oscar submission
  • Gareth Evans (The Raid)
  • Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) -Canadian Oscar submission
  • Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala) -Mexican Oscar submission
  • Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre)
  • Michaël R Roskam (Bullhead) -Belgian Oscar submission
  • Lynn Shelton (Your Sister's Sister)
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beast of the Southern Wild)
  • The Bandito Brothers (Act of Valor)


Off Cinema
in case you need a wee break in which case what the hell are you doing here?
Pitchfork Top 100 Songs of the Year 
Billboard The Year in Music
Stale Popcorn Madonna's greatest soundtrack hits. (Okay that one is not totally off cinema I suppose.) 


Box Office: "New Year's Eve" Drops Its Ball & a Milestone for "The Help"

Despite overloading with stars, some more bankable than others, New Year's Eve didn't exactly get moviegoers partying. Might this be an end to Garry Marshall's holiday franchise. Since he's working backwards chronologically given that he started with Valentine's Day, one supposed Christmas was going to be next.

Trivia Note: This is Michelle Pfeiffer's second "Ingrid". One assumes the first one (White Oleander) wouldn't like this mousy character too much!Box Office (U.S.) Baker's Dozen
01 NEW YEAR'S EVE new $13 
02 THE SITTER new $9.8 
04 THE MUPPETS new $6.9 (cum $65.7)
05 ARTHUR CHRISTMAS new $6.5 (cum $33.4)

06 HUGO new $6 [Scorsese & Team] (cum $33.4)
07 THE DESCENDANTS $4.3 [Michael's review] (cum. $23.6)
08 HAPPY FEET TWO $3.6 (cum. $56.7)
09 JACK AND JILL $3 (cum. $68.5) 
10 THE IMMORTALS $2.4 (cum. $79.8) 

11 TOWER HEIST $2.3 (cum. $74.1)
12 PUSS IN BOOTS $1.6 (cum. $141.8)
13 J EDGAR  $1.1 [Nathaniel's review] (cum $34.7)

Talking Points
Young Adult and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy started off in teensy-tiny release (sigh. why must so many movies do this?) garnering solid per screen averages... especially Tinker Tailor. That fake out release for We Need To Talk About Kevin (Oscar qualifying) also had fairly full houses though it'll be removed from theaters next weekend just as its gaining steam. Sigh.

• The Weinstein Co is obviously keeping The Artist very close to their vest grooming it for an Oscar explosion. Despite promising first two week numbers it added only 10 new screens and is inching towards $1 million. Will the caution pay off or smother its ignitability with crowds?

• Despite a good week of awardage, Margin Call seems to be on its last legs creeping towards a $5 million gross in its 8th weekend.

• And believe it or not, The Help -- currently in the thick of Oscar campaigning and DVD releasing -- finally crawled past Bridesmaids this weekend to become the single biggest unexpected blockbuster of the year, 11th for the year overall and the 2nd biggest female led film (after Bella's wedding of course).

Sadly, The Helps #11 finish means the top ten this year is ONLY franchises. All original films were shut out which is basically the movie version of coal in the stocking of future moviegoers. Alas, we do it to ourselves! Such is the stagnating power of habit and pre-sold entertainments. No originals? DANGER. DANGER. Stop sending this message to Hollywood. If a franchise is getting weak, skip its next installment! Wait for the DVD.


'Attack of the 50 Foot Vanessa!' San Francisco Winners

I've long been saying that if Oscar voters actually see Ralph Fiennes Shakespearean adaptation Coriolanus -- it's an "if" because 80% of the contenders, even the teensy tiny ones, chose December as their best Oscar strategy -- it'll be tough to stop Vanessa Redgrave from crushing her Best Supporting Actress competition. Though Fiennes is the actor/director it's the legendary Oscar winner who walks away with the movie as his proud, fierce, monster mom, so proud of her son's battle scars she comes across as yet more bloodthirsty than he.

So today she picks up her second precursor after the British Independent Film Awards. San Francisco apparently likes their moms all sticky with a violent son's blood. See also their best actress winner: Tilda Swinton

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Winners
PICTURE The Tree of Life
DIRECTOR Terrence Malick, the Tree of Life 
ACTRESS Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
ACTOR... Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
SUPPORTING ACTOR Albert Brooks, Drive

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
SPECIAL CITATION "The Mill and the Cross"
MARLON RIGGS AWARD (Courage and Vision in Bay Area film community)
National Film Preservation Foundation 

All in all a very good showing for The Tree of Life, Tinker Tailor and bloody mamas everywhere. Now excuse me while I do a happy dance for Certified Copy. YES.