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Interview: Anna Kendrick at the Palace and Summering in Ohio.

13 hours ago

A holiday gift to you, an interview with the internet's collective girlfriend Anna Kendrick, our new Cinderella in Into the Woods which hits theaters today. Merry Christmas!

Kendrick lets me know right away that she isn't entirely comfortable with all the online fawning. When I compare her very modern kind of stardom to that of Benedict Cumberbatch she freezes "Oh god, don't say that!... It gives me anxiety. He probably can't leave his house!" Kendrick and I have both been herded into a chilly hotel suite after some scheduling confusion and me with my notes out for someone else entirely, someone far less Princess-like. It's a surprise switch but a welcome one, like expecting to remain in your pot scrubbing dress and suddenly you're at the ball in magic slippers. Excuse the analogy but I'm the one playing Cinderella this time since I've traded up. Kendrick wraps herself in the »

- NATHANIEL R

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Top Ten Movies from 2014 You Should Catch Up With on Streaming

16 hours ago

Margaret here, reporting from the warmth of the family home. In between gift-exchanging and major cooking projects, I'm going to be trying to catch up on as many 2014 movies as possible. For those of us without much time to run to the multiplex, there are plenty of options among recent acquisitions on streaming services. While most of the showiest would-be awards contenders are either still in theaters or holding off on their DVD releases, there are plenty of buzzy (and possibly even soon to be Oscar-nominated) movies available for the couch-bound.

Honorable Mention: Slow-burn crime drama Night Moves (Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning) and Baltimore dirt-biker documentary 12 O'Clock Boys, both on Amazon Prime; Mind-bending relationship dramedy The One I Love (Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass) and low-key Swanberg indie Happy Christmas (Anna Kendrick, Tfe favorite Melanie Lynskey), both on Netflix Instant.

 

10. Stranger By The Lake (Netflix Instant) This French erotic »

- Margaret de Larios

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It's a Gift!

20 hours ago

 The Film Experience loves you and thinks you're naughty  nice.

And the Film Experience loves awards season. It's no accident that awards season begins just before Thanksgiving (Gratitude) peaks during during Christmas time (Movies Are Gifts To The World) and ends around Valentines (♥♥♥♥♥)

Happy Holidays to all readers, wherever you may be and whatever you're celebrating! Make great memories and see you back here very soon. As soon as you come back tell us which movies you saw during your Christmas break!

  »

- NATHANIEL R

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A Year with Kate: One Christmas (1994)

24 December 2014 5:00 PM, PST

Episode 52 of 52: In which we say a fond farewell to Kate.

How, from where we started, did we ever reach this Christmas?

After 52 weeks, 62 years, and over 90 hours of movie-watching, we have arrived at the end of Katharine Hepburn’s career, and likewise the end of A Year With Kate. Never when I started this series did I believe that it would grow as it has. My intention when we began was simply to honor an actress I loved. From that humble beginning, A Year With Kate evolved into a series on celebrity and stardom, a box office tracker, a promoter of hair-brained hair theories and balloon puns, a Hollywood history blog, and above all a forum for everyone from superfans to newcomers to celebrate and debate classic movies.

There is so much to say (including many thank yous), so this last goodbye is being split into two. Next »

- Anne Marie

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Best Actress Battles: Marion vs. Rosamund?

24 December 2014 2:01 PM, PST

With the internet strenuously erecting a ring in which Julianne and Jennifer can mud wrestle, and wondering who could be a surprise snub, let's look at one more imaginary Best Actress Battle with this Oscar category that appears to have six women in it. One too many. Let's call this one the Critical Darling Cha-Cha. 

Gone Girl vs. Fired Girl

Two weeks ago when their was a seeming abundance of "fifth slot" possibilities for Oscar's Best Actress race, Marion Cotillard emerged from a non-campaigning overseas cloud to claim Critical Darling status. In quick succession she took prizes from three early-announcing critics group: the venerable New York Film Critics Circle as well as Boston Society of Film Critics and the young New York Film Critics Online group. Some of those prizes were shared with The Immigrant but since The Weinstein Co wasn't backing their early release with a campaign of any kind, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Yes No Maybe So: Woman in Gold

24 December 2014 10:13 AM, PST

Manuel here trying to fend off urgings to unwrap all my (cinematic) presents today ahead of schedule (why must so many good films come out on Christmas Day?) Thus, while I have to wait until tomorrow at least to catch Selma, A Most Violent Year, Two Days One Night and Into the Woods, I’ll have to settle for some christmas stocking stuffers in the form of a new trailer featuring the one and only Tatiana Maslany.

Oh, and some Oscar-winning Dame as well.

The Woman in Gold follows Maria Altman (Helen Mirren), a Jewish refugee hoping to get back the family possessions taken from her by the Nazis, with the aid of a young lawyer (Ryan Reynolds). Among these possessions is the Klimt painting "The Lady in Gold" which gives the film its title.

Let’s break it down with the Tfe-patented approach of Yes/No/Maybe So, shall we? »

- Manuel Betancourt

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Quick Links Over Coffee. And "Listen!" It's the Critical Decision

24 December 2014 9:23 AM, PST

Jude Law drinking coffee back in the dayWhoa! Off to such a late start today.

 

Happy Christmas Eve

Here are a few links for you to enjoy while I drink my lunch (aka coffee) and prepare a few posts... posting continues through the holidays so if you're having a Blue Christmas, please know that we're here for you in the comments section / posting form with reviews coming up for Selma & Into the Woods. If you'll be offline for most of the holiday week, collect your belated gifts when you return. The Oscar stuff, year in review collections, chatty interviews and podcast, and silly polls will all still be here when you return. (Just click on that  "pages" thing once you run out of the freshly baked articles at the bottom and you'll get to the day old stuff and so on. Only a few of the articles have expiration dates, »

- NATHANIEL R

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"Extra" FYCs? Your Last Chance

23 December 2014 8:35 PM, PST

Open Thread

We hope you're the Year in Review thus far.  We've already suggested stocking stuffers, gawked at great fashion, stroked furry friends, and named the year's Mvp. I'm still madly cramming movies into my eyeballs but have begun drafting the FiLM BiTCH Awards this site's long running Oscar alternative. I'm willing to listen to FYCs for any of the special categories and aiming for Monday December 29th to kick things off.

Any 2014 "Best" suggestions for... Line Reading? Action Sequence? Cameo? Kiss? Musical Sequence in a Non-Musical?  Sex Scene? Credits/Title? Scene of the Year? 

P.S. If you're heading out early for Christmas festivities have a happy holiday. There wlll be many blog post presents under this tree to catch up with when you get back.  »

- NATHANIEL R

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Crazy Cat Lady Yearbook

23 December 2014 4:25 PM, PST

Year in review. Two yummy look backs each day.

People often get my name wrong in the comments. I do not answer to "Nate" or "Nathan". "Nat" or "Nathaniel" will do.  I also answer to "Crazy Cat Lady".

Cats do not get enough screen time if you ask me but they're not pack animals so there's no cat union to promote their representation in the movies. I actually felt a bit betrayed this summer when Toothless, one of my all time favorite screen cats suddenly seemed almost doggish in How To Train Your Dragon 2. If Dreamworks wants to know why they struggled a bit at the box office there I can only point to Toothless. There was  A) Not nearly enough of him in the movie and B) He seemed to have gone to the dog side. 

So herewith the four cats from the film year I couldn't love more. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Podcast: Wild Catcher

23 December 2014 12:39 PM, PST

In this new episode of The Film Experience, Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel go wandering with Witherspoon and wrestling with Tatum to try to make sense of it all. And by 'all' we mean the directorial styles of Jean-Marc Vallée and Bennett Miller, our complicated and divided personal reactions to the films and the performances, and a light sprinkling of Oscar talk. 

Breakdown

00:01-15:32 Wild 

15:33-41:57 Foxcatcher

Recommended Supplemental Material: 

"The Making of Foxcatcher" - by Mark Harris

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.  »

- NATHANIEL R

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some say the blog will end in fire, some say in ice

23 December 2014 10:08 AM, PST

GeekRex on great sounding movies of 2014. So glad they included Wild but I don't understand the defense of Interstellar's sound mix given how difficult it sometimes was to hear the dialogue

Gurus of Gold I believe there's an update today but look at where things stand now in the big Oscar categories

Av Club Sarah Jessica Parker may be returning to HBO sitcom glory via Divorce (no, not from Matthew Broderick. On the show!)

In Contention Antonio Sanchez is not happy about his disqualification from Best Original Score for Birdman and why shouldn't he be. Their rules are so arbitratily enforced. Remember when Gustavo Santaolla won his second consecutive Oscar for a film Filled with pre-existing music (Babel) and his score only being a small percentage of it.

The Dissolve Robert Rodriguez to helm a live action remake of Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice. I used to love that rotoscoped »

- NATHANIEL R

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Scarlett Johansson, 2014's Mvp

23 December 2014 7:30 AM, PST

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day

Tim here. Among its many charms and disappointments, 2014 was an extraordinarily good year to be a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

No, I can go bigger than that: 2014 was a year that could make somebody a fan of Scarlett Johansson in the first place, or in my case, knock the dust off a fandom that had been growing stale over the last several years.

What makes it such a particularly interesting year to have watched the actress is the way that three of her four performances released in the United States in ’14 are variations on each other (the outlier is what amounts to cameo in Chef, more of a favor done for director Jon Favreau than a real part). Let’s take a quick look at each of them:

Under the Skin

In a holdover from the 2013 festival season Johansson played a »

- Tim Brayton

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Best Actress Battles: Felicity vs. Reese?

23 December 2014 5:45 AM, PST

With the internet strenuously erecting a ring in which Julianne and Jennifer can mud wrestle, let's look at two or three other imaginary Best Actress Battles. First up is the "I'm just happy to be nominated" tussle.

"consider Everything" ??? Greedy!

Felicity vs. Reese

Reese Witherspoon looked like a major force in the Best Actress race when Wild first premiered in September as the wandering self-redemptive Cheryl Strayed. Sadly the year-end party hasn't thrown much confetti her way. To date, she has won just one (maybe two?) small regional critics prizes. I blame the lack of awards on three things: the movie wasn't released in the fall where its contemplative moods would not have been in direct opposition to the bustling holidays surrounding it; Reese has already had her Oscar coronation which often kills future prospects for actresses; and, finally, the "Reeseurgence" never caught on in quite the way the McConaughissance did in its year, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Stocking Stuffers (of Our Dreams)

22 December 2014 7:41 PM, PST

Year in Review: Two yummy lists per day. Alexa is off for the holiday so I'm subverting her her arts & crafts "Curio" column for a gift list - Nathaniel

 I can't imagine that the wee moviegoers of the world won't be getting all the Big Hero 6, Lego and Groot goodies their hearts desire over Christmas but here are ten stocking stuffers we wish we could play with on Thursday morning.

Listen, nobody is ever going to serve the niche within the niche within the niche markets -- I 've accepted that fact that I'll never own Vera Drake action figures or, to quote Waiting for Guffman, a Remains of the Day lunchbox. But that shouldn't stop the dreaming. Some of the following prezzies inspired by 2014 movies, would surely put huge smiles on the face of your cinephile loved ones. Some of these you can actually stuff in stockings. Others do not exist. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Best Actress Battles: Juli vs. Jen?

22 December 2014 3:58 PM, PST

A recent headline, suggesting 'ways in which Jennifer Aniston could win the Oscar' (I shan't quote it directly but it's here if you must look upon it) didn't raise my eyebrow. Didn't even cause a twitch! If you've followed the Oscar game your whole life and especially if you've followed it in the past ten years when the internet has amplified all of the minutea you'll know that journalists are always looking for fresh angles or, with or without those, highly fantastical angles sold as plausible to use for click bait. So though the articles (I'm sure they are plural though I haven't actually read them) didn't worry me at first -- I believe that Julianne Moore will win gold -- but the immediate enthusiastic social media response to the idea that Jennifer Aniston might have an Oscar coming in February is what finally shoved my unwilling eyebrow up.

"Consider. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Beauty vs Beast: Beard vs Bumble

22 December 2014 1:34 PM, PST

Ja from Mnpp here, ho ho hosting this week's ho ho holiday edition of "Beauty vs Beast" for y'all (okay okay I got all my ho ho's out, I promise) -- a couple of weeks ago Tfe's resident animation guru Tim gave good love to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the occasion of its 50th anniversary and it struck me like a peppermint pick-axe to the brain, what this week's face-off needed to be. Who else but...

poll by twiigs.com

 

Yukon Cornelius, the standard of bearded beauty for an entire generation, grabs that frightful Beast by the belly and bounces away with our hearts every time, but we've got a special place for the Bumble's passionate bumbling too. So help us choose! You have one week to vote, and please do share your thoughts upon each in the comments.

Previously Spinning off from the frozen tundra of the North »

- JA

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Monday Monologue: Henry II's Eulogy

22 December 2014 11:01 AM, PST

Anne Marie here to celebrate the holiday with a furious monologue from my favorite Christmas movie. "Christmas movie" is a terrible description for Anthony Harvey's 1968 film The Lion in Winter, though it is technically correct. This is a political thriller of one very long Christmas night between Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole), his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), and their three conniving sons as they battle over who will be the next King of England.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional.

While we've written extensively about Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning performance in The Lion in Winter, this Monologue Monday before Christmas I'd like to shine the spotlight on Peter O'Toole's underawarded performance as the manic, magnificent Henry II of England. The movie is filled with great dialog for the Irishman to chew on, but O'Toole's best (or biggest) moment comes midway through the film, »

- Anne Marie

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Man from U.N.C.L.E. First Look: 5 Questions

22 December 2014 9:00 AM, PST

Manuel here opening the floor about some things in this first released pic from Guy Ritchie’s upcoming adaptation of the TV show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., featuring Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill due out next year. From this pic alone, Ritchie’s film is already making a case for “Best Looking Cast of a Motion Picture, 2015.” Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Debicki (!) and Jared Harris round up the cast.

Costumes by Joanna Johnston (Oscar nominated for Lincoln but also responsible for the dresses Mad and Hel don in Death Becomes Her!)

Some questions I couldn’t help asking:

1. Does everyone else now think of Mad Men’s Sally Draper whenever The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is invoked?

2. Do Vikander’s shoulder scrapes suggest she’ll be given some action alongside her male co-stars?

3. Which suit do you think Cavill enjoys donning more: this beautiful plaid three-piece or his Superman one? »

- Manuel Betancourt

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Red Carpet: Best Looks of 2014

22 December 2014 7:00 AM, PST

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day!

Jose here. With awards season underway, and a whole new roster of red carpet superstars about to be born (Felicity Jones, we salute you), it's time to celebrate the absolute best red carpet looks of the year that was, which have us revisit a few familiar faces and welcome the return of old fashioned, ridiculously grand Hollywood glamour!

2014's Best Red Carpet Looks

10. Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren 

Nyong'o was the breakthrough star of 2013 with each of her looks besting whatever it is she had worn to the previous event and the celebration continuing on through Oscar night. The Mvp was this red column gown with sewed in cape that she wore to the Golden Globes, which made her look like a true fashion superhero.

9. Emma Stone in Thakoon

While pink is usually a big no-no on the red carpet (only »

- Jose

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Tweets o' the Week: Batman Returns, Last Christmas, and More

22 December 2014 4:30 AM, PST

Good morning! It's just three days until Christmas. Three! To note that I am unprepared is to state, shrugging, 'he thinks movies are alright'

I mean we haven't even started the Year in Review! Rectifying. Rectifying.

This is the kind of time frame wherein you need little friendly woodland animals to be doing all your busy work so that you can focus on the important things like Going to the Ball. I illustrate twitter collections with a picture of birds and today Cinderella seemed natural since Into the Woods is soon upon us. I hadn't really thought about this before but Cinderella is supposed to have this miserable indentured servant life but look at that view from her bedroom window!  Talk about a room with a view... that's prime real estate. Shouldn't she be sleeping in the cellar or something? 

Herewith some tweets that amused, edified, or otherwise cocked a »

- NATHANIEL R

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