Thursday, February 09, 2006

Match Point Got Dicked

I wish I could say that Woody Allen has an unfair stigma attached to him, much like my clients, stemming from false allegations of child molestation and shacking up with his babymom's daughter, however, Woody Allen has earned his bad wrap with a string of dreadful movies - I won't recount them, they are numerous, and increasingly painful to sit through.

I guess that's why I'm just so tickled by Match Point, an intelligent script buoyed by great performances brought on by really intuitive directing. So, would I bump Munich, a Steven Speilberg fantasy, for Match Point, a contemplative movie about such notions as crime and punishment, fate and luck, blending elements of high drama, satire, and slapstick (yes, that comic book boing moment the Detective has when he puts it all together - a ha!) - in a heartbeat. And, would I throw Scarlett Johannson into the running for best supporting actress, you betcha.

I'm not the biggest Scarlett fan - I liked her in Lost in Translation, but I thought she emoted about as much feeling as a wet mop in Girl With Pearl Earring -- and I guess that goes to show again, what a good director can do for an actress, Sophia Coppola in Lost in Translation, and Woody in the case at hand. Unfortunately, I think the Woody stigma pulled her down. Scarlett was so smoldering in this movie, she had smoke coming out of her ears. She could meow at Rachel Weisz, and chase her off the screen. Make an apple pie out of bubbly Amy Adams, and bake her at 350 deg. While Rachel Weisz appears to be a lock, this is one of those wildcard categories -- remember Whoopie Goldberg and Ghost??? I wouldn't be surprised at all if Amy Adams were to pull off an upset. Frankly, I hated Junebug - as soon as you see the world "laconic" in a review in a positive way, you should consider yourself forewarned. She's garnered a lot of critical support, and she's the kind of perky underdog the academy loves. Rachel Weisz, on the other hand, would be a way to reward Constant Gardner, which could easily have found itself in the big dance, but for Steven Speilberg and his stinker Munich.

My personal favorite (besides Scarlett who's not nominated), Michelle Williams. That moment in Brokeback where she sees her husband sucking face with Jake Gyllenhall - that moment, not when Heath vomits from the thought of being separated from Jake, not the moment where she confronts him about the knowledge she has had all along, not the moment where Jake stands, hands on hips, in front of an expansive, yet starless, lonely sky, and says, I don't know how to quit you, or even the moment when Heath finds his blood stained shirt entwined with Jake's own dirty plaid - that moment was the most gutwrenching moment in the film.

And, of course, it will be a let down if Scarlett isn't on the Red Carpet -- it's always a toss up what arrives first, her or her boobs. At least, at the Oscars, she can feel safe from the likes of Isaac Mizrahi and his lecherous Target hands.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Drunken Rambling about Munich

O.k., I'm no longer sick, but I'm slightly intoxicated, so I don't want to go out on a limb about anything (predictions wise, intelligent discussion regarding snubs, and pronunciations tips for Mina Sorvino (actually, she did a very good job, although I'm beginning to think she's really a giantess, and that everyone stands on stilts in movies when they stand next to her). On the other hand, I do wish to voice my discontent about the best picture nominee, Munich. As I posted before, I felt that Walk the Line was a money lock nomination - critics and audience goers agree. But, instead, we get Munich - is a movie a sum of its whole parts? - because the only other part of Munich nominated was, uh, Steven Speilberg. Obviously, a big part - but not enough to make a cheesecake, let alone a meatloaf - a lot of other ingredients need to go into the mix. Munich - an egg white omelet in my opinion - no substance, no ingredients - blah, or as my grandmother would say, feh! And, for an issue piece - a theme piece - the theme being if you really exercise an eye for an eye, your going to have a lot of blind dead men walking around - well, I think Steven Speilberg should find himself in the unenviable position of Oprah and James Frey - how many lies can you tell to before you have to call nonfiction fiction - and if it is really fiction, and that's what we call it - is it ok? Is a piece what we name it (fiction or nonfiction), or is it what we take away from it (a MESSAGE (in big caps) based on some truths, some lies, whatever), because ultimately, the Steven Speilberg message is premised on the fact that at least one Mossad agent had some kind of attack of conscience - enough to promote Spielberg's message - but the truth is, that didn't happen, and the reason that the Middle East is so complicated is because the players don't accept that an eye for an eye really isn't tenable, workable, feasible, justifable, and that's just it - it's very complicated, and the movie was told from a point of view that just didn't ring true, and wasn't true. . . so Speilberg's message, told from a lying narrator - is that responsible movie making? I certainly don't know, and I guess that's why I'll never write a "theme" blog . . .

So, tomorrow, sober, I'll talk about my favorite movie of the year, and in my opinion, the best movie of the year - Match Point - and why it wasn't nominated.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

And the nominees are . . .

And the envelopes are revved up and ready to go! What an exciting morning - which I watched from my sickbed - you know I'm sick when I don't even want to knit. I'll try to write a longer post tonight after my headache is gone, and I've had time to mull over the foolishness that gave a nod to Munich instead of Walk the Line! The nominations had a few surprises, and I promise, I will have something to say - and, I still have a review of SAG fashion on the way as well.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bareback Mountain

I know, the nominations aren't even out yet, but I'm going to go out on a limb, skip the formalities of knowing the nominees, and predict that Brokeback Mountain is going to win this year's Oscar for Best Picture. Brokeback Mountain, to me, is right up there with Chariots of Fire --people, it's wearing the Emperor's New Clothes - it's boring!

As you all know, Brokeback is the "gay cowboy" movie, and reviews have bandied around words like "groundbreaking" and "monumental." I guess that's true - but, only in terms of scale - bigtime money, bigtime director, bigtime budget, bigtime Hollywood stars, straight from Dawsons Creek, no less. I don't know about you, but for years, I've been watching small, low-budget films that portray gay love stories -anyone remember Maurice - a small, Merchant Ivory film starring Hugh Grant and James Wilby, as undergrads who fall in love amidst the library stacks at Cambridge? Or Longtime Companion - who had a dry eye when Bruce Davison gave his lover permission to die? Clearly, this is not the first time we've seen gay love portrayed on the bigscreen, but it is perhaps the first time we've seen very graphic gay sex. Which is all good, and maybe groundbreaking, but let's not confuse love with sex, as we are so often apt to do. Really, there are probably more movies out there about gay men in love, gay men repressing their love, and gay men being persecuted for their love than there are movies about Jews in love - when was the last time you saw a movie where two Jews fell in love - with each other, not the shiksa who comes waltzing in, like Melanie Griffith (like a Hassad would fall for Melanie, please). The only movies where Jews get to be in love is if they're about to be attacked by Cossacks, or they're on the train to be gassed -- and even then, we're more likely to see them fall in love with the good Christian who is trying to save them. At the end of
The Way We Were, when Barbra Streisand finally finds love and contentment with the only David X. Cohen in the book, we never even get to see the guy. But, anyway . . .

Let's face it, while Heath Ledger's character is undeniably head over heels, paralzyed in love with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jake's character is just a player. Say this was a traditional boy meets girl movie - boy meets girl on mountain - they're promised to other people. Boy moves down the mountain, lives life of quiet desperation with his wife. Girl goes down mountain, lives life with husband, takes quicky trips to Mexico, and then quietly sets up a secret house with a new boyfriend on the side, all the while stringing along the cowboy she left behind. Is this really the love story of all love stories? And, this nonsense about how because of societal pressures they couldn't be together - they had an entire mountain to be together - mountains and mountains and moutains - one of the taglines for this movie that I can't argue with is "visually stunning." They could have been happily romping around the range, playing among the sheep and the cows.

At the Golden Globes, Brokeback Mountain won best picture, best adapted screenplay, best director, and best song. Best writing? "I don't know how to quit you" please. Director? I guess it goes along with the Best Picture territory. But, what makes Brokeback Mountain, is Heath Ledger. But for Heath Ledger's performance, this could have been Heaven's Gate. I'll discuss Heath's chances in a later post, but things don't look good.

And the rest of the nominees - I'm going with Walk the Line, Capote, Crash, and Good Night & Good Luck. Other contenders - History of Violence and The Constant Gardner. I think Walk the Line, Capote and Good Night & Good Luck are money bets, Crash I think will squeeze in there because it will be a way to reward a stunning number of good performances, and it will be a consolation prize for Terrance Howard when he doesn't get nominated for Hustle & Flow.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Welcome to my new blog, where everything is Oscar - Oscar Predictions, Oscar Fashions, Oscar Trivia, Oscar Oscar Oscar.

I used to have an Oscar party every year, and even though I was in a tiny apartment it grew and grew and grew (just like the length of the telecasts). I bought a house, and the party got totally out of hand. I knew that I had had enough when a big fat slob co-worker of mine, who I never would have had in my house under any other circumstance, picked up the bowl of pick 'n' peel shrimp, plopped it in his lap, and devoured the entire contents. I looked at the discarded shrimptails, and said enough, this party is about as fun for me as watching Rob Lowe sing and dance during the nominated song montage.

So, this year, I intend to hold my party from now until the first high heel hits the red carpet, here, in blogland, and you are all invited to attend!

Welcome to my Red Carpet!