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 2015. The 16th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards



Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role
Jennifer Ehle
"Madame de Montespan"
Jane Fonda
"Brenda Morel"
Noni Hazelhurst
"Nicki Burkett"
Andie MacDowell
"Brenda Morel"
Juno Temple
"Deborah Hussey"
Ehle perpetually gifts movies with moments far greater than her roles. So endearing as the King's neglected love. Bonus point: 50 Shades of Grey  The script isn't at her level but she tears into it with memorable diva entrance, grudge-holding fire, and exit
 Few movie thrills this year were as acute and righteously furious as this civilian dressing down Maple's gamemanship with her husband as pawn
 Peak bliss scene in an often joyous romp. Her best role in forever, her Southern charm and libido dialed way up

It's easy to lampoon her strange corrupted woman-child niche in the movies but you can't argue that she doesn't know how to sell it.



Finalists: Jenn Murray negative nancy "Dolores" in Brooklyn who the other girls hate -- even kind Eilis. But we love her stink-eye

Semi-Finalists : Lindsey Moser "Convenience Store Clerk" (Magic Mike XXL); Meryl Streep "Emmeline Prankhurst" (Suffragette); Julia Jakab "Ella" (Son of Saul); Eva Birthistle "Georgina" in (Brooklyn)

Wanted to Include: Marcia Gay Harden's hilariously agressive mom but perhaps in too much of the movie given the finale. I made room for her in line reading because it was mandatory.



Best Actor in a Limited or Cameo Role
Sam Elliott
Björn Gustaffson
Neal Huff
"Phil Saviano"
James LeBlanc
"Patrick McSorley"
Christopher Meloni
 In Grandma's best scene he rewires our feelings for Elle and underlines the unique cinematic gravitas of elderly screen characters; they've really lived. Bonus points: I'll See You In Me Dreams

"I'm not crying!"

One of the broadest characters in Spy but he's just hilarious and a perfect foil to both McCarthy's shit talking and Rayna's rank-pulling as this Swedish henchman

 Precise articulation of a certain kind of aggressive one-issue lifelong crusader. So easy to both track and feel for his rising impatience with the ostensible heroes. Heartbreakingly blue collar Boston authentic as an abuse survivor w/out any kind of acting fireworks. Just an average Joe, who's become accustomed to but still uncomfortable with his 11 year old self
 Well meaning or just toxic? Meloni aces his brief scenes as the smarter-than-thou stepfather with too little patience for the women in his life.  

Finalists: Keegan Michael-Key "Hugo" in Tomorrowland; Michael Cyril Creighton "Joe Crowley" in Spotlight;

Semi Finalists: Jon Bernthal "Ted" in Sicario; And two of the absolute best and easy to overlook performances this year since they fall between regular "supporting" and maybe wouldn't have been in the movie with different editing decisions but

Please Note: Not to be too film-nerdy/first world awards problems but this category is so hard each year. It's worth doing to highlight great work but it raises all kinds of issues about both access to movies for rewatches (it's so easy to misremember characters with minor roles ) and what it even means to have minor roles. Two performances I deeply loved this year that were probably too big for the intentions of this category were Jamey Sheridan's subtly damning Jim Sullivan in Spotlight (3 or 4 scenes) and Peter Sarsgaard's indelible sweaty Brian Halloran in Black Mass (4 scenes but feels like less because the screen time is so short). But damn those are two beautiful pieces of acting. Maybe I shoulda listed them in Supporting Actor?




Best Line Reading
Elizabeth Banks
Paul Bettany
Rose Byrne
Kyle Chandler
Marcia Gay Harden

 "I'm going to go sell some cars."

"Not what you are and not what you intended."

"What a stupid fucking retarded toast. You're delightful."

 "Oh that's bold."


 "I didn't knit them!"

Please note: This category will now be retired. It's always so hard to do and I've realized it would be more satisfying to make in list form for each super quotable movie or for the best overall performances. So it'll be around next year but no longer in film bitch awards form.



 Special Honor "Body of Work" Gold Medal
(Vikander was previously nominated at the Film Experience for
"Breakthrough Performer" for A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina)

Alicia Vikander
"Vera Brittain"
Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander
"Anne Marie"
Alicia Vikander
"Gerda Wegener"
"Elevates the movie to something genuinely poignant, even heartrending."
- The Film Experience
"Always processing what to hide, what to reveal, what to say, how to be seen. This is authentic as synthetic gets." 
-The Film Experience 
"Vikander, the Swedish actress who is very hot right now, is terrific in the key femme role"
- Deadline Hollywood 
 "While the romance simmers, spice things up by stirring in gorgeous ex-girlfriend (Alicia Vikander)" 

-All Movie 

"She imbues Gerda with such poignancy and grace that Redmayne all but fades into the background."
- St Louis Today

: The Body of Work Medal is not an annual category but pops up when a performer cannot go unrewarded for rich multiple contributions to a cinematic year. Not since Jessica Chastain's 2011 have we had to unleash it but Vikander, who began the year with rave reviews for two leading roles in costume and sci-fi dramas and ended with a third in a prestige marital drama, could not be ignored.



Breakthrough Performer
(the primary criteria being 'early in big screen career' and
'how badly do we want to see them in another film right away?')
Rebecca Ferguson
M:I - Rogue Nation
John Magaro
Carol / The Big Short
Bel Powley
Diary of a Teenage Girl
Mya Taylor
Karidja Touré
  Stealing the show from the always hard working Tom Cruise.
  Able interesting support and chemistry w/ stars in two major films. Bright future for sure.
 For nailing a challenging role - but will Hollywood know what to do with her? 
 Who wasn't only funny but also brought soul to the raucous comedy 

A natural with an expressive face and a beautiful handle on the character arc



Finalists: Raffey Cassidy gave such memorable face as the robot girl of Tomorrowland; Abraham Attah was great in Beasts of No Nation but with child and teen stars you never know - will it be a one off?;

Semi-Finalists: Desiree Akhavan eccentrically sexy and sly in Appropriate Behavior; Dakota Johnson already in demand after the blockbuster 50 Shades of Grey but she was even better in Black Mass; Maika Monroe anchoring the critical horror darling It Follows; and Kitana 'Kiki' Rodriguez was quite funny in Tangerine

Two Notes: Since Jacob Tremblay was nominated for Best Actor he was not eligible here. Since we've loved Teyonah Parris for years on Mad Men and missed her semi-breakthrough in Dear White People (oops) it felt a bit odd to pit her against people we were seeing or noticing for the first time.


Best Ensemble Performance

 Ronan, Cohen, Gleeson, Broadbent, Paré, Walters, McGrath, Rickards, O'Higgins, and more...


Though it's an old school star vehicle in one way, in another it provides a richly warm and comic tapestry of friends and family. MORE ON THIS ENSEMBLE

Blanchett, Mara, Chandler, Lacy, Paulson, Magaro, Smith, Crowley, Lardin, and more...

Rare is the love story this generous to everyone in which the peripheral players's broken hearts are inextricable from the story's depth

 Blunt, Del Toro, Brolin, Garber, Bernthal, Kauluuya, Donovan, Hernandez, Trujillo, and more...


The men work their boys club insularity to great effect with exactly the right actress on the inside/outside.

 Keaton, McAdams, Shreiber, Tucci, James, Ruffalo, Slattery, Crudup, Sheridan, and more...


Spotlight wouldn't soar high if the titular team didn't feel so well oiled, devoted, and interdependent MORE ON THESE PLAYERS

McCarthy, Law, Statham, Byrne, Janney, Baccarin, Cannavale, Hart, Lee, and more...

Comic camaraderie abounds and there seems to be a competition for funniest. Nobody wins except the audience.

Finalists: Diary of a Teenage Girl, Tangerine

Semi-Finalists: Chi-Raq, Ex Machina, Joy, I'll See You In My Dreams, Magic Mike XXL,


Best Casting

Fiona Weir
Nina Henninger
Emily Schweber
Francine Maisler
Victoria Thomas & Cindy Tolan
 For Ronan at the perfect time. For a new way to look at Cohen. And especially for that everyone inside that glorious boarding house
 For the discovery of Powley. For fresh challenges for far more familiar actors. And for their erotic stew when mixed up.
For Blythe's rare shot at a leading role, a smart off kilter choice for her pool boy. That inner circle of cajolic comic support delights. Plus Sam Elliott!
 For memorable faces. For actors who can play that razors edge between you wanting to trust them and fearing they're completely devious. For the right actress in the middle
For combining solid actors, unknowns, and DNA replicas (haha) to recreate a pivotal moment in music history

Finalists: Tangerine, Ex Machina, Girlhood 

Semi-Finalists: Steve Jobs, Chi-Raq, Carol, Mustang