Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

"This movie is one of my favorites - Michael Stuhlbarg the biggest reason, he's so heartbreakingly fantastically good in everything." -Rebecca

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Marriage Story (11)


Middleburg: "Marriage Story" wins yet more fans and "Waves" gets a Spotlight

by Nathaniel R

The Middleburg Film Festival is halfway over and we've yet to report! We were off to a troubed start with a very late flight (8 hours in the airport for a 45 minute flight. ARGH!). Given the gusty NYC weather, we missed the Virginia premiere of Marriage Story, the opening night film. We'd already seen it at TIFF and loved and are pleased to report that the movie was met with great enthusiasm yet again. A Los Angeles friend came directly towards us at the Q&A  (which we arrived just in time to see ending) apologizing for her wet face. Never apologize for crying at beautiful movies...

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Best of the London Film Festival 2019

Please welcome guest contributor Scott Thomson, who just participated in the Critics Mentorship Programme at the London Film Festival. We've invited him to tell us about his favourites from the festival, which just concluded. -Editor

Monos, Colombia's Oscar submission, won the film festival's top honors

by Scott Thomson

The programming team at the London Film Festival delivered a magnificent slate of films this year, working within a series of expertly curated strands to shape the programme into something that caters to all tastes. This year there was a focus on developing a hub for the Festival, with a schedule of free events to generate a more connected and interactive vibe.  As London falls fairly late in the Festival calendar, it does not tend to get a great deal of World Premieres, but the buzz and atmosphere around both the larger and smaller offerings is undeniable and LFF deserves a lot of credit for being a festival that is very much for the audiences.

With 40% of all films on the programme this year were from female filmmakers this is another huge step in the right direction for festival curation; the content is most certainly available and other festivals should take note. With 28 films under my belt this year I have taken in a lot of what I was hoping to, but inevitably missed out on some wonderful stuff. Here are some of my ‘Bests’ from London this year: 

Adele Haenel and Celine SciammaBest FilmMonos (which also took the Best Film prize at the Festival). There is not an ounce of fat on Colombia's Oscar submission. It's thrilling, progressive cinema with an outstanding young cast. Everything is cinema magic including that machine energy Mica Levi score. 

Best Director: Celine Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire. My my my, I’m still swooning. Sciamma’s gentle gaze on this beautiful love story is so open hearted and considerate...

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Podcast: Parasite + Listener Qs

with Murtada Elfadl & Nathaniel R


Index (58 minutes)
00:01 Parasite's opening weekend success and its basic premise
06:30 through 22:59 [SPOILER SECTION]
23:00 Its Oscar prospects and the joys of sold out theaters
30:00 CHANGE OF TOPIC. Continuous shot movies. 
32:38 More Parasite chatter (non-spoilers) plus a Portrait of a Lady on Fire tangent
39:13 Listener Questions 

 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? 


Parasite plus


NYFF Review: Marriage Story

by Murtada Elfadl

What happens to the love once a marriage ends? In his latest film Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach charts the dissolution of a marriage from the time it starts to falter to the breaking point when the couple in question Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver) are actively wishing death upon each other. The title is a clever play on divorce as we are supposed to find out what they once loved about each other by the end.

The film builds the memory of intimacy in throwaway moments....

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Middleburg Film Festival will honor Terence Blanchard and open with "Marriage Story"

by Nathaniel R

Composer Terence Blanchard

Longtime readers will note that mid October means Virginia to The Film Experience. We’ve been attending the rising Middleburg Film Festival for the past few years and this year yours truly will be on a three person panel discussing the Oscar race! More details to come but if you’re attending please come and say hi. If you’ve been following our festival coverage each year you’ll know that our favourite event annually is a live orchestra concert celebrating a film composer with the composer speaking in between numbers. This year that concert will be for Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman, Malcolm X, Harriet) -- can’t wait! 

Festival sensation Marriage Story is Thursday’s opening night film and Irishman the closing night event. Ford V Ferrari, Harriet, and Waves will also get spotlight treatment and there will also be tributes to Director Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) and screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Two Popes).



Best Actor / Supporting Actor - Chart Updates!

by Nathaniel R

Netflix would like to have 80% of the BEST ACTOR field (Driver, Murphy, Pryce, DeNiro) but that will prove impossible.

The new predictions are in. Best Actor is more exciting and competitive than Best Actress this year which is a strange and unusual development... and we don't like it! We kid. The male actors deserve their moment in the sun occassionally, even if they're not as fun to shine light on. The strangest thing about the leading actor competition is, at least at the moment, Netflix literally appears to have about 1/3rd of the entire competitive field. But since their can be only 5, we think that this shotgun approach will only result in two nominees at best. Right now we're going with Adam Driver (who feels like the ultimate winner... though let's not pretend anything's locked up yet in late September) and Eddie Murphy (who could easily not happen given Netflix's other horses in the race).

As for Supporting Actor. It isn't that much different than Best Actor this year. This year has been fairly heavy with duet films for men (The Lighthouse, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ford v Ferrari, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Two Popes) so naturally a few of the co-leads will definitely block out supporting players for the coveted nominations. We're mostly giving the side-eye to Willem Dafoe. He's the most egregious category frauder this year since you can't be a supporting actor in a cast of two! (There are technically a few other actors that appear in The Lighthouse but they're non-speaking cameos. It's a duet film from start to finish). It's a shame that Dafoe is competing supporting because we think he'd still be competitive for a nomination in lead despite the strong year. The only traditional-sized supporting role that we think won't be hurt by the co-leads muscling in is Alan Alda's divorce attorney in Marriage Story. In some ways he's the film's most loveable character, and Alda has been nominated for less (The Aviator). At 83 he'll have sentiment on his side, too.