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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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"Big performances and big personalities tend to have the edge. It so happens that all the acting categories this year have one or both of them. In supporting actress specifically, Janney has a bigger performance and a bigger real life personality." - Joseph

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Entries in Sally Hawkins (35)

Monday
Feb192018

Mike Leigh at 75: Happy-Go-Lucky

With Mike Leigh turning 75 tomorrow, we'll be looking at a few of his films. Here's Chris Feil

Of Mike Leigh’s many great films, Happy-Go-Lucky is perhaps the one the has grown most in its potency. Though his films reward multiple viewings, here is one that has grown all the more meaningful as the world around us has become increasingly fraught with depressing news; the benefit of positivity is at once essential and ignored. The film is both a character study of its relentlessly gleeful protagonist Poppy, played to perfection by Sally Hawkins, and about how the world works against her optimistic state of being.

The pull to submit to anger and gloom weighs heavy on our times, and an outlook like Poppy’s can seem so very far away indeed. 

Ten years on now, Happy-Go-Lucky feels prescient to the dire state of the world, as if we are becoming more like those annoyed by her cheeriness. Some of us who once saw ourselves in Poppy might have even succumbed to the numbing anger of the every day in the intervening years...

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Wednesday
Jan312018

Soundtracking: "The Shape of Water"

by Chris Feil

“You’ll never know...” Is it safe yet to discuss the musical flourish in The Shape of Water? It’s a moment that should remain unspoiled if you haven’t seen it.

Guillermo Del Toro’s interspecies romance is itself in love with the movies, and its genre bending owes as much to classic musicals as it does to Sirkian melodrama and monster movies. Even without the moment in question or Alexandre Desplat’s gorgeous score, the texture of the film recalls old Hollywood musicals from its structure to its overflowing emotionality. But Del Toro actually goes there, and unexpectedly reveals something more than an expression of love from its heroine Eliza, played by Sally Hawkins.

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Monday
Jan292018

The Furniture: Rejecting a Neon Green Future in The Shape of Water

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

“That’s the future,” the ad man says, “Green.” It’s a ridiculous observation, but it’s also a cruel way to tell Giles (Richard Jenkins) he should find somewhere else to pitch his illustrations. The future, the ad man means, is the replacement of Norman Rockwell with cartoon children selling neon, gelatinous green pie.

The Shape of Water isn’t really about pie. But this comment on 1950s advertising is a helpful key to understanding the rest of this aqueous fantasy...

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Tuesday
Jan232018

Best Dressed at SAG

by Nathaniel R

Marvel at this feat of fashion engineering. Somehow the 16 actors (+ god knows how many stylists) got together and took the title This is Us to heart and made it work. Everything was gorgeously coordinated and complimentary though not samey samey. From the royal blue throughline of the gowns to small color accents on the tuxes to the peppering of earth tones, purples, blacks, and golds to keep it vibrant and versatile. The more you look the more cohesive and beautiful it becomes. Bow down. Okay now on to the gowns... 

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Thursday
Jan182018

Blueprints: "The Shape of Water"

On the last week before the Oscar nominations are announced, Jorge takes a look at another of the potential screenplay contenders. This week, he explores a fight, in which one person has to speak both sides of dialogue.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is a fairytale about the forbidden love between a mute woman and a captive fishman. But as much as the film is about their romance, it is also about the unique friendships and relationships made by those that society has pushed to its margins for being “different”. 

Let’s take a look at one of the most memorable scenes in the film, between Sally Hawkins’ hopeful and infatuated Elisa, and her closeted gay neighbor and best friend, Giles, played by Richard Jenkins. It’s a fight where Elisa not only begs him to help her save the creature, but also to be seen and understood...

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Sunday
Jan142018

"Paddington 2" Review 

By Spencer Coile  

In theory, the first Paddington film, inspired by the Michael Bond books about a loveable bear who sports a red hat blue coat and has a penchant for marmalade, was a dangerous idea. Live-action modern tellings of classic children’s literature always runs the risk of flying off the rails – look no further than the 2003 disaster, The Cat in the Hat.

Cat in the Hat, Paddington fortunately was not. If anything, Paul King’s 2015 film provided a delightful, and importantly, timely tale about finding a place to call home. Appreciative audiences were struck with its whimsical but mature comparisons to immigration and acceptance of the Other. And luckily, fans of the first film will be pleased to know that Paddington 2 not only lives up to its predecessor, but improves upon it...

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