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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Halfway 2012. Supporting Actors (Thus Far)

We're surveying the "best" of the year thus far even if the pickings are slim. Previously we covered Actress, Actor and Picture. Now, the gentlemen in the sidelines.

SUPPORTING ACTOR  January through June Releases
Surveying what we've seen so far in this particularly category is challenging. In ensemble pieces from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to To Rome With Love, there just wasn't a breakout performance that rose so far above the film's limitations that you had to praise it. Mark Ruffalo's funny Hulk and Michael Fassbender's suave killer in The Avengers and Haywire respectively came closest but were better showcases for the commanding charisma of the actors than their actual skills. So if I had to turn in a ballot RIGHT NOW (god forbid) it'd go like so... 

Explanations and Team Experience survey  if you click to continue...

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Linkz, the Eight and Powerful

IndieWire a conversation about Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone and the auteur theory
Vulture "Now that you've seen Magic Mike..." on anticipation mania in movie culture. 
The Daily Beast on Anderson Cooper's coming out. I forgot to congratulate him. Well done. 
The Film Experience remember when we did A Face in the Crowd as part of the Best Shot series? That was such a good one. I was horrified that the movie was barely mentioned in Andy Griffith's obits (RIP) 

Tom's World
BlackBook did you know that Christian Bale used Tom Cruise as inspiration for his Patrick Bateman American Psycho performance. 
Gallery of the Absurd thanks TomKat for years of illustrative inspiration - big gallery o funny
Guardian on the TomKat divorce and Cruise's box office appeal
Forbes names Tom Cruise king of the box office again. He's #1 in money-making actors for the past year with DiCaprio, Adam Sandler, The Rock, Stiller, Sacha Baron Cohen, Depp, Will Smith, Wahlberg and the Twilight boys rounding out the top dozen.

Finally... heres' the first teaser photo from 2013's Oz, The Great and Powerful. What'cha think?

No star names appear but it'll be James Franco as the Wizard, Mila Kunis as The Wicked With and Michelle Williams as Glinda. Will you be following that yellow brick road or have you had it with the reimaginings?


Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Picnic"

In the Best Shot series we all watch a pre-selected movie and pick what we think of as its best shot.

If watching Picnic (1955) taught me anything it's that you really need to exercize caution. Caution about whose filthy shirts you'll launder, who you'll let kiss you in the car parked by the river, which daughter you'll vicariously live through, which college friend you'll drop in on unannounced and empty-handed, which man you'll drunkenly throw yourself at to tear off his clothing (Rosalind Russell you crazy bitch!), and so on. Above all else Picnic reminded me to use caution before renting DVDs! I had never seen this Best Picture nominee and had only heard tales of its beautiful photography but the version I got was a terrible transfer in *gasp* "Pan and Scan".

In this slinky sexy scene pan and scan robs us of the beautiful lines of Novak and Holden's bodies as they dance romantically around each other.

If that's what you watched I apologize profusely for assigning this movie. But let's talk about Young Beauties, Old Maids, and Hunky Men anyway. The movie demands it...

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Halfway House 2012. Lead Actor (Thus Far)

It's part three of our Halfway Mark rundown as we survey the film year thus far from January through June releases. It's been crickets thus far in terms of possible Oscar players (with the exception of one of these men -- but we'll get to him in a minute.) but that doesn't mean there isn't work to appreciate.

If I was forced to draw up a ballot right now...

explanations and Team Experience commentary after the jump

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Princess Naomi

It's the first official image of Naomi Watts as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight (2013)

I don't think I could survive another British Icon Impersonation Oscar Win just yet. Not after The Queen (06) and The King's Speech (10) and The Iron Lady (11). Imagine four winners in just seven years -- it's not even tough to imagine. Stop the madness! We just celebrated Independence Day but AMPAS wishes we hadn't destroyed all that good British tea in 1773. 

Are you looking forward to Naomi becoming Lady Diana? If this one doesn't work out for her she's also attached to another future biopic about Gertrude Bell called Queen of the Desert.That one will be directed by Werner Herzog and thus sounds instantly promising... even if it's still sort of no sure thing. 


Halfway House 2012. Best Picture (Thus Far)

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! We're taking stock and talking 2012 crop now that the year is half over. If you asked me to nominate for "Best Picture" right now, here are the titles I'd scribble in the air with sparklers... in alpha order.  I fully expect 2 or 3 of them to be written in ink at the end of the year in my top ten list.


The Avengers (review)
Let's not overstate. Popcorn entertainment occassionally does come better than this but The Avengers is still pretty damn fun and clever as it hurdles the complicated 'how on earth do you combine all these franchises into one?' question with confidence and humor. It's easy to forget how wrong this could have gone. Well done Joss Whedon. Extra bonus points for redeeming the two most previously disappointing characters (The Black Widow and The Hulk) by making them the unexpected key pieces of this jigsaw puzzle.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Benh Zeitlin's evocative utopia/dystopia journey is like nothing you've ever seen. So get to seeing it the first chance you get. We'll obviously be talking about it more as the year wears on and top ten lists and awards begin looming.

Bullhead (review)
Michael R. Roskam's brooding tragedy-laced crime drama about a lonely cattle farmer and illegal growth hormones was nominated for Best Foreign Film last year. It finally hit US cinemas this year. They always make us wait. 

Declaration of War 
Valérie Donzelli's restless, experimental retelling of her own traumatic experience as a new parent of a sick child with then boyfriend Jérémie Elkaïm(also playing a version of himself) was a bracing experiene and even an oddly joyful movie. Though it was clearly a longshot for Oscar play (they didn't nominate it for foreign film) I'm glad France submitted it bringing it to our attention here. 

 A Festive 4th of July with Dallas and the Kings of Tampa

Magic Mike (review)
Steven Soderbergh's nuanced observational portrait of a stripper/entrepeneur facing the uncertain future has stylish filmmaking, good solid laughs, and better character portraits than you usually get on the peripheries of the narrative. 

Moonrise Kingdom
Not since The Royal Tenenbaums have Wes Anderson's form and content enjoyed a marriage this whimsical, aching and bittersweet. It's multifaceted and, better yet, enjoyable on serious and silly levels depending on your mood. Seems likely to reward us on future viewings. 

Runners up? Not really. Those six stand head and shoulders, even groins in Mike's case, above the pack. Don't miss any of them. If I had to make a top ten list this early with so few films seen (yikes) 7 through 10 in descending order would go to... no I can't it's too unsatisying... I can't I ca... oh, all right

Try to imagine what would happen if the year ended right now. Which films do you think would make Oscar's BP list? It has to be films that are eligible (i.e. released already) so I'm feeling like there's no way it wouldn't be these five: Avengers, Beasts of, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Hunger Games and Moonrise Kingdom... with Hunger Games losing a Best Director opportunity to Steven Soderbergh for Magic Mike. I've got this alternate reality all figured out! Marketable skill.

Those five movies are arguably the only five that'll have enough devotees to cry "it's going to happen!" in five more months... even if it isn't in most of those cases. Do you agree? Or do you think something heartwarming / messagey (like The Intouchables?) or something critically supported but divisive (like Magic Mike) would surprise and knock the not-beloved-but-way-successful Hunger Games out?

Most importantly: What would your ballot look like so far? And do you think anything we've seen yet is going the distance to an Oscar nomination.

Read Also "Best Of..." Actress, Actor , Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress


Happy Fourth of July from The Film Experience

Happy Independence Day from Raquel Welch, Chris Evans, Matthew McConaughey, Holly Hunter and The Film Experience. xoxo

Be safe. Enjoy the boom boom boom even brighter than the moon moon moon fireworks.

We'll be back late tonight with more "best of the year (so far)" listing. Speaking of... Magic Mike, which has a 4th of July scene is pulling out all the stops (tearing away all the pants?) with holiday posters after the jump...

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