Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Missed Nicole! And Other Festival Stumbles

Nashville Film Festival ~ Day 2
Began the day with the Inuit drama Before Tomorrow and fantastical optimism. Basically I was expecting another Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. Atanarjuat, one should know, is nearly impossible to repeat. Followed that with a tiny indie called Mothers & Daughters (so tiny it doesn't have an IMDB page) which... I hesitate to talk about. It was so in love with its actresses that I imagine it would be the type of movie I would make (warts and all) if someone handed me production equipment and several eager actresses eager to chew on scenery. Not that anyone should hand me those.

<--- You'd probably be more interested to hear that it was preceded by a short called Water Pills which starred none other than Winona Ryder. She played a shaky sweating desperate hot mess of a former actress / addict. Um... ouch. She attacked the role so aggressively that I kept thinking she was going for a deglam Oscar. Apparently nobody had the heart to tell her that it was only a short film and you can't win gold for those.

That said, Noni fared better in front of the camera than other big 90s stars did behind it... but more on Demi Moore and Courtney Cox later.

Nashville Film Festival ~ Day 3
Finished jury discussions/ selections today (must keep private until the reveal closing night) so for the rest of the fest I'm off the hook for official duties. Now it's just about seeing movies and trying to spot celebrities. Today there was a lot of excitement on the red carpet but I didn't recognize most of the people causing the rubbernecking. You'd be safe to assume that that's because I know zilch about country music and this is Nashville. The only country stars I'd recognize are those who've married A list actresses (i.e. Chesney & Urban), tried their hand at acting (Reba, Mr & Mrs. McGraw-Hill) or played themselves in movies I'm obsessed with (I do not ♥ Shania Twain but I sure do ♥ Huckabees)

Giancarlo Esposito and Dominique Swain working the crowds

Nick and I did speak briefly with Giancarlo Esposito in the VIP tent after the screening of his directorial debut Gospel Hill. I told him I was thrilled to see Angela Bassett again -- we don't see her enough -- and he said that he was glad to have finally met her through this movie (they didn't know each other before? Or maybe he said he was finally able to work with her through this movie. It was noisy in there). The movie is loaded with celebrities as first films from known actors tend to be. The Bassett but also: Taylor Kitsch, Danny Glover, Nia Long, Samuel L Jackson, Adam Baldwin. Julia Stiles also appeared working her absolutely favorite miniscule niche: down white girl in interracial dramas. It's more niche than Jodie Foster in tight spaces.

A few minutes after meeting Giancarlo I learned that ♥Nicole Kidman was in the building! If you must know, she and Keith were attending the premiere of the documentary Prodigal Sons in the next theater while I was watching Gospel Hill (so close and yet so far!). They chased it with Antonio Campos' Afterschool (which I saw at NYFF last year). I waited in vain for her to come out of the latter but she was too sneaky. Secret exit! I should have known. Basically I have zero in the way of stalking skills. I love my favorites but I'm mostly content to do so virtually and from afar.
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12 comments:

Kamikaze Camel said...

I love hearing that celebrities like Nicole Kidman actually go see movies that aren't just movies they have to see for Oscar voting (and even then...)

NATHANIEL R said...

exactly. they don't even have distributors ;) I love My Nicki.

La Diva Sim said...

Giancarlo and Angela B have been friends for years. Thats weird that he said that but, I picked up "Gospel Hill" just to see Angie on the big screen again. I agree, we dont see her uber talented self not nearly enough. *sigh* I miss her...

Anonymous said...

I'm ready for a Winona Ryder comeback. She and Gwyneth should do a remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, with Winona taking the Bette Davis part.

NATHANIEL R said...

La Diva... perhaps we misheard him? It was noisy. Maybe he said that the film was when they finally got to work together?

Sally Belle said...

I adore Giancarlo! He is a real mensch. I am happy for every level of success he achieves...he is deserving of it all.
Sorry you missed Nicole. Have you met her before? or was this your closest encounter thus far?

rosengje said...

I remember reading a recent magazine profile of Nicole and the author devoted a significant amount of space discussing how artistically aware (film, theater, literature) Nicole is. Definitely improved my already impeccable perception of her.

La Diva Sim said...

yeah Nathaniel that sounds right. GH is their first time working together. When will your review be up? I'd like to know what you thought of his directorial debut.

Wayne B. said...

"Gospel Hill" sounds great! Angela Bassett *sigh* I hope its a major return for her.

Anonymous said...

Nicole has impeccable taste and should be commended for her work as Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM

Karen said...

A Winona Ryder mention. Score!

Sarah E. said...

I was at the Nashville Film Festival over the weekend as a volunteer so unfortunately I did not get to see many films. I was saw Nicole Kidman walking around a couple of times Saturday. One was right when the Q&A started for Prodigal Sons she snuck out through the regular entrance/exit and then I saw her and Keith Urban walking around the lobby (thoug it looked like brisk walking towards the door). It is great to see actors supporting other films especially big named actors supporting independent films. The only films I was able to see are (500) Days of Summer, Poundcake, and Cartoons for Grown Ups (shorts) and I am planning to see Rock Prophecies and Prodigal Sons before its over with. There are many many more I want to see though and I am sad I didn't have time to. I literally laughed out loud when I read the Winona comeback comment. It could work if she picked an amazing role.

By the way Nathaniel I found your blog on Dominque Swains IMDB page on the top of the list of "news items".