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Entries in Anne Hathaway (62)

Wednesday
Jan222014

Sundance Stills: The Voices, War Story, Song One

One can never be fully caught up at festivals but one does what one can. So today, three quick takes on movies I saw yesterday during a five-film day. Let's use their festival guide images as a framing device just because I always find it interesting which images movies use to promote themselves, don't you?

THE VOICES
This still from Marjane Satrapi's (Persepolis) horror comedy looks nondescript enough until you pair the title with a man looking at his cat. Yes, they're "talking". The cat is the Scottish brogued "Mr Whiskers" and like 99% of cats in films he is unrepentantly evil. (Can we form a Anti-Cat Defamation Cinematic League or something?) And then you notice the woman's head (Gemma Arterton's to be precise) to the left. Gross! One thing you don't get at all from this still is the film's hard working production design, which is relentlessly candy colored (bright pink is favored) and stylized. The whole film mirrors the strainuous commitment of the design elements but it's hard to know what possessed anyone to be involved let alone give it their all (I've never seen Ryan Reynold work this hard to put a performance over. Why use all that energy now on this?). It's cutesy and gruesome simultaneously which is an unwise and at time repulsive thing to attempt to pull off... but I should admit that the production design really works in the moments when it slides mercilessly off the cliff between from one moment to the other (Jerry's warped fantasies and the actual situation) as in a scene after his first kill when he starts taking his medication and we're back in reality. But still, this "comedy" about a man-boy who works at a hot pink toilet factory, eats at a Chinese restaurant with live Elvis shows, and lives above an abandoned bowling alley where he chops up women is largely unfunny. That last sentence should give you a clue as to what the movie feels like. It's like being stabbed to death by tweeness. The Voices is not even comfortable with being scary. This marks the first time I ever walked out of movie during a happy end credits musical dance sequence... starring Anna Kendrick (and other cast members) no less! In my defense this brightly lit comic number also featured an actor playing Jesus. Grade: D? F?... or maybe it's an "A" cult movie and I just didn't get it?  Distribution: Not that I'm aware of but I'm sure it'll get something. Maybe a VOD future?

SONG ONE
This image features Franny (Anne Hathaway) falling for her brother's favorite musician James Forester (Johnny Flynn) while her brother lies in a coma. Very specific plot set up that.  I had to brighten it in photoshop so you could actually see the image which just gives a sense at how dangerously low key this film is for a festival bow. I saw it in the middle of a five film day and fought off sleep (others succumbed to the sandman without shame) but I actually think it's good if extremely modest. But relatively calm romantic dramas about women and dreamy alt-folk musicians are probably asking for it with exhausted legions of film critics who -- I'm stereotyping but I see it all the time --  prefer harrowing and heavily masculine films to anything gentle and feminine. The big selling point is the return of Anne Hathaway (what a perfect movie face she has - all anime sized eyes and expressive memorable mouth) and the films song score by Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice (mostly performed by Johnny Flynn). If the movie gets a release I hope it campaigns hard for Best Original Song nominations next year. Weirdly, Anne Hathaway only sings twice and only in off-hand character beat ways, though the movie has a lot of performance scenes. In fact the film it most reminded me of was Michael Winterbottom's Nine Songs only instead of pornography inbetween each musical number there was low key family grief and a tentative 'help me through this' love story.
Grade: B/B- Distribution: Not at the moment. It's appeal is surely very limited but with no brainer marketing hooks like Hathaway and all the great music, why not a small distributor? 

 

 

WAR STORY 
Finally let's wrap up with Catherine Keener in a Mark Jackson movie about a war photographer named Lee who is shown abrasively walking and talking and wandering about in Italy. (Does Keener ever do anything non-abrasively any more?) Lee has clearly lost her mojo, is hugely depressed (a companion was recently killed, execution style, in front of her) and is searching for new purpose while avoiding loved ones on the telephone. The image above features her listening to a conversation in the street. Or maybe thinking one of her many dark thoughts. That lack of information is representative of the movie but the image isn't since Keener's massive helmet of hair is not covering her facial expressions. I found the movie maddeningly withholding in nearly all ways: narratively, visually and emotionally. Sometimes the focus on Keener in profile (essentially just a side shot of brown hair with occasional glimpse of her nose) was so tight that I couldn't even tell what she was doing in the frame. In one disposable lengthy shot, for example, I thought she might be staring at a vending machine indecisively and then she did something with her hands (offscreen) but the image was too hard to understand and the next cut didn't clear up what had just transpired. I couldn't find any way into the movie so it was inert for me as a drama, despite possibly intriguing dramatic elements like Keener's fascinating with a Libyan refugee seeking an abortion or a late film visit to a former friend (Ben Kingsley). One minor caveat, i was a bit late to the movie (I am very rarely late to a movie) so perhaps the opening scene explained everything but given the filmmaking elsewhere I highly doubt it. Grade: D; Distribution: Unlikely unless Keener and Kingsley is enough

Which of these are you most interested in and what was your last triple feature?

Sunday
Dec292013

Five Easy Linkies. Two First Images

HuffPo Anne Hathaway (what? I miss her) is a conscientous pet owner and so generous that she even gives gifts to paparazzi
Salon on the unexpected feminism in Anchorman 2
/Film are these the 5 best film scores of the year from Stoker to...?
Awards Circuit 'you know stealing things is usually considered wrong, right?' on Jennifer Lawrence and the matter of scene-stealing performances
In Contention Kris Tapley's choices for best performances of the year 

And finally, here are two first images from upcoming films...

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike (albeit not in the flesh) in David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl and...

The terribly underemployed Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game -- seriously how does he eat with no paychecks ever? He's playing Alan Turing, the gay mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the german Enigma Code in World War II. In case you've forgotten there was a movie called Enigma many years ago now starring Kate Winslet which was also about the enigma code if I remember correctly ... albeit starring different characters. 

Saturday
Dec142013

Thoughts I Had... While Watching the "Interstellar" Teaser

Presented in the order I had them without self-censorship... you do the same in the comments!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May232013

What is in Anne Hathaway's Bag?

Thursday
May092013

Red Carpet Convo: My So-Called "Punk"

In Red Carpet Convos, we discuss what the actresses are wearing. Which is really an elaborate excuse (not that we need another) to talk actresses. Today's returning guest is Courtney Enlow Hall from Pajiba.

NATHANIEL: Hi Courtney! Welcome back to Red Carpet Convos. This time I will try not to ask you to draw any pigs dressed as Janell Monae.

COURTNEY: Well as you know I'm exceptionally good at that, so I'm sad about this.

NATHANIEL: This week the celebs came out for the annual MET GALA and the theme was "Punk". Because The Met is SO counter-culture, you know.

COURTNEY: The Met is punk as fuck, Ryan Adams-style.

Ginny, Diaz, JLo, Kerry, and Angela Chase

NATHANIEL: Actually maybe it is rebellious to go to a museum instead of sitting at home watching reality tv. I rescind my comment. The interesting thing to me about the looks we're about to see is it seems like only some actresses have any working knowledge of what "punk" is. Let's start with Ginnifer Goodwin. I think she gets it.

Or at least her eye makeup does...

"my so-called punk", weeping ex-boyfriends, and eyeliner mantras after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr222013

Monday Monologue: Kym from 'Rachel Getting Married'

Hello, lovelies. Beau here, filling in for Nathaniel on this week's Monday Monologue, featuring a film that is packed full of them.

Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married was, for my money, the best film of 2008. (Nathaniel shared my sentiments, though we don't always see eye to eye: note our complete polarized responses to the masterful Cloud Atlas last year.) That's not a title it earned easily, considering that it was also the year I was exposed to Charlie Kaufman's brilliant Synechdoche, New York as well as Christian Mungiu's Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days, a film I lovingly referred to as 'that Romanian abortion picture' to friends who recoiled and cocked their heads at the thought of sitting through something like that.

No, what moved me the most, what hurt me the most was this small, intimate picture filmed on digital with many striking nods to the Dogme movement of the nineties, (filmed on location, hand-held, diegetic music) and providing a piercing, at times intrusive look at the lives of this shattered family. In it, each actor does the best work of their career. [more]  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Podcast: Oscar Night Season Wrap

For the final podcast of the season, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, Nick Davis, and me, your host, Nathaniel R let reader questions be our guide for this spontaneous Oscar Night Review.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Musical Performances: Adele, Shirley Bassey, Babs, Jennifer Hudson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones's Jazz
  • Future Nominations or Backlash for the winners: Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway?
  • Ben Affleck's speech
  • Can Michael Haneke ever return?
  • What were the best reaction shots and when did we do our best reaction shots from home?
  • On Naomi Watts' career choices and Oscar's love of "it" girls
  • Documentary and Costume Design
  • Seth Macfarlane versus Jokes and Musical Theme
  • Emmanuelle Riva cutaways

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big NightFun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look BackSeth's HostingFunniest Tweets, & This Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen Men, The Ten Nominated Ladies, Goodbye Glamour

Oscar Night Season Finale