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Best Actress -- Who will be nominated?
Davis? Blunt? Adams? Chastain?

"I'm glad everyone is cheering Fences on, but I feel that people are overestimating its Oscar potential. The furor reminds me of when people were going ga-ga for August: Osage County. " - Jes

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Entries in sex scenes (60)

Tuesday
Apr192016

Best Shot: The Beguiled (1971)

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot subject is Don Siegel's fascinating whatsit called The Beguiled (1971). It's little like Siegel's other collaborations with his muse Clint Eastwood and assigning it to a genre is also difficult both of which might explain its fairly quiet reputation. With the news coming that Sofia Coppola will soon be remaking it, our eyes drank every frame up. And wow is this story of a wounded Yankee grifter in A Confederate girl's school ripe for a revisit. You might say that imagining how Coppola's halflidded female gaze might view this is nearly as exciting as the movie itself but in some ways it already feels like a Sofia Coppola film. Profound interest in sensual and anthropological gazing at the desires of women who can't articulate their desires? Check!

Some of the English language posters are hilariously false, suggesting it's a shoot-em-up manly western. One poster actually has four men on it when Eastwood is the only man of significance in the movie and practically the entire film involves a group of women buzzing around and hypnotized by the sick man in their midst. So I've illustrated with a French poster that feels right.

Best Shot choices are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar232016

Reader's Choice: Cruel Intentions (1999)

Wednesday nights are now devoted to you. We'll alternate between a Q&A and a Reader's Choice Movie. So you are essentially picking the topics each week. We started with Gattaca but y'all kept asking for Cruel Intentions so here we are again.


Believe it or not, I've never seen Cruel Intentions (1999) so I gladly accept the multiple requests to discuss. This is written and directed by someone named Roger Kumble and the name did not ring a bell. It turns out he's still working, mostly on television and he's working on a TV sequel to this very movie. I missed this news somehow but Sarah Michelle Gellar is reprising her role so this post is more timely than I meant it to be.

The credits also inform us that it's only "suggested by" Dangerous Liaisons.  That's a fancy word for adapted if you want to compete in Original Screenplay at the Oscars. (Not that this teen picture had any such designs.) I'm not sure if you know this but Dangerous Liaisons (1988) is one of my all time favorite movies. And Swoosie Kurtz is in this one, too! We begin with her as Sebastian Valmont's (Ryan Phillipe) therapist. Her broad gestures and funny notes remind us that this is a comedy. Of sorts. 

Swoosie, an unlikely victim in both Dangerous Liaisons movie

In both movies Swoosie is the mother of someone who couldn't have possibly come from her womb: Uma Thurman in the 1988 movie and Tara Reid in this movie -- so, downgrade. Tara must have been left on the editing room floor because this photo is all we see of her

His therapist is immune to young Sebastian's charms but she learns as he's leaving that her daughter wasn't. She screams at her nasty patient as he leaves the building and he flashes her this baby devil grin. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar162016

HBO’s LGBT History: Girls (2012-)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at Back on Board: Greg Louganis, a doc that traced the life story of the (now) out gay Olympic diver. That meant that for two straight weeks we’ve been looking back at the latter half of the twentieth century (previously we talked about Robert De Niro’s gay father), and so to shake it up we’re talking Girls this week. Well, the boy in Girls, but still.

With its new season well on its way, and with Elijah (played deliciously by Andrew Rannells) given a heck of a love interest this past week, I couldn't help but write up this most recent episode rather than reach further back. As always when we dip our toes into television we’re focusing on one episode and really, I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried seeing as “Old Loves” allows us to talk about Elijah within the confines of a burgeoning relationship and talk about that very steamy (if hilarious) sex scene. The title of the episode, as Lena Dunham has explained elsewhere, is a nod to the Tumblr of the same name which is name-dropped in the episode that puts up pictures of old celebrity couples (Tom Green & Drew Barrymore! Matt Damon & Winona Ryder! Thandie Newton & Brad Pitt!). But it is the “new” love in the episode that will be our focus today.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb272016

Film Bitch Awards - Best Scenes of Multiple Kinds

We're nearly finished* with 2015 Film Bitch Awards, our own annual year in review yearbook/party and of imaginary Oscar ballot (well, half of it is that). Today the remainder of our Best Scene categories with six final scene categories. This group hands more nominations to films from the top ten list of course but for highlights to point out here on the blog before you click over, we're using films outside the top ten list. 

Obviously this page (and post) of awards contains mild spoilers so if you haven't seen the films and wish to stay pure, these are not the awards categories you're looking for. Here is one nominee I felt the need to gab about (maybe you will too?) from each category...

BEST KISS
While Creed was mostly ignored by the Academy, chances are its big box office (which significantly outgrossed Stallone's last two attempts are reigniting the franchise) will insure a big career for Michael B Jordan. Can Tessa Thompson hope for the same (it's always trickier for actresses of color)? They're wonderful together. Especially endearing is the scene in her apartment where Adonis makes up a godawful wrap and they end up collapsed on the floor, caught up in the moment. It's an upside down shot from above and they're something beautifully innocent and pure but also sexy about this kiss. (Later they'll bring the heat in a proper sex scene at Rocky's house. "but what about your Uncle?" / "He old!" Ha!)

SEX SCENE
Angelina Jolie's third directorial effort By the Sea was mercilessly trashed upon arrival but this was always going to be its fate. The Jolie-Pitts are extremely mainstream-famous. And household name blockbuster stars that the public has longed to see paired again onscreen aren't supposed to reunite for an indulgent overly serious tribute to Euro art cinema of the 1970s. That's for the other kind of movie star, like the Julianne Moores and the Ryan Goslings of the world, whose filmographies are built on eclectic sensibilities and crisscrossing between the ittybitty and the giant. But By the Sea isn't without its moments. The best scene, repeated in different forms like a musical riff, is when the couple sits on the floor in their hotel room and shyly watches another younger couple (Melanie Laurent & Melvil Poupaud) make love in the next room through a peephole. It's beautifully sympathetic and tragicomic, an estranged couple tiptoeing back to intimacy through surrogates.


OPENING SCENE
David O. Russell's Joy is an easy movie to quibble with. It often feels like five different movies that haven't reconciled themselves. This problem (?) is embedded right in its prologue which jumps from inside a stylized soap opera, to Diane Ladd's wonderfully expressive fable-like narration, and back to the soap opera but this time "outside" of it through a TV set, and into little Joy's bedroom where she makes a castle and theorizes about her possible superpower (maybe she doesn't need a Prince?). Ladd's Grandma guides us through this collision of styles and ideas with an expertly dropped line about Joy's creativity that doubles as a guide to how to watch and make ambitious movies.

The patience to figure it out."

Will Joy grow on us with time? Perhaps it might. Perhaps we quibbled too much. Perhaps Russell didn't have the patience to truly figure this one out but there's a lot to figure therein.

ENDING
Spotlight may have the most mellow finale we've ever nominated in this category but there's something about its sober work ethic and the core ensemble wide shot, with Walter "Robby" Robinson centered, that really lands emotionally and elevates the film. His phone rings and they all just return to work. Where they've always been.

Spotlight..."

CREDIT SEQUENCE
I've been disappointed these last few years that it's more and more common for films to have virtually no credits at the beginning and double up at the ending. So shout out to Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation which has great opening and closing credits. The opening credits would be spoiler-alert central if they didn't come at you so aggressively with machine-gun montage speed. The ending credits are even more stylish --both an homage to the TV show and film appropriate -- with action frames from the film outlined by the wicks of time bombs; this movie is a blast.

[Read more about these two sequences at The Art of the Title.] 

MISCELLANIA - A DOZEN FAVORITE SCENES
When writing about the Film Bitch Awards I often revisit a whole bunch of movies in clip forms, particularly the earlier releases that are blurry int he memory. Here we are at the end of the prize-giving and here comes Diary of a Teenage Girl and it suddenly looks just as good as everyone claimed it to be (I was previously in the admired but only admired camp). It was easy to turn certain movies off after checking the scene in question but I kept getting sucked into this film, as if it were the first time. One of the best moments is an animated interlude "The Making of Harlot" where a 'Beautiful Junior,' getting it on with Minnie, remarks upon her aggressive sexuality with something like judgment in his voice (though he's benefitting). Giant Minnie, holding him in her King Kong paw, turns away, with a single teardrop and casts him aside. True movie magic.

THE COMPLETE "BEST SCENES" CHART

* Only three categories left to announce (Limited Roles x2 & Line Readings). Can you believe we're actually going to finish this year before the Oscars**?! Wheeee. We'll announce those three categories plus all the Gold Silver and Bronze medals at some point in the next 24, ya dig?

** Okay technically I won't have finished, damnit. I never named the Animated Feature nominees (we only go 3-wide here) because I was trying to see Boy and The World before voting. So we'll be finished with everything but that category.

Tuesday
Nov172015

Small Screen MVPs: The Leftovers, Transparent, Black-ish and more...

Each week or so we're asking member of Team Experience to share the MVP of whatever they've been watching on TV lately. The MVP may be a prop, a theme, a person, or a collective. In past episodes we've talked The Flash and Bob's Burgers, The Walking Dead and The Knick and a handful of others. Now five more shows hit our collective eyeballs. Maybe you're watching them?

The Leftovers' Showrunners
The first season of The Leftovers made for difficult but extremely rewarding viewing. But nothing could have prepared us for the show's second season, which has been more daring, more ambitious, and yes, even more difficult than the first. Take the season premiere, which spent its first nine minutes telling a prehistoric tale of a cavewoman and her infant child, before shifting to present-day Jarden, TX - thousands of miles away from the show's previous setting of Mapleton, NY. When characters we finally knew appeared, they were treated as supporting characters. And it wasn't until the fourth episode of the season that we finally came back to the opening scene's lake in the aftermath of the premiere-ending earthquake during which that entire lake and at least three girls disappeared. 

The sixth episode "Lens" was a killer dual showcase for the Emmy-worthy Carrie Coon and Regina King... More plus Transparent, The Mindy Project, and Black-ish after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct302015

Links: Oscar, Kubrick, Jones, Knightley, and Ado Annie

Playbill Reviews are in for Keira Knightley's Broadway turn in Therese Raquin
Variety Nicole Kidman lines up a new thriller Silent Wife. The good news is the director is Adrian Lyne who is great with actresses: see Fatal Attraction & Unfaithful
Just Jared Jonathan Groff dies of happiness when Beyoncé pays him a compliment 


Brooklyn Mag pornish art films before Gaspar Noé's Love
Pajiba Patton Oswalt ranks the GOP candidates with D&D statistics 
Pajiba Quentin Tarantino vs. Cops. Ugly business.
My New Plaid Pants Rachel McAdams, Serious Journalist (via Spotlight

The Superverse
Variety talks to superhero loving TV megaproducer Greg Berlanti (The Flash and Supergirl are big hits ... but they aren't even his first superhero shows - remember that Incredibles/Fantastic4 ripoff called No Ordinary Family?)
Empire lots of new Suicide Squad photos 
Coming Soon Matthew McConaughey turns Marvel villain role down - I mean wouldn't you? Their villains suck
Tracking Board Li Bingbing (not to be confused with fashion icon X-Men actress Fan Bingbing) will supposedly headline a superhero film called Realm which is an original idea of Stan Lee's. It's a long ways off since the script isn't even written yet. Li Bingbing has previously appeared in action films like the recent installments of the Transformers and Resident Evil series

Oscar Mania
Movie City News Why The Martian is the movie to beat for Best Pic at the Oscars
Awards Daily Time to take Room seriously as a Best Pic winner? 
In Contention on the costume design Oscar race

Trailer Tease
After lots of teasing -- and we're sick of teasing! -- a real trailer finally emerged for Netflix's Daredevil followup, Marvel's Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter. ICYMI it goes like so...

(On a personal note it'll be interesting to watch this one as for once I have no connection to the comic books. So much of contemporary comic book cinema and television is based on characters who've been around since before most of us were born. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are practically octogenarians. Most of the Marvel superstars at the movies recently hit the half century mark. Etcetera. Jessica Jones didn't emerge in comic books until 2001 long after I had stopped reading them so I have no idea what to expect. )

Must See Mashup
This one is from some place called "GumpTV" which I hope isn't inspired by Forrest himself (blech). The short is called "The Red Drum Getaway" and it pits Hitchcock's Jimmy Stewart against the sinister auteurism of Stanley Kubrick. Terrifically edited, well paced, and that finale. Wowee.

The Red Drum Getaway from Gump on Vimeo.

Showtune to Go
Did you know that Oklahoma! (1955) is coming back to movie theaters for its 60th anniversary? Here's Kristin Chenoweth singing "I Cain't Say No" in celebration.

Thursday
Sep172015

TIFF: French Sexy Time Movies

Nathaniel, reporting from TIFF, where the French still love la petite mort. Due to the graphic nature of these films the reviews of Gaspar Noé's 3D explicit sex movie Love and the French teens-gone-wild Bang Gang: a modern love story (which is about exactly what it sounds like it's about) are both hidden after the jump where naughty things must go... Think of the children!

Click to read more ...