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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Marriage Story Review

"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

"Mini-shutout to Alda, whom I loved and thought did absolute wonders in his what, 3 or 4 scenes. Great review!" -Alex

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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The Films of 2014. The 15th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards


Best Costume Design
The Boxtrolls
Deborah Cook
Grand Budapest Hotel 
Milena Canonero
The Immigrant
Patricia Norris
Mr Turner
Jacqueline Durran
Ruth Carter
 Imagine populating an entire heightened superstitious fairy tale town whose clothing plays an important role in the story, denoting status and character. Now, do it in miniature and make sure the fabrics can be adjusted frame by frame.
 From the deep purple Lobby Boys to the filthy working class, deep tradition prison clothing, and rich old ladies, Canonero's fruitful iconic collaboration with Wes Anderson continues and fills your eyeballs with joy.
From the magpie like theatricality of the working girls and the more classic garb of the magicians, to all of those heavy blacks (which aren't really black) to keep out the chill. This movie is quite a beauty. [interview]  
Though Mike Leigh isn't known for period films, when his team works on them, they spare no expense and just soar. Durran, one of our best designers, works busy fussy marvels here with the large ensemble of artists, mistreated women, and patrons 

Though this isn't as fun as Carter's other epic scale black history designs (think: Malcolm X & The Butler) it's not meant to be. But within this more sober drama, her work on the communities of marchers, students, and activists perfectly serves the vision.


Finalists: Noah - Michael Wilkinson's deep research and aim for out of time eco-friendly hand-stitched clothing is fascinating  [interview]; Birdman- Yes the Birdman costume is awesome but Albert Wolsky also brings us perfect "fuck you" wear for Stone, egotistical briefs for Norton, and theater costumes, too.

Semi- Finalists: Inherent Vice - Mark Bridges; Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Judianna Makovsky; Snowpiercer - Catherine George; Divergent - Carlo Poggioli; Theory of Everything - Steven Noble


Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki
Ryszard Lenczewski & Lukasz Zal
The Immigrant
Darius Khondji
Only Lovers Left Alive
Yorick Lesaux
Mr Turner
Dick Pope
 For the bold colors, the deep shadows from which art (and madness) emerge But mostly for the virtuosity
 For the ultra precise framing and mysterious closeups. But mostly for the winter chills in glorious black and white. For the rich golden hues, for sepia feel that feels less tired trope than classic. But mostly for the theatricality  
 For otherworldly and worldly beauties particularly the ink blacks and stark articial lights of Detroit as ghost town
 For absorbing and reflecting Mr Turner's own painterly light. JMW could have painted this movie himself.


Finalists: Wild - Yves Bélanger makes connections between landscape and faces with natural light; The Homesman - Rodrigo Prieto's western is a haunted dusty beauty; Nightcrawler - Robert Elswit's works wonders in the nighttime and the day is all too bright

Semi- Finalists: Interstellar - Hoyt van Hoytema; Under the Skin - Daniel Landin; A Most Violent Year - Bradford Young; Godzilla - Seamus McGarvey


Best Production Design
James Chinlund
Adam Stockhausen
Suzie Davis
Marco Bittner Rosser
Ondrej Nekvasil
 It's not just advances in technology that make this fantastical vision so authentic but the scope of Chinlund's world building: ape habitats, primitive languages, decaying cities and vegetation exploding where it's long been uprooted.
 Anderson's precious diorama like aesthetic has finally met its soulmate. Wherever the busy plot takes you from prisons, offices, mansions, bakeries, museums, it's all art-directed heaven... as delicious as the Budapest's tiered cake exterior.
 From memorably functional workrooms, to the stately order of the homes of patrons, to overcrowded exhibitions, and that quaint seaside oasis, Mr Turner is impeccably detailed and designed, fully immersing you in the old world.
From Adam's makeshift musician's cave of a delapitated townhouse, to Eve's cascading shelfless library, Rosser & team find multiple ways to embody homes that rarely have guests and are completely attuned to their solitary ancient resident. Nekvasil practically has a whole anthology to design, given this narrow sectional allegorical title character. We move violently from chapter to chapter / compartment to compartment, new wonders and nightmares behind every door.


Finalists: The Homesman - Meredith Boswell's finds beauty in the plainness, eery details and smart color choices along the journey; Birdman Kevin Thompson works wonders in a movie star's cramped dressing room, and a New York theater filled with mystery and moving targets. Bonus points for that crazy liquor store, as lit up as any Indian restaurant on 6th street. 

Semi-Finalists: The Imitation Game - Marja Durjovic; The Babadook -Alex Holmes; Noah -Mark Friedberg;  Interstellar Nathan Crowley; The Boxtrolls - August Hall, Paul Lasaine, Tom McCluire


Best Film Editing
Grand Budapest Hotel
Barney Pilling
Jaroslaw Kaminski
John Gilroy
Under the Skin
Paul Watts
Wild Tales
Pablo Barbieri Carrera & Damian Szifrón
For gorgeous comic beats and off kilter rhthyms, without knocking loose the steady IV drip of old world gravitas
 For merciless cutting, serving the director's tight vision and trusting the audience, and unblinking attention to performance
For aiding and abetting wow performances, and that constant dread in narrative escalation
 For sustaining the mood (and some shots), and its inimitably alien curiousity and POV
 For cohesion of engagement and nimble juggling of three registers simultaneously: drama, physical comedy, and action

Finalists: Sandra Adair's unfussy accretion of detail and growth for Boyhood is noteworthy; Jeffrey Ford & Matthew Schmidt cut the year's most thrilling action sequences in Captain America: Winter Soldier and keep the film fleet-footed in its talky bits; Kirk Baxter continues to do elegant cold blooded work for David Fincher in Gone Girl

Semi-Finalists: The Babadook - Simon Njoo; Wild - Martin Pensa & Jean-Marc Vallée; Whiplash - Tom Cross; Pride - Melanie Olivier


Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Under the Skin



Finalists: X-Men: Days of Future Past; Guardians of the Galaxy

Semi-Finalists: Edge of TomorrowLucy; Noah

Did Not See: The Hobbit 3 or Transf4rmers


Best MakeUp and Hair

Guardians of the Galaxy Grand Budapest Hotel
Only Lovers Left Alive
 Stage makeup, sad hairpieces, defiant dark roots, and that disorienting new nose  
 Alien oddness, a rainbow of skin pigmentation and textures, and much detaik throughout. (But the bizarre hair is maybe a bit much.)
 old world elegance, geographical birthmarks,  heightened "character" work galore. And horny filthy rich Old Lady Tilda 
 pale skin in various stages of decline, conformity of goth  affectations. And dreadlocked wise Vampire Tilda 
Fatigued desperate people continually covered in grime, sweat, and scars and years without hair product. And dentally challenged Politician Tilda

Finalists: Fury; The Homesman; Mr Turner

Semi-Finalists: SelmaFoxcatcher; A Most Violent Year; The Immigrant;