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.