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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 Screenplays (92)

Sunday
Oct192014

Thoughts I Had... The "Big Eyes" Poster

We finally have a poster for Tim Burton's Big Eyes. Herewith some thoughts as they came to me.

• "Visionary Director" would be so much more impressive as a description if it weren't so overused.
• "Big Eyes" could well describe lots of celebrities: Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried, Marty Feldman*, Heather Graham, Jake Gyllenhaal, Susan Sarandon, Anne Hathaway, Sailor Moon.
• Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams have Normal-Sized Eyes but that will never be a film title. The only person in this cast with gargantuan eyeballs is Krysten Ritter
The tag line is basic but it does cleverly have a double meaning with the last bit "... and everyone bought it" 
• A lot of people seem to be sure that this one won't be a major Oscar player but apart from test screenings (a notoriously unreliable source of info) no one has seen it so it's one of our mystery movies when it comes to the competition this year.
• The Big Eyes team, cast and crew, has been nominated for 37 Oscars and won 7 (most of those for Waltz & Colleen Atwood). 
• Why do they always make ginger movie stars blondes when the movies take place in the 1950s? There were actually more gingers back then statistically. (And I don't want any "Amy Adams isn't a natural ginger!" backtalk in the comments -don't be literal!)
• It's fun that the screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski get such prominent yellow billing at the bottom. We'll pretend it's a retroactive thank you for Ed Wood (1994) rather than a contractual negotiation! 

*Just wanted to see if you were paying attention

Sunday
Oct052014

Interview: Matthew Warchus (Pride, God of Carnage, Matilda The Musical) on Stage and Screen Transfers

Portions of this interview originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad discussing "Pride," the year's most adorable movie. This is the full interview with additional topics, Matilda the Musical's upcoming film adaptation chief among them.

If you didn't get to cinemas these past two weekends, the year's most adorable movie is still waiting for you, eager to please. Pride has been playing New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco but will add new cities next Friday. I expect all Film Experiencers to turn out for it! If you've read my review (aka paragraphs of me drooling on the movie) you'll know it's the true life LGBT story of a group of activists in the 1980s that stood up for striking miners during Margaret Thatcher’s bullying reign. The film is looking to be a "word of mouth" hit in miniature, but CBS Films plans to nurture it towards larger sleeper status. They'll be expanding carefully.

Two weeks back I had the opportunity to talk with the director Matthew Warchus who had just attended a pre-release screening with a "tumultous reaction" in LA. The 46 year old director, a stage veteran and Tony winner, recently replaced Kevin Spacey as the artistic director of the Old Vic so he isn't leaving the boards, he's just multi-tasking. He's already working on his follow up to Pride, a big screen adaptation of the Tony nominated hit Matilda: The Musical.

I talked to him about both projects, his stage directing skill set and how it affects his film work and how he approaches moving a property across mediums.

NATHANIEL R: You’ve done a lot of stage work before this. What do you think most prepared you for to tell this particular story and on film? 

MATTHEW WARCHUS: One great bit of preparation: I grew up in a village in the middle of nowhere in the North of England surrounded by coal mines and massively isolated. We had moved into that village so we were outsiders, wanting to to assimilate and be accepted. That gave me an understanding of how those communities work and the positives and minuses.

[Adapting musicals, sharing Pride, and more after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep252014

Review: 'Pride,' the Year's Most Adorable Movie

This article originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here with their permission...

Truth is stranger-than-fiction and also often gayer. The new feature PRIDE dramatizes a largely unknown historical anecdote from the bitter year-long miner’s strike in Thatcher-era Britain when a group of gay activists fundraised for the miners. This alliance is at first an awkward tense match but it eventually finds heartwarming pockets of oxygen when these two unlikely groups are breathing the same air.

It begins with a handful of gay activists (“and lesbian!” their only female member interjects with a small wave in a recurring joke), notice a sudden decline in police bullying in their neighborhood. They make the connection: the conservative government has a new minority to scapegoat. They form a group called LGSM “Lesbians and Gays for the Striking Miners” to help the people suffering without paychecks for months on end — a byproduct of Margaret Thatcher’s war against the unions.

At first, though, these gay heroes can’t even find a miner’s group that will take their money in this cross culture dramedy. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep242014

We Hereby Officially Name Today "Best Original Screenplay Birthday Day"

Pedro holding up a copy of his "Bad Education" screenplayToday's Useless Trivia! Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Oscar nominated writers of contemporary cinema share this birthday: Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Pedro Almodóvar (Talk To Her), Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles), and John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator). Only Pedro has won for writing (though Bird is also a multiple Oscar-winner) but it's a neat and weird coincidence, yes?

TWO QUESTIONS
What's your favorite Almodóvar screenplay (besides Talk To Her that is which rightfully scooped up the Oscar)?

Do you think Brad Bird deserved to win Original Screenplay in his years at bat (2004 and 2007) 

P.S. You guessed it: This year's Oscar Chart Updates for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted are now available.

Sunday
Sep142014

TIFF: "Still Alice," or Adjust Your Best Actress Charts

The final TIFF feature review. Whew, 25 films screened and written up. And all by closing night! Please give me a round of applause in the comments. I've never been this successful at managing a festival and comments are the only way I know you're appreciating it.

When we first meet Dr Alice Howland in this fine film adapated from the bestseller by Lisa Genova, she is celebrating her 50th birthday. She's happily married to Dr. John Howland (Alec Baldwin) with three grown children whom she adores though she isn't exactly a perfect mother or wife, at least as defined by your typical movie woman, in which case she'd be inordinately obsessed with her husband and children's particulars. In fact, she almost entirely defines herself by her own career and skills (imagine that!) as a respected linguistics professor.  She values articulate communication and higher education and maybe she isn't super imaginative about other forms of expression. In fact, she's downright dismissive about her youngest daughter Lydia's (Kristen Stewart) interest in acting. She gives her a continual hard time about her education and career and is frustratingly absent from all of Lydia's minor triumphs. 

More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug312014

Yes No Maybe So: "The Rewrite"

Hugh Grant returns to the romantic comedy genre in "The Rewrite". Here's Matthew Eng to break it down for us in our Yes No Maybe So way


YES

• Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei
• Let me say it again. Marisa. Tomei. I’ll take her wherever I can get her, and I’d watch The Rewrite if only as a dolled-up delivery system for the most undervalued Oscar-winning actress working today. Why active, actress-friendly directors like David O. Russell and Woody Allen have yet to scoop her up and make a comedic muse out of her is totally beyond comprehension. She’s moving, miffed, and magnificent in Love is Strange, giving a pitch-perfect supporting performance, in the purest sense of the term. And she seems to be serving up her usual best here (i.e. rich, relaxed, and revealing character work) and top-lining (!) the damn thing as Hugh Grant’s older screenwriting pupil/inevitable love interest and she also seems to have a scene where she adorably re-creates the “Born to Hand Jive” scene from Grease with two little girls, and so for that and for My Marisa, I’ll be there.

more and the trailer itself after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug012014

Podcast: A Smackdown Companion w/ Dana Delany

Dana Delany loves talking movies! You can see her next in "Hand of God" on Amazon PrimeYou've read the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1973. Now hear its companion Podcast 

On this special episode of the podcast -- meant to enhance and extend the current Supporting Actress Smackdown conversation to include the films themselves -- Nathaniel welcomes two time Emmy winner Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives, Body of Proof), as well as EW editor at large and "Five Came Back" author Mark Harris, "You Must Remember This" podcast goddess Karina Longworth, Bill Chambers from Film Freak Central, and Kyle Turner from The Movie Scene.

You'll want to listen to this one. Trust me on this: your week will not be complete until you hear Dana's Sylvia Sidney impression and Mark's childhood Exorcist story. 

Smackdown 1973
00:01 Introductions
02:45 American Graffiti: nostalgia, sexism, George Lucas, actors vs screenplay
13:15 Summer Wishes Winter Dreams: New Yorkers and Joanne Woodward's psyche
20:30 Paper Moon: Tatum O'Neal and the matter of child actors
23:15 The Exorcist: assembled performances, stand-ins, horror subjectivity
29:45 "Collaborative Performances" Andy Serkis & Linda Blair
34:00 We share childhood stories about seeing scary/adult movies
40:00 Behind the Scenes history & Dana talks Emmys & the awards circus
45:35 Paper Moon: Madeline Kahn, great screenplays, category fraud, and films about The Great Depression 
55:00 Final Questions / Goodbyes 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

NEXT ON THE SMACKDOWN: 1989 on August 31st

Smackdown Companion 1973