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Entries in Battle of the Sexes (7)

Saturday
Oct142017

Brief Takes: Blade Runners, Tennis Stars, Feisty Queens, Fish Men

In an effort to break out of my silence -- October is my favorite month so why has it been so hard? -- micro thoughts on 5 Oscar hopefuls I meant to review but didn't. Whoops. Please to discuss in the comments.

Battle of the Sexes (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
The story of Billie Jean King's (Emma Stone) famous 1973 match with Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and her efforts to make women's tennis viable in a sexist industry

Capsule
: A timely well-crafted look back to the beginnings of a gender war that's depressingly still raging and a soupçon of queer romance to give it unique personality. Dayton & Faris's light touch is the right choice for this briskly-paced but delicately felt recreation of a pivotal American moment. Emma Stone is perfection as the heroic tight shouldered athlete at the center. Just discussed on the podcast. B+
Oscar Chances: This one could go either way. Much will depend on how smart Fox Searchlight is at selling it to voters. Though maybe don't bet against Emma Stone returning to Best Actress; she's very burrowed into King's skin but still as sunny as Emma Stone.

Blade Runner 2049, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Victoria and Abdul and the Shape of Water are after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct132017

Podcast: Battle of the Sexes, Beach Rats, and mother!

NathanielNick, Joe and Chris try and catch up with movies the podcast hasn't covered

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Battle of the Sexes
12:00 mother!, interpretations, Q & A culture
28:30 Michelle Pfeiffer and Darren Aronofsky
34:00 Beach Rats
39:15 silliness and sign-offs

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

"the sink's not braced yet!"

Friday
Oct062017

C O N S I D E R -Fav Actresses of 2017, 3rd Qtr

With less than three months of the year to go - eep! -- it's time to do another tally of favorite performances -- this is how we keep track so we're not like Oscar voters who only vote on the last couple months of the year. Here are the 17 best female turns this past quarter according to your host, Nathaniel. Which movies were considered? Movies released between July and right now (October 6th) as well as unreleased movies (marked by an asterisk*) which were screened in that time frame but have no firm release date in the future. Previous 3rd quarter lists: Filmmaking and Male Acting

Disclaimer: Key actress-focused films I missed this past quarter were Home Again, Ingrid Goes West, and Lady Macbeth. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out.

6 LEADING ACTRESSES

Dame Judi Dench as "Queen Victoria" in Victoria & Abdul
I love the idea of character sequels decades later rather than continuing story sequels (that's what TV is for!). The movie is no great shakes but it's quite fun to see her return to this signature character. 

Regina Hall as "Ryan Pierce" in Girls Trip 
A wonderfully nimble performance. She's got to provide the straight man to the comic bananas but to make that funny, too, while dexterously handling the script's somewhat heavy handed character arc.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct052017

C O N S I D E R - Favorites of 2017, 3rd Qtr

by Nathaniel R

Blade Runner 2049 is our current prediction for "Most Nominations Without Best Picture" though maybe it'll snag that, too.Here at The Film Experience I like to keep track of favorites all year long for two reasons. The first is to not to be unduly influenced by the studio shenanigans of backloading the film year with their intended Oscar hopefuls. The second is to prevent forgetfullness when it comes time to give out the Film Bitch Awards, my own virtual awards fest to close out each film year.  When I don't keep careful track it's much harder to wrap things up at year's end.

Being a bit late this quarter, here are Best ofs per Oscar category from films released from July through October 6th (an extra week added on because we're running late). This list does not include films with known release dates from now until the end of the year. We'll save those films till we get there. Unreleased films without a future date are marked with an asterisk. Got it?

Key movies I missed this quarter  (that I'll try and catch up with on screeners hopefully): It, Valerian, Logan Lucky, Patti Cake$, Tulip Fever, Good Time, Lady MacBeth, and A Ghost Story

PICTURE and/or DIRECTOR and/or SCREENPLAY
(i couldn't decide which to cut so this first grouped selection is 8 wide)

     released
ATOMIC BLONDE (David Leitch) The lack of audience turn out for this uber-stylish, inventive actioner, with Charlize Theron showing all the other movie stars how to do action hero performances  (again!) was one of the bummers of summer '17.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES (Jonathan Drayton & Valerie Faris) Such a surprisingly strong history lesson and funny resonant drama, too
BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Denis Villeneuve) Hypnotic if already overrated (calm down! If you're claiming that it's better than the original if it's not your #1 of 2017 with ease you'll have to explain why you've dissed one of the greatest and most influential movies ever made)
DUNKIRK (Christopher Nolan)
THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Sean Baker) The new criticism that I keep seeing online that this film romanticizes poverty is a head-scratcher as it's an exceedingly dark movie that merely looks like candy (due to all that color). The imagined future of virtually all the characters is outstandingly bleak and politically aware for those who are willing to see it. Sean Baker's recent (also terrific) movies Starlet and Tangerine are similarly focused / staged / and tonally nimble with gallows humor, character specificity, and socioeconomic concerns. If having this much empathy for marginalized people is romanticizing poverty, I say bring it on!
mother! (Darren Aronofsky) Sorry not sorry.

more after the jump including best unreleased pics, highlights in cinematography, costumes, and the like...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May172017

Yes No Maybe So: "Battle of the Sexes" (plus some Holly Hunter trivia)

By Nathaniel R

Keep talking, Bobby. The more nonsense you spout, the worse it's going to be when you lose.

One of this fall's potential crossover films, in that it has both crowd pleasing and awards appeal (should it be any good that is) is the retelling of the super-famous Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs tennis match from 1973. Though I was alive at the time, I was way too young to know anything about that. I grew up in the age of Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert and John McEnroe vs Everyone, though, and that match was a common cultural reference point. And tennis was the only sport I really fell in love with. Why? Couldn't say for sure but I suspect it was because it has more easily understood interpersonal dynamics (just two people... or four) at war... only non-violently. My best childhood friend and I even played tennis regularly together. I never got very good but later in high school he made the team! Which is all a terribly long way of saying, tennis movies hold instant interest in theory. They don't make them very often and they're largely unsuccessful when they do. Don't believe me, try to name more than one or two! (I'll wait).  

So let's breakdown the first trailer to Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes after the jump. Are we optimistic, worried, or somewhere inbetween?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar212017

Battle of the Links

Today's Must Read
Vulture has an amazing profile on Jenny Slate which also gives personal insight into her career and life and, more surprisingly, her former relationship with Chris Evans. He comes off sounding so dreamy which is not what you expect in a breakup discussion!

Miscellania
Variety the tennis film Battle of the Sexes gets a Sept 22nd release date. Will Emma Stone be back in the Oscar race or will there be no need for a victory lap?
Coming Soon there's a project being pitched in Hollywood that unites classic fairy tale heroines in one story (like a superhero team but fairy tale princesses) 
Collider interviews the undervalued Michael Peña about CHIPs and he reveals that he still doesn't know if he's in the Ant-Man sequel (which seemed foolish of Marvel since he totally stole that movie)

lots more after the jump...

Click to read more ...