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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

"This movie is one of my favorites - Michael Stuhlbarg the biggest reason, he's so heartbreakingly fantastically good in everything." -Rebecca

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in A Simple Favor (13)


Watch at Home: Meet Me on Beale Street, Aquaman

by Nathaniel R

Links go to our reviews or interviews

New Blu-Ray / DVDs
Aquaman Worth seeing for the insanity of the visuals plus an excellent villain in Patrick Wilson's Ocean Master.
Capernaum One of last year's most visceral dramas.
If Beale Street Could Talk See why Regina King took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Second Act In which JLo fools everyone with an embellished resume...

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FYC: "A Simple Favor" for Best Costume Design

Please welcome new contributor Mark Brinkerhoff

A simple favor to ask members of the Academy (its costume branch, in particular): don’t miss your opportunity to nominate A Simple Favor, simply one of the finest showcases of contemporary costuming in years. How so? Let’s examine.

First off, it’s only natural to zero in on Blake Lively’s character’s frankly stunning series of sharply-tailored suits with vertiginous stilettos. But while my own love of ladies in menswear knows no limits there is much more happening front and center (Anna Kendrick) and around the margins (Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, Lively’s other character) to pique the interest of sartorially-minded viewers...

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Blueprints: Five Expertly Written Scenes of 2018

by Jorge Molina

A screenplay has to accomplish many things to be successful: establish the characters, create and maintain tension, introduce the plotlines and carry them smoothly and compellingly, grasp the audience’s attention and hold it for two plus hours. A good script does it all. A great script makes it all look easy and seamless.

We previously sang the praises of 5 original screenplays and 5 adaptations. This week, we're getting more specific with 5 scenes. While each of the following stories were successfully told overall as one cohesive movie, their writing stood out for making a particular element of screenwriting shine; each unique to the story they were trying to tell.

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Blueprints: FYC, Adapted Screenplays

In this week's Blueprints, Jorge Molina looks into five adapted scripts that should be featured n the awards conversation. If you missed the Original Screenplay FYCs, they're here


While Original Screenplays tends to be where usually the Academy rewards more unconventional stories, the adapted screenplay category carries with it an air of respectability and prestige. Maybe it’s because it usually involves translation from a literary medium, respected novels or award winning plays. Maybe it’s because adaptations carry a built-in audience, something Hollywood values. Adapted screenplays have the advantage of arriving with an already fully formed and sometimes familiar story. But translating that into a cinematic medium is one of the hardest tasks for a writer: making the verbal into visual, compressing dozens of chapters into a two-hour story, learning what to leave in, what to take out, what to add or change.

Here are five screenplays that each took a previously published piece and turned it into an engaging, engrossing and cinematic experience....

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Watch at Home: 1985, Roma, A Simple Favor

What's newly available for home viewing this week? Herewith a very quick survey of new releases and/or great deals

All About Nina -Festival critics loved it (and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance) but it was lost in theaters. Can it find a second life now? 
Fahrenheit 11/9 -Michael Moore didn't make the doc finalist list this year but his new doc is now on DVD
A Simple Favor -Paul Feig and two terrific actresses, perfectly cast, delivered one of the year's best comic surprises
Venom - The Spider-Man spinoff that was so successful we're sure to get loads of other villain spinoffs of superhero movies. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to threaten you.

New iTunes 99¢ Deals
I do not know what possessed them but they have a TON of great films for 99¢ this week (there's usually just a couple of must-sees). That's a price point we can get behind for streaming especially since otherwise you're at the whim of Netflix and Prime's extremely limited movie menus. You might want to check out 1985, Austin based filmmaker Yen Tan's latest LGBT drama. This one is in black and white and about a young man (Cory Michael Smith) who returns home to his parents in Texas (Michael Chiklis and an excellent Virginia Madsen) to say goodbye during the AIDS epidemic.

SO MANY FAMOUS FILMS FOR 99¢ THIS WEEK: Airplane, Annie Hall, Beetlejuice, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Birdcage, Black Hawk Down, The Black Stallion, Blue Velvet, Boyhood, Capote, A Clockwork Orange, Eat Drink Man Woman, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Gravity, Gremlins, Hairspray, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Heat, Kung Fu Hustle, Inherent Vice, Leave No Trace, Leaving Las Vegas, Lenny, The Madness of King George, The Magnificent Seven, Manhattan, Marty, Memento, Midnight Cowboy, Moonstruck, Moulin Rouge!, My Cousin Vinny, Mystic Pizza, Point Break, Raging Bull, Rainman, Spy, Sweeney Todd, Terminator 2, and Under the Skin.

This feels like my village. It's drier there but it feels like it.

Brand New Streaming
• Roma - Netflix's Best Picture hopeful is now streaming. Turn off your phone and all the lights. Then turn the sound way up. In other words treat it like a true cinematic experience if you're watching it at home. After Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien, and Gravity (among others) we think it's safe to say that Alfonso Cuarón has earned the world's full attention. 


Nathaniel Gives Thanks

Team Experience members were invited to give thanks this week so you'll be hearing from a few of us. Here's your host Nathaniel R... 

2018 was an unusually hard year for your host, given that he was starting over in his offline life after a painful breakup so first things first. I'm so goddamn grateful for The Film Experience. Thank YOU all for reading (especially those who donate to keep us on life support- see sidebar) and for being such a faithful community. This labor of love site is a continual source of pleasure and stability for me personally and I always aim to make it so for you, too. Before I get to the individual entertainment gratitude I also want to thank the Team Experience regulars: Murtada, Chris, Jason, Glenn, Jorge, Lynn, Eric, Dancin' Dan, Spencer, John & Matthew, and those we don't hear from much at the moment (life is so rude like that) but who we're always happy to work with like Nick, Ilich, Salim, Tim, Deborah, Séan, Daniel, Ben, Katey, and Joe. And both warm hugs to those who've moved on and nervous waving at those yet to come; they're out there somewhere and must make themselves known soon!

I will now attempt to give entertainment thanks without completely repeating my esteemed colleagues in their fun posts even though I love several of the movies they already spoke of. Okay in 2018 I was ever so grateful for:

• The continual shapeshifting of A Simple Favor from comedy to noir to mystery to camp spectacle to romcom to satire. It was such a great film to take friends to since it was so funny and surprising and memorable with it genre juggling. And Blake Lively's ultra modern wardrobe paired with Old Hollywood star charisma was something else... 

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