1. Ashley, Gabriel and myself have unleashed our "Oscar Spectacular" over @ Radio Allegro. My favorite part is my interview with the gracious and chatty awards man Tom O'Neil (Tom dishes on red carpet madness, the importance of awards history, Brad Pitt avoiding Joan Rivers, the recent Hollywood party for The Envelope and more...)
I know that I keep promising to improve at podcasting and if you're taking me up on my promise, you can subscribe here with iTunes.
2. I'm still confused about who might win Best Picture so I've launched a poll so that you can predict en masse. So far The Departed is leading. Is the crowd wise? I thought this poll would bring tighter results. But maybe Scorsese will have a very good night.
3. I'm in a horrible mood the past couple of days. I couldn't figure out why and then it hit me: It's Ron Howard's fault. I've been trying not to mention this news item, hoping it would dissolve into nothingness by my refusal to acknowledge it. I have the (self-deluding) power! When the average person gets a really idiotic idea --perhaps when they're drunk, desperate, sad, tired, horny or loopy they either go through with it and humiliate themselves or they rethink in time "ohmygod. that's not even cool, that's just dumb. My bad!" When a Hollywood mover & shaker gets an unfathomably moronic idea and goes through with it they don't just embarass themselves: they crap on a whole artform. Their blunder goes global. Hearing the news that Ron Howard will remake Caché (Hidden) has angered me and stunned me into silence (until now). It is, arguably, the dumbest idea for a remake in the history of the cinema. Which is saying a lot.
For those who haven't seen the film (Rent it now!) it's about a successful French couple who are tormented by mysterious and invasive videotapes of their home and lives. Saying any more would ruin its twists and turns and its intellectual and political heft. See it. Absorb it. Grapple with it. Even if you don't love it you will still be thinking about it a year later.
The news stunned me into silence. I couldn't even read the articles about it. Everything that is great and challenging and memorable about Caché is antithetical to what Ron Howard is about as a director. Even if you give the Oscar winner the benefit of the doubt and say "that chap, he's a fine Hollywood filmmaker" you'd still have to scratch your head if you knew about the hows and whys of the way Caché functions and the way it burrows into truly uncomfortable places. I can only speak for myself but it would be less horrific to hear that Ron Howard was remaking Casablanca. At least that classic has a mainstream Hollywood sensibility, however sacriligeous a remake, by anyone, would be. Plus if he did that then people would laugh at him for treading where he doesn't belong. But when a powerful Hollywood director ruins a great foreign language film, most people are none the wiser. And everyone loses.
Say something to cheer me up in the comments.