Archive for March, 2011
A stunning portrayal of grief, forgiveness and healing. Director John Cameron Mitchell gets it so right, this film deserved to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Its lack of a nomination is proof only that there are no “small films,” only “small minds” when it comes to evaluating the criteria of what makes a film “Best Picture-worthy.” From the very beginning, the film palpably creates the overwhelming feeling of emptiness not just in the hearts of the two main characters (Nicole Kidman’s “Becca,” and Aaron Eckhart’s “Howie,”) following the tragic death of their four-year old son, but in the physicality of their home. The dialogue rings so authentically true that it’s heartbreaking, especially when it’s delivered by pros like Dianne Wiest. It’s a joy to see both Eckhart and Kidman in an intimate drama such as this one. Eckhart goes through the motions of each day but with a heart so heavily despondent that he seems to personify the concept of a heavy heart physically. Kidman infuses Becca with such a restless, twitchy, energy, that every moment spent with Becca feels seat-squirmingly like tip-toeing across a field of land mines. The score? It’s the first time I’ve ever considered what a sad lullabye might sound like. The story is told gently, delicately, slowly so that by the time a key figure is revealed, it has the impact of a terrible car crash. A tough, tough movie for people to watch who have been through a similar tragedy, but so authentically depicted that it might actually be cathartic for some. “Rabbit Hole” is a film not to be missed.
Dear Academy, it’s time fix the annual Oscar telecast in a big way. You know, like in a global-event sort of way.
1. It’s about the MOVIES. Not the songs, not the ridiculous Busby Berkeley numbers. Focus on the MOVIES. Show more of the MOVIES. I may not have seen all the nominated films and their nominees. This might actually make me want to see them. Even the hosts (whomever they are) green screened into scenes from the nominated films is acceptable because it’s funny.
2. Don’t try to appeal to a younger age group by being hip. Everyone knows when you try to be hip, you’re not.
3. It’s about QUALITY remember? Not quantity. Never in the history of film have the offerings been so weak as in the past five years. 10 Best Picture nominees? Are you kidding? Stick to the Top 5 films.
4. Best Scene. If you want to add a worthwhile category, add Best Scene. Sometimes a scene is so powerful, it pulls you out of your seat. It can even transform your life. Honor these individual scenes.
5. Upgrade the interviewers. The show is not helped by the utterly INANE same 5 questions the ditzy interviewers ask celebrities making their way onto the red carpet. If you’re going to make the pre-show an hour, get better interviewers. They can still keep it light but not stupid.
6. The good behind-the-scenes stuff on the DVD? Add it to the telecast. Interviews about the making of are still about the MOVIES. We love the MOVIES. Outtakes and flubs? The show can always use some levity. We like to see celebrities enjoying themselves and their craft.
7. Celebrities: Speak from the heart or have a great acceptance speech prepared. Anything less bores the shit out of those of us at home watching.
8. Use good judgment. Don’t play the friggin’ music when the acceptance speech is heartfelt, real/genuine, exceptionally articulate or memorable for some other reason. All acceptance speeches are NOT equal. If they don’t bring something to this moment, then get them the hell off stage – no matter who they are.
9. You want a better show? Stop using the same old conventional producers. Have some courage. Give the producing chore (because that what the telecasts seem like) to someone much younger, hipper and not a slave to the old guard/Hollywood establishment.
10. The hosts actually matter the least. Stop fixating on the host and fix the damn show.