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 


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

We're Thankful For... !


"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

"This is such a wonderful list for how full it is of cinematic joy, not just the everything of Carol..." - Ben1283

"Yes to all of this!! :)!" -Squasher88


Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Entries in casting (109)


Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in Loving

Murtada here. The first picture from Jeff Nichols’ (Take ShelterMud) new movie Loving was released. Currently shooting, the film tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving and the landmark 1967 civil rights supreme court decision that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Joel Edgerton plays Richard Loving in his second collaboration with Nichols after the still unreleased Midnight Special. Edgerton is riding on a bit of Oscar buzz right now for his supporting role alongside Johnny Depp in Black Mass. Mildred is played by Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) in her first major film role. Did you know Negga played Dame Shirley Bassey for the BBC in 2011? After watching that clip I’m really excited to see her lead a movie. Negga had a varied theater and TV career in the U.K. and Ireland so fans of S.H.I.E.L.D or those more familiar with her other work, please tell us if this is the beginnings of a new actressey obsession!

One of the many photos of the Lovings shot by Grey Villet

Michael Shannon, who’s been in every single movie directed by Nichols, has a supporting part as Grey Villet, the LIFE Magazine photographer who shot the famous photos of the Lovings in 1965. The photo from the film is evocative of those Villet images. The resemblance to the actors is uncanny, no?

As for Midnight Special, which also stars Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver, it was revealed recently by Dunst that it may premiere at SXSW next March. For a while Midnight Special had a premium November release date that prompted some to peg it as an Oscar movie. Of course once it was pushed back, many speculated that all is not well. Hopefuly a spring festival premiere in Nichols’ hometown will turn around the buzz. 

Possibly two movies from Nichols in 2016. Are you excited to see either or both movies?


Jon Hamm is ready to become a movie star

Here's Murtada with news on what's next for Jon Hamm post-Mad Men.

He finally won his much deserved Emmy and now that Mad Men is behind him, it seems Jon Hamm is set on becoming a movie star. This week came the announcement that he’s joining Ansel Elgort, Lily James and Jamie Foxx in Edgar Wright's next movie Baby Driver. He’s reportedly playing “a former Wall Street trader turned cop killer” ie. the big baddie.

Driver is one of a few upcoming Hamm movies. Already in the can is the comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses alongside Zach Galifianakis in which he plays a government spy hiding in the suburbs. Maintaining the espionage angle he’s set to play a US diplomat working with a CIA agent (Rosamund Pike) in 1970s Beirut in High Wire Act which was announced a couple of months ago but who knows if it’s still happening. He’s currently shooting Marjorie Prime in which he plays a holographic recreation of an ailing woman’s (Lois Smith) dead husband as he looked in his 30s.

An intriguing mix of movies, genres and lead/supporting parts. Perhaps chosen to compensate for the failure of his first foray into leading man territory with last year’s box office bomb Million Dollar Arm. He’s got the talent and he’s got the looks. Lines between TV and movie stardom are getting more blurred everyday with more actors and directors straddling both mediums. Still a bonafide movie star has much more clout than even the most successful TV star. Hamm seems to want that as he pointedly has chosen not to work in TV. Understandably, there’s nowhere to go on TV after the huge succes and endurance of an iconic part like Don Draper.

Do you think Hamm has what it takes to become a big crossover star a la George Clooney?


Welcome Back Andrew Garfield

Murtada is happy that Andrew Garfield is no longer a superhero. You?

Vince Vaughn and Garfield in the first picture from Hacksaw Ridge

Andrew Garfield recently started production on Mel Gibson's World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge in Australia. The movie is based on the life of Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor after saving dozens of soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa.

Hacksaw Ridge will mark Andrew Garfield’s third post Spider-Man film. Coming in 2016 is Martin Scorsese’s Silence and he’s currently in cinemas with 99 Homes. From 28 to 31 years of age, Garfield was only the web-slinger. Some think he squandered the promise he showed in Boy A and The Social Network. Garfield himself was torn about what he had accomplished, saying in a recent interview:

I never felt like I was able to do enough. And I couldn’t rescue those films…even though I didn’t sleep. [laughs]. And I wanted to…not to say that I needed to rescue those films, but I couldn’t make them as deep and soulful and…life-giving as I could ever dream. And I’m never gonna be able to do that, with any film. It was especially difficult in that situation because…well, just because. And it was especially important because that character has always meant so much to me.

Garfield in 99 Homes

If 99 Homes is any indication there’s no reason to worry. Playing a construction worker who loses his home in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis, Garfield is effortlessly affecting as he deals with the shame and grief of losing everything and hitting rock bottom. While he is overshadowed by Michael Shannon’s blistering embodiment of “Americana”, the movie works because Garfield grounds it with a natural soulfulness that reminded this viewer of Mark Ruffalo at his best.

Garfield is obviously someone who feels a lot. Read that quote above again. Doesn’t the story of a heroic conscientious objector seem like a perfect fit? To prove the point about all the feels he feels, we’ll leave you with what he said about working with Emma Stone.

"Working with Emma was like diving into a thrilling, twisting river and never holding on to the sides. From the start. To the end. Spontaneous. In the moment. Present. Terrifying. Vital. The only way acting with someone should be."


Ellar Coltrane and the Burden of the Iconic Role

Kieran, here. Ellar Coltrane, the boy at the center of Richard Linklater's much heralded Boyhood has landed his next role, a supporting part in The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel about privacy paranoia in the age of social media. Tom Hanks is already attached to star in the thriller, which will be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now). Coltrane will reportedly play Emma Watson's boyfriend who wants to go off the grid, out of the grasp of the eponymous Circle (which is not, repeat NOT Google). That's kind of funny, considering Mason's somewhat self-conscious, adolescent arrogance screed against social media and smart phones in Boyhood

The Spectacular Now suggested that Ponsoldt has a gift for pulling great performances from young actors, stretching our imaginations as to what they're capable of. Can he do that again for Ellar Coltrane?

Let me just say that I was an enthusiastic fan of Boyhood and I quite liked Coltrane in it. Er...maybe that's an entirely honest appraisal of my feelings about Coltrane's performance. I thought the movie acquitted itself well while working around a performance with very clear peaks and valleys. Coltrane's doe-eyed befuddlement works really well in certain key moments of the film, as when he witnesses the domestic abuse inflicted on his mother. That same blankness (and the role of Mason does require him to be somewhat blank) tends to fail him in moments when he's expected to communicate a clear persepctive, like the aforementioned scene where he's railing against Facebook. I didn't leave Boyhood with a clear idea of his acting chops in either direction. Boyhood was such a specialized project in conception and execution that it's hard to extrapolate how someone might perform beyond that. (Especially with very little frame of reference. Other than a very brief appearance in Fast Food Nation, Coltrane hasn't appeared in anything else.)

Are you curious to see what we get from Coltrane going forward?

From Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl) and Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer) to more recent examples of Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) it's rare that young actors who have their debuts or breakthroughs in heralded projects go on to have careers that match that initial acclaim. One can certainly debate the merits of each (and my opinion ranges from very warm to very cold), but these famous examples all demonstrate that it can be very hard to crawl out from under the weight of a culturally resonant breakthrough performance. 


Emily Blunt is on a roll

Here's Murtada on a long time TFE favorite...

Blunt earlier this week at Sicario's London premiere

It’s a good week to be Emily Blunt. Her latest movie Sicario opened to strong reviews and scored the year’s best on screen average for a limited release indicating it might become a substantial hit when it goes wide. She’s one of the favorites mentioned for that Mary Poppins sequel. And her next movie The Girl on the Train just got a couple of high profile co-stars; an Oscar winner and Captain America himself.

Jared Leto and Chris Evans are set to join Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett in the adaptation of the best selling novel that will be directed by The Help’s Tate Taylor. The book, written by Paula Hawkins, is a publishing sensation, a la Gone Girl, having spent 20 weeks at the top of the hardback fiction charts. The plot is about alcoholic Rachel Watson (Blunt) who still pines for her ex husband (Evans) who is now married to Anna (Ferguson) while concocting a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple (Bennett & Leto) she watches from the train on her daily commute. The story chronicles Bennett’s character disappearance and its effect on both Rachel and Anna. Though the book was set in London and Blunt will keep her English accent, the movie has been transplanted to the suburbs of New York City.

Clockwise L-R : Bennett, Leto, Ferguson and Evans

It’s exciting to see Blunt mixing it up. It would’ve been easy to be pigeonholed in action roles after her much lauded turn in Edge of Tomorrow. Even Sicario in which she plays an FBI agent is very different than her “full metal bitch” in Edge. Her Kate Macer is aces at her job but also overwhelmed by the grim reality of the drug trade along the US-Mexico border, a more nuanced characterization than the straight action-heroine of Edge. In a recent interview with Indiewire she talks about why only a handful of women are sought for all the action roles :

I think it’s because the list is very short, because we don’t see women in these kind of roles. So I think as soon as you do a role like that, like Charlize did or I did, or Rebecca’s done -- there’s like four of us or something. And Jen Lawrence. So I feel like us four, we get talked about -- and Angie, Angelina. So it’s a list of like, four women who are going to be considered for those kind of roles. So I think that’s why the rumors happen, because they’re like, "who else? Surely not another girl can wield a gun," you know what I mean? "A woman doing push-ups? There’s only one who can do that."

Sicario should take her to the next level, whether or not it brings her that first Oscar nomination. The film succeeds as both a vivid and violent thriller and a brilliant character study. At the center of it is Blunt’s Kate Macer who is by turns ferocious, steely, determined and also vulnerable and uncertain. It’s a great showcase of not only Blunt’s giant talent but Denis Villeneuve’s assured direction. Excellent word of mouth should translate into box office gold soon.

Have you seen Sicario yet? Isn't it funny that the two actresses who stole movies from Tom Cruise are going to be on screen together?


What's Next for Jennifer Lawrence 

Murtada here with some casting news. With commitments to her two franchises coming to an end soon, Jennifer Lawrence is getting busy considering all types of movies. November 20th brings The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 her 4th and last outing, for now, as Katniss Everdeen. Next summer’s X-Men Apocalypse is supposedly the last time we will see Lawrence as Mystique.

This week came news that she is attached to an adaptation of the book Red Sparrow about a Russian intelligence officer trained as a seductress and her handling of a rival CIA operative. This movie could re-team her with Francis Lawrence her first Hunger Games director. It’s a hot property in Hollywood that previously had director/actress combos of Darren Aronofsky/Natalie Portman and David Fincher/Rooney Mara interested.

More projects and some recent Lawrence quotes after the jump.

Click to read more ...


McDreamy is Bridget Jones' Baby

Here's Murtada with some casting and sequel news.

Patrick Dempsey is joining Bridget Jones’ Baby, the third movie about the charming British singleton played by Renee Zellweger. Is this the first announcement about his movie? Filming starts pretty soon, October 2nd to be exact. Did we miss something? Is Zellweger returning to major movies and the headlines are about McDreamy? Both Zellweger and Colin Firth are expected back but not Hugh Grant hence Dempsey. Although there are no details yet on who Dempsey is playing, it’s clear from the casting this may be another love triangle.

Zellweger aside, are we ready for for Bridget to come back? It’s been more than a decade since the last movie. Are people really going to see this? From the recent long-after-first-few reboots and sequels people really wanted to see Jurassic World  while no one cared for the Terminator reboot. Like the latter the last Bridget was in the mid-aughts. Not a good sign. People who loved it at the time might not feel nostalgic for it yet while younger audiences wouldn’t care.

The first film, Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), is a romantic comedy gem that came at a time when those were made regularly and some were made well. The book which of course came before the movie was a phenomenon. We loved Bridget’s self deprecating voice and wanted her to have the Elizabeth Bennet fantasy she dreamed of. Zellweger was aces in the part calming down everyone who was mad an American was cast as this quintessentially British woman. The second film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) followed shortly. In addition to the preposterous title, it's a trifle. Coming with an unnecessary sojourn into a Bangkok prison (is this a remake of both Bangkok Hilton and Brokedown Palace?) it presented nothing new. Just went on repeating all the best beats of the original including the fun and childish rivalry between Mark Darcy (Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Grant). Let’s just forget about it and watch that fight scene from Diary again.

Is Dempsey over Grant an upgrade? If we’re being shallow and judging just by how they look today Dempsey wins. However he’s not the caddish charmer that is Grant as Daniel and that's was proven way sexier. Remember his seduction of Bridget and the way he said “absolutely enormous panties”. Can Dempsey match that? Dempsey’s charm is different. Blandly handsome with no gravitas, i.e. the perfect foil for a Disney princess like he was for Amy Adams in Enchanted. He could lay on that wholesome charm but we all know everyone likes the bad boy more.

It’s clear where we stand on the Grant/Dempsey debate but tell us where you are and why.