January 31, 2006

The nominee for best surprise

Wondering what movies we decided on last weekend?

Well, first of all, Gina finally got me to Brokeback. I have to admit it was better than I expected. Not a masterpiece. Not groundbreaking. But as Jake said, good old-fashioned filmmaking. Heath Ledger deserves his nomination, no doubt, though I got a little sick of the whole stoic, silent shtick. Yes, it was right for the character, but it kind of alienated me. I guess I'm not straight enough to appreciate gay cowboys.

As for my pick, well, after the tepid recommendations from you all, we decided to just hang out with friends instead. As it happened, we ended up watching a movie from their Netflix pile, and whadda ya know: it got a couple of surprising and well-deserved Oscar nods. The movie is Hustle & Flow and it totally kicks ass. And while it's great that Terrence Howard was nominated for Best Actor, the real thrill is that one billion viewers are going to get to hear the nominated song: It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp.

Oh yeah, our friend has industry connections and lent us a screener of Walk the Line, which we watched the next night. Great performances, boring movie. And while Joaquin and Reese are credible singers (she better overall; he more true to the original), I kept wanting to hear Johnny and June. Singing It's Hard Out For a Pimp.

Worst nomination: Kiera Knightley, who practically ruined an otherwise charming adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with her incessant giggling. Elizabeth Bennet has to have some gravitas, dammit, or the story doesn't make any sense.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Can someone please explain to me the alleged appeal of Keira Knightley?

BTW, Dan, I had precisely the same reactions to Brokeback and Walk the Line. Reese and Joaquin were preposterously charismatic (and I'm usually not much of a Reese fan).

I saw the trailer for "Pride and Prejudice" and half-expected the voice-over to say (in that deep, serious voice) "Keira Knightley *IS* Winona Ryder."

"Keira Knightley *IS* Winona Ryder ... *IS* JT LeRoy"

uh... well I do understand the appeal of keira Knightly, though I haven't seen P and P, but won't I don't understand, what is the worst tragedy of all the nominations as far as I am concerned is... CRASH FOR BEST SCREENPLAY!!!???? GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!!!

ok, breath, breath, yes, ok...

I mean, I liked the message of the movie, and I even understand give Matt a nod for acting, we all like him... but that script was just fucking ridiculous! Just one impossible coincidence after another, one completely predictable and manipulative emotional heart tug after another. IT'S FUCKING BARNEY FOR ADULTS! I mean OK, if it's not suppose to "be real" or something and it is all symbolic, OK, but don't give him a nomination for best writing, it's just lazy. With a little work he could have made the same statement and not had it full of giant impossibilities. OK, sorry to rant...

but you know, I hated it so much I finally went out and got a copy of Million Dollar Baby, last year's big winner by the same writer, and well, that was great and deserved it's four wins.

anyway, Dan you do have to see Syriana

I like Keira Knightley, so what do I know, but I agree that Crash was an abomination and the whole Crash phenomenon is terribly disappointing. It's not enough that it was a contrived piece of crap that manipulated audiences without having an honest moment in it. It was also an incredibly racist movie that pretended to be anti-racist. All the stereotypes it chose to depict were basically true. That doesn't subvert anything. Two black men complain about being treated badly in a restaurant due to their race, but hey - they're actually carjackers! Matt Dillion is angry at the black woman for neglecting his father's health care needs... and he's not mistaken! Etc, etc.
Crash is the perfect "anti-racism" movie because it subconsciously reinforces everyone's racist beliefs with its use of stereotypes, (terrance howard = uncle tom, etc) while making them feel better about themselves because they are sympathizing with the characters, mistakenly believing that's the same thing as not being racist.


"Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, the duo behind "Crash," took honors for best original screenplay."

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