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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"After an absolutely crappy day at work; when life feels like a total roadblock - this podcast just makes me so happy!" - Adam

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Reader Rank: 2012's 007 Mania featuring the Bond Girls

Though we've really just begun our Year in Review of 2012 no such survey would be feel complete without at least a perfunctory visit to the shadowy world of super spy Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond feature released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary is already the top grossing Bond of all time with $1 billion at the global box office. That's enough cash to get any Bond Villain (or Bond Villain parody) rubbing his fingers together with greed "one beeeeeeeiiiillion dollars"

Bérénice Marlowe as "Severine" in SKYFALL

Just before Skyfall came out I asked readers to submit their own rankings of the Bond films. It's such a big tallying project that I think I'll have to save the main results for the Skyfall DVD release (so if you still want to submit your ballot email it to me with "Bond Rank" in the title line and make sure to rank every Bond film you've seen in the email). I have finished the less strenuous task of tabulating the numbers for your favorite Bond Girls. How does the newbie Bérénice Marlohe as Severine stack up for all of you? I personally thought she was sensational with a lethal mix of smooth outer beauty and deep inner terror that had me imagining the feeling of skating on dangerously thin ice that's cracking loudly underneath your feet. I've included her in my "sexpot of the year" nominees. Pity that she has to share that new Film Bitch Awards page with her captor/lover Silva (Javier Bardem) who is nominated in the "villain of the year" category. 

cue theme music....


Maud Adams has the Trivia Bonus distinction of having played two different Bond Girls in her career. "Andrea" in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983)

Honorable Mentions (aka 007 More Women Who Scored Well With Readers): Natalya (GoldenEye), Tatiana (From Russia With Love), Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Malina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Fiona Volpe (Thunderball) and Maud Adams as Octopussy. I love this comment about the latter from Andrew:

The character is not that much fun in the movie itself, but just the fact that she's basically a brothel madam named "Octopussy" is pretty great."

The 007 Top Girls with a few key reader quotes after the jump...

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"Cast This!" Box Office Special: Female Expendables?

Sylvester Stallone and his team of aged action heroes ruled the box office with their high-octane throwback The Expendables 2. The title is perfect because it's the kind of disposable flick you can imagine people watching half-assed for years on end on cable while eating, cleaning, making phone calls, taking a sick day, you name it.

Top o' the Box Office *newbies in bold*
02 THE BOURNE LEGACY $17 (cum $69.5)
04 THE CAMPAIGN $11.8 (cum. $51.6)
05 SPARKLE $12 ...more on this one soon 
06 DARK KNIGHT RISES $12 (Cum. $409.9) Review

The Expendables franchise is weirdly sexist -- how can you have like a dozen action stars per movie (*stars* being a smudgey concept here once you're past the one name icons), many of them past their prime, and never include any of the women who've led or played a major hand in action hits in any decade? Yes, they exist! Word is out that the producers are planning on backing a female heavy edition of the franchise, a spin-off if you will. Why we're not allowed to have a co-ed Expendables I do not know. 

But let's help the producers out by casting it for them in the comments.
I'll start right here with six must-haves from Nathaniel's Crowded Actressexual Brain


  • Sigourney Weaver -- seriously, if she's not already at the tippity top of the "throw money at her" list, they're imbeciles.
  • Michelle Yeoh -- always riveting when she fights and a damn good actress, too.
  • Linda Hamilton - Duh! Even her name is tough.
  • Milla Jovovich - knows her away around an action scene and will get naked for your R rating
  • Daryl Hannah - because she's an awesomely imposing amazon (think Blade Runner and Kill Bill) and doesn't get nearly enough work 
  • Pam Grier - because think of the fun they could have referencing her fame-making work. Razors in an afro please! 

Once I got started I couldn't stop. I literally thought of 22 more actresses who would be perfect while collecting these photos -- like give me a scene of Run Franka Potente Run. Even if it's just a cameo! -- including recent action divas like Léa Seydoux (so very hawt in Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol or Kate Beckinsale (fresh in the brain on account of Total Recall).

But I don't want to hog all the fun. Which actresses would you line up to see in a huge dumb explosive ensemble actioner? Give me at least six of your favorite options, preferrably ten, ranked, in the comments. Maybe we'll revisit this once we have all your lists.

Ready... set... GO!



Beauty Break: Rose, Uma, Michelle & Tilda

Thanks to reader Emmanuel for sending me this photo...

Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Uma Thurman, Michelle Yeoh and Tilda Swinton this week in Milan. What a photo, eh? This was taken at a launch party for the Vertu’s ‘Constellation’ smart phone. I thank the smart phone for requiring this much collective gorgeousity for its debut.

Though she's clearly the odd girl out here, what with three bonafide screen goddesses on the coach, I don't have the heart to photoshop Rose out (but, yes, I was tempted). She got such a severe beating for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and please... we've seen much worse when it comes to models acting! You know I'm right. People were just ready to pounce because she replaced Megan Fox and because it's Transformers which only requires that the girlfriend be fuckable.

More photos after the jump...

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TIFF: Michelle, Andrea and Felicity in buzzy films.

Paolo here. Day 6 of TIFF brings movies about love and passion crossing borders and oceans or trying to, despite the difficulties. Ladies and gentlemen, bring your handkerchiefs or roll your cynical eyes.

THE LADY (Luc Besson)

Most of you must already know about detained Burmese President-elect Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh), but her unlikely entry into political life happened so long ago that we, especially the younger generations, forget a few facts. First, that she lived in Oxford and bore two boys for her husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis), a professor of Southeast Asian studies and that the reason for her untouchable status in a military dictatorship is her ties to England. Second, that the reason the university intellectuals have chosen her as the figurehead of the Burmese democracy movement is because her father, a general, fought for the same goals after World War II.

The story of her adult life is now adapted to the screen as The Lady directed by Luc Besson. This movie allows Besson to diversify his CV but I personally couldn't avoid looking for his trademarks. Suu is Besson's female heroine, Michael his the Tati-esque old man, and a superstitious general is the campy, quirky villain. Besson keeps the violence to a reverent level this time, even if Suu's father becomes a martyr in the film's first scene. The Lady also has a few montages which chronicle the news of Suu's planned rallies spreading throughout the streets of Rangoon. They went on a bit longer than necessary.

As biopics go, The Lady has a surprsing lack of naturalism. Take this paraphrasal of one of Suu and David's conversations:

'The world reveres you as someone with no negative qualities.'
'I will list my negative qualities right now.'
'Your negative qualities made me fall in love with you.'

But because I like this, I'll call it 'classic English dialogue', pulled off well by Thewliss and especially Yeoh who has perfected a politician-style elegance; in a festival full of misanthropy, characters who are 'too nice' are a welcome change.

W.E. (Madonna)

The title of Madonna's much-discussed new film, is an acronym for the most gossiped marriage in the past century between Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy). The couple belong to a story within the story, which is an obsession for  fairytale-stricken Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), who comes close to the couple's property six decades after their exile. Wally is bored of her neglectful husband while befriending a foreign Sotheby's security guard (Oscar Isaac). I'll assume that Madonna took on this story in engender her own so-called feminist perspective, and she brings a sympathetic and sometimes humorous light to the maligned woman. I would have preferred to see a movie based on "Famous Last Words," Timothy Findley's novel about Wallis.

More on what I liked about W.E. and disliked about Like Crazy after the jump.

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Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Reunion

EEEEEeeeEEEeeeeeEEEE !!!

Bonus points to anyone who can find me a good photo of this historic moment. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon's fantastic four Chang Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat and Zhang Ziyi posed for this photo- op at China's Huabiao Awards a few days ago. But all the Asian websites I peruse have apparently stopped believing in hi-res photos, just fuzzy small ones. Nooooo!



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488 Days Until "Bond 23"

It's been three years since we last saw Bond, James Bond but his licence to kill never expires. Neither financial difficulties --such as those experienced by his parent studio -- nor frequent cosmetic surgery (Connery to Lazenby to Moore to Dalton to Brosnan to Craig) can retire 007. His licence will be renewed all over again on November 9th, 2012 or thereabouts. That's the tentative release date for the as yet untitled Bond 23.

Thankfully everyone's favorite secret agent will still look like Daniel Craig when he returns (and presumably Judi Dench will still be giving him orders). Javier Bardem will be the new supervillain. Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris are also supposedly joining the cast in roles both new and familiar (Yay "Moneypenny"!).

No word yet on the number of or identity of the new Bond Girls but they'd better be sensational if they're hoping to pull any attention from that very formidable quintet. 

Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) will direct and though he isn't a director that's known for using the same cast frequently, he has worked with his Bond before. Oscar-philes will note that Mendes was one of the earliest directors to give Craig a mainstream attention-grabbing part in Road to Perdition (2002).

It's all so fucking hysterical.
-Daniel Craig as Connor Rooney in Road to Perdition

It must have been hard to cast for Paul Newman's son given the legendary blue eyes. Craig's are crueler than Newman's but good call nonetheless, don't you think?

Are you excited for that the new Bond is back on track? What's your favorite of the 22 films? I've always been partial to Dr. No (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 but mostly for Michelle Yeoh) and Casino Royale (2006).