Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meryl Streep Marathon

I have recently realized that I've not seen nearly enough of Meryl Streep (and no, I don't mean "not enough skin"... although I am one of those who truly believes Meryl is beautiful and sexy... has she ever done much screen nudity? ...I believe she showed her breasts in Sophie's Choice). Anyway, no, I don't mean skin, I mean films... I am a devout Meryl fan, and I've not actually seen many of her films!

I have seen her two (only two!?) oscar-winning roles (Sophie, Kramer), her two best comedic performances (Postcards, Adaptation), her chameleonic Emmy-winning AiA showcase, her less-great-than-usual Hours perf, and her sappy oscar-bait (but still great) work in Music of the Heart... oh, and her most recent turn as a Jewish mother/therapist in Prime (which I loved)... and her little cameo in Manhattan... and that's it. That's eight films and one TV miniseries... well, OK, once, many years ago, I sorta half-watched French Lt's Woman, but I'm not counting that, since I barely knew who Meryl Streep was back then, and I remember next to nothing about the film. Now that I worship at her altar, I feel I should see it again... along with nearly everything else she's done.

So, I just primed my netflix queue for a Meryl Movie Marathon, or a Meryl Streep Marathon, or a Meryl-Thon for short. In honor of her 13 oscar noms, I intend to watch 13 Meryl films in sequence (though not the exact films that earned her those nominations)... the marathon will consist of 12 of her best as-yet unseen (by me) performances, viewed chronologically, capped by her greatest-ever perf, in Sophie's Choice (which I've already seen... but c'mon, I could watch that performance all day). I will get to watch Meryl age and evolve from her first oscar nom in the late 70's, through her long LONG peak in the 80's, through her "stretch" experiments in kitchy comedy and action, on through her new highs in the mid-to-late 90's. And then the Meryl apotheosis that is Sophie. I'm so excited! The only film I tried to get that I couldn't was Ironweed, which apparently is not available on netflix (maybe it's at Blockbuster?)... but anyway... the list of films is thus:

1) The Deer Hunter
2) The French Lieutenant's Woman
3) Silkwood
4) Plenty
5) Out of Africa
6) A Cry in the Dark
7) She-Devil
8) Death Becomes Her
9) The River Wild
10) The Bridges of Madison County
11) Marvin's Room
12) One True Thing
13) Sophie's Choice

I'm SO pumped. More Meryl madness to come...

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce

Hmmm... I just realized that the name of Kate's character in her upcoming film Little Children is the SAME as the name of the actress who played her best friend's doomed mother in her very first film, Heavenly Creatures. How lovely... a sign, perhaps? I sure hope Kate wins her first oscar next year.

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the homophobia of a Crash fan

'Being against any gay issues is not being homophobic. Of course this is the "defense" word you people use against us that have different views than yourself. Actually I have some gay friends and work with gay co workers every day. We get along just fine. I just don't find this lifestyle acceptable so I will do what i can to voice my opinion against it... and everyone knows that the GAY AGENDA is what is at stake here not the film or its artistic merits.'

Posted by: saltydog at March 12, 2006 01:05 PM (on oscarwatch)

Oh, the self-delusion...

This is exactly the kind of thought process that I'm sure many voters used when checking the box for "Bush/Cheney" on their ballots in 2004. Let's try some simple substitutions, shall we:

Being (against any gay issues) is not being (homophobic).
Being (a liar, cheater, hate-mongerer, war-mongerer, and all-around fuckup) is not being (a bad president).

And everyone knows that the (GAY AGENDA) is what's at (stake) here, not the (film) or its (artistic) merits.
And everyone knows that the (LIBERAL MEDIA) is what's at (fault) here, not the (administration) or its (lack of) merits.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

change of pace

OK. I am just sending out notice that I think this blog will be much less film and oscar-centric for a while... for obvious reasons. I had planned to focus less on the usual film awards stuff after the oscars were over even before that spawn of the antichrist won Best Picture, but given said events, I am now even more inclined to throw in the towel on this particular topic.

From now on (at least until next award season), this blog will feature posts from the wide array of topics for which it was originally intended, and the film awards commentary will be left largely to posts on other blogs. I'll probably still post mini-reviews and such as I see new films, but I hope for that not to be the primary focus of the blog.

I'd like to think my few readers won't be lost in the translation... so please do stick around if you've been reading. Readership is key, after all. And as always, don't hesitate to comment if you are so inclined.

With that said, see you all soon...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh, and also for the record...

...no, I did not heave heavy objects at the TV screen. It was not in fact my screen OR my friend's screen I was watching on, but rather, a screen owned by the college I attend. Though I STILL would likely have thrown things if there'd been anything there to throw. But there wasn't. It was just me and some straight freshman boys from my dorm. Which just made it all the more awkward (although a hat tip to them: they were pretty upset, too, just cause the desrving winner clearly lost).

Anyway. I have always been one to beat up on myself when these things happen, rather than beat up on others. So the sound you hear now is me weeping quietly. Or perhaps re-enacting Carolyn Burnham's bat-shit-crazy schizoid moment from American Beauty:

"SHUTUP!" (slap!) "SHUTUP! SHUTUP! (slap!) YOU'RE WEAK, YOU BABY (slap), SHUTUP! ...Shutup...."

Tears. Tears I shed.

Ennis + Jack forever. I heart you.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oh, and one more thing...

Just for the record...

Shame on you, Jodie Foster. Shame on you.


OK. In all fairness... the night had been going REALLY well up until Jack uttered the dreaded word. Jon Stewart was hilarious, the skits were good, the best actress "lobbying" bit had me in stitches (especially since it actually acknowledged things like Charlize "hagging it up"). But then Jack came onstage and uttered the dreaded word.

I am stunned. Speechless. Overwhelmed. And fucking pissed off. This will go down in history as possibly THE GREATEST faux pas the academy has ever made.

I had been dreading it all night, after Brokeback won fewer awards than expected. When director and best picture came up, and it was still Brokeback 2/Crash 2, I thought for a second, "wait? you think... I dunno... I'm a little nervous..." and then Ang Lee won and it just seemed sort of... not locked for best picture. And then Jack came out and uttered the dreaded word that shall not be spoken. And it was like someone had punched me in the gut.

Don't be fooled, folks. Hollywood is fucking homophobic. AND they have bad taste.

Goodnight, and good luck, gay film fans. You'll need it, I know. I, for one, am still in shock.

That's all I have to say.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Predictions! woop

BEST PICTURE - Brokeback Mountain
I don't really buy the Crash hype, but I am a little bit scared at the possibility that BBM could lose. Not nearly scared enough not to predict it, though. Ennis & Jack forever.

A no-brainer. Easiest call of the night. Well, there are several of those, actually... but still.

BEST ACTOR - Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Sigh. Part of me still thinks a Ledger upset is possible, but that part of me is not the rational part. Hoffman will be taking this... sadly.

BEST ACTRESS - Reese Witherspoon, WtL
Easy. Get ready, Reese, you're up. Sorry, Felicity.

Okay... my brain says George Clooney wins this, but do oscar voters vote with their brains or their hearts? Answer: their hearts. Always. And most people's hearts will say "Jake". He is so endearing and wonderful in this *lead* role. Plus, he's gay and he dies. That always works for awards, doesn't it? Anyway, realistically, George is the safe choice, but I am going out on a limb on this one and I'll be REALLY happy if I'm right.

Eh. I don't really believe in her completely, but I think Adams and Williams will be splitting the dissenting votes. Like Jake, Rachel will ride her *lead* role to a win, I think.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - Brokeback Mountain

CINEMATOGRAPHY - Brokeback Mountain
This one could go to either GNaGL or Geisha, but I think it'll go to the best pic winner... and you know they love the landscapes.

I think it will go to Crash or Munich (though Constant Gardener is a definite possibility), and Crash makes more sense, since it is the anointed "best pic runner-up" after all and will probably get multiple awards.

ART DIRECTION - Memoirs of a Geisha
I want to say King Kong could upset here (it's certainly worthy), but I think this will be one of Geisha's two (or more) wins. At least I hope so, since it wouldn't be outright ROBBING anything here.

COSTUME DESIGN - Memoirs of a Geisha
I want to say Pride & Prejudice could upset here (it's certainly worthy), but... yeah, see above.

MAKEUP - Chronicles of Narnia
Seems like the logical choice. Though I think Star Wars might have a good shot here.


SOUND - King Kong
Big and loud, and it's main competition, Walk the Line, wasn't quite as beloved as Ray (which won last year), let alone Chicago (which won a few years back).

...but a War of the Worlds win here wouldn't shock me.

ORIGINAL SCORE - Brokeback Mountain
Now, I know Williams looks like the frontrunner (for Geisha), but this is hardly one of his greatest scores... when he wins, it's generally for something BIG that becomes a pop-culture fixture, like, say, the Star Wars theme. So I think he cancels himself out and Brokeback takes it home (as it should).

ORIGINAL SONG - Dolly Parton, Transamerica ("Travelin' Thru")
Whatever, any of them could win. But I think Dolly will take it on sentiment, and cause she's by far the most famous of the nominees.

FOREIGN FILM - Paradise Now
I don't know why Tsotsi is considered the frontrunner when this won the golden globe. I think Paradise Now takes it.

DOCUMENTARY - Murderball
I think that, after seeing all five films, the voters will go for great grittiness over popular sentimentality. I say Murderball wins.

Brokeback Mountain = 6 wins (though the Jake win is iffy at best... we'll see how that goes...)
King Kong = 3 wins
Crash = 2 wins
Memoirs of a Geisha = 2 wins