Sunday, November 07, 2010


Since I'm leaving on vacation Tuesday (you'll be in the good hands of TFE's regular weekly columnists and a few other returning guests as well) I wanted to thank everyone again for helping make The Film Experience the lively place it is. I know the posting has been a bit slower than usual but it will all pay off next month: new website! easier navigation! blog more integrated with site charts! Etcetera!

So let's check back in with conversations that you are still having. Comments are love.

Frisky was not happy that Captain America's chest is so smooth. Is chest hair unpatriotic?

Matt makes a point about the AFI prizes going too full tilt boogie for Animal Kingdom. It's true that awards groups have this problem: once they love something they really love it, and every categoryvote is not so much a specific vote for that achievement as it is a vote for the film. Oscar does this nearly every year. It's an epidemic with awards groups, yes.

Dave thought James Franco was terrific in 127 Hours but is surprised he was cast at all. I know the movie is only in limited release at this point, but I'm eager to see where you fall on the scale of like to crazy 'i'd chop off my arm for this movie' love. (Few seem to dislike it.)

Melody thinks Kidman stole the spotlight in the six actress-wide Hollywood Reporter video. If you watched the whole thing, there's certainly a lot to chew on.

Lots of readers are still responding to the latest open thread Quick... "Which movie did you just watch and what did you think of it?" I always enjoy these tiny peaks into the world of Film Experience readers... and I hope you enjoy reading about each other's movie adventures. This thread was particularly gratifying because you can just read so much movie love, taste bud variety and commitment out there. Well done, you. ;)

Silencio is confident in Darren Aronofsky's plans for a Wolverine sequel. Why would he bother if he's not going to really go for it?

Finally, Ryan X had several performances he wanted to highlight in various Meryl Streep nomination years which leads me to something I wanted to note any way. The Streep nomination posts varied in terms of attention with some years sparking more debate than others. Here's how the comment totals went down.

78 The Deer Hunter -41 comments
79 Kramer Vs. Kramer - 34 comments
81 French Lieutenant's Woman - 50 comments
82 / 83 Sophie's Choice and Silkwood -52 comments
85 Out of Africa - 52 comments
87 / 88 Ironweed and A Cry in the Dark -45 comments
90 Postcards From the Edge -61 comments
95 Bridges of Madison County -74 comments
98 One True Thing -43 comments
99 Music of the Heart -46 comments 
02 Adaptation -47 comments
06 The Devil Wears Prada -58 comments
08 / 09 Doubt and Julie & Julia -48 comments

Now, comment counting is an inexact science and it's also totally precious navel gazing (look at all this lint!) but I just think it's interesting in this particular context (so maybe 11 of you do, too). Does this mean people think that 1990 and 1995 are the most interesting Best Actress years by consensus? Or was everyone just extra-chatty those weeks? Does this mean that not many people have sized up her competition in 1979? 


/3rtfu11 said...

RE: Streep post count.
1990 represents the great Bates debate. 1995 has the best best actress lineup of the 90’s – including several performances left in the cold, Sharon Stone’s sole nomination, Sarandon finally taking it home, and last but not least the return of Streep.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Re: Animal Kingdom and Jackie Weaver, you say in your predictions "if enough people see it, she's in." I agree with that logic. Having just seen Blue Valentine, I can extend that logic to Ryan Gosling. It's a small film, but if he could get in for Half Nelson, I don't see him missing here. The film and more specifically the performance is THAT good and I could really see him being championed as a critical darling come year's end.

cal roth said...

1995 is Best Actress heaven, the year in which a lot of actress landed their best work, including Streep herself. You can't beat 1995.

Clover said...

@/3rtfu11 whats the grat Bates debate? sorry, I've never heard of it

Andrew R. said...

Didn't see 127 Hours, but I just realized that Danny Boyle is obsessed with numbers.

28 Days Later
Slumdog Millionaire
127 Hours

What's adaptation of 100 Years of Solitude?

@Clover-Some people, like me, think Kathy Bates deserved her Oscar for Misery. And some don't.

Joe said...

I feel like the lack of discussion in 1979 for Streep was more one of those times where you really can't say anything. She won. She deserved it and rocked it that year. It's a strong performance, and was the clear winner I (and I surmise others) think. It's not a performance for the ages and the other ladies were good, but not stunning.

I'd say 1995 and 1990 were interesting years in the category with a lot of diffrent dynamics to pick over. With 1995 you have overdue and excellent sarandon, streep in an often overlooked comeback performance, Stone with the buzz/she can act performance, and Shue. In 1990 you had in the race Anjelica Huston - end of sentence. Interesting years, and interesting Streep performances, particularly the liveliness she exhibits in "Postcards"

Anonymous said...

Saw 127 Hours. Liked but didn't love. Amazing filmmaking technique and great performance but somehow I just didn't find the person at the center interesting enough. Franco does a great job of inhabiting that person (I've met that kind of guy in my life) but not sure that's a person I learned anything more about after first five minutes...let alone 127 hours later. But i seem to be in the severe minority...


anon -- i dunno. I've talked to a few other "liked but didn't love" recently. I'm not sure it's a severe minority exactly but if there's no outright haters for a movie the raves tend to suck up all the oxygen.

joe -- it's true about 1995. it's just one of those years where everything was interesting about it. Though, even more interesting (i think) is that despite all the deep interest in the nominees, there's even better work on the periphery that didn't make it ! whereas most years that have great snubbed performances, the field of actual nominees isn't as interesting.

i sometimes think of years like this and wish that all years could be like it. I mean, why were they sleeping through 2005 for example in best actress? zzzzzz.

/3rtfu11 said...

@Andrew – Thank you.

Hayden said...

I hate that Kidman's knowledge and enthusiasm for her craft never comes across in her interviews with journalists. It's like they never know the right questions to ask her or which buttons to push.

It's clear from the roundtable that she has so many interesting things to say but she's never approached from the right angle by the press to say them. I keep thinking about how much more juicy/valuable her contributions were than everyone else at the table (yes, even The Bening) and I wish she felt comfortable or had an outlet to do that more often.

I look at some of the international journalists who ask Tilda Swinton questions (read: mine gold) at random little events and wonder why those people don't have access to Nicole. Le sigh.

seo sydney said...

very very nice collection.Great post.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

re Animal Kingdom at the AFI's - dont get too angry at the AFI's. Often the field of contenders is minuscule and mostly made up of atrociously watered down middlebrow suburban dramas that are interchangable for one another. A strong distinctive film informed by a strong personal vision in all departments from level of acting to cinematography through to sound editing stands out very easily, and usually deserves multiple nominations just by default.

On average there are only about 30 or so eligible titles from which the AFI must select nominees every year. And on average 27 of these are difficult to tell apart from one another and have no reason to realy exist. Regardless of what you think of them as films within an international cinema context, within an Australian context, the Samson and Delilahs and the Animal Kingdoms really need to be encouraged and highlighted and showered with awards.

The Australian film industry is heavily havily dependent on government funding. And government funding is hideously biased towards middlebrow bigger-budgeted mediocrities (think Oscarbait but with an unsellable Aussie accent) usually directed and produced by entrenched personalities who havent come up with a genuinely significant piece of work in literally decades (and when I say literally, I mean literally). It's idiotic that these operating principle were ever put in place, and even more idiotic that in the wake of Samson and Delilah etc, they remain in place. Big nomination tallies for singular films by emerging directors are really necessary. Otherwise you would see absolutely no singular Austalian films at all. (Especially since nearly all singular Aussie films every year are made by first time writer-directors.) (And there are rules in place that actively prevent first time writer directors from approaching government funding bodies for support.) (The mind boggles.)