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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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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 Will Smith (34)

Thursday
Jan252018

Olympics at the Oscar and "I, Tonya"

by Nathaniel R

Margot Robbie recently shared this pic from "exactly a year ago" when she was training for I TONYA

Is Margot Robbie the first actress to ever be nominated playing an Olympic athlete? I legit don't know the answer but I can't think of any others. The only previous Oscar nominated performances that we could think of were men: Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (though the focus there wasn't on the Olympics) and Mark Ruffalo as David Schultz (thanks commenters for this one!)

If you think back over movies that revolved around the Olympics in some way they aren't usually acting showcases (Chariots of Fire) or aren't focused on the Olympians themselves (Munich) or they're films that were either aimed at wide audience crowd pleasing or just didn't connect with awards voters (The Cutting Edge, Personal Best, Running Brave, Prefontaine, Eddie the Eagle, Cool Runnings) or they're documentaries which by their nature can't score acting honors.

There have been Olympians with movie careers but I can't think of any actors except Margot and Will Smith (who coincidentally co-starred in Focus in 2015) who have been nominated for playing an Olympian. Can you? Am I forgetting something totally obvious?

Saturday
Dec232017

Review: "Bright" on Netflix

by Ben Miller

Will Smith misses the good ole days.  He has been trying to reclaim his blockbuster status since 2008’s Hancock.  In between, Smith has been featured in a string of weird melodramatic dramas (Seven Pounds, Collateral Beauty), traditional action genre vehicles (Men in Black 3, After Earth, Suicide Squad) and films that sink or swim on the charisma of the stars (Focus, Concussion).  None of these have worked.

Reuniting with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, Smith tries to make it work again in action/sci-fi with Netflix’s Bright.  This also doesn’t really work...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul262017

Will "Bright" be a Netflix Blockbuster? And how do you even define that?

By Ben Miller

If you haven’t heard already, Netflix will continue their quest for world domination with a tentpole feature film, Bright, in December.  Directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury), the film stars Will Smith as a Los Angeles police officer who is teamed up with an orc cop (Joel Edgerton) to fight crime and try to make sense of whatever the hell is happening in the trailer.  There are fairies, magic wands, elves, swords, Noomi Rapace, and all sorts of other fantastical elements involved.

Let’s talk money.  Bright cost $90 million for Netflix to pick up.  Half of that cost went in to the film to shoot, while the other half goes to the talent (mostly Smith, Ayer and screenwriter Max Landis).  These days, $90 million seems pretty reasonable for a fantasy film starring an A-List “Movie Star”.  Suicide Squad, the most recent Smith-Ayer fantasy foray, cost $175 million. [More...]

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Tuesday
Jul182017

"Aladdin" Finds its Leading Man

by Nathaniel R

Will Smith has been booked as the genie for a fair bit but now Disney is really revving up for their live action remake of Aladdin, casting both their "Street Rat! Scoundrel!" and future prince in Mena Massoud (pictured above), and their Princess Jasmine in Naomi Scott, who just played the pink ranger in the film version of Power Rangers...

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Tuesday
Jun062017

Six Degrees of Stockard Channing

By Spencer Coile 

John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation is a finely tuned satire of the rich and elite, inviting its audience into the lives of Flan and Ouisa Kittredge, an art dealer and his wife. Through a mixture of broad comedy, close examination of "how the other half lives," and an honest depiction of race relations in the 20th century, his work was not only a Best Play nominee at the 1990 Tony Awards, but was a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is no surprise that his creation would soon find its home on the screen as well, being adapted into a 1993 film of the same name, directed by Fred Schepisi and written for the screen by Guare. 

Indeed, much can be said about both its stage and screen representation (Nathaniel even wrote about the play's current revival here), from its kooky premise to the performances. Considering the revival's Tony success (nominations for Best Revival of a Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play), not to mention many of its timeless qualities, let's dive into Guare's work and find out what connects us all. 

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Wednesday
May172017

Cannes Day 1: The Netflix Battle and "Ishmael's Ghost"

by Nathaniel R

Maren Ade, Will Smith, Agnes Jaoui, and Pedro Almodóvar at the Jury Press Conference today

Though we aren't in the South of France we'll try to keep an eye on the proceedings across the pond there these next two weeks. If you're relatively new to movie obsessing (We keep hoping more young people will tune in to TFE. We used to attract baby cinephiles... not sure where they congregate now!) Vox has a terrific heavily expository overview of why Cannes is so important, how to pronounce it ("can" not "cans" or "cahn"), why so many famous people go, why everyone is so dressed up, and some other myths and mysteries that surround the festival.

Jury Press Conference & the Netflix Divide
Because juicy click-bait headlines drive traffic most websites are framing the Jury Press Conference as a bloody war between the president Pedro Almodóvar and his most famous juror Will Smith. They may well eventually come to artistic blows in jury deliberations (who knows) but this is already grossly overstated. They merely have different feelings about Netflix, a famous "disruptor" as a company. Will Smith is very pro Netflix (basically because he has kids who like it). Almodóvar is very pro theatrical exhibition, because you know, he's a filmmaker who cares about movies. That's about the extent of the "war"...

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