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 


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Carol is genius - we asked the team 'why'


"Peaking at the right time" - Mark

"Todd Haynes. his power his influence his acclaim and yes genius!" - Jows


Keep TFE Strong



Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Entries in Patricia Highsmith (5)


Cannes Review: Carol

Our friend Diana Drumm is in Cannes and will be sending a few reviews our way. First up, Todd Haynes hotly anticipated Carol... (note: this review contains a couple of spoilers for those who haven't read the book)

Within a year of publication, Patricia Highsmith’s first novel “Strangers on a Train” became a seminal Hitchcock thriller. After half a century, her second novel “The Price of Salt” (published under the pseudonym of Claire Morgan) is now a Todd Haynes romantic drama (under the succinct title Carol). Whereas the former concerns two male strangers duplicitous in murder, the latter is about two women finding love in constrictive 1952 New York City. Turning the pulp novel into a palpable parable, Carol is a master stroke in Haynes’s 21st century oeuvre (Far from Heaven, Mildred Pierce, et al.), and harkens back to the pressurized strength of Safe and the sexual fluidity of Velvet Goldmine - both capturing and throwing off the starched restrictiveness of postwar America, and deftly upgrading the melodrama with social relevance.

Inspired by Highsmith’s own stint at Macy’s (and her affair with Philadelphia socialite Virginia Kent Catherwood), 20-something shopgirl Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) waits on and is struck by elegant “blondish woman in a fur coat” Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). A friendship builds between the two, to the jealousy of Therese’s huffy square boyfriend (Jake Lacy), who dismisses it as schoolgirl crush, and the consternation of Carol’s matinee-handsome, soon-to-be ex-husband (Kyle Chandler), who uses it as ammunition in their ongoing divorce negotiations. [More]

Click to read more ...


Review: The Two Faces of January

Michael Cusumano here to review the latest stylistic throwback based on the writing of Patricia Highsmith.

When people gripe “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” films like Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January are the kind of movie they mean. It’s adapted from the work of an acclaimed novelist whose books were the source of such beloved films as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. It features big stars in sumptuous foreign locales. It is made with a careful attention to detail. It doesn’t dumb things down or clutter the plot up with needless action. It is fair to say I was primed to love this movie, yet it never quite jolts to life. At some point my investment in the story passed from suspense to impatience. It never went so far as indifference, but I was pretty far from the edge of my seat. Rather, I was leaned back in my chair, head in my hand, thinking what a classy job everyone involved was doing and admiring the sumptuous visuals and thinking how this was going to end up being one of those reviews that used the word “sumptuous” a lot.

The key problem is that foreign intrigue of the Hitchcock variety requires storytelling that stays a few steps ahead of the audience, and it's easy to keep leaping ahead of January’s characters. Far too much time is spent with characters sitting in cafés, smoking, drinking, and eyeing each other suspiciously, when they should be trying to have sex with or murder one another, preferably both. [More...]

Click to read more ...


Cast This: Can We Get a Patricia Highsmith Biopic Up in Here?

We're getting three starry Patricia Highsmith adaptations in the next year or so at the cinemas. First up is The Two Faces of January (Viggo, Kiki & Oscar Isaac) and then Carol (Cate, Rooney & Sarah Paulson). 

 The latest to ready itself for the cameras is The Blunderer. The cast will include Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Imogene Poots and Toby Jones. 

Highsmith adaptations are nothing new for the cinema and soon there will be little left to adapt.

Walter Stackhouse (Wilson) is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara (Biel) and leading a charmed and perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer (Jones) and an over-ambitious detective. Walter's obsession, his lies and his lust for another woman (Poots) will collide in a crush of guilt, innocence and, ultimately, fate.

Highsmith adaptations are nothing new for the cinema and soon there will be little left to adapt.

But why hasn't anyone made a biopic yet?

She was a complicated character in her looks, her art, and her temperament: famously misanthropic (and racist, too), an alcoholic, complicated lifelong relationship with her mother (who once confessed to trying to abort her) who lived to be 95, bisexual with volatile affairs, and a crazy cat lady to boot.

Who should play her in a biopic?  Two names came immediately to my mind but I want to know your thoughts before I reveal them. A few more pictures after the jump [one NSFW] and a few more notes about Hollywood's interest in her work. 

Click to read more ...


Mia Out, Mara In. 

Jose here with this week's Rooney Mara news.

In case you haven't heard, Mia Wasikowska dropped out of Todd Haynes' Carol in which she was to star opposite Cate Blanchett and none other than my beloved Rooney Mara was chosen to replace her (a vast improvement if you ask me). The film is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt which she published under a pseudonym because of its controversial subject: two women in love.

Blanchett will play a married woman who falls for a young department shop employee played by Mara. We all know Haynes is an impeccable director with a remarkable eye for period detail; even those who hated Mildred Pierce - how dare you! - were in awe of his attention to detail, which made it feel like a documentary more than a soapy drama. But above that, we know how great Haynes is with actresses. So this probably has secured them at least Golden Globe nods. The film doesn't star shooting until 2014 though, so we'll have to wait...

P.S. With Cate and Rooney onboard, A.K.A the best dressed women alive, and oft-Riccardo Tisci-muses we've also secured endless red carpet orgasms for 2014 (?).

How do you feel about the casting switch? Will Cate & Rooney have constant Givenchy-offs on the red carpet?  Share your thoughts!  


Two Faces of January. Three Faces of Beauty

Two Faces of January, a thriller based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, has released its first official still which includes Two Faces of Obsession (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst... Oscar Isaac, backgrounded, has a good one, too). Viggo and Kiki are also in On The Road together (in which Viggo is particularly fantastic in a showy small part) though they share no scenes.

No word yet on who did the costumes but I like 'em.

I read this novel at some point but I don't remember a thing about it other than the Greece setting, that it was moody and triangular, and that the ending disappointed me - don't remember why just that it did. Still. Highsmith transfers well to film (see her 'Ripliad' series which has been adapted a few times already)


(When I was researching that poll I was said to hear that Barry Pepper had also starred in a Mr. Ripley adaptation called  Ripley Under Ground (2005) but the movie was never released. Barry Pepper really needs a more fortunate career.)

Hossein AminiTwo Faces of January is currently filming in Greece which surely can use all this movie-making revenue of late (see also: Before Midnight) but it isn't a stylistic choice. That's where a good portion of the travelogue thriller is set. This marks the feature directorial debut of Oscar nominated Iranian British screenwriter Hossein Amini -- my favorites from his work are Drive (2011), Jude (1996) and The Wings of the Dove (1997) -- so The Film Experience is officially rooting for success as he makes the jump behind cameras.