Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Random Visitor

Do you remember where you saw every movie? For some reason the location of my screenings rarely escapes me. I have favorite screens, convenient locations that aren't necessarily the best theaters, places I avoid if it can be helped at all, and theaters that I just never think to go.

In the latter group is Clearview's single screen 62nd & Broadway theater. So when I saw The Visitor (finally) there yesterday, I kept thinking that I hadn't been there since I saw Transamerica. Which naturally leads to the following question: Would Professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) have been as welcoming finding a nervous depressed tranvestite squatter in his abandoned apartment as he was upon finding two gorgeous polite illegal immigrants?

In both cases I attended the movie due to Oscar buzz for the lead turn. The difference is that I thought Transamerica was a histrionic mess and The Visitor was an involving subtle success --lead performances included. So if you believe in coincidence or that the universe revolves around me (Why is this implausible? Shut up) this might mean that Richard Jenkins is heading for a Best Actor for sure (like Felicity) or he isn't because I liked his performance about as much as I disliked hers. And we all know Oscar loves histrionic more than subtle.

Do you remember where you see movies? What are your feelings on Richard Jenkins chances in the Best Actor category? They're ready to campaign.

25 comments:

Agustin said...

yeah I totally remember, never realized that

Ben said...

I do tend to remember the theater for most movies, and for maybe 70%, I usually remember whom I saw the movie with. I dunno... I think it speaks to how strong the communal experience of watching a movie in a theater can be.

Will said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rural Juror said...

I totally agree about Richard Jenkins. I loved every scene he was in except for, ironically, the one scene I'm sure they would show at the Oscars were he to be nominated: the scene in the detention center in which he's yelling at the guards. I found that to be a tad too much. Other than that, I adored both him and Hiam Abbass.

J.D. said...

I pretty much do, since there are a more limited amount of theatres in my area. They're all really nice, too, oddly.

Robert said...

I suppose some highly anticipated performances will have to crash and burn for Richard to have a chance.

Which is a shame. He was fantastic. But who knows, if AMPAS can impress us with good taste like they did last year, it's possible.

Glenn said...

I definitely remember where I see every movie. Except Jurassic Park. I saw that halfway during a roadtrip to Queensland and I haven't the foggiest idea where we stopped for the night.

If there are any Melbournians on here, my fave cinemas are the Dendy on Collins, CinemaNova in Carlton and I adored The Lumiere before it closed down. Really poor seating and the screens weren't the best, but that cinema had this fantastic old school 50s vibe that I just adored. I went out halfway during my second viewing of Kill Bill Vol 1 there and accidentally walked back into the wrong cinema and walked smack bang into the middle of the violent rape scene from Irreversible.

Weird the things you remember, huh?

And The Visitor isn't out here yet, but I adored The Station Agent so I hope it's as good as that charmer.

elgringo said...

I wish I did. What I do remember are all the times I ask a friend if they have seen a certain movie and receive a blank "how dare you" stare. Then I ask them, "did we see that together?" Oops.

Carl said...

He would have to be campaigned, but I still like his chances if it is handled right. So many lead performances this year are going to be downers, unsympathetic characters, or both, that he could steal the fifth spot on a number of ballots.

In my case, the movie I see is important as to whether I remember where. I saw an early sneak of "E.T." and the premiere of "Empire Strikes Back" at Avco Center Cinema in Westwood, California. On the other hand, I haven't the vaguest where I saw "The Spy Who Loved Me".

Carl said...

Oh, and an upset special from Best Score since this is at least nominally an Oscar 2008 post - this will be the first year (I think) that John Williams has two high-profile nominee possibilities and does not receive a nomination (and I like his chances better for "Harry Potter" than for "Indiana Jones").

You heard it here first.

adam k. said...

Do franchise sequels count as high-profile possibilities? I guess the films are big enough that they must, but 4th and 6th moves in a franchise are never the best oscar bets.

I don't as a rule think to remember where I saw things, but I can usually recall if I think about it a bit. I can always remember if I saw something at my favorite Providence theatre, the Cable Car. It's one of those fun, hip little college town joints where you can go in and buy pumpkin bread, iced tea or cappuccino and then watch the (generally independent, artsy) film on fuzzy chairs and couches. Would have been a great date location, if I'd ever been able to use it as such.

It was my favorite theater for a long, long time, until I left the city : ( Even otherwise unremarkable features become sealed in my memory as having been enjoyable if I see them there, and watching a I film I love there is truly special. Off the top of my head, some films I saw there include Year of the Dog, Grindhouse, Hedwig (many years ago), Come Undone (at the annual French film festival! also many years ago), and Once.

The last film I ever saw there was either Once or Year of the Dog... I tell myself it's the former (and I really think it was) because it's more special that way (I loved Once, and it's a great Cable Car movie).

The other obvious example of remembering where I saw something is Ben Hur at the Ziegfeld during a weekend in NYC. I'll remember that one forever.

oliver said...

i love RJ... speaking of which, sort of, i recall you putting brad pitt in your best actor predictions, nathaniel. i know none of us have seen benjamin button or burn after reading, but he looks good enouh in the B.A.R. trailer to vie for a supporting nod, no? additionally, burn after reading looks like the best cast assembled in quite some time - you can look it up, but with jenkins at the 7th bill, it's gotta be.

whitney said...

I definitely remember where I saw every movie and usually who I saw the movie with. What I don't remember so often is how the movie ends. It makes remembering what I thought about the movie kind of difficult.

I just went to my favorite theatre today for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The Castro Theatre is amazing.

-Whitney
dearjesus.wordpress.com

mrripley said...

a long shot i feel nat hey may put on him a few critics list a la frank langella in 07 but a nom very doubtful unless dicaprio,pitt,del toro,penn etc fizzle when their films are released

i will say this

I WANTED HIM TO GET A NOM FOR NORTH COUNTRY HE WAS AMAZING IN THE SCHOOL HALL SCENE.
bad fim 2 good performances!!!!

Yih said...

The Visitor was an incredible movie. And Richard Jenkins was almost perfect in his portrayal, and is living proof that one doesn't need to overact or underact to give an Oscar-worthy performance.

though i do agree with robert -- i feel as if movies released this early before award season gets less buzz than usual.

Kamikaze Camel said...

At least male performances released this early don't get much chance.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I'm with Whitney: theaters, no problem. Company, I usually remember. Endings, I'm a wash. Except The Forgotten. I remember the aliens.

Yaseen Ali said...

Don't character actors have a better shot at a nomination in the supporting categories? I love Jenkins (ever since I discovered him through Six Feet Under), but I'm not feeling this, especially since the Lead Actor slot is arguably the least kind to early year contenders.

Anonymous said...

i saw the EXCELLENT 'Junebug' at that theater.

Derek said...

Yeah, I remember.

Don't know what to make of Jenkins' chances. A fall release may have been a bit better for such a small film, especially if it's as subtle as you say. (You know they don't like subtle.)

NATHANIEL R said...

well it does have one turn-up-the-volume scene as far as acting goes but only one in a movie automatically equals SUBTLE compared to everything else that exists in american filmmaking.

Anonymous said...

At first sign, I don't think Richad jenkins could have BIG chances for nomination, because the competition is too tough and th release date was right in best Actress category... But maybe he hs a hope especially if is true that rumor: Movies like Synecdoche, new York and Che have an important issue... They haven't a distributor yet in USA, so maybe we have out two contenders this year: Benicio Del Toro and Philip Seymour Hoffman, so is possible that jenkins and the Visitor could get that fifth spot and other nomination (Screenplay and Supporting Actress)

NATHANIEL R said...

there's always the chance that his supporting role later in the year could re-up the visibility of his fine career too

Arkaan said...

I guess it depends on how you define character actor. Is Ryan Gosling a "character actor" (he got nominated on the strength of a great campaign, to be fair). Or Don Cheadle (though that year, we saw character actor Paul Giammati get ignored despite riding the Sideways wave).

I think Jenkins could get nominated on the strength of a good campaign and a possible screenplay nomination for McCarthy. I'm more confident because it's such an amorphous year, so anything goes.

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