Film Bitch History
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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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
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Entries in Gerard Butler (4)


Would you rather?

It's our silly time-wasting celebrity fantasies game. Would you rather...

...wear bugs on your head with Rossy de Palma?
... shave your beard off with Gerard Butler?
...make pasta with Luca Pasqualino?
... indulge in some soapy nostalgia with Topher Grace? bananas (publicly!) with Gabby Sidibe?
... cosplay The Shining with Pandora Boxx?
...catch a beauty treatment in an airport lounge with Diane Kruger?
...see a movie in 4DX seats with Leonardo Nam?
...share an ice cream cone with Shailene Woodley?

Picture are after the jump to help you decide. 

Click to read more ...


Is "Gods of Egypt" a Bad Movie People Will Eventually Love?

The cast sees the reviews! The Horror. The Horror.The ill begotten would be blockbuster Gods of Egypt, directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow), is currently enjoying a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; you could call that score bad luck but for the fact that the movie fully earns it.

Still... There's something enjoyable about tallying up the ways it goes wrong. It continually charges toward its own spectacular idiocy with gusto. Despite heaps of exposition it never makes a lick of sense, explaining rules only to break them. It mounts each action sequence with zero artistry in disguising its shameful lust to earn extra $ as a video game (you half expect congratulatory text and bonus points on screen a la Scott Pilgrim vs The World). It builds its own crazy as high as its in-movie Tower of Babel. It wants to play with surreal Egyptian imagery but is so 2016 that it mistakes human gods with animal heads for organic derivatives of Michael Bay's Transformers

Each actor, freed from mundane concerns of "direction" or even other actors (green screens abound so half the time it's clear they're not together), does his/her own thing. The result is a hilarious hodgepodge of styles, accents, and wildly varying degrees of success at self-amusement: Egyptians with Australian accents? why not, Gerard Butler!; You once saw Pirates of the Caribbean and want to do something affected but can't quite commit to your mincing gay idea? Then do it half ass, Chadwick Boseman; You only want to entertain yourself? Thank you thank you Geoffrey Rush & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You are both having so much fun which is the only way to do a bad movie.

Maybe it's the time of year, the garbage dump month between serious adult films vying for metaphoric gold (it's just gold plating) and studio four-quadrant product vying for audience gold (the green stuff) but I found its monotonous/cheap aesthetic weirdly endearing; the sets and costumes are gold, the lighting is golden, some of the superpowers are fiery gold, and these Gods even bleed gold! This is not a recommendation so much as a "if you're in the mood for it" which I, surprisingly, was. It's a blockbuster dumb as Brenton Thwaites is twink pretty, but it just can't help itself.

Grade: C-/D+
Oscar Chances: Teehee. not even if 2016 ended today with only 40ish movies to choose from. 


Berlinale Pt. 2: Red Carpet, Movies To Watch For

One of the best things about A-list festivals is that you get red carpet ogling inbetween all the big ticket movies. Oh sure, you get that at medium sized festivals too but the celebrities and movies are more regional and less Klieg lit. So who was at Berlinale? Hailee Steinfeld was despite also showing up at US events and London events in the same week (I didn't include her in the lineup because she's been featured so much lately). That girl has probably logged more air miles in the past month than you have all year!

Here's a small sampling of stars.


From left to right: Dominic Cooper had a new film at the festival called The Devil's Double (more on that in a bit). He must weigh 120 lbs. He is always wearing the slimmest most form fitting suits that money can buy and constant cardio workouts can provide; Diane Kruger, still enjoying that post-Basterds boost, was there to push Unknown (#1 at the US box office this weekend); Gabourey Sidibe, who everyone griped would be hard to cast after Precious is doing pretty well for herself, don't you think? In addition to Showtime's The Big C she is in Yelling to the Sky (Zöe Kravitz has the lead role) which premiered in Berlin ; Diane Lane and Josh Brolin were there for the True Grit premiere (Bridges and Steinfeld also attended) looking more doubly attractive than ever, yes?

The other extra special thing about international red carpets is that the European stars get way more attention than they do at US events. And some of them are more than deserving of flashbulbs.


From left to right: Ludivine Sagnier and Sibel Kekilli, two TFE favorites from France and Germany respectively, were at the fest. Ludivine co-stars with Dominic Cooper in The Devil's Double.  Sibel attended the True Grit premiere but she didn't have a film of her own to push this time. However -- GEEKY FREAKOUT ALERT -- I didn't know this but she's playing "Shae", Tyrion's beloved prostitute in HBO's Game of Thrones. Yes; Diane Kruger gets featured twice because everyone knows she's a clotheshorse; German star August Diehl, who shares Inglourious Basterd's best chapter (the one in the cellar) with Kruger and Michael Fassbender, headlines the German film Wer Wenn Nicht Wir (If Not Us, Who) which won the Alfred Bauer, a prize that rewards innovation in films; And finally Spain's Carmen Maura, who we've loved since the late 80s on account of all of those delicious Pedro Almodóvar movies (she's still the reigning champ of his filmography, having starred in 8 to Penélope Cruz's 4.) is part of the star ensemble in Les femmes du 6ème étage.

A Few Movies To Be on the Lookout For
That film of Maura's translates to Women on the 6th Floor but according to Obsessed With Film, who call it "shamelessly enjoyable", it's being called Service Entrance for English markets.  It's about a rich Frenchman who becomes obsessed with Spanish maids living above him in the servants quarters. Maura's delightful Volver daughter Lola Dueñas is also in the cast.

The Cooper/Savignier movie mentioned earlier called The Devil's Double is about a man forced into being the body double for one of Saddam Hussein's sons. Cooper plays both roles, body double and the son of Hussein and he's reportedly great in it though the reviews of the film are not as kind, likening it to Scarface for its Big lurid violent sensationalism. But Ludivine & Dominic? I'm in.

Once I started investigating what played beyond the prize winners, there were too many movies thatsounded interesting, particularly the Bollywood drama about a black widow 7 Khoon Maaf starring Priyanka Chopra as a black widow and Naseerudin Shah (we love him) as the eldest of several of her usually doomed husbands. It turns out, it's playing in NYC right now. There's also a French animated film from the director of Kirikou and the Sorceress (2005) called Les Contes de la Nuit and a new Chen Kaige movie Sacrifice that Variety thinks is a return to form of sorts. So let's just end with an all star Shakespeare that we know you'll eventually have a chance to see.

Ralph Fiennes directs Vanessa Redgrave in Coriolanus

Ralph Fiennes modern dress Shakespearean adaptation Coriolanus, didn't win any prizes but reviews were interesting with Vanessa Redgrave being held up for significant praise. That's no surprise in terms of reviews. Can this film eventually wow Oscar voters? They tend to prefer their Shakespeare in period traditional form but Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave hasn't been in the mix since (gulp) 1992, so it would sure be nice to see her on the red carpet again if the performance is as wonderful as we hope.

My sadness about this movie pre-viewing is that Linus Roache does not appear. When Fiennes was doing this on stage a decade ago, Linus Roache (Priest, Wings of the Dove, Batman Begins, etcetera) was his much raved about co-star.  I had just moved to New York when they were doing it at BAM and I was so poor I didn't even consider going. Sadness.

Roache belongs to that unfortunate club of Wonderful Actors Who Never Get High Profile Work (at least not since the 90s) and he's been replaced in the film version by Gerard Butler. First he has to settle for Law & Order and now he's dumped for Butler, King of Bad Movies? What a world. What a world.

See also: previous Berlinale post for the jury awarded films


BAFTA Penguins (and Grammy Diversion)

A few of the BAFTA tuxes for you. Tuxes are so amusing. Everyone looks good in them but everyone looks related.

Nicholas Hoult Did you know he is 6'2"? He is now 3 inches taller than Hugh Grant, his About a Boy co-star! How weird is that? All growed up. In other news, all of these men ('cept the Ruff) are over 6' feet tall.
Mark Ruffalo and his wife Sunshine Coigney. She's looking fab / diva-esque so I had to include her. Did you know that she was in In The Cut? The one where the Ruff got naked with Meg Ryan. Well, now you do. #freeinformation
Colin Firth. WINNER. [This Just In: Did y'all see that Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes (what a bizarre Grammys lead-in) loved The King's Speech? This is why it will win Best Picture. He told a story about meeting King George VI with a friend of his who was also a stutterer.]
Gerard Butler Do you think he's embarrassed going to these awards shows considering the kind of movies he makes? If not... he should be.
Ricky Martin was... oh, whoops. I've moved over to the Grammys. I'm very distracted tonight. I'm watching The Grammys. How stereotyped is it that Ricky Martin was chosen to introduce Lady Gaga's "Born This Way".? Get it? Because he is gay. G-A-Y.

Every once in awhile I try to watch the Grammys (which I'm sorta tweeting) and then I remember why I don't watch. The problem illustrated: Nicole Kidman just joined a standing ovation... for Justin Beiber.