NOW PLAYING

latest reviews  

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

review index

HOT TOPICS


Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
April Showers...

THE PIANO
Hunter is so expressive, like a firework (intended) exploding again and again.
❞ - Henry

THELMA & LOUISE
I took a "fluff" class senior year of high school called Mass Media, and we were allowed to do a project on anything we wanted. My friend Meaghan and I decided to do our project on Brad Pitt,..I had never seen "Thelma & Louise" and found myself obsessed with it. I think I watched it five times by the time my senior year was over. ❞ -Jakey

 


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

THANKS IN ADVANCE

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?
Twitter Feed
Subscribe

Entries in John Hawkes (14)

Monday
Jul292013

Where to Now, Ms. Close?

Andrew here to talk about one of the finest women in the last decade of television, and the woman who created her. Let's talk Patty Hewes. With all five seasons of Damages newly available on DVD and Amazon Instant Video, it's time.

When Glenn Close won her second of two Emmy Awards for her work on Damages she coyly thanked the creators of the show for giving her what was...

 ….maybe….the best role of my career.”

At the time I couldn’t help but react with incredulity considering this was the woman who had given us Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction), Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (Dangerous Liaisons) and Norma Desmond and Paulina Salas on stage. Could this TV role really be the role of her lifetime?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct292012

Review: Free Pass for "The Sessions"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad...

When Madonna's "Sex" book turned twenty last week, a common thread of blog coverage was 'tame by today's standards' and I wondered which new standards other people were living by that I wasn't privy to? I'm not talking about private culture -- people have been seeing strangers naked long before Grindr or easily clickable pornography -- but about mainstream entertainment. Which mainstream female celebrity has been running around aggressively in her birthday suit lately? We've hardly made great strides at accepting female sexuality since then. Proof positive: the current political debates. The male body has, on the other hand, become more commonly objectified two decades on but penis sightings are still as rare as they were in the "Sex" book and people continue to make a big flaccid point of being shocked whenever they're visually reminded of their existence... especially in the movies. Find even one article about Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eastern Promises or Shame that doesn't mention Jason Jr,  Viggo Jr. or The Fassmember; tough assignment. 

This longwinded preface isn't as off-topic as it sounds for a review of THE SESSIONS. The sexually-minded lightly funny new drama stars Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) as Mark O'Brien, a paralyzed man who dreams of losing his virginity from the discomfort of his iron lung. 

more...

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct192012

Interview: On Casting and Politics of Sex with the Director of "The Sessions"

Amir here. TIFF has been over for more than a month but I still have one interview left to share with you. With The Sessions opening in theaters today, it was the perfect time to share my chat with Ben Lewin, the film's director. We touched upon everything from the politics of sex and nudity in Hollywood to the influence of his own experience with polio on building the character of Mark O'Brien. It's a film I encourage everyone to see because it's surprisingly funny and incredibly heartfelt, and features two of the strongest lead performances of the year. (In case you missed these back in September, here's my review of the film and my interview with one of its stars, William H. Macy.)

 

Amir for TFE: I can’t think of a better place to start the interview than nudity.

Ben Lewin: Neither can I!

Amir: Because, in general I’ve been accustomed to seeing certain types of people have sex on screen in Hollywood films and everyone else’s sex life is barely ever shown, as if, you know, people in their 40s or black people don’t have sex. It’s unbelievable and I really appreciate that we get to see something very different here. Was the film always so explicit since the idea was conceived in your head?

Ben: I think if you read Mark O’Brien’s article, there’s no other way. The essence of it was that he was learning the ABCs, what goes where, what do you do, and I think the explicitness is part of revealing his naiveté and how childlike he was when it came to sex. I was only keeping faithful to his original work, which was really what inspired me. Every time I felt like I was losing my way in the script, I’d go back to his text and rediscover what turned me on in the first place. The first thing that struck me when I read it was the frankness. The explicitness doesn’t make it sexier, it just makes it more ordinary.

My point exactly! Everybody at every age does it. You don’t have to look like a star.

I’d never imagined myself going there though...[MORE]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct062012

Best Actor Bait. The Key Word Being Bait.

The Oscar Prediction Chart Updates continue with the leading and supporting men. Best Actor seems especially confusing this year what with so many major stars or past Oscar nominees arriving with generally infallible bait right there in the roles. Let's do a quick chart. Here are, arguably, the five most infallible types of Oscar Bait and who is serving them up. (Obviously many of these men are still awaiting critical consensus on their performances or the fourth column would be larger.)

BEST ACTOR
In that chart right there I've only visually (and alphabetically) included  the top ten ranked men from my prediction chart. Now I'm even less enthused about Matt Damon's Oscar chances for Promised Land since he doesn't figure into these five columns at all. One might call him overdue if he didn't have that early writing Oscar (Good Will Hunting) but as it stands now he has no surefire hook for his Oscar campaign. This is not to say that "crisis of conscience" isn't a form of bait for leading men. That's a fairly common hook in leading roles but it's hardly the iconic carrot to dangled in front of voters like, say, debilatating suffering, addiction or ol' fashioned biographical dress up are.

If Anthony Hopkins is terrific as Hitchcock it's going to come down to the wire as to which of the top six men are given the boot on nomination morning since they're all packing serious bait as they fish for votes.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The supporting categories are the last to lock down since so much what happens there depends on coattails from leading players and Best Picture nominations. Though you can safely lock up Philip Seymour Hoffman who is already a default Oscar player before you account for his enormous amount of screen time or the kind of reviews he won for The Master. Beyond Hoffman it's still anyone's game though reactions to Lincoln, which premieres Monday at the New York Film Festival, will certainly tell us whether David Strathairn is in the hunt for his second nomination. He's currently my only predicted Supporting Actor nominee who hasn't yet won the Oscar so if he's strong and the field really turns out that way, a win wouldn't be out of the question.

As for the men who have never been nominated, I'm particularly frustrated that Michael Fassbender who was so sublime in Prometheus is fading from the conversation but I expected as much since Oscar don't do sci-fi. I'm also frustrated that Matthew McConaughey who is inarguably having the best year of his career, isn't winning traction. Frustrated by not surprised. Though Oscar himself is famously nude and male and popular with the gays, He isn't generally turned on by the sexualization of male actors. That shiny Global icon is famously resistant to the matinee idol type ignoring them altogether or making them wait until they're gray and less sexually potent for their Oscar glory. Oscar just doesn't like leading men who trade on their own eroticism. Witness the Oscar fate of Michael Fassbender in Shame last year. McConaughey's selfploitation in Magic Mike (and to a lesser but more compromising degree in The Paperboy) is probably working against him no matter how much he's stepped up his game this year. 

Which actors are you banking on at this point? Where would you flipflop contenders on our charts?

Thursday
Sep132012

Interview: William H. Macy On "Free Passes" and Trying Too Hard

Amir reporting from Toronto.

One of the films that has played to really strong audience reception on the festival circuit so far is Ben Lewin's The Sessions (opening November 8th). I enjoyed the film quite a lot myself and as I said in my review, it has the potential to go far in this awards season. For the ocassion of the film's premiere at TIFF, I interviewed William H. Macy who plays Father Brendan, an open-minded priest who consults Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) about his sex life.

William H Macy at the Sessions premiere at TIFF © Kara Dillon [src]

AMIR: I wanted to tell you a quick story. When I was a teenager I had a self-made poster of you pointing the gun to your face from your last frame in Boogie Nights. I guess it was my weird way of expressing my teenage angst. I’m understandably really nervous and excited to meet you in person.

WILLIAM H MACY: [Laughing] Interesting. I’ve had the same experiences as I go through my career, sitting in a room with these people that I’ve just idolized my whole life.

I can’t imagine you’re still fazed by it.

No, I meet some amazing actors. I really don’t know how to handle myself in those situations.

You’re newest film, The Sessions, it’s a really heartfelt and genuine film, but were you aware of Mark O’Brien prior to this? At what stage did you get involved in the project?

No. I wasn’t, and I think Helen and John were both set before I read the script. My agent sent me the script. Many years ago I did a film called Door to Door where I played a fellow with cerebral palsy and I got involved with a wonderful organization called United Cerebral Palsy. I think I was predisposed to like the script that way. I read it and I just thought it was a great tale. Well told, simple. It was the perfect timing for me. I’m doing a TV series and I was on hiatus. It was just a no-brainer. I tend to make decisions really quickly. If it’s good I just say yes right away.

AMIR: Did you have any reservations about playing this character? I don’t know how religious you are in your personal life, but playing religious figures is always tricky... [MORE AFTER THE JUMP]

Click to read more ...