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

Thursday, February 28, 2008


"He was married to his work, writing songs. Songs about romance, of all things. Something he knew absolutely nothing about."


* The Other Boleyn Girl, a fair adaptation of the novel made better by Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Eric Bana.


* 101 One Dalmatians - 2-Disc Platinum Edition, the Disney classic returning to DVD should have you seeing spots!

* The Last Emperor - Criterion Collection, Bernardo Bertolucci's big movie in a DVD set as large as China itself. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

Current Soundtrack: The Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead

Current Mood: self-deprecating

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


A couple of unlettered pages from Love the Way You Love vol. 6...

Written by me
Drawn by Marc Ellerby
Published by Oni Press

Current Soundtrack: Duffy, Rockferry

Current Mood: inspired

Attempting not to sink below the sea here. Attempting to wave as I drown.

I've been working hard, and despite warning you of intermittent posting, you've gotten some content, so that's something, yeah? It's great when you're straight!

Joëlle and I were talking last night about when projects get the better of you. I don't find it as much in comics as the writing is much faster, more incremental, but prose projects do bog me down at times. Somewhere in the middle is this simultaneous feeling that it will never be done, every check of the word count is lower than what it should be, there is more on the horizon than what has been left in the dust...while also being hooked so deeply by it that there is no way out, it is inevitable that you chase it to the end. This is when it is hard to ever shut it off, your brain keeps working even when your body and, most significantly, your eyes that have been staring at words, paper, and screens for hours refuse to stare any further. You know why writers become alcoholics? Because it does work, booze does numb. Drinking provides ballast. Reading in the bath is good, too.

Right now, my work anxiety or whatever this book is taking out of me that needs to be replenished is manifesting in my dreams as long one-on-one conversations. These are fairly straight-forward conversations, but involved. The first was with a friend of mine named Jessica who lives out of Portland and involved some weird scenario where we were talking about dating, but she could not go out with me as her previous relationships had gotten her into some dark territory that she refused to lead me into. It was disturbing to listen to her describe, particularly as it is so not her. (Hi, Jessica!) I also had one where J. Bone took me to task for my review of The New Frontier. Ellerby says that one proves I am an egomanic, whereas Joëlle laughed that even in my slumber I like to argue.

Speaking of Marc Ellerby, he provides another update here. We appreciate your patience. He and I are talking about working together again, starting with something from scratch. That is if he can forgive me for never squeezing evil-indie-band the Godards into Love the Way You Love during his tenure.

I saw a bunch of Joëlle's latest pages for Token last night and they were outlandish. So stunning. Her inking has gotten so facile, so muscular. The mountains of work she's been doing jumping between Token and You Have Killed Me has really made a difference to how she crafts a line. Her layouts have also grown increasingly inventive. Creation is a muscle building process. The more you do, the more your mind fires off new space capsules, seeks new ideas--only to frustrate you because you're so busy doing other things, when will you ever explore these new shores?

We took a break last night so we could see Be Kind Rewind, the new Michel Gondry movie that the movie studio seems intent on burying. I don't understand some of the complaints I have seen about the film, it's an adorable little movie with a really sweet heart beating in its chest. It's less about the very goofy concept of creating new versions of movies and more about a community coming together to accomplish something, and somewhat of a critique of where maybe Hollywood has gone wrong. I think the two scenes arguing both for and against Driving Miss Daisy contains the film's central goal: make movies about everyday things that matter to people and will touch their soul, but don't patronize.

Plus, they give Mos Def freckles when he's pretending to be Morgan Freeman.

By the way, the new book is new prose that I have told you nothing about. It's not Fish Creek to Fun City, that's on hold. If I seem a little vague, that's because I am.

Current Soundtrack: Vampire Weekend, because I am a faceless tool following the trends that I am told will make me cool, never quite sure if I am actually enjoying myself or not; Pulp, Hits, because I am also old skool. I remember the first time.

Current Mood: creating

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Speaking of movies, our man Marty has done a new entry in the series of movie-theatre PSAs reminding people that they need to have manners when in a public place.

Judging by the number of people I run across who don't have manners, I would say the unfortunate fact is these things are necessary. Daniel Plainview is right about the human race, you know.


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

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Well, you finally find your helpless mind,
is trapped inside your skin.
You want to leave,
but you believe you won't get back again.

From the blog of Joëlle Jones, a page from our contribution to the forthcoming Popgun, vol. 2 anthology, a ten-page story called "Reverberation (Doubt)."

"Reverberation (Doubt)" - Page 1

Larger versions can be seen through the link.

Some may notice this is the story that was once scheduled for the anthology from Good Cat/Bad Cat. That book is no longer happening, and they graciously returned it to us; then, Mark Andrew Smith and Joe Keatinge graciously accepted it for their book.

According to Amazon, this will be out in July.

Also in July is Comic-Con International, which I will not be attending this year. In fact, the only event I have scheduled at this time is a return to CAPE for Free Comic Book Day (once again, with Joëlle, who is also skipping Comic-Con at this time). I'm not even getting a table at April's Stumptown, though I will likely be wandering around. There are many reasons for this time off from shows. Part of it is financial, part of it is that there won't be that much new product for me to promote. You Have Killed Me is probably going to be a fall book now, with a pretty significant format upgrade (thus making that Amazon link I just used obsolete). It's also good to just step back from time to time and let the conventions pass by. Too many comics folks let themselves get owned by the convention circuit, staying on the treadmill because they think they have to, despite it taking up a lot of time and money. I prefer to occasionally take a breather.

In terms of my friends and cohorts, I do believe you will get to kick Marc Ellerby in the nuts at MOCCA this year. Keep any such blows low, away from his frail wrists. The new issue of Love the Way You Love is about done, and I'll do a big post once some dates are set.

Current Soundtrack: The Housemartins, Live at the BBC

Current Mood: peaceful

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Wish a very special day after her birthday to Joëlle Jones. Thanks to all who came out, we had a grand time.

Rick Mays drew the party invite, and Steven Birch designed it up for us. It's pretty swell, featuring Jenny and Mercer from You Have Killed Me

For those who pay attention to Karaoke Watch, I sang Morrissey's "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get" and a special Birthday "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, as well as a debut performance of the awesome fun that is "Dandy" by Herman's Hermits.

Joëlle sang "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles, "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor, and "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield.

Current Soundtrack: The Life Aquatic OST; Belle & Sebastain, "The Life Pursuit" (the song, not the album)

Current Mood: giddy

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am alive, yes.

But, as Madman says...

Hopefully Mr. Allred will forgive me for leaking this frontispiece from Madman Atomic Comics #7, out in March.

Anyway, point is...if I am quiet, I am working. I have no manga deadlines this week and delivered two of my own scripts to artists yesterday (Tally, Mike Holmes), so that means this week is entirely prose. Utterly prose. Indubitably prose.

Of course, now that I say I will be silent, chances are I'll suddenly have a flurry of posts, and then someone will give me a hard time for posting so much, even though when I don't post I also get a hard time. You people are never happy.

Current Soundtrack: all things Cat Power

Current Mood: ambitious

Thursday, February 14, 2008


You might not believe this, but I come up with a good one from time to time.

Recently, in a half-serious thread at the Brian Bendis board, I posted a one-liner (well, two-liner) in response to the suggestion that Joe Quesada may be the smartest man in comics. Amusingly, the thread continued on without me, with no one even acknowledging that I had spoken, and I gave up after two more pages of posts carried on business-as-usual.

Until Newsarama culled the comments and singled me out, which then lead to this nice post at Tales from the Longbox.

Aw, shucks.

What did I say? “Being the smartest guy in comics is like being the fattest corpse in the graveyard. It just ain’t that hard.”

I reserve the right to reuse that in some published form in the opportunity ever arises. It's mine! I should also note the comment was not a dig at Joe, who is a smart man indeed; you could have replaced the subject with any guy in comics, the joke would have been the same.

I mention this non-event by way of noting that it's nice for once not just to be cracking myself up. Though, my propensity to do so should bring some cold comfort to you folks out there when I eventually die alone, by whatever method I choose, because you can rest assured, my last breath will likely be spent chuckling about some macabre zinger that popped in my head just prior to the death rattle, and you will know I died happy.


In less morbid news, though I have posted my Audrey Hepburn art collection to this blog over the last couple of years, I have now also created a Flickr set with them all. My Audrey Hepburn Portfolio.

I haven't gotten any new ones in a while (people I asked at Stumptown opted to do other subjects). One of these days, I was thinking a Ross Campbell zombie Audrey would be pretty cool.

Current Soundtrack: Little Dragon, Little Dragon

Current Mood: giggly

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Edie Sedgwick, Anna Karenina, Arlene Dahl.
I just want to be a sweetheart.

Though I am seeing the new David Gordon Green today, I haven't been to any theatrical screenings recently (outside of the movies I took myself to and posted about on the blog last week), so it's been all DVDs all the time. Prepare yourself for the onslaught! I haven't posted review links in a couple of weeks.


* The Aristocats: Special Edition, wherein everybody gets to be a cat, and oh, what fun we had.

Of course, reader mail always proves that some people are slightly oblivious to the concept of jokes: "I read your review of 'The Aristocats: Special Edition' and I enjoyed it. I happen to be both a Disney fanatic and a jazz fanatic, and I wanted to point out to you that jazz actually made its way to Disney years before THE ARISTOCATS or even THE JUNGLE BOOK -- it happened in 1955 when Walt hired Peggy Lee and Sonny Burke to write the score for LADY AND THE TRAMP, and La Lee also voiced three characters and sang several of the songs, including "He's A Tramp" which is *definitely* jazz!"

Okay, thanks. But sometimes accuracy makes for a dull affair.

* Elizabeth: The Golden Age, an overlooked sequel to the 1998 Cate Blanchett vehicle that offers a lot of what fans expect--plus a little more.

* ER - The Complete Eighth Season, a big transition year sees the show still riding high. Say farewell to Benton and Greene!

* Jean-Luc Godard: 3-Disc Collector's Edition, bringing together four of his '80s films intent on making your brain hurt. But in a good way.

* Margot at the Wedding, featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Nicole Kidman as sisters with issues in Noah Baumbach's darkly comic family drama.

It's interesting getting to review a movie a second time that I had reviewed theatrically only a few months before. It always seems to happen this time of year, when the really excellent but overlooked films of the previous autumn and winter come to DVD looking for attention while the theatres are full of the dreck that comes after the pre-Awards rush and before the spring flings. In the case of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, it just reinforces my opinion; with Margot at the Wedding, it's the pleasant discovery that I got it completely wrong the first time. Well, not completely, but it is interesting how things I complained about originally get praised on the redo--and I hadn't gone back and read the first review at all until I was done.

* Romeo & Juliet: A Monkey's Tale, a kind of cute Animal Planet show about monkeys in love.

* Walker - Criterion Collection, wherein Alex Cox examines the cyclical nature of history, casting Ed Harris as the first American dictator in Nicaragua. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* You've Got Mail: Deluxe Edition, a not-as-bad-as-you-think Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicle remaking a classic Ernst Lubitsch motion picture.

In fact, there has been a lot of Lubitsch lately. And a lot of Godard. In addition to the above, so it is below...


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

* Lubitsch Musicals - Eclipse Series 8, a boxed set of four early sound films directed by Ernst Lubitsch, reviewed in three parts: 1 2 3

* Pierrot le fou, the massively awesome pulp fiction adventure from Jean-Luc Godard finally gets the DVD release it deserves. This goes to the head of the class!

Current Soundtrack: The Beatles, Love

Current Mood: Goya

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, February 11, 2008


Goong vol. 3 by So-Hee Park.

Also notes for a little something I like to call LTWYL: To See the Lights. Say no more.



Saturday, February 09, 2008


Good riddance. And here I thought it was the Democratic party that was supposed to be symbolized by a jack ass.

Any ticket that has him as a vice-presidential candidate would be a vile option.

Current Mood: infuriated

* The Writer's Guild of America has reached a tentative agreement with the Hollywood producers to end the strike and get people back to work as early as Monday, if the union meetings accept the proposal this weekend. You can read a statement from the WGA president here, and it includes a pdf explaining some of the terms that have been come to. I will leave much brighter minds than mine to discuss the good or bad of what is there (and you can find some comic book folks who also work in Hollywood linked to here). [EDIT: Some cautionary words on the deal.]

It will remain to be seen what kind of production schedules will be undertaken for what is left of the TV season, but it's a good thing if people can once more start striking those keys instead of the picket lines and put everyone back to work entertaining the rest of us.

* Colleen Mondor, who reviewed Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? for Bookslut, shares further thoughts on the book and its broad appeal at her personal blog.

"Horizon is a hipster novel all the way and perfect for witty and slightly subversive teens. It will make them feel like rebels when they're reading it and incredibly smart for 'getting it.' I'm adding it to the list for the You Should Read This Awards, but more importantly I hope that my review brings it some attention. A lot of YA fiction is the same stories over and over again; it's nice to read a book (even though it's written for adults) that will appeal to them in a completely different way."

It's like the review that keeps on giving!

Current Soundtrack: The Harder They Come OST

Current Mood: optimistic

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, February 08, 2008


On my night out seeing Atonement, I actually created my own double-feature and as soon as I left the theatre, turned around and went right back in to see Starting Out in the Evening. I had heard good things about it, but admit to a little anxiety from watching the trailer, as there are things that are said in the movie that sounded a lot like things from Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?. The movie's narrative follows a writer (Frank Langella) who lives a quiet, secluded life in New York. It's been years since he has had a new novel, and his previous works are out of print. He struggles with his new work, the progress of which is disrupted the day an enterprising graduate student (Lauren Ambrose) tracks him down. She wants to write her thesis about his work, as his first two novels meant the world to her and gave her the courage to be who she is. Once she is in his life, deeper connections develop.

There are many fundamental differences between Starting Out in the Evening and Horizon, but anyone who knows my book can see the basic plot similarities. I am not suggesting anything, because I know for a fact that both works developed independently of one another. Starting Out in the Evening is based on a book by Brian Morton from 1999, one I've never read, and unless Mr. Morton had somehow gained access to my notebooks with the very loose early notes for Horizon, and then managed to decode my handwriting, he couldn't have been influenced by me, either. It's just eerie to run across something and when the echo of it hits you, to think, "Whoa, that's just like something I did."

It only happens in a couple of plot points (the writer in the movie is haunted by the memory of a dead wife, for instance) and with a couple of lines; the narrative flow of Starting Out in the Evening has quite a few more detours than my book. For one, there is a parallel line of the writer's daughter (Lili Taylor), and how her relationship not only works as counterpoint to the one between her dad and his student, but also how she and her boyfriend (Adrian Lester) represent the two sides of the old man's work. His first two novels were emotional and abo"ut issues of the self, just like her (she's a dancer who believes in "artistic therapy), while his later two novels are harder things, about the world outside, less sentimental, just like her boyfriend (the editor of a liberal political magazine). Their relationships are literary, meaningful, and with purpose. Though the film drags at times, it works toward a satisfying conclusion, some things coming together, others veering away, the double work of the personal magnets we all carry inside of us.

Where the movie truly succeeds, however, is showing what it's really like to write. The tedium, the solitude, the self-possession, the rigidity of the process, the need to personify one's characters and feel as if you are living with them, sometimes to the detriment of flesh-and-blood relationships. Langella's halting difficulty with speech when interrupted while working is something I've experienced many times. But most of all, it's the ass-in-the-chair work time that you just don't ever see in movies about writers that makes it believable. The author is not an adrenaline junkie trying to experience everything to rationalize his fictions. It's shocking, I know, but he actually employs his imagination! (And for the record, for the guy who reviewed this movie on IMDB and titled his post "Writer's Block," a writer who writes every day is not suffering from writer's block, he's just suffering from bad writing.)

So, if you ever wonder what it's like to be exciting ol' me, Starting Out in the Evening will clue you in a little bit. I just want to know, when do I get my sexually and emotionally needy grad student? Seriously!

Another interesting coincidence from my movie night is that both films were riddled with the sound of typewriter keys. In Atonement, it was the irritating musical riff worked into the score; in Starting Out in the Evening, the sound of actual fingers at work telling actual stories. It should thus be no surprise which movie was good, and which one was a pile of shit.

Current Soundtrack: Kylie Minogue, "Tears on My Pillow;" Foals, Antidotes

Current Mood: intrigued

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I think the only thing more useless these days than "Best Of" lists now that everyone with an internet account is making a year-end rundown is the more rare "Worst Of" lists. It's an idea that's not bad as a concept, just one that is always poorly executed. There is no need to point out a lot of elements of popular culture as being bad, because most of it was never intended to top anyone's list of faves. Dane Cook movies, for instance, are not supposed to be better than they are. Same goes with VH-1 reality shows or a Hillary Duff album. There are rare cases when these things should be singled out. For instance, calling classic Britney Spears albums bad at the time they were released did not mean all that much, but 2007's Blackout would deserve to top a Hall of Shame for being so far below the already low standards.

No, those lists would better serve the public if they gathered up all the things from the year that had higher aspirations, that believed they were important and noble and good and failed miserably. The products of hubris and misguidance stink far more than the feeble flailings of the untalented the way a rotten egg is far more shocking of an odor than the bag of garbage we toss it into. We expect the bag of garbage to smell like garbage, but when we crack an egg, we expect an egg.

And it is with this introduction that I humbly present to you...


To be honest, I had avoided this one for months, because it just looked so damned self-important to me. It was obvious that the people behind it never had any intention of making anything other than the most calculated of awards bait. Like the high society people it depicted, you could tell that the filmmakers felt they were members of a privileged artistic class and deserved to be treated as such.

And for the most part, they have been treated as such. Atonement received good reviews, and it has been nominated for all the major movie awards, including a Best Picture slot at the Oscars. This was why I finally gave in to see it, because it was the only one of the five nominees I had not watched. In order to be fully informed, I sucked it up. I had been warned by two friends who had seen it and hated it, but I thought that could only help me. My expectations were so low, surely Atonement could not do the limbo low enough to pass under that bar.

Nope. Atonement must be double jointed, because it actually put its hand on the bar and pushed it down a couple of inches before going on its way.

The movie starts out okay. I enjoyed the tricky editing that allowed us to see how the little girl Briony (Saoirse Ronan) witnessed certain events in such a way that she would think something bad was happening, and then immediately showing us how it really went down so that we would know it was not bad at all. The only sin I could see right off the bat was the regular problem failed literary adaptations have: screenwriter Christopher Hampton and director Joe Wright did not adequately solve the question of how to take the interior life of Ian McEwan's novel and bring it to the exterior. There are no characters in Atonement, just actors we might recognize enough to care about the emotions they express. In this case, I didn't.

Atonement would be fine if the only shortcoming it had was empty characters, but the whole thing is an empty, bloodless endeavor. Joe Wright has no real style, and so the movie is a string of concocted stabs at elegance. It all looks very pretty, but just as there is nothing behind the emoting of the performers, the way the movie looks made me think I could reach into it and put my hand all the way through to the other side. I mean, look at the photo of the poster above. Don't the actors even look bored?

Compare Atonement to a movie that is a distant cousin like A Very Long Engagement, and you'll see what I mean about the style. Jean-Pierre Jeunet has his own unique vision, and when he applies it to his movies it makes sense for it to be there, it's part of the air that permeates the scenery. Not so for a Joe Wright movie. When he does stumble on something special, he has no idea how to integrate it into the larger fabric. His movie is a collection of individual shots that all look very pretty as the mill about the dancefloor, but they never manage to get in step to the same tune. The most obvious and egregious moment for this is when Robbie (James McAvoy) reaches the beach of Dunkirk and Wright stages a tremendous, uncut tracking shot that takes in the entire beach in one swirling go. It's the only time he does this kind of thing, however, and the wizadry of the choreography destroys any semblance of reality in the movie. Even worse, the things we see on the beach go by without an explanation. The images are incongruously surreal, like Robbie has stepped out of The Big Red One and straight into Apocalypse Now.

Had I been strapped to a respons-o-meter while viewing Atonement, they'd have tracked me going from mild interest to mild boredom to severe annoyance to utter disdain. I didn't care a thing for any of the people by the end of the movie, didn't care if they lived or died. The one revelation that was supposed to be the final "gotcha" of the movie didn't even work because Wright had telegraphed it with his overstylized editing at the precise moment when I was supposed to be fooled (when Briony and her sister (Keira Knightley) reunite). If nothing else, that should have been a gimme.

Alas, no, Atonement sucks through and through. I even found the music excruciating. I don't know who came up with that typewriter motif, but it's obnoxious.

There have been some pretty big Oscar crimes in the past, but if Atonement beats any of the movies it's up against, it will be a travesty. I can easily think of several movies that should be there in its stead. Zodiac, Eastern Promises, I'm Not There, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, just to name a few. I doubt it will take the prize, but it shouldn't even have had the chance.

On the other hand, if there was an Oscar for Worst Picture....

Current Soundtrack: Pelle Carlberg, In a Nutshell

Current Mood: aggravated

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich