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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 | letterboxd

 

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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

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Entries in Lea Seydoux (6)

Tuesday
Sep302014

NYFF: Saint Laurent is Über-Stylish but...

Our NYFF coverage continues with Nathaniel on France's Oscar submission Saint Laurent.

If you're going to make a biopic of one of the great fashion designers, it better damn well be stylish. Saint Laurent one of two new biopics tackling the iconic French designer Yves Saint Laurent assures you of its gifts in this area almost immediately. There's nary a frame, at least for the first two thirds of the film, that you couldn't frame and admire for aesthetic reasons: rich decadent colors, gorgeous actors as gorgeous people, carefully composed shots in elaborately decorated homes, dark exclusive clubs, and interiors of stores that that are so beautiful in their rigidity that they look more like institutional museums after hours, free of consumers but full of art. Even the daring full frontal nudity is stylish, whether it's employed for confrontational queer desire or for humor as in a memorable sequence late in the picture between a clothed woman and naked one. The scene plays like unintentional comedy for a moment until you discern that it's actual comedy, a meta joke about overdetermined STYLE and the fashion world's self mythologizing nature within a movie positively dripping with style and self-mythologizing.

The director Bertrand Bonello (House of Tolerance, The Pornographer) has chosen the right form for his movie -- at least in part, telling the story visually first and foremost, and lushly and creatively at that. Would that I had a photographic memory to recount the many fine choices but there are three that stuck with me, all from the first and second acts...

dangerous gay players & beautiful dress-up muses after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan312014

Cesar Academy Nominates French President's Mistress! (Who cares about movies anyway?)

Julien, your french correspondent, here to discuss the César nominations.

OUTRAGE ! Twitter was in uproar this morning when the nominees for the Best Actress César were announced, and the name Adèle Exarchopoulos was nowhere to be seen. While Léa Seydoux made the cut for her arguably supporting role, Adèle’s astounding lead performance in Blue is the Warmest Color was relegated to the Most Promising Actress category.

Before you raise your pitchforks, consider this perfectly logical explanation: since Tahar Rahim won both the Best Actor and Most Promising Actor gongs for A Prophet in 2010, the rules were altered so that a single performance can only be nominated in a single category -the one which collects the most votes. Fair enough César, but when a category which is supposed to promote new talent prevents the year’s most celebrated performance to be nominated in its rightful place, you’re clearly doing something wrong.

All the nominees and a lot of gay drama and political mischief after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul152012

Review: "Farewell My Queen"

An abridged version of this review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad 

There are numerous reasons why the Marie Antoinette story has fascinated artists and storytellers for centuries now. From the Court's commitment to theatrical flamboyance with a blind eye to the consequent suffering of the masses (modern pop culture echos were seen as recently as The Hunger Games this spring), to the complexity of the Queen's intimate lonely gilded cage tragedy played against the backdrop of a vast messy violent history. One could argue that the now mythic story is super relevant all over again in this era of rampant socioeconomic injustice and the angry gap between the 1 and 99%. 

Benoît Jacquot clues you in early that he means to tell the famous story differently in the just released French import  Farewell My Queen. For one, it's told "backstage" through the stressful lives of the servants. Consider it the French Revolution: Downton Abbey Edition... without Maggie Smith or the jokes.

The German actress Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) plays the troubled big-spending transplanted queen, Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol), the film's actual lead, is her bosomy devoted servant Madame Laborde, and Virginia Ledoyen (8 Women) is the Queen's Object of Affection, the Duchess de Polignac. The French people were so unhappy with this rumored affair that the ostensibly powerless Duchess was fairly high on the list of the 286 heads demanded for the guillotine! [More...]

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Saturday
Jul142012

Complete the Sentences. My Favorite French....

My favorite French movie is _________________ because ___________________ .  My favorite French actress is _____________ and she should _________________ .

You know what to do in the comments!

France is on my brain for five reasons today.

1. It's Bastille Day! Happy Bastille Day.

Tweet of the Day

2. The Tour de France is on

3. I saw Farewell My Queen (just opening in select cities) last night and it was happily excellent with a surprisingly strong lead performance from Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Midnight in Paris) as a favored servant of the infamous Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger, also compelling). Here's my review. Go see it if it's in your city.

NOT your average fussy costume drama

4. Speaking of ladies of Versailles, the very buzzy documentary Queen of Versailles opens next week and I hear it's a must see though I haven't musted myself all the way to any screenings yet. [Please to note: "Queen of Versailles" in this case is aspirational and takes place in Orlando, Florida]

5. France is often on my mind because they produce at least one irreplaceable movie star queen a decade (Moreau, Adjani, Huppert, Deneuve, Binoche, etcetera) and usually a dozen other amazing ladies-in-waiting, too. Vive la France!

My tweet conversations last night after seeing the movie with Will, Joe, and Andrew ... (why aren't you following me? us?)

NOW... March toward the comments and stage your own revolution for a favorite film and actress before someone gets beheaded.

Thursday
Jun302011

Eye Candy: Slave Boys, Female Heroes, Werewolf Routines

The Week in Eye Candy. You deserve it. It's almost the weekend. Soak up the color, the bods, the glamour. Enjoy the diva and the doodles. There's something for everyone unless you're so niche you're impossible to please in which case scroll quickly away (try puzzles or trailers or Oscar buzz)

Jamie the Slave Boy


The Eagle hit DVD (well apart from Netflix which is on a epically annoying month-delay now). Director, Please thinks the whole movie makes no sense on account of why would Channing Tatum spare slave boy Jamie Bell's life...unless there was lust involved. Well, yes. Fair point. But does audience lust count?

Lea Seydoux's Breasts 


She didn't get to roll on the floor or handle fire arms in Midnight in Paris (note that old vinyl records don't pack a punch) but she gets to do just that in the Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol trailer. Her girls look even better in action... 

Jude Law, Lady Gaga and more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun292011

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

The titles within this franchise always surprise with the punctuation. This one opts for one colon and a dash. A dash, huh? It must feel the need, the need for speed. This is the first time they've used a dash unless you prefer your Mission: Impossible 2 in its funkier weirdly abbreviated decapitalized M:i-2 format. Anyway.... the point is that Tom Cruise is back as agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol or M:I-GP Vol. 4 if you'd like to complicate it. Let's accept the mission to break down the trailer with our Yes, No, Maybe So protocol.

Tom Cruise Does His Own Stunt Running

YES You wouldn't know it from the trailer which focuses on reminding you of the stunttacular nature of this franchise and the familiar but arguably still special effect of Tom Cruise running-jumping-glaring (say what you will about Tom Cruise -- and we all have -- but there are few movie stars as committed/believable in action sequences) but Brad Bird directed this. BRAD BIRD. If it has the teensiest sliver of The Iron Giant's humanity and if the action scenes are anywhere close to as good as the ones in The Incredibles, it's going to be straight up awesome. The big question is: can Brad Bird work directing wonders with flesh & blood actors the way he can with animators?

NO -Did we really need a fourth picture? My biggest beef with this franchise, continued here with the title card insistence that only Tom Cruise is starring in the picture, is that the Mission: Impossible series would be so much better if it were more team-oriented. Ethan pulls too much focus and the team maneuvering and chemistry is the real spark it needs to generate fireworks.

Mission: Impossible - Team 4: Pegg, Renner, Cruise and Patton

MAYBE SO -On the other hand, even if they aren't given enough to do the cast is exciting: Simon Pegg, the always welcome until he gets too ubiquitous (any second now) Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Michael Nykqvist, Paula Patton, Lea Seydoux, and Tom Wilkinson doing what he does best (that distinctive voice: authoritative but always suspect with hints of possible certifiable whack-a-doo pulsating underneath)

The Trailer... 

 

Do you think Tom Cruise will have the comeback he's looking for over?
Will Brad Bird work well with actors who can talk back?
If you were an action star would you do your own stunts?
Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?

Related Post from the Archive:
Directors of the Decade: Brad Bird "Mr Complexity"