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Review: QUEEN OF KATWE

"LOVED this move. If the Academy could be convinced to see this, I could absolutely see it sneaking into BP." -Eurocheese

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Entries in The Film Experience (153)

Friday
Sep302016

September. It's a Wrap

While the world continued to be horrifying this past month was a partial joy thanks to TIFF ushering in prestige film season, our favorite time of year, and a particularly good one from the looks of it. Here are a baker's dozen highlights from the month at the blog in case you missed these...

7 Favorites
Isabelle Huppert is Elle -the French icon slays in this tricky movie
Blue Velvet - 30 memorable things on its 30th anniversary 
Memories of The Blair Witch Project - Team Experience looks back
The Red Turtle & Courgette - animation is not a genre 
I Could Go On Singing (1963) - Judy Garland's final film 
The Furniture: Love & Friendship - the country charm of the hit comedy
Moulin Rouge! the musical numbers we're most eager to see reinvisioned for the stage musical version 

7 That Spurred the Most Conversation
Fences & 20th Century Women -they're finally teasing us 
Oscar Chart Updates -these always spur plentiful conversation
Tom Hanks in Sully - what does he have to do to nab another Oscar nom?
Amy Adams Times Two - Oscar's girlfriend in Arrival & Nocturnal Animals
The Black Dahlia (2006) - looking back at this curiousity 10 years later
Natalie Portman in Jackie - Fox Searchlight plans a December bow
Emmy Afterglow - what was your favorite win... other than Sarah Paulson?

7 Things Coming in October
• More from NYFF including 20th Century Women & Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
• A Marie Antoinette theme party
• 1963 Supporting Actress Smackdown: Tom Jones, Lilies of the Field, and The VIPs
• Fall TV: Crisis in Six Scenes, Divorce, Westworld, Crazy Ex Girlfriend
• New Films: Birth of a Nation, Moonlight, The Handmaiden
• The return of "Oscar Horrors"  
• ...and a new series on Costume Design 

Sunday
Sep182016

TIFF 2016: Winners & Review Index

TIFF just ended crowning La La Land with the coveted People's Choice Award (runners up: Lion & Queen of Katwe) and Jackie with their new juried prize. We haven't totally closed up shop - we've left the door ajar because there are a few articles left to come. It takes time processing all of this art that's rushing over us! Films give us so many feelings! The Toronto International Film Festival is my personal favorite film festival in the world:  easy to attend, friendly, well organized, less prohibitively expensive than other festivals. I saw and enjoyed 27 movies and would have seen a few more but for getting sick in the rain and rush. But the festival experience is such that even mediocre or bad movies can be remembered with positive associations.

Here are all the reviews and articles (thus far) in one place in case you missed any or would like a handy index.

my ten favorites from TIFF '16 (in no particular order)

Reviews from TIFF 16
The Apprentice - Singapore's Oscar submission
Arrival - Denis Villeneuve's gripping superbly crafted sci-fi journey
The Bad Batch - Ana Lily Armipour's cannibal wasteland satire
Blind Sun - Visual paranoia in Greece
Catfight - Anne Heche vs. Sandra Oh three times
Colossal - Anne Hathaway is a Kaiju in this cult oddity
The Commune -Thomas Vinterberg's wonderful 70s drama
Death in Sarajevo -Bosnia's politically fired up Oscar submission
A Decent Woman - Argentinian whatsit about a nudist maid
Elle - Paul Verhoeven & Isabelle Huppert serve up twisted cerebral comedy
Frantz - François Ozon's black & white drama of grief & guilt

Handsome Devil - coming of age at a rugby-mad boarding school
A Monster Calls - a visual fantasy about a young boy losing his mother
My Life as a Courgette - Switzerland's animated/foreign Oscar submission
Nocturnal Animals - Tom Ford's lurid meta movie
• Pyromaniac - a Norwegian thriller
(re) Assignment - Walter Hill's ill advised gender surgery noir
The Red Turtle - a mute magical beauty, sure to be Oscar-nominated
Sand Storm - an Israeli drama about female oppression and marriage
Santa & Andres -a Cuban political drama about LGBT oppression
Strange Weather - Holly Hunter returns!
The Wedding Ring - a Nigerian romantic fable 

Non Review Articles
A Cocktail with Sigourney - tall, beautiful, funny
Michael Fassbender Tribute - He has some regrets 
Moonlight's Oscar buzz - a note of caution 
Jackie Bought by Searchlight - watch out Oscar race 
• Hidden Figures Brunch Pt 1 - Glen Powell 

Still to Come
There are a few more articles coming, as stated and Oscar charts will be updated shortly to reflect all this new knowledge. We'll also have plenty of chances to discuss Moonlight, The HandmaidenLa La Land, and Jackie, (opening in that order October through December) since they'll all be up for either Oscars or our own prizes at TFE. I didn't review them properly (yet) because it's always hardest to write about films you love. You want to do them justice and festival schedules are rushed. But know this for now: they are all excellent and it's going to be an amazing Fall Film Season if any of the as yet unseen titles like Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk or Fences or Silence (if that even opens) deliver on this level, too. That's got to be reassuring after that truly terrible movie summer we all endured. I purposefully skipped Toronto titles that will also be playing at New York Film Festival (which begins September 30th) or are opening during it but soon we discuss these films, too: Julieta, Aquarius, Birth of a Nation, Neruda, Queen of Katwe, Magnificent Seven, Manchester by the Sea, Certain Women, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, Sieranevada, The Ornithologist, Toni Erdmann, Edge of Seventeen and Personal Shopper

Monday
Aug292016

August. It's Nearly a Wrap

The eighth month of the year is -- we've reached the final third of 2016 already? That was quick. Fall film season here we come. Summer was dreadful for movies unless you were smart and caught platform releases like Little Men, The Fits, Captain Fantastic, Morris From America, Disorder instead of the big budget spectacles. In fact, 2016 is shaping up to be a very rough year for mainstream cinema which could make the Oscars disastrous if they don't get creative and look further afield than they're usually prone to. We shall see.

This past month we've been celebrating 1984 for the Smackdown (coming your way Wednesday) but here are some other highlights in case you missed any.

8 Favorites
The Art of Disavowing Your Film No, Jared Leto, no. 
The Lobster's Phony Flowers another great episode of The Furniture
Beauty vs Beast Bridesmaids Wiig or Byrne. Tough choice, right?
That time Oscar loved Tarzan Revisiting the grand Greystoke
Judy by the Numbers Judgement at Nuremberg -a different kind of singing
Florence Foster Jenkins off-tune fuss & fun 
• Q&A Gender and the Oscars Plus Streep
Sausage Party buns, dogs, filth, and stereotypes

8 That Spurred the Most Conversation
Cast This: Clue Yes, they're making another movie from the game
1984, Year of the Heroic Farm Wives Sissy & Jessica & Sally
Posterized: Woody Allen How many have you seen?
Posterized: Natalie Portman How many of her films have you seen?
Best Films of the 21st Century? That BBC List
Monty (RIP) The Film Experience's beloved cat pundit has passed away
198 Oscar Performaces Ranking the Nominees (2000-2009) 
• 120 Oscar Performances Ranking the Nominees (2010-2015)

Coming in September
• Festival Season! Nathaniel leaves for Toronto real soon
• Emmy Awards
• 1963 is Our "Year of the Month": Tom Jones, The Sword in the Stone, Lilies of the Field, I Could Go On Singing, and more...
• BluRay: A Bigger Splash, The Conjuring 2, and Civil War revisits coming your way
• New Releases: Bridget Jones's Baby, Sully, Miss Peregrine, The Queen of Katwe, The Dressmaker, Magnificent Seven, and many more

ANY REQUESTS?

Sunday
Aug212016

"Best Shot" Finale

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Apologies that last week's episode was  delayed one week but real life got in the way. So this Tuesday I'll be discussing Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down and Splash will serve as our season (series?) finale of Hit Me With Your Best Shot next week. It'll also double as the wrap up of our Year of the Month (1984) just after the Smackdown.

And then it's on to fall film season, festivals, and Oscar build-up! 

This Tuesday Evening, August 23rd
THE GET DOWN (2016) 

Pick one shot from the first episode of Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series described as "a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco"... though from more intricate descriptions it sounds like it's mostly hip-hop we're talking about.  Can he bring that Moulin Rouge! magic? Was it worth the insane investment with a budget of $10 million per episode? (The first half of the first season -- six of twelve episodes -- began streaming on August 12th) 

SEASON FINALE  - Tuesday Evening, August 30th
SPLASH (1984)
With 1984 being our "year of the month" and a rumored gender flipped remake coming, we'll look back at the best live-action mermaid movie that I was obsessed with as a kid. Daryl Hannah's Crimped Hair forever!

 

Saturday
Jul302016

July. It's (Almost) a Wrap

We started the month off wishing Olivia de Havilland a happy centennial. She's now our oldest living Oscar winner! Then we completed our our "halfway mark" year in review which is like a warm up for the Film Bitch Awards at years end. We'll close the month tomorrow with the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1977. Otherwise July has been the usual array of randomness. We like a good variety at The Film Experience as long as that variety includes lots of actressing and films from multiple genres and eras.

But about this era for a moment: the summer blockbusters have been a little rough this summer but find a smaller release to see this weekend: Miss Sharon Jones opened yesterday; do NOT miss Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic which added over 400 theaters yesterday (it's now probably somewhere near you) and lives up to its title; and you might also want an opinion on the new Woody, Cafe Societywhich expanded by 400+ new theaters of its own.

7 Favorites
• Nicolas Winding Refn an interview
• Q&A Oscar Free Dames & Disney Films answering reader questions  
• Cast This Auntie Mame. Who should be the bosom buddy to Tilda's eccentric aunt?
• Judy: "The Man That Got Away" three filmed versions of the classic song 
• Gentlemen Prefer Blondes sweet & sour 
• Three Women still can't get over this very 60s very honey-blonde photograph 
Everybody Wants Some!! 70s sitcom style 

7 That Spurred the Most Conversation
• Trailer: La La Land (2016) yes no maybe so... or in this case yaaaaas
• Working Girl (1989) better than you remembered it!
Garry Marshall (RIP) let's rethink that career
Who Deserves an Honorary Oscar? an FYC list for the Academy
• Margot Robbie's Beauty and other hot topics
• Emmy Nominations same as it ever was i.e. mostly the same with a couple new flourishes wherever they were forced to make some changes due to departing shows
Oscar Chart Updates the crystal ball is still cloudy

1977 Celebration to get you in the mood for the Smackdown tomorrow
A gallery of magazine covers from 1977, Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr Goodbar, revisiting childhood "classics" like Pete's Dragon, the Oscar beloved (but not) ballet soap opera The Turning Point, what did the Golden Globes love that year?,  Islands in the Stream starring both The Bahamas and George C Scott (in that billing order), the James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me had a memorable villainous HQ, Great cinematography in Julia and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Olivia de Havilland appeared in the disaster flick Airport '77, and Oscar's animated short nominees starred a claymation Jimmy Carter. 

Coming in August
New Movies: Meryl & Hugh in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, the all star SUICIDE SQUAD, Laika's KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, and the reimagination of PETE'S DRAGON. Interviews: Diane Kruger, the Morris From America team, and hopefully more; Big News: the announcement  of the Academy's Honorary Oscar recipients for 2016; Restorations: HOWARDS END; Retrospectives: the films of 1984 (our "year of the month"), and a return to our "Swing, Tarzan, Swing!" series to wrap it up with three final episodes.

Monday
Jul112016

156 Days Until SAG Nominations !

Premature you say? Well, they just sent out a press release. The Awards Season Calendar just keeps filling in. It currently looks like so:

2016
Aug 31st-Sept 10th Venice Film Festival
Sept 2nd-5th Telluride Film Festival
Sept 8th-18th Toronto International Film Festival
Sept 18th -The 68th Annual Emmy Awards
Sep 30th-Oct 16th New York Film Festival
Nov 10th-17th AFI Festival
Nov 12th Governor's Awards (Honorary Oscars)
Nov 17th-Dec 11th SAG Nomination Balloting
Nov 25th-Dec 9th Golden Glob Nomination Balloting Begins
Dec 12th Golden Globe Nominations
Dec 14th SAG Nominations

Dec 19th-Jan 27th Final SAG Voting

2017
Jan 5th-13th Oscar Nomination Balloting
Jan 8th -The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Jan 24th -Oscar Nominations
Jan 29th -The 23rd Annual SAG Awards
Feb 4th -The 69th Annual DGA Awards
Feb 6th Oscar Nominee Luncheon
Feb 11th Sci-Tech Oscars
Feb 12th - The 59th Annual Grammy Awards
Feb 13th-21st Final Oscar Voting
Feb 26th -The 89th Annual Academy Awards

YES, THIS MEANS I NEED TO START THOSE FREQUENT OSCAR CHART UPDATES. SOON DEAR ONES, VERY SOON.