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Best Actress -- Who will be nominated?
Davis? Blunt? Adams? Chastain?

"I'm glad everyone is cheering Fences on, but I feel that people are overestimating its Oscar potential. The furor reminds me of when people were going ga-ga for August: Osage County. " - Jes

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Entries in Nicole Kidman (153)

Friday
Apr122013

Reader Spotlight: Joey Moser

We're getting to know the Film Experience community. Today we're talking to Joey from Pittsburgh. He's currently performing in Godspell on stage. If you're in Pittsburgh there's two more shows this weekend.

When did you start reading The Film Experience?

Around the time that Far From Heaven was released in theaters.  I was realizing that Julianne Moore was my favorite actress, so your blog was mecca when I was in college.  I love the site because it doesn't just celebrate movies, but it helped me realize that movies can be bad with something great in them (and vice versa). 

What's your earliest movie memory?
JOEY: The earliest memory I have is when my Dad took me to go see Beauty and the Beast.  I remember playing around outside, and he asked if I wanted to go.  I didn't actually answer his question, because I got so excited and just got into the back seat of the car and buckled myself in. The music floored me, and I wanted all of the household objects in my house to come to life.  

What's your moviegoing diet like in a year?

JOEY: I see more movies in theaters than I do on demand or RedBox.  My dad and I would always go on Saturdays and see at least two (the day we saw Gangs of New YorkLord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Two Weeks Notice was a long day)  When I worked at a movie theater, we had a competition to see who could see the most movies in the theater, and I was always the biggest bitch and killed everyone else.  When I was really trying to see everything just to see everything I saw 191.  It's calmed down considerably, but I will see anything.  

What's the last movie you watched?

Stoker.  I never want to have Park Chan-wook direct the story of my life, because it was just be so terrifying. It would be gorgeous and edited nicely, but it would scare the crap out of me.  Also, I didn't realize how well Nicole Kidman was aging until I saw it.  I kept leaning over to my friend and whispering compliments to her, "She's gorgeous...I love her hair...she's soooo beautiful..."  

La Pfeiffer was so robbed in 2002Take an Oscar away from someone. Give it to someone else.

Can I give a nomination away instead?  Take Queen Latifah's nomination from Chicago and give it to Michelle Pfeiffer for White Oleander.  Pfeiffer was running circles around everyone else, and she could freeze me with that icy stare any day.  I get stupidly angry over a lot of Oscar winners, so if I had to pick an actual winner, I would take away Jennifer Lawrence's and give it to Emmanuelle Riva.  I mean...COME...ON!!!

I understand you love musicals and you're a singer/actor. What are your favorites or favorite roles.

Sweeney Todd because, well, it's Sweeney Todd.  I've had the pleasure of playing both Tobias and, more recently, Anthony.  It lead to two completely different experiences, and I treasure them both. I have three dream roles at the moment (they change every time my iPod changes).  I want to be Gabe in Next to Normal, because that show DESTROYS me every time I listen to it.  I need to hit the gym before I even consider auditioning for it.  Gordo in A New Brain is something I have wanted to play for years, but no one ever does it. I also want to be Jamie in The Last Five Years someday.  His songs are so great, but his last one (where you find out he was unfaithful) is my favorite because it shatters his likability right then and there.  I can imagine that is just a treat for actors to play.

Godspell commercial with Joey in the cast / NPH doing Sweeney Todd's "Tobias" role in concert

When I was a theater student in college, I was always told I could a lot with my voice, but I am really short and I look like a child.  It's a weird dynamic, I guess. 

I also love The Wild Party. Both versions.

There should be a movie! The Wild Party (LaChiusa version) is the only imaginary movie I ever obsessed over directing even though I'm not a director. But I interrupted you. One more favorite?

Moulin Rouge! because I'm human and that movie makes me openly weep.  I could be at the most professional event of my life and if someone says "Satine dies at the end" I would just ugly cry the entire way home.

 

previous reader spotlights 

Tuesday
Apr092013

Reader Spotlight: Douglas Reese

Douglas gets into the Spring Breakers spiritReader Spotlights continue as we get to know The Film Experience community. This time we're talking to filmmaker Douglas Reese. 

Hi Douglas! We started talking because of Spring Breakers for which you wrote a really impassioned review. What other movies do you think are misunderstood or underappreciated? 

DOUGLAS: I find myself defending panned movies all the time. Even when I actively dislike a movie, I can't bring myself to not at least value one aspect of it - whether it be technical or on the level of camp. The horror genre is largely looked down upon unless a respected auteur is behind the movie or if it's more connected with drama. I can't for the life of me see how the ambitiousness of Rob Zombie's films goes unnoticed. His stuff just has a strong sense of style and ownership. His Halloween II film may be one of the trippiest slasher flicks ever made. I also like HellBent because of its engaging wit and then there's I Know Who Killed Me which is, like, the best Dario Argento movie that guy didn't direct. I feel Freddy Got Fingered is misunderstood - it's got a very sick sense-of-humor, but I find myself laughing and feeling disgusted with every comedic setpiece in it. It's just so bizarre and there's never been anything like it before. Southland Tales is a movie I also feel should be focused on a bit more. Even if the movie is a bloated, messy, weird piece of work - I can't think of a more biting satire of American tropes since Showgirls up until Spring Breakers came along. Also, speaking of foursome female leads with one of them being Vanessa Hudgens, Sucker Punch was wildly inventive so I'm naturally perplexed by the strong hate it gets. It's not often a Hollywood-funded blockbuster can also be consider arthouse.

Why do you read TFE?

The Film Experience was always easily one of my favorite Oscar sites (along with the now deseased StinkyLulu) not only because of my strong love for Nicole Kidman but, you were never afraid to admit that there are good camp films out there to enjoy. I always appreciate those who don't feel like the most technically impressive films are necessarily the greatest ever made. And I also enjoy how connected you have always been with your readers.

Thanks and yesssss Nicole Kidman. 
No other actress, for me, defines the physical beauty that the camera can contain within a frame and still invoke work that is as stylistically different and well-rounded as hers. My absolute favorite.


Anyone else?
Behind her it's easily Shelley Duvall and her quirky, highly original work in the films of Robert Altman throughout the 70s and her undervalued brilliance that was Wendy Torrence in 
The Shining. Behind them I'd go with Anna Karina - who, without a doubt, brought a sincerity to her character work in Godard's films; even when he obviously intended to just create his typical ciphers. 

What's your first movie memory?

I recall quite vividly watching Disney's Pinnocchio in my diapers early in the morning at my grandma's farmhouse and finding it amusing and frightening. I'm grateful that movie still stands up for me today, because even now it's a totally wonderful experience to endure. Other than that, can I have another rewatch of Hocus Pocus, please? I don't think I've seen that enough.

You make films but your IMDb page is all mixed up with someone else's. What are we going to do about that?

Douglas filming Douglas

I'm not sure why my stuff is on IMDb in the first place. Almost everything on there is experimental no-budget work I've done since 2008. I think they may have assumed I was this Douglas Reese guy who was on "The Dating Game" in the 1980s and just added my work to his credit. Over on MUBI, I offered them to add my work to their catalog and they happily did - and thus born quite a lot of positive (and negative) feedback for some of my stuff, so maybe I really should get the IMDb fiasco fixed? I just don't like to think of myself as a total professional filmmaker, because that's not why I make my films in the first place. My filmmaking aesthetic would definitely be that I'm not really wanting to make technically polished work, but films that capture how I'm feeling about certain things; social or personal. My film Cleaners, for example, was me wanting to capture a kind of American lifestyle currently going on that most people don't want to realize, so it was more social - but something like my movie Snake is otherwise interested in capturing this feeling of dread and depression that I was going through at that time in my life. I just love, more or less than anything, the concept of human suffering and want to showcase how incredible misery can be.

Cheers! Thanks for chatting Douglas.

Previous Spotlights

Wednesday
Apr032013

Reader Spotlight: Tony T

In our ongoing 'get to know The Film Experience community' project, here's another Reader Spotlight. This time we're talking to Tony who grew up overseas and now lives in Texas. He sent me the nicest note once about the site that really cheered me up on a down day.

What's your first movie memory?

TONY: I spent my entire childhood watching Disney movies. It was literally everything I did when I wasn't in school. They were mostly dubbed in French so it was a little bit of a revelation to rediscover them in English when I grew up. But my very first movie memory that I can recall semi-vividly is watching The Beauty and the Beast with my cousins. I was so captivated that I had to move to a different row in the movie theatre to sit away from my cousins because they were distracting me so much. 

I love it. A well behaved moviegoer from the start! When did you start reading The Film Experience?

TONY: When Nathaniel was drunk on Moulin Rouge! I must have found the site by trying to read everything related to the movie. That movie was and still is a dizzying experience. I was hooked on "Film Bitch" at the time. Checked the website every day. I was in Lebanon at the time. No one around me knew what I was talking about which made it all the better!

Three favorite actresses?


I have a very open mind about actresses. Almost any actress can win my heart with the right role. Nicole Kidman is my absolute favorite, though. Ironically my first memory of her is Batman Forever. I thought she was the perfect woman! Moulin Rouge! came and sealed the deal. I can't think of anyone else who combines the same amount of talent, style and courage. The choices she makes are quite admirable even when they don't pay off and auteurs are lucky to have her. Isabelle Huppert is another favorite of mine. Such a powerful presence. Her words always manage to cut through the screen. Third is probably Cate Blanchett. I miss her! 

Take one Oscar away. Regift it.

I think the oscars are like a time capsule. It's always fun to go back and contemplate what the Academy chose to reward in a given year and for what reason. And for that I usually don't talk about stolen oscars. But if forced to choose I would take away The King's Speech's oscar and give it to The Social Network. I thought that was a bit embarassing. I mean the latter was clearly clearly the superior movie by any standard.

If you were in charge of Hollywood for a year...

I would greenlight all the cold political thrillers. Think Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Cerebral well acted well designed movies with great stories are my favorites. Also international movies. Like Babel but better. 

Have you ever broken up with someone because of their taste in movies?

I don't know if I've broken up with someone because of their taste of movies yet but I definitely can see that happening! It's okay not to be a huge movie fan but it's not okay to be a huge fan of the wrong movies! I kid I kid BUT I can't promise that I won't secretly judge someone who declares The Life of David Gale one of their favorite movies (true story). 

previous spotlights

Sunday
Mar032013

Review: "Stoker" Disturbs. But To What End?

A slightly abridged version of this review was previously published in my weekly column @ Towleroad

Thirst > Stoker

A few years ago Park Chan-wook, the acclaimed genre fabulist from South Korea, made an award winning vampire film called Thirst. With the exception of the Swedish instant classic Let The Right One In, it's the best vampire film of the past 20 years. Second best might not seem like high praise but consider the volume of competition!  

In Thirst, a priest and reluctant vampire, infects a young girl with his addiction and she flips from moody troubled teen to lusty adult trouble-maker. Is she his impressionable victim or his soulmate apprentice? Or is she much harder to pin down? Having raved about Thirst when it was released (including a Best Actress nomination for Kim Ok-bin right here) and being a shameless Kidmaniac I walked into Stoker with high expectations. Despite the title's nod to Bram Stoker, I was not expecting an English language pseudo-remake of his earlier vampire feature. There are no literal vampires this time but the central power play relationship and overall bloodlust are like eerily similar echoes. Even the supernatural powers remain: India (Mia Wasikowska) even begins the film boasting of her preternatural hearing in voiceover while she hunts a defenseless animal in the tall grass. It's like a Terrence Malick sequence with brutality in place of spirituality. India's hearing is so acute she even catches spidery footsteps (So do we since Stoker shares with Thirst masterfully creepy and super detailed sound design.)  

A Stoker family dinner. Bloody steak.

"Don't disturb the family" is a stupid fun tagline for Stoker's ad campaign and poster since the warning is pointless. This family was disturbed long before you bought a ticket. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Podcast: Oscar Night Season Wrap

For the final podcast of the season, Joe Reid, Katey Rich, Nick Davis, and me, your host, Nathaniel R let reader questions be our guide for this spontaneous Oscar Night Review.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Musical Performances: Adele, Shirley Bassey, Babs, Jennifer Hudson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones's Jazz
  • Future Nominations or Backlash for the winners: Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway?
  • Ben Affleck's speech
  • Can Michael Haneke ever return?
  • What were the best reaction shots and when did we do our best reaction shots from home?
  • On Naomi Watts' career choices and Oscar's love of "it" girls
  • Documentary and Costume Design
  • Seth Macfarlane versus Jokes and Musical Theme
  • Emmanuelle Riva cutaways

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big NightFun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look BackSeth's HostingFunniest Tweets, & This Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen Men, The Ten Nominated Ladies, Goodbye Glamour

Oscar Night Season Finale

Tuesday
Feb262013

"Are you thoughtless in your remarks?" - The Master Winners

Maybe if we'd passed out free handjobs?Last week I asked readers to submit themselves to processing to enter a chance to win a copy of The Master on Blu-Ray. Whether it's the polarizing nature of the film or that I merely asked too much of you -- what's a little processing between friends? -- this contest had less participation than we usually get.

How come?

Nevertheless, The Master strikes me as the sort of film that those who enjoy will end up watching on loop to try to tease out its sometimes obtuse meaning.

Honorable Mentions: Apologies to Derreck whose entry was creepy sublime --- all right all right, we'll do The Talented Mr Ripley for Hit Me With Your Best Shot! --  and Checko whose entry was quite amusing. But I only have two copies to give away. Trust that I wish I had four. 

THE WINNERS ARE

Winner #1 is Kenneth.
This informal processing just gets better and better as it goes. Loves it.  I don't know if Kenneth is the bald one or the furry one but I'm crushing hard either way. 

Winner #2 is Manuel
Who also went the extra mile. He submitted Nicole Kidman for processing! Ha. What would Nicole make of this? LOL. I personally loved it and you will too if you have a little Kidmaniac inside of you... here's a taste:

Are you thoughtless in your remarks?

NO. Biting and truthful maybe. Never thoughtless.

 

 

Do you linger at bus stations for pleasure?
NO. I prefer train stations. They help me pass the hours.

So click on over to his blog to read the full processing. 

Gentlemen, your Blu-Rays are on the way (or will be as soon as you get in touch with me to arrange)!

Monday
Feb112013

Supporting Actress, My Ballot

With Oscar barrelling towards us (at last) I have no choice but to wrap up my own awards. I don't know where I'll find the time but forward into film bitch awardage...

there's an anchor of grief under those voluminous dresses pulling her down

My Best Supporting Actress Starter Kit, about 20 actresses long, was quite a lot different than the one we heard about all pre-season. For starters Helen Hunt and Ann Dowd, who Oscar season dubbed "supporting", were leading stars for me (Hunt's designation is entirely debatable, Dowd's is not). I am, as ever, more impressed with stylized genre-friendly work than awards bodies, particularly Oscar, ever are. I think Eva Green in a movie that wasn't much good (Dark Shadows), Gina Gershon and Nicole Kidman in movies that might accurately be called "trashy" (Killer Joe and The Paperboy) were all running circles around more respectable names like Maggie Smith or Amy Adams that kept cropping up in "Best of" lists. And though surprise Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver did make my top 12 for her homey egg-shell peace-making in Silver Linings Playbooks, my personal vote for Doing the Most With The Least this year would go to Olivia Munn in Magic Mike... though I didn't go quite so far as to nominate her.

That's all just preface - the point being that I debate this with myself (and with you in the comments) all year long. In the end while Oscar chose an entirely respectable list (save for the exclusion of the incomparable Nicole Kidman which I shall forever deem indefensible) my list has only two women in common with theirs. I had to make room for Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) and Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere), too.

MY NOMINEES AND WHY I CHOSE THEM

As always I welcome respectful disagreements, fan mail and counterpoint lists. In Actressland many five-top opinions are welcome in "Best" lists.