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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

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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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Entries in 10|25|50|75|100 (247)

Thursday
Feb222018

Mike Leigh at 75: "Vera Drake"

by Eric Blume

Mike Leigh nabbed his second Best Director nomination and his third Original Screenplay nomination with his 2004 film Vera Drake (he has yet to win any Oscars despite seven nominations across those two categories).  Imelda Staunton scored an Actress nod as well for this tale of the vibrant eponymous character who “helps girls out” as part of her many job and family responsibilities. Her actions carry a brutal cost, and the film still carries incredible power.

Fourteen years later, Vera Drake has aged beautifully, perhaps in part because Leigh has structured and staged it in a classical framework...

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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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Wednesday
Nov222017

Happy 50th Mark Ruffalo !

by Eric Blume

Today marks the 50th birthday of one of our very best actors, three-time Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo burst onto the scene in 2000 with a remarkable lead performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me.  His complex, layered work had critics fairly sprouting comparisons to Brando, and his gorgeous duet with Laura Linney still feels like the standard-bearer for on-screen sibling chemistry.  It’s astonishing to think Ruffalo missed out on an Oscar nomination that year, considering his performance is unquestionably better than several of the eventual nominees -- was it category confusion or lack of name-recognition? Oscar has remained historically slow to coronate good looking young actors, and that recognition remained on hold for him for over another decade...  

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Monday
Nov132017

The Furniture: 25 Years Trapped in Castle Dracula

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. 

Bram Stoker’s Dracula turns 25 years old today. It is, appropriately, not dead. Not that a film can die, exactly, but this one has held onto its toothy vigor with particular success. Even the ridiculous way Keanu pronounces “Bewdapest” still charms. Eiko Ishioka’s Oscar-winning costumes seem simultaneously ancient and way ahead of their time. The same goes for the Oscar-winning makeup, which transforms Gary Oldman across centuries with bewildering commitment. The visual effects, which went unnominated, remain thrilling, a dizzying phantasmagoria of cinematic shadow-puppetry.

But I’m here to rave about the only nominated category that the film didn’t win. Production designer Thomas E. Sanders and art director Garrett Lewis were nominated, but they lost to Howards End. Hard to argue with that, of course. Yet their work on Bram Stoker’s Dracula is just as worthy in its complexity, engaging with the material deep within the extravagance and color. Sanders and Lewis demonstrate a creativity well beyond the Gothic castles and thick cobwebs of the genre’s lesser films, shining a newly bloodstained light on this most famous of vampire stories.

The home of the monstrous count itself is a perfect example. Dracula lives in a decaying tower, but a fraction of his former seat of power. It hovers over a cliff in a remote corner of Transylvania, all but removed from the eyes of the living. It cascades upwards, every story more mangled than the last...

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Thursday
Nov022017

Happy Ann Rutherford Centennial

by Nathaniel R

Ann Rutherford in Bermuda Mystery (1944)

Today marks the centennial of studio system regular Ann Rutherford. Though she's best remembered today for her minor role in Gone With the Wind (Scarlett's little sister Carreen) she was actually a headliner both before and after that all time classic... 

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Wednesday
Nov012017

Happy 50th to "Cool Hand Luke"

Paul Newman's fourth Best Actor nominated star vehicle opened on this day in 1967! In its honor an impromptu list...

BEST SCREEN LUKES

  1. Cool Hand Luke  (Paul Newman)
  2. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) 
  3. Luke Pasqualino
  4. Luke Cage  (Mike Colter)
  5. Luke (Ryan Gosling) from The Place Beyond the Pines 
  6. Luke Evans
  7. Keye Luke
  8. Luke (OT Fagbenie) from "The Handmaid's Tale"
  9. Derek Luke
  10. Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) from "The Dukes of Hazzard"

(okay, who'd we forget?)