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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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Mike Leigh 4 Film Retro for his 75th

secrets and lies, vera drake, happy go lucky, and topsy-turvy

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Months of Meryl: Sophie's Choice

"This is the best Streep performance ever captured on film. "That's all."" - Dorian

"I support this movie, partially because I loved the Styron novel and, along with Schindler's List, it's one of the best American movies to teach people about the holocaust. Streep is sublime in it, and it's such a great role - she gets to play Sophie before the war, during the war, after the war, etc. " - Tom

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Monday
Feb192018

Saoirse Preps Her Oscar Loss Face

Chris here, finding ways to cope wherever I can with the increasingly likelihood Lady Bird lands no Oscars in two weeks. And it looks like Saoirse Ronan is preparing herself as well, but with much more good humor. Granted she has lost twice before and has to be one of the cheeriest good sports among this year's acting lineup, so we suspect she (and team Lady Bird) will fare just fine. Have a laugh with Saoirse as she shows off her "Oscar Loser Face" and ponder if I might be wrong: does Lady Bird have a shot at winning any of its five Oscar nominations?

Monday
Feb192018

Mike Leigh at 75: Happy-Go-Lucky

With Mike Leigh turning 75 tomorrow, we'll be looking at a few of his films. Here's Chris Feil

Of Mike Leigh’s many great films, Happy-Go-Lucky is perhaps the one the has grown most in its potency. Though his films reward multiple viewings, here is one that has grown all the more meaningful as the world around us has become increasingly fraught with depressing news; the benefit of positivity is at once essential and ignored. The film is both a character study of its relentlessly gleeful protagonist Poppy, played to perfection by Sally Hawkins, and about how the world works against her optimistic state of being.

The pull to submit to anger and gloom weighs heavy on our times, and an outlook like Poppy’s can seem so very far away indeed. 

Ten years on now, Happy-Go-Lucky feels prescient to the dire state of the world, as if we are becoming more like those annoyed by her cheeriness. Some of us who once saw ourselves in Poppy might have even succumbed to the numbing anger of the every day in the intervening years...

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Monday
Feb192018

Box Office: T'Challa Reigns

by Nathaniel R

Holiday Weekend Box Office (Feb 15th-18th) Estimates
W I D E
800+ screens
L I M I T E D
excluding prev. wide
1.🔺 Black Panther (pictured) $235 NEW PODCAST
1. 🔺 Detective Chinatown 2 (pictured) $862k on 115 screens NEW 
2. Peter Rabbit $23.1 (cum. $54) 2.  The Oscar Nominated Short Films  $780k on 272 screens (cum. $1.8) 
3. Fifty Shades Freed $19.4 (cum. $78.6) REVIEW
3. La Boda de Valentina $642k on 331 screens (cum. $2.1)
4. Jumanji $10 (cum. $379.6)
4.  Pad Man $435k on 152 screens (cum. $1.4)
5. The 15:17 to Paris $9.1 (cum. $26.8) REVIEW 
5. 🔺 Monster Hunt 2  $401k on 69 screens NEW 

 

Black Panther just had a record-smashing holiday weekend. It's the biggest President's Day Weekend haul of all time and the 5th biggest opening ever. And in a single weekend (even if you don't count the holiday) it became 2018's biggest hit. That's thus far of course. Three dependably behemoth franchises that, like Black Panther, will have no trouble whatsoever raking up their first 1/2 billion globally (even if people don't love them) are still to come. We're talking Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Avengers: Infinity War which could threaten King T'Challa for #1 of the year dominance. 

But at least until the summer movie season begins "Wakanda Forever!" is the rallying cry for moviegoers, so there wasn't much talk of anything else...

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Monday
Feb192018

Beauty vs Beast: They Call Him Mr. Poitier

Jason from MNPP here - Sidney Poitier is turning 91 years old tomorrow, and so let's devote this week's episode of "Beauty vs Beast" to Norman Jewison's 1967 classic police drama In the Heat of the Night, which won five Oscars including ones for Best Picture, for Rod Steiger as Best Actor, and for Hal Ashby for Editing. Shockingly Poitier wasn't even nominated for the film, but he did already have his 1963 statue for Lilies in the Field at that point.

ITHOTN is nominally a film about a murder in a small town, but it's the tension between the Mississippian police chief Gillespie (Steiger) and the usurping fancy-man Philadelphian detective Virgil Tibbs (Poitier) that gives the film its drama, as we watch their animosity give way to something like respect. Still it's very much of its time, up to and including those Oscar nominations - imagine Steiger winning the statue while Poitier's not even nominated today...

PREVIOUSLY To borrow a turn of phrase from Denzel Washington, last week's Creed contest wasn't close and the winner, by an arm, was Michael B. Jordan as Adonis. He took just under 70%. Said Emma:

"I cried like a baby in the final act of CREED. My crying was so audible that someone in front of me turned around and said to my friend, 'let's hope she never sees SCHINDLER'S LIST!'.   Oh, and Michael B. Jordan's guns, obviously."

Monday
Feb192018

Berlinale 2018: Isle of Dogs and more...

Seán McGovern reporting from the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

There's a friendly kind of brusqueness to Berliners. They're very unbothered. But the barely-contained excitement of my first Berlinale is almost matched by the huge passion the Germans have for film culture. Ten days and dozens of stunning venues. I'm here mainly to see all the films up for the Teddy Award but it wouldn't be a film festival if I wasn't in at least three screenings a day.

Opening Film
Isle of Dogs (dir. Wes Anderson, United Kingdom/Germany)

At first it seems like a basic choice – A famed US director with a star studded cast.

But take a moment to appreciate that Isle of Dogs is a multi-format animation, in dual languages, and about a historic animosity between humans and dogs, set in Japan, in the future. It's is a gorgeous testament to the kind of storytelling animation is capable of...

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Sunday
Feb182018

BAFTA Winners + Precursor Consensus = No Surprises on Oscar Night?

by Nathaniel R

Kaluuya wins "Rising Star"With only 13 days left until Oscar, the race in most of the marquee categories is sadly settled. BAFTA, held today in London, cemented the frontrunners honoring the exact same actors as the Critics Choice Awards, SAG, and Golden Globes. It's Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Janney for the Oscars. Engrave the statues now. That's just too much consensus for Oscar to overthrow though we're personally baffled that none of that quartet's strong (and arguably better) competitors managed to put up a fight. What's more it's the first time in history when there's been no variation whatsoever in the prizes despite none of that foursome winning any of the top critics awards (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC). Usually there's at least one 'we're-doing-our-own-thing' moment within the four categories in the televised precursors. Not this year. What happened to the tough battle we were suppose to have in Best Actress for example with Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, and Sally Hawkins all seeming possible early on as victors. 

The only real question on Oscar night given this lock-step agreement from all of the major precursors is within the rare categories wherein there wasn't total agreement...

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