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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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Missi Pyle's Oscar Memoir!


 "Amazing. Missi is freaking hilarious! Keeping it real at the Oscars…love it!" -Lindsay

"I died a little when I saw that Chastain picture... The best of luck to Missi. And, girl, you're fun!" -Fadhil

all of Missi Pyle's guest posts


Beauty vs. Beast

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Monologue Monday: "Time To Die"

Today marked the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner, one of the most influential movies of all time. The last time I saw the picture was  5 years ago for its restored 25th anniversary . T'was quite a mindfuck to see a movie so clearly 80s looking like it just came from the lab. For the anniversary I thought I'd share this previous article on Roy Batty's famous final monologue...

Blade Runner's perfect opening shot. Human but abstract

I've lost track of the times I've seen people steal from it, particularly in the art direction/ production design world (the world that spawned auteur Ridley Scott, don'cha know?). Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the leader of a freethinking band of androids known as "replicants" is the best character in the movie. He's scary yet soulful and sympathetic... like a 21st century Frankenstein monster. [More after the jump]

Click to read more ...


Contest: Evita ♪ Evita ♪ Evita ♪

Raise your arms together in unison and sing it with me. Go on, raise 'em -- you know how she do.

What are we singing about exactly? Evita, kids. To celebrate the film's recent 15th anniversary they've rereleased the movie musical adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's megahit on DVD & Blu Ray. From the press release:

Join two of the world’s greatest and most enduring superstars, Madonna and Antonio Banderas, in the epic musical event that is Evita. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Alan Parker, Evita is the riveting true-life story of Eva Peron (Madonna), who rose above childhood poverty and a scandalous past to achieve unimaginable fortune and fame. Despite widespread controversy, her passion changed a nation forever... 
Now, with a new state-of-the-art digital restoration, you can experience every astonishing scene and unforgettable song like never before!

Awards obsessives will remember that Evita correctly won Best Original Song at the Oscars ("You Must Love Me") as well as three Golden Globe Awards including Best Actress for Madonna. Yes, she's an award-winning actress. Shush!

I've got three copies of the rerelease to give away to musically inclined readers.  Anyone can enter but you'll have to e-mail me by Friday, June 29th with the following:

  1. "EVITA" in the subject line
  2. Name and Shipping Address (I'll have to share it with Walt Disney if you win but otherwise it's private)
  3. A short note about your Evita experience -- even if you haven't seen the movie -- whether its Madonna-related, musically inclined, political or stage focused. I may quote you on the site so be forewarned.
  4. BONUS POINTS: if you send a photo of yourself for publication in the famous Evita pose up top, I'll double your entry though the winners will be drawn at random.

I'll give you an example. Here's me singing about my love for Madonna as Evita.

I look slightly possessed but it's appropriate because that's how I get with Madonna. True story: I practically knocked over an old lady to get to my middle-middle seat on the sold out opening night at my favorite Salt Lake City movie theater. I'm not proud of the old lady part but that opening night was sacred and she was in my way! 

Yes, that's a Breathless Mahoney doll in my cleavage. What of it?


Take Three: John C. Reilly

Craig here with this week's Take Three. Today: John C. Reilly

Take One: Terri (2011) 
The last couple of years have brought Reilly a trio of great dramedic roles. He showed real range in a slight but noteworthy career shift from his usual broader comedies to Cyrus, Carnage and Terri. The third film which is about the lonely life of an overweight high school outcast (Jacob Wysocki) was a particularly great role for Reilly. He was unassuming, believable and much more curiously sombre than in most of the roles we've seen him play to date. (He also played Tilda Swinton’s husband in We Need to Talk about Kevin last year, though his role was largely, though I'd argue unfairly, labelled as miscasting.) Playing Assistant Principal Fitzgerald here Reilly gets to balance that oddball characteristic of his – the one where he does that shouty-then-calm bafflement – with more introspective modes of expression. His first meeting with Terri, who is called to his office for wearing PJs to school, is a beautifully played example of Reilly’s ability to quickly establish a strong, unconventional personality, and then let an audience work out and appreciate what that character is all about. He’s pally one minute and almost comically aggressive the next – especially with the ‘problem’ students. He’s probably the only adult figure in these kids’ world who resembles an authority figure but who can serve it to them on a level they might understand. Watching Reilly in Terri you see just how perfectly he understands certain ‘types’ (here the hardened know-it-all with a hidden nice side) and how that understanding allows him to blend the comic and tragic aspects of his characters in a fresh manner.

Two more Reilly takes after the jump

Click to read more ...


"To Red Carpets With Love" - Gerwig, Pill, Cruz.

It's the new improved Red Carpet Convos. Faster, snappier, more focused... at least until the Oscars when it's impossible not to feel overwhelmed by gowns and veritably trampled by stilettos. For now, one event or theme at a time, all quick like. Today it's premiere time for Woody Allen. Welcome back Joanna from Pajiba.

Joanna: Okay, let's hit it!

Nathaniel: ‪Today we're going To Rome With Love by way of Los Angeles and New York.‬ 

Woody Allen, Allison Pill, Elena Anaya, Penélope Cruz, Greta Gerwig

Joanna:  ‪Bad fashion from 'round the world!‬

Nathaniel:  ‪Right. I hate to start with such a downer waaah-waaaaah but I almost feel like this LA premiere is actual stills from a Woody Allen movie. He kinda loves the beiges.‬ Since red carpets take place outdoors we'll call this Exteriors. Coming Soon!

Joanna:  ‪Not Alison's Getting Married?‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪Marriage, Pill Style [pill being valiums]‬ 

Joanna:  ‪I love Pill and I think she looks swellegant from the waist up.  But the length is so bridal meets plastic shower curtain from Target.

Nathaniel:  ‪With ballet slippers? ‬I mean where is she going. 

Joanna:  ‪If this were a wedding, then Penélope Cruz would be the super aggressive Mother of The Bride.‬

Nathaniel:  ‪Right. Love the Power Bitch Shellacked Hair though it always reminds me of that time when Laura Linney got all "bad girl" at the Oscars.‬

 Joanna:  ‪Not loving the sparkly boob drape, but it's almost as if Penélope is narrowing her heavily lined eyes at me, daring me to question her "window treatment."  If you know what I mean.‬

Nathaniel:  ‪This red carpet is depressing and it's for a sunny Rome-set comedy. Greta Gerwig will play the role of Pill's Flower (Dress) Girl. Or wait. are those grapes?‬

Joanna:  ‪Rome? Grapes? A theme!‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪To Bacchus With Love‬ 

 Joanna:  ‪I have to say, of all the pieces on this carpet, Elena Anaya's hot pink shoes are my FAVORITE.‬

Nathaniel:  ‪The Shoes She Lives In

Joanna: god I loved that movie.

Nathaniel: ‬Let's change cities like Woody do. (He should direct a James Bond movie since they're always globe hopping) 

Alvy Singer, Gerwig, The Real Mr & Mrs Don Draper, Cruz

Joanna:  ‪What is the delightful secret Woody is keeping? ‬Is it that Greta is expecting? Or that her shoes are secretly the Phantom Of The Opera? 

Nathaniel:  Hee. But that's why we were at a wedding earlier. Shotgun.‬ Woody, Greta, and Penélope are in NYC all of a sudden in this photo so out comes the black (shoes or dress or both)

Joanna:  ‪But Penelope is sticking to the grape theme.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪Days of Wine and Bardem-Cruzes -- I can't stop with the fake movie titles. Apologies.

I'd love to get complely drunk with her but I kinda hate this color on her. I'm not sure why. I think maybe it's because she looks so tan lately.‬

Joanna:  ‪What do we think of the Hamm Wesfeldt's? I love her dress and basically everything about her except for her Zellwegerian squint. And he, to me, is stubbly perfection.‬

Nathaniel:  ‪I love them. They strike me as a genuinely awesome happy couple, whether squinting or unshaven. And, not for nothing, I think they'd both be great in a Woody Allen movie. I hope they were handshaking and charming and bantering to sell that.‬


Nathaniel:  ‪I knew I had to hit you with another Greta pic. It's just... what?!?

Joanna:  ‪Her waist looks like it's wearing false eyelashes.‬ The whole thing is just so staggeringly unflattering.  In every conceivable way. 

Nathaniel:  ‪waistlashes. lol. what an image.‬ I'm not sure how to end this Exteriors movie. ‬Gerwig has robbed me of speech.

Joanna:  ‪Then take a tip from Woody and, just, shhhhhhhhhhhh.‬ 

Nathaniel:  ‪[rolling credits with some jaunty 30s tune]‬ 

Previously on Red Carpet Convos...
Cannes dresses (Jose)
Rock of Ages and Prometheus premieres (Joanna & Nathaniel)
Hunger Games premiere (Guy & Nathaniel)



Oscar Prediction Updates Galore ~ Halfway Mark!

In the upcoming week(s) we'll take a look back through the first half of the film year (and try to tie up loose ends from 2011. I know I know. I have time management issues). But what of the 2012/13 Oscar season? The term halfway mark is completely deceiving when it comes to awards season. We're not at all halfway to Oscar. In fact we've only just begun. We've seen a few mainstream genre pieces that are likely to factor in at least a little (The Avengers, Brave,  Prometheus) but this weekend brings us our first orphan Best Picture contender in the critical darling Beasts of the Southern Wild. We're not at all halfway through the real contenders but since we're halfway through the calendar, it's time to update the charts. 

With Gravity pushed back to 2013, let's bet on the other big budget big risk, Ang Lee's adaptation of Life of Pi. The website to that film is up and running now and I keep hitting refresh to watch the tiger's leap and roar. Roooooowwr. Reload. Roooooowwwr. Reload. Roooowwwwrr. Reload. It thrills me every time. I blame my love of both cats and Oscar punditry multiplied by OCD. 

Lots of shuffling on these charts, particularly within both supporting categories. Those players don't come into easy focus until the fall. Newbies on these big charts include the first time actors who play father/daughter in the riveting Beasts of the Southern Wild (interviews real soon), Michelle Pfeiffer in People Like Us (just discussed), Michael Fassbender in Prometheus (just discussed), Isla Fisher from The Great Gatsby and Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike. Lots more on that film coming which wasn't quite what I was expecting but which I thoroughly enjoyed.

FOREIGN FILMS new chart!
Denmark's  A Royal Affair made big waves at Berlinale and its easy to picture a sumptuous expertly acted costume drama winning AMPAS attention. Cannes hits from lauded auteurs like Haneke, Mungiu, Audiard and Garrone could also be submitted from their countries though it's far too early to know. Any other suggestions? 

And more... VISUAL and AURAL CATEGORIES see gains for Life of Pi and The Avengers the latter of which is probably too big now to ignore at $600 million even though Oscar hasn't been crazy about superhero flicks. Beasts shakes up the adapted SCREENPLAY chart but the original screenplay category is a complete mystery. It's anyone's guess.

There's no changes to the ANIMATED CHART because, quite frankly, I lost the thread there. I've only seen Brave this year. Make more of an effort with the toons, I must.

As always your armchair punditry is welcome in the comments. Where am I off base? Which hunches do you think are smart ones? Make your case or describe what you see in your crystal ball.  


Box Office: Princess Merida, Bear Hunter

Princess Merida's aim was true, hitting the Pixar bullseye this weekend. $60 million plus means BRAVE can stand proudly with the studio's most successful opening weekends. Some worried that Pixar's first female lead might not prove nearly as big of an immediate draw as cars, toys and boy robots... forgetting that Princesses have never exactly hurt parent co's Disney's box office tallies. Abraham Lincoln's box office aim was messier but then axes can miss their mark and still do bloody damage.

01 BRAVE new $66.7
02 MADAGASCAR 3  $20.2 (cum. $157.5)
04 PROMETHEUS  $10 (cum. $108.5) Oscar Chances?
05 ROCK OF AGES $8 (cum. $28.7) Review
06 SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN $8 (cum $137.1) Review 
07 THAT'S MY BOY $7.9  (cum $28.1)
08 THE AVENGERS  $7 (cum $598.3) Review
09 MIB 3 $5.6 (cum. $163.3)

Talking Points: To Rome With Love was strangely timid about its opening weekend given the renewed Woody Allen love post Midnight in Paris but had a strong per screen average anyway. Had it opened wider it surely would have outperformed Seeking a Friend... which couldn't find an audience; Moonrise Kingdom continues to be a strong performer in limited release just outside the top ten; Two months into its run The Avengers is finally losing screens but should cross the astounding $600 million mark by Tuesday, only the third film in history to do so (when not adjusted for inflation). 

Regarding The Avengers. Given the screen loss it'll be tough to pass Titanic to claim the all time #2 spot -- another $60 million is required. I was just at brunch at Harlem's Red Rooster and a little tiny barely verbal boy at the next table was veritably surrounded by superheroes -- Thor lunch box to the left of him, Spider-Man backpack to the right of him, as he excitedly pointed at an ancient comic book in glass behind him in the restaurant's wall of historic memorabilia. They indoctrinate them young into Marvel Mania. When he's a teenager he'll be buying opening weekend tickets to The Avengers holographic reboot (2025)

What did you see this weekend?

Or is your weekend still raging? If so, Happy Pride!