Oscar History

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.

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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

"Double Jeopardy is my jam!!! I ain't mad at cha, Miss Ashley! " - Dorian

"Ashley reminds me of Ida Lupino, who in the '40s had a lot of talent but was undervalued because of her association with genre potboilers." -Brookesboy

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Entries in Freddie Highmore (3)


Two TV Takes: "Southland" & "Bates Motel"

As I wait anxiously for the next great TV series to arrive -- where are you? -- I thought we should talk a little about two very different shows and the axis of Concept and Execution. Mad Men gets "A"s in both but most TV shows have to struggle through by leaning on one or the other. Having a good and/or original concept can win you a lot of leeway if your execution is problematic (see: Smash) but what of the inverse? Enter... Southland now in its 4th season. On the surface and at its core Southland is just another police procedural. You've seen it before and you will see it again.

So why the hell is Southland so damn good?

"How to Be Awesome"
The answer is all in the Execution. more...

Click to read more ...


Are You Excited For "Bates Motel" or "Hannibal"?

Alfred Hitchcock is getting as much attention this year as 007, what with Vertigo topping the Sight & Sound poll and the new Hitchcock biopic that references Hitchcockian mythology from 1958 through 1962 but focuses mostly on Psycho (1960). All that plus a new TV show that will look at the life of Young Norman (Freddie Highmore) and the infamous Mrs. Bates (Vera Farmiga) long before she was a dead woman rotting away in the fruit cellar. 

The first official image released inspires hope. It didn't go for something obviously CREEPY. Instead, counterintuitively, it's calm and painterly ...very Wyeth... and if you knew nothing of Psycho you might not even think of blood...blood... oh god mother the blood!

As a general rule I hate Hollywood's fascination with prequels, an obvious example of their creative bankruptcy but also, more dangerously, a key contributor to the dearth of imagination in audiences. It trains people to be passive viewers as if it's anathema to participate in what you're watching and create your own narratives to align with particularly gripping stories you're told. This is a strange dichotomous development considering that the easy access to art and technology these days seems to have actually inspired more participation... so why do people still want inspiration-killing backstories... the worst examples ever being the Star Wars prequels which just robbed the originals of their mythological potency. THIS IS WHAT CAUSED THAT. THIS BECAME THAT. REMEMBER THAT BIT? IT'S BECAUSE OF THIS. LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND AND OVER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING.

So I'm confused that I'm so excited for this. It must be the resilience of Psycho. It's already withstood several sequels, countless ripoffs and parodies and one recreation, and the kind of marrow deep cultural impact that you'd think would make it feel redundant to watch. Nope. It still terrifies and intrigues. The casting of the prequel series is also compelling. Freddie seems ideal, right? And Farmiga is one of the big screen's most compelling actresses, even if Hollywood isn't really helping her deliver on her potential -- even after her Departed / Up in the Air hit Oscar films breakthrough. What gives?

Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) enjoys his meal. Not vegeratian.

Still, with Dexter long overstaying his welcome on Showtime (this season started strong but quickly devolved and last season was just bad bad television... and there's still one more to go!) and Hannibal (yes, The Silence of the Lambs' Hannibal) about to get his own prequel series, doesn't TV already have enough 'life inside the head of a serial killer' drama? Serial killers are to television now what they were to the movies in the mid to late 90s.

Have you had enough or do you still enjoy the genre?


Links: Emmys, Normans, Books, Critics

Flavorwire has 20 film books for film lovers to own. Christmas list ideas?
Slant Kurt interviews the great Alison Janney who has a 'special knack for spurring films to life'
Arts Beat Adele records song for the new James Bond film Skyfall. Can't wait to hear it
Slate another perceptive review of Bachelorette
Deadline Adorable little Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) is no longer adorable. He's grown up to become a young Norman Bates in that Psycho prequel TV series "Bates Motel". 

HitFix interviews Chris Evans about his Captain America break, puking gym sessions, and the indie flick Iceman which just played at TIFF
IndieWire polled critics about the best films and performances at TIFF -- The Master nearly tops every poll its eligible for but fails to win "Most Disappointing" (edged out by To the Wonder)
The Advocate a new celebrity photographry book compiling Jack Robinson's 70s portraits. Clint Eastwood somehow looks like Hugh Jackman and Warren Beatty is all in leather
Playbill congrats to Leslye Headland again. Her play Assistance (about showbiz assistants) will be developed for a television series
Broadway Blog Cheyenne Jackson (yay!) to star in a new Broadway romantic comedy about adult film performers. Alicia Silverstone and Ari Graynor co-star!
MNPP attends a star-packed Q&A for 10 Years
Towleroad My latest column finds me blathering on about a handful of future Oscar players

Congratulations to Joshua Bergasse for his Best Choreography Win for "SMASH". It's the first time a TV series has claimed the prize in 17 years

Emmy Time - yes, I'll live blog on Sunday
Playbill Smash wins Joshua Bergasse an Emmy for Best Choreography for "Wolf" "National Pasttime" and The Film Experience's all-time favorite Smash number "Let's Be Bad". 
LA Times & Deadline HBO leads the Emmys so far with 17 wins including several for Game of Thrones. And, yes, Mad Men lost costume design AGAIN. It will go down as one of the great awards injustices that that series never wins costume design. Just shameful! Guest Acting Emmys: Kathy Bates (Two and Half Men), Martha Plimpton (The Good Wife), Jeremy Davies (Justified), and Jimmy Fallon (SNL)