Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Shameful Omission

After a surprisingly quiet weekend comes to a close, I am finally reunited with my Apple, otherwise known as my MacBook Pro, to which I will call my Apple. Tomorrow is our three-month, by the way. It was worth mentioning. Anyway, during this still weekend, I watched a few Oscar contenders, both past and present, finished an epic novel, and ate more than plenty of pancakes to satisfy me for the next week. All while maintaining a (generally) healthy routine of dedicating one hour a day to working out. Plus, I just ate a salad that served as my entire entree at Texas Roadhouse, thank you and you're welcome. All right now, let's get to the good stuff: the movies, obviously.

His reaction to getting killed off the show.
On Thursday, when my weekend officially started, my dad and I settled down to a delicious dinner and the latest episode of Desperate Housewives. It began with Mary Alice informing us of the death of a major character on the show. As you feign a shocked expression, I'll go right out and tell you who died--spoiler ahead--it was Mike Delfino. Yes, the once-sexy-and-mysterious plumber, who has evolved into a somewhat-pathetic-and-goofy husband and father, is no longer living on the Lane. Not only is it upsetting that the only character close to being normal has gone and died, but the way he died further displays Marc Cherry's new-found incompetence or lack of talent. The tough-guy loan shark, who's been roughing him up ever since he got the money he needed, shot him on his porch in the middle of the afternoon. Okay, let's back it up (beep, beep, beep): Why would a loan shark kill someone, who already gave him his money? Loan sharks are trying to stay away from trouble. Are the writers over there that barren of good ideas? Or do they actually believe this is the work of great television? Either way, Desperate Housewives has really gone downhill, and will continue to fall until the end. I'm hoping it will, anyway...until the movie arrives.

For our evening pleasure, we watched Mommie Dearest, a second time for me as you know. I must, again, express my disagreement to this being the opening act for the Razzies. It was not that bad, adequate even. And as a pre-bedtime film, it was ideal. Sarcasm. The following day, after "work", we treated ourselves to leftovers and a palate of Oscar contenders of the previous ceremony. These included Young Adult, My Week With Marilyn, and an encore of Bridesmaids.

Beautifully nasty.
Here is where the title of the post comes to having meaning, as it is applied to the shameful omission of Young Adult. Throughout awards season, there have been strong hints that it will find a place among the Best Original Screenplay nominees, and even for Charlize Theron as Best Actress. Unfortunately, neither of these hints turned to be a reality. The closest the movie got to award-esteem was at its one Golden Globe nomination for Charlize Theron. This, boldly stated, is an absolute disgrace. Even before watching Young Adult, I knew I was going to enjoy it--and wouldn't you know that I did enjoy it, immensely. Charlize Theron, once more, proves that she is an amazing actress, as she transforms herself into an unpleasant former-prom-queen-now-failing-alcoholic mess. Throughout the film, she switches from stunningly attractive to morning-after frightful, which doesn't show anything other that she looks beautiful in any shade or lighting. To me, anyway. The basic plot is that her character, Mavis Gary, an unsuccessful writer of young-adult novels, returns to her hometown to reclaim her high-school boyfriend, Buddy, who just had a baby. In her attempts to seduce him, she is so coaxing towards him and so vile to others, who find this mission of hers to be utterly pathetic. Of course, everyone there hated her in high school as she was the psychotic prom queen bitch that everyone hates.
When sidekicks aren't annoying.
Her confidante in the film is Matt Freehauf, played by Patton Oswalt, whom she ignored all throughout high school. An emotional factor of the film, which really touched my heart, was his tragic story of how some jocks beat him so brutally that he is now crippled and scarred for life. Even with that haunting over him, he seems to be the most content person in the entire town. So what if he makes his own bourbon in his garage, and designs action figures for his enjoyment? At least he's happy doing it. Not that I'm making an argument here. Also, Patton Oswalt, who usually comes off as repulsive to me, is surprisingly bearable, and even likable, in the film. His strange relationship with Mavis is one made in perfection, as they understand and respond to one another so precisely. Furthermore, the friendly chemistry between the two actors is believable and genial. What is truly remarkable, and even frightening, about Mavis is that she is so delusional, so sure that Buddy still loves her and is miserable there with his new family. That, my dear acquaintances, is great acting at the core--to provoke such feelings in your audience.

I won't say anything.
Which brings me to my next point: Michelle Williams vectored over Charlize Theron at the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical. Now this is additionally aggravating, for when you even compare each performance to another, it is apparent where the glory truly belongs. To Charlize Theron, of course! And now I say this objectively, as well as subjectively, because I actually watched My Week With Marilyn to make my opinion non-biased. While the film itself was more than decent, Michelle Williams actually did not bother me as much as I thought she would. I just imagine that she was playing a different actress of the time, certainly not Marilyn Monroe, as that would be preposterous. (Her lips are far too wide, and--I've ranted about that far enough, haven't I?) The film describes an assistant director's experience on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl with greats such as Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Of course, here, it is not Marilyn Monroe, but some lesser-known actress whom Michelle Williams actually resembles. The ambitious youth's name is Colin Clark, and the real-life character is actually a bothersome element of the film. Perhaps it was the choice of actor to play him, I don't know. I just did not like him. It happens on occasion, right? Kenneth Branagh, in my eyes, is a nearly ideal choice to play Sir Laurence Olivier--how fateful for Branagh to portray his most-admired director. He is a tad pudgier than Olivier, mind you. One very delightful surprise was Emma Watson, who is just as enchanting as Hermione Granger. Really, just as enchanting, for she hasn't really fazed out of the whole Harry Potter fame. But I am confident that she will because, unlike, say, Ron Weasley for example, she is a good actress. Michelle Williams gave a decent performance, I won't be stubborn and say she was as awful as I thought she'd be. I will say, however, that her performance was not worthy of an Oscar nomination, and it certainly should not have triumphed over Charlize Theron. I suppose the Academy just adores her, Michelle Williams I mean, for whatever reason. I also find it funny that Michelle Williams, as she states in interviews, worked so hard to capture the essence of Marilyn Monroe--"mastering" her voice and bouncy walk--and it turns out that she, in fact, doesn't resemble her at all. That I can say objectively, as well as mischievously.

The final film of the night was Bridesmaids, since we were already watching female-driven movies considered for the Academy. I say female-driven with a little wink to myself, as I find the label "female-driven comedy" attached to Bridesmaids to be more than tiresome. I believe I already said that previously. Here is me repeating it then. As I've said, the first time we watched Bridesmaids, we were very disappointed considering how we've been anticipating it, what with Kristen Wiig and the possibility of another Hangover. Like I said, there is nothing Hangover about this. You all know the plot, I'm sure. When the Oscar nominations were released, and I found the movie listed twice, I began to feel averse to the movie in general. Why? It is not Oscar material. There will not be any exaggerated explanation as to why this is because, again, I think I've mentioned it a few times. Didn't I write a post about it too? Anyway, the fact that I found the movie to be merely okay, as opposed to the excellent comedy everyone else calls it, and that it received recognition at the Academy really tousled my panties. So much so that I refuse to make myself watch it again. Until that fateful Friday night. On the second time, I found this movie to be slightly more entertaining than the first, perhaps because the awards season has been over and the irritation has faded. Overall, Bridesmaids was a fairly decent comedy--and I must admit the disgusting food-poisoning scene was funny. I won't say anything else in reference to its worthiness for esteem.

Saturday was a particularly silent day, as I watched no movies, and finished the final hundred pages of An American Tragedy. The reason I started reading this to begin with was because I had just watched Match Point, and my dad mentioned how it was much like An American Tragedy. Since I liked the film, why not try the book? Although there were only some elements relating to Woody Allen's film, I still enjoyed the novel very much. I call it an epic because it consists of three books, or parts, and it's eight-hundred pages. Completed in two months. How do you like them apples? I am no critic of literature, so I cannot dignify the great novel with textual praise, other than "It was an extraordinary read."

And so I come down to Sunday, the day before I return to "work". Waking up bright and early at seven-thirty, my dad and I make some Swedish pancakes with Swedish pancake mix. As for the entertainment, we have All About Eve. I realize I said I'd watch it on Saturday morning in my previous post, but we just didn't get to it. By that, I mean my dad fell asleep after working a night shift. (Nice, real nice.) I absolutely adore this film, which won Best Picture in 1950, simply because it has the appearance and feel of a play. A damned good play at that. The marvelous film follows the rise of exceedingly ambitious Eve Harrington, who achieves fame by studying great artists of the theater, such as Margo Channing, Bill Simpson, and Lloyd Richards. Eve, played by an enchanting Anne Baxter, portrays a devious, wicked woman, so viciously planting herself in such grand company. Her transformation from an overly-modest, grateful apprentice to a malicious snake of an actress is captivating to behold. Bette Davis does not go much farther in portraying the acclaimed Margo Channing, though she manages to shine brighter than everyone else. As a great actress advanced in her years--and therefore less appealing, theoretically, to the theater--she is threatened by younger, and possibly more skilled, talent that is Eve conquering her. The film is absolutely glorious, too wonderful for merely my words to describe. While I may sound like Eve Harrington herself when I say how truly wonderful this picture is, there is no way I can fully succeed in flattering it. All I can say is... "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night." Astounding quote from an astounding picture. See for yourself.

There's my weekend in an enlarged nutshell. I've never cared for that idiom, or figure of speech. Have a great week, and may your dreams come true.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, That's quite a week of movie watching. I personally liked Michelle Williams a lot more than Charlize in these films, but I admit that I haven't seen as much of Marilyn Monroe, so it was probably easier for me to buy Williams in the role even if it was influenced by looking like similar lesser known actresses.

    I laughed a lot during Bridesmaids, but I agree with you that I think it got hyped up way more than it should have.

    By the way, Welcome to the LAMB!