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 Ellen Page (18)


Belated Thoughts on "Freeheld"

Freeheld, the civil rights drama based on the Oscar-winning documentary short of the same name, hasn't made an impact at the box office or with critics but it really should've been featured on The Film Experience of all places. We apologize for the delay but better late than never... especially when it involves dying wishes!

First a wee bit of background: Autospell keeps trying to change the title to "Freehold". For what it's worth the Freeholders, a local county governing board, are the antagonists of the picture. They're a group of men who deny local hero cop Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) her dying wish that her pension go to her domestic partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) when she dies. The only thing that keeps the Freeholders in the human realm and away from cartoon moustache-twirling is Bryan Kelder (Josh Charles), the most conflicted of them who doesn't see what the big deal is about granting her wish but also isn't conflicted enough to put his career on the line and he's running for a bigger office soon. The boards refusal stirs up a firestorm of activism in her home county in New Jersey

Here are a handful of thoughts on the movie...

Click to read more ...


Miscellania: Flatlining at Fury Road Hotel

• Ellen Page to lead the remake of 1990s film Flatliners [/Film]
• Leonardo DiCaprio walks the walk he talks. He joined a coalition of groups with combined holdings of 2.6 trillion dollars to defund climate change. (At this rate he'll win the Jean Hersholt before an actual Oscar) [New Yorker]
• Any mention of Twin Peaks is still making us tear up, given the Log Lady's recent death, but the 3rd season casting is well underway: Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard are joining [Empire]
• Do Dump or Marry...American Horror Story: Hotel edition [MNPP]
• Speaking of... Ryan Murphy has already offered Gaga Season 6 as well [Twitter]

• I don't really watch SNL (way too many DOA skits) but loved this bit with Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton opposite Hillary Clinton as bartender "Val". She does a pretty fun Trump impression [YouTube]
• Belgian director Chantal Akerman, whose most famous film was 1975's Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles and whose new film No Home Movie we just covered for NYFF, has passed away suddenly at only 65 years of age [The Guardian]
• You can learn a lot about filmmaking from George Miller's speech on Mad Max Fury Road [Mentorless]
• Claire Danes finally broke her silence on that whole infamous early Aughts scandal when she took up with Billy Crudup. [Pajiba]  
• What are the best performances and films from the past 5 years? Sati goes all in for Mad Max Fury Road from this year but it's fun to be reminded of a few others [Cinematic Corner]
• Will Smith confirms that Jared Leto was The Joker at all times on The Suicide Squad set. [Complex]
• Rooney Mara is still being asked about the whitewashing of Tiger Lily for Pan. Still has nothing useful to say about it beyond feeling "bad". Than why take the role, Rooney? It's not like you're hurting for offers! [People]
• 50 Cent, who is no longer popular as far as I'm aware, blames the slightly declined popularity of Empire (still mega popular) on its gay content. Charming. [Towleroad]
• Marvel is trusting its in-house writer's program. Black Panther, due in theaters in 33 months, hasn't been written yet, but will likely go to Joe Robert Cole, who is part of the program that Nicole Perlman (interviewed here) was in before Guardians of the Galaxy [Variety]  
• Ashley Judd now sharing with press that a studio mogul offered her an Oscar nomination for sexual favors. Gross. ("If only Oscar nominations were that easy to come by" - Everyone who has never received one.) [Variety]
• Channing Tatum stepping behind the camera for the first time as director for teen with gun murder drama Forgive Me Leonard Peacock [/Film]
• Not everyone is happy about Warner Bros choice of writer/director on their feature film version of The Flash the novelist Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter). (Also why do an unrelated film when the TV show is so good?) [CHUD]
• 15 best films from Fantastic Fest? FSR has a genre-loving list that includes festival titles we l-o-v-e like The Witch, the soon to open Crimson Peak, and even an Oscar submission, Belgium's Brand New Testament [Film School Rejects]
• George Miller claims that two more Mad Max sequels are coming. Don't hold your breath. Remember that Fury Road was in pre-production as early as the late 90s!  [Tracking Board


Yes No Maybe So: Freeheld

Manuel here eager to discuss the new trailer for Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's upcoming lesbian drama, Freeheld. Nat is swamped off-blog today so it's up to me to rush in to talk about this (ugh watermarked!!) trailer that premiered last night. We all know where the TFE readership will fall in pre-viewing collective excitement about Peter Sollet's film about the legal fight of a local cop with the Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders over her pension benefits transferring to her domestic partner after she's diagnosed with lung cancer. But that won’t stop us from submitting it to our handy Yes No Maybe So test, and typing YES several times in the next couple of paragraphs.

The breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...


We Can't Wait! #10: Freeheld

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Anne Marie...

Who & What: Ellen Page's 6-years-in-the-making passion project teams the tiny Canadian with Oscar-winning goddess Julianne Moore in a story about a dying New Jersey policewoman (Moore) who fights to transfer her pension benefits to her partner (Page). Based on a true story, the film is written by Oscar-nominated Philadelphia scribe Ron Nyswaner, and directed by Peter Sollett of Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist fame. Rounding out the already stellar cast are Steve Carrell and Michael Shannon. With this film plus Carol (more on that later in the series), this promises to be a good year for lesbians in film.

Why We're Excited About It: So many reasons: It's based on an Oscar winning short. It's a true and beautiful story about the fight for equal rights. It's Moore's second film release after winning the Oscar. If it's successful, it will be proof that an actor (Page) can come out and actually raise her profile enough to get films made. Plus on a purely shallow level, Ellen Page and Julianne Moore are adorable separately, and promise to be twice as adorable together. Observe:

What If It All Goes Wrong: The film itself seems to be in good hands, but the MPAA is a concern. Last year, we had two wonderful LGBTQ films, Pride and Love Is Strange, strangled with R ratings despite no content unsuitable for younger viewers. While Freeheld's star power would hopefully help it overcome the box office hurdles caused by an R rating, it would be a cruel irony to allow the prejudiced pearl-clutchers at the MPAA to censor a film about overcoming prejudice. Time will tell.

When: Lionsgate just won a bidding war to distribute the film, so hopefully we should be seeing it pop up in film festivals with a wider release later this year.

#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster


First Image from "Freeheld" - It's Really Happening!

This image fills The Film Experience's heart with actressexual joy...

God and Ellen Page in "Freeheld"

Freeheld, a drama based on adocumentary short, has had a difficult journey to the big screen. There have been cancellations, delays, cast-changes, funding issues, you name it. But Ellen Page stuck with it, came out, and the film powered back to life (coincidence? who knows). But it's delightful to see a still which is proof that it the movie is actually happening. For those who haven't been keeping up Freeheld this is the official "about synopsis" from the Oscar winning documentary:

Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.

The documentary film "Freeheld" chronicles Laurel's struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials - the Ocean County Freeholders -deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples. The film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Laurel's battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain.

As Laurel's plight intensifies, it spurs a media frenzy and a passionate advocacy campaign. At the same time, "Freeheld" captures a quieter, personal story: that of the deep love between Laurel and Stacie as they face the reality of losing each other. Alternating from packed public demonstrations at the county courthouse to quiet, tender moments of Laurel and Stacie at home, "Freeheld" combines tension-filled political drama with personal detail, creating a nuanced study of a grassroots fight for justice.

If Julianne's much delayed Oscar doesn't happen for Still Alice maybe she can ride Freeheld to a statue? If she does win for Still Alice maybe Ellen Page can take this one all the way? They play Detective Hester and Stacie Andree, respectively and maybe whoever picks up the movie will be brave enough to try a dual Best Actress campaign since there's no way you tell this story and they both aren't leads, you know?

And to think that Julianne Moore once worried in her first cover interview for Out that she'd never get to play gay again after her first gay role -  a reinterpretation of Lila Crane in Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998) remake which hit the year after she became a bonafide star with Boogie Nights and the Oscar nomination.

She needn't have worried since her filmography post-stardom, is so LGBT friendly (Far From Heaven, Chloe, The Kids Are All Right, A Single Man, Savage Grace, The Hours) and she might win her Oscar for Still Alice directed by gay partners in filmmaking and in life (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland). It's all wonderfully apt since the LGBT community championed her early on.


Ellen Page

Photographed for W Magazine by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin



X-Men Movie: Shades of Future Franchise Past

[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. -  Nathaniel]

Daniel Cudmore as Colossus and Fan Bingbing as Blink

The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.

In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels.  But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it? 

Click to read more ...