Monday, August 23, 2010

"Oh, you are so full of s***"

Kevin: I'm not. I'm not. In fact, I'd like a raincheck.

Joan: Oh, it's not gonna happen. This was like... Haley's Comet. It's not coming around again for 57 years."

10 movie minutes later.


Joan:
That was a real misstep.
Kevin: Awwww, that was a sweet thing to say.

[Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #544
Joan Allen to Kevin Costner in The Upside of Anger]

P.S. Joan so deserved the Oscar in '05. Just sayin' repeatin'. The film is totally unworthy of her but she's firing on all cylinders. Wasn't even nominated. What a world. What a world.

24 comments:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

God, so Joan is sooooooooooooooo brilliant here. I forgive the movie because the acting so good (even Costner). But Joan, so good she sells the iffy ending.

Joe Reid said...

Oh, I should watch this again. It's been too long and she's just so amazing.

NATHANIEL R said...

Joe & Andrew -- glad you enjoy Joan here. At first i kinda liked the movie recognizing that it was quite flawed. But i've seen it three times now and each time it gets worse like HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW THAT THIS WAS NOT A TELEVISION SERIES! There are so many characters and plotlines and it's really only a-maz-ing when it's the Joan & Kevin show. If it wanted to be all the things it wants to be it needed to be a 12 episode cable series.

seriously.

and if Joan could get a role this good in a cable series I would be SO happy for her. I miss her.

Robert Hamer said...

What surprised me about the performance so much is how sexy she is, even with all of her unlikeable traits. Attention! Hollywood! Exhibit A showing why women over 30 can still be hot in movies!

NicksFlickPicks said...

Maybe it was a TV series, and it got recuperated as a film for Unknown Reasons. Maybe someone looked at Joan and said, "This - this is the girl." But the nature of the Mafia negotiation involved prohibiting Joan from any and all nominations that were due her. Maybe Joan is really a waitress named Diane Selwyn, or maybe Kevin is. Maybe he cries while he abuses himself, down there. Maybe Keri Russell is a blue box.

The Pretentious Know it All said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Pretentious Know it All said...

I still don't understand what happened here. Joan Allen's performance was practically gift-wrapped for the Academy.

Middlebrow, because it's funny and serious...check.
A previous nominee...check.
Exceptional work in an otherwise middling film and an otherwise middling film year...check.

It's baffling because 2005 is one of the rare years where Best Actress failed to nominate even one truly great performance. Reese Witherspoon was fine for the win, given what the field had to work with. Keira Knightley was the best, but a win (even now) would do her no favors, career-wise. I still think it wouldn't have been such a bad thing if they had made Knightley her wait a little longer for that first nomination. The other three nominees are barely worth mentioning, though I suppose two of them are fighting valiantly against the downward currents of their respective films. The last nominee, I always forget and have to look up (guess which one).

I would have also nominated Kevin Costner, for the record.

NATHANIEL R said...

nicksflickpicks -- i ABSOLUTELY believe that Kevin Costner abuses himself "down there"

as for Kerri Russell. Best not to think of her at all. Put her in a closet somewhere where no one can find and dive in to the mystery that is that career.

EVERYONE -- does anyone watch "parenthood?" it's the first time i've ever liked Erika Christensen in anything. i liked that she turned what i thought would be a hateful caricature of the working woman into something specific and likable.

not that i watch the show regularly but... she's good on it.

Aaron said...

God, I hated this movie, but I will give Joan Allen props...she really is phenomenal in this....in fact, it was the only reason why I watched it in the first place...

...am I the only one who was okay with Witherspoon winning that year? Out of all the nominees, she was easily the best IMO (although Knightley was good too)...

Madelin Velasquez said...

Parenthood is a really good show. The family interaction is so real compared to other shows. They fight, support eachother, criticise things. I think you are right about the working woman angle too. She is very professional but yet she is vulnerable as a wife and mother. I love her relationship with her daughter. She plays off her husband very well too. I like her in this role. She is competitive but tender and sweet at the same time.

NATHANIEL R said...

aaron -- witherspoon was my favorite among the nominees, too. I have no idea why people are so anti that performance. I think she nailed the role.

maybe the hatred is that it was such a weak oscar field and she seemed to sail through and so many more gifted performers never get one... kind of like the sandra bullock thing last year. only reese was way better in walk the line.

SoSueMe said...

Joan does the quiet, cold, professional bitch brilliantly, but from what I remember of her in The Upside of Anger was that I wasn't quite sold on the demonstrative, larger-than-life characterization.
It seemed forced at the time...maybe I'll watch again and get a different viewpoint.

And that 2005 Best Actress category really sticks in my craw...Judi Dench for Mrs. Henderson Presents? Couldn't they have given that spot to Laura Linney in The Squid and the Whale? And wasn't anyone distracted by Keira's eternal lockjaw in P&P?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I love Reese in Walk the Line, I just like Keira more and Joan most of all.

(So Nat, you didn't like the daughters in the movie either?)

PS. My fave bitchy moment of Joan is the one where she's at Hadley's graduation she says "Damn you, Hadley how long have they've been ecstatic!" I keep trying to work that phrase into regular conversations.

danielson said...

It's just plain and simple; one of, if not the best leading performance by a female that year.
One of Kevin's best turns too. Ah heck... everybody is good in it. All the sisters, and even Mike Binder who directed is good as the creepy radio producer.
Well done, all the way around !

Glenn said...

Keira is my favourite of the '05 nominees, but if Allen had been nominated... well, there'd be no contest.

As for Allen herself... what happened to her FACE? People always seem to point to Nicole Kidman as a bad example of excessive botox/surgery/magic, but Allen has been looking frightening whenever she'd show up at an awards show for Georgia O'Keefe. Such a shame because she was sexy like nobody's business in Upside of Anger.

Victor S said...

The way I found in my mind to survive the nightmare that was the 2005 Oscar race for best actress is to pretend Reese won supporting and Rachel Weisz won best actress.

Anonymous said...

You know joan is my clear winner with another non nominee as runner up

calire danes beautifully shaded perf in shopgirl,the sidewalk scene breaks me everytime,reese 3rd,theron 4th & 5th paltrow in proof.

Trent said...

I thought that Joan DID win an Oscar for this--her third, as she had already won best actress for The Ice Storm and best supporting actress for Pleasantville (in a stunning tie with Lisa Kudrow)!

Remember?!?

NATHANIEL R said...

Trent -- THAT'S RIGHT! I always forget about the *good* things that happen at the Oscars on account of they're so rare.

troyhopper said...

Why is it that commercially popular actresses generally tend to elicit more retroactive hate for their leading-performance wins than their male counterparts? And why do these Oscar triumphs sometimes eradicate memories of past good works? At times people pretend as if Reese Witherspoon is some random reality-show star who lucked into a great opportunity when, in fact, she's given us such indelible characters as Tracy Flick and Elle Woods. It really does baffle me.

NATHANIEL R said...

troyhopper -- i suppose it comes down to the storied truth that Oscar just doesn't like comedy that much. So when these commercially successful stars (usually comedy stars) win, it's nearly always for some dramatic work when their true gift is on display elsewhere.

I mean I love Reese in Walk the Line actually but it's nowhere near as strong as her work in Election.

And Bullock is way better at romantic comedy than true story inspirational drama.

In a way it's totally irritating that a dramatic star like Joan Allen can do romantic comedy (like this) and be A level sensational and not get the prizes that they'll throw at A level romcom actresses for doing totally average dramatic work.

ARGH.

Joe said...

Joan was quite amazing in this film, even though it has the one of the oddest plot twist in a romantic dramedy EVER.

I need more Joan on screen. I feel like the commercial and awards failure of this has kept her away from far too many leading roles that she could ace.

cal roth said...

I think she is great but my best actress choices were considered supporting that year - and IMO they are leading, no matter what they say: Maria Bello and Rachel Weisz. I think I'd give the Oscar to Weisz. I can't stop loving that performance. It's so tricky and difficult to play the annoying know-it-all and turning it into something soulful and endearing and passionate (see Carey Mulligan last year. same stuff).

Joan Allen would be my bronze medal. And I can't even make a full nominees line-up. Weak year. At least that's how I remember it.

Actressexually Promiscuous said...

2005 was an easy year for Best Actress for me (really!) considering the best rose to the top and made enough of a strong lineup, if you looked hard enough:

Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger
Claire Danes, Shopgirl
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Q'Orianka Kilcher, The New World
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice

And Naomi Watts gets special mention for pulling off one of the trickiest, most demanding acting jobs of the decade in King Kong. She acted opposite an imaginary monkey! And broke your heart!