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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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 "...and will these three great artists appear on the actual Oscars show?" - Rick G.

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Thursday
Dec202012

Premature Jessica Chastain Nostalgia. Is She Streep 2.0 ???

Remember when Jessica Chastain brought her grandma Marilyn to the Oscars in February?

What a sweet moment that was. Do you think she'll take her again this year?

What a difference a year makes, huh? Just last year we were wondering who she was and how she'd arrived to us so fully formed as an actress, and I had the pleasure of asking her just that shortly before she won her first nomination (Best Supporting Actress, The Help). This year she'll be fighting it out for the actual Best Actress trophy for Zero Dark Thirty.

Should Jessica be nominated in January (very very likely), one might even be tempted to think of her as Streep: The Next Generation. Meryl Streep is a tough act to be compared to but consider the similarities. Meryl Streep was a late arrival to the cinema (as actresses go) making her first motion picture in 1977 (Julia) in her late 20s after stage triumphs and degrees from Vassar and Yale. Jessica didn't arrive on movie screens until her early 30s last year though she had been filming movies since her late 20s (some of them were significantly delayed before release) after stage triumphs and an acting degree from Juilliard. By Streep's third year in the public eye she had co-starred in three Best Picture Nominees (Julia ,The Deer Hunter, and Kramer vs. Kramer -- the latter two won) and was a two-time Oscar nominee and winner and a full-fledged movie star. By Jessica Chastain's second year in the public eye she will have presumably co-starred in three Best Picture nominees (The Help, The Tree of Life, and Zero Dark Thirty) and become a two-time nominee.

The only thing missing in the comparison is a) the Oscar win for her second nomination which is a maybe at this point and b) the full fledged stardom. Chastain is definitely a known quantity now but not exactly a household name. Her films haven't had the seismic impact of Streep's breakthrough pictures -- The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer were colossal hits of their day though The Help's box office reign last year was not unimpressive.

Jessica Chastain and her Take Shelter co-star Michael Shannon at a party for Zero Dark Thirty this week.

If Chastain wins this year, do you think she's got a triple the caliber of French Lieutant's WomanSophie's Choice and Silkwood, in her immediate future? Or is this way way way too much to ask? 

 

Thursday
Dec202012

And the Oscar Goes to... Snow White?

YEAR IN REVIEW BEGINS NOW! Many Best ofs and Film Bitch Awards to follow...

Did you know that today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of the controversial "Die Kinder und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales)" by the Brothers Grimm? (Google is celebrating) The book, a collection of fairy tales both pre-existing in oral form and original, has a complicated legacy in Germany and outside of it. But modern pop culture would be unthinkable without its existence. I mean without Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and the rest you'd have no "Into the Woods", no Grimm or Once Upon a Time, no gingerbread houses, and no global Disney Empire as we know it!

But today, when it comes to the legacy of the Brothers Grimm, I'm thinking about Snow White. If you're reading any list on "Entertainers of the Year" for 2012 and Snow White isn't present, there is a problem. Or if not Snow White (who has, on occassion, defined The Bland Protagonist), than the Evil Queen Stepmother. The Former Fairest of Them All nearly always pulls focus and ends up the defacto star of each iteration.

Earlier this year we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) with an animated edition of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"  and the cinema gave us not one not two but three new movie versions of the classic tale... [more]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec192012

National Link Registry

The Hollywood Reporter  A former sitcom writer "kvells and kvetches" about The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance starring Babs and Bette
PopWatch Mark Harris on Hollywood's love of gun violence. I highly recommend reading this but I highly caution NOT reading the comments because as per usual the gun crazies come out. They'd have us all packing and I so don't want to live in their preferred world.
Cinema Blend Katey & Eric on 12 Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2012 from Hello I Must Be Going (Yay, Melanie!) through Cosmopolis

Awards Daily Whoa. Ann Dowd is footing the bill for her own Oscar campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Emayatzy Corinealdi on her breakthrough in Middle of Nowhere. You know. I've been trying not to talk about this because I can't figure out a way to say it that doesn't sound indelicate but in some ways I really hate falling in love with new black actresses in the same way that falling hard for new theater actors can be nerve-wracking. Chances are (unforgivably) strong that no one will give these gifted performers another plum opportunity after their breakthrough and that truly sucks. So I'm crossing my fingers for Corinealdi but I'm still waiting for something real to happen for Pariah star Adepero Oduye, last year's breakthrough actress of color. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the non-career of the brilliant Kimberly Elise so... 

The Carpetbagger on screenwriter Lucy Alibar's (Beasts of the Southern Wild) crash course in cinema
The Onion "Top Movies of 2012"
David Poland gives himself a new nickname. Or adopts one given.
Vanity Fair Barbra Streisand talks about her legendary duet with Judy Garland in the 60s. Really interesting comment from Babs I think.  
MNPP joins the Zero Dark Thirty fan club 

Oooh, look Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar saying that his filmography is "the one to beat" -damn straight! Nobody else in the modern era compares.

Finally, I want to extend my annual congratulations to the 25 films that are newly announced for preservation by the National Film Registry. They are:

  • "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959)
  • "The Augustas" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Born Yesterday" (1950)
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)
  • "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • "The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight" (1897)
  • "Dirty Harry" (1971)
  • "Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2" (1980-82)
  • "The Kidnappers Foil" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests" (1922)
  • "A League of Their Own" (1992)
  • "The Matrix" (1999)
  • "The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair" (1939)
  • "One Survivor Remembers" (1995)
  • "Parable" (1964)
  • "Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia" (1990)
  • "Slacker" (1991)
  • "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
  • "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973)
  • "They Call It Pro Football" (1967)
  • "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984)
  • "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914)
  • "The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England" (1914)

As per usual that's a lot of titles that I know nothing about but I'm most thrilled by The Times of Harvey Milk which is one of the most moving and important documentaries ever made. And on a sillier note, can we talk about how ever-watchable the female baseball comedy A League of Their Own is? Sometimes I pine for the 1990s. It's tough to imagine that movie breaking $100 million now but the 90s were a good time for girlpower narratives.  

If you're a fan of A League of  Their Own (who isn't?) I want to know which scene just popped into your mind when you heard that it made the list!

 

Wednesday
Dec192012

Open Thread. Voices (& Comments) Carry

Editorial Note: I'm aware that despite the deliciously robust comment threads on recent posts like "Worst of the (Best)" and "Beasts of the Precursor Wild" a few of you (and me actually) have been having some issues with Comments. I'm monitoring it closely now and unfortunately this week it's decided that some of you are spambots so I've been fixing. A blogger's work is never done!

But what's on your mind today, movie-wise? And yes, yes, I know you're waiting on some key interviews. Thursday through Sunday will be poppin' here at TFE so patience! Interviews are the single most time-consuming kind of article, I'm sorry to say.

If you're exhausted with nothing on your mind this humpday... here -- enjoy some music. Here are new videos from Paul Williams (this song is eligible for the Oscar and is sensitive and beautiful much like his earlier Oscar nominated work. I think it has a good shot at the shortlist), Aimee Mann (I always forget she has a sense of humor and this "Labrador" is kind of awesome) and Hunky Hunk McHunkerson (aka Cheyenne Jackson). Won't someone please put him in an action movie... or at least in a Magic Mike sequel?

What'cha think?

Wednesday
Dec192012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "After Earth"

Michael C here. The staggering failure of M. Night Shyamalan’s post-Signs career does not need another chronicling here. Suffice it to say that to approach a new film of his with high expectations would require insane, borderline Little Orphan Annie levels of optimism.

Not that you would know from the trailer that After Earth is the latest M. Night Shyamalan opus since his name appears in the preview exactly zero times. Clearly the studio got word of the peals of laughter the Devil trailer received with its “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan” title card.

No this trailer is all about top world box office star Will Smith and his transparent mission to anoint son Jaden heir to his box office throne. Also there seems to be some stuff about crash landing on a strange and dangerous planet in the distant future that turns out to be…wait for it…Earth! Twist!

Breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec192012

10 More Critics Prizes: "Argo" & "The Master" Fight For "Zero Dark" Scraps

I haven't done the math but why count with my fingers when The Wrap is a born calculator and reveals that as the critics prizes have shaken down Zero Dark Thirty leads the race with 8 while Argo is in second for Best Picture prizes with half as many triumphs thus far. The Master is the only other film that's managed multiple "Best Film" gongs (3) in this thankfully divided year. Licking the crumbs off the critics awards plate we have Amour, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and... Safety Not Guaranteed? Well, ok, Indiana! You go your own way.

Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and The Master are the critics win leaders

Les Misérables is the only film from Oscar's presumed big five that hasn't managed a Best Picture win from a critics group though it's surprising to realize that Lincoln hasn't done much better in terms of taking the top prize. Another casualty is Beasts of the Southern Wild. That gloriously original moving indie has recovered from its first weeks in the precursors where it couldn't win "first film" or "breakthrough performer" prizes with the unexpected strength of How to Survive a Plague and Middle of Nowhere blocking its pathway with critics or at the Gothams respectively. It's won a few things here and there. But I'd argue it's the biggest casualty of the critics weeks since it hasn't managed even one Best Picture win. It deserved and needed them so it's no surprise that it's outsider shot at a Best Picture nomination which once seemed totally doable now looks like a true long shot.

Supporting Actor Disappointments and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec182012

(Tap) Dancing With the Links

The Mary Sue Cupcakes in case you'd like to eat The Hobbit or his dwarf friends!
Towleroad the 50 most powerful 'coming outs' of the year
Atlantic the review of Les Miserables that I wish I'd written. Just beautiful
Gawker That guy who cyberstalks actresses is sentenced to a whole bunch of prison time. Somewhere ScarJo is smiling
MTV Jamie Foxx on Electro in Spider-Man 2 (the second one... so I guess Spider-Man 5?). I hate the pride that the costume will be sleek black. Electro has a dumb costume but sleek black Matrix wear for superhero movies is SO dull and overused now.

Carpetbagger Eddie Redmayne is Hollywood's new crush ... and an Oscar contender?
The L Magazine chooses the top 25 films of the year from Looper through Magic Mike and Lincoln
David Poland what the hell as GQ done to Channing Tatum?
Awards Daily Sasha shares the figures of AMPAS branches

The Black List is out. The annual list of well liked unproduced screenplays. See any synopsis that make you restless to be watching an actual film?
In Contention
Kris Tapley's top ten list. Amour and Moonrise Kingdom do make a fine double, don't they?
Next Projectio
n on ten favorite scenes of the year from Haywire to Holy Motors
Slate
on Dexter. I made the mistake of tuning in to this last episode after having finally given up the series earlier this year and found it so reprehensible that I wish I hadn't accidentally tuned in. Used to be a good show. Now I'm just embarrassed for the actors ...especially Jennifer Carpenter who has tried so valiantly to make sense of a now nonsensical character.

Finally... have you read Reese Witherspoon's tribute to Naomi Watts in The Impossible? She really goes all out with the praise name-checking Meryl Streep's Sophie's Choice and Sally Field's Norma Rae. But this is my favorite part:

If I have anything to do with it (and I will literally tap dance on Sunset Boulevard for you!), you will be holding every beautiful statue that exists by the end of February."

OMG. Do it, Reese, do it.