Thursday, March 1, 2007

movie talk

It's snowing hard outside, and there's no way I'm going to drive in it, walk in it, or push a stroller through it; so Daniel and I are staying inside all afternoon. I just got finished watching Gideon's Daughter, a BBC movie starring Bill Nighy (who played the aging rock star in Love Actually), Emily Blunt (who played the British assistant in The Devil Wears Prada) and Miranda Richardson. It was so good. I'm very glad it won some Golden Globes or I probably would not have heard about it.

I'm glad Steve and I had a chance to see The Queen last Saturday night, too. Not only was it nice to go out on a date together, but it was a fantastic movie, and I was glad we saw it before the Academy Awards. Helen Mirren's Oscar was well deserved.

Both movies took place in England and included footage from the week Princess Diana died. I love unexpected synchronicities like that. I was surprised at how strongly and emotionally I reacted to the dramatization of her death in The Queen. I knew what was going to happen, and I'd read descriptions of her final moments countless times, but I had never actually seen it reenacted on film. It was as if I was reliving the news for the first time since it happened, kind of like watching United 93 last summer and being faced with the final moments of the passengers on that plane. Wierd, huh?

In other Oscar musings, I thought The Departed was as good a choice as any for best picture, and I was happy for Martin Scorcese, that he finally got his award. Steve and I saw The Departed a few weekends ago on DVD, and while it was gripping and well-acted (and has given me a new appreciation for Leo DiCaprio) — inarguably well done, it was also very violent, and parts of it really disturbed me. I thought the movie could have been equally effective (even better) if some of that violence had been played down a bit. Why do directors think it's necessary to show everything so graphically? A little mystery goes a long way, as Hitchcock proved. But that's just me. Who am I to tell Martin Scorcese how to do his job?

And I was glad to see Little Miss Sunshine get a couple of awards. I thought it was absolutely delightful, and it brought back memories of my family's vacations in our 1960s-era Volkswagen van! We never drove across country with a broken clutch, though.

Next on my must-see list: Pan's Labyrinth. (Although I think Netflix is sending us For Your Consideration for the weekend. Christopher Guest's latest ... should be good, too.)

3 comments:

Susanne said...

You mentioned the dramatization of Diana's death in The Queen - I was especially gripped by the (unfortunately realistic) portrayal of the Papparazzi (sp?) outside the Ritz - on those damn motorcycles - you'd think they were terrorists or something (in a way they are...).

You also mentioned how both movies you saw referred to the week of Di's death - another movie that takes place around that time is Amelie - remember?

And yes - I remember the van. We saw Kevin (who bought it) at Dorothy Davy's party a couple weeks ago - he's looking kinda seedy...

Jo on the go said...

So, last night I had dinner with Chris Arndt. He's the cousin of my best friend's husband. HIS brother is Michael Arndt, who WROTE Little Miss Sunshine and won the Oscar for best original screenplay.

Chris and his wife, Patty ( who owns her own line of really cute clothing, http://www.ilong4ong.com/ong.html that I could only afford if they started a Target line ) dined with me and their cousin Bob, wife Mel, etc. and I made a complete pest of myself asking a zillion questions about how Michael "broke through" and got his screenplay made into a really successful film. Chris was used to it, because he attended the Oscars with his brother and stood by him all night, answering all the same questions for Mike, because Mike was losing his voice and had to save it in case he needed to use it for the acceptance speech.

Short version: There's no mental illness in the family that Chris admits to, Mike hated high school vehemently, the microbus with no clutch part of the film actually happened to Mike and his three brothers, Mike holed up in his Brooklyn apartment for 15 years writing before he was discovered, to survive he wrote scripts and worked as a personal assistant to Matthew Broderick (post-Bueller, during the Election and Inspector Gadget era) and wrote into his contract with MB that he always be referred to as "the flunky." He saved up enough to take a year off of work, which is when the good stuff began to flow and he finished LMS.

I was at my friend Dina's fabulous Oscar party and was too busy enjoying the great food and conversation, and endeavoring to keep my boobs from popping out of my camisole, to see Michael "lope up," according to his mother, to claim the Oscar.

Such a small world, eh? Six degrees and all that ... I also said I loved Alan Arkin in "that movie with the curly-headed girl and the vibrator... something about Hollywood Hills ... Marisa Tomei plays the bad cousin ..." They had no idea what I was talking about. It's Slums of Beverly Hills. Great movie.

Jo on the go said...
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