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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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JANE is the doc frontrunner

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Entries in Reviews (580)

Saturday
Sep162017

TIFF: "Kings" and "I, Tonya"

TIFF wraps up Sunday and since we'd like the last few pieces to be positive let's get some negativity out of the way. Here are two films which yours truly did not respond well to. One is certain to be trashed by critics and the other, though trashy, is being widely praised. But they're both bad.

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Friday
Sep152017

Review: Darren Aronofsky's "mother!"

This review contains mild spoilers from the first half of the film since everything is essentially a spoiler given the cryptic promotions. The review was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

“Baby?” is the first line spoken in Darren Aronofsky’s new film mother!  but not its first image. The film begins with a defiant girl burning in a house consumed by fire. Javier Bardem collects a gem from the ashes. He places it on a shelf with other less brilliant but similar gems and we watch as the house restores itself from blackened ash. What to make of this rebirth… or is it a timelapse reversal of the destruction? Are we seeing the future or the past?

Cut to Jennifer Lawrence, waking up suddenly in bed. Where is her husband?

Baby?

While Lawrence is the star she’s a cypher-like presence in this particular film (new for her) a mostly passive figure to whom the action happens... We learn very little about her marriage besides the fact that he is a writer and she spends her time restoring their massive home.

Then a knock on the door…

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF: Glenn Close is "The Wife"

our ongoing adventures at TIFF. An abdriged version of this review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad.

Film festivals nearly always provide curious dialogues between films that you weren't expecting. On the same day on the exact same screen at TIFF I managed to see two films about female writers and the male writers in their lives who take up all the oxygen (and praise) in the room. Who would have thought that a film about the origins of Frankenstein (just discussed) and a star vehicle for Glenn Close in Stockholm would have so much in common? 

THE WIFE (Björn Runge)
Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) is a longsuffering wife who would bristle at that very description. She's married to a famous novelist Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) and their homophonic names are no coincidence. The silver-haired couple have been together for nearly half a century and are inseparable if not quite interchangeable...

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF Discovery: A Shirley Henderson Master Class and a Wild Argentinian Family

by Sean Donovan

The films featured in TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ section are sometimes given short shrift by the festival at large. Already arriving with the disadvantage of being announced last, and thereby with the least amount of time for anticipation to brew, these small modest productions (many of which are debut features for their directors) are easily buried underneath the hype of awards season giants and glitzy red carpets. If that’s the macro view of things, in micro the audiences that find their way to ‘Discovery’ films are incredibly eager and excited, anxious for the chance to look at films that may never find healthy distribution outside of festival spaces. Here are two of the absolute highlights of TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ program:

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Thursday
Sep142017

Review: Brad's Status

by Murtada

Brad’s Status, the new film from Mike White (the creator of Enlightened and the writer of Chuck And Buck) is about a forty-something man’s emotional crisis. That information made me giddy with anticipation. Could White have come up with the male version of Amy Jellicoe in Ben Stiller’s Brad Sloan? Are we in for an emotional ride with a polarizing but endearing character with rough but compulsively watchable qualities?

Alas, no. If you were expecting all that, I’d say go in with tempered expectations...

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Wednesday
Sep132017

TIFF: Notes on Oscar hopefuls "Darkest Hour" and "Downsizing"

Detroit may have bombed but the letter "D" could still reign come Oscar time with Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, and Downsizing all potential Best Picture players. Though it can sometimes feel gross to discuss rich movies from an Oscar perspective before they've even been considered as films, it happens to us all this time of year and the films invite it with their slow rollouts from festival reviews that result in months of discussion and speculation before the public can buy tickets. In other words: Look what they made me us do!

DOWNSIZING
After 'miniature masterpiece' style reviews at Venice the critics got considerably chillier with Alexander Payne's latest once it hit Telluride. Now the film is playing in Toronto and the reviews continue to be mixed. This could spell trouble for the film, but be patient. Initial reviews are only part of the Oscar equation...

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