A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The Academy Awards had it pretty easy this year. Even when I might have voted a different way, there were so many good choices, I couldn't be too upset. Probably Atonement winning for its very obnoxious score was the only decision that made me want to stick my thumbs in someone's eyes. Javier Bardem, Marion Cotillard, Robert Elswit for cinematography for There Will Be Blood, all the wins for No Country for Old Men--how could any of those choices possibly be wrong?

I was glad to see that the weird Diablo Cody backlash didn't rob Juno of a writing win. Of any of the movies, it was the one where the writer's point of view completely drove the production. Plus, when was the last time so many people actually knew the name of the screenwriter on a popular film? There is almost a weird classism underlying the hate, like how dare a lowly writer step out in front so much. Stay in the cellar where you belong and we'll toss some chum down to you once you turn in your pages!

Anyway, a decent night. I predicted 14 of the winners, a little better than half, which is my usual ratio. I am terrible at handicapping these things. We bet quarters on the categories and I lost $1.25 of the $5 I started with. Joëlle hosted the evening, and we had a menu that was themed after the best picture nominees. Queso and chips and tortilla soup for No Country, Michael Crayfish, orange Tic Tacs for Juno, that kind of thing. The main course was chicken seasoned with There Will Be Blood Oranges.

Had it been breakfast, I was going to make No Country Gravy for Old Biscuits, but alas...


* Justice League - The New Frontier, adapting the Darwyn Cooke graphic novel.

* Michael Clayton, a gripping puzzler that gets more interesting the more you look at it.

* Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a kid's movie too eager to grow up.

* Stanley Kramer Film Collection, a five-movie set celebrating the pioneering independent producer and director known for his crusading spirit.


This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:

* Alphaville, Jean-Luc Godard's frenzied sci-fi private-eye alchemy.

* Charade, the dark comedy thriller with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Current Soundtrack: The Last Emperor - Criterion Collection DVD 3

Current Mood: content

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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich


MattGrigsby said...

I agree. The Awards given out were pretty dead on. It was great to see the overwhelming support for Marion Cotillard (especially Cate Blanchett going nutz for her in the 6 nominee camera views.

Best costume for Elizabeth was perfect (though Sweeney winning would have been fine too, but Art Direction will suffice).

One of the things we differ on is the musical score. I know you loathe Atonement, but I really did enjoy the score to that (even though the typewriter idea was stolen from a previous movie of the past). I thought it still had an essence of mystery and tension that was approppriate for the film.

All in all it was a great Award show. Jon Stewart cracked me up!

Oh, and Ratatouille won! I loved Persepolis very much, Ratatouille just had all of the ingredients for a perfect animated feature (no pun intended).

Christopher said...

I think Diablo is awesome; the riot grrrls grew up to write screenplays!! I also think it's admirable that she has made zero effort to distance herself from the way she paid her bills before making it. But I wouldn't be surprised if some of the backlash has come from that, too. I have a feeling that many people would rather see someone punished than rewarded for clocking in for a year as a stripper, and they resent it when such a person becomes very successful. It is a sort of classism mixed with sexism; some jobs (the kind where you can make the most money for getting your hands dirty, which is a category I think stripping fits into) are "low class," and I find that there can be a LOT of ugliness when someone who's "low class" turns out to be smart, funny, and well-off (and, judging from her script, her speech, and her outspoken support of the WGA, fairly classy, too) instead of a burnt-out hooker, which would be the moralistic end to the tale of a woman in that line of work. I think the same gross impulse that turns people gleeful when Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan sink to horrifying lows also renders them angry when the story of a girl who's flirted with danger doesn't have a sufficiently punitive ending.