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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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Entries in HBO (110)

Wednesday
Mar222017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 5 "Once Bitten"

Previously: episode 1 and 2, episode 3 and episode 4. Here's Nathaniel's take on Episode 5

In the fifth episode, we've reached what has to be a boiling point as Jane, Madeline, Celeste and Renata all seem to be coming absolutely unhinged simultaneously. Spoiler alert for the rest of this post: this show is just superb and it's giving us more actressing than we even know what to do with. *tosses roses at television*

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies. Episode 5 "Once Bitten"

10. Madeline's Dream
Bonus points to the show for having a sense of humor about its hardcore annoying refusal to let us know who was murdered. Also any Avenue Q reference is golden.  

09 "Bully Free Zone"
That damn bright yellow & red sign. 

Don't you feel like it's constantly just taunting everyone in the school? At least half of the adults in this show are bullies themselves and everyone seems so helplessly ill equipped to deal with bullying in school on top of their other issues... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar212017

Doc Corner: The Confined Spaces of 'Solitary'

by Glenn Dunks

Solitary could have gone in many different directions. Filmed over a year inside the supermax solitary confinement prison of Red Onion, Virginia, all sorts of independent narratives that are weaved throughout could have made for their own captivating feature. There are the guards, disturbed by what they see, and the death of the region’s prime coal mining industry that brought them to this line of work. There are the crimes of the prisoners, most of them violent, some of them not so. And then there is, like Ava DuVernay’s (broader, superior) Oscar-nominated 13th, the system itself that is obviously damaged and flawed at its very core.

It's nice, but also a little frustrating, then that director Kristi Jacobson (known best for 2012’s A Place at the Table) chose something far less sensational by focusing on the concept of nature versus nurture. Nice because that feels rare in film, but frustrating because it doesn't make the most of its unique access while doing so...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar152017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 4 "Push Comes to Shove"

Editor's Note: We're passing the baton around for Big Little Lies so that we keep up. Nathaniel took episode 1 and 2, Spencer looked at episode 3. Lynn Lee takes the baton for episode 4....

Coming off the high of Episode 3, Episode 4 couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a comedown, even as it ratcheted up the multiple tensions just a wee bit more.  Feels like something’s gotta give soon, doesn’t it?  We are, after all, at series midpoint and we still don’t know who the murder victim is.  It doesn’t bother me, though, as long as we’ve got such juicy character dynamics and relationships, not to mention such fantastic actressing, to distract us...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar112017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 3 "Living The Dream"

Editor's Note: To get us all caught up for Sunday's 4th episode (we'll start covering the series as it airs now), and so that I can get to "Feud" and the latest episode of "Pfandom," I'm handing over the reigns to episode 3 to our new contributor Spencer Coile for a fresh set of eyes.

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies. Episode 3 "Living The Dream" 
In the third episode, Madeline finds out that her oldest daughter Abigail (Kathryn Newton) wants to move in with her dad (James Tupper) and Bonnie. Celeste and Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) attempt to give a another go at counseling. And after a botched family tree project leads Ziggy (Iain Armitage) to ask who his father is, Jane reveals to Madeline that Ziggy was the resut of forced sex with a man supposedly named Saxton Banks. 

"Living The Dream" is Big Little Lies' finest installment thus far, and a list of the episode's major players follows after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar102017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 2 "Serious Mothering"

by Nathaniel R

previously: episode 1

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies. Episode 2 "Serious Mothering" 
In episode 2 we learn that Celeste's husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) is abusive and even their love life is violent. Meanwhile Renata and Madeline get into a screaming match in a restaurant over an upcoming children's party, and Madeline's two husbands -- the ex Nathan (James Tupper) and the current Ed (Adam Scott) -- rub each other the wrong way. 

A list of ten wonderments from this installment after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar092017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 1 "Somebody's Dead"

by Nathaniel R

She's delicious!

Why yes she is, Alexander, she is. So's the show.

Sometimes, on particularly dark-mood days, as your editor sits in the Film Experience HQ, a lonely room high atop a tower, he worries that he'll spot a mob of angry actressexuals with torches gathering on the road below. They scream "Why haven't you written about _________???"

Such has been the feeling each Sunday night when Big Little Lies has aired on HBO, resplendent with actressing and yet, crickets. So before the mob gathers, we'll try to catch up really quick so we're on the weekly schedule...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Oprah Brings the HBO Actressing for "Henrietta Lacks"

Chris here. If you thought this week's debut of HBO's Big Little Lies was our sole oasis for actresses acting on the channel, they'll be following its seven episodes with another treat: the adaptation of nonfiction bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In fact, it has its own big little trifecta: a major role for the acting-shy Oprah, a dramatic role for TFE favorite Rose Byrne, and Renée Elise Goldsberry's follow-up to her Tony-winning Hamilton run.

Directed by theatre genius George C. Wolfe, Lacks's story is one of family, race, and class, providing a human backdrop for for how her cancer provided important discoveries on how the disease is treated. Come Emmy time, HBO is seeking full actress prize domination with this year's slate - but do we think this could get Oprah the acting honors that often eluded her? From the looks of the first trailer, she could be some major competition:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks airs on April 22.