I never have any time to write anymore which saddens me. I'm behind on reviews, interviews, articles, podcasts (very soon!): Part of this is my fault (procrastination, writer's block, fatigue), part of this is Hollywood's fault (They've never heard of the Gregorian calendar I don't think). Over at Nick's Flick Picks, my dear friend has been sharing his filmgoing diaries from the past decade and though nothing I type here will be its equal, my cameos in those memoirs convinced me that merely narrating my moviegoing adventures without editing might actually be the only way I'll be able to trick myself into confronting a collossal task: Getting through the Christmas glut and living to write about it.
I've been spending my time shuffling between shopping, day jobs, social life holiday business, industry events and movie theaters. First stop last weekend was the Lincoln Plaza which I often avoid because it, like so many arthouse theaters, has screens that aren't substantially larger than the one in my living room. I also avoid because the elderly patrons are quite noisy. They aren't into talking at the screen like moviegoers in my hood but they're most definitely interested in playing Voiceover Man for their confused, inattentive or hard of hearing friends. Plus, they're often fussy about seating arrangements. My mood was instantly lightened when I lined up to buy my tickets to Me and Orson Welles. Almost everyone in the line in front of me said "Broken Embraces". It's such a great feeling to hear people buying tickets en masse to your favorite director's new movie. Even if it's not one you care so much about.
The Movie? A pleasant sit to be sure. Possibly more than that for theater and Old Hollywood lovers. My chief complaint would be the vacuum at the center. I'm talking about the "Me" rather than the "and Orson Welles" in case you hadn't guessed. I know that Zac Efron has ardent admirers and it's possible that he deserves them (this is only the second thing I've seen him in, it's true) but I preferred him in Hairspray where his teen idol celebrity was put to literal use. In this love letter to the theater he's surrounded by actors as talented as Ben Chaplin, Claire Danes and Christian McKay (he of the Oscar buzz) and though Efron never ever comes across as 'not up to the task' he's also not really triumphant ... It reminded me of the lead performances in Away We Go. Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski were perfectly fine in their roles. They just lacked movie star magic so the supporting performers stole it. In other words the 'scale' was off for the big screen. (Even though this screen was tiny. But you know what I'm saying. Don't nitpick!) In happier news, Zac's musical solo near film's end is great and McKay is a ton of fun to watch as the infamously giant ego of stage and screen. I also thought James Tupper made a pretty good Joseph Cotton. Finally, I'm hoping Robert plans to cover the semi-prolific Richard Linklater in his directors of the decade series. This writer/director is hard to pin down, no?
When we were leaving the theater a man handed me this card...
It's looks just like the one Orson Welles gives his actors in the movie. Only they get actual cards with
But here I am photographing it and placing it on the blog and remembering the shift from annoyance (people are always trying to hand you things on the street) to smiling recognition... a piece of paper as movie memorabilia? So, I guess it hit its mark.
Have you seen the movie?