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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 preps her losing face - fun radio interview

Comment Fun

NEW PODCAST: lots of Oscar talk!

" I really like Janney a lot in her film, but Metcalf's just my favorite nominee in any acting category." - Nick T

"I wonder who will present Actress this year? I have a feeling it'll be Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Annabella Sciorra... Seems like the right thing to do." - Michael R

 "I've been hoping for months that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway will be invited back to annouce Best Picture this year. It just seems like the right thing to do." - MrW

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Tuesday
Feb202018

In Defense of Denzel Washington in "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

By Spencer Coile

Last year’s Best Actor race was highly contentious. Due to an influx of coverage surrounding sexual harassment charges, many people became uncomfortable with Casey Affleck's frontrunner status. This led some Oscar gurus to prognosticate a spoiler victory for Denzel Washington for his Fences  passion project. How close the voting was we'll never know but Washington and Affleck were considered to be neck-and-neck at the end.

Still, Affleck was victorious, leaving many (most notably, Brie Larson) unhappy or furious. While the narrative is not exactly the same for the new Best Actor race, there is one common denominator: Denzel Washington.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb202018

Mike Leigh at 75: On Wallpaper, Topsyturvydom and Empire

"THE FURNITURE," by Daniel Walber, is devoted to Mike Leigh this week for his 75th birthday. (Click on the images to see them in magnified detail.)

Topsy-Turvy is a subtle, even deceptive film. It moves like a light-hearted showbiz comedy, almost a Victorian Waiting for Guffman. Yet there’s much more going on. Why is it so long, for example? What is Mike Leigh trying to express with so many characters? Why "The Mikado"?

These are questions that can be answered by paying close attention to its production design, the Oscar-nominated work of Eve Stewart and Helen Scott. This is a film about London at the peak of the British Empire, a metropolis gobbling up the riches and the bric-a-brac of the entire world. And the chosen entertainment of its people, eager to take in the sights and sounds of their imperial fantasies, were the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan.

The first to appear in Topsy-Turvy is "Princess Ida", a fantastical lampoon of Victorian mores that took place in a sort-of Pre-Raphaelite, Medieval court. 

The version presented here involves a stage flanked by a traffic jam of trees, vine-covered Classical architecture and a great many helmets and snoods...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb202018

Final Balloting is Underway...

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (that's AMPAS to you!) can now cast their votes on the Oscar winners in all categories. They have one week to do so with ballots closing on February 27th. The long stretch between nominee and winner voting should ostensibly give them time to screen all the movies they may have been late in getting to and to really suss out their views of "Best" in each category, but strangely this waiting period doesn't usually result in the game-changing upheavals, contrarian impulses, or reconsiderations that you would think would be possible. That's especially true when the precursors march forward in total agreement (as recently discussed in the BAFTA winners post). 

So while we can't bring you DRAMA in these last 12 days pre-Oscar (del Toro, McDormand, Oldman, Janney and Rockwell are all as locked as locked can be) we hope to find other ways to entertain you as we count down and wrap up the film year in these next two weeks. 

Nevertheless if you have a miracle request / FYC to Academy voters put it out their into the universe (i.e. the comments) in a positive 'look at this beauty' way.

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...

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...