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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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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Entries in yummy (53)


Great Moments in... Craft Services

Clint Eastwood likes broccoli.

This report just in from the set of Sully, Clint Eastwood's latest. It is not a biopic about the star of Monsters, Inc. The 85 year old workaholic's latest project will star Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who landed a plane in the Hudson River in 2009 (remember that?) to save everyone's lives onboard. It seems a slim premise for a whole feature but maybe Clint will keep the running time short for a change? That would give him more time to squeeze in a second or third picture for 2016, you know. 


Curio: Oscar Snacks 2015

Alexa here. I knew early on that my annual Oscar pig-out this year would feature the pastry at the center of Wes Anderson's latest. Not only because it was probably my favorite film this year, but because Wes kindly supplied detailed instructions for making the Courtesan au Chocolat.  A literal invitation to create my own Wes Anderson diorama!  I had to try.  



It was all fun and games until the assembly, when the mini towers toppled like dominoes. Damn you, Wes! 

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50½ Thoughts on 101 Dalmatians

Woof! To celebrate the first time release of Disney's beloved One Hundred and One Dalmatians on Digital HD, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack today (it's also available on Disney Movies Anywhere and On-Demand starting now) here's a classic from the Film Experience Vaults. It was first published for the beloved classic's 50th anniversary in 2011. But it'll be new to many of you! We suspect that 101 thoughts would have tried your patience too much but perhaps you could share the article with 3½ friends if you enjoy it, or leave 1½ comments behind before you go. The more the merrier, you know. And doesn't this wonderful movie wag its plentiful tail at that very motto?!

01 The first charming thing is its sketchy, spotty, doggy opening credit sequence. It's a prime candidate for "Art of the Title Sequence" ... I wonder if they've ever done it?

02 The movie was released in the early 60s and takes place in London. I can't think of another animated Disney feature off the top of my head that's this British but then,  "The British Invasion" was just around the corner so maybe America's Anglophilimaniac phase was already in the air in the late 50s when Disney started storyboarding this feature?

03 If you've been keeping up with your animation the past several years you probably see an immediate resemblance to the palette and cityscapes for Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist.

(Read the full post - that Devil woman is coming right up)

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FYC: Josh Brolin in "Inherent Vice" for Best Supporting Actor

And so we come to the end of our individually chosen FYCs. Amir, our team coordinator, is off for a month long holiday (!) which leaves myself, Nathaniel, your immortal but ever running-late host to wrap things up. To recap: we asked each team member to write up a personal favorite longshot* from one specific category. Here's the final entry in the series, a performance I really love in a film I really don't.

Why highlight a film I don't care for? Because it's important to remember during all-or-nothing awards season that each individual element of a film is different than the big picture and ought to be treated as such for the purposes of awardage.

Which brings us to...

See, it wasn't just the eternal sunshine of California or the vast vistas of desert land and salt water. It wasn't even really the hazy hash-filled air that P.T. Anderson's troupe was breathing. But I was parched and hungry the whole time I was watching Inherent Vice. I needed a fresh water oasis in the salty Pynchonian desert and Josh Brolin came to my rescue as "Bigfoot". Repeatedly. Fortunately he was also hungry, orally fixated you might say, and an eager lunch companion.

Like many characters in the film he's introduced with wonderfully descriptive prose that one assumes is lifted from the novel for voiceover. Brolin's introduction is in glorious widescreen longshot. The V.O.:

Like a bad luck planet in today's horoscope, here's the ol' hippie-hating mad dog himself in the flesh, Lieutenant Detective Christian F. "Big Foot" Bjornsen, SAG member, John Wayne walk, flat top, of Flintstone proportions, and that little evil shit twinkle in his eyes that says 'civil rights violations'" 

Brolin just owns this, presenting as a black & white Western rectangle stiffly inserting itself into the movie's otherwise geometrically ragged and fringed array of colorful people. Of course you can't see an evil shit twinkle in someone's eyes in long or medium shot but you can hear it in their voice.

Congratulations hippie scum! Welcome to a world of inconvenience"

Immediately we move to Bigfoot's office where the detective taunts Doc Sportello with carefully chosen words and obscene self-lubricated hand gestures; he's always shoving things into his mouth: frozen bananas, fingers, diner food. Brolin's line readings aren't just well delivered but perfectly balanced and heaped, as if he's collecting the best syllables on a fork, whichever wons have the most condescending flavor. The actor captures how natural all of this comes to Bigfoot now, that its both performative for Doc and completely innate in Bigfoot's character (we instantly register that the performance is now the reality after numerous pre-movie variations of these same conversations between the two detectives) since he's even doing the same things when he's out of view on the phone or half lost in his own strictly business thoughts when he's eating.

BigFoot's buzzkill nature would be suffocating if Brolin didn't find so many ways to play the notes. And though Bigfoot is mean to stand in opposition to the movie's other characters, he'd be totally at odds with the movie's loose hippie daze tone if he also weren't so damn funny. There are a great many people who think Inherent Vice is a good time movie in and of itself. Whether or not that proves to be your experience know this: it's a far greater party every single time Josh Brolin shows up to crash it.

Motto pankēki!" 

*I selected Brolin before his BFCA nomination so perhaps he's not quite as improbable as expected in a low key supporting actor competition, so I'm crossing my fingers... or licking them in Bigfoot's honor.


Each Longshot FYCs In Case You Missed Any
Actor, Locke | Actress, Belle | Supp. Actress, Gone Girl | Supp. Actor, Inherent Vice
Picture, Obvious Child |  Adapted Screenplay, A Most Wanted Man 
Sound Mixing, Grand Budapest HotelCostume, The Boxtrolls 
Cinematography, Homesman | Prod. Design, Enemy | Editing, Citizenfour  

Short-Lived Longshot FYCs = Academy Thought Otherwise
Makeup, Only Lovers Left Alive (eliminated) | FX, Under the Skin (eliminated)
Screenplay, The Babadook (ineligible) | ScoreThe Immigrant (eliminated)


Curio: In the Kitchen with Meryl and Barbara

Alexa here. This week is cookie week in my house: the kitchen gets covered in flour and sugar in my attempt to craft cookies pretty as Martha's. I thought I'd try some new recipes this year, inspired by the world of film instead of M. Diddy. When I heard about The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents Christmas in Tinseltown I thought I'd check it out; I was sold when I saw it included Robert Mitchum's recipe for egg nog and Joan Crawford's recipe for angel food cake. First, though, I decided to try my hand at Barbara Stanwyck's family recipe for Christmas Kipfels during my yearly viewing of Christmas in Connecticut. With a little modification (rolling the dough instead of folding it, similar to rugelach), they were a snap.

With this recipe you won't need help from Felix

And so delicious!  So I was inspired to seek out other celebrity cookie recipes.  Another resource: Silver Screen Suppers, where you can find loads more of Joan Crawford's recipes. But when I stumbled upon Meryl Streep's family recipe for thumbprints (featured in Good Housekeeping) I knew I'd have to try it. After all, she showed some serious skills cracking those eggs in The Hours, clearly she knows her way around the kitchen. So of course, I dialed up The Hours and got to baking...

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Monty the Cat Pundit Smells a Jennifer Aniston Surprise!

Monty is getting on in years and has all but retired from Oscar punditry. When I show him my swag in the hopes that he'll reveal some innate feline wisdom about awards season these days he looks away with disdain, grumpier than ever. He's even ignored all the boxes which must be like an alcoholic strolling past an open bar without stopping.

But FINALLY engagement. This week he lept with glee into a box containing various Into the Woods substances (I wasn't quick enough with the camera but he obviously approves. Does this mean that Into the Woods can muscle into the Best Picture race after all (it's kind of a toss-up right?) or is it just a reminder that Monty has a thing for musicals? His first Oscar call ever was Best Original Song for Björk in Dancer in the Dark (2000) when he was just a 2 year-old. He would race to the CD player (remember those?) whenever it came on and plant himself there.

And tonight, the most curiousity yet this season as he began circling one of three new packages He would barely let me touch it. What's it for?

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Abstew's Cinematic Thanks

Editor's Note: I asked Team Experience to tell us what they're thankful for this year during the holiday weekend. Here's abstew in the cinematic spirit.

abstew here. Thanksgiving may be only once a year, but it's always a great time to appreciate the greatness of film. Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for this year...

For Oscar Issac's camel coat in A Most Violent Year - practical and stylish winter wear while waging a war
For Tilda as a love-struck octogenarian socialite. Tilda as a yak-haired vampire. Tilda as a dentured dictator. Proving the existence of extraterrestrial life because, quite simply, Tilda Swinton is a shape-shifting, otherworldly being. 

For two favorite breakout stars: Jack O'Connell (dynamic in Starred Up and 71; I'm eagerly awaiting Unbroken) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (compelling in two very different films, Belle and Beyond the Lights). I'm excited to see what new opportunities come their way for years to come.
For Miles Teller's epic finale drum solo in Whiplash
For Rose Bryne's hilariously spastic take on the line, "Keep it down!" in Neighbors
For Eddie Redmayne's freckles
For the achingly sweet, yet realistically grounded love of John Lithgow's Ben and Alfred Molina's George in Love is Strange

For Uma Thurman bursting in and stealing an entire two-part film in a single scene. "Would it be alright if I show the children the whoring bed?" 
For Emmanuel Lubezki's faux single-take cinematography in Birdman, perfectly translating the immediate, kinetic energy of the theatre into a cinematic equivalent.
For Eva Green's fully committed, go-for-broke performances, elevating everything she's in from the big screen (300: The Rise of an Empire) to the small screen (Penny Dreadful).
For Star Lord's "Awesome Mix Volume 1" cassette tape
For the return of Rene Russo
For the look of Angelina Jolie's Maleficent (if only the perfect character design wasn't wasted on the film...)

For the mouth-watering food porn in A Hundred-Foot Journey and Chef 
For Wes Anderson's candy-colored, intricately detailed world of The Grand Budapest Hotel

For TFE's series Hit Me With Your Best Shot. The single best opportunity to view and explore a film in ways you hadn't thought...and then to gain even more insight after reading what others have posted. If you haven't participated, you should when it returns!

And that I live in NYC, home of the Tribeca Film Festival, NYFF, NewFest and countless other film festivals. That there are still single screen theatres like the Zeigfeld and Paris where it feels like an event to go to the movies. And, most importantly, that I'm actually given the opportunity to see every movie (not just Hollywood blockbusters) in the theatre the weekend they are released.

And finally, for Nathaniel, Team Experience, and everyone who reads and comments. I'm beyond thankful that we have such a wonderful place to share our cinematic obsessions and affections.

 -Andy (abstew)

More Thank Yous: Nathaniel, Amir, Manuel & Jose