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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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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Entries in John Legend (7)

Friday
Apr212017

Beauty Break: The Time 100

Chris here to start your weekend with some star gazing. Time Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people is here! While there's the usual assortment of world leaders, innovators, and executives (not to mentions some unsavories), it's the magic makers of the entertainment sort that catch our hearts here at The Film Experience. That ebullient Viola Davis cover to your left is nothing if not a factory for happiness.

The assembled talent and wavemakers run the gamut from Ava DuVernay to Sarah Paulson to Riz Ahmed to Constance Wu, the kind of future Hollywood we actually want to see. But the real fun of the lineup is the profiles written by other famous types about the honorees - Naomi Campbell paying tribute to RuPaul? Your icon wishes! Take a look at the photo set and tell us your favorites in the comments!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar012017

Podcast: Oscar Afterglow... or is that Sleep Deprivation?

Katey phones in from Los Angeles to talk Oscar night with Nathaniel and Joe in New York and Nick in Chicago. What a crazy night that was, huh? Some of us didn't sleep much. We talk about that shocking messy finale, the history-making decision to name Moonlight Best Picture, debate which celebrity was having the most fun on the big night, judge the musical performances, name the craft wins we were confused by, and answer the age old question: junior mints or twizzlers?

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

P.S. The podcast will return at the end of the month for a new season. If we get a few more patron saints this week I'll buy a professional mic. 

89th Oscars, Reactions. Season Finale

Monday
Feb272017

Oscar's Musical Numbers Fly Among the Stars

Dancin' Dan here, and I am thrilled to say that after years of mostly rather dully staged performances, the great Oscar musical numbers of the past are back.

We had planned a ranking of this year's performances, but they were all of such high quality that, feeling magnaminous, I'm unwilling to declare one better than the other.  Instead, a review of the musical numbers as they happened during the ceremony, in all their glory.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb102017

Oscar Night Performances: Lin-Manuel Miranda and More

By Nathaniel R

With just 16 days until the Oscars more news hits each day. We now know that all five Original Song nominees will be performed on the broadcast but we can safely expect at least two of the songs to be significantly altered.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will perform Moana's "How Far I'll Go," which is a solo, with Moana herself Auli'i Cravalho so one wonders what kind of arrangement we'll get for the song as a duet. Nevertheless it's a safe bet to say that this will be a highlight of the show since the song is rousing and everybody loves Miranda...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug072015

No Sophomore Slump?

Here’s Murtada with casting news for three directors’ sophomore efforts after the critical success of their debuts.

Insane chemistry retread?

DAMIEN CHAZELLE
While everyone is talking about Miles Teller and how maybe he was fired from La La Land, the new movie from his Whiplash (2014) director Damien Chazelle, that movie has been adding cast members. It's got a rather charming cast all told. Joining Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in lead and J.K. Simmons and Ex Machina’s Sonoya Mizuno in support, are John Legend (Selma) and Rosemarie Dewitt (Rachel Getting Married).

The movie is about an aspiring actress (Stone) and a musician (Gosling) falling in love while trying to make it in LA. Legend’s role is unknown but we assume his talents as an Oscar winning songwriter will be used in some capacity in addition to his acting. DeWitt will reportedly play Gosling’s sister. Can you spot any family resemblance?

TOM FORD
Yesterday Michael Shannon and  Aaron Taylor Johnson were announced as the latest additions to Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals joining Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams. There were reports a few months ago that Joaquin Phoenix was being considered for a part, which we'll assume is the one Shannon has now taken. Plot details are sketchy on this one beyond the fact that it’s based on Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony And Susan, and it involves two interlocking stories. One story is maybe a fictional one within the other. Ford has written the script and could have veered a bit from the book. Any readers of the book that can shed some light on the plot?

Will he find someone as talented as Quvenzhane Wallis?

BENH ZEITLIN
And  Benh Zeitlin is finally following up Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Reports appeared online that he has put up a casting call for child actors to appear in his new movie Wendy. Filming will take place in Antigua and the story is about “a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time.” Hmmm, sound similar to Beasts, no? Other reports say it's loosely based on the Peter Pan myth.

Expect to see these three intriguing projects in 2016. Have they jumped to the top of your most anticipated lists?

 


Tuesday
Jan132015

Top Five Golden Globes Speeches 

Margaret with more on Sunday's Golden Globes...

Awards show speeches are weird and wonderful things. They’re awkward and rushed, they hold the weight of hundreds of peoples’ expectations, and they are bound to disappoint or offend somebody no matter what they contain.

Since the Golden Globes are the first big ceremony of awards season (People's Choice A-whats? Haven't heard of 'em), the winners have their work cut out for them to be memorable and charming and humble enough to make their new statuette the first of many.

Below we have a roundup of my picks for best movie-category speeches of the night, plus some speculation about whether they might influence the Oscar race. (For wins, not nominations, since the voting is closed and they're now set in stone.)

Honorable mention goes to Just-Keep-Simmons for his amusingly gruff speech ("I think I only have 45 seconds, so shut up").

5. Wes Anderson – Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Grand Budapest Hotel)

Oh, Wes Anderson. Never change! I mean, look at him. Look how uncomfortable he is, how his eyes are locked to his notes. Look at that slightly crooked bowtie. So many ‘um’s and ‘uh’s. He does not want to be the center of attention. If we needed any proof that he’s not the awards-campaigning type, we have it now. It’s lovely to see a Grand Budapest Hotel win, and that could mean that it's got a more solid shot at an Best Picture Oscar nomination than most of us dare hope... but then again, the HFPA often marches to the beat of their own drummer.

4. Julianne Moore – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Still Alice)

Remember when we never got to watch Julianne win anything? Judging by her adorably delighted reaction, the thrill is a fresh one. She shares a lovely dictum from her mother (“a happy person is someone who has work and love”) and gets choked up thanking her family. On the cynical side, the speech hit all the right marks. People love their frontrunners (especially women—boo) to be humble and surprised and emotional when they win. A good move towards Oscar.

3. Michael Keaton - Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Birdman)

Sure, it’s a little long (more obvious since it came near the end of the late-running program), but he’s telling a story instead of listing off names, and in the dynastic industry that is Hollywood it’s refreshing to hear from people who were born far from the business. Also: he produced actual tears as he choked out a touching tribute to his son (“Two things I wasn’t gonna do—cry, and give air quotes—damn”), and we all know Oscar loves a good manful cry. This may have pushed him into winner territory.

2. Patricia Arquette - Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Boyhood)

The win was an expected one, but it was no less enjoyable for that. She’s concentrating so hard on getting all her written words out (“Sorry I’m the only nerd with a piece of paper”), but you can just see the immense feeling threatening to bubble out as she gives sweet, genuine thanks to her movie family. It’s clear that the role and the film mean very, very much to her. No major shakeups from this speech; it seems pretty clear she’s headed straight to the Dolby podium.

1. Common and John Legend - Best Original Song in a Motion Picture (Selma)

Potent, stirring, beautifully put.  What every awards speech should be if it possibly can. Common did almost all of the talking, more about Selma itself than the winning song, and put the focus back where it should be: “Selma has awakened my humanity… Selma is now.” If there’s any justice (there isn’t), this would be making the rounds among all the people crying “historical inaccuracy!!” and giving them something else to think about. Good for their awards chances as songwriters, good for the film as a whole. Bonus points for making Oprah cry. 

What were your favorite speeches of the night? Who didn't win that you'd like to hear a speech from soon?