Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
BUG - 10th Anniversary 

"Ashley Judd is really great here. Pity she didn't encounter the meatier roles she deserved" - Mirko

"As a horror fan, I loved its slow-burn paranoia and found the whole thing quite terrifying." - Robert

Interviews

James Ivory (Maurice) 4K Restoraton!
Betty Buckley (Split)

Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
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

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe

Entries in Postcards from the Edge (10)

Monday
May012017

Beauty vs Beast: Monkey Business

Jason from MNPP here for another round of "Beauty vs Beast" - today is the 86th anniversary of the grand opening of the Empire State Building, aka the most famous building in the world. And so in its honor we're finally tackling the movie that not only birthed its legend but also gave this series its name...

"It was beauty killed the beast."

The Empire State Building was opened on May 1st 1931. President Hoover pushed a button in the White House in DC and the lights to the tower in NYC flicked on for the first time. Just under two years later the movie King Kong would be released (director Merian Cooper supposedly came up with the idea of the plane battle at its top), immediately branding the iconic skyscraper and its most famous big monkey occupant - and his little blonde friend (Fay Wray) - onto every human brain, and forever thereafter.

PREVIOUSLY Last week's contest faced down the mother-daughter duo of Postcards From the Edge and once again proved you should never bet against Meryl Streep - she stomped right over birthday gal Shirley MacLaine with 61% of your vote. Although forever1267 really summed up my own thoughts on the question:

"Where is the "Both" button?"

Monday
Apr242017

Beauty vs Beast: Look Who's Still Here

Jason from MNPP with our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" fun-time - I'm surprised it didn't occur to me to do this one at the start of this year when we were mourning the epic loss of both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (I even re-watched this film at that time) but perhaps the pain was too much. Anyway as Nat told you earlier it's Shirley MacLaine's birthday so the right time has revealed itself, and today we'll tackle Mike Nichols' glorious 1990 comedy Postcards From the Edge, starring MacLaine and some Meryl woman, based on Fisher's thinly veiled book about a drug-addict actress and her let's-say-ebuillent actress-mother. Mother-Actress? Actress-Singer-Mother? Well that's the question, isn't it?

PREVIOUSLY I'm shocked and flabbergasted by you people - hasn't Jennifer Garner suffered enough? We wished her a happy birthday last week with some 13 Going on 30 love and y'all rejected her star-making performance for Adorable Mark Ruffalo. I... well he is pretty damn adorable. Said Dave S:

"Ruffalo in this movie is top-tier among underwritten love interests; I think him ceding the stage for the female lead is actually a point in his favor. He gets to fill the somewhat vaguely defined dream guy role in a way we're more used to seeing actresses relegated to. See also: Aidan Quinn as the projectionist in "Desperately Seeking Susan"."

Friday
Jan062017

The Wisdom of "Postcards"

We've been name dropping Postcards from the Edge a lot this past week, for obvious reasons. I caught the last half hour on accident on television tonight and every split second of it remains marvelous. By the time we get to Suzanne (Streep) reconciling with the director (Gene Hackman) whose film she nearly sabotaged, I am a mess of emotions. It's literally one of my single favorite scenes in all of cinema - so simply staged, so unfussily played by two of the best screen actors of all time, and deeply resonant every time.

Postcards is known for its endless wit but here's something that's less often discussed: even when it's not trying to be funny, it's a total winner. It's a wise compassionate movie, constantly reminding us to go a little easier on ourselves and each other.

Lowell: Growing up isn't like in a movie where you have a realization and life changes. In life, you have a realization and your life changes a month or so later.

Suzanne:  So I just have to wait a month?

Lowell: It depends on the realization. Some of them you only wait a couple weeks.

 

Tuesday
Jan032017

Talented Mr Linky

Must Reads
The New Yorker an evocative thoughtful profile of Mike Mills and 20th Century Women
The Muse Rich Juzwiak on the year in overrated pop culture, starting with Manchester by the Sea. ("A Masterpiece." "It's not tho")
The Metrograph Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy (Carol) reflects on Patricia Highsmith's dislike of the screen adaptations of her work - Metrograph is showing a handful of them his month. (Finally my chance to see Purple Noon on a big screen.)

Films which take place in 2017, Hayao Miyazaki's non-retirement retirement, Aquaman stunts, Broadway divas, and Postcards from the Edge after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec282016

Debbie Reynolds, 'America's Sweetheart' (RIP)

So many heartbreaking goodbyes this holiday season. Today, the brilliant showgirl Debbie Reynolds, "Unsinkable Molly Brown" herself, America's Sweetheart (1950s/1960s edition), charitable icon, Hollywood memorabilia queen, and mother of Carrie Fisher...

She left us just one day after her famous daughter's death...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec272016

May Carrie Fisher's Brilliance Be With You

Instant gratification takes too long."

Meryl Streep popularized that brilliant one-liner in the essential showbiz comedy Postcards from the Edge (1990) but the line pre-dates the film, having emerged from the actress/writer Carrie Fisher's sharp pen (or was it tongue?) some time earlier. The line is so good it ended up on t-shirts. Fisher's best lines in print (multiple books, my personal favorite being "Surrender the Pink") or on the screen (Postcards from the Edge plus much script-doctoring) often sound exactly like things she may have uttered spontaneously in real life first with that unmistakably frank, darting, and mischievous wit. The showbiz icon passed away this morning after a heart attack aboard a plane this past Friday but her work and her influence will live on.

The irony of her delicious and beloved quip above isn't hard to miss...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct212015

Why I Love Carrie Fisher

The Film Experience would like to wish Carrie Fisher a very happy birthday. Here's Kyle Stevens, author of a new book on Mike Nichols on why he loves her...

For various reasons, I’ve never cared for the use of “asshole” as an epithet. However, calling Carrie Fisher a “jerk” or “irreverent” plainly misses the point. She can be an asshole, and that’s why I love her. 

My favorite evidence of this fact comes from her DVD commentary for Postcards from the Edge, the film adapted from her memoir-cum-novel of the same name. I’ve written elsewhere about the brilliance of this film, how Mike Nichols and Meryl Streep use Fisher’s story (and her personal narrative as daughter of Debbie Reynolds) to dramatize the shift from the old Hollywood star system, in which audiences liked to think that they really knew the star (and to see them play similar roles again and again), to a contemporary kind of stardom, where stars are celebrated for being convincing in a range of different kinds of roles. That’s what I appreciate about the film. But there is much to love about the film that is all Fisher, like the tragically plausible names of Suzanne’s past, vacuous movies (for example, “The Night of a Thousand Shoes”). 

Early on in Postcards, Suzanne’s mother Doris throws her a very unwelcome welcome home party. Suzanne is complaining about the fact that she doesn’t even know anyone at the party to her friend Aretha (played with a voice like dark corn syrup by the wonderful Robin Bartlett), when the two are interrupted by a member of Doris’s staff, a maid, who informs Suzanne: "Your mother wants you inside to cut the cake."

Gif provided by Adam Sass (@TheAdamSass)

 

Fisher cast her personal cook, Gloria Crayton, as the maid, and the level of apathy with which Crayton delivers her line is astonishing. It is presumably the culmination of the evening’s festivities, and she could not care less. Crayton’s delivery is devoid of all feeling, seemingly evidence that the actress struggled simply to disgorge the line. 

But this is where Fisher’s Wildean assholery comes into play.

We had a whole campaign about Gloria. We ran it in Variety nominating her for Best Supporting Actress. We got quotes from [Richard] Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss’s quote was “It’s the finest one line walk-on since Richard Dreyfuss in The Graduate…[There were] quotes from Meryl, Gene Hackman…”

On one hand, Fisher and crew are thumbing their noses at the Academy Awards, and the whole system of campaigning for Oscars. On the other, this gag makes us wonder about what makes a performance compelling or convincing. Why would a servant care about the party? Who wouldn’t be dead tired after working for Doris and her persnickety guests? While it might ultimately be impossible to tell whether Crayton is playing nonchalant or is talentless, it might just be the case that she has given us one of the most convincing and accurate portrayals in the history of cinema. It’s this sort of clever foolishness that makes Fisher the kind of asshole I can get behind.

Wednesday
Oct212015

'my mom's getting an Honorary and they couldn't even give me a lousy nomination for my brilliant screenplay for Postcards from the Edge' 

[Hollywood Royalty problems]