WATCH AT HOME!
Film Bitch History
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

 

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

What will & should win Best Comedy at the Emmys?

"If Veep wins I won’t complain. Really smart series that ended on a perfect note." - Lucky

"Russian Doll is probably the most affecting show I watched over the last year. It's brilliant and I love it - but as you say, its format and its tone is not at all friendly to it winning this. I" - ScottC

"Fleabag: Exhilarating, high wire stuff. Any episode is a masterclass of writing." -Arkaan

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Interviews

Directors of For Sama


recent
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in Ethan Hawke (38)

Friday
Feb122016

Valentine's - Before Sunset

Team Experience is citing favorite love scenes. Here's Chris...

Richard Linklater's Before... trilogy is the perfect love story for the hopeless-romantic-turned-cynic in all of us. The romance between Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy giving their flawless best) is the kind of pure human connection that we hope for in adulthood, and only the tiniest bit of the fairy tale we're promised in youth. Each of the series' three chapters were released nine years after its predecessor, with the years in between a surprise for the audience. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct012015

NYFF: Julianne Moore in "Maggie's Plan"

Manuel here with your weekly reminder that Julianne Moore is an Academy Award Winner.

 

Rebecca Miller's Maggie's Plan plays like a New York City screwball comedy with a Jane Austen protagonist at its center. If all of those elements feel like they would pull the film in opposite directions, you would be correct. Greta Gerwig is Maggie, a Gerwig-type gal too busy trying to match-make and keep everything within neat little plans to notice what’s right in front of her. Maggie, you see, wants to have a baby by herself, a plan that like many of the ones she cooks up throughout the film, goes awry when she falls for a married man (Ethan Hawke) whose brilliant, ice-cold wife Georgette (a bonkers accented Julianne Moore) is making him horribly miserable. That’s the basic premise. Or, perhaps, “everyone is self-absorbed, impossibly verbose, and in some sort of marital disarray” is just as good a summary for Miller’s film.

Miller, who you may know as “the writer-director of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” (or even as “Lady Day-Lewis”), has a knack for skewering the pompous urbanity of New Yorkers and much of the comedy in Maggie’s Plan is derived from putting these characters in awkward situations their loquaciousness cannot solve. This is a world where people are “pickle entrepreneurs,” specialize in Ficto-Critical Anthropology, suggest the word like “is a language condom,” and rejoice when they hear Slavoj Žižek will be attending a conference in Canada. Gerwig, Hawke and especially Moore do a great job of walking the thin line between satirizing and humanizing these characters, though Miller’s script sometimes strains for credulity, her characters at once too childish and too self-aware to make many of the choices they make, like write an autobiographical academic book about the affair that destroyed their marriage to a promising anthropologist who’s intent on writing a continuously ballooning mess of a novel.

Thus, while the overall plotting is a bit off (Maggie is compared to Titania, Shakespeare’s meddling fairy Queen, though she’s closer to Austen’s clueless protagonists in the way she approaches relatively simple endeavors with needless complexity), it gives these performers some howlers to milk. Moore in particular finds ways of making lines like “No one upends commodity fetishism like you do!” have you double over in laughter. Part of it is her Danish accent. Part of it is her pineapple-like hairstyle. And part of it is the withering looks she gives as she spouts her dialogue in contempt: “There’s something so pure in you. And stupid” she says to Maggie at one point.

 And so, while there’s plenty to enjoy in Maggie’s Plan, including wonderful bit parts by Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader as Maggie’s bickering married friends, it’s all ultimately a bit too precious. But know this: you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen Julianne Moore faceplant while walking in the snow only to later whimper: “Are we going to die here?!”

 Maggie’s Plan plays NYFF on Sunday October 4th (with Miller, Gerwig, Moore, Hawke, Rudolph, and Travis Fimmel in person) and Monday October 5th (with Miller in person). Sony Pictures Classics will release Maggie's Plan though a date has yet to be determined. 
Thursday
Apr232015

Tribeca: A Good Kill To Backtrack

Further reporting from the festival in Tribeca, here's Jason on a pair of disparate flicks about Sad-Eyed Men Doing Bad Things.

Good Kill -- If you've seen Andrew Niccol's modern sci-fi classic Gattaca (and I hope you have; do you think it will make the second half of TFE's sci-fi countdown?) then you can no doubt summon up that indelible image of Ethan & Uma wandering amid a field of shimmering solar panels at sunrise, a mirrored oasis in the desert. There's nothing that beautiful in Niccol's new film Good Kill, nor should there be - it's about the dirty science reality of the here and now, not a gleaming future vision - but it nonetheless occupies the same kind of space; removed, floating off the sand like morning evaporation. 

But the light is different now; harder - consider us then a vulture mid-flight, or more practically that of a military drone, lasering in on its target. Hawke (whose real-world surname reads as ironic now that I write it out in this context) is a pilot not allowed to fly anymore; whose military career's found itself confined to a metal crate in the Las Vegas desert marked "You Are Now Leaving The United States" where he plays life and death WarGames half a world away, incinerating "enemy combatants" (a term the movie purposefully broadens beyond any meaning) with the flick of his trigger finger.

The hardness that's settled around Ethan Hawke's eyes in the eighteen years since Gattaca comes in handy in this respect too - repetition and weariness are our subject now; the sunlight itself is diffused by death and destruction, the only thing raining down. A globe covered in sand, with one small sad patch of grass (a repeated shot of Hawke's backyard from above - one square in a patchwork of otherwise dusty browns) feeling more like a blight, an aberration, than either home or comfort.

Backtrack -- When I wrote up my take-down of the killer-bee move Stung yesterday I talked a bit about where Horror Movies stand these days; how a certain school of low-budget film-making (that Stung does not belong to) has found a nifty off-kilter vibe of dread to riff upon. Well Backtrack doesn't belong to that school either, but for other reasons - Backtrack, whatever it cost, feels costly, bloated, crammed with screaming CG ghosties that pop out at the screen screaming when the director needs to goose us. 

It also feels immediately dated - the specter of The Sixth Sense (the leather of psychiatry couches ripe spaces for afterlife confessionals) looms large, but it also feels like it was made ten years ago amid the J-Horror remake boom. It fits nicely right in alongside Jennifer Connelly's immediately forgettable Dark Water, for example. Needless to say what all that adds up to is a bunch of exposition endlessly reaching backwards for back-story under back-story under back-story, only intermittently remembering to throw some wild-eyed spook our way as it strains for purpose and/or substance.

And what a shame that this is how we're using the terrific Robin McLeavy! If you've never seen 2009's deeply darkly twisted Aussie romance The Loved Ones do yourself a favor; she's a real spark-plug. Robin shows up about halfway into Backtrack with her big dark eyes and the movie doesn't have anything for her to do - it actually goes out of its way to neuter her - and that's its scariest accomplishment of all.

Saturday
Jan172015

If you fused two Hulks together could they smash J.K. Simmons?

That's the question I keep asking myself about Best Supporting Actor. My Oscar-clogged brain works like that, taking flights of fancy when it finds true facts too boring to contemplate any further. J.K. Simmons could only lose the Oscar if he suddenly became a different person before ballots were due and was unmasked as a terrorist or a serial killer or what not. He's going to win because in addition to giving a big beloved performance, he is also very well liked. As with Patricia Arquette, it's churlish and unbecoming to root against a long time actor finally getting the role people will remember them by. 

In any other year, though, this particular Oscar race would be a weird superhero collision between two very fine famous actors who both happen to get green when they're angry. Former Hulk Edward Norton vs. Present Hulk Mark Ruffalo. Both would have tremendously strong narratives for a win in that "They haven't won yet? But they're always great!" kind of way. But they'll both lose.

Silver lining: Perhaps if you tally the final votes in a month's time, their combined totals would beat Simmons? No never mind. He's too far ahead even for that.

See the Best Supporting Actor chart here! Find out how they got nominated*, how many films they've made, and vote on the poll for who "should" win - it's Reader's Choice.

*theorizing for entertainment purposes only - we can't read voter minds

Friday
Jan162015

Up Close at the 20th Annual "Critics Choice" Awards

Goddess with regular person. But at least he's in a brand new expensive suit.Did you want the Critics Choice Movie Awards last night? That accounts for my radio silence. I had the extreme good fortune of sitting at Jessica Chastain's table. No, I couldn't believe it either for which I must thank A24 profusely. It's true The Film Experience has been kinda nuts about their movies here from Spring Breakers to Under the Skin to the already weirdly underappreciated A Most Violent Year (opening in late late December is so hard for movies that are small and aren't directed by Clint Eastwood) but it was still an unbelievably kind gesture.

It turns out though that sitting at a table with some of the honored stars (Jenny Slate, also at the table, took home Best Comedy Actress) that is smack dab in the center (Wild table to the left, Theory of Everything and Unbroken to the right, Selma tables --plural, that's a big cast behind you) is rather terrifying and chaotic. Because I had the back to stage seat, the cameramen were running up to squat or stand hovering over me carrying loads of equipment to point the camera at Jessica and Jenny for reaction shots and for their wins. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan092015

Podcast: Golden Globe Predictions

HOORAY! It's Golden Globes weekend.

Inbetween rushing to the movie theaters to catch up on any nominees you missed, listen in as Nathaniel, Nick, Katey and Joe reveal their "will wins" and "should wins" as they travel up the Globe ballot toward Best Picture, doubled. We love the Globes, don't you?

Running Time (42 minutes)
00:01 Song & Score. Hating on Big Eyes
04:07 Foreign & Animated. 
10:57 Screenplays
13:56 Director & Ava DuVernay 
16:09 Supporting. (Some Ethan Hawke & Keira Knightley love circulates through the room)
22:22 Lead Acting: St. Vincent detour / 'Team Foxcatcher'.
32:38 Best Actress Drama / Best Picture Finale
38:40 Fav "Into the Woods" Numbers

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments! The 72nd Annual Golden Globe® Awards, will air on NBC Sunday night LIVE coast-to-coast 5:00 PST /8:00 PM EST.

Please note: this was recorded one week ago so Selma hadn't had the rough week it just had with guilds

Referenced: Nick's hilarious mocking of The Imitation Game

GG Predictions, January 2015

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 7 Next 6 Entries »