Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscar Fare

How did I do on my predictions?!?! I’m sure you wait with baited breath!!! Yet again Marty cried into his popcorn – when will Oscar shine on him? Another sad chapter in the book of crap awards ceremonies!

Here’s what I said, and here’s what bleedin’ happened…

Best Actor: Don Cheadle; Johnny Depp; Leonardo DiCaprio; Clint Eastwood; Jamie Foxx.

SHOULD: Leonardo DiCaprio
WILL: Jamie Foxx
DID: Jamie Foxx

Supporting Actor: Alan Alda, Thomas Haden Church, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Clive Owen.

SHOULD: Clive Owen (he’s been around soooo long!)
Morgan Freeman
DID: Morgan Freeman

Best Actress: Annette Bening, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Imelda Staunton, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet.

SHOULD: Kate Winslet
WILL: Annette Bening
DID: Hilary Swank

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Virginia Madsen, Sophie Okenedo, Natalie Portman.

SHOULD: Natalie Portman (but I do love Laura!!)
Laura Linney
DID: Cate Blanchett

Animated Feature:
The Incredibles, Shark Tale, Shrek 2.

SHOULD: The Incredibles
The Incredibles
DID: The Incredibles

Cinematography: The Aviator, House of Flying Daggers, The Passion of the Christ, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement.

SHOULD: The Aviator
The Aviator
DID: The Aviator

Costume Design: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket’s …, Ray, Troy.

SHOULD: Lemony Snicket
DID: The Aviator

Best Director: The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways, Vera Drake

SHOULD: Clint Eastwood
WILL: Martin Scorcese
DID: Clint Eastwood

Documentary: Born into Brothels, The Story of the Weeping Camel, Super Size Me, Tupac: Resurrection, Twist of Faith.

The Story of the Weeping Camel
DID: Born into Brothels

Film Editing: The Aviator, Collateral, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray.

SHOULD: The Aviator
WILL: Million Dollar Baby
DID: The Aviator

Foreign Language Film: As it is in Heaven, The Chorus, Downfall, The Sea Inside, Yesterday.

SHOULD: The Motorcycle Diaries
WILL: Don’t care
DID: The Sea Inside (still don’t bleedin’ care)

Makeup: Lemony Snicket’s…, The Passion of the Christ, The Sea Inside.

SHOULD: The Passion
WILL: Lemony Snicket
DID: Lemony Snicket

Best Picture: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways.

SHOULD: The Aviator
WILL: Million Dollar Baby
DID: Million Dollar Baby

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Before Sunset, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries, Sideways.

SHOULD: The Motorcycle Diaries
WILL: Finding Neverland
DID: Sideways

Writing (Original Screenplay): The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda, The Incredibles, Vera Drake.

SHOULD: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
WILL: The Aviator
DID: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Well……I did ok, I suppose. Guess I really underestimated the Academy’s burning hatred of Marty Scorcese, though, didn't I, huh? Huh? HUH?!

And I DIDN’T stay up to watch it!! (Sky had it this year, and I don’t have bloody Sky. So, yes, if BBC had kept it, I would have stayed up!). I DID, however, buy Empire.

One out of two ain’t bad!

And my prediction score is…dun dun dun…a very very POOR 6 out of 15. Although I was happy to be wrong on a few of those…Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine? Well deserved! And some of my 'shoulds' came out above my 'wills' I was right in spirit, if not in excecution! (The best kind of right - morally right!)

See you next year…

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

To Mr. Pwice

He’s not gonna thank me for this, but it has to be done…………

I love Alan because:

1. …he sets the alarm for fifteen minutes before I ACTUALLY have to get up because he knows I need to hit snooze loads before I can move

2. …he knows that when I am really flipping crazy in the morning it’s just because I bloody HATE mornings, and not because I’m a psycho

3. …he lights the fire for me all the time coz I’m freezing, and then doesn’t mind when I fall asleep coz I get TOO hot

4. …he makes me food whenever I want it, which is very important for my hyperglycaemia

5. …he pretends not to believe that I have hyperglycaemia and tells me it’s just an excuse for eating chocolate – funny monkey

6. …he sometimes mess-fights me in a way that borders on serious – especially when he tries to gouge my eye out, or twist my wrist

7. …he makes me laugh ALL the time – and even when he’s not with me, I’m laughing or just smiling thinking about things he has said or done

8. …he makes me feel yummy (and that’s all I’m going to say on that matter)

9. …he doesn’t object to me eating two or three dinners in a row, and finds it endearing that I eat so much – or at least SAYS he does (which amounts to the same thing)

10. …when I’m too drunk, he puts me on the couch and lets me watch telly while he walks up the road and gets us a Chinese (take-away, not person)

I could go on with many, many, many more reasons, but I won’t! Suffice to say that I wake up with a smile (mostly) every morning, and am happy when I fall asleep every night…………and Alan has at least SOMETHING to do with it!!

A little dedication for the man I love – too late for Valentines Day, and too early for any kind of ‘anniversary’ type thing, but just because that’s the way I’m feeling today!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Melinda and Melinda - Irish Film Festival

The funny thing about Woody Allen is that his films tend to be quite similar. The HILARIOUS thing about Woody Allen is that his films tend to be quite good! Granted, Melinda and Melinda is no Annie Hall – but then again, what IS, people? It was a perfectly serviceable movie, fluffy and romantic followed by ironic and ‘tragic’ – well, in reality, the tragic elements weren’t very intense, so it was more akin to a riff on some Greek tragedy, a lá Mighty Aphrodite.

The film starts out with four people sitting in a busy bistro in – let’s just make an almighty assumption here, what with it being a Woody Allen movie – New York, discussing whether life is a tragedy or a comedy. Two of the men are playwrights and one writes purely tragedy, but believes life is comedy, and the other is the exact opposite. One of their life-discussion/party mentions a story of a woman bursting in on a dinner party, and the two men decide to give examples of how the story can be made comic or tragic. So follows the story – Radha Mitchell playing the titular Melinda, in one scenario as the comedic downstairs ‘personality’ who Will Ferrell falls in love with, despite being married to Amanda Peet. Incidentally, she has a neurosis about lovemaking (notice an Allen-movie pattern?) and Will Ferrell basically plays Woody Allen – all twitching and funny and pass-remarkable! It is amusing to watch, but there is that niggling part of your brain that says ‘why can’t Woody Allen write a movie that doesn’t contain a jazz-loving, wise-cracking, neurotic New Yorker’?

Anyway, the fact that Mr. Ferrell is pretty much the anti-hero of the piece doesn’t slow his satisfaction – he relishes every moment on screen and, though I worried about his capabilities whilst under the straining whip of Allen and his punctuation, he has magnificently embraced his character. Amanda Peet plays a fabulously self-obsessed director, and falls in line with most of the women in the play – intelligent and ‘kooky’, but still driven by baser instinct at the end of it all. Radha Mitchell is eminently likable as Melinda in the comedy, where she is simply a free spirit. In the tragedy, however, she is a free spirit struggling through the mire for air, weighed down by past mistakes, present regrets and a whole host of wines and cigarettes.

Chloe Sevigny is distasteful as the Park Avenue hostess with a passion for music – she is un-likable, weedy and uninteresting…yet she holds Melinda’s fate in her hands. Such strange situations life throws at us – and I guess the tragedy for Woody Allen IS that sometimes our life balance is held in the shaky hands of a moron. Her bow-tied marriage is falling apart, and into her life stumbles the wrecked shell of Melinda – a friend from the past. Initially the Park Avenue princesses try to help in their own upper-class way, but when Melinda truly has a chance at happiness – with a man of unlikely name, Ellis Moonsong – the very people who proffered her help threaten it’s continuance.

The welcome retreat of the comedy softens the blow of the tragedy but, as I have said before, the tragedy is much too dramatically operatic to be of any real threat to your peace of mind. It actually gets to the stage where you wish Woody Allen had just left the tragedy out of the story altogether, and focused completely on the much more entertaining comedy. What is interesting is the premise – one woman, Miranda, and two possibilities of her life.

Though by no means his greatest movie, Woody Allen has taken us to that bistro in New York with those pretentious writers, and allowed us all to sit at the fork in the road of Robert Frost’s poem and gaze upon the possibilities.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Monday, February 14, 2005

Straw Harry

I watched Straw Dogs on Saturday night – with Alan firmly asleep on my lap, bien sür – and had wanted company to do so, as I felt the ‘scene’ would be too much for me. As it turned out, keeping Alan awake without resorting to more vicious tactics than giving out, poking and holding his nose, was impossible, so I had to go it alone. WOW!! That movie is bloody brilliant! It has so many nuances and so many possible interpretations that my head reeled……it’s the first time in absolutely yonks that I have watched a movie and immediately felt afterwards that I could study it, and only it, for very long time and still be as amazed as I am now!! It was so nice to have my interest rekindled (after months of drought), and I felt refreshed and excited after watching it, rather than depressed and angry – as I had assumed I would feel!

So, rather than wake sleeping beauty for a quick film discussion on the pro's and con's of originally banning such a movie, I brought myself down off the high by switching to bloody Ghost on telly! Yeuch! Watched about five minutes and decided enough was enough, and wheeled the drooling-one down to bed.

Next morning we both (and yes, Alan stayed awake!) watched Dirty Harry!! How brilliant to watch a movie beset by clichés when they aren’t REALLY clichés, because he was the first to use ‘em!! Excellent stuff! Then, as an exercise in disappointment, we tried to rent Dirty Harry 2 from Xtra Vision, Rush. What a pain that entire video chain is!! Unless you want American Scary Movie Pie, then you are bound to end up crying!!

Anyway, tonight is looking good, coz we’re going to a movie in the Dublin Film Festival – Woody Allen’s ‘Melinda and Melinda’ starring Will Ferrall. How will the man cope with his irrepressible ad-lib act being…well….repressed under Woody Allen’s “there’s a comma in that line for a reason” tutelage!??! It remains to be seen!

Watch, as they say, this space…