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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


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"They're saying this is for Adam Driver what Kramer vs Kramer was for Dustin Hoffman. More about him than about her.  Scarlett, to me, is the open question. By now it's Driver vs Phoenix for best actor." - Melchiades - Andrew

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
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Entries in Won't You Be My Neighbor? (8)


YNMS: "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"

by Lynn Lee

It’s here!  The trailer for the much-anticipated Mister Rogers movie, starring Tom Hanks as everyone’s favorite neighbor, dropped Monday…and a million Gen-Xers wept tears of pure nostalgia.  But what does the trailer reveal about the film that we didn’t already know?  Not a whole lot, as it turns out.  Let’s break it down...

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Doc Corner: How much has the changing Academy changed the Best Documentary category ?

By Glenn Dunks

Among all of the talk happening since the Oscar nominations, a good deal of attention has been paid to the role the new roster of Academy members might have played in what we were given. With good reason, too, considering the nomination list reads rather obviously as the awkward merging of two very different kind of voters. Virtually every category has something for both the old and the new guards – or, at least what we perceive to be the old and the new guards. 

Even a category like Best Sound Editing has a horror movie and a Mexican domestic drama sitting next to musical biopics and action blockbusters. In Best Makeup and Hairstyling you'll see standard old/overweight and royalty makeup side-by-side with a curious Scandi whatsit. And doesn’t it feel odd to imagine the same acting branch voter notching Sam Rockwell’s name for Vice and simultaneously selecting Marina de Tavira one category over?  The documentary branch is no different. Their 2018 nominees for Best Documentary Feature are even more 'new guard,' taking this idea of a shift in identity even further...

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Top 30 Documentary Hits of 2018

Each day a different year in review topic. Here's Glenn Dunks...

Documentaries had one of their biggest years on record in 2018. In fact, the upper realms of non-fiction at the North American box office started to look like what the foreign-language charts once looked like. There was at least one major cross-over smash, several very impressive eight-figure grossers, a selection of not insignificant titles that did over one-million, and a long list of niche titles that did business anywhere from respectable to disappointing depending on expectations and release size. The year even started strong for docs with 2017 hits Bombshell the Hedy Lamarr Story and Faces/Places continuing to earn tidy sums buoyed by word of mouth and an Oscar nomination respectively.

My column Doc Corner will continue in 2019 so here’s hoping the new year offers just as bountiful a crop. It's been good to see documentaries reaching the mainstream, zeitgeist conversation.

Domestic Box Office Grosses Only - Figures as of February 17th, 2019. ๐Ÿ”บ = the film is still in theaters

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Doc Corner From the Short List - 'Won't You Be My Neighbor'

By Glenn Dunks

Now that the 15-wide documentary short list has been announced, we're going to be looking at some of the titles we've missed throughout the year (primarily due to access issues - this particular column is written from Australia) in the lead up to our top ten documentary list and more Oscar talk in the new year. Up first, the crowned champion of 2018's doc class: Won't You Be My Neighbor?.

Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? has proven to be one of the hardest films I’ve had to write about all year. It’s not a film that throws up thorny issues that demand one’s full attention or a documentary that challenges the mind. Instead, it’s the documentary that America has embraced to the tune of some $23-million box office and the title of the 12th most successful documentary ever made (!) It’s a film that people have taken to their heart and yet I sat here with my Word documentary open on a blank page for far too long...

What about this movie failed to inspire me in any way good or bad? Is Neville’s film my own personal answer to the long-quipped mystery of “can you ever just be whelmed?” (yes, but it turns out not just in Europe).

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Critics Choice Documentary Winners 2018

In an unusually successful year for documentaries in terms of audience interest, two of the biggest hits, Won't You Be My Neighbor? ($22.6 million) and Free Solo ($7.3 million and climbing) now have yet more to crow about. They each won three prizes at the 3rd annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards last night. Though they both appear to be likely future Oscar nominees you just never know with the documentary branch. 

The winners in each of the Critics Choice doc categories are listed after the jump... 

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Box Office Possible - Fallout

by Nathaniel R

The Mission Impossible franchise (in movie form at least) is 22 years old and just won't quit (and neither will Tom Cruise) having its best opening weekend yet with film #6, Fallout. It's also Cruise's second biggest opening weekend ever after only War of the Worlds (2005). My personal favorite of the M:I franchise is Ghost Protocol from 2011. Yours? 

Weekend Box Office Estimates
(July 27th-29th)

800+ screens
excluding prev. wide
Mission: Impossible - Fallout Blindspotting
1. ๐Ÿ”บ BLINDSPOTTING $1.3 on 523 screens (cum. $1.7) 
2. MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN $15 (cum. $70.4) REVIEW 2. ๐Ÿ”บ EIGHTH GRADE  $1.3 on 158 screens (cum. $2.9) CAPSULE REVIEW
3. THE EQUALIZER 2 $14 (cum. $64.2) 
3.  ๐Ÿ”บTHREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS $1.2 on 433 screens (cum. $6.7) REVIEW
4. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 $12.3 (cum. $119.2) 
4.  LEAVE NO TRACE $499k on 289 screens (cum. $4.6) TRAILER DISCUSSION
5. ๐Ÿ”บ DON'T WORRY HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT $351k on 266 screens (cum. $860k)

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