Friday, April 04, 2008

"The only thing more terrifying than blindness is being the only one that can see"

I sometimes look around the web and I'm astonished at how freely people use their entertainment blogs as free advertising outlets for certain shows, artists and movies. Publicists sometimes send out plain old commercials and people actually post them with not even a smidgeon of commentary or point- of-view just the advertisement... "Watch this show tonight" as a post. The commercial gets seen and nobody gets paid. It's such a great con --pretty hilarious and savvy of multi-billion dollar corporations if you ask me.

That said, when it comes to certain films I look forward to I too must plead guilty on occassion. I mean, I've talked about Blindness how many times now?, and it doesn't even come out until the fall. I love the book so much. And the cast. You can see THE COMMERCIAL (also known as "a trailer") now. [thanks Cal]

Is it wrong that I love Julianne Moore most when she's utterly miserable?

Whether its crying jags over a custody battle, horrifying allergic reactions to everything, desperation to escape a loveless marriage and a needy child, or religious faith that rips her from the arms of her lover ... I need my Julie Anne Smith to suffer* and Blindness shall provide.
* Julianne doesn't know this yet (it's kind of a one sided relationship) but we're totally getting back together as soon as she's the star of a great movie again. If you know of a good marriage counsellor whose willing to see just one half of an imaginary couple, please pass me their card!


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I cannot believe the way she chose to waste her talent on those horrible movies she's been doing lately. Didn't she love reading what everybody wrote about her before, about what a great actress she was? And going to film festivals and places where people actually cared about films and being worshipped by them? Why did she start trying to win over multiplex audiences? Could it be that it's all about money and fame for her? God, I hope not.

And Blindness, the book is great and Fernando Meirelles is a very competent director, but I'm not sold on the cast. They're all great actors, but a bit too young and sexy for the material. There's too much (literal) dirt and shit and filthiness in the book, and people that pretty might make it less grim than it should be.

Anonymous said...

i think for some of the actors part of the challenge is to "get dirty", although no doubt they will modify it - describing filth in words and showing it in images are not quite the same thing (you can get a perfectly vivid effect onscreen with a "less is more" approach).

And Mark Ruffalo - too young and sexy? Sexy yes, but also he's a terrific (nay, one of our most underappeciated) actor with a very "normal guy quality" (ie not some puffed-up, stuck-on himself star). I expect him to deliver the goods, as he has time and again in the past.

the whole 'suffering' issue is interesting, however. Reading that, it somehow (in my mind) links back historically to Judy Garland, to Lana Turner, to other divas who have suffered mightily and been beloved by gay (men). As a lesbian, I can't help wondering, what the heck is it with gay men and suffering women?

But then again, I prefer La Kidman when she is suffering onscreen (The Others, Moulin Rouge, Dogville) so I should probably keep my mouth shut. Or ask, what is it with US as a tribe and suffering divas?


Anonymous said...

gael garcia IS too young and pretty for his part. when i read the book i also imagined them all being in their fifties (the doctor and his wife. the guards could be younger but not in their twenties -at least not the main guards)

Anonymous said...

The cast isn't what I imagined while reading Blindness, but I'm not sure why anyone thinks the cast is too young and sexy.

Moore and Ruffalo are both in their 40s, which is appropriate. And while they're both obviously incredibly attractive, neither has built their career on their looks or sex appeal.

Bernal is definitely young and sexy, but I don't buy that he's too young or too sexy for his character. Since when has youth and sexiness stopped people from doing terrible things?

Either way, I'm so excited for this. Saramago is one of my favorite authors (If you haven't read The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, do it now - I think it's his best). Meirelles is definitely a very solid filmmaker, even if he hasn't been truly great yet. And the cast is exciting.

Anonymous said...

This is the yeay of Julianne Moore. I have seen Savage Grace, and she gives the best performance of her career, Boogie Nights aside. The movie is very good but not great (B-), but Moore is fantastic.

This poster is awful.

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel and RedSatinDoll,

do you also prefer male actors when they're suffering on screen ?

Just curious

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's right when you say: It's too young and too sexy... But like steve said, Moore and Ruffalo has prestige in tehir 40s. in that industry for the talent beside the sex appeal. Moore is still a beautiful woman but a terrific actress too and Ruffalo is sexy but he's a chamaleon for the roles.

In the case of Bernal, it's true it's too young and too sexy, but he proof once and again that he's a talented actor doesn't matter the physical appareance in intersting and very different proyects (Motorcycle diaries, Bad Education, the science of sleep, Amores perros) not like other pretty boys (Hayden Christensen is a perfect example). so I have faith in him, especially with a very competent director like Fernando Meirelles


on suffering:

alex it's really only certain people. I like Meryl Streep best when she's having fun, truthfully. Same with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger (who I FAR prefer in comedy)

but doll is correct in the suffering beauties/gay icon connection. Garland being the ur text there

Kamila said...

The teaser trailer looks AMAZING. I can't wait to see "Blindness".

And I really hope this is the year of Julianne Moore.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Nat. I also prefer the funny Meryl (she tends to be too melodramatic in drama) and I also think Clooney and Zellweger are more skilled at comedy.

Anonymous said...

I think it's too 28 days later for Oscars consideration. I don't think Julianne's part is one that gets you an Oscar. A Globe nom perhaps, as a filler, but nothing more

Anonymous said...

I agree the subject matter is not Oscar's usual fare, but the pedigree here is incredibly impressive.

Based on a novel by a Nobel Prize-winning author, helmed by a director whose films Oscar obviously enjoys (I mean, how often do those out-of-nowhere nominations for a movie like City of God happen?), and a talented and respected cast.

I suspect that if it's any good, the Academy will bite.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 28 days later or maybe Testament? Fernando Meirelles was a instintive director who gets a nomination for city of God and other 4 nomination for the last film "The Constante Gardener" including an Oscar to Rachel Weisz. So the time has the last word. I believe in this proyect and I think Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet has an important contender in julianne Moore

Anonymous said...

Meryl Streepis great doing comedy, but her best performances are still dramatic ones: 1) Madison County; 2) Sophie's Choice; 3) A Cry in The Dark.

- cal roth

Judy said...

//do you also prefer male actors when they're suffering on screen ? //

Excellent question, alex - and point well taken. (You've got me thinking, at any rate.) I think for me, the thing about a "suffering" Kidman, specifically, is that I have (in the past) connected with what her character onscreen was going through, even if in some small way (not the ghosts in my house thing, dead husband in a child's body or being a 1900 courtesan sort of way, obviously). It may have more than anything to do with the fact that in such roles, Kidman seems most connected, most alive (sometimes ironically) to her character as a complete human being.

I can't say I love comic or dramatic Streep one above the other (Sophie's Choice? Hello!) but her perf in Lake Wobegon is also one of my favorites, and it illustrates the best of late-vintage Streep - her ability to simply BE, and to be transcendant or resplendant even when her character is a bit frayed at the edges. (Whereas I thought her performance in The Hours was a bit heavy-handed and leaden by comparison. Not her best work.)

Back to your question, though - in terms of male actors, I must confess that I am not nearly as interested in male actors as female ones - I usually don't connect in the same way, and I always assumed that was due to gender, but I could be wrong about that. But when I think of some of my favorite performances by men off the top of my head - Ewan McGregor (MR and Trainspotting), Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback), Javier Bardem(The Sea Inside), Jude Law (Cold Mountain), even James McAvoy (I haven't seen Last King of Scotland or Atonement yet - shame on me - but it seems he suffers quite a bit in both. And even in Narnia his character is full of anguished guilt and then gets turned into a stone sculpture by the White Witch) - yeah, there's suffering aplenty there. I'm not sure if that answered your question?

At any rate, I certainly don't connect with the indestructible, emotionless macho male stereotype! Fortunately that's becoming less common in movies than it once was (I think). It used to be that only women could really feel in movies and strength and heroism were reserved for men. (I'm painting in broad, stereotypical strokes - I KNOW, I KNOW) Nowadays male characters are allowed to feel the entire gamut of human emotions onscreen - good - but then the need for female characters onscreen almost seems to have been eliminated. (If the men can feel and suffer, what do we need women for except sex?) Which is part of the reason, I think, (besides the glass ceiling for actresses of a certain age) that more and more A-list actresses are flocking to TV/cable dramas (latest example - Angela Huston guest-starring on Medium.)


Anonymous said...

The trailer is also here:


lawyer tony fernando said...

I read a comment by Fernando, the director, they did a screen test and that SPOILERS -after the first rape 6 women lef the movie, and after the 2nd over 50 left, so he and Miramax would try a different cut, aside the fact that characters had no name and audiences didn´t conncet to then

Anonymous said...

And there is the SAVAGE GRACE trailer, too:



Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer, RedSatinDoll

I find that interesting because you said you're more interested in female actors. But.. isn't that the case for, like, everyone ? Look at Nathaniel, look at the forums on awardsdaily... I mean, people seem to be much more attached to female actors than their male counterparts.

I think that nowadays women can play everything, are allowed to be feminine but also agressive/masculine (Jolie in action films, Foster in a lot of films lately, Weaver in Alien..), yet men are somewhat not allowed to use the same range of emotions/feelings. They can only portray anger.

For example if you think of gay characters, female ones are always more complex because it's more difficult to say whether it's their sexuality that bothers them or their status in society, or their relationship with their husband... you get the idea

examples :
Moore in The Hours vs Quaid in Far from heaven
Jolie in Gia vs Bale in Velvet Goldmine

Most of the time are reduced to having ONE issue that troubles them, while women seem to have internal conflicts that are more difficult to identify clearly (cf Moore in Safe)