Monday, February 28, 2005

Multi-Million Dollar Babies

...


OK, last Wednesday, I made my predictions (see Feb. 23 below), and... I did OK, considering (and here's the clincher) I'd only seen two of the nominated films. I'd say pretty good indeed. Again, personal kudos to "Sideways" and above all, my convoluted biopic of the year, "Eternal Sunshine..."

Years ago (the year Marisa Tomei won for "My Cousin Vinny"), I was invited by an elegantly slim and leggy woman with great skin to attend a way upwardly mobile Academy Awards party in Austin, I mean the monied movers and shakers of the city, and I was a grad student bum, basically, but my GOSH, my date looked great in "a little black dress," and this IS what these evenings are about, sort of - that and good wine. (I hear Pinot Noir is in this year, even if film noir is out.)

Upon entering, each of us was to fill in a slip with our predictions, and a very nice bottle of (real) champagne would "go to" the winner with the most correct predictions. Well, this was not just a monied crowd, it was, generally a movie-going crowd as well.

But you got it: I won. Got 'em all right. And I STILL have yet to see "My Cousin Vinny" and probably several other of the films nominated that year. Well, cut to 2004, an abysmal year for me and movies - my nadir, frankly. In college, in American Studies, I often wrote about film and sometimes went to see 3-4 movies a week in a theatre, taking notes, the works, insinuating my best Pauline Kael imitation.

2004: I saw ONE movie in the theater - oh, to admit this, one who has in the more distant past had so many memorable dates in the darkly flickering light of the big screen.... That film was none other than "Farenheit 9/11" on the first day of release, of course, as a group protesting the fact that the former guv Bush still had a job (seems that F 9/11 was not the plowshare turned into a sword it was meant to be - meaning the dumb voters who really vote and always have and always will didn't give a shit).

Anyway, that was it for me and theaters - not an "out on the town" year for me. But I did happen to see two of the nominated films on DVD before Sunday night: "Eternal Sunshine" and "Ray." So who was I to know that "Million Dollar Baby" was SO powerful it could pull the red carpet out from under "The Aviator"? I did think Scorsese had it in the hanger, under wraps like the Spruce Goose. But Clint and Hilary. Who'da known you could follow through the knock out punches, deftly delivered, right down the line?

Why did it happen? (And believe you me, I'm joining a crowd of those surprised.) Because, I see it now: "The Aviator" was a spectacle, but Mr. Hughes leaves us rather cold, feeling the need to wash our hands - not wipe our faces for the tears. But Hilary the dominant and then doomed boxer, she and Clint and Morgan set us up for a major tear fest, and it is emotion that is the heart of drama, not just action. (So why DID that damned Lord Thing win last year? Ugh!)

OK, in closing, as a guy, I'll revert to the red carpet, on which the awards seem to depend as much as ever, if not more. (I hear David Bowie singing "Fashion" in the background.) Yes, the gents all look nice in tuxes - most dweebs do, only more so weight-height proportionate males with cheekbones, debonair grins, $300 haircuts and $10,000 teeth.

This is about the multi-million dollar babes:

Annette is a love, a delight, a shining twinkle, elegantly aged, and if Warren is ever out...

Kate is my babe, the fleshy girl next door with a face and bod and girl-friendliness to feast upon.

But then there are the three current goddesses of the carpet, and they are unmistakably these: Halle, Hilary and Charlize.

WOW.

(And I didn't even watch the show. I've got a LIFE, you know.)

54 Comments:

At 3/01/2005 7:26 AM, Anonymous RQ said...

Ah, so you did come clean. I knew HONESTY would win in the end. I got 5 out of 6 of the top awards right, but I was surprised, also, about Best Picture. I thought the Academy would go for the BIG fluff of the Aviator. Refreshing to be wrong. Poor Joan Rivers and Melissa got traded to the TV Guide Channel. You missed that drama!

 
At 3/02/2005 10:24 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

I think the Academy was brave, frankly, to resist the "he deserves it" motivation I attributed to them in Wednesday's post. I feel more confident that they gave the Best Picture Oscar to the movie they really felt really deserved it, no matter what. Not an innovative film, but certainly a movie that packs a punch! Scorsese'd better get after it. He's only 63, so there's time.

 
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