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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in ScarJo (61)

Wednesday
Dec032014

Red Carpet Lineup: Gotham's Revenge of the Nineties

NATHANIEL: Hello dear readers. I'm pleased to announce the return of the Red Carpet Lineup series for awards season kicking off with The Gotham Awards. It's the fashion series for people who don't care who people are wearing so much as who be doing the wearing. This season I'm happy to say that two ladies who could walk the red carpet themselves are joining me: TFE's Los Angeles Branch divas Anne Marie & Margaret.

I'm calling this post "Revenge of the Nineties" because look at all these Nineties A-Listers? or at least B+ Listers (hi Heather Graham!) lighting up the room again.

UMA, ROLLERGIRL, RENE, FAMKE, and KEENER

MARGARET: I love the variety. Whatever else you can say about these outfits, they all should have felt pretty confident they weren't going to see anyone else showing up in the same thing.

NATHANIEL: I have a 100% certainty about which of these outfits Anne Marie would wear (The Russo - ding ding ding) but Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

ANNE MARIE:  I'm actually wearing Rene Russo's jacket right now. How awkward...

NATHANIEL: ...But Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

MARGARET: I think I'd go with Ms. Janssen's ensemble. All of these outfits are A Lot of Look, but that kicky little mini-dress looks easiest to pull off without mega-star-wattage, plus it provides a welcome dash of color in a neutral-heavy lineup.

NATHANIEL: Awww, "kicky" is my favorite underused adjective and Famke is one of my favorite underused stars

ANNE MARIE: Speaking of A Lot Of Look, what exactly is going on with Catherine Keener? Is that a dress? A coat? I like it in concept, but in execution it looks like a boxy reject from AHS: Coven

Broken toes, Alien haircuts, and secrets to luscious movie star hair after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec012014

Gotham Awards 2014. The Winners...

Will it be Birdman, Boyhood, Love is Strange, Grand Budapest Hotel, or Under the Skin tonight? Read on for the winners and commentary.   

8:01 Uma Thurman the awards host is even more mannered than Uma Thurman the actress. Who knew? (I love Uma so I can say that. If you're no Umaphile you'd best shut it! 

8:14 IFP is bragging about IFP. Which is okay. This is the raison d'etre of Awards Bodies essentially.

8:18 First Uma, now Heather Graham? It's getting very 90s up in herrre.

8:20 I've been pronouncing "Riz" wrong in "Riz Ahmed" as it turns out. Breakthrough Actor goes to Tessa Thompson in Dear White People. P.S. She's also really good in Selma. I love that they announce the juries. This prize was given by Shane Carruth, Michael B Jordan, Ron Simons and two actresses we love up in herre Famke Janssen & Brie Larson

8:25 Ana Lily Amirpour wins Breakthrough Director for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The other much-raved debut horror film from a woman this year (The Babadook wasn't nominated). Her acceptance speech is awesome. 

Tilda Swinton here and I'm like... GODDESS! Maybe if I can meet her and take a photo with her...

8:30 Meryl Streep is here to talk up Foxcatcher and give it a special prize for ensemble. She seems to really love it. Calls Channing Tatum a...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug132014

Podcast: Boyhood & Lucy

The gangs back together! It's a Joe, Nick, Katey & Nathaniel reunion. We rarely get all four of us together anymore but this week we're discussing Luc Besson's Lucy and Richard Linklater's Boyhood, and, super briefly: tree frogs, forever bangs, green lantern, Interior Leather Bar and Guardians of the Galaxy.

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. We'll continue this particular conversation again tomorrow. We just kept talking (not about these two movies) so there's a bit more to come.

Lucy & Boyhood

Sunday
Jul272014

Scarlett's Weekend. What Did You See?

Amir here, with the weekend’s Scarlett Johansson re Box Office report

‘twas a battle between two kickass heroes at the multiplex this weekend, and the The Rock’s old school muscles and sword and sandals fell to the fierce power of ScarJo and the wonder of technology. Lucy beat Hercules to top the weekend. Those weren’t the only new releases that entered the top ten: the anonymously titled And So It Goes starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas started with a tepid $2k per screen average for the slightly older crowd, while A Man Most Wanted did really solid business on only 361 screens. Experts are currently analyzing whether the audience interest stems from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performance or the work of Iranian character actor Homayoun Ershadi.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 LUCY $44 *NEW* Trailer thoughts
02 HERCULES $29 *NEW* 
03 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $16.4 (cum. $172) Review
04 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $9.8 (cum. $51.2)
05 PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE $9.3 (cum. $35.1) 
06 SEX TAPE $5.9 (cum. $26.8)
07 TRANSF4RMERS $4.6 (cum. $236.3)
08 AND SO IT GOES $4.5 *NEW*
09 TAMMY $3.4 (cum. $78.1) Review
10 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.7 *NEW*

and...
11 22 JUMP STREET $2.5 (cum. $185.6) Podcast
12 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $2.2 (cum. $165.6) best movie dragons
13 MALEFICENT $1.7 (cum. $232.1) Podcast
14 BOYHOOD $1.7 (cum. $4.1) review
15 BEGIN AGAIN $1.5 (cum. $12.3) top ten thus far

But the real star of the weekend is surely Johansson. What a difference a couple of years can make. After the promise of her early years, for nearly a decade it seemed like she would never be able to fulfill her potential. But consider what she has given us in the past 10 months: two Oscar-worthy performances in Don Jon and Under the Skin, a wildly acclaimed voice performance in Her, the only positive element of the otherwise forgettable Winter Soldier and an ensemble part in the surprise hit Chef. In the process she’s worked with two of America's hottest auteurs and proved her acting chops in a variety of genres. It’s almost impossible to think the same actress is behind both the gum-sporting Jersey girl Barbara Sugarman and the nameless alien of Skin. If the final piece of the puzzle of her resurgence was to show that she can carry a film to box office success without the help of other spandex-clad superheroes, Lucy seems to have given us the answer. With exciting reports that she’s in talks with Coen Brothers to join the cast of Hail, Caesar!, there are no signs of her slowing down. Long may her reign continue!

On the limited end of things, Woody Allen’s new film, Magic in the Moonlight, received the customary Allen treatment of opening in very few locations to very strong per screen average on its way to wide release. Furthermore, in line with the other recent Allen tradition of making one dud for every hit, Magic has so far ended on the lower side of the spectrum, critically speaking. I haven’t yet seen it, so I’ll reserve judgment until I do. Unless it suffers the same fate as You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, which means I’ll never find out.

What did you watch this weekend?

Tuesday
Jul152014

Tues Top Twenty: Halfway Hotties (Best of 2014)

The power of list compels me! Yes, yes, I need to move on from halfway mark madness (we've previously covered best visuals, best acting, best sounds, and best movies) since they're already out of date and it's been so busy what with chart updates (in progress), Emmy nominations, Smackdown panel announcements, Dawn of the Planet and Apes, Boyhood. We need to be back in THE NOW. But I'm dragging my feet mostly because I really like what 2014's been giving. I'm crushing on it hard and thinking about asking it to go steady. 

This is the final halfway mark list. A shorter version of it was published in my column at Towleroad which happens to be "a site with homosexual tendencies" but I've significantly altered it for you because you are all movie mad and the best moviegoers are polysexual when it comes to lusting after big screen beauty.

Why aren't old favorites in this list?
This list is dedicated to Steve Rogers' impossibly broad shoulders and Natasha Romanoff's awesome cleavage (it was generous of Scarlett to unzip for that helicopter scene, don't you think?) but here's the thing. Doing the same shtick over and over again is not sexy. It's like choosing between missionary style and horizontal with man on top. So I've determined that people are totally ineligible if we've seen them do their character multiple times so no franchise babes that aren't newbies or signifantly altered.

Why isn't Marion Cotillard's Immigrant on this list?
Because we'd feel guilty if we lusted after beautiful Polish immigrants who are tricked into becoming sad whores to provide for their sickly sister.

20 HOTTEST ACTOR/CHARACTERS OF 2014 

 

20 Tom Hiddleston as “The Great Escapo” in Muppets Most Wanted
Boyfriend Material?: Great sense of humor. Into light bondage to spice things up. Looks fiiiiine in a pair of longjohns. Is, to date, the only performance in the Muppets 35 year franchise that’s likely to cause pervy crotch-focused gifs on the internet.
Dealbreaker: Probably in a Russian gulag for a reason

 

19 Nick Thurston as “Blue Eyes” in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
Boyfriend Material?: "Blue Eyes" is right... so soulful. This one's for the plushies... but not the bears. Blue Eyes hates the bears. Easily manipulated (a plus for you control freaks). Plus scars can make you strong / give you character. 
Dealbreaker: Limited conversationalist. Daddy issues.

18 more AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul102014

Halfway Pt. 5 Best Performances

Are you getting restless about all these halfway posts? We're almost done. The Power of List compels me. There's one more halfway post to go that's basically 'The Oscar Charts are Updated!' as the coding problem I mentioned is fixed and the updates are happening behind the scenes as you read this. We must get all this halfway business behind us by Saturday morning so that we can ape out all weekend with Andy Serkis & Co and start this second half of the year off right.

Herewith...

THE GREATEST PERFORMANCES OF 2014's FIRST HALF


BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Keira Knightley does her most relaxed and fluid work ever in Begin Again as a musician at a crossroads, never letting any one aspect of the character's situation pigeonhole her emotional responses; Agata Kulesza is an abrasive and evasive presence in her first scenes in Ida as a cynical woman who is too guarded to let her affection for the niece she's just met show but the performance keeps revealing more in each scene, like a window opening up; Luminita Gheorghiu sure can hold the camera and doesn't care what you think of her complicated often unpleasant character in Child's Pose; Marion Cotillard often silent and soulful performance in The Immigrant as a Polish woman who is lured into servitude (sexual and otherwise) is a beauty; and Scarlett Johansson proves herself quite the auteur vessel in her enigmatic, curious, unpredictable, sexual and unsettlingly "off" star turn in Under the Skin.

(This was so difficult to narrow down from ten so my apologies to: Emily Blunt who gives one of the great bad-ass performances even if there's not a lot to her Edge of Tomorrow role beyond that; Angelina Jolie who gifts her wicked witch Maleficent with subtle and unfamiliar affections as well as her usual screen presence for days; Gugu Mbatha-Raw who is so beautiful when righteously aggrieved as Belle; Jenny Slate plays abrasive stand-up well and is even better at believable impulsive decision making on the fly in Obvious Child; and Agata Trzebuchowska as the silent and watchful Ida - and yes both actresses from Ida are named Agata which is funny considering the polar oppositeness.)

BEST LEADING ACTOR: Russell Crowe reminds us he's a movie star with his commanding title performance in Noah, a strange collision of righteous pacifism and violent obsessivenessRalph Fiennes is brilliant as the perfect concierge in Grand Budapest Hotel not quite playing against type but subverting his usual sophisticated cad with new comic energy and a remarkably innocent carnality; It's Jake Gyllenhaal versus Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy and it's easy to tell the characters apart (and argue about preferences) which is a real coup for this perpetually underrated if well employed actor; And finally James McAvoy seriously owns X-Men: Days of Future Past in his second go-round as Professor Xavier, never phoning it in (always a danger with reprisals... his co-stars are much flatter than before) and absolutely committing to the genre, the emotional logic of the highly convoluted plotline and Xavier's combustible feelings for his co-stars and his desire not to feel at all.

 (...and I'm going to stop there at four since I cheated on the next category with six though please note that I also appreciated the work of Aaron Paul who is believably limited in the parental skills department as a grieving widower in Hellion, Pierre Deladonchamps who serves Stranger by the Lake's vision with unobtrusive being on camera as opposite to "Acting!", Chris Evans minimalist but effective leading man skills twice over in Captain America: The Winter Snowpiercer and Colin Firth's Firthishness as filtered through PTSD and bookishness in The Railway Man.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: I cheated with six women (Shut up! I don't do such things once we get official. You know that by now.) but at the moment I'm going with Jillian Bell who is so much the comic MVP of 22 Jump Street that it positively hurts... like a punch to the face; Rose Byrne who is sharp, sexy, funny and alive to all the ways she refuses to play a stock wife character in Neighbors; Laura Dern, The Face, who gives The Fault in Our Stars its most genuine tears; Gaby Hoffman who is a complicating but also soothing and sobering presence (neat trick) in the funny Obvious Child; Scarlett Johansson in Captain America 2 who is getting better and better all the time (and she was no slouch at the start) and proves it by upping her Black Widow game every damn time infusing character, layers and specificity into the mandatory surface sexiness and showmanship; and I'm holding a spot open for Uma Thurman in Nymphomaniac because.... well... let's talk about that one next week since both Volumes just came out on DVD.

(I'd tip my hat to several other ladies too -- how much time do you have? -- but none were quite on this level so let's not list them all. But please know that this does not mean that I am any less obsessed with Tilda (who was possibly genius but also possibly bad... I'm still deciding... in Snowpiercer) or Nicole (whose role was a dud even if her performance wasn't in The Railway Man, sorry about it.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: May I abstain? No. Fine... I guess I'd go with Patrick D'Assumçao for fish-out-of-water directness and unfussy depression in Stranger by the Lake; Song Kang-Ho for embracing the selfish agenda of his character while giving generously to the spark of Snowpiercer; Adam Levine for surprisingly natural ease with acting in Begin Again - no false notes; and Jeff Goldblum and Tony Revolori from Grand Budapest Hotel though I should see the film again before justifying those names with any explicit commentary on their performances; And I'd make those five choices while glancing over at Scoot McNairy (The Rover), Jeremy Renner (The Immigrant), Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), Christopher Walken (Jersey Boys), Jake Lacy (Obvious Child), and everyone else in Snowpiercer and wishing all dozen or so men either had more complicated characters to play, more screen time to prove themselves, or were just a bit more transcendent of the limitations of their roles. I like all of these performances but it's been an uneventful year in this particular category. 

LIMITED OR CAMEO ACTRESS: Emma Levie is somehow malevolent and frightening without doing much at all in Snowpiercer; Alison Pill is an atypical joy in one of Snowpiercer's oddest scenes; Susan Prior does a lot with a very little in her extended scene in The Rover as a dog loving doctor - the movie doesn't care about her but she sure cares about the movie; Charlotte Rampling wows and completely elevates Young & Beautiful in one of its last scenes; and Tilda Swinton is sublime and memorable as the horny ancient heiress in Grand Budapest Hotel who sets the plot in motion.

LIMITED OR CAMEO ACTOR: Matthew Goode is believably progressive and stalwart in a very short bit in Belle; Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton are great fun in their small roles in Grand Budapest Hotel; Luke Pasqualino is magnetic in a nearly silent role in Snowpiercer; and Craig Roberts is hilariously deadpan as "Ass Juice" in the raunchy comedy Neighbors

And I'll end with a tweet about Luke Pasqualino because it's uncool that more people aren't talking about him...

 

 

Oh wait one more...
BEST ENSEMBLE: Grand Budapest Hotel; Neighbors; Obvious Child; Snowpiercer; Young and Beautiful

YOUR TURN. Which performances and characters were you just wild for in these past six months?