Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
Personal Ballot: Best Supporting Actress

"Must admit to not having seen "20th Century Women" yet. I'm already an Elle Fanning admirer. So I'm looking forward to seeing whether she or Greta Gerwig can shake up my list." - Ken

Keep TFE Strong

Love the Site? DONATE 

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

THANKS IN ADVANCE

INTERVIEWS

Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival

 

Subscribe

Entries in interview (181)

Friday
Jan132017

Interview: Pablo Larraín on his recent triple - Jackie, Neruda, and The Club

Portman and Pablo at the premiere of JACKIE (2016)by Nathaniel R

Pablo Larraín, currently Chile's most celebrated director, first broke into the festival circuit via his second film, the violent and disturbing Tony Manero (2008). I found it so upsetting that I thought I'd never risk another one of his features. That resolve didn't last long. His international breakthrough No (2012), was a hit with audiences, critics, and the Oscars and surprisingly enjoyable too. But due to the always unpredictable release dates of movies, we didn't see his work again until 2016 and then there were three movies at once, the sex predator priest drama El Club, the playful writer on the lam whatsit Neruda, and of course the outstanding Oscar hopeful Jackie.

You might call this Pablo's Year but for the fact that he doesn't coddle the audience and his films are as likely to unsettle and challenge as they are to reward you with their significant pleasures like fascinating performances, strong themes, unexpected humor, and emotional acuity.

When we found an opportunity to talk I figured I'd jump into the deep end about the unsettling nature of so many of his features. Our interview follows...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan122017

Interview: Denis Villeneuve on "Arrival" and his Future with Sci-Fi

by Nathaniel R

Though awards season is a roller coaster of emotion each year, one of its purely happiest annual trends is the sudden recognition of talent that have been doing consistently fine work all along. This year's "it's about time!" contender is surely 49 year old French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. A famous director at home with six wins at Canada's own Oscars, "the Genies," people are still learning his name in Hollywood and beyond. His international breakthrough was Incendies (2010) about twin siblings journeying to the war torn Middle East. It was nominated for the BAFTA and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. Since that breakthrough his profile in Hollywood has steadily risen and he's shown a gift for directing movie stars, versatility with genre, and a particularly refined skill at building and maintaining tension at feature length which has provided thrilling moments in all of his recent films from Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), Sicario (2015), and on to his current biggest hit yet  Arrival (2016).

Today he received a DGA nomination for Best Director, the surest awards season sign that a movie will be a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Our conversation follows...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan102017

Interview: Gael García Bernal on Neruda, Zorro, and Other Characters

This weekend at the Golden Globes, an unexpected but not all that surprising reunion of the best friends / stars of the Oscar nominated road trip classic Y Tu Mama Tambíen (2001) occured. Both Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna came to international fame together in the early Aughts and they're both still riding high in movies from Hollywood and outside of it.

I had the opportunity to speak with Bernal a month ago about his sturdy career, its auteurist origins, and his current busy playfulness. He's now juggling streaming television stardom (Mozart in the Jungle), occasional directing gigs, frequent producing duties, upcoming starring roles (Zorro?) and still doing what he was doing in his very first years of fame: headlining artistically ambitious Spanish language Oscar submissions. Though neither of his current films (Mexico's Desierto and Chile's Neruda) made Oscar's finalist list, Neruda did receive a well deserved Golden Globe nomination.

Gael full plate is just rewards for his sturdy talent and impressive range but it's also a very happy reminder that some mesmerizing debuts like his own in the Oscar nominated Amores Perros (2000) don't result in flash in the pan quick fades but long and beautiful careers.

NATHANIEL R: Your first movie Amores Perros was an international success and you've been busy ever since. How much of this career did you imagine for yourself back then?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan092017

A Cocktail with Nicole, Always Our Leading Lady.

UNICEF held a screening of Lion this past week in Manhattan with stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar (who share the protagonist role of Saroo). I finally had the pleasure of getting some face time with Nicole at the party afterwards. The Monkey Bar's main room has restaurant tables and chairs circling the a big slightly lower open area where the stars enter and are then typically bombarded by press, photographers, and industry wellwishers.

The crowd gave adorable little Sunny plenty of space, looking so tiny and a bit overwhelmed while taking press photos, before he headed to a private table. Dev Patel worked the room shaking hands at tables. Nicole, at least from my vantage point, stayed in the center; you came to her. As it should be.

The statuesque star towered over me (she's only 1" taller, but, add heels)...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan052017

An Interview with the Founder of the Seattle Film Critics Society

Please welcome Brian Zitzelman, our newest contributor. He's a member of the newly formed Seattle Film Critics Society and for his first post he's interviewing the founder of that society Michael Ward. A little inside peak for you. - Editor

Michael Ward of "Should I See It"by Brian Zitzelman

Beyond being a genuinely kind, smart man, Michael Ward has done what few have; he's created a film critic's society. The Seattle Film Critics Society to be exact.  

Despite being home to a near month-long film festival, a multitude of cinemas devoted to older movies and generally being pretty comfortably snobby about the arts, the city of Seattle hasn't had a proper Film Society for over a decade. Mr. Ward changed that with months and months of work dealing with studio reps here and cavalcades of other oddities. In between tallying the final votes and writing sensationally for his own site Should I See It, I spoke to Mike about the joys, troubles and curveballs of what it takes to develop something that’s usually an established institution in other parts of the country. 

BRIAN ZITZELMAN: Let me start with the obvious question; How happy are you to have this first year of the Seattle Film Critics Society behind you?

MICHAEL WARD: Well, it feels premature to say that we have a full year under our belts. We are still working with a team to complete the infrastructure but I am comfortable in saying that lots of people have put in lots of time to make this a reality. We are planning on voting in a Board of Directors in February 2017, and at that point, more than two years of hard work will definitely have paid off. 

Moonlight took 6 prizes including Best Picture at the first official Seattle Film Critics Society awards

Can you walk us through the whole concept? I think most people assume every major metropolitan city has its own film critics circle, especially those with a history of the arts like Seattle. 

While this iteration of a Seattle Film Critics Society is new, there was an organization that existed from 2001-2004. Unfortunately, when they disbanded it was an ugly dissolution, and people are still reeling from how that all apparently went down.  But you're absolutely right Brian, most major cities have a film critics society or organization which most people typically only hear about during awards season...  

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec302016

Billy Crudup won't tell you this but he's terrific in "20th Century Women"

20th Century Women, now playing in limited release, is named after its complicated women. There are three of them to be exact played by Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. To the movie's great credit, the two male characters are no less fascinating. Take note, men: while the men have their own distinct characters, half of the reason they're so interesting is their empathy and curiousity about the women they share their lives with. One of the guys is a teenager just getting started in life (Lucas Jade Zumann) and eager to soak it all in. The film's quietest character is William (Billy Crudup). He's moving into middle age but headed nowhere in particular; the women have always come to him but he still doesn't know where he's going.

On a very busy day just before the holidays I was able to catch Billy Crudup for a few minutes at the tail end of his press duties for 20th Century Women. While far more articulate than his character, he was similarly self-effacing, deflecting praise more often than not to pass the achievement on to co-stars, directors, and writers. Suddenly his theorized resistance to being A Movie Star (a long-since forgotten topic of discussion from the early days of his career when he turned down high profile gigs) made a great deal of sense. And since he won't say it himself, let it be known that this modest actor is very good in a tricky part in this wonderful film.

lost William in 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2016)

Here's our conversation...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec172016

Interview: Jessica Chastain on playing "Miss Sloane"

If you haven't yet seen Miss Sloane about a formidable political mastermind and the sure-to-lose case against the gun lobby that she takes on to the surprise of DC, you'll want to catch it soon. It's rather a classic star vehicle in that the glamorous leading lady is front and center and steering all the juicy twisty drama. That leading lady is, of course, the tireless Jessica Chastain. Chastain shot to stardom with seven films in 2011 (including The Tree of Life and her Oscar nominated role in The Help) and she seemingly hasn't left movie theaters. She's starred in everything from moody business thrillers (A Most Violent Year), gothic horror (Crimson Peak), fiery military dramas (Zero Dark Thirty), and more.

I sat down to talk with her in NYC a month or so ago about how far she's come since that explosive debut year, how she recharges between movies, and how she approached her Golden Globe nominated role as the amoral steely Miss Sloane.

NATHANIEL: One of the things that stuck with me from the first time we talked years ago was how many questions you write into each script about your character. With this character in particular, she is really a complicated woman

JESSICA: So complicated.

NATHANIEL: So was your script just buried in notes? 

JESSICA: Oh my gosh, it was insane...

Click to read more ...