Tag Archive for Oscars

Style Over Substance

Thinking about last night’s Oscars, I can’t decide whether the sub-title should be:

Style Over Substance
Old People Rule! or
Behold the Power of Harvey Weinstein

I was a little underwhelmed with the Oscars last night and I’m a huge Oscar fan. Even the years that most people don’t like it, I usually do. Maybe I was just distracted about other things — like coming up with a new title for my new book and series — so I only half watched.

I really enjoyed both The Artist and Hugo when I saw them, but neither were “best picture” kind of movies for me. And I really don’t think The Artist would have gotten so much attention without the campaigning by the Weinsteins. I caught part of The Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday night and The Artist swept those too, so the Oscars felt like a re-run.

Hugo swept all the more arty and tech awards. That film for me was interesting in that it was the best use of 3-D that I’ve seen (maybe including Avatar?) and it was truly beautiful to watch… But the story didn’t work for me. It wasn’t tight enough. It didn’t know whether it was a story about a kid or a story about an old man or a documentary on silent films. The last third or so of that movie seemed like Scorsese’s self-indulgence. Him caring more about his interests than caring about the audience or about telling a good story…

And if we’re only judging based on whether a movie was beautiful to watch, I’d vote for The Tree of Life, which was thought provoking as well as mesmerizingly beautiful to watch. But whatever. That film was never going to win. Too weird and not enough people saw it.

I think for me, some of my favorite movies this year weren’t even nominated… Drive, Melancholia, Martha Marcy Mae Marlene… Hmmm… What else did I love? I need to start blogging about movies again so I don’t forget.

Onto The Artist. I loved this movie when I saw it. Truly delightful. But I saw it before all the award season buzz and so didn’t really think about it critically and went in with low expectations. But I did enjoy my time in the theatre and fell in love with that little dog. :)

I think ultimately it was the lack of surprises that bothered me about the Oscars. The only possible “upset” was Jean Dejardins winning over Clooney, but since it was clear by that point that The Artist was going to sweep all the major awards, it didn’t feel like an upset. A brief aside… I did love how the director of that movie spoke about his wife and the female star during his acceptance speech. Especially since she was kind of passed over in favor of Dejardins in all the awards for no reason that makes any sense to me… Not that I would have put her in the same league with the performances in the best actress category… (Streep, Close, Williams, Davies, Mara) but sitting side-by-side, I don’t see why Dejardins’ performance was acknowledged and not hers…

Anyway…

I did love seeing Christopher Plummer win an Oscar. (Go Canada) Cirque du Soleil is always impressive. (Go Canada again.)  Meryl Streep was so humble and gracious. And Octavia Spencer was thrilled to tears and so sweet. And I loved the Scorsese drinking game joke… (I want to be best friends with those women.) And I was moderately amused by Ben Stiller being the straight guy to Emma Stone. (That was fearless on her part. Not sure how well it went over but — fearless!)

But other than that, I was kinda bored.

Good fun and entertainment

I did a blog yesterday on Drunk Writer Talk about how Will Farrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly’s “comedy doesn’t get respect” number during the Oscar ceremony reminded me of how genre fiction doesn’t either… And how I’m learning to be “okay with that”.

And on that same vein, I wanted to tell everyone about two really fun movies I saw the other night. I know I mostly talk about indie and/or foreign films — but that’s mostly because I’ve seen a lot of cool movies ahead of their release dates, because of the 45 or so films I see every September at the Toronto International Film Festival. And if I loved them… I want people to know about them.

Doesn’t mean I don’t go to see tons of commercial films, too. (That don’t need my “help”. LOL)
I went to the movies on the weekend with pretty low expectations for two films and loved them both.

Music & Lyrics and Ghost Rider. I guess Ghost Rider surprised me more than Music & Lyrics but both were better than I expected.

Music & Lyrics probably wouldn’t have worked as well with different actors, but Hugh Grant, in particular, was perfectly cast. I loved how the entire movie pokes fun at 80’s pop songs (not to mention current baby Pop Divas) and all those early videos which were so, so cheesy. But at the same time, it wasn’t mean spirited about it and Hugh’s character wasn’t completely pathetic. Sure, he’d given up on trying to be great, but he was still earning a living at what he loved –performing music — and seemed pretty content with his life. Of course, as in all great genre storytelling, he was a better man by the end of the film and had rediscovered his passion for music.
I actually liked the Drew Barrymore character too and think she was well cast as someone a little ditsy and vulnerable whose confidence has been seriously shaken. And at the same time, Drew has that seductress thing about her, so you could wonder whether the Campbell Scott character was right about her. (LOVE him by the way. Have never seen him do anything not interesting.)

After seeing that perfectly satisfying little dessert of a movie, I actually snuck into Ghost Rider (don’t tell on me) not really expecting to like it and prepared to walk out early if my expectations proved true. But I really enjoyed it. I’m not normally into those comic book type movies but the religious element added a deeper layer to the premise and I thought the story was well told. And seriously. We do not see nearly enough Wes Bentley on the screen these days. He makes an AMAZINGLY sexy evil demon dude.

Ode to Jodie Foster

Posted during the Oscar red carpet….

I don’t know what it is about Jodie Foster. Maybe it’s that we’re almost exactly the same age, (okay, I’m 6 months and 15 days older) maybe it’s because I saw her in so many Disney movies when I was a kid, maybe it was because we’re both blonde (well, I was) and tomboyish and (she says humbly) smart (or at least we both did well at school, which isn’t always the same thing as smart)….

I don’t know exactly what it is. I just know if I could be anyone in the world other than myself. I would be Jodi Foster.

And it’s not the fame (although I wouldn’t hate that) it’s the brains and the class and the confidence and the way her blue eyes matched her dress at the Oscars. I’d die for that. (But my dress would have to be green and my eyes would have to be a different colour of green to look that great in a dress…) How great was it that she told Ryan Seacrest that she had her eyes specially died to match her dress? Wit people. That’s called wit. Okay, I want her wit, too.

I once dated a man who thought I looked likd Helen Hunt (okay, before you laugh, I was thinner then) But if I was going to pick an actress my age I identify with, it wouldn’t be Helen (though I love her) it would be Jodi.

Speaking of actors I remember from childhood — Jackie Earle Haley. God I hope he wins. That would be so cool. I’ve blogged about Little Children before. Amazing movie. Need to read the book.

Okay, just about to post and Celine Dion walzes down the carpet… Okay, I know she has the ESL issues, but “we’ve been to the Oscars before”. Who is she? The Queen? What’s with the royal we?