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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

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Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in Anna Kendrick (30)

Wednesday
Feb252015

Red Carpet: Supporting Actresses & Stray Beauties

Red Carpet Lineup Time as we struggle to wrap up Oscar night! It's time to say goodbye to the Supporting Actress Class of 2014 and it occurs to me that though I know you favored Arquette to a very wide margin in the race, I have no idea who y'all think was best dressed of this annual rotating quintet? So please do vote!  

 

NATHANIEL: In the meantime please welcome back our LA beauties Margaret and Anne Marie to the fashion panel. In the spirit of the times, when red carpet press have been encouraged to #AskHerMore, let's do that. We've never cared "who" people are wearing anyway... just that they're giving us glamour for our favorite International Holiday, Oscar Night. What questions immediately come to mind when you see this lineup?

MARGARET: What I'm desperate to know is, who are these ladies going to work with next? With perhaps the exception of California-law-mandated nominee Meryl Streep, they all have fresh momentum that should give them their pick of projects..

ANNE MARIE: Maybe they can all work in a movie together. They certainly make a great lineup standing next to each other.

NATHANIEL: Actresses are not allowed to work together! They must choose which man they'd like to mother, inspire or longsuffer for.

MARGARET: In my very vivid head-world where I am a massively wealthy movie producer, I would definitely finance the heck out of some Empire-style movie about which ambitious and capable protege of Meryl's should take up the torch of some high-powered business.

NATHANIEL:  I think it wisest we keep Laura Dern away from big corporations.

more...

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Thursday
Feb122015

"The Last Five Years" Is Here

My two favorite Off Broadway musicals of all time have both now made the trek to movie screens. Hedwig and the Angry Inch which I saw thrice in 1999 right after moving to NYC became an instant cult classic in film form thanks to its brilliant creator / star / writer John Cameron Mitchell. He just returned to the role on Broadway (though he's out for a bit after an injury so Michael C Hall is back to fill in for him). The second The Last Five Years took much longer. I saw it during the last week of its original run (whew!) in 2002 and 13 years later it's on screens with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as the troubled couple Cathy and Jamie who can't quite connect (illustrated narratively by his story moving forward while hers moves backwards through the relationship. It's not the unqualified success that Hedwig was but if you love the movie musical genre you really need to see it because it's a really unique beast.

Radius TWC is distributing which means there aren't many theaters playing it yet beyond Los Angeles, New York and Toronto but it's also available On Demand. On Oscar weekend it expands to several more cities. I'd love to hear from any TFE readers who see it. It's a very unusual musical to adapt since the concept is very theatrical and it's intimate whereas most movie musicals are big glitzy things. Wisely they cast two actors who can sing the hell out of its tremendously satisfying song score.

Two key blog posts in case you missed them...

Anna Kendrick Interview

Nathaniel: "Summer in Ohio"... I LOVE this version.
Anna Kendrick: I'm so glad. It was a ton of work. In the show she's writing a letter but I thought when I'm away from my boyfriend we Skype. And Cathy in that number is not just recounting her day, she's performing for Jamie because even at the beginning of their marriage she’s like “I have to keep him interested. I have to keep him in love with me”... [Read the Rest]

Toronto Film Festival Review

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest. [Read the Rest]

 

Wednesday
Feb112015

Musical Oscars: JHud, Kendrick, Jack Black & More to Perform

Anna Kendrick singing her ass off all month on screen and stageManuel here bringing more news about the Oscar telecast. While some continue to ponder whether we’ll really be asked to be Team BOYhood or Team birdMAN (and how’s that for a an apt metaphor for contemporary Hollywood!), we’ll be focusing more on what Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have in store for us during the sure-to-be-endless ceremony that shortchanges winning speeches for needless montages and musical performances.

Speaking of these, it looks like we’re getting a full Best Original Song performance roster, with Adam Levine ("Lost Stars"), Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island ("Everything is Awesome!!!"), Common & John Legend ("Glory"), Tim McGraw ("I'm Not Gonna Miss You") and Rita Ora ("Grateful") slated to sing their respective numbers on the big night.

"We're creating several musical sequences for the Oscars and we couldn't be happier that our friend, Jennifer Hudson, will be performing in one of them," say Zadan and Meron.

On top of this, last week came word that Jack Black would be performing, that Anna Kendrick would be part of a "special performance" and just this past weekend, Meron and Zadan confirmed that Jennifer Hudson would also be performing (my guess is she might be doing the In Memoriam number? That is, unless they’ve designed another “tribute to musicals” like they did in 2013, remember that?)

That already looks like quite a stacked schedule, especially once you add NPH’s number, so maybe we’ll be spared the montages that celebrate “Oscar’s history” or some oddly specific genre rather than the year in film and the actual nominated films?

The Best Picture lineup may look quite oppressively manly, but with all these musical numbers (and NPH on hand), it’ll be quite the glittery gay spectacle, no? Fingers crossed! My only hope is that Hudson wears something as cray-tastic as that cape from her Dreamgirls red carpet.

 

Monday
Dec292014

Reviewish: Into the Woods, Musical Numbers Ranked

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Once upon a time Stephen Sondheim wrote a musical classic Into the Woods. The first act brings together classic fairy tale characters into one comic misadventure and the second act debunks the “happily ever after” myth and transforms the whole play into a masterpiece about virtually all the Big Stuff: growing up, parenting, marriage, death, rebuilding after great loss.

Cinderella's family mocking our movie musical anxiety

When it comes to lines we can repurpose to talk about the prospects of a film version, Little Red said it best:

It made me feel excited. well, excited and scared.

Isn’t that how devotees of the movie musical feel each time a new one arrives? A bit of background to justify the high-anxiety. The live-action movie musical died alongside Bob Fosse's alter ego in All That Jazz (1979). The genre was six feet under for two full decades despite intermittent attempts at excavating its exquisite corpse (Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies). The Disney animation renaissance of the 1990s renewed interest and the genre was successfully reborn at the turn of the century by the one-two-three-four punch of Dancer in the Dark, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moulin Rouge! and Chicago. That's a four consecutive high quality film run that this ancient-newborn genre has yet to match since. And why is that exactly? Some people blame the lack of strong directors who are skilled in the form, others the resistance to new blood (nearly all modern musicals are adaptations). Still more culprits are Hollywood’s frequent miscasting since musical skill is considered optional.

But The Witch (Meryl Streep) would like us to stop bitching and get on with this review...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec252014

Interview: Anna Kendrick at the Palace and Summering in Ohio.

A holiday gift to you, an interview with the internet's collective girlfriend Anna Kendrick, our new Cinderella in Into the Woods which hits theaters today. Merry Christmas!

Kendrick lets me know right away that she isn't entirely comfortable with all the online fawning. When I compare her very modern kind of stardom to that of Benedict Cumberbatch she freezes "Oh god, don't say that!... It gives me anxiety. He probably can't leave his house!" Kendrick and I have both been herded into a chilly hotel suite after some scheduling confusion and me with my notes out for someone else entirely, someone far less Princess-like. It's a surprise switch but a welcome one, like expecting to remain in your pot scrubbing dress and suddenly you're at the ball in magic slippers. Excuse the analogy but I'm the one playing Cinderella this time since I've traded up. Kendrick wraps herself in the throw blanket on the couch and we immediately start taking musicals.  

Where else would we start? She's the unofficial face of the modern movie musical and the Film Experience has been waiting for someone to frame there.

NATHANIEL R: You’ve been musicals back to back to back. I imagine most managers would be like “don’t do that!” 

[more...]

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Tuesday
Dec162014

Kendrick Sings and Sings Some More

Manuel here to give you two new-ish videos with which to feast on if you’re famished for some Anna Kendrick. It’s probably unnecessary to remind you that Anna Kendrick has become the poster gal for movie musicals. In a stretch of 8 months she’ll have premiered The Last Five Years, Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect 2. We’ve already done a YES/NO/MAYBE SO for Into the Woods and for Pitch Perfect 2 and while I’d love to write one up for The Last Five Years, I’m afraid I’m too much of a YES to nitpick about this beautiful trailer. Plus, snap/blind judgements that come from trailers don’t work as well when the film’s already been seen and reviewed. Case in point: Nathaniel already reviewed it back at Toronto. back in Toronto.

Anna sings twice after the jump...

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Saturday
Nov222014

Tweets o' the Week

Clash of the twitter threads. I recently started muting words on twitter on subjects I just had no interest in hearing about anymore and in some cases never did despite the rest of the world's inexplicably insatiable interest (my timeline is blessedly "Kardashian" free - you should try it! I'm missing nothing) and I've been so much happier.

Twitter is still a colossal time sucker in some ways but it keeps the pop culture conversation lively and my favorite thing about it is hearing smart people say amusing things that I didn't think to say - that I felt but never put into words (like the first tweet below). Anyway, here are a dozen or so tweets that amused or edified. Just because it's fun to share them.

 

 

More after the jump including Viola Davis, Janis Joplin biopic, Matthias Schoenaerts, Selma, and the greatest title card of all time...

Click to read more ...