The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 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 


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

We're Thankful For... !


"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

"This is such a wonderful list for how full it is of cinematic joy, not just the everything of Carol..." - Ben1283

"Yes to all of this!! :)!" -Squasher88


Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Entries in Homeland (7)


Our Small Screen MVPs of the Week

Who or what was your MVP of this past week on your small screens at home?

We polled Team Experience to share theirs. In this new world of infinite screens and schedules, whether you're bingeing, right up-to-date, or on demand surfing, we're all probably on different time tables so please do share yours as well.

If you watch these shows do you have the same MVPs?

MVPs of the Week

Homeland's Showrunner
Alex Gansa, showrunner of Homeland, has managed to take a great-show-turned-shitshow and make it thrilling again. I said it. I said thrilling. About late season Homeland!? Am I crazy? Maybe. The thing I fear is that it will all fall apart, that three (out of three!) excellent episodes this season will turn, by season’s end, into a fluke. But here’s what we’ve got: Characters behaving in ways that don’t immediately strike you as utterly stupid. Unpredictability. Twists. Bigger twists. Signature Homeland footchases involving losing people in crowds (we all love that, right?). A connection of the CIA to geopolitics that is complex. And I have no idea what Saul Berenson is up to.  I mean, I could have given the MVP to Mandy Patinkin just for drumming his fingers, but there’s so much going on visually, and in the writing, that Alex Gansa is my guy. (I’m recapping weekly here if you’re so inclined.) - Deborah Lipp

The Flash - Whoever Thought This Callback Up
In a strange reversal of current billion dollar movieverses, Marvel goes dark for television (see Daredevil and the upcoming Jessica Jones) and DC (The Flash/Supergirl) lightens up. The Flash's first season was a shock to the system, in that it was genuinely good: well plotted, bravely silly (Gorilla Grodd anyone?), filled with fizzy action sequences, jokey quips, and an unashamedly sentimental soul (has a lead male in a TV series ever cried as much as Grant Gustin on The Flash?) in other words: just like a comic book. Season 2 hasn't been as fun but the addition of drama from Earth Two (don't ask) in the form of another Flash Jay Garrick (played by TFE favorite Teddy Sears from Dollhouse/Masters of Sex) is promising. And this joyful bit ripped directly from comic book pages when a victim calls out for Flash and both heroes come running was pure throwback bliss. It was like I was a little kid hungrily flipping comic book pages again. - Nathaniel R

Bob's Burgers's Kristen Schaal
Confession: I love Kristen Schaal. In many circles that is a somewhat controversial stance since her comedy is at times almost intentionally grating (see 30 Rock which half the time didn’t know what to do with her Hazel Wassername). When it’s harnessed correctly (see The Daily Show, Flight of the Conchords) it is magical to behold. Seeing as her comedy so depends on her distinctive voice (a loony rubber band of a squeal) it’s no surprise she’s found success doing voiceover work (in the Toy Story franchise, in the great Gravity Falls, even in the amazing Archer). But it is her work as Louise Belcher in Bob’s Burgers which may be her crowning achievement. A conniving, no-nonsense, entrepreneurial nine year old whose adult schemes are hilariously at odds with her signature pink rabbit-ears hat, Louise prides herself on being the smartest person in the room. The latest episode, "Hauntening", where her parents attempt to give her a worthy scare with the world’s lamest haunted house was a brilliant showcase for Schaal, as her Louise goes from blasé indifference to outright fright by the end of the episode. - Manuel Betancourt

Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Chelsea Peretti 
When Captain Holt was transferred out of the 99 at the end of season two, and Gina Linetti loyally followed him out the door, devotees of TV's most reliable sitcom feared the worst. But of course the show wasn't going to let its two most valuable characters (give or take Rosa Diaz) go that easily, and if nothing else, the third season's initial episodes have made their contrived inclusions of the pair's new office a chance for Gina to exercise her superiority over everyone in the vicinity. "Gina Linetti," she introduces herself at one meeting, "the human form of the 100 emoji." Stand-up comedienne Chelsea Peretti has been acing this part from the very beginning, giving Gina a confidence that never seems arrogant despite almost complete narcissism. Whenever she speaks, her self-love seems completely genuine, because it is completely valid, but Peretti also roots it in an unspoken sense of the subservience Gina knows most women in her position would likely feel, and makes that rebellion even more empowering. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's most surprising strength is its variety of strong female characters in a workplace not typically kind to females, and Gina Linetti, despite her stereotypical role, is the crown emoji. - David Upton



Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Musical Numbers 
The pilot of the CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does not get off to the strongest possible start. But then, about ten minutes or so in, protagonist Rebecca Bunch (the supremely GIF-able Rachel Bloom) bursts into song, singing the praises of "West Covina, California" - the sun-dappled home of her former summer camp boyfriend Josh, who she not-entirely-accidentally runs into on the streets of NYC. Of course, she decides (much like Felicity before her) to ditch her soul-killing Junior Partnership at a high-powered law firm to follow him. In true movie musical fashion, she moves from the grey-blue streets of NYC to the golden-hued roads of CA over the course of the number, and in so doing kicks the show into high gear. The number just gets funnier and funnier as it goes, until it ends with Rebecca ascending to the heavens on a giant pretzel. It's musical comedy heaven. And that's just the first number. After what happened to Smash and Glee, it's tempting to think that musical series will only disappoint, but right now it looks like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is on the glitter-strewn path to greatness. - Dancin Dan


Beauty Break: Alexander Fehling

In a very stacked weekend for new releases -- 10 of them in total with names as big as Anne Hathaway, Andrew Garfield, Robert de Niro, and Ryan Reynolds -- plus expansions for the mountain climbing spectacle Everest and the hotly buzzing Emily Blunt & Benicio del Toro cartel thriller Sicario -- let us draw your attention to one of the smallest, but not the least of the new films and stars. Germany's Foreign Oscar contender Labyrinth of Lies arrives by way of Sony Pictures Classics. Yes, it's a Holocaust drama* but here's something much less sober to contemplate: the beauty of its leading man Alexander Fehling who you may already recognize from Inglorious Basterds (2009) or Young Goethe in Love (2010) and who you'll see very in just over a week on the season premiere of Homeland's 5th season as he joins that series as legal counsel Jonas Happich, Carrie Matheson's new love interest.

But we saw him first, Carrie!  [More...]

Click to read more ...


Emmy Watch: Actress in a Drama Series

Andrew here with a final Emmy tribute before the Emmy Awards are announced tonight.

When we tallied our lists of favourite nominees it was Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series which was the most mentioned category and since all Film Experience writers and readers love actresses we devoted a special post to the category. In a few hours the category will see a new winner that will be historic in some way - a win to put Claire Danes among the most feted in this category? A rare win for a sci-fi show? A win for the first Black actress in this category? The first acting win for Mad Men or the first win in a non-guest category for a Netflix show? Although popular vote will eventual coalesce among a single performer, each of these women in their submission reveals something special in their performances worth remembering. And, so, as a tribute to this talented sextet, our writers take a look at each of the nominees.

Click to read more ...


Nina Hoss on Searching for the Soul and Identity in 'Phoenix'

Jose here.

In her six films with director Christian Petzold, Nina Hoss has explored the roles women have played in German history during the twentieth century, in Jerichow she played a postmodern femme fatale trying to convince an Afghanistan veteran to kill for her, in Wolfsburg she played a mother being wooed by the man who ran over her son, in Barbara she was a doctor trying to escape East Germany in the 1980s, and in the post-WWII set Phoenix, which might be their greatest collaboration to date, she plays Nelly, a former cabaret singer who survived a Nazi concentration camp, but was left brutally deformed. As she tries to reclaim her past life through a surgery described as a recreation, rather than a reconstruction, she must come to terms with the fact that she is now living in a world that has very little to do with the one she left behind.

Hoss’ layered performance as Nelly is the kind of work that should be garnering awards buzz, as it helps her establish herself as one of the best living actresses, and places her as Petzold’s greatest collaborator, rather than his muse. In 2014, English speaking audiences got their first taste of Hoss’ brilliance as she managed to steal the show in A Most Wanted Man and Homeland (her character is returning for Season 5) and asPhoenix makes its Stateside debut, it’s about time we all start talking about Hoss more frequently. I had a chance to talk to her to discuss her work in Phoenix and how it relates to classic Hollywood films, as well as her preferred acting method and the career path she might take years from now.

Our interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Short Link 12

Awards Daily early twitter reactions to Gravity
Gold Derby uncovers a beautiful piece of trivia I totally didn't know (that happens less often than I'd like with awardage). If Homeland's stars both win Emmy again it will be the first time ever for a dual lead consecutive win! 
Film Doctor 12 unanswered questions about The World's End. I haven't spoken much about the movie but I thought it was the weakest of its trilogy, funny in parts and especially strong in its middle but I thought the opening and closing acts were weak.
Pajiba on Mandy Patinkin (Holla!) coming to grips with his past bad behavior. True little known story: I am a huge Mandy Patinkin fan so this renaissance has been wondrous for me.

Deadline the HFPA have made the wisest of decisions and have asked Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host the Golden Globes again. Let's all pray they say yes because the alternatives (*cough* Ricky Gervais) have been ghastly!
Forbes Madonna tops the biggest earners list in Hollywood this year with Steven Spielberg in runner up position
CHUD the Pompeii teaser, skewered in two sentences.
Pop Bytes Alexander Skarsgård is an awesome drunk cheerleader. På Svensk!
Guardian President Obama joins the plus column for Lee Daniels' The Butler
Cinema Blend wonders who Joss Whedon will kill off in The Avengers: Age of Ultron 

I don't normally post straight up advertisements as news as most movie sites do (it feels shameless and also "abuse-me!" crazy since the studios aren't paying you but you're still airing their commercial!) but I hope this week's double feature from Paramount is really successful so I'm sharing it!

click on the pic to investigate this 2 for 1 offer

(Is this their sneaky way of getting WWZ over the $200 million mark which its been inching towards for weeks)

Double Features, which you almost always have to program yourself as Unofficial pairings, are one of the great joys of moviegoing. It's one reason we use to twin them up in that Best Pictures series. It would be so perfect if they became a thing again in theaters. Two movies for the price of one! I missed Star Trek Into Darkness (not that I felt its absence) but I liked World War Z far more than my review indicates. I must have been so crabby when I wrote that because it's one of the stickiest movies from summer 2013 with many strong sequences that more than make up for its wobbly seams and the rather blank protagonist... at least he's got the face of Brad Pitt! 

And while I'm providing free adspace please know that Short Term 12 (my pet cause of the summer) expands in or to all of these 12 cities on Friday...

Click on the pic for the official site

So do the right thing, make me proud, and round up 12 friends and go see it.

for entertainment purposes only
while we're on the subject of 12, here's an, uh, 13th link, for a 12 year old vine genius. The cat licking vine is the best thing evah.



Yes, No, Maybe So: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Time and the finite nature of it is an essential ingredient in all suspense films. So I need to get myself on the clock when it comes to Zero Dark Thirty. I was shocked at how quickly we knew of its existence post Hurt Locker but then... it never seemed to come. It still feels like something off in the very distant future set in the very recent past. But it actually opens in 66 days. Tick tock.

Let's break down the trailer...


  • At the very least it'll make an interesting comparison point to Showtime's "Homeland".
  • Jessica Chastain gets her first high profile lead role!
  • Joel Edgerton
  • That hot soldier with the glow stick
  • I've been with director Kathryn Bigelow since Near Dark and I'm not going anywhere. I tend to love her work. And even when I don't, it's interesting.
  • It looks far more beautiful, visually, than The Hurt Locker... which wasn't really going for beauty but there's so many frameable stills in the trailer and a rangier color palette. In short: I'm glad it's not Hurt Locker 2. As much as I love The Hurt Locker it requires no sequel.


Click to read more ...


Top Ten: Emmy Wishes For Sunday Night

I wish...

10 ...for Martha Plimpton and Jane Krakowski, who weren't nominated for the awards on the big night this year, to get a moment on stage somehow. Love them. While we're at it maybe Jane could win on a write in vote for arguably her best 30 Rock season yet!

09 ... for Homeland to win Best Drama Series if it can't be Mad Men again.

08 ...for at least one La Pfeiffer reaction shot even though David E. Kelley isn't the Emmy powerhouse he used to be. I mean there has to be some silver lining to that wasted Best Actress nomination for Kathy Bates on his bland Harry's Law show. Love the Bates and hope she gets well soon but that show is not her finest hour! And to think of the person they had to snub to include her (Madeleine Stowe in Revenge!)

click for Dexter Action Figure07 ...for someone to mistakenly say "And the Emmy goes to Claire Danes for Temple Grandin" when she wins for Homeland because there's only a .00000001% chance that she won't. Just for the absurd showbiz hilarity of it all. Another prize for Temple!

06 ... for Benedict Cumberbatch to publicy amusingly air his grievances with the new network Sherlock Holmes show.

05 ... for the industry to make a surprise announcement that all shows that are but shadows of their former selves are immediately cancelled and no further episodes will air. Good riddance: Dexter, American Idol, Survivor, all Law & Order and CSI spinoffs, etcetera.

Modern Family may stay but it shall be barred from any further Best Comedy Series wins until it deserves them again.

04 ...for Amy Poehler to win Best Actress in a Comedy for Parks and Recreation. I realize this is never going to happen (Lena Dunham has this in the bag I think) but I've seen the competition and Poehler has created one of the most singular fascinating comic leads in sitcom history and, even better, she fine tunes it every year rather than coasting on auto-pilot (which many people do at this point in a series run)

03 ...speaking of singular performances. Merrit Wever for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Can I get an amen? "Zoe" is such a funny inventive creation and she helps keep the comedy in the series even when it veers towards heavy drama. This season was particularly great for her with that frozen new expression Dr. Cruz caused, her hunt for a roommate "Wanted", her kimonos in the kitchen and her romantic confusion.

02 ...for Mad Men to finally win an acting Emmy.

click on image for gif source

Five years in and it's still the best show on television and the actors have nothing to do with that? Please! (I realize wishing for another Drama Series win is foolish at this point with Downton Abbey, Homeland and Game of Thrones all very real threats for a win.)

01 watch Julianne Moore finally win something on a massive glitzy awards show (Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries, for Game Change... here's my full write-up). That one televised prize (Best Actress Far From Heaven, at the Spirit Awards) is an embarrassingly meager haul for an actor of her caliber.

Which of my wishes do you co-sign? errr... co-wish? Feel free to add your own as well. We'll live blog Sunday night.