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 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 


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Entries in Holidays (110)


55 Days Until Oscar ~ Ballots Go Out Today

Alas I have no Oscar Trivia involving the number 55 to parcel out on this occassion but it's an important day to mark nonetheless. Oscar ballots fly out to the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences today (Monday, December 29th) so consider this coming week the buzz freeze. Whatever's happening now is the last minute push.

Many voters have already made up their minds of course but it's up to the campaigns to keep the names and titles of those in the hunt ever present so they don't slip the mind when it comes time to fill out those ballots. This weekend's box office holiday festivities brought coveted attention to Into the Woods and Unbroken (both probably on the Best Picture bubble) and to a lesser degree to Selma (which feels like a sure thing despite its late start) and American Sniper. But other earlier releases have already made their cases. Only A Most Violent Year (with a hugely entertaining performance by Jessica Chastain) and the foreign film hopeful Leviathan have yet to open and are risking New Year's Eve releases.

Though there's a place for advocacy in film-blogging we do enough of it here that we shouldn't press our luck by doing it again today. We only ask that any AMPAS member who has stumbled upon this message watch three more screeners before returning their ballots. Carve out six more hours, you can do it. Especially if you're not quite satisfied with your ballot.  

And try this nifty trick: Glance over your choices for your branch category and for Best Picture. Are any of the names or titles you've scribbed down simply from power of suggestion - because you've heard it over and over again? If you're looking at the name and you don't feel any passion, chuck it. Vote your heart. Or if you're stumped check out the Oscar charts and consider a longer shot that you totally loved. The only way those triumphs ever get nominated is if the passion vote turns out. It's just like a real election in that way.

No, Keira. You don't get points for finishing your ballot first. Take your time.

I love what James Marsh, the director of The Theory of Everything told me about his ballot (read the interview)

I take it quite seriously. I do indeed evaluate. You can separate technical virtuosity in a film that doesn’t necessarily cohere for you as a movie. 

It’s both a pleasure and a duty that should be done carefully and properly. It’s an honor to be an Academy member. And should be one where you meet your responsibilities and not in a cavalier way.

Happy balloting! 

P.S. If you're not lucky enough to have a ballot, let's play the game that the gurus of gold just played (they stumped for Nightcrawler en masse) and suggest three final screeners that each voter should watch before returning their ballot. Go!


Complete the Christmas Sentence

You know how this goes.

My favorite movie scene I watched over Christmas break was when _____________ in ____________.  

The best movie-themed gift I ever [gave/got] was ______________.


It's a Gift!

 The Film Experience loves you and thinks you're naughty  nice.

And the Film Experience loves awards season. It's no accident that awards season begins just before Thanksgiving (GRATITUDE) peaks during during Christmas time (MOVIES ARE GIFTS TO THE WORLD) and ends around Valentines (

Happy Holidays to all readers, wherever you may be and whatever you're celebrating! Make great memories and see you back here very soon. As soon as you come back tell us which movies you saw during your Christmas break!



Quick Links Over Coffee. And "LISTEN!" It's the Critical Decision

Jude Law drinking coffee back in the dayWhoa! Off to such a late start today.


Here are a few links for you to enjoy while I drink my lunch (aka coffee) and prepare a few posts... posting continues through the holidays so if you're having a Blue Christmas, please know that we're here for you in the comments section / posting form with reviews coming up for Selma & Into the Woods. If you'll be offline for most of the holiday week, collect your belated gifts when you return. The Oscar stuff, year in review collections, chatty interviews and podcast, and silly polls will all still be here when you return. (Just click on that  "pages" thing once you run out of the freshly baked articles at the bottom and you'll get to the day old stuff and so on. Only a few of the articles have expiration dates, you know.

Mic I somehow missed all the hubbub about Shiloh "John" Jolie-Pitt but agree that the Spawn of Our Most Beloved Celebrity-Celebrity Couple On the Planet looks spiffy in a suit.
Vanity Fair David Fincher wants to make a movie about music videos? YES PLEASE. The man for the job obviously.
In Contention Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) is joining the Jobs biopic... you'd think this movie would scare people away after all those Sony emails
Pajiba chooses the most exhiliarating TV characters of 2014
The Daily Beast Idris Elba wanted for next James Bond maybe.
Mediate I love how upset this is making idiots like Rush Limbaugh. Hee.
Film Stage What would you add to their list of Cinematography bests this year? 
Cut Print Film asked you to reconsider Shia Labeouf. I have been!
Vox 30 best tv shows of year 

Ah, and thanks to Arjan Writes for pointing out Jennifer Hudson doing a playful impromptu take on Beyoncé's "Listen" when she visited a radio station just the other day if you need a dash of Christmas 2006 in your Christmas 2014... and who doesn't?

(Critics List Navel Gazing / Blog Tracking Decisions after Jennifer sings!)


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Stocking Stuffers (of Our Dreams)

Year in Review: Two yummy lists per day. Alexa is off for the holiday so I'm subverting her her arts & crafts "Curio" column for a gift list - Nathaniel

 I can't imagine that the wee moviegoers of the world won't be getting all the Big Hero 6, LEGO and Groot goodies their hearts desire over Christmas but here are ten stocking stuffers we wish we could play with on Thursday morning.

Listen, nobody is ever going to serve the niche within the niche within the niche markets -- I 've accepted that fact that I'll never own Vera Drake action figures or, to quote Waiting for Guffman, a Remains of the Day lunchbox. But that shouldn't stop the dreaming. Some of the following prezzies inspired by 2014 movies, would surely put huge smiles on the face of your cinephile loved ones. Some of these you can actually stuff in stockings. Others do not exist. But we're in the list-making mood. Tis the season.

11 Last Minute Gift Ideas From Real to Imaginary

11. Snowpiercer original graphic novel for sale here
10. Mendl's Bakery Memorabilia all over the place at Etsy 
9. Amazing Amy books for download... or Carrie Coon's "Protect Your Nuts" tee for order but if you're going with any Gone Girl inspired gifts make sure create your own scavenger hunt series of clues for your victim... excuse me, beloved. I meant beloved!

8 more ideas after the jump

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Beauty vs Beast: Beard vs Bumble

JA from MNPP here, ho ho hosting this week's ho ho holiday edition of "Beauty vs Beast" for y'all (okay okay I got all my ho ho's out, I promise) -- a couple of weeks ago TFE's resident animation guru Tim gave good love to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the occasion of its 50th anniversary and it struck me like a peppermint pick-axe to the brain, what this week's face-off needed to be. Who else but...


Yukon Cornelius, the standard of bearded beauty for an entire generation, grabs that frightful Beast by the belly and bounces away with our hearts every time, but we've got a special place for the Bumble's passionate bumbling too. So help us choose! You have one week to vote, and please do share your thoughts upon each in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY Spinning off from the frozen tundra of the North Pole to the magnolia swelter of the Deep South, last week we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind by play-acting Scarlett and choosing our best beau - Ashley put up a decent fight for such a wilting flower but frankly, my dears, we want to be man-handled. Rhett swept 79% of us up in his arms and carried us into that fiery sunset. Said TB:

"Ashley is the biggest cad in the whole movie. He's got Olivia de Havilland at home, and he's stringing along Vivien Leigh the whole time. Nope. NOPE. Rhett's a slut, but at least he's got principles."


Monday Monologue: Henry II's Eulogy

Anne Marie here to celebrate the holiday with a furious monologue from my favorite Christmas movie. "Christmas movie" is a terrible description for Anthony Harvey's 1968 film The Lion in Winter, though it is technically correct. This is a political thriller of one very long Christmas night between Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole), his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), and their three conniving sons as they battle over who will be the next King of England.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional.

While we've written extensively about Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning performance in The Lion in Winter, this Monologue Monday before Christmas I'd like to shine the spotlight on Peter O'Toole's underawarded performance as the manic, magnificent Henry II of England. The movie is filled with great dialog for the Irishman to chew on, but O'Toole's best (or biggest) moment comes midway through the film, after a midnight meeting with the King of France.

A eulogy for a king after the jump...

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