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)

What'cha Looking For?

THE FILMS OF 2011. The 12th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards celebrating

Nominees Announced Category by Category until we're finished. Cameos TBA

We are discontinuing this category as an annual award because so much of it comes down to chance of when films are released. But for special situations, like this one. It didn't feel fair to have anyone competing with Chastain for "breakthrough" given her constant presence and didn't feel right to only give her a nomination for The Help. So this year's special achievement gold medal in ubiquity goes to everyone's new favorite actress Jessica Chastain.
Jessica Chastain
The Tree of Life
Jessica Chastain
The Help
Jessica Chastain
The Debt
Jessica Chastain
Take Shelter
Jessica Chastain
read the film experience interview with this seemingly inexhaustible new star


BREAKTHROUGH (People To Root For)
an unholy mix of breakthroughs, feature debuts, and wishful thinking for newish careers. The Film Bitch criteria for this category always boils down to 'We weren't really familiar but these are the five people we're most anxious to see in another movie.'
Olivia Colman
(Tyrannosaur, The Iron Lady)
Tom Cullen
Chris New
Adepero Oduye
Elizabeth Olsen
(Martha Marcy May Marlene)

She's familiar to Brits but for the rest of us she's an important "new" find, capable of enormous emotion w'out overplaying (Tyrannosaur) and ballast to flickering star turns (The Iron Lady)

Next Up:
TV work in Britain and playing Queen Elizabeth for Roger Michell in Hyde Park on Hudson

It's not easy to hold the screen this firmly while playing a quiet introvert. But his turn as a gay lifeguard falling for a one night stand resonated, anchoring one of the year's very best films.

Next Up:
Some TV work in Britain. Any films?

Artistic extroverts aren't exactly an unfamiliar type in cinema but the beauty of his work is how authentic it reads. There's no performing (except when Glen himself is performing) there's only being.

Next Up:
Some TV work in Britain. Any films?

Wonderful nuanced authentically lived in work as a shy lesbian teenager in Brooklyn.

Next Up:
Haven't heard a peep which is a terrible sign given the quality of her breakthrough role. Just goes to prove again that Hollywood is terrible about nurturing the careers of the best actresses of color.

Just hypnotic as the cult escapee who no longer knows herself, all stripped of identity.

Next Up:
What isn't she being considered for is a better question. She's in Red Lights, Liberal Arts, and Very Good Girls. And soon the leading role in Therese Raquin opposite Glenn Close

Finalists: Joel Courtney - Super 8; Monia Chokri - Heartbeats; Craig Roberts - Submarine
Semi-Finalists: Thomas Horn - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and John Boyega -Attack the Block


Best Ensemble


Wiig, McCarthy, Byrne, O'Dowd, Hamm, Rudolph, Kemper, McClendon-Covey, Clayburgh and Falcone, Lucas and Wilson

Wonderful comic improvi even from dramatic actors, anchored by a multitude of tiny reactive nuances since the movie is about something (imagine it) and not just after easy laughs.

Berlin, Paquin, Smith-Cameron, Broderick, Janney, Culkin, Damon, Gallagher Jr, Reno, DeWitt and Ruffalo

Lonergan's sprawling jagged cry of the New York soul offers up plenty of meat for actors to chew on but it never feels acting exercizey. You feel their collective pain.

Harrelson, Wright, Weaver, Heche, Nixon, Larson, Beatty, Bernthal, Foster, Cube, and McDonald

So many interesting scenes, so perfectly judged between the actors -- even in offhand bits and business -- that it's like a forceful wake up call to Hollywood movies: ask more from your actors. Many can deliver.

Bayet, Maadi, Hatami, Farhadi, Hosseini, Karimi, Shahbazi, and Zare'i

Ensemble acting without anything like weak links often indicate a strong directorial hand but the actors are still to be honored. They're so in sync with Farhadi's complex puzzle and their own piece in it.

Oldman, Cumberbatch, Firth, Hardy, Strong, Hinds, Hurt, Jones, Fairbank-Hinds, Dencik, McBurney and Burke

I'm reasonably certain that repeat viewings will only deepen the meaning and nuance of all that interactor glancing, sizing up, evading, confessing, remembering, warning.

Finalists: Vera Farmiga has an eye for assembling fine actors and actresses in Higher Ground, Hazanavicius assembled a delightful group for The Artist and they don't let their spirited performances lag
Semi-Finalists: Lots of different acting styles but lots of enjoyment from the cast of The Help, I normally don't think of tiny triangular casts  as "ensembles" but the three main players in Tuesday After Christmas are riveting together and the director actually allows them to share their frame (this shouldn't be shocking but today's filmmakers only have room for one actor in any image now and usually not even their full frace. Soon we'll be looking at only eyeballs), and finally the casts of The Ides of March, Young Adult and Midnight in Paris orbit their stars or concepts well.


[You can find a menu to the last two years of awards to your right in the sidebar.]