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Early Bird Oscar Predix: The Costume Designers
22 hours ago
Whether or not you think Catherine Martin has already won this year's Costume Design Oscar - paging pink-suited Jay Gatsby! -- the upcoming battle for Oscar nominations is hardly an easy read even if there are only four spots to sashay towards in your suit & gown finery. Costume Design is my favorite Oscar race outside of all the Actressing, not frequently for what the Academy chooses but for the breadth and depth of the competitive field each year. Here's a few questions I'm already asking myself and by extension, you. So join me in the sartorial contemplation...
Steven Noble's work on "Two Faces of January" looks just divine in stills. How's the film?
This far ahead of the nominations (only 242 days to go!) it's anyone's guess and anyone's game.
Which frequently forgotten designer will finally get the red carpet welcoming committee?
The possible answers are plentiful so let's talk four of them. »
- NATHANIEL R
I Left My Film Festival in San Francisco
18 May 2013 5:23 AM, PDT
Glenn here with a report from the recently concluded 56th San Francisco Film Festival. I travelled to the Golden Gate city and sat on the Fipresci jury, judging a roster of eleven films from first and second-time directors. Given the attention given to Fipresci – The International Federation of Film Critics, or Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique if you want to be European about it – I wasn’t allowed to discuss the films as the festival progressed (can’t let the pundits in on what we’re going to reward now, can we?), but now we can take short looks at each of the competition titles.
Directed by Justine Malle (yes, Louis Malles daughter), and starring Esther Garrel (daughter of Philippe; sister of ubiquitous French star Louis Garrel) and with a title as definitive as Youth (there should be an "!" there just for effect), Malle’s debut has the weight of baggage. »
- Glenn Dunks
Kidman in Cannes. Part 2.
17 May 2013 8:46 PM, PDT
Jose here. After abandoning us for what felt like years Ok it was just one day Cannes jury member extraordinaire Nicole Kidman is back to show us how it's done!
Who She Wore: Calvin Klein (it was a Ck party after all...)
Which Director She's Trying to Lure: why Lars of course. It's no coincidence that she came out as a dominatrix the day after that gorgeous publicity shot of Nymphomaniac was unleashed on the world. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't she supposed to play the part that went to Uma? Make up your mind Nicky!
What "Alice Harford" would think of this: "So, because I'm a beautiful woman, the only reason any man wants to talk to me is because he wants to fuck me? Is that what you're saying?"
Is it me or is she bringing her game back in a way she'd only been doing at the Grammys? »
Smash: "The Phenomenon" & "The Transfer"
16 May 2013 9:01 PM, PDT
Dancin’ Dan here, wishing I could say that I was coming here not to bury Smash, but to praise it. Truly. I have been a huge Smash apologist ever since that (amazingly, awesomely) ridiculous Bollywood number last season, but the show’s two most recent episodes, “The Phenomenon” and “The Transfer”, are just awful. I can't defend them. Any goodwill I had left for the show has gone pretty much completely out the window. Which is all the sadder considering we will soon be laying eyes on the series's final episodes.
Spoilers After The Jump »
Why Greta Gerwig (hopefully) Won't Be the Next Big Thing
16 May 2013 7:15 PM, PDT
Tim here, hoping that we're all okay with talking about Greta Gerwig a little bit more. The 29-year-old actress and her career has been discussed to the point of distraction throughout the internet ever since she erupted onto the indie scene in 2006 and 2007 in a pair of Joe Swanberg films, Lol and Hannah Takes the Stairs, but on the eve of her new collaboration with director Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha, it seemed the right moment to take stock of where her short but impressively-stocked career has taken her so far. It's also a great moment to look head-on at the question that has hung around the new film like a shroud: is Frances Ha going to be Gerwig’s “breakout” film, the one that finally makes her a movie star?
My feeling, without having seen the movie (where I live in Chicago, it's not opening for a while yet) is that it almost certainly won't. »
- Tim Brayton
16 May 2013 3:28 PM, PDT
Flicks and Bits cool fan-made posters for X-Men Days of Future Past
Playbill is Jewel up for the part of Cinderella in Into the Woods? I am always rooting for thirtysomething and forthy something ladies on up (as everyone knows) but isn't she at least 15 years too old for this part?
Cinema Blend Emily Blunt will play the very plum role of the Bakers Wife -- does anyone know if she can sing?
Le Noir Auteur on Angelina Jolie's recent op-ed
Tom & Lorenzo Julianne Moore's photospread in Madame Figaro
Allure Zoe Saldana naked for Allure. And also revealing her weight for some reason
In Contention The Bling Ring reviewed from Cannes
- NATHANIEL R
Buy a Flower Off a Poor Girl
16 May 2013 1:00 PM, PDT
Another edition of May Flowers is blooming...
abstew here with a look at a film that's so enamored with flowers that beautiful blossoms show up on screen even before the title of the film:
But, the flowers aren't merely decorative... although they are loverly. They line the streets of Covent Garden where the rich come to take in the refined, artistic pleasures of the Opera. And the poor, including our film's heroine, Eliza Doolittle (played by Audrey Hepburn), try to make a decent day's wages by selling the flowers to the visiting elite. The whole series of events that changes Eliza's fate all happens because she tries to sell her violets to one Colonel Pickering (Stanley Holloway). Little does she know that her conversation with the gentleman is being phonetically transcribed by a linguist professor named Henry Higgins (or as Eliza would say, 'Enry 'Iggins and played by Rex Harrison »
The Mysterious Yearning Secretive Sad Lonely Troubled Confused Loving Musical Gifted Intelligent Beautiful Tender Sensitive Haunted Passionate Talented Mr. Ripley.
16 May 2013 8:39 AM, PDT
Last night I posted the Best Shot group roundup of The Talented Mr Ripley, but not my own choice. Why? Well every time I began I wanted to start over. If this blogpost were a passport I would have been defacing my own photo. I chose eight shots - at least -- but each one seemed to beg for a wholly different article to accompany it. Which is not to say that the film is any more gorgeously shot than others we've covered in this series (though John Seale easily deserved the best Cinematography nomination he was denied) but that it is several films at once. Which is why I've titled this post with its less condensed but truer title. Those sixteen extra shuffling adjectives in the brilliant title design say it all.
Not actual light bulbs but figurative ones (we'll get to the actual ones in a »
- NATHANIEL R
Reader Spotlight: Peter Chan
16 May 2013 5:37 AM, PDT
We're getting to know the Film Experience community one-by-one. It's taking a long time, bless you! Today we're talking with Peter, a script supervisor.
Peter working on the set of a movie!
Nathaniel: When and why did you start reading Tfe?
Peter: I was referred to it from Kenneth in (212) and thought Tfe catered to the fun side of film I adored and come awards season... glued. I haven't looked back.
Nathaniel: You work in the industry, right? What's your favorite part of the biz?
Peter: Yeah. I've been a script supervisor primarily for independent features for close to 8 years. It's still strange to me that I get paid to do what I do. Though there are definitely bad days, I generally love what I do. It's great to be on the scene and be so close to the process. My favorite part of this nutty business on the independent »
- NATHANIEL R
Kidman in Cannes. Part 1.
15 May 2013 7:00 PM, PDT
Jose here. The Cannes Film Festival starts today and I think we all can agree that the most important thing about it this year is the fact that Nicole Kidman is on the jury. Right?
This year's Competition Jury, as Nathaniel has already pointed out, might very well be the real life equivalent of The Avengers, with Nicole being reigning Queen of them all I know Spielberg's the President, shut up... so during the next eleven days, we'll cover Nicole sightings, as we watch her fiercefully conquer the world of auteurship and wonder what some of her most beloved characters would think about what she's up to...
The first Nicole sighting took place Tuesday evening as she showed up to the Jury dinner.
Who She Wore: Dior (hmm is she trying to steal the spotlight from the damoiselles de Dior?)
Which Director She's Trying to Lure: When I first saw this, »
Visual Index ~ The Talented Mr Ripley's Best Shot(s)
15 May 2013 4:22 PM, PDT
For this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we stayed another summer in Italy. We didn't follow an American spinster this time but a young shapeshifter known as The Talented Mr Ripley. He was sent to Italy to fetch trustfund baby Dickie Greenleaf but he likes Dickie's life so much he fetches it for himself instead.
Outside the film's actual narrative, based on the famous novel by Patricia Highsmith (whose work is oft-adapted - The Two Faces of January is next) things were just as dramatic. The movie was a Prestige Event since it was Anthony Minghella's (Rip) follow-up to his Best Picture winner The English Patient (1996). It wasn't quite a slam dunk with Oscar, despite the pedigree and the quality (I prefer it to Patient, myself), though it sure was a thing of beauty. The Talented Mr Ripley featured one of the most impressive collections »
- NATHANIEL R
Agent of L.I.N.K.
15 May 2013 8:01 AM, PDT
RogerEbert.com Cannes video essay the films of 1960
Reverse Shot 20 shots to be henceforth retired from film vocabulary
2. It starts off in a long shot and a guy's all far away and walking toward the camera and you're all “Uh-oh am I going to have to watch him walk the whole way?” and you do and it takes three minutes or more. “Ooh, look at me, I'm sculpting with time!” Fuck you.
Reuters Cannes may ditch austerity for glitzy Gatsby opening. Stay tuned
In Contention Will Smith eyeing remake of The Wild Bunch. Although he's not fond of "bunches" since he turned down Django because the part wasn't big enough. At least Will Smith understands that Christoph Waltz wasn't a "Supporting Actor"
Film Doctor 11 questions about The Great Gatsby
Guardian Rip Aubrey Woods, the »
- NATHANIEL R
Top Ten: Cate Blanchett
14 May 2013 8:41 PM, PDT
Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine"Today is Cate Blanchett's birthday and since we just celebrated her Oscar-winning altar ego Katharine Hepburn, why not extend the love? As longtime readers know I have been notoriously cool on the Aussie star over the years equating her work with the kind of "click click click" technique-first acting that Meryl Streep was sometimes discredited for early on. But since I actually think it's interesting to hear other people talk about their favorite perfromances from actors they don't naturally respond to, I hope it will be interesting to you to hear the things I do love about Cate the to-others Great. Cate was Everywhere throughout the Aughts aggravating me with her ubiquity (I have issues with this in general, I know. It's not just Cate but Hollywood's tendency, especially in the past decade, to put the same actors in every movie »
- NATHANIEL R
Here's to Angelina Jolie
14 May 2013 6:06 PM, PDT
Additional respect to Angelina Jolie for her brave editorial about her double mastectomy. It's one thing to go public with a difficult health decision. It's quite another to go public when the health decision you make is so directly tangled up with your persona. I don't mean to imply that Angelina Jolie's breasts have made her career but they sure as hell haven't hurt it. She's a global sex symbol and though she doesn't make as many movies as she used to she'll always be a beautiful sexual woman. She mentions in her editorial that she doesn't feel any less womanly. I hope she drives this point home with a really sexy movie some time soon.
I chose the word "additional" as a modifier for respect because "newfound" would have been inappropriate. I've admired her for a long time. Sometimes I am amused at how much philanthropic celebrities become »
- NATHANIEL R
May Flowers? Mrs Dalloway Buys Them Herself!
14 May 2013 8:36 AM, PDT
How soon into a movie or book or anything do you know you'll love it? When I first read The Hours, Michael Cunningham's transcendent riff on Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" I knew as soon as Clarissa had entered the flower shop. With the film version I knew even sooner, perhaps having been prepped for the movie by the book but also because of the unfussy simplicity of the kick-off to this glorious triptych. (The Hours isn't always unfussy, of course, but note how the music drops out completely in this absolutely key moment when Virginia finds her first sentence.)
All we're left with is three women, three eras, three great actresses, and three separate temperaments.
Virginia: Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Laura: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Clarissa: Sally, I think I'll buy the flowers myself.
How utterly perfect and succinct - Art, »
- NATHANIEL R
13 May 2013 9:01 PM, PDT
Alexa here. It's a big week for the Cumberbitches (or Cumbercollective?) out there, with Star Trek Into Darkness opening and his appearance in the first August: Osage County trailer. I can't say I'm all that confident about his casting as Little Charles; innocent sweetness doesn't seem to play to his strengths. My favorite performance of his so far was his clenched-jaw Christopher in Parade's End. His turn as maybe-Khan sounds about right; if anyone can play a genetically engineered human it's Bendy.
Here are a few curios for the Cumberfans out there salivating for his boom-voiced villainy this Friday and the next season of Sherlock. Top of the list are these screenprints made for for Gallery1988 by Rhys Cooper.
More Cumbercurios after the jump.. »
Reader Spotlight: Daniel Massie
13 May 2013 10:00 AM, PDT
We're getting to know The Film Experience community one-by-one. You can read a bunch of past interviews here. Today's "Reader Spotlight" is Daniel, an art student from Scotland. You can follow him on twitter here.
Nathaniel: When did you start reading Tfe?
Daniel: Around two years ago. My best friend Scott read it before I knew of it. We are both award season fanatics and general cinephiles, so it was great to plug into a smart, energetic, personable blog that obviously loved the movies as much as we did. Now it's a site I regularly 'touch base' with.
Nathaniel: What's your first movie memory?
Daniel: I don't remember the movie that well, or at all really. But it's effects have rippled far into my life. I was 4 and my dad and I watched Arachnophobia. My mum tells me that I was beside myself after watching it, and I have been »
- NATHANIEL R
Box Office Big Spenders: Tony Stark vs Jay Gatsby
13 May 2013 6:00 AM, PDT
Excess was in this weekend, the second of the summer movie season despite the slight technicality of Spring having just started. Billionaires Tony Stark and Jay Gatsby were flaunting their expensive suits and pining for Pepper & Daisy everywhere you looked.
Iron Gatsby via Nathaniel R
Cheer up boys, you can now afford your second twenty-second home.
Box Office Top Dozen
01 Iron Man Three $72.4 (cum. $284.8) Reviewed
02 The Great Gatsby $51.1 *New* Reviewed
03 Pain & Gain $5 (cum. $41.6)
04 Peeples $4.8 *New*
05 42 $4.6 (cum. $84.7)
06 Oblivion $3.8 (cum. $81.6) Reviewed
07 The Croods $3.6 (cum. $173.2)
08 The Big Wedding $2.5 (cum $18.8)
09 Mud $2.3 (cum $8.3)
10 Oz: The Great And Powerful $.8 (cum. $229.9) Reviewed
11 Scary Movie 5 $.7 (cum $30.6)
10 The Place Beyond The Pines $.6 (cum. $19.9) Reviewed
Though I'm nearly always pleased when a non-franchise non-genre drama wins big gold coin, The Great Gatsby's huge gross fills me with dread for our collective future. I think the movie is admirable in some ways and a failure in others but the movie isn't really the point. »
- NATHANIEL R
P.S. Katharine Hepburn's "Guess Who" Oscar
12 May 2013 7:31 PM, PDT
Andrew here, shining a final light on Katharine Hepburn, a postscript to Tfe's generous Katharine Hepburn week despite our host never having been a huge fan. Nathaniel’s write-up on Katharine’s twelve Oscar nominations nailed one of the key oddities of the icon's Oscary career. Her win in 1967 for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was only the second Oscar she picked up, a full 35 years after her screen debut. For perspective, by that time her biggest peers of the day - Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland and Ingrid Bergman had already picked up dual statues.
It must have seemed unlikely by then that Katharine was ever going to get a statue to keep her Morning Glory trophy company, especially since with Spencer Tracy’s declining health she was working less and less. Consider: she'd made 15 films in the thirties, 11 in the forties, 7 in the fifties but Guess Who »
- Andrew Kendall