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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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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Saturday
Aug192017

New Oscar Chart ~ Foreign Hopefuls including Spain

Last month we shared speculation about what countries Argentina, Chile, Denmark, and The Czech Republic among others might submit to the Oscars this years. And we'll soon have more charts up. Spain narrowed down their finalists to three which is worth noting. The most successful countries in terms of Oscar in the later portions of the alphabet are Spain (19 nominations and 4 wins), Sweden (14 nominations and 3 wins) and Poland (10 nominations and 1 win). If you include the former Soviet Union stats with Russia's stats since 1992, they're approximately tied with Sweden.

Maribel Verdú in "Abracadabra" which is a finalist for Spain

Spain is currently in their longest dry spell of all time in this Oscar category (their last nominee The Sea Inside, which won, was 13 whole years ago). They will select their submission on September 7th but they've narrowed down their choice to the following three pictures: 

  • 1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines [This film is available to stream on Netflix]
    Luis Tosar and Javier Guteirrez star in Salvador Calvo's war epic about soldiers who held a town square under seige for almost a year in the Philippines even after Spain had surrended and The Philippines had become a free country.
  • Summer 1993 This is the first narrative feature from director Carla Simón who has previously made shorts and documentaries. It's in the Catalan language and about a six-year-old girl trying to adapt to a new life with her uncle after her mother's death. Simón won two prizes at Berlinale for this debut.
  • Abracadabra - My favorite Spanish submission of the past ten years was the great Snow White themed black and white silent Blancanieves.  The director (Pablo Berger) and star (Maribel Verdú) of that memorable entry (which inexplicably didn't make the finals) reunite for a colorful film which the director describes as a "paella of genres" but is at least partially a comedy about a woman who thinks her husband is possessed. Antonio de la Torre (Volver, The Last Circus) co-stars

I couldn't tell you which they'll choose as there's a definite pro for each, statistically. Consider: War films are often submitted to Oscar. Childhood-focused dramas are often beloved in this category. Countries generally like to return to directors they've submitted before. 

The foreign submission charts will be updated this weekend.

Saturday
Aug192017

Review: "Logan Lucky"

by Chris Feil

Steven Soderbergh’s cinematic return begins with an apt statement that reflects the experience of his most entertaining films: Channing Tatum’s Jimmy Logan tinkers away at his truck as he tells his daughter Sadie a fantastical tale about the John Denver tune on the radio. When she asks what makes the song so special to him, his matter-of-fact response is that sometimes you just “like the song because of the song.” For all of Soderbergh’s conceptual refinement and polemical subtlety buried within his most mainstream features, sometime you can’t just help love the song.

Logan Lucky is another one of those films for the director, and another of his spectacular ensembles. Tatum is one of three protective Logan siblings along with Adam Driver’s amputee Clyde and Riley Keough’s no-bullshit hairdresser Mellie.  In order to stay a part of his daughter’s life after losing his construction job, Jimmy hatches a plan to rob a NASCAR motorway of its subterranean cash stash. For added muscle the Logans recruit the mischievous Bang brothers, led by current convict and hard-boiled egg enthusiast Joe, played by an inspired and loose Daniel Craig.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug192017

"Sunset Boulevard" Rumors... Again.

by Nathaniel R

She's baaaa-aaack. It's AS IF WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE

You may have heard that plans are afoot (again) to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard musical to the big screen. It will be a Paramount Pictures production. For giggles, I was attempting to find an old article from the last time rumors spread that Glenn Close was going to transfer her Tony success to the big screen and republish it nearly intact "As If We Never Said Goodbye" to this rumor (haha. I'm here all week.) Alas, the article hid itself though I remember writing it. But what year to even search for such a thing? This rumor is perennial...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug192017

Belated Paychecks with America's Highest Paid Spokes-Actresses

"I threw my back out," is going to be my excuse for everything for next few weeks since I have rarely taken this long to recover! Anywayyyy, on Wednesday, Forbes released their annual list of highest paid actresses. Since the list also includes and ALWAYS reflects the kind of actresses that also promote beauty/luxury/leisure, it might more accurately be called the Highest Paid Female Celebrities Who Also Happen To Act. I mean... Mila Kunis is on the list again. Quick: when was the last time people lined up to see her headline a movie? Follow up Question: Yes, Bad Moms. But was it a hit because of her? I rest my case.

Forbes Highest Paid Actresses 2017

  1. Emma Stone $26 million
    That reduced payday for a cut on La La Land really paid off since that movie was a half billion blockbuster globally
  2. Jennifer Aniston $25.5 million
    Queen of Spokes-Actresshood. What doesn't she endorse?
  3. Jennifer Lawrence $24 million
    Dior contract plus mother! and the forthcoming Red Sparrow

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug182017

Struggle Nation and "mother!"

MPAA "R" for language but it's also really funny. Check out these two guys watching and reacting to the mother! trailer [Thanks to Winston for the heads up]. It goes without saying that we co-sign the "don't show us the whole movie in the trailer!" complaints lodged at other movies (not this one). 

Favorite line is when they're talking about how evil Javier Bardem always looks

How the fuck you look evil next to Jennifer Lawrence? I'd be the happiest negro in the US of A.

We must also rejoice that the sight of Michelle Pfeiffer starts a whole debate about how some things get more delicious with age (though that does not include beer!)

Friday
Aug182017

Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots

by Murtada 

Here’s our first peek at Saoirse Ronan as the title character in Mary, Queen Of Scots. The film just started shooting in the UK with theater director Josie Rourke making it her feature directorial debut. It has a mix of veteran and upcoming actors from the non-American English speaking world in its cast. Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), Joe Alwyn (Billy Lynn himself), Guy Pearce, David Tennant, Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey) and Gemma Chan.

The film charts the turbulent short life of Mary Stuart and her rivalry for the throne with Elizabeth 1, played in this version by Robbie. One can think of it as a sort of sequel to Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth The Golden Age (2007). Produced by the same people, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. The first draft of the script - hence rewritten by Beau Willimon of House of Cards fame who gets sole credit - was written by those films’ writer, Michael Hirst. It’s as if they’ve taken Samantha Morton’s Mary from the second film and given her center stage. Of course many actresses have played these two women over the years. Mostly in movies about Elizabeth although Vanessa Redgrave played Mary to Glenda Jackson’s Elizabeth in a movie with the same title back in 1971.

Ronan continues her busy post Brooklyn career. Lady Bird is coming out this fall. The adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach will play TIFF. The Seagull adaptation that she made with Annette Bening almost two years ago must come out eventually. We wonder which one of these projects will get her invited back to Oscar? Maybe more than one. She seems like the sort who would become a regular.