Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Thy Local Cinema"

This post title is an anagram for Michael Clayton, believe it or not. I think of everything. Or too many things. Or not enough things that don't involve Oscar's Best Pictures . Yes definitely that and those ...if you know what I mean.

Other Michael Clayton anagrams to savor: "conceal thy mail", "all icy omen chat" and my favorite "Mythic Ole Canal" --which, if you'll excuse the toiler humor diversion, brings Tom Wilkinson's batshit ---er, 'patina of shit' -- crazy opening answering machine monologue to mind.
No -- reset --this cannot be rebirth. If anything, this must be some giddy illusion of renewal that happen in the final instant before death.

And then in the fraction of a moment it took for that idea to form -- I realized all of that was wrong, because I looked back at the building and had the most stunning moment of clarity...

I realized, Michael, at that moment, that I had emerged --as I have done nearly every day for the past twenty-eight years of my life --not through doors of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen --not through the portals of our huge and powerful law firm, but rather from the asshole of an organism whose sole function is to excrete the poison --the ammo --the defoliant --necessary for even larger and more dangerous organisms to destroy the miracle of humanity... and that I have been coated with this patina of shit for the better part of my life and that the stink and stain might in all likelihood take the rest of my days to undo.
All of this is my way of saying that I've been devouring dozens of baguettes whilst updating the Best Picture Page. You can now vote on your choice for Best Picture as well as debate my theories on how each picture got nominated. More categories to come. I realize it's tardy.
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17 comments:

patrick Whitfield said...

OT :
you just have to post the pics of Sean Penn and James Franco as lovers.
I heard Sean is going method
Adam k. is gonna die

steve said...

Quick point of correction (unless I'm way wrong):

- Mystic River in 2003 was also the only Best Picture nominee to score multiple acting nods, but I think Michael Clayton is the only film (or the first in a long, long time) to be the ONLY movie to be nominated for multiple acting awards in its year

roscoecashjr said...

Thanks for posting that link last week to the downloadable "Michael Clayton" script -- reading it was an exhilarating reminder why "MC" has done so well this year: it really is so strongly conceived, structured and ultimately executed. Gilroy's script is actually a thrill to read: he breaks all those screenwriting rules like "don't include a lot of description" and "don't tell me what the character is thinking," and manages to convey the excitement of the screen on the page.

Anonymous said...

Steve is right, Mystic River had 3 acting noms, Lost in Translation only one, and the other three didn't score.

vinci said...

Juno win BP? Yeah, and monkeys will fly out my butt.

vinci said...

So funny ... I just started thinking about how sick I was hearing about Juno the other day ... (does it have something to do with the film being embraced by the pro-life community ... ? Who knows???)

NATHANIEL R said...

i fixed the MC error.

vinci i just like to live in fear is all.

I like JUNO but I would probably hate it if it won best picture over 4 worthier films... it's just that they do that so often, choosing the worst one. And no, that's not cuz it's a comedy. I like comedy.

vinci said...

You know, Nat, you're right. Oscar gets it wrong in the BP column a lot. The last time "the best of the five" won, IMO, was for 1991. But, that's a personal favorite of mine. I know a lot of people loved American Beauty and Braveheart, but they weren't my cup of tea. I would have loved it if Jerry Maguire or Fargo had won instead of English Patient.

And, in 1983, I like the fact that a tear-jerking film spanning the decades long relationship between a mother and a daughter won Best Picture.

I mean, when will that ever happen again? (and it produced two best leading actress nods, which, with new marketing methods and the lack of quality opportunities, seems to be a thing of the past ... the last time that happened was, well, 1991. Ah, 1991.)

Kurtis O said...

Wow, that anagram is pretty brilliant. Insane, but brilliant.

chofer said...

I really like the symposium Nat. Discussing movies is something you don't really expect from the old farts who have to vote in the Academy, isn't it? Or maybe that's just me bitching, given all the things a hear about them during all these years...
Something out of the discussion about the nominees left me thinking: is there any character REAL in there? Meaning REAL as a full flesh and blood person rather than a probably conceptual one.
It's ironic, no matter how I liked or disliked all the pictures mentioned, the only characters fully flesh-and-blooded are sidelined from little to almost no showing at all this year. Think of Tilda Swinton's moral conceits, or Michael Cera's cypher college kid or Tommy Lee Jones soulful and tired sheriff. None of them are the protagonists, meaning they don't FASTFORWARD the plot.Instead, we have Juno's, Chigurh's and Michael Clayton's "sense" of resolution.
And then, there's Briony. Like Nick said, the only time I see her as a full character is in Romola Garai's skin: guilt-ridden, confused and moved (in spite of her akward musical-like introduction)
It's ironic: the Briony I empathised, the Briony that push the plot ahead in that mess of a second act, is the Briony that don't exist: "There is no Briony". I clearly saw one for the first time. At least, one third of her.
So we come to interesting or potentially interesting characters playing satellites, AND a leading one that clearly function as an allegory: Daniel Plainview.
So, where were the REAL leading characters?
Well, the Academy completely shut her up: That of Otilia in 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS. That's telling.

NATHANIEL R said...

chofer, i would argue that wendy savage qualifies here (the linney of course) or at least as well as fictional character do in the discussion of the "real" --just about the only conceptual thing about her is her name.

the rest is just a real person portrait.

chofer said...

Nat, I would love to see THE SAVAGES. It just didn't get to my country yet. The rest, I did see it.
The ironic thing is the Academy shy away from "real" people more often than not. I mean, who are the real contenders: Daniel Plainview, Juno, Anton Chigurh?
That's why I'll love to see Julie Christie winning; my father has Alzheimer, and I know what it's like. It's as real and painfully flesh and blood as you can get.
But I know what you're meaning. It seems Laura Linney's it's too real a character (as opposed to showy and overreaching)that the Academy won't let her win. The Academy dive in conceptual dramas (or else fake ones)instead or real ones, and now they seem to do the same with comedies.
That's coherence!
My question is: why don't open up a slot for one of those? AWAY FROM HER, 4 MONTHS, THE SAVAGES (If you want)et al.

Nick Davis said...

You actually do think of everything

Nick Davis said...

And, I'm sorry, but where are those Sean Penn pictures?

Kamikaze Camel said...

Every single year there are people who go "can [insert small indie film here] win best picture? I THINK SO!!!" and then they don't and that's that.

Needless the say, I don't think Juno is winning best picture.

Nick Davis said...

Daniel Day-Lewis = Is Wild-Eyed, Anal
There Will Be Blood = Hobbled Oil Welter
Tilda Swinton = Pale F*cking Genius, but only if you play it backwards

though I'm sure you probably weren't intending a common thread in quite this direction

NATHANIEL R said...

omg. maybe i should just refer to DDL & tilda by these names from here on out.