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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Michael Shannon (13)


Yes No Maybe So: Freeheld

Manuel here eager to discuss the new trailer for Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's upcoming lesbian drama, Freeheld. Nat is swamped off-blog today so it's up to me to rush in to talk about this (ugh watermarked!!) trailer that premiered last night. We all know where the TFE readership will fall in pre-viewing collective excitement about Peter Sollet's film about the legal fight of a local cop with the Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders over her pension benefits transferring to her domestic partner after she's diagnosed with lung cancer. But that won’t stop us from submitting it to our handy Yes No Maybe So test, and typing YES several times in the next couple of paragraphs.

The breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...


We Can't Wait! #10: Freeheld

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Anne Marie...

Who & What: Ellen Page's 6-years-in-the-making passion project teams the tiny Canadian with Oscar-winning goddess Julianne Moore in a story about a dying New Jersey policewoman (Moore) who fights to transfer her pension benefits to her partner (Page). Based on a true story, the film is written by Oscar-nominated Philadelphia scribe Ron Nyswaner, and directed by Peter Sollett of Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist fame. Rounding out the already stellar cast are Steve Carrell and Michael Shannon. With this film plus Carol (more on that later in the series), this promises to be a good year for lesbians in film.

Why We're Excited About It: So many reasons: It's based on an Oscar winning short. It's a true and beautiful story about the fight for equal rights. It's Moore's second film release after winning the Oscar. If it's successful, it will be proof that an actor (Page) can come out and actually raise her profile enough to get films made. Plus on a purely shallow level, Ellen Page and Julianne Moore are adorable separately, and promise to be twice as adorable together. Observe:

What If It All Goes Wrong: The film itself seems to be in good hands, but the MPAA is a concern. Last year, we had two wonderful LGBTQ films, Pride and Love Is Strange, strangled with R ratings despite no content unsuitable for younger viewers. While Freeheld's star power would hopefully help it overcome the box office hurdles caused by an R rating, it would be a cruel irony to allow the prejudiced pearl-clutchers at the MPAA to censor a film about overcoming prejudice. Time will tell.

When: Lionsgate just won a bidding war to distribute the film, so hopefully we should be seeing it pop up in film festivals with a wider release later this year.

#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster


James Franco, Disembodied

TFE's coverage of the 51st New York Film Festival (Sept 27-Oct 14) begins now. Here's JA on James Franco's press conference for Child of God...

He came at us as a disembodied voice, booming across the auditorium. There was no face to behold - only his words. His Word? Was it the voice of God? I suppose that depends on your definition. If your definition of God is broad in scope (like, that scope includes all of matter itself) then maybe you find room under the umbrella of godliness for actor slash art-provocateur James Franco. It's really not that big a stretch - he is now the man behind the curtain in Oz, after all. There were no bursting flames or rear projection here, but when you plunk down to watch A James Franco Movie (which I find myself spending an increasing amount of my life doing) the specter of Franco always looms large, even if hes not up on the screen. (Especially if he's not up there on the screen.) It's kind of impossible to watch A James Franco Movie not through Franco-colored glasses. We are all living in James Franco's world... well at least we are when we're looking at it from his perspective.

From our perspective here at the New York Film Festival, where we've just finished screening Child of God, Franco's adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy story about nubile young lady corpses and the hillbilly who loves them, we're just staring at a blank screen. You can follow James Franco on Twitter and Instagram and at, but a room full of press people can't seem to Skype with him directly. [MORE]

Click to read more ...


Man of Steel Post-Script

Release dates are no Kryptonite for me. I can't be bound or weakened by them! I rejoined Panel Culture, a weekly comic book podcast, as their special guest for a discussion of Zach Snyder's Man of Steel five weeks into its successful run. Why did they wait this long to discuss it? They'll tell you.


Listen in and join the conversation about...

  • Whether this Superman is successful as icon, hero and performance
  • If this Lois Lane dynamic (or lack thereof) works
  • How Michael Shannon's General Zod measures up to Terence Stamp's
  • That surprising first half hour on Planet Krypton with Russell Crowe
  • Tornados, mass destruction, and whether or not to save a life or keep on fighting
  • What the sequel should fix or keep or jettison

  iTunes | Podbean | ...or Listen Right Here

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"Kneel Before Zod!"



Man of Steel is just 62 days away.

Do you think this'll be a big year for Michael Shannon what with General Zod and The Iceman hitting theaters soon and possibly the creepy thriller The Harvest (with Samantha Morton!!!) later in the year?  I know that actors generally become far more famous (at least visually) when they're submerged in CGI for blockbusters (see also: Tilda Swinton's Narnia run) but to me Michael Shannon will always be that crazy naked guy with a thing for aphids.

What will Michael Shannon always be to you?


Just Say Link

The Guardian Jane Fonda will be playing Nancy Reagan for Lee Daniels' as yet untitled feature about a White House butler. That's the one he'll follow The Paperboy with.
Towleroad first official look at Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean (though we have already seen pap shots) in Les Misérables.
Movie|Line can you guess what the most rented DVD of 2011?
AMC Film Critic Thelma Adams on what mothers and daughters can learn from The Hunger Games

IFC Fix Actor Toby Kebbell on the troubled adaptation of Akira. He was up for the Tetsuo role but he didn't like what they were doing with the project. I admire his honesty/fandom but I don't like that he's even up for the role. Asian actors please... it's not like Asian American actors don't exist.
can you guess what the most rented DVD of 2011?
AMC Film Critic Thelma Adams on what mothers and daughters can learn from The Hunger Games
In Contention Woody Harrelson's mirror characters in The Hunger Games and Game Change
Rope of Silicon a look at Michael Shannon as a ruthless killer in The Iceman.
After Elton remembers the gayest moments in Mad Men history.
EW five ways to fix Smash which has been renewed for a second season (yay!)

for fun...
Gizmodo Great Simpsons humor. The apps on Mr. Burns' iPad.
world of wonder Atheist Barbie. Hee.


Oscar Prediction Updates & Calendar

As someone who is absolutely not feeling it today -- why do some days torment us, so? -- I thought I'd best *finally* finish updating the Oscar predictions. So I'm working on it. As ever I'm sure you'll tell me exactly where I'm right and wrong.

Even though I'm not technically feeling it today, I am most definitely feeling it in terms of the Oscars this year. It's SO exciting for once. Lots of confusion in each category I think. Just the way we like it. If predictions aren't difficult, they aren't fun.

Picture I'm guessing 8 nominees though I think Moneyball is stronger and War Horse weaker than my chart suggests. Though perhaps this is wishful thinking? 
Director If Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg are all nominated here, that would be madness. I need to do the statistics but I am pretty sure that that would be the most previously nominated group ever assembled in Best Director since they're the 3 most nominated living / working directors. But as of this writing I don't think Spielberg is in.
Actress Tilda and Glenn aren't invulnerable for very different reasons. Rooney Mara was surging while ballots went out but it's not really an Oscar type role so who knows? And then there's still Charlize (just interviewed) sneering at all of them in her Hello Kitty shirt. Everyone else is toast.
Actor I'm taking a risk because I keep hearing Michael Shannon's name even though his movie is basically gone. But then so is Leo's.

Shannon got one nomination by surprise. Can he pull off surprise #2?

Supporting Actress I still think this category is VERY difficult to predict. Someone with a lot of precursor attention isn't going to make it. People always say it's easy to predict this one until you remind them that six women have won plentiful precursor attention. Six ≠ Five.
Supporting Actor totally diffuse if you ask me beyond the Branagh-Plummer-Brooks triangle. Wouldn't it be a hoot if Corey Stoll or Viggo Mortensen made it in?
Screenplay Original is still super crowded and impossible to figure with at least five major contenders ineligible for the recent Writer's Guild noms. Adapted is easier but not completely simple.

Today, I got the hugest package in the mail. I mean it was enormous. And this thin calendar to your right was all that was inside. HA! Here's to killing trees for nothing! But it did immediately remind me that I need to nail down my calendar for 2012. I want it to be the best year ever here at The Film Experience. I really do. The Bext Exotic Marigold Hotel promisese to open on May 4th. In worse news, The Wettest Country has been moved back AGAIN. Now they're saying August. Let's face it: that movie is never going to open. If both do open as intended who knows. Oscar 2012? The Help, The Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris, all summer releases, are still in play for 2011's race.

Here's some dates you should know about as we move forward into our busiest month.


  • Sat. 7th National Society of Film Critics... ending critic prizes.
  • Mon. 9th Directors Guild Nominations ... which was once the most accurate predictor of anything-ever as to what would be Best Picture nominated. The last few years have made those statistics useless with all the changes as to # of nominees.
  • Thur. 12th BFCA "CRITICS CHOICE" AWARDS (yes, we'll live blog or something)
  • Fri. 13th Oscar Ballots due. Nothing on this day or forward can affect who gets nominated. 
  • Sat. 14th LAFCA Awards Ceremony (not televised)
  • Sun. 15th GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (yes, we'll live blog or something)
  • Mon. 16th ACE Eddie Award Nominations (Editing) and we'll do Oscar chart updates .
  • Wed. 18th BAFTA nominations - not the fake ones.
  • Thurs. 19th Costume Designers Guild Nominations
  • Sat. 21st Producers Guild Award Ceremony (not televised)
  • Sun. 22nd FOLLIES closes on Broadway... heading to Los Angeles but without Bernadette Peters. *sniffle* Do not miss it! Oh and also this is the day when we'll post our final predictions for nominations in all Oscar categories.
  • Sun. 29th SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS (Yes, we'll live blog or something)

 What are you looking forward to? 
Oscar Prediction comments?