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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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Entries in Mudbound (14)

Wednesday
Dec132017

"Everyone is Nominated... but you!" Our annual SAG Ensemble Rules Exposé

by Nathaniel R

Betty Gabriel is not included in the Get Out ensemble nomination. For shame, SAG!The Film Experience started a tradition of exposing the Screen Actors Guild Awards unfortunate rules regarding ensemble nominations back in 2004. If you'd like a little history as to why we became advocates for change in this matter you can find the details at the bottom of the post. But for now let it suffice to say that SAG's rules for inclusion strike us as punitive for less famous actors and thus unbecoming given that they are a union and unions are ostensibly there to support the workers. The rule boils down to this: you need your own title card in a movie to be so honored - being on a shared title card or in the credits scroll won't do. With a new set of nominees for Outstanding Cast of a Motion Picture let's investigate which valuable players were unjustly left out while their (usually) more famous coworkers were honored, no matter their actual contributions to the movie in question.

2017 SAG OUTSTANDING CAST NOMINATIONS
Who was excluded this year despite their fine work?

THE BIG SICK
Nominees (in billing order): Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar 

Who was left out? The first shared title card belonged to Bo Burham and Aidy Bryant, with the second shared card going to Kurt Braunohler and Vella Lovell. Burnham, Braunohler and Bryant played Nanjiani's inner circle of comedian friends. Lovell was fantastic as a would-be arranged bride for Nanjiani but anyone who has seen her on Crazy Ex Girlfriend knows that she is skillful with mixing sharp comedy with dramatic undertow.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec102017

Toronto, Boston, and NY Online Critics Join the Loud "Best" Chorus

by Nathaniel R

Our friends to the north in Toronto gave their biggest prize to a film of the south, Sean Baker's The Florida Project. In their supporting categories they stuck with the clear critical frontrunners Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) both of whom are probably locking up Oscar nominations in their categories if not the win yet. Toronto's full awards plus the venerable Boston Society of Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec032017

Podcast: The Shape of Lady Bird

Nathaniel and Nick talk two Best Picture hopefuls, the generous funny adorable Greta Gerwig movie Lady Bird and the overstuffed visually creative Guillermo Del Toro fantasy The Shape of Water

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Lois Smith & Lucas Hedges and lingering moments
06:00 Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts are all brilliant
16:00 More Lady Bird gushing
23:00 The Shape of Water -wanted to love it more
27:00 Guillermo del Toro problems and monsters
32:00 The performances in the movie
37:40 The Best Picture field, Hollywood sexism, and the atypical versus typical within the contenders

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Shape of Water & Lady Bird

Monday
Nov272017

The Furniture: Building a Way out of Mudbound

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. 

“I dreamed in brown,” remembers Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan), surveying the near-monochrome dirt of a Mississippi farm. This small pocket of land is owned by her husband, Henry (Jason Clarke), but one doesn’t get much of a sense that she’d call it home. He appears not to like it either, but is motivated by a sour sense of duty. Perhaps this is why his agricultural efforts fail, barely introducing any green into this expanse of brown.

Even more obvious, when it comes to metaphors, is the way Mudbound begins. Dee Rees opens her earthbound epic on Henry in the dirt, digging a grave. The deceased is his Pappy (Jonathan Banks), an acrimonious Klan member who has done his utmost to pass his ideology down to his sons. It’s largely worked on Henry. Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) resists, but still winds up digging in the mud.

 

At the bottom of this new ditch, Henry finds a skull. It’s a “slave’s grave,” he declares; he can tell by the bullet-hole. It’s a hint at an old story, one that Rees knows she needn’t bother put into words...

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Wednesday
Nov222017

Nathaniel Gives Thanks 

by Nathaniel R

Living through a difficult year gives you more reasons than ever to take every excuse to count your blessings. No matter how bad life is the magic of moving pictures, or storytelling and the craft of acting, are always reliable mood-boosters. They're not just a blessed escape but a companion, through which we can learn about ourselves. But let's not get too fancy about it because we mostly just want to squeal "WHEEEEEE!" when we think of the joy of movies.

I'd like to give thanks for the following in particular this year:

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Tuesday
Oct242017

"Wonderstruck" and "Mudbound"

Lynn Lee continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventure

Dee Rees and Mudbound cast earlier this year. © Daniel Bergeron

It’s always a little weird to attend a talk with a director before seeing the film they’re being interviewed about.  That’s what happened with Mudbound, which concluded a day that began with a very engaging conversation between director Dee Rees and Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday and festival founder Sheila Johnson’s presentation of the 2017 “Visionary” award to Rees.  Rees was charming, articulate, and impressively self-possessed, and had many interesting comments on the directorial choices she made in Mudbound, which I wasn’t sure whether I should keep in mind or set aside while watching the film that night.  Rees made clear that she resists being pigeonholed as a director of color, female director, or female director of color, an aversion reflected in her somewhat bland mantra “let excellence be the standard.”  At the same time, she agreed that the current system is structurally biased against prioritizing excellence and needs to be opened up...

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