Golden Globes… Comedies and Foreign Language

More Golden Globes talk….

First the comedy/musicals:

I haven’t seen DREAMGIRLS, yet, so I can’t comment on that… But I have seen the other four nominated films and if LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE doesn’t win this category, there is no justice in the world. (Although I expect DREAMGIRLS will win and I guess it’s not fair of me to claim this is wrong, since I haven’t seen it. But I do think it will win and probably not because it’s better. It’s been well reviewed, there’s Oscar buzz and it has big stars… Therefore, will probably win.)

But LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE! I think this just came out on DVD and I want to see it again. It was a fabulous movie. The characters were amazing and not predictable and there’s not one minute of wasted time or dialogue in this film… (I’d like to watch again to test this assertion…) But no wasted scenes or lines is a big deal in comedies, where so often there are portions there just to be funny, that don’t really serve the story… Not in this movie. But I’d call it a “dramedy” not a comedy… Great movie.

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING is largely funny because of the amazing premise and good performances. But I found that most of the funny stuff was shown in the trailer and the story wasn’t that riveting and overall I was a little underwhelmed. I probably just went in with overly high expectations… I wish I’d seen it when it had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. By the time it was released to theatres, it had made the festival circuit, showing at Sundance, too, and there was way too much hype around it. However, if you haven’t seen it — especially if you haven’t seen the trailer — rent it. There are some unbelievable lines/ideas in this movie. And it has one of the best premises I’ve seen in ages… A story where the protagonist is a lobbiest for the tobacco industry. Too funny. Amazing satire.

I’ve talked about a couple of times… I really did think this movie had moments of uncomfortable brilliance and Sasha Baron Cohen is amazingly adept at turning a light onto ugly things about western society in a very unorthadox way (no pun intended) (well, maybe a little bit intended).


Really? I mean Meryl Streep was fabulous in that role, but really?


Will let you know, if I get a chance to see it…

And the foreign films… I’ve only seen two of these… But want to comment anyway, ’cause I can’t stop myself and the two that I saw were AMAZING!!!

VOLVER (Spain)
Go see this movie. Right now. Even if you think you hate subtitles. Go. Even if you’ve seen a Pedro Almadovar movie before, and you think he’s too weird. Go. Trust me.
This was his most accessible Almadovar movie I’ve seen (no porn stars getting kidnapped and seduced, no transvestites, no major religious controversies)… Don’t get me wrong. I love Almadovar’s movies… and you’ve got to love a director who introduced the world to not only Penelope Cruz (who’s great in this, as she was in his other film ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER — another film that’s really worth renting…) but also Antonio Banderas in TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN. If you haven’t seen either of these actors work in their native tongue, you’re missing something…

PAN’S LABYRINTH (Mexico) I saw at the film festival this year and although it’s not my kind of movie, per se, the buzz was so great I picked it. And I was blown away. It’s a fairy tale and the protagonist is a little girl… but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a movie for children or simplistic in any way. Very dark. Very creepy. Very good.

THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Germany) I haven’t seen this. (Don’t know if it’s been released to theatres here, yet… Maybe now it will be.) But I’ve heard from others that it’s amazing. I know it screened at the Vancouver Film Festival but not in Toronto… Too bad. Can’t wait to see it.

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (USA/JAPAN) I’m actually looking forward to seeing this, but I didn’t see the first one… FLAGS OF OUR FATHER. I kinda hope they’ll rerelease it along with this one so I can see them both on the big screen… A double feature would be great. Clint Eastwood understands storytelling, so I have high expectations for these films and like the idea he’s showing the history from both the US and Japanese perspectives. Great idea.

APOCALYPTO (USA) I don’t think I’ll see this movie. Partly because of the whole Mel Gibson thing and partly because, while I can take a lot of violence in movies if it’s in context and important, somehow I can’t take the violence in Mel’s movies. I found BRAVEHEART horrible to watch and most of the violence completely gratutitous, and don’t even get me started on his Christian snuff porno. Why did I go see that???? Okay, I felt like I had to out of curiousity and to judge whether all the anti-semetic accusations etc. were justified… But I’m done with Mel Gibson as a director, unless he does something that isn’t 95% graphic violence — which is what I’ve heard about Apocalypto.

Impt note: I’m not a rabid anit-violence in the movies person. I love Quentin Tarantino’s films. Pan’s Labryrinth has some graphic violence… but it’s not the whole freakin’ movie and it fits the story and adds impact when it’s there. It’s Mel’s 20 minute battle scenes with nothing but gore (or the 70 minute shredding of someone’s body in the Passion) that I take exception to. No one needs to see that kind of violence.

  8 comments for “Golden Globes… Comedies and Foreign Language

  1. December 17, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    Gratuitous violence does bother me … I watched Braveheart only once, great movie but cannot watch it again. That’s why I can’t bring myself to watch the Passion of the Christ or Apocalypto. I guess that’s also why I don’t watch slasher flicks. I have not seen a single GG movie there … how sad is that?

  2. December 17, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    re: how sad is that…

    I don’t know, Amy, depends on your perspective. How sad is it that I’ve seen all but 4 of the 18 best picture nominations… And 3 of those 4 are foreign language and I’m also very likely to see 3 of the 4 I haven’t seen before the awards show. (Everything but Apocalypto.) Not sure what that says about me :-) But the word addict comes to mind

  3. Anonymous
    December 17, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    Apocalypto IS violent, so maybe you wouldn’t like it, but not nearly as violent as some of the reviewers imply. I agree with Mel Gibson when he says it is less violent than Braveheart. When violence is shown, the camera doesn’t dwell on it as in the case of The Passion.

    In the human sacrifice scenes, you see the priest raise and lower the knife, then a wide shot of the knife sticking out of the chest. No other movement of the knife is shown, and the priest raises the human heart for the crowd. The victim is then beheaded, which again we don’t directly see on camera.

    The death by Jaguar scene was a bit over-the-top, but it was relatively brief.

    In the first half of the film, violence happens to characters you love (the forest village Maya) by the city Maya. The city Maya are shown committing violence against man and nature. In the second half, the violence by man and nature is against the city Mayans who pursue the hero in the forest.

  4. December 17, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Sad for me as I’m a movie buff like you. Due to children I have sorely fell behind in movie going. I just found out two days ago there’s an Eragon movie and I was like when did that happen! If I do happen to be able to rent a movie I have to wait until babies are asleep, and usually by that time I wiped out myself. I am finally tonight watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2. One day I’ll be able to watch movies again. 😉

  5. December 18, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    So excited to see both Volver and Pan’s labyrinth.
    Probably on DVD, but what can you do…

  6. December 18, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Chrisitian Snuff Porno???

    Jesus you’re funny!!!! This is why I don’t go to your blog all the time…should be writing instead read everything you’ve written for weeks. Christian snuff porno… a spectacular of shoes…you slay me.

    I am a little excited about Dream Girls. It will beat little miss sunshine — but oh lord was that a movie. You’re funny.

  7. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    I haven’t heard of Pan’s labyrinth, but it sounds interesting. I’ll have to see if I can find this playing somewhere. If not, maybe DVD.

    I haven’t seen Little Ms Sunshine, but have heard it’s awesome. I’m definately going to check this out.

  8. December 19, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Pan’s Labyrinth hasn’t hit theatres yet, Christine… It’s opening in Toronto in the next week, I think… Don’t know if it will show in Halifax… Is there a theatre that shows foreign films (okay, you can throw rocks at me for wondering, if you like). (But I know I got frustrated seeing independent and foreign films when I lived in Ottawa…)

    Little Miss Sunshine is out on DVD today, I think…

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