...will it finally be Election Day?
Comment Du Jour
Final Pre-Oscar Podcast
"Yay my walk to school just got a whole lot better" - Adam
"Bergman, Nicholson, and Streep (2 Lead, 1 Supporting). I think Denzel Washington has more than earned his seat at the table." - /3rtful
"Interesting that Nick thinks that Gosling could win. I wouldn't vote for La La Land in many categories, but I would vote for him. For me, the film's appeal rests with its stars. " - Suzanne
Love the Site? DONATE
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...
THANKS IN ADVANCE
Jason from MNPP here wishing everyone a happy week's worth of Halloween fun & spooky frivolity. Now that the New York Film Festival's behind us I feel as if I can properly focus in on the reason for the season - horror movies! So let's devote this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to one of the finest examples of the genre from our young new millenium - Tomas Alfredson's 2008 Swedish stunner Let the Right One In, which tells the tale of young Oskar and the strange "girl" named Eli who moves in next door. Eli puts the "bad dream" into the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl," but Oskar, bullied though he may be, ain't no saint himself...
PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered into the woods with Into the Woods and the battle between the Baker's Wife and The Witch was quite the doozy, but in the end (unlike the film) it was Emily Blunt who came out singing with 52% of the vite. Said PoliVamp:
"Baker's Wife easily. I was very unhappy with Streep's nomination, as she was only the 5th best performance in the movie (and Blunt is in that top 4 group). Also, Moments is my favorite song from the musical, give or take Agony, so this was an easy pick for me."
Jason from MNPP here seizing the moment with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- well, seizing one of many moments, but not only moments, because if life were only moments then we'd never know we had one. You know how it goes. Anyway this moment, this one of many not only, is the birthday of the director Rob Marshall, who makes magical movies that, uh... defy description. Like Into the Woods, perhaps? Yes, we are in the right story.
PREVIOUSLY Here it is a week later and I'm still pretty shocked it took me over 125 editions of this series to get to my favorite movie Rosemary's Baby - but who won? Well you guys sided with the Devil, just like the Oscars did, and gave the prize to Ruth Gordon's Minnie Castavet and her eternally chalky undertaste - said Marsha Mason:
"I think Ruth had the greater acting accomplishment. Mia was good at being afraid, but Ruth pulled off "loud old NYC lady in league with Satan," succeeding in making her both hilarious, outspoken and very creepy. She reminds me of Barbara Bush that way."
In his last few months as Commander-in-Chief and, more pertinently here, commander of the National Medal of Arts selecting committee, President Barack Obama has once again demonstrated discerning taste in awarding the annual honors for excellence in the American arts. With the inimitable (and once again Emmy-nominated) Audra McDonald leading the list, you won’t hear any veto threats coming from this side of the aisle. Comedy legend Mel Brooks, actor/voiceover artist Morgan Freeman, and brilliant composer Philip Glass make up the other predominant names from the world of film and television, but mentions for Motown founder Berry Gordon and The Laramie Project playwright Moises Kaufman deserve a tip of the hat in their own rights.
It’s always fun to parse the recipients of the National Medal of Arts against the sitting president that awarded them; you can drive yourself crazy wondering how the Academy votes but this decision ultimately belongs to a one-person committee and you know exactly how he feels publicly on a whole host of issues. And when it comes to doling out gold totems, President Obama knows when to give Ricki and the Flash co-star Meryl Streep another one. Conversely, does he regret slapping the necklace onto Clint Eastwood in his first year of office instead of waiting to hear the Hollywood legend's strongly held opinions on empty chairs? Other awardees under Obama’s watch include Elaine May, Tony Kushner, Albert Maysles, Sally Field, Rita Moreno, and John Williams. While I’d love to have seen Bill Clinton fete Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, nothing for me beats the image of Twyla Tharp getting the phone call that George W. Bush wanted to host her at the White House. Had he just seen Movin' Out?
Meryl Streep is not a TV neophyte. She has appeared in two of what is now called a limited series, the first time at the beginning of her career in Holocaust (1978) and then in Mike Nichols’ adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (2003), she won an Emmy each time. So it’s no surprise that she’s making another limited series, particularly in this era when they are so in vogue with movie stars. The surprise here is who she’s collaborating with; J J Abrams.
Sadly however it's not Felicity:The Later Years. The project is The Nix, an adaptation of the bestselling first novel by Nathan Hill about a woman who gets national press exposure for throwing rocks at a conservative governor on the presidential campaign trail. Sounds like it would be right in Meryl’s wheelhouse.
Meanwhile that proposed conversion of the last book of the Divergent series from film to TV hit a bump in the road...
This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad
It takes a gifted singer to sing this horribly. Every other note is wrong. No phrasing goes unmangled by shortness of breath. No lovely moment meant to soar cannot be shattered by a flat ear-piercing decibel. The central conceit of Stephen Frears new comedy Florence Foster Jenkins is that Florence, a considerably wealthy patron of the arts played by Meryl Streep, lives for music but is ghastly at it. The inside joke, given the casting, is that we all know La Streep can sing with the best of them. She followed the "is there nothing she can't do?" revelation of Ironweed's tragic showstopper "He's Me Pal" (1987, Oscar-Nominated) with transcendent country crooner feeling in Postcards From the Edge (1990, Oscar-Nominated), and just kept on singing whenever a movie gave her the opportunity all the way up through last year's Ricki and the Flash which was practically a concert film there were so many scenes of Streep at the mic, rocking out.
Florence Foster Jenkins doesn't rock out. Florence is not that kind of girl and Florence, also, is not the kind of movie...
• Variety we now have seven of the names for the Oceans Eight gender flipped movie: Blanchett, Bullock, Hathaway, Bonham Carter, Kaling, and two musicians who moonlight as actors Rihanna and Awkwafina
• NYFF the 54th annual festival has released the main slate titles - Opening Night: The 13th (Ava Duvernay); Centerpiece: 20th Century Women (Mike Mills); Closing Night: The Lost City of Z (James Gray); plus their usual array of buzzy titles from other festivals only this time there are a lot of female leads (which is a huge change) including Aquarius, Toni Erdmann, Personal Shopper, and an Isabelle Huppert double in L'Avenir and Elle.
• Pajiba debates Suicide Squad's interpretation of Harley Quinn
• Variety a new lawsuit about Out of Africa's profits. That's timely! (People forget that it was a giant hit at the time)
• Deadline David O. Russell pitching a TV series with Robert De Niro & Julianne Moore. What the what now?
• Variety FX executive on Peak TV, Netflix and when the "Peak TV" bubble will burst
• Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on the problems with serial-dramas on TV right now -- the model is shifting yet again
• Pride Source Meryl Streep talks her discomfort being imitated (!), Florence Foster Jenkins, sequels, and her connections to the LGBT community
• IndieWire Greta Gerwig writing another screen version of Little Women - we get one every generation it seems
• /Film a Ghostbusters sequel with the ladies seems unlikely as the film will record a theatrical loss due to that ginormous budget
• Comics Alliance breaks down the Luke Cage trailer
• i09 Black Manta will be the villain in Aquaman
• Playbill Tony Danza names his favorite stage performances. Somewhat surprising but cool list featuring Mare Winningham, Mark Rylance, Faith Prince and more...
• GQ "Stop trying to get perfect abs." Love this - Define your personality instead.
• The Adequate Man "Steve Martin is My Body Icon" on looking like the same exact person for ages
Today's Must Read
Todd VanDerWerff has a gorgeous personal essay up on Vox called "Hamilton isn't perfect. But it's *perfect." I couldn't write for a month after I saw it". That's a mouthful but cozy up and be moved. It's on seeing Hamilton, the power of who is telling your story, and Todd's birth parents.