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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Welcome Back Andrew Garfield

"Okay. I felt exactly the opposite way about Garfield's presence in 99 Homes." - Goran

"I'm just glad he got rid of that beard and GOD-AWFUL man bun." - Chris


Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Posterized: The Steven Soderbergh Experience

Given that Steven Soderbergh's "final" theatrical release is 'Now Playing' in theaters near you, I thought it was time to look back on his entire oeuvre. His movies stretched from the Palme D'Or winning breakthrough sex, lies and videotape (1989) to the mid-career twinner Traffic & Erin Brockovich (2000) that won him an Oscar and on through a last rush of product in the past 13 months from experimental action Haywire to stripper drama Magic Mike (a Best Picture nominee right here) and culminated with Side Effects. 

How many have you seen?

sex, lies and videotape (1989)
Kafka (1991)
King of the Hill (1993) 

21 (or so) more after the jump

Click to read more ...


Supporting Actress, My Ballot

With Oscar barrelling towards us (at last) I have no choice but to wrap up my own awards. I don't know where I'll find the time but forward into film bitch awardage...

there's an anchor of grief under those voluminous dresses pulling her down

My Best Supporting Actress Starter Kit, about 20 actresses long, was quite a lot different than the one we heard about all pre-season. For starters Helen Hunt and Ann Dowd, who Oscar season dubbed "supporting", were leading stars for me (Hunt's designation is entirely debatable, Dowd's is not). I am, as ever, more impressed with stylized genre-friendly work than awards bodies, particularly Oscar, ever are. I think Eva Green in a movie that wasn't much good (Dark Shadows), Gina Gershon and Nicole Kidman in movies that might accurately be called "trashy" (Killer Joe and The Paperboy) were all running circles around more respectable names like Maggie Smith or Amy Adams that kept cropping up in "Best of" lists. And though surprise Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver did make my top 12 for her homey egg-shell peace-making in Silver Linings Playbooks, my personal vote for Doing the Most With The Least this year would go to Olivia Munn in Magic Mike... though I didn't go quite so far as to nominate her.

That's all just preface - the point being that I debate this with myself (and with you in the comments) all year long. In the end while Oscar chose an entirely respectable list (save for the exclusion of the incomparable Nicole Kidman which I shall forever deem indefensible) my list has only two women in common with theirs. I had to make room for Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) and Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere), too.


As always I welcome respectful disagreements, fan mail and counterpoint lists. In Actressland many five-top opinions are welcome in "Best" lists.


Melissa McCarthy Robs the Box Office Blind

It was a big big weekend for Melissa McCarthy, who capitalized on that big Bridesmaids breakthrough with her first huge headliner opening of the year in Identity Thief. I use the word "first" because clearly there'll be a second. Her buddy comedy with Sandra Bullock The Heat opens in just two months time. Here's why I knew Identity Thief would be big: three of my friends -- two of whom are rarely seen inside movie theaters (the last thing they saw was Skyfall) -- both told me they wanted to see it. 

box office chart repurposed and photoshopped from

Critics were not kind to the comedy. And that's before we even get to the subject of Rex Reed who notoriously called McCarthy a "female hippo" in his review prompting outrage 'round the web (i.e. more name-calling only this time directed at Reed and his age instead of McCarthy and her weight). But I liked Gawker's take. If the movie is seriously as bad as people are saying, shouldn't McCarthy who is obviously talented and truly funny, bare some responsibility? Why do reliably funny actors so rarely star in actually hilarious movies? (I remember being shocked while watching Date Night and Baby Mama that the movies were not half as funny as Tina Fey is as Tina Fey.) Is the problem that funny people are asked to be the entire joke?

Other Box Office Stories...

  • Side Effects opened to a non-stellar non-embarrassing $10 million
  • Argo went wide again to capitalize on Oscar buzz and rejoined the top ten
  • Top Gun got a 3D conversion earning just under $2 million (and a new limited edition 3D Blu-Ray)
  • Silver Linings Playbook continues to inch toward the $100 million Best Picture Nominee club which is very crowded this year.

What did you see this weekend? I finally watched Yossi but otherwise it wasn't a movie weekend for me.


BAFTAs "live"

David here, bringing you the least live 'live blog' in TFE's history. Nowhere on the planet are the British Academy Film (and Television) Awards broadcast live - not even in their home country. No, we Brits struggle along with the rest of you as the BBC stubbornly refuses to move with the times and shows the edited ceremony two hours after its begun.

But let's make the best of it. Over the next few hours I'll bring you a melange of results and commentary, mostly surmised until the ceremony comes in, which will hopefully have some individual flavour worth reporting. The celebrities have already walked up the foaming red carpet in London's famous torrential rain, so, to kick off, here are a few highlights from the BBC's brief coverage so far.

Chilled to the rust and boneMarion Cotillard couldn't even muster a brave face as she was persuaded to stop racing down the carpet and pose for a few photos. Has it ever NOT rained on BAFTA night?

Marion's here tonight as a Best Actress nominee for Rust & Bone - BAFTA also nominated Helen Mirren, leaving Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts on the sidelines for tonight - but it's Emmanuelle Riva, who wisely skipped the long route into the building, who I've got my fingers crossed for tonight. Can she add a little flavour to the Best Actress race by surprising J-Law here?

Helen Mirren. Pink hair. The interviewer here oddly didn't even attempt to ask what's going on with this. MORE...

Click to read more ...


I Think I'm Going to Link It Here

NPR Bradley Cooper speaks. And charms. 
New York Times 'red carpet projects' 478 looks from Oscar's past. Truly random selection but it was fun seeing some of the stunners again
LA Times another day, another prize for Argo. This time it's the USC Scripter prize for screenplay (which goes to the author of the original text and the screenwriter who adapted it). I'm glad there are a few "who will win?" dramas left for Oscar night but, as ever, Best Picture won't be one of them. Argo has become a steamroller.

Gawker Rich Juzwiak slams Rex Reed's unkind words for Melissa McCarthy but makes a righteous demand of Identity Thief's star: "Transcend, McCarthy, transcend."
Atlantic Wire beautiful posters for Oscars Best Pictures via Gallery 1988
Salon The Rethuglicans are already spending big to "make fun of" actress Ashley Judd even though she's not yet (officially) given up showbiz for politic
Guardian talks to Stephen Daldry about his Oscary career and his latest stage piece (directing Helen Mirren as the Queen again)

Coming Soon
in the many articles spreading the assumption that Quvenzhané Wallis will soon become little orphan Annie in the second big screen adaptation of that stage musical, none have ever confirmed that she can sing. If you can't belt "Tomorrow" the role can't be yours. Can she?
Carpetbagger with Oscar, there's even competition to make the "In Memoriam" list. No, not by dying. I didn't mean it like that.

and here's the complete Oscar nominated short Adam and Dog by Minkyu Lee



Bunheads: Eternal Sunshine of the Psychotic Mind

SusanP here, back with more Bunheads coverage. It’s good to see some fans out there are also Film Experience people. For those of you haven’t watched the show, it’s a safe bet you’ll enjoy it if you love the work of either series star Sutton Foster or creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. For the rest, I’d still encourage you to give the show a try. There’s really nothing else like it on television right now. 

Previously on Bunheads… 
“Take the Vicuna” was directed by actor/writer/director, Chris Eigeman, who is probably best known for his work in Whit Stillman films like Barcelona. He also played Jason Stiles on Sherman-Palladino’s Gilmore Girls and a one-off character on Bunheads last summer. Eigeman stopped by the comments this past Monday and offered a heads-up as to what “Take the Vicuna” refers to: it’s a line from the Billy Wilder film noir, Sunset Boulevard. The reference works on a number of levels as the characters deal with issues of control – something Norma Desmond and Joe Gillis wrestled with in that 1950 classic. 

Those issues play out in the three major storylines [more after the jump]:

Click to read more ...


Burning Questions: Are Jump Scares Ever Not Awful?

Michael C here. I recently caught up with Andres Muschietti’s Mama and found it to be a decent little chiller with one particularly irksome habit. It is packed end-to-end with cheap jump scares. It’s as if the studio insisted the director include a quota of brainless “Boo!” moments amid all the creepy suspense stuff that takes actual filmmaking skill. 

Savvy filmgoers understand that jump scares are the worst. Apart from the fact that it requires roughly the same level of craft to startle someone with a loud noise as it does to zap them with a seat buzzer, they have the added drawback of creating distance between the audience and the film. They release tension, rather than build it. This explains their popularity among teenagers who see horror movies as a carnival ride, doling out empty “scares” with mechanical timing.

So finding a minefield of these cheap shots in another otherwise capable spook story like Mama got me thinking. Are there any defensible examples of the jump scare? Or is it an artistic sin every time it’s trotted out?

jump scares after, um, the jump.

Click to read more ...