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Entries in Year in Review (203)

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 

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?

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.

Friday
Jul082016

Halfway Mark: Best Actressing of 2016 (Thus Far)

Previously at the Halfway Mark
• 5 Favorite Pictures and imaginary Oscar scenario
• 11 Costume Design Honors from couture to the puritanical with swimwear on the side
• Cinematography & Production Design Sunset Song, etc...
• Heroes & Villains from Deadpool to Shere Khan
• 23 Male Actor Honorees in 5 categories

Cue fireworks. It's the grand finale. Our brief Halfway Mark Review honoring the best of the 50+ movies we've seen that have been released between January 1st and June 30th, is now at its end. But don't worry. The listing impulse fully never goes away and there's more excitement soon as we'll start updating the Oscar charts tomorrow. Naturally we're ending with BEST ACTRESS if five categories -- the same categories we previously did for the men.

If I had a ballot (hey, I do... albeit not an AMPAS ballot) here's what I'd honor from the year thus far -- January through June releases only though I've seen some July & August titles. [Disclaimer: The most noticeably actress-led film I haven't yet seen this year is The Meddler so please dont read anything into the absence of Susan Sarandon.]

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sally Field as "Doris" in Hello My Name is Doris
    Doris is a CHARACTER but Sally never fails to humanize her written eccentricities making sure that she's the endearing source of the laughter rather than its target.  
  • Tilda Swinton as "Marianne Lane" in A Bigger Splash
    The "vocal rest" was her idea -- imagine an actor purposefully losing all their lines! -- and the result is you see Tilda's face and body alone capturing and reflecting the drama and auteurist impulses
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as "Thomasin" in The VVitch
    That angelic face is sensually attentive and her behavior innocent but mischievious. So many possible Masters (God, Lucifer, Herself, General Teen Hormones, and Restlessness)
  • Rachel Weisz as "Short Sighted Woman" The Lobster
    What a tricky tone to master, but she's in control. Her voiceover is beautifully at odds with her meekly submissive than overtly romantic screen self
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as "Michelle" in 10 Cloverfield Lane
    Sells shifting (dis)belief in this strange new reality while doing right by primal horror. Nails the only real in-script details about this character -- whip-smart instincts and a "Flight or Flight" response

Choices in 4 more categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul062016

Comment Party: Halfway Mark - Best Pictures? 

You have a pretty good idea of the films I've loved this year thanks to reviews, frequency of posting, and other "honors" - consider it a warm up before the year end party... so that we don't forget the early films. So let's dispense with all the froufrou and just get right to the questions:

If Oscar voting happened now, would LOVE & FRIENDSHIP lead?

1. If you had a 5-wide Best Picture Ballot right now (January to June releases only) who would you vote for?
2. What would Oscar nominate if 
the Academy voted right now? 

Here's my guesswork about the Academy. If they voted right now (only January through June releases eligible) my guess is that we'd see the following films up for Best Picture... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul052016

Halfway Mark: Achievements in Costume Design

We've celebrated the male performances, the heroes and villains, cinematography & production design. So let's hit Nathaniel's (c'est moi) favorite craft category costume design, as we wrap up our halfway mark festivities this week (actresses still to come). Who would I choose and who might Oscar choose if the year had ended June 30th? 

HALFWAY MARK BEAUTY BREAK ~ BEST COSTUME DESIGN
(January to June theatrical releases only) 

Achievements in Overall Costume Design
If I were drawing up my year end ballot right now (January to June releases) I'd pick these five films though there will inevitably be strong competition to come -- will any of them be nominated at year's end?

The Neon Demon, Erin Benach
While Benach doesn't manage anything as iconic as her scorpion jacket for Drive, few films do so you can't hold that against this film. Between the dichotomous looks of the innocent ingenue (half sexual / half innocuous flowing girlie dresses) to the rigid couture of her rivals, there's lots of texture and color and editorial looks to consider.

Sing Street, Tiziana Corvisieri
Corvisieri pulls from a surprisingly wide range of styles in this film to trace the DIY looks of "Sing Street," the band within the film, and how their music video style translates into their schoolboy uniforms. Great fun on a costume level but always believably low-budget and "thrown together" (though they were surely well planned by Corviseri)

9 more honored costume designers after the jump...

Click to read more ...