The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 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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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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Entries in NYC (74)


NYFCC Runners Up?

Redford's nearest rivals, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Oscar Isaac, were tied at a distant second at the NYFCCUnlike some Oscar-obsessed blogs, I don't really see much of value in sharing "runners up" from various critics orgs (running up is not winning and you can't use it as promotion unless the fine print is really really small.)

But, since NYFCC is the first and the oldest critics group, and surprised with 3 prizes for American Hustle we're not yet sick of critics prizes (that happens in about... 12 days? 7 or 8 if everyone goes samey-samey) why not talk their runners up: Lou Lumenick at the New York Post shared how the voting went down and it looks like the "almosts" went like so... Picture (12 Years a Slave lost in a squeaker), Director and Actress (David O. Russell and Amy Adams so the American Hustle voting block was strong in the final rounds. Were they true fans of the film or did they just prefer it to the others when their favorites were eliminated in the rounds of voting?), and Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). It's interesting that both Actor and Supporting Actor had no strong challenge to the eventual winners (Robert Redford & Jared Leto). Perhaps it means nothing but I find it interesting since, especially in the case of the Oscar race for Best Actor, consensus seems hard to come by as to which actor is most deserving or even which might eventually win.

Why was Redford such a clear favorite here in New York? Is it the sentimental edge from his glorious cinematic history? (That's a pretty damn strong filmography all things considered.)


Do the NYFCC Hustle

The New York Film Critics Circle, the oldest such organization in the country, provided us with a surprise bang this morning. Like Jennifer Lawrence playing with her "science oven" in American Hustle their announcement leaves visible scorch marks, as if awards season has just blasted off like a rocket. 

Whether or not these prizes have a lasting impact is yet to be determined. Some will say that the one-two punch of the Gotham Awards and  NYFCC not awarding 12 Years a Slave with their best feature is a sign. But it may well just be a coincidence and could even be good for the film; it's better to be a wildly special underdog than a frontrunner with heavy baggage when you have three whole months left to carry oneself across the finish line. 

Picture American Hustle
Director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Actress Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Actor Robert Redford, All is Lost
Supporting Actress Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Supporting Actor Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Critics prizes, even the once holy trinity (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC) don't mean as much as the internet likes to pretend. With roughly 30 other critics organizations handing out prizes each year now, and those same critics groups often behaving like Oscar pundits instead of critics, I'd argue that the value of critics prizes has greatly depreciated from market saturation and loss of identity. The thing that constitutes bragging rights these days seems to be domination (who can win the most?) rather than key victories. 

Screenplay American Hustle
Foreign Film Blue is the Warmest Color
Animated Film Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises
Non Fiction Film Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell
First Film Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station
Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis
Special Award Frederick Wiseman, documentarian

Do you think they did the "special award" for Frederick Wiseman solely because they didn't give him best documentary for At Berkeley? And, referencing the most recent podcast, am I the only person who isn't wild for the cinematography in Inside Llewyn Davis?

For what it's worth, American Hustle (which is under critical embargo until tomorrow), is very entertaining and also very fresh in the minds of voters having been screened just this past weekend. And Jennifer Lawrence is also very fresh (and entertaining) in it. 

[More on their voting and runners up here]


Inside Llewyn's Gotham Awards

It was a mix of oft rewarded icons (The Coens) and breakthrough leading movie roles from former awesome TV ensemble players (Jordan & Larson) for the Gotham Awards last night in NYC. 12 Years a Slave, which led nominations (not that that means much at the Gothams with so few categories), went home emptyhanded. No, not even for Lupita Nyong'o in Breakthrough! Bad luck or a sign that people respect but don't love the slavery drama? I don't personally understand this since it's a great film and great films are easy to love but though I'm a Gothamite, I'm not a Gotham voter. And full disclosure: I'm also cool on the Coen's chilly musical, apart from the music and the cat both of which are prize-worthy. 

guitar > fiddle at the Gothams

Feature: Inside Llewyn Davis
The 60s folk scene/character study from Joel and Ethan Coen conquered the uneven field of nominees which included  12 Years..., Upstream Color, Before Midnight (read our just published interview with Julie Delpy), and Aint Them Bodies Saints
Documentary: The Act of Killing
Breakthrough Director: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Breakthrough Actor: Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Will he take all the season's "Breakthrough" prizes or can Lupita rally to conquer?
Film Audience Award: Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings, Tadashi Nakamura
Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant: Gita Pullapilly, director, Beneath the Harvest Sky

Brie Larson = Best Actress (Photo via Indiewire)

ActorMatthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
He won the Spirit Award last year for Magic Mike so this is another key indie acting prize for him. Can he convert all this into an Oscar acknowledgement that he's reinvented himself as an actor. That's what everyone was expecting but then the Best Actor race just got tighter and tighter.
Actress: Brie Larson, Short Term 12 (Interviewed)
This is quite a get since the Gothams didn't support Short Term 12 with nominations elsewhere. Larson beat Blanchett, Woodley, Scarjo, and busy indie darling Amy Seimetz

How do these prizes strike you this morning? Good, bad, indifferent?


Geeks OUT @ Comic Con

Reader Takeover Day! The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but as a special triple treat here's the first of a few posts over the next 24 hours written by you, the reader. (Well, not you literally). Here's Charles Quittner to share his Comic Con adventure. TFE had neglected the annual NYC event (I was in LA) but Charles is here to rescue us! - Nathaniel

Here I am as a post-Disney acquired Spider-Man

Hello there! I’m Charles, a faithful reader of this fabulous site by way of a Google search for Oscar predictions 5 years ago. 

This weekend was the 8th annual New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits convention center. Media aficionados dressed in awesome costumes lined up 10th avenue to buy and browse merchandise of the geektastic variety and to catch glimpses of upcoming books, comic, TV series, and films from the mouths of the creators and stars. [More...]

Click to read more ...


Thoughts I Had... About Our First Look At "Grand Budapest Hotel"

In the interest of speed and efficiency, and before all this good icing melts, my uncensored thoughts as they come to me...

• This poster looks good enough to eat. Literally. All I see is a tiered heavily frosted chocolate cake and I want it in me right now. Put it in me!

• Remember when people made such a big deal of Natalie Portman's nudity in "Hotel Chevalier" even though it was only like side butt? Will their be profile nudity in this hotel? And if so whose? My guess is Léa Seydoux though its unlikely to occur at all.

• The title signage is like delicate decorative pastel frosting (I have not eaten dinner yet, can you tell?)

• So pleased that Ralph Fiennes' career seems to be on an upswing again -- I believe he's the protagonist and butler here -- though I read the weirdest headline the other day (I didn't click on the link) about The Invisible Woman, his second directorial effort, being a misfire of a vanity project. I have seen the movie and I can't for the life of me think why it would be considered a vanity project (though "misfire", maybe) when Fiennes is SO much more handsome in real life than he allows himself to look as Charles Dickens. And Dickens doesn't even come across all that well in terms of character, either. He's no outstanding citizen in the movie. 

• Can Ralph Fiennes please do playful homages to Tim Curry and Forrest Whitaker and other famous butlers when he hits the talk show circuit. Please?

• Did Oscar winner F Murray Abraham get a new agent or something? Totally back! Homeland (sinister!), Inside Llewyn Davis (wonderfully judged cameo), and now this.

• This poster reminds me of the architectural minimalism of Chris Ware or maybe it could have been done by illustrator Max Dalton who did great stuff for Matt Zoller Seitz' new book on Wes Anderson. I want to read that book. Did any of you get it yet? 

Max Dalton print of Wes Anderson characters

• My favorite Wes Anderson movies are The Royal Tenenbaums (#1 by a margin of 375 imaginary city blocks), and Moonrise Kingdom. Hotel Chevalier and Fantastic Mr Fox tie for third. No, really.

• My best friend used to live super close to the exterior of The Royal Tenenbaums on Convent Avenue here in  NYC and I used to stare at that building in melancholic wonder every time it entered my field of view. 

• Wes Anderson is the ideal person to make a movie about a hotel because structures are like actual characters in his movie: the train in Darjeeling Unlimited, the submarine in The Life Aquatic, the tree in Mr Fox, the vertical home in Tenenbaums, and so on...

• When will Oscar voters ever warm to Anderson? Beyond the writers branch who (wisely) gets him.

• I just noticed that Anjelica Huston's name is not on this poster and it suddenly doesn't look as tasty.


"Brooklyn, can you imagine?"

Remember how embarrassed Jasmine (née Jeanette) sounded when she detailed her banishment from "New York, Park Avenue"? Imagine how she's feeling now that she'll be moving into much less coveted zip codes*...

After one month in limited release in the major US film markets, where it's earned a strong $10 million, Blue Jasmine  is going wide. In fact, tomorrow the Best Actress / Best Screenplay buzz-title hits the malls of America with the widest release a Woody Allen film has ever enjoyed.



If Sony Pictures Classics has been keeping the film from you now's your chance! After you've seen it (for the first time or again) dive into our discussions at the review, the podcast and our breakdown of the "yours to lose" Oscar frontrunners. It's not a perfect film but it's quite sticky and continues to inspire good conversation... which is really one of the best things you can say about a movie in our disposable opening-weekend-only film culture, isn't it?

* FYI Blue Jasmine has been playing in Brooklyn, land of many coveted zip codes, for a long time. The title of this post is a snooty Jasmine quote.


The Podcast Returns: The Xanax Kicked In For "Blue Jasmine"

As we reach the final lap of summer, it's time to bring the podcast back for another Oscar season! Joining Nathaniel are Nick Davis, Katey Rich and Joe Reid.

This week we're talking about Nick's DVD Collection, Brooklyn Park Slope, New York Park Avenue, and Chicago moviegoing, whether or not Cate Blanchett is the frontrunner for Best Actress and what we think of the casting director's Oscar branch and the American Hustle trailer. But the bulk of the podcast is devoted to a Blue Jasmine breakdown. No not that kind of breakdown. Cate already covered the going mental part.

UPDATE: For those who are spoiler averse you might want to skip these parts:

11:40 - 12:16 
14:07 - 14:54
18:20 - 19:37

Thanks Alice for pointing these reveals out.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes.

Blue Jasmine Breakdown

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