Oscar History

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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TIFF Wrap Up Awards & Podcast 

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Entries in Reviews (633)


Queer TIFF: "Touch Me Not"

TIFF kicks off today!! In addition to our regular coverage, Chris Feil will be covering a sampling of the festival's LGBTQ global cinema...

Adina Pintilie’s Golden Bear-winning piece of experimentation and sexual reflection Touch Me Not opens on a landscape of the naked male body, anonymous and alien, shot with a deliberate distance that doesn’t deceive the film’s tension between curiosity, impulse, and terror. While this quickly establishes the psyche of Pintilie’s piece, it is about to become far more personal, with its players all playing themselves or versions thereof. Its fourth wall is never broken because it was never built in the first place.

The film centers largely on two emotionally stunted characters (or “characters”), struggling to experience both physical and emotional connection...

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Review: Searching

by Lynn Lee

At first glance, Searching has all the marks of a conventional “missing child” thriller.  Single dad’s teenage daughter goes awol, leaving signs to fear the worst; police investigation reaches dead end or obviously-wrong conclusion; dad realizes there was too much about his daughter he didn’t know but doggedly solves the mystery on his own after several red herrings and, of course, a shocking twist.  Slightly condensed, the entire film could fit into a one-hour TV crime procedural. As it is, the movie clocks in at a lean, tightly paced 102 minutes and hits all the requisite plot beats with impressive efficiency.

And yet, there is something different about Searching that distinguishes it from other examples of the genre.  Two somethings, actually...

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Review: "The Little Stranger"

by Chris Feil

Adapted from the Sarah Waters novel, The Little Stranger is a ghost story in a lower register, more a delicate gothic character study than a stone cold chiller. Think of it like a Shirley Jackson tale turned inward, where the separation of class and circumstance draw the demons from within and without. It’s not a horror film to satisfy the jump hungry or the thrill seekers, but one that slowly grips you from behind and one you will unexpectedly recall vividly.

The staples of such subtle genre pieces are all present: a once lively mansion lost to decay, the somewhat reclusive family that remains, the weight of a dead child covering it all in a fine layer of dust. A local doctor Faraday pays a visit to Hundreds Hall to tend to the maid of the Ayres family. Though its residents have worn along with the estate, Faraday is still taken by the memory of when he had visited it as a boy, on the very day that the Ayres daughter Susan became deathly ill.

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Review: "Crazy Rich Asians"

by Chris Feil

Crazy Rich Asians feels like something sterling from the past, the kind of wholly satisfying and rapturous romantic comedy that we bemoan is missing from the multiplex. Director Jon M. Chu’s loving embrace of the genre pulls its influences from across the decades, infusing Doris Day/Rock Hudson rompiness with the cutting character detail of The Devil Wears Prada. It’s a high mark that the film clears and safely so, sliding with ease onto a shelf next to your rewatchable favorites - and it’s been a minute since something new joined the ranks.

The film’s massive ensemble is led by Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, a self-made economics professor set for her fated meeting with the overseas family of her charming boyfriend Nick Young, played by a painfully dashing Henry Golding. Unbeknownst to Rachel, this family wedding getaway is about to thrust her center stage in front of one of the wealthiest families in Singapore. And all of the generational expectations and deceptive opulence that entails...

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Review: The Meg

by Chris Feil

Summer is for sharks at the multiplex and 2018 is no different. Recent highs include Blake Lively’s solo survival rendezvous with The Shallows and the lows have been last year’s spiteful low-fi 47 Meters Down. This year we get the highest concept and machoest of them all with The Meg, an amalgam of batshit tidied up into the most convincing guano bowl it can muster. But that’s fine, because witless mayhem is why you showed up in the first place. For something insane however, it isn't the whole hog disasterpiece of your schadenfreude fantasies.

And what do the shark invested waters have in store this time? Basically... a bigger shark. Consider it Mega-Shark Vs. Giant Sourpuss because we've got noted mean mugger Jason Statham at the head of this amusement ride...

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Review: "Christopher Robin"

by Chris Feil

Off in the Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh and friends haven’t changed all that much over the decades. Our Christopher Robin however is all grown up in the real world, having lost his father at a young age before fighting in the war and never returning to visit his childhood daydream oasis. Like the rest of us, he’s grown rigid in adulthood while the rest of the beloved characters remain made of plush.

With Ewan McGregor taking on the adult Christopher, his namesake film presents something as soft as his friends in both its demeanor and its substance. Unlike its recent live action Disney brethren, this film follows its own narrative and is free to explore the characters as it sees fit. And yet it chooses the most obvious one, turning Christopher into an overworked businessman devoting more of his energy to his job than his wife and daughter. Send in Pooh’s implacable chill to play savior to his once kneesocked companion’s soul.

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