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What did YOU see this weekend?

 

Elle. Basically the same movie as The Piano Teacher but sillier. Huppert is great, but when is she not? -Jonathan

The Edge of Seventeen because I needed something light and fun. So delightful, and anchored by a wonderful Hailee Steinfeld performance. - Marina

 

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Entries in Felicity Jones (28)

Tuesday
Oct182016

"Rogue One" Cast Gets Death Starred

Chris here. The rumors of behind the scenes trouble for Rogue One - A Star Wars Story keep circulating, but the actual goods just keep on delivering. Last week's full trailer was warmly received for its narrative details and for its snappy visuals, and now we have a new set of character posters to peruse. Whether the whispers are true or not, Disney doesn't seem to be shying away from Rogue One's darker tone. See the full set (and our thoughts) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct172016

On a Clear Day You Can See Anniversaries Forever

On this day in showbiz history...

1886 Spring Byington is born in Colorado Springs. Goes on to supporting actress glory in Hollywood including Marmee in Little Women (1933, her feature debut) and an Oscar nomination as the eccentric hobbyist mom in You Can't Take It With You (1938). Curiously her screen daughter in that best picture winner Jean Arthur, an even bigger star, shares her same birthday (for the year of 1900)
1888 Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (an early step in creating the cinema)
1903 Author and screenwriter Nathanael West is born in NYC. Movies adapted from his work include Lonelyhearts (1958) and The Day of the Locust (1975)
1915 One of the world's most celebrated playwrights, Arthur Miller, is born. His classics include Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View From the Bridge. After marrying movie star Marilyn Monroe, he wrote The Misfits (1961) for her which would eerily (considering its elegiac tone) be the last film for both her and co-star Clark Gable and one of the very last for Montgomery Clift who was born on this same day in 1920...

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Monday
Sep122016

TIFF Quickies: A Monster Calls, Colossal, Santa & Andrés

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto Film Festival 


A Monster Calls (JA Bayona, USA/Spain)
This fable about grief and growing up will surely be someone's favorite movie. Alas, it isn't mine. A Monster Calls is a simple fantasy about a boy named Connor (Lewis MacDougall) whose mother (Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer. His grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and father (Toby Kebell) attempt to console him but the only solace Connor can find is in visitations from a giant tree monster (voiced by Aslan... excuse me, Liam Neeson) who promises to tell the boy three stories in exchange for the boy's own. The film is somewhat moving and fantastically visual in its three animated stories within the movie; they're sensory overload mashups of computer generated imagery, watercolor fluidity, and bold color choices. In both its earthbound and magical moments, though, A Monster Calls is relentlessly gilding the lily. It's so concerned with putting its parables over that its' constantly explaining them and telling us how to feel about grief and loss. Still, Bayona's movie is always coming from a place of compassion and humanity which can be a godsend in the soulless landscape of CGI heavy movies. While the tech elements are strong, particularly sound and visual effects (though why does the creature look so much like Groot?),  it all comes down to the boy and his mother if you want the tears. MacDougall & Jones are beautifully cast as they both look and feel like mother & son. MacDougall, who made his debut as a Lost Boy in Pan last year, impressively carries the movie with something like ease while filling up all the unspoken spaces with heartbreak and fury about his impending loss. Felicity Jones half-gone feeling in her final scenes provides generous Oscar clipping. If only the movie had given the emotions more room to breathe and to speak for themselves. If trees can walk and talk, and demand that we listen, feelings deserve the same respect. Less CGI and scripted preaching, more intuitvie tears, please. [Animated Stories Within the Movie: B+ /Movie: C+ ]

Colossal (Dir. Nacho Vigalondo, Canada)
Finally a movie that Hathaway fans (*raises hand high and shamelessly*) and the "Hathahaters" can enjoy together. This oddball movie from Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo places Anne Hathaway at the center of a kaiju movie. Nope, she's not a scientist or a hero - believe it or not she's the kaiju. Yes, she's Colossal's rampaging beast destroying Seoul ... not figuratively but actually! She's also "Gloria" a drunk who gets thrown out of her boyfriend's apartment (Dan Stevens) and ends up returning to her hometown where she takes a job with a former friend (Jason Sudeikis) who still harbors a crush. When Gloria realizes she's unknowingly wreaking havoc all the way around the world she's even more freaked out by her self destruction and drunken blackouts. If that all sounds like it might work better as a midnight madness short, you could be right. Colossal starts brilliantly with a priceless perfectly-pitched prologue in South Korea with a little girl and her dolly. Though it's numerous twists have a kind of welcome insanity, the length of the thing, and particularly its deadly over-investment in the Jason Sudeikis character (to the detriment of Gloria's own emotional arc) undoes it. Lop off an entire half hour of this film's running time and it might just work as a delightfully weird and funny cult oddity but as it is Colossal is something of its own kaiju, an lumberingly awkward, self-destructive beast which keeps crushing the precious little movie its building. [Anne Hathaway's Willingness to Do This Project: A / Movie: C+]

Santa & Andrés (Dir. Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/Colombia)
Havana born director Carlos Lechuga takes aim at the disconnection of idealogies amongst Cubans in this 80s set drama about a homosexual writer deemed a dissident and the woman assigned to monitor him to keep him from contacting international press and delegates at a local political event. Initially this drama's slow burn doesn't seem to be paying off with a dull first half hour and lots of shots of Santa & Andrés warily staring at each other and barely speaking. But their eventual emotional, if not political, understanding is wonderfully portrayed by the actors and smartly delineated in the screenplay. What the patient filmmaking lacks in verve it makes up for in insight, with each painfully tentative kindness between them feeling like a precious miracle in a climate of hopelessness. B

Friday
Apr152016

A Monster Calls For A "Visionary Filmmaker"

Laurence here. Have you checked the children? Landing somewhat quietly in a week of splashy comic book trailers was something that looks, frankly, altogether more interesting than both. J.A. Bayona, director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, seems to have found the narrative intersection between both for his new film, A Monster Calls. We only have a teaser trailer so far so we won't give it the full YNMS treatment just yet, but it's an enticing, Burtonesque first glimpse.

Some more information on the film after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr082016

YNMS: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

If any of you readers were bummed that we're not celebrating The Force Awakens for next week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, feast your eyes on the first look at this year's trip to a galaxy far, far away! Coming on the heels of the franchise's massively successful beginning to a new trilogy, we have our first look at the series's first spin off: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Set between the events of the prequel trilogy and our original favorites, Rogue One (let's just drop the strange post-title, shall we) features the uprising of the rebels to steal plans of the Death Star. The cast is an unexpected and enticing ensemble of global talents and the Oscar annoited: Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, and Riz Ahmed. If that cast doesn't already have you on board for any film containing them all, the future blockbuster is also director Gareth Edwards follow-up to the visually sumptuous Godzilla.

And this first teaser is just as much a visual powerhouse:

Let's break down the Yes No Maybe So of it all after the jump...

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