Friday, June 30, 2006

More Shortlists From Hell

I’m still trying to get in that Oscar mood for the upcoming fall movie season but --Enough intro. You know how this works by now. Let’s wrap up those shortlists from Oscar hell with the supporting field. (previous posts: lead actor & lead actress).

The past six years of supporting actress have pained me most in the following five ways...

Jennifer Connelly A Beautiful Mind (01). A competent performance that for still-inexplicable-reasons-to-me managed to beat everything else all season long @ every awards show, including three other performances that were in most any way I could imagine (level of challenge, amount of nuance, complexity of role) more impressive. I still don't get it.
Judi Dench Chocolat (00). It's clear that the Dame can act. But it's unclear why the Academy feels they need to nominate her for 'I-can-do-this-in-my-sleep' roles.
Kate Hudson Almost Famous You may recall I also nominated her. What was I thinking? It's one of those dangers of awards season. Groupthink hoopla clouding otherwise discerning vision.
Laura Linney Kinsey (04) Laura Linney is a super actress. But this performance bored me.
Renee Zellweger Cold Mountain (03) Embarassing. That is all. Made me hate an actress I once loved. The love has never returned.

The past six years of supporting actor have hurt me most in the following five ways:

Jamie Foxx Collateral (04) and Ethan Hawke Training Day (01) -Two performances I actually love. But in no way, shape or form are these supporting roles. It's laughable. I can forgive the Academy those many gray areas like say, Natalie Portman in Closer or Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense but when the story is ABOUT you and you're in NEARLY EVERY SCENE, you are a lead actor. Period.
Joaquin Phoenix Gladiator (00) a nomination that vexed me. Too much huffing and puffing for my tastes.
Tim Robbins Mystic River (03) Why is it that you have to overact to get an Oscar? Pity because he's been so much better (Player, Shawshank, Bull Durham) before.
Jon Voight Ali (01) Basically if you are an actor who covets a golden boy. Just sign up for any famous person role. The Academy will nominate you. It's, like, a rule or something.

Those are my feelings about the worst/most annoying nominations in those categories from 2000-2005. How about yours?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

David Jude Law

Jude Law wears the crown. He's the Film Experience Blog's choice for #1 in the long gestating "Top 100 Actors of the Aughts Countdown". Messy divorce, nude sunbathing, babies with ecstacy tablets, and nanny scandals aside ... he's a real goddamn actor.

Read the Rest

You can also see the Top 100 In Full and Vote on Your Favorite Actor

Previous TFE Notes on Law
I Heart Huckabees top ten capsule
Measure Your Pleasure Jude and his penis
2004 FB Gold Medal I Heart Huckabees
2003 FB Nomination Best Actor Cold Mountain
2003 Oscar Race Best ActorCold Mountain
Road to Perdition review
2001 FB Nomination A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence review

Gael García Bernal

Gael García Bernal, still ascending, reaches number two in the "Actors of the Aughts Countdown". Read the Rest...

Previous TFE Notes on Bernal
Hump Day Hottie March 2006
Bad Education top ten capsule
2004 FB Nominations for Bad Education
2002 Foreign Film Oscar Race El Crimen del Padre Amaro
2002 FB nom sexiest.
Y Tu Mama Tambien top ten capsule.
Amores Perros capsule

tags: Gael Garcia Bernal, movies, lists

Coming Soon

RIGHT NOW: I must go to work. blech.
TONIGHT: The final actors in the countdown
OVER THE NEXT WEEK: Thoughts on Superman Returns, The Devil Wears Prada, The annual 'we're halfway through the year so what of those early Oscar predix?' article, and more to-be-determined goodies. Stay tuned.
RIGHT NOW: Continue talking amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


It's all about the tussles right now. And I'm not talking Supes versus Lex --I'll get to that soon enough. I'm talking actor vs. actor and actress vs. actress. Not real tussles mind you but blog showdowns.

You'll have to wait until tomorrow night to see who wins the very very tight race between Jude Law and Gael Garcia Bernal to wear the crown in the Top 100 Actors of the Aughts list. And, if I believed in ties, that's what this would be. But I don't. *sigh*

Have you voted in the reader poll for best of the decade? If you haven't go now: Gyllenhaal --my #12 this decade-- is slaughtering his competition. Even more than Kidman did in the ladies polling. His nearest rivals at this point are Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, and Gael Garcia Bernal.

FINALLY if you still need more actorly battles you really must read Joe Reid's ingenious and highly amusing Mad Actresses Beyond Thunderdome feature. It's only the first round of his unique take on this listmania.

I can't wait for the rest.

Getting Back in the Oscar Mood

Usually round about this time I do a halfway mark / Oscar article. I'm not sure I'm ready for that just yet. I mean, what has happened really? But stirred on by the fun (?) discussion about the Actress from Hell Oscar list ... let's do the penile version.

Best Actor Shortlist From Hell
or: Nathaniel's least favorite nominations for lead actor (2000-2005)

Michael Caine The Quiet American (2002)
I remain blind to his apparently obvious brilliance. Obvious to Oscar at least.
Russell Crowe A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Too mannered for me. Plus he'd just won so it's even more of an overkill.
Johnny Depp Finding Neverland (2004)
So muted that everything that's special about him is lost. Plus, the film sucks.
Sean Penn I Am Sam (2001)
This will be the least controversial choice. I'm so glad he has an Oscar now so they don't feel compelled to nominate him on the rare occassions when he specifically takes a role because he wants them to love him. And now, maybe he won't take another role like this. Unless he wants to be as well respected as Hilary Swank. Then we're all in trouble.
Geoffrey Rush Quills (2000)
See also: Michael Caine. Only moreso.

And the winner is I dunno... Geoffrey Rush in Quills. Damnit he still gets a prize. I guess it's unavoidable. Some thespians are magnets that way. Of this bunch I guess I don't know for sure who I'd say is worse. Depends on which peeve is my current pet.

Now, in the comments: Which five of the past 30 nominees make up your shortlist from Oscar hell?

Ewan Gordon McGregor

Ewan McGregor is number three in the "Actors of the Aughts Countdown". Read the Rest...

Previous TFE Notes on Obi Wan
(I'll add these a bit later. gotta rush)

tags: Ewan McGregor, movies, lists


super heroics
"A Friend" So I Like Superman on, well, Superman. Love it.
"Spidey's a Tease" My New Plaid Pants on the new teaser

super random
Educating "Evil" Lone Star Verve on the Svensk hit: next on Netflix queue
Scanner Darkly junket @ popbytes: Winona still teasing w/ Heathers 2
"on actual pop culture" Blog of the Future succumbs to Shiloh-mania

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Tony Leung Chiu Wai is number four in the "Actors of the Aughts Countdown". Read the Rest...

PLEASE NOTE: You can also VOTE on the readers ranking (it's the final poll for Actors of the Aughts). And yes, this means that Gael, Ewan, and Jude are the final three (though maybe not in that order). But you figured that out already. You're smart that way, dear readers.

previous brief notes on Tony Leung
my blogger profile. ~the only actor listed under fav movies
2046 guest review
2040something Nathaniel misses opening night.
Hero honorable mention TFE Top Ten.
Hero 2004 Oscar Foreign Film Race
Infernal Affairs 2003 Oscar Foreign Film Submission
In the Mood for Love several FB noms. Sadly Tony is not one of them.
In the Mood for Love Top Ten List
In the Mood for Love Review

a site I can't recommend highly enough:

tags: Tony Leung, movies, lists

An Asian Moment (Pt. 1)

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the latest still-filming event from Zhang Yimou whose terrific 2004 double-header Hero and House of Flying Daggers is still all shimmery in my minds eye. Those two films were not related in anything other than genre and the presence of one Ziyi Zhang. This latest Curse of the Golden Flower is also a stand alone but this time Ziyi is nowhere to be seen. Yimou has returned to his original muse Gong Li and Nathaniel's jaw has just dropped to the floor. Excuse the drooling.

If this means nothing to you, you really ought to have an immediate DVD double feature of the following: Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou, the two films which made the international reputation of both director and actress, who were also a real life couple (scandalously so, he was married). This new collaboration is on par with, say, a screen reunion of Warren Beatty & Julie Christie(sorry Annette my diva, but that gives me the chills to imagine). Or Woody & Mia … if they could work out their differences while fighting off mutual enemies and balancing on tree branches. I don’t know. It’s exciting at any rate.

Still, I found the press release amusingly overstated [the emphasis is mine]

From Gong Li's stunning performance to Chow Yun Fat's commanding presence to opulence one has rarely ever seen on screen, this movie will have it all: brilliantly executed action set pieces as well as compelling intimate drama against the most colorful historical canvas imaginable.
If I were the scribe here I would definitely remove the “on screen” part of the bolded phrase and replace it with “since the last time you saw a wuxia film” but ... this is probably why I don’t work in PR.

Another List You Don't Need

This list is prompted by the lengthy conversation over in an earlier post about whether or not I am insane for not feeling the lurve for one best friend 'o' Nicole Kidman. And now... a list you don't need. that you didn't ask for. because i have a problem.

Best Actress Shortlist From Hell
or: Nathaniel's least favorite nominations for lead actress (2000-2005)

UPDATE: Actor Version and Supporting Hell versions of this list now available, too!.

UPDATE #2: Halfway Mark Oscar Article Has Begun

Juliette Binoche Chocolat (2000)
smile warmly. be pretty. get a nomination. waste a slot when there are at least five actresses acting their asses off that same year. hardly a year that calls for slot wasting.
Salma Hayek Frida (2002)
be a star. play another famous person reasonably well. get a nom. (note: not a bad performance at all. but i had to choose five)
Felicity Huffman Transamerica (2005)
gimmicks = respect. it's the Oscar way. thank god she didn't win --I couldn't have handled another Helen Hunt tv-star-wins-oscar-leaving-actual-film-actresses-empty-handed situation.
Hilary Swank Million Dollar Baby (2004)
not because she's bad. she's not. but because she won. I'm petty like that.
Naomi Watts 21 Grams (2003)
cry and scream. repeat. for two whole hours. that's your character.

And the winner is Hilary Skank because it's actually a good performance (just the least of those nominated for real in 2004). But since this is a scenario from hell the winner is Naomi Watts who holds the strange double distinction of having not just my least favorite Best Actress Oscar nomination of the decade but ALSO enduring my least favorite snub in the same category in the same timeframe. How about that?

Now, in the comments: Which five of the past 30 nominees make up your shortlist from Oscar hell?

Monday, June 26, 2006

John Christopher Depp

Johnny Depp kicks off the top (pretend the rest are tied) 5 men in the Top 100 Actors of the Aughts Countdown. Read the Rest...

Old TFE Notes on Depp
Sweeney Todd film news and worrying.
Finding Neverland review
Oscar 2004 Actor Race Finding Neverland
Oscar 2003 Actor Race Pirates of...
2003 FB Gold Medal for Pirates of...
Pirates of... top ten list / review
Blow mean spirited dismissal
2000 FB Gold Medal (cameo) Before Night Falls

tags: Johnny Depp, movies, lists

Note to Self: Stay Positive.

Like many loudmouth cinephile types I have been known to bemoan the state of current cinema, especially in year-end reviews. I know that June 26th is a strange time to bring this up but I screened Nashville for the first time in aeons the other night (hence the new banner) and immediately opened up Inside Oscar upon completion --total habit of mine-- and found this quote regarding 1975 from Los Angeles Times writer Charles Champlin:
"It wasn't a bad year for movies, it was a terrible year"
Er. Well...

1975 Highlights included Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, Spielberg's Jaws, Altman's Nashville and Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. And that's just the Best Picture nominees.

A terrible year, Charles? Ya think? Thirty-one years later that year's vintage is looking mighty fine to me.

Blogosphere Multiplex: six things

Now that I'm a month into my journey through famed / admired / interesting bloggers in this Multiplex series, I thought I'd take a week out of interoggating total strangers and turn to a web friend. We haven't met in real life (He lives in Australia. I fear Kangaroos.) but we've enjoyed a healthy blog friendship for some time now. Meet par3182 who writes six things.

"six things" happens to be --no exaggeration-- my favorite minimalist blog in the world. For list-maniacs like myself it doesn't get any more addictive than starting your day with "reasons I won't be attending nicole kidman's wedding" or (an old favorite) "movie acting techniques you don't see anymore" or (my recent favorite) "things i thought i'd be doing in 2006 when i was a kid in the 70s"

10 questions with par3182
In which par3182 uses capital letters, puncuation, and actual sentences!

Nathaniel: How often do you go the movies?

par3182: Very rarely. I used to go once a week up until a couple of years ago, but the audiences got too noisy for me. I'm a strict no talking/no eating/no drinking moviegoer and can't understand why people can't abide by my rules. It all came to a head when I yelled at a woman who talked all the way through Almost Famous. I decided I was better off watching DVDs at home.

Nathaniel: Another reason for me to hate Almost Famous! Chatterboxes do you stand the wait?

par3182: Once upon a time we'd have to wait ages for films to be released down here, (not so much anymore, although we're still waiting on Junebug) so maybe I got used to it by default.

Sometimes I can't wait. I had to see Brokeback Mountain the week it came out (with a totally silent audience - I was so relieved) and I'll make a special trip if Laura Linney turns up in something. This week I might even go see Wah Wah as I do love Julie Walters, Emily Watson and Celia Imrie.

Nathaniel: What's your favorite cinematic Linney moment?

par3182: Oh, that's hard, I love the lovely Laura Linney in everything she does. I guess if I had to pick a moment I'm going to have to cheat a little and go for the one-two punch she delivers in You Can Count On Me, when she spots Mark Ruffalo through the window and she's does this two handed wave because so excited to see him, which is followed by the scene in the restaurant when she discovers he's not staying and is only here to ask her for money and you see the excitement drain away and the disappointment flood in. And the way she goes all businesslike and it's clear that this has happened many times before. Such a great scene for Ruffy too.

Nathaniel: Yes. GREAT scene. OK. A list I've always wanted to see from you: Favorite costumes in the movies.

par3182: You're asking a guy currently slobbing around the house in a moth-
eaten jumper and trackpants about costumes? I'm all over dialogue and performances in films but costumes...? Off the top of my head I'm going to go with (in no particular order) -

1. Jesus Christ Superstar - for the whole anachronistic hippies in biblical times thing (and the white jumpsuit at the end)
2. Annie Hall - for defining Annie so perfectly
3. Excalibur - because the costumes are all I remember about the movie
4. The Royal Tenenbaums - tracksuits / fur coats / headbands never seem to go out of style
5. A Streetcar Named Desire - Brando in a tight sweaty tee. Genius..
6. Cabaret - because I love every single thing about that movie

Nathaniel: Well, how was i to know about the slobbering? and the trackpants? You live in Australia... speaking of which. The secret movie star birthing factory. I know it's there --don't feign ignorance! Where exactly is it located? You Aussies just don't quit with the mega-watt exports.

par3182: They don't call it the secret movie star birthing factory for nothing, otherwise I'd be hanging around there a lot more often. I think they do something to the future stars that make them burst into greatness sometime after I've had a a tiny little something to do with them. I would have paid a lot more attention that time I went nightclubbing with Naomi Watts, sold a ticket to Nicole Kidman, shared an elevator ride with Rachel Griffiths, or got gushy with Toni Collette had I known they were all going to go onto the sort of fame I would have been perfectly happy bathing in the reflection of. Unfortunately I never brushed up against Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana, so I have no idea how they got to be so successful.

Nathaniel: We both share a childhood-begun / enduring adult affinity for Olivia Newton-John so it will probably horrify you to know that I have actually met people who don't know who she is! What should we do about this social ill? What kind of punishment is called for?

par3182: Well, the first thing you should do is get away from those people. The second is help me up off the floor as I briefly passed out at the thought of such unfortunates. Their ignorance, I'm afraid, shall be punishment enough. It's impossible not to know who Olivia is down here: she's an Aussie icon. Plus she and I share a birthday, so I can't help but love her.

Nathaniel: Well, Happy B-Day on September 26th! (And no, dear readers, I did not have to look up the date. That's how much I love ONJ.) Which movie things would you like as birthday gifts?

par3182: Not memorabilia, that's for sure. That's always stuck me as a little odd (although i did see an excellent Brokeback Mountain diorama made from Lego on eBay not so long ago.) I'm not really the gift type. Unless you meant gifts for Livvy, in which case I'm all for it.

Nathaniel: Which movie stars would you switch teams for?

par3182: Oh my.....there's something I haven't spent much time pondering. Let's say.....
My beloved Laura, of course
Kate Winslet
Zooey Deschanel
Isabella Rossellini
and a special mention of Elisa Dushku - who's not a real movie star but damn that girl is hot.

Nathaniel: That is only five (5!!!) things --I mean people. Five!?! Is this a sign
of the impending apocalypse?

par3182: I was watching the footy and was distracted by the sight of my pretend boyfriend Paul Licuria, so thinking about changing teams was nearly impossible.

Nathaniel: We've reached the end *sniffle*. Last question. They make a movie of your life. Who would play you? What's the title? What's the rating?

par3182: Already? I suspect the title might be six things: the motion picture. tagline: "you'll believe a man can type."

In the grand tradition of a whole lot of crappy Australian movies that were made in the 1980s that imported American stars of the calibre of Gregory Harrison, Christopher Atkins and Laura Brannigan, I'd like to be played by someone of middling talent that's hot right now but will be forgotten in ten years time. Brandon Routh, perhaps? Rating: straight to video

Nathaniel: Thank you to me Aussie pal par3182 for this delightful jaunt down under for this week's interview. Tune in next week when I interview... who?

Once again readers, check out par's beautifully brief "six things" each morning. It's as good as that energizing first cup of coffee and it doesn't stain your teeth or leave you jittery.

Previously at the Multiplex:
Gallery of the Absurd
How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons
Ron L'Infirmier
Thomas & Co.

Tags: movies, cinema, Australia, Laura Linney, film, Olivia Newton-John, lists, Paul Licuria

Paul Thomas Anderson is 36 Years-Old

P.T. Anderson turns 36 years-old today and he has only made four feature films, won two Oscar nominations, and broken up with one rock star girlfriend. Slacker. Having enjoyed all of his films and that breakup record I am really impatient for the fifth movie, There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as an oil prospector in turn of the century Texas. The film has, according to random speculative buzz , a genius screenplay. IMDB and set photos (?) indicate that this is currently filming but only two cast members are listed on the IMDB. Annoying. I highly doubt it's a Sleuthy two-hander so why is there so little info?

Anyway. I can't wait. I love me some PTA. And you?


Which is your favorite p.t. Anderson film?

Sydney / Hard Eight (1997)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Magnolia (1999)
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Goody Linktor

movie minded
Cool fan art for Kill Bill. [Carole Maurel]
Superman Returns premiere photos. Dean Cain? no longer so super-looking.[Film Gecko]
A film of one of my favorite books [Cinematical]

my bad
1996 Supporting Actress Smackdown w/ Tim, Nick, and Stinky Lulu. I really wanted to do it but --argh. My apologies to them and you. Now I don't get to tell you how absolutely dumbheaded I think The Crucible: The Movie is (and to think I loved it in '96 -ouch) but how Joan Allen miraculously ignores the evil movie and does her righteous best. [Read it...]
non film related but oh so true..
Brokers & Crack Sandwiches [Evil Discussor]

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Clive Owen

Clive Owen is #6 in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown, thus concluding a weird little mini-clump of scary heartthrobs (see also: Daniel Craig and Christian Bale) in the top ten Read the Rest...

The top five will begin on Monday June 26th and the countdown will conclude on Thursday, June 29th.

Previous TFE Notes on Clive
Closer review
FB Bronze Medal for Closer
2004 Oscar Race Supporting Actor.
Gosford Park review

Nathaniel vs. Readers (More List Mania)

So, after a couple months of counting down last fall and a few rounds of polling just now, here is how our top ten charts for ACTRESS OF THE AUGHTS (2000-2005) differ. From my list to yours...

The most immediately noticeable thing about the chart is that the collective list, yours, is more star driven and the individual one has more quirk. But that's the nature of individual versus collective I suppose. Plus, I get to whittle away to create a whole structure and you get one vote (it would be cool to see how your list would be different if you got to "grade" each candidate the way I do but my goodness, I shudder to think how complicated that would get.)

Two more things: First, I think it's worth noting that if my list were made in 2006 Meryl Streep would undoubtedly have placed higher given her dazzling return to form and ubiquity. Second, the biggest difference in the charts is the fate of Naomi Watts who readers like a lot more than I do. I was entranced for Mulholland Drive but I've been distancing myself since (though I did think she was swell in King Kong. You can see the complete top 100, both versions, here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Peter Sarsgaard

Lucky number #7 in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown. Read the Rest...

Previous TFE Notes on Mr. Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Dying Gaul -an evil dismissal.
A History of... Gyllenhaal Peter has a cameo.
Kinsey first screening reaction.
2003 FB Gold Medal for Shattered Glass
2003 Oscar Race an egregious snub.
The Center of the World review

tags: Peter Sarsgaard, movies, lists, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Prairie Poster WINNERS

The Prairie Home poster contest is over. The randomly drawn winners going home with Lindsay, Meryl & Woody (or at least photographic representations thereof) are Daniel and JD. Give Danny and JD a round of applause or an envious glance. I asked all the contestants to include odes to the cast of this sweet film. The winners did haikus.

From Danny:
"Altman and Lohan
Thank you, Career CPR
Yea, it's Just Her Luck"

From JD:
"A Brief Haiku to L. Lohan :clears throat:

She looks healthy now.
A little more plump and hot.
Not like a twig. Yay!"

And even though he didn't win I have to give a special shout out to Vincent from L.A. who wrote a letter from La Lohan to the true divas of A Prairie Home Companion. Here it is...

Dear Meryl & Lily,

True film veterans with class,
Remember the Oscars in March
When you thrilled the audience en masse?

I recall an ER hunk, a blonde,
As well an ending fit for Karl Rove;
But, what really lingers in my mind,

Is the magic you two wove.
This industry should cater to women like you,
Not to every boy and man;

Thank you for the street cred.,

Signed, Lindsay Lohan.

You Can Walk All Over Michelle (in 2007)

MSNBC informs us that La Pfeiffer is getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year (along with 22 others). Let's just ignore the fact that they bury the lead and think Rodney Bingenheimer a more attractive opening paragraph star-recipient. Ugh.

Sometime next year you'll also be able to step on entertainment legends Michael Caine, Robert Altman and Lily Tomlin, too. And since Hollywood is, well... Hollywood there's gotta be some tacky mixed in with the glamour: Erik Estrada, Kiefer Sutherland, and Shania Twain get the same honors next year.

Oh and...

No post on 'This Weekend at The Movies' today. Because, I'm sorry, my choices are Click and Waist Deep? Really? Time to catch up on that stack from Netflix. I need to get that queue churning anyway. How long do your Netflix goodies sit atop your DVD player?

Other Places

Since I am struggling this week with time management skills... read these goodies

Auteur Lust offers up a delectable conversation starter: Toni Collette gave the best performance in The Hours.
Reverse Shot's Robbie hacks away at the AFI's list compulsion. Funny.
Nick offers up a sequel to his Pfeiffer Blog-a-Thon post.
Lone Star Verve looks at Augusten Burrough's new book and, briefly, the upcoming Running With Scissors.
Cutting Room Ali finally sees Canadian hit C.R.A.Z.Y.
The Gilded Moose on the movie pitch Valentine's Day. The Mooses wishes it were stupid enough to have thought of that.
Pop Culture Junkies "Battle of the Superhunks and the Death of Metaphor'

I Thought You Said "DAILY!"

I did. I did. I'm trying. But I have to sleep. More "Actors of the Aughts" as soon as I can get to it ---my apologies. I'm really not doing this to tease. Just to inform.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The A to Z of ... Meryl Streep

Today marked the 57th birthday of America's most celebrated living actress, Meryl Streep. My Meryl month isn't really turning out as I'd hoped (new job. no time. etc...) and I had planned an extensive celebration of many things La Streep on her birthday. Here is a meager attempt.

A is for Accents. In the 80s her nationality changed every film.
B is for Bette Davis who felt Meryl was her successor as the greatest actress.
C is for "Click. Click. Click" Kate Hepburn's rude quip about Streep's acting.
D is for Death Becomes Her Watch Streep's hilarious "Me" song
E is for Evita She wanted the role that Madonna got.
F is for Filming. Simply Streep has photos from Dark Matter set.
G is for Gummer, her husband and children's last name.
H is for Humble. Anyone else with her status in the industry...
I is for Ironweed. She and Jack are both superb.
J is for Julia her film debut in 1977.
K is for Kids. She has four of them with Don Gummer.
L is for Laughs. Best known for drama but she's also seriously funny.
M is for Married. Her 28th anniversary with Don Gummer is in Sept.
N is for Natalie Portman. Globes 2004: "Congratulations... Natalie!"
O is for Oscar. She's been nominated 13 times, winning twice.
P is for Plenty. One of her best and least seen star turns.
Q is for Queen Ant, her character in the animated film Ant Bully
R is for Raves. ModFab gives her her millionth.
S is for Sophie the character that made her legendary.
T is for Theater. She hasn't done much since the late 70s.
U is for Upcoming Films. Her plate is full. Seriously: look.
V is for Vocals. She sings superbly in four of her films.
W is for 'Walk of Fame'. She got her star in '98.
X is for X ratings. She hasn't been in any. (Hey, it's X. I'm grasping)
Y is for "You Don't Know Me" -god, she sings beautifully.
Z is for zzzzz because I have to catch some instead of playing on the computer. You know I'm swamped when a post like this has no photos.

Weekly Horoscope - GUEST POST

Oops we're a day late with the horoscope. I hope you're not flailing without guidance from the (movie) stars. This week's horoscope is brought to you by "Astroboy", one of my best and [insert gushy adjective of your choice here] friends of the past *gulp* 13 years. Astroboy goes light on the movies this time but heavy on the star signs so feel that sizzling connection with others this summer, whether they're air feeding your fires, or water lapping against your earth. It's getting hot out there.

Here we go...

Astroboy says:
"Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and one of the four most powerful dates of the year also. You had enough going on, to have to deal with a new resident astrologer, yours truly, Astroboy. This is a time of great pressure, but also a time of great power... So hold on tight, it’s going to be a bumpy summer!!! Find out what’s in store for you, as we examine your week in review: as experienced with your favourite summer activities!

Jupiter, also called Zeus, the god of optimism is in tension with Saturn, god of wisdom honed by experience. They have been pulling against each other since last summer. This is the planetary pair that represents issues of inflation versus deflation (or depression). They serve to take us down a peg or two when we think too much of ourselves (think the dueling divas in Death Becomes Her.) When they struggle, we are pressed to think carefully about priorities. What are your true values? Will you put your money where it will do the most good in your life? Think twice about the money you spend on vacations this year. If you desire to travel, something else important may have to be sacrificed. Know your boundaries…"

Weekly Horoscope
June 21st -June 28th The "Summer Solstice" Edition

Aries (3.21-4.19)
You may be struggling with clarifying a balance point between yourself and your needs, versus the needs of others in your life (children, lovers). Talk: Sagittarius wants to know what’s on your mind. Speak firmly and to the point with those you deal with daily. Another tricky aspect forms just as the Sun crosses the base of your solar chart today. At that point you may wish to retreat into the arms of someone you consider to offer safety and security – like a net, woven into a hammock. Swing that balance this week, and invite someone in to chat with you! Take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and explain what's going on. That's all you need to do, especially next Monday to relieve this crazy tension you feel this coming week. On Tuesday, you may hear from someone (possibly a family member) who brings a whole new level of tension into your week. Just repeat the breathing and relaxing again. By Wednesday, you won't have to remind yourself of this stuff – you can rock-a-bye-baby your cares away!

Taurus (4.20-5.20)
This week is a time for bringing multiple threads and people together in support of one significant goal. It is possible that you are dealing mainly with facets inside your psyche and not with others. Whatever composes the threads, you are pulling all of them into a rope of firm bonding. Use that rope to anchor your hot air balloon- invite appreciative Pisces and Libra types to take a ride with you! This week's cosmic storm has a touch of the Wizard of Oz about it: you may feel you're being blown and buffeted around. All is probably not quite what it seems though. You can't figure out what gear to be in on Monday. Do you want to fly down the highway? Do you want to go slowly enough to appreciate the wildflowers along the way? Decisions! Be honest, with yourself, and with others- tell someone how you feel, how you really, really feel!!

Gemini (5.21-6.20)
Venus enters your sign this week and will be traveling "with you" through July 17. Her presence gives you an air of poise and beauty, and people will simply like how you look. This is the time to plan a road trip! Another Gemini may be involved with your plans. Be spontaneous, but be wise. Maybe what you need to do is draw up a list of some sort. Get organized. Create a budget. This is what you're feeling on Monday and Tuesday, and as tedious as spreadsheets and the like sound, putting things in order may relax you. When Venus is prominent we become more interested in art forms and take pleasure in things of beauty. And what better place to be admired, than in a strange place, where all eyes are on you? Wait for a late night phone call to bring you good news.

Cancer (6.21-7.22)
The Sun entered your sign on Wednesday -just as Jupiter and Saturn arrive at their quarter-phase. The cycle of these two planets could be likened to a grandfather clock. With this bell chiming, stop watching the clock: put up your feet and drink some ice-cold lemonade. Your patience has been tried when it became apparent that someone hasn't even started on a task that ought to have been begun a few weeks ago. A friendship could be tested - and even legal issues could surface. Once the Sun does move into your sign though, you may feel to have better control of the situation. Friday finds you strangely torn between two friends (maybe a Taurus and a Libra?) All of this oddness adds up to a weekend in which you may not feel like doing anything more than sticking around the house and chilling out. You're your own best company. You know what to do with those lemons.

Leo (7.23-8.22)
This has been a month of nightmares to forget! You have worked hard, pushing rocks uphill for several weeks. By now it seems you should know whether or not this initiative was really worth your effort. Leave the verdict alone for the present. You are too tired to make a clear decision. Bask in the light of your planetary ruler, and get a nice suntan. Friday you'll get to go to a lecture (or get a lecture from a bespectacled friend) that taxes your brain in beautiful ways. Pisces and Scorpio prove to be helpful on a project: research on location is favored. Maybe they’ll both be helping you apply the aloe vera- liberally?

Virgo (8.23-9.22)
Take the world less seriously this week and follow the yellow brick road of your social life. It could be really interesting and might even liven up your love life. There's a lovely mystique surrounding the momentary attraction you feel for a newcomer. You're as compatible with others as peanut butter is with jelly – so make some sandwiches and go for a picnic. Pet a stranger’s dog in the park. Throw a Frisbee, throw yourself at a stranger! They will definitely catch. If you don’t, as the Sun reaches the solstice and Jupiter and Saturn reach their critical phase, you might wonder if you should have been wiser and whether or not it's too late to take action to stop someone in their tracks. When you join forces with someone, you two can do anything. Expect the unexpected on the 27th or 28th.

Libra (9.23-10.22)
An experience, inner or outer, will be important in helping you clarify whether or not you have a solid and dependable relationship. This could be a romance or a business partnership, a marriage or a deep friendship. Be guided by not only your heart, but also by what seems to be a solidly practical rationale. Another Libra will see both sides of the picture. Ask them to climb into a two-person Kayak and navigate these confusing rapids with you. That said, as the Sun reaches the solstice (and the apex of your solar chart), career matters could be thrown into sharp focus. It may be that others are expecting too much. It might also be that you're asked to produce a regular newsletter or update of progress. Whether you accept this challenge might depend on whether your emotional life is stable and whether you feel you have the necessary support. Are you helping to paddle your weight?

Scorpio (10.23-11.21)
Your energy and enthusiasm have been pressed into a tightly bound container. For most this drama is played out in the arena of work. An extraordinary planet formation suggests that this might not be the easiest of weeks world-wide. The problem with these rare configurations is that there's no earlier experience to draw on thus making it extremely hard to determine just how acute the effect will be. The first part of this pattern forms on Sunday - and at the top (career point) of your solar chart. This is the start of a new cycle and might well coincide with you being given extra responsibility. You may resist this - especially when, on Monday, it becomes apparent that there's SO much to do and that the clock is already ticking. Good news may then come on Friday when you discover that you've far more support (and probably from an Aries friend) than you could have imagined. Your partner is a bright spot on the landscape. This weekend, fire up the barbie and grill away those troubles. They’re tasty if washed down with cold beer.

Sagittarius (11.22-12.21)
The fact that other peoples' moods change as the Sun arrives at the solstice on Wednesday could be helpful. Even so, you may feel you're caught in the grip of a dispute that's beyond your comprehension. Stalemate could be reached. Arriving at a satisfactory conclusion might require advice from someone not used to these conditions (an Aquarian accomplice?) but who at least knows how to make a system work as well as it can. You may feel like going to the beach and burying yourself in sand. Don’t. You will have cause to breathe a sigh of relief on Friday when it becomes clear that a log-jam won't last forever and that by the end of the month this hurdle will be overcome - and history. But this weekend, use that sand for beautiful castles, and dream loftily.

Capricorn (12.22-1.19)
Balancing the multiple commitments in your life is a tricky act these days. You and your partner each have needs. Then there is the energy you apply to your community development. And last but not least are your children or creative works. Everything is expensive, whether it costs in energy, time or money. Don’t let it all get you down. Forego my previous advice and plan your summer vacation now! But you’re going to feel pulled in many directions. As Saturn is your ruling planet, it's probable that you'll 'feel' this. As much as you'd like to charge into the week with the confidence of an ox, you're feeling much more like a worried sheep. Friday and Saturday move at breakneck pace -- you won't have enough time to even formulate a complete thought. On Sunday, find a relaxing place to catch your breath. But don’t go far: if you could be anywhere else on Monday and Tuesday, you would be, but you can't. And since you're here, you might as well face the music. Lift your chin, and don’t forget you planned some time off.

Aquarius (1.20-2.18)
It is important that you notice whether or not your daily life choices are supportive to your positive mental and emotional health. It is imperative that you get the required rest most of the time. If you allow everyone to drain your energy, you will be left with an empty bucket on the other end. Last Sunday, Mars and Saturn aligned in your opposite sign, the first time they've been in this position for about a quarter of a century. These two are seen as 'hard-hitters'. In your partnership zone, this could signify a tough year ahead. Yet it might also be a productive time. Though initially you may feel that someone's 'against' you, the fact that you're both working toward the same end could be enough 'glue' to help you through the first of a few uphill struggles. Go mountain biking in a tandem-bicycle and ride through the rough patches together. After that arduous ride, go skinny-dipping in a swarm of discoveries, each one bright and exciting.

Pisces (2.19-3.20)
This week marks the beginning of a many-month search through the labyrinth of questions about who you are and where you are going. You are asked to make conscious choices, which is sometimes challenging for the Fish. It is much easier to flow with the water. But are you really going where the water is headed? You may have to skim the surface of your subconscious, and while you’re doing this, do some ski-jumps. Aries might teach you a trick or two. This week, colleagues and friends may look to you to wave your magic wand and part the red sea. The fact that you're willing to try could give them comfort. Take a hike in the woods, and go camping and soul-searching. Holding a lantern out in front of you won't help you see better right now -- it'll illuminate the fog and make the glare brighter. If you can stand to sit in the dark for a bit, it will help you get some good thinking done. And while the lights are low, a candlelit dinner is exactly your speed.

tags: horoscope, zodiac

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Daniel Wroughton Craig

Daniel Craig is... #8 (in this case eight is never enough. As in 'I can't get...') in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown. So go and read about it, will ya?

Previous TFE Notes on Craig
On Current Trailers and Casino Royale
Daniel & Daniel Jr. the Bond controversy
Hump Day Hottie: Daniel Craig the future Bond.
The Mother Review
Bronze Medal FB Awards for The Mother
2003 Sex Scene Nominee w/ Paltrow for Sylvia
Road to Perdition Review

tags: Daniel Craig, movies, lists, James Bond

"Keep Young and Beautiful"

Here is another video edit from yours truly. (I posted this along time ago but it apparently didn't work because I had the setting wrong). This video, once again, stars a bunch of screen beauties. The song is a cover by Annie Lennox of a hilariously sexist old ditty called "Keep Young and Beautiful". I should note that this is NSFW as there is a moment, near the end, with tassels and G-string.

If you've been living under a rock or without internet access and still haven't seen my "She's a Bitch" music video edit, that one is here.

tags: Annie Lennox, movies, cinema, Natalie Wood, Sandra Bernhard, music, video

Actress of the Aughts. Final Battles

The FINAL POLL in your reader rankings for Actress of the Aughts concludes this Friday. Currently, as expected Nicole Kidman & Kate Winslet lead the fray (in that order) with their nearest competitors a ways away.

Meanwhile in the more interesting battle for the remainder of the top ten Catherine Zeta-Jones has been putting up an unexpectedly tough battle outpacing Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Scarlett Johansson, and film experience deity Julianne Moore... all actresses who've made major contributions this decade.

All of those actresses will probably make the top ten. Joan Allen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Isabelle Huppert, Laura Linney, and Natalie Portman are fighting it out for the remaining two slots. Your ranking is already looking much different than mine.

UPDATE 06/24/06: Poll finalized. Read about the results.

tags: Nicole Kidman, movies, cinema, Kate Winslet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, lists, entertainment, Meryl Streep, gossip, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Scarlett Johansson

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Christian Charles Philip Bale

Christian Bale is... #9 in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown.

Previous Film Experience Notes on Bale
Coming Soon: The Prestige his next film
'Batman vs. Wolverine' Joe Reid on The Prestige
2005 FB Awards Best Hero, Batman Begins
Laurel Canyon Capsule Review
2002 FB Awards Two Nominations for Reign
Reign of Fire Review
American Psycho Review
2000 FB Awards Two Medals for Psycho

tags: Christian Bale, movies, lists, Batman

Nicole Kidman. She's (Almost) Back.

* This post is dedicated to Anthony because I love my fans. xoxo

Guess who's celebrating today ? That's right. It's Birthday Girl herself Nicole Kidman who's riding the Gemini/Cancer cusp. Her mother gave Birth to her 39 years ago today! It wasn't long before this Aussie babe was Flirting with audiences on the big screen. And in the seventeen or so years she's spent on the silver screen she's proven that she's really To Die For. OK --I'll stop. I'm sorry for the punny. In all seriousness, Kidman has really given much cinematic pleasure in this new millenium (see her number one placement on my Actress Countdown and her huge lead in the poll that you can still vote on) and we owe her a heartily song "Happy Birthday" today. So crank up the memory of your favorite Kidman screen turn today and bliss out.

True Story #1: Three nights ago, I was walking down the street and ducked my head under a low hanging branch and somehow --sensory recall-- I was back inside of the haunting Birth (2004) and lost for a few moments inside my memory of Kidman's seriously inspired performance. (Film Bitch Nomination for Kidman. I liked Birth a lot when I saw it, but I kinda wish I'd given it a top ten placement in my year end review)

True Story #2: After a lengthy break from the corporate world in which I've been pursuing more personally fulfilling stuff and writing a lot (you may have noticed) on the site and blog, I am now, as of yesterday, back in the office culture mix. I will miss the freedom I had but as I was bemoaning my fate Sunday I got an e-mail requesting a Kidman post and I thought. God, Nicole Kidman is tireless. I can be too.

So here's to Nic! Discuss in the comments. (She has THREE movies in the can. Wheeeeeee.)


New Reader?
If this is your first time here, check the rest of the blog or some of the "greatest hits" like Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain * She's a Bitch (@ the Movies) * A History of... Sharon Stone * A History of... Missions: Impossible

tags: Nicole Kidman, movies, lists

Monday, June 19, 2006

George Timothy Clooney

George Clooney is... # 10 in the Actors of the Aughts Countdown.

Previous Film Experience Notes on The Clooney
Oscar '05 Supporting Actor everything about the category
Oscar '05 Director everything about the category
Oscar Symposium conversation with special guests.
Top Ten of 2005 Good Night, and Good Luck.
Intolerable Cruelty Review

tags: George Clooney, movies, lists

Blogosphere Multiplex: Gallery of the Absurd

Once a week I'm grilling bloggers I admire with questions about their own film experiences. This week's interviewee is 14 from "Gallery of the Absurd". Her insightful, funny and terrific illustrations on modern celebrity and gossip culture have been written up in the New York Post, Newsday, and are justifiably hot topics in the gossip blogosphere.

I won't even try to pick a favorite but if you're unfamiliar with her work look at: "Paris Hilton as a Proboscis Monkey", "Celebrity Endorsement Idea No. 645", and "The Sexiest Man in Hollywood" to get an overall feel.

10 Questions with 14
Don't be confused. The number of questions is ten. The name of the interviewee is "fourteen." Pay attention.

Nathaniel: How often do you go the movies?

14: I go see a movie about once or twice a month. I'd go more often, but there hasn't been much I've wanted to see. The thought of sitting in a crowded theater while watching Tom Cruise gnash his teeth while shooting ridiculously large guns and running from fiery explosions is just NOT the ideal movie going experience for me. MEOW!

Nathaniel: What --you don't think those large guns make him look enticingly manly? OK. Who is man enough to lure you into the theater with their action hijinx?

14: Manly. Tom Cruise. Those words just don't seem to fit together.

Gary Oldman will lure me into a theater no matter what role he's playing. I absolutely love to watch that man act. Johnny Depp lures me with his skills of quirky character performance and OKAY, I won't lie, his smoldering good looks. I am a big fan of Jeff Bridges, Gene Hackman, Meryl Streep, Samuel Jackson, Shirley Maclaine, Uma Thurman, and I better stop listing all of them now. To answer your question, I'd LOVE to see Mickey Rourke star in a summer blockbuster action film.

Nathaniel: What about Sin City? He was sooo good in that [FB Bronze Medal -ed]. Did that satisfy you or merely whet the appetite for more M-I-C-K-E-Y?

14: More mickey MORE!!!!

Nathaniel: So in your awesome illustration work, you're often taking already absurd celebs and zeroing in on why they're so nutso. Because of that special talent of yours you end up painting a lot of celebrities that many people love-to-hate like Tom Cruise, Nicole Ritchie [click on 14's illustration to the left readers -the details are wildly entertaining] and Kirsten Dunst, etc...) rather than those that everyone loves to love like, say, Meryl Streep. Is there any actor or actress out there that you'd love to have more of an excuse to draw? Which movie faces do you find most fascinating as an artist?

14: First, thank you for your kind works about my art. For now, I'm enjoying exploring what happens to a person when they get trapped (either willing or not) in the world of tabloid gossip. Their identity becomes less of an actor or entertainer and more of a character starring in a very public circus freak sideshow. Tom Cruise is no longer an actor, the tabloids have turned his character into a couch jumping crazy who believes an evil galactic ruler named Xenu brought humans to Earth and stacked them around volcanoes. Truth is stranger than fiction. I seek to observe and record celebrity gossip because I feel it's an interesting form of mythology. I want to understand why our culture is so obsessed with celebrity. For now, my focus will stay on gossip, but that is sure to change one day.

As for what movie faces I find the most interesting...I love older un-botoxed actors and actresses with character, confidence and charisma. I find them far more beautiful and interesting than fresh faced starlets.

Nathaniel: I once painted Julianne Moore and I must have thrown out a ton of rough sketches. I found her incredibly hard to capture even though I wasn't going for realism. Which celebrated face has plagued you the most as an artist --or does it always come easily?

14: I like your painting - she DOES have a very difficult face to capture!

There are some faces I just can't seem to "see". I can't paint Sienna Miller or Hillary Duff because I can't get my head around what they look like. Brad Pitt is difficult because his face changes from handsome to haggard within seconds. Right now I'm struggling with Janice Dickinson's face - she is extremely hard to draw because her features are so...stretchy and puffy. I usually do multiple sketches, some with my eyes half closed, in order to find the "essence" of the person I'm trying to paint.

It usually doesn't come easy except in the case of Britney Spears. I can paint her in my sleep.

Nathaniel: Re: Sienna and Hillary. I totally hear you. To me the fame that confuses me most is the generically pretty fame. In most cases you have to be slightly weird-looking to capture/keep the nation's attention. Like, say, Uma Thurman.

Anyway... What's your favorite movie? ever.

14: If I had to pick one, Seven Samurai.

Nathaniel: I noticed in your "about" page that you love Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle (as do I. Oh how I love it so). Which is your favorite?

14: I really haven't watched The Cremaster Cycle for the story, but I've viewed it several times for the breathtaking visuals, installations, costumes, sets, etc. The series gave me great inspiration for my work. If I must choose which episode is my favorite, I would say Cremaster 3.

Nathaniel: Edward Scissorhands or Captain Jack Sparrow?

14: Captain Jack! As much as I understand and appreciate sensitive misfits with dangerous hands, I'd much rather spend time with a swaggering adventurous pirate in search of lost treasure.

Nathaniel: Re: Art movies like Girl with a Pearl Earring or artist biopics like the Francis Bacon pic Love is the Devil or Ed Harris's Pollock. Any general or specific feelings on these? Hate? Love?

14: They were all good movies, especially Love is the Devil...but what I'm waiting for is a Salvador Dali biopic. Perhaps I'll write one.

Nathaniel: They make a movie of your life. Who would play you? What's the title? What's the rating?

14: Movie title: "A Fruit So Swollen With Juice, It Longs for the Prick of the Knife" Actress to play 14: A wild chimpanzee. The movie is rated: 1.6180339.....


Nathaniel: No, thank you 14. This was very fun.

Once again readers, check out 14's addictive and clever work at "Gallery of the Absurd."

New Reader?
If this is your first time here please check the rest of the blog or, in keeping with this posts theme, see a random assortment of the film experience's more gossipy/absurd moments: Paris is Only a City in France * Poptart Sandwich * A History of... Sharon Stone *

Other Interviews:
The Gilded Moose * Jay Lassiter * Dylan Meconis * Martha @ Cinematical * ultranow * fourfour * six things * How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons * Ron L'Infirmier * Thomas & Co.

To All Readers:
Any suggestions of bloggers you'd love to see featured? I'll try to rope them in.

Tags: movies, cinema, illustration, design, film, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Matthew Barney, art

More Trailer Talk

Part Two of the Movie Trailer Discussion
is now available for reading.

In this second half of our earlier conversation Joe Reid and I are discussing three more movies. Posey & Rudd go for big laughs in marital sex comedy The Oh in Ohio, Pixar's Ratatouille, and the Kate Winslet / Cameron Diaz romantic comedy The Holiday. On this last: sorry guys, the romance therein is not between those two beauties. Neither is the comedy apparently (it's a parallel story thing)


Return to discuss the trailers in the comments if you have something to say... And you should. I mean: Kate Winslet in a romantic comedy! Ya gotta have feelings about that.

tags: Kate Winslet, movies, cinema, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, trailers, entertainment, Pixar, gossip, animation, Disney, ratatouille