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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

"This is such a wonderful list for how full it is of cinematic joy, not just the everything of Carol..." - Ben1283

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Entries in The Film Experience (127)


Nathaniel Gives Thanks

You've heard from a few members of our team of their quick lists of gratitude so naturally your host and obsessive ringleader, Nathaniel, must chime in. As you read this I'm surely already stuffing myself but this year I've planned ahead with a big diet and exercize program to commence on November 30th.

I'm thankful for...

..."rug" in Room, steering wheels in Mad Max Fury Road, the train sets in Carol and Ant-Man, and Gerda's evolving portraits of Lili in The Danish Girl

... Grandma's bonobos fixation

... Sarah Paulson's ability to elevate every single project she's in whether said project is awesome (Carol) or, let's say, "challenged" (AHS: Hotel and AHS in general for that matter)

... the way 2015's hottest topics kept reminding us of Cate Blanchett's Blue Jasmine speech in 2014

The world is round, people!"

...a tight squeeze, with shimmering bosom, in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth

... bits and pieces of Magic Mike XXL but oddly not the parts involving bits and pieces. [Ahem]

...the rise of continuous shots. Hello Victoria ! Can we keep getting one of these movies every year?

...communal meals in Brooklyn. And speaking of communal meals -- that time Katey, Nick, Joe and I were all in the same room (first time ever) and then that time I met her awesomeness Teo Bugbee for lunch and we retreated, without warning, into the weird pockets of our brains that are completely infected with Isabelle Adjani madness. (After we were done talking about drooling on Carol that is.)

... Tilda Swinton's tan in Trainwreck, Michael Keaton's self-assessment in Spotlight, and Juliette Binoche's laughter in Clouds of Sils Maria

...the beautiful commitment to ugly psychology in UnREAL

... Patton Oswalt's memoir "Silver Screen Fiend"

...the shot of Jack's feet tentatively touching the sterile hospital floor in Room

... *unfolds dread acceptance speech list of names that probably won't mean anything to readers but means a lot to me* Nicolette, Tony, Lisa, Lea, Chris, Gena, Courtney, Amy, Benjamin, Melanie, Denise, Rob, Matt, Thomas, Joey, Cory, Thelma, Todd, Dan, Ed, Kay, Matt, Tim, Jenn & Alan, Vern & Evi, Deborah & Roberta, multiple Williams & Davids & Ryans & Johns & Andrews and many others I'm forgetting right this second who either work in showbiz and make my job more pleasant from their outreach and kindness or don't work in the movies at all but make my life more pleasant and joyful in one way or several others.

... the absurd jump in quality (when the show was already excellent) in S2 of The Leftovers.

... three superb actors we've loved for years that were kind enough to guest blog right here at The Film Experience in 2015 for an entire day: Ann Dowd, Cara Seymour, and David Dastmalchian. Humbled and blessed to have them.

And, finally, a toast to imaginary friends within the movies -- Bing Bong (Inside Out), Lucky the Dog (Room), and Larry & Barry (Mad Max Fury Road) -- since every character we love in a movie serves the same function for us!

We'll end with a reminder of our deep gratitude to all you readers (international and domestic) -- especially those that donate, subscribe, comment, and share their favorite articles -- and to Team Experience who do so much to keep this blog popping daily when I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, offline, travelling, or even when I'm doing just fine and they're just sharing their love for movies in articles and or comments. Community means so much to The Film Experience because what is the obsession with movies other than the thrill of sharing stories together in the dark?

Nathaniel (c'est moi) posing with Natalie (Portman)! Nathaniel R, the creator and owner of The Film Experience, is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He is the film columnist for Towleroad, a renowned Oscar pundit (Gurus of Gold), and his writing has appeared in both online publications (Vanity Fair, Slate) and print magazines (Esquire, Winq). Nathaniel has served on international festival juries and appeared as an on-air Oscar pundit for CNNi, Sky News London and more. Michelle Pfeiffer on a piano top (1989) altered his life's trajectory, and Julianne Moore high on coke and mommy issues (1997) and Nicole Kidman descending from the rafters (2001) at the Moulin Rouge sealed his fate as the hopelessly movie-mad Actressexual you see before you. [Follow Nathaniel on Twitter | See all Nathaniel's Articles


Kieran Gives Thanks

Kieran, here wishing all TFE readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Being part of Team Experience these past few months has been a sheer joy. I’m thankful for a place to share my writing where the discussions are always interesting, thoughtful and fun. Thanks to our gracious host, Nathaniel for providing this space.

I'm thankful for

...Shameless and more specifically Emmy Rossum on Shameless. After her breakthrough in 2004’s Phantom of the Opera, it seemed that Rossum found herself underutilized and underserved in a lot of films. After that rocky slate of film roles, seeing her cast against type on Shameless and doing some of the best, criminally ignored work on television today is absolutely thrilling.


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Murtada Gives Thanks

Hello it's me. Murtada. Adele and Aidy Bryant doing Adele are two things I'm thankful for this year. There is more

I'm thankful for...

...Nathaniel and The Film Experience. For the readers and those who engage in the comments. For this lovely oasis of a community.

...all the feelings Carey Mulligan made me feel this year. On stage in Skylight. On screen in Far From the Madding Crowd and Suffragette.

...the emotional high Meryl Streep gave me with the last few minutes of Ricki and the Flash.

...Dee Rees finally making another movie after Pariah.

...for the girls of Girlhood singing and dancing to Rihanna's Diamonds.

there's more...

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Manuel Gives Thanks

Manuel here. Has it really been a year since the last time I gave thanks (not coincidentally with another pic of Ms Blanchett)? I feel as though I should be giving thanks in front of some sort of food, so imagine I’ve come with a full dozen donuts from Donut Time.

I’m thankful…

- For unabashedly queer Christmas flicks featuring fab ladies.
- For having had the chance to see over twenty-four films at the New York Film Festival (and having been in the same room as Kate Winslet!!)
- For Wiig, in all and every incarnation
- For Joy and Joy (and consequently, Amy Poehler and Brie Larson).

- For all the delicious food on Please Like Me, a show you should all be watching!
- For Mad Mens beautiful and perfect ending.
- For Twelve Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer, one of the greatest TV episodes this year.
- For Ben Whishaw, in all and every incarnation. (What a year he's had: Spectre, Suffragette, The Lobster, etcetera)
- For Sutton Foster, National Treasure, who was luminous in The Wild Party.
- For Adele’s laughter (and music).
- For Anna Kendrick, whose “Still Hurting” is still making me ache.

- For TV’s funny ladies. And really, that image doesn't do justice to the amazing talent on display this year (Gina! Constance! Tracee! Ellie! Amy! Ilana! Abbi! The entire Orange is the New Black cast!)

And lastly...

 - For all of you who comment and indulge me as I gab about gay things on HBO. Can you believe it's been a full six months since I started this cultural history? It definitely wouldn't be the same without the engaging and generous TFE community, so thank you all for following along!

Manuel Betancourt (News / HBO LGBT
An avid moviegoer, this academically minded Colombian wrote an entire dissertation on queer film fandom as, perhaps, a way of reconciling his inner critic and inner fan. Both thankfully, are given plenty of room to play here at TFE & at Manuel's own blog where he puts his queer theory training to work. His favorite film genre is "soul-crushingly depressing if beautifully lensed relationship dramas with juicy parts for actresses." Follow him on Twitter!


Time to Head to the Theaters -- A Big Weekend for Oscar-Watching

Damn, Hollywood. Spread the wealth a little right? After two relatively quiet months for adult moviegoers all distributors have decided en masse that YOU are going to the movie theaters this weekend. As a result they've just released everything. All at once. If you've been all 'Netflix and chill' or dragging your feet with the movies for any reason, time to get up, stretch, text your friends and hit a movie. Or two. Or three. You don't want to get behind because it doesn't let up from here on out. (Next weekend is Suffragette and the following weekend Our Brand is Crisis

The images below will take you to our reviews (or the last major post on the film) if we've written one. If you're all like "this looks like the sidebar" it's our reminder to you that sidebars are there for a reason. Use them if you want to look up a particular film or topic.

Opening Wide This Weekend
Goosebumps, Woodlawn


Opening or Expanding
(Limited Release Only)

Steve Jobs goes wide
on Oct 23rd 


Still in Theaters 
See them soon if you've wanted to. They won't be around forever


What's your priority this weekend? 



Hello all. Nathaniel, returned home, back from vacation. You may not have even noticed that I'd gone but I was almost completely offline for the past 5 days. I was in Austin, TX to visit a friend I hadn't seen in a few years and we had a ton of fun. While travelling I read "The Devil in the White City" and y'all were right -it's absolutely gripping. It's also so dense with information and fascinating details that Leo & Marty may well have a tough time pulling it off. Especially if they make it a star vehicle since the book screams for more of an Altman Ensemble feel. 

On the trip home my friends and I discovered we were sharing the flight with Pearl (from RPDR) so the return to NYC felt even more glamorous than usual. This long weekend vacation was the last movie and computer free moment before The Season which, roughly speaking, consumes my entire life from mid-September to late-February each year. Thank you to Jose and Manuel for keeping the lights on while I was out and to Murtada, David, Kyle, Glenn, Sebastian, Amir, and Margaret who also pitched in.

Why not catch up on anything you missed this morning? I'll be doing the same. 

A Heaping Handful of Highlights
Chris Eigeman talks Metropolitan - This uniquely pleasurable 1990 indie just turned 25
100 Things I Love About Movies - off the top of my head
HBO LGBT: "Normal" - Manuel's great series is revealing that HBO has really been ahead of the curve
Bergman Kisses - a grand swooney journey through Ingrid Bergman's onscreen love life - she may be well be the greatest romantic heroine of the movies
Mr Robot and Humans - we started a new weekly TV discussion series with these two paranoid examples of our current communal disconnection. The series continues tonight with Masters of Sex
Smackdown 1995 - that's how we started the month and Smackdown 1954 is how we'll end it 
Disney's Upcoming Slate - Moana, Zootopia and more 

Meanwhile in Oscar Land
The forthcoming Oscar race is all starting to feel very real what with the releases of Hateful Eight's trailer, Germany's long list, Carol's teaser, and that image of Tom Hiddleston in a big hat...

Reviewed Recently
Fantastic Four (Tim), The Gift (Jose), Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Kyle), M:I - Rogue Nation (Tim), Ricki & The Flash (Nathaniel) and Woman in Gold (Nathaniel) 


100 Things I Love About the Movies

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a group project for the Broken Projector Podcast's 100th episode in which several cinephiles were asked to list 7 things they loved about the movies. You should listen to it! I got a little carried away and was too longwinded (sorry!) but I highly recommend a listen because even though I do carry one, others are more succinct and the podcast also features various writers from Film School Rejects and our friend Katey Rich among fabulous others. I purposely didn't lean into geek culture titans like Star Wars and Spielberg classics and all of that because I new they'd be amply covered. But yes, I love early Star Wars and early Spielberg, too. I just rarely talk about it because it's all you hear about elsewhere. 

Anywayyyy... Not related but in a similar vein I chanced upon The Best Picture Project blog doing a 100 wide list, too, and... well, why limit myself to seven. So herewith, a mostly off the top of my head listing of 

100 Things I Love About the Movies 
(in no particular order and literally off the top of my head) 


  1. The feeling of possibility in that moment when the curtains go up or, rather, expand to fit the wider screen
  2. Opening titles that are their own short entity, not just overlayed on the movie
  3. Musicals - for being the greatest of film genres and essentially combining every art form
  4. Women Who Lie To Themselves™ - the greatest of subgenres
  5. The Redford Theater in Detroit (which played old movies every other weekend on a massive screen with a live organ pre-show) which is where I first fell in love with Old Hollywood
  6. That time exiting a revival of Singin' in the Rain as a kid when I swung around a pole in unbridled enthusiasm for the movies
  7. The pride of learning every nonsense syllable of "We Go Together" from Grease
  8. My mom's deep enthusiasm for Witness (1985) and her weird guilt about loving it so much
  9. Dreading my dad's grumpiness when the family went to Titanic (1997) on a Christmas break only to realize he loved it. And how.
  10. Liz Taylor doing Bette Davis "What a dump!"
  11. When Dorothy Gale opens her door and leaves sepia tone behind for color
  12. The complete works of Pedro Almodóvar
  13. "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
  14. Moulin Rouge!
  15. Catherine Deneuve's hair
  16. Vivien Leigh's eyebrows
  17. Marilyn Monroe's voice

    83 more things after the jump...

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