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Big Little Lies

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Entries in LGBT (416)

Wednesday
Sep212016

Links: Brangelina Kaput, Broadway Blockbuster, Festival Afterglow

Brangelina No More
Vox looks at the parallels between Liz & Dick and Brangelina
EW Madame Tussaud's already separated Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wax counterparts. Nathaniel wept. (Seriously, I'm not doing okay with this. I don't care if anyone thinks its silly. Double star wattage couples of this magnitude happen only a few times a century.) 
Slate ranks the remaining A list power couples

Brangelina, smack dab in the middle of their storied romance

Liz and Dick were only divorced for 16 months before they got back together so if I may put in an early request for 2018 Wishes. Lots more (and not just Brad & Angie) after the jump.

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Monday
Sep192016

Emmy Afterglow. What's Your Take Away? 

My go to caption for all photos of impossibly lovely groups of fierce women is "You can't sit with us!".  But that wouldn't be appropriate here because look how warm and inviting this photo of Marcia Clark, Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett is after the Emmys!

A day after the Emmys what's your biggest takeaway and favorite win?

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Wednesday
Sep142016

TIFF: Michelle Rodriguez & Sigourney Weaver in (re)Assignment

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival

We must ban the use of the word "problematic" so that it may be deployed to describe pop culture offerings which are PROBLEMATIC in all caps. (re)Assignment is one of those, even if its too dumb to capitalize on its sophomoric provocations.

A hired hitman named Frank (Michelle Rodriguez...with prosthetic dick because her figurative big one wasn't enough) is drugged and operated on by an amoral vengeful doctor (Sigourney Weaver) and wakes up with breasts, vagina and a smoother more beautiful face...

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Tuesday
Sep132016

Doc Corner: 'Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four'

Glenn here. Each Tuesday bringing you reviews of documentaries from theatres, festivals and on demand.

The title of Deborah Esquenazi’s film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is not an accident. It has been done to deliberately reference both West of Memphis and The Central Park Five. Those two films were also true crime documentaries that focused on cases in which the wrong people – bundled together under one umbrella with a numerical media savvy nickname – were convicted of a heinous crime. The mistrials of justice in both of those cases were so monumental that multiple films, non-fiction and dramatic, exist about each.

It’s doubtful the same will become true of the San Antonio Four given the crimes for which the four women at the centre of its terribly heartbreaking story were charged and found guilty of were not as sensationally savage as those other stories. In fact, as Esquenazi’s film details, there was no crime at all. No bloodied body for which somebody absolutely had to held accountable. Rather, just a particularly cruel and shockingly stupid lie that steamrolled into the imprisonment of four innocent women. [more...]

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Monday
Sep122016

TIFF Quickies: A Monster Calls, Colossal, Santa & Andrés

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto Film Festival 


A Monster Calls (JA Bayona, USA/Spain)
This fable about grief and growing up will surely be someone's favorite movie. Alas, it isn't mine. A Monster Calls is a simple fantasy about a boy named Connor (Lewis MacDougall) whose mother (Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer. His grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and father (Toby Kebell) attempt to console him but the only solace Connor can find is in visitations from a giant tree monster (voiced by Aslan... excuse me, Liam Neeson) who promises to tell the boy three stories in exchange for the boy's own. The film is somewhat moving and fantastically visual in its three animated stories within the movie; they're sensory overload mashups of computer generated imagery, watercolor fluidity, and bold color choices. In both its earthbound and magical moments, though, A Monster Calls is relentlessly gilding the lily. It's so concerned with putting its parables over that its' constantly explaining them and telling us how to feel about grief and loss. Still, Bayona's movie is always coming from a place of compassion and humanity which can be a godsend in the soulless landscape of CGI heavy movies. While the tech elements are strong, particularly sound and visual effects (though why does the creature look so much like Groot?),  it all comes down to the boy and his mother if you want the tears. MacDougall & Jones are beautifully cast as they both look and feel like mother & son. MacDougall, who made his debut as a Lost Boy in Pan last year, impressively carries the movie with something like ease while filling up all the unspoken spaces with heartbreak and fury about his impending loss. Felicity Jones half-gone feeling in her final scenes provides generous Oscar clipping. If only the movie had given the emotions more room to breathe and to speak for themselves. If trees can walk and talk, and demand that we listen, feelings deserve the same respect. Less CGI and scripted preaching, more intuitvie tears, please. [Animated Stories Within the Movie: B+ /Movie: C+ ]

Colossal (Dir. Nacho Vigalondo, Canada)
Finally a movie that Hathaway fans (*raises hand high and shamelessly*) and the "Hathahaters" can enjoy together. This oddball movie from Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo places Anne Hathaway at the center of a kaiju movie. Nope, she's not a scientist or a hero - believe it or not she's the kaiju. Yes, she's Colossal's rampaging beast destroying Seoul ... not figuratively but actually! She's also "Gloria" a drunk who gets thrown out of her boyfriend's apartment (Dan Stevens) and ends up returning to her hometown where she takes a job with a former friend (Jason Sudeikis) who still harbors a crush. When Gloria realizes she's unknowingly wreaking havoc all the way around the world she's even more freaked out by her self destruction and drunken blackouts. If that all sounds like it might work better as a midnight madness short, you could be right. Colossal starts brilliantly with a priceless perfectly-pitched prologue in South Korea with a little girl and her dolly. Though it's numerous twists have a kind of welcome insanity, the length of the thing, and particularly its deadly over-investment in the Jason Sudeikis character (to the detriment of Gloria's own emotional arc) undoes it. Lop off an entire half hour of this film's running time and it might just work as a delightfully weird and funny cult oddity but as it is Colossal is something of its own kaiju, an lumberingly awkward, self-destructive beast which keeps crushing the precious little movie its building. [Anne Hathaway's Willingness to Do This Project: A / Movie: C+]

Santa & Andrés (Dir. Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/Colombia)
Havana born director Carlos Lechuga takes aim at the disconnection of idealogies amongst Cubans in this 80s set drama about a homosexual writer deemed a dissident and the woman assigned to monitor him to keep him from contacting international press and delegates at a local political event. Initially this drama's slow burn doesn't seem to be paying off with a dull first half hour and lots of shots of Santa & Andrés warily staring at each other and barely speaking. But their eventual emotional, if not political, understanding is wonderfully portrayed by the actors and smartly delineated in the screenplay. What the patient filmmaking lacks in verve it makes up for in insight, with each painfully tentative kindness between them feeling like a precious miracle in a climate of hopelessness. B

Sunday
Sep112016

Alexis Arquette (1969-2016)

Alexis Arquette, the youngest sister of the Arquette acting family, passed away today at the age of 47 after a lengthy illness. She was the fourth of the five Arquette kids, all of whom became actors, with Rosanna Arquette leading the way to fame in the early 80s. Alexis was surrounded by all her siblings when she died as they listened to her favorite songs. She passed during David Bowie's "Starman." (So many sad goodbyes in 2016.)

Born Robert, she took the name Alexis early on, long before coming out officially as transgendered. Onscreen her first appearance was uncredited in the Bette Midler comedy Down & Out in Beverly Hills  (1986).

as "Georgette" in Last Exit to Brooklyn

Her official debut though was as the trans prostitute "Georgette" in one of Jennifer Jason Leigh's most critically acclaimed showcases Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)... 

 

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Friday
Sep092016

A Brief Note on Moonlight's Oscar Buzz

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto Film Festival

I'll need more time to process Moonlight, a stunning triptych about a black gay man named Chiron at three stages in his life (played by Alex R Hibbet as a child, Ashton Sanders as a teenager, and Trevante Rhodes as an adult). A full review then is yet to come. Barry Jenkins' film inspired by the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" is beautifully calibrated to explore its central theme of finding your identity. It provides no easy answers as to how to do that and no simple catharsis which could make it a difficult sell. If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24 who will platform release the film beginning on October 21st. 

As to the reductive topic of all the Oscar buzz, I am uncertain. Yes, it's going to be a huge critical success and some people's favorite of the year. Barry Jenkins has most definitely announced himself as a exciting formidable writer/director. Yes the cast is performing the material gorgeously particularly Mahershala Ali as a complex father figure to Chiron in the first act, and Trevante Rhodes who pulls all the Chiron's together with heartbreaking interiority in the last act. (Of note: Naomie Harris as Chiron's drug-addicted mother is the only actor to appear in all three chapters but she's impactful each time). But, how to put this... it's definitely an art film that's going to work best for audience members for whom identity politics resonate (*raises hand*). It's also a double minority story about being black and gay.

Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches Chiron (Alex R Hibbet) to swim in Moonlight's first chapter "Little"

Oscar is, rather infamously, a majority instution if you get me. They normally need some "in" for LGBT or black stories, in the form of an already renowned director for the former or a famous historical event or famous actor in celebrity bio or some such for the latter. We'll see.

I repeat: If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24! 

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