Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hopes and slopes

So; the OSCAR-nominations are out! Eventually! And it should come as no surprise that this has attracted major, enthusiastic interest from yours truly. Hence: a ramble-damble about this news, while it's still fresh and flowin'. First and foremost, I was very happy indeed to see that Mickey Rourke got himself one; as did Heath Ledger, if posthumously; and I should hope they both win. Thank goodness, they're not in the same category! As far as I'm concerned, those two are amongst the best actors the world's ever seen - truly amazing - one who's finally got his career back on track and flying again, and one whose career was so brutally cut off when it was just about to take flight. I rejoice in the comeback of Mickey the Master and keep my fingers intently crossed that he will follow up with something even better, continue on the good path. Just as I think I'll always be a litte sad that we never got to witness more of the talent-in-abundance that was Heathcliff Andrew Ledger, and remain intensely mournfull (lest to say utterly and absolutely miserable) every time I try to rewatch "Brokeback Mountain". Still haven't succeed in doing so; watched it twice in theatres, bawled my eyes out, loved it desperately, never managed since. I wish there'd been more, some other fate, some better odds. Oh well. May he rest in peace, with a golden statue to behold from up above. That's my wish, for now. Fortunately, and perchance deliberately - since they've already been announced as überfavourites, the both of them - the competition isn't that impressive. "Tropic Thunder", of all things, has been nominated (for Robert Downey jr., who could use an Oscar, but not in favour of Heath) and Mickey will have to triumph over Sean Penn, who famously beat Johnny Depp to his award some odd years ago when the latter should have won for "Pirates". Hence, 'nuff said, this should prove a lucky night for my two darlings - Heath is an obvious call, and Mickey needs his statue now! I just watched him on "Jimmy Kimmel" and he is unspeakably adorable. Wearing a satin jacket, scarves, chains, tight jeans, bleached strains of hair, arbitrarily located around his balding head, completed with red, sparkling Judy Garland-shoes. And then he starts talking, leaving everyone in disbelief, because he comes across as this soft, thought-ful, pleasant kind of guy who wouldn't hurt a fly, and he makes an idiot out of Kimmel, and his lousy jokes, he simply proves what a great interpreter he is, what a great persona he (still) has. Did I mention, I've had a crush on him for ages? I might also put in, as opposed to most (other) critics, I think "9 1/2 Weeks" is a great flick. Come on, it has Mickey with a tux on, and occasionally off, Kim Basinger (wearing much less, on a more constant basis), and Bryan Ferry featured on the soundtrack! Doesn't get much better than that! I look forward to his outfit at the Oscars and I shall bring tissues, fan-shirts and smiles to the premiere of his new wrestling epic. No doubt.

Apart from this, though, I really have no opinions at all, regarding the various categories and multiple choices. In fact, I'm pretty blank. For the moment being, that is, since (and let me add: for the first time in ages) I've hardly been able to watch any of the movies involved - I counted two or three, tops, that I've seen; althought I'm familiar with all of them - simply because they aren't "out" in Norway yet, or they've just arrived at the Cinema and I haven't had the opportunity to check them out. So far. However: watch them I will, I promise, I just need to find the bloody time. As it were, I am generally lacking in vacant hours, these days, not to mention opportunity to commit myself to anything (at all) that's not mandatory or obligarory or really significant to the well-becoming and development and ambitiousness of my future self; oh blessed student era; least of all writing, watching (movies, telly, sunsets), walks in the part - which should count, in any case, to my well-being and my personal aspirations, but no - it's all about working, reading, sleeping, eating; which is of course no less important, don't get me wrong, and I don't have any clear idea whatsoever as to why I am complaining, and I probably shouldn't be; I do learn a lot, and I laugh, and I like it; it's just that I spend my days absorbed and engulfed and I can't seem to do all I should be doing, anyway, I simply end up sitting down, doing nothing, staring at the walls for five-minute-breaks of apathy, over and over again, which is as unpleasant as it seems unavoidable, since it's the start of a new semester - as per usual creating a great, big void both in my life and in my mind, which I must cram with stuff and justify as sort-of-relevant, continuously - and when you then finally have a second off, or left, to do something else, whatever that might be, or whatever you're just dying to get done, something easy, something nice, then you can't decide! You don't just get a move on, get up and do it, you find yourself friggin' paralyzed by this sudden impossible freedom and these inexplicable optional characters! I fall behind, whilst trying to keep up - thus, I am in no sense particularly updated on recent events (or movies, more specifially, I must stress to depress) which has me frustrated (and yes, depressed) and slightly ... hollow inside. I need my movie fix. I need my alternative medicine, of sorts, as an antidote to everything rule-defined and academic and unalterably strict. Unchanging. Unflinching. Whereas I so want to see "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (now!) - as well as "Frost/Nixon", "The Reader", "Revolutionary Road" ... and "The Wrestler", most of all ... all this brilliant stuff. Just haven't had the chance yet, as mentioned many times above, and I find organizing my daily routine pretty difficult, early in January, I always become a bit lost and desillusioned - or filled with dilusions, I dunno - and, once more, I strand in some stillstanding corner where I sit and mope and watch the weather change. Marvellous. Still, I suppose, I have the more to look forward to in the weeks to come; and that does cheer me up quite a lot. Life runs in circles, it never truly gets fixed. Or becomes static; so, I'll never freeze, I just need to find - what is it they say - the big picture? The great calm? The one and final, ultimate solution? Does anyone have a recipe for that?

As a got-no-experience-but-speculating-nonetheless kind of conclusion, I would say that - by the look of it - there's a lot of old faces involed, here, meaning: they've nominated the people they've nominated before, and the people most likely to be nominated in any case, aka the people most likely to win. Every year. Which isn't very striking, nor am I particularly sceptical to their choices; they're that obvious. And relatively justifiable. Hence, it isn't that very hard to judge, although one hasn't actually watched the movies themselves. We all know Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman are the grand amongst the working lot. They're familiar names to spot on the list, but it's only appropriate that they should be there, and it only adds to their astonishing reputation, et cetera et cetera blah blah blah. Hate Hoffman, love the two women, wish them all best of luck. Naturally. Anne Hathaway for "Rachel Getting Married" is a pleasant newcomer and fresher face, good on her. Impressively enough, power couple Angelina and Brad have also been nominated in the best actor/best actress categories, respectively; "Benjamin Button" conquered all and achieved the most nods of all, who'd have thought, and I'm sure Mr. Pitt will return to the "Inglourious Basterds" set no less proud of himself. Mind you, he deserves it. Can't help it, and won't ever change: I love me a bit of Brangelina. Missed some nominations for Clint Eastwood, though, and for a whole bunch of others, as usual, but Penelope Cruz and Amy Adams may at last battle it out in the supporting actress arena; they're both just winners, if you ask me, and I'm glad they get some (more) recognition. "Australia" got one nomination for costumes, and had better win. "Wall-E" shall be crowned Best Animated Feature, otherwise the world's gone mad, and hey! didn't I notice "Hellboy" somwhere? Yes indeed! Summer Blockbusters "The Golden Army" and "Wanted" have both received technical awards for sound and makeup! Whooray-on-the-way!

Now, last but not least, what did fill me with (even more) joy and make me applaud the Academy Jury's sense of justice, for once, and on the other hand, was the Best Foreign Film category and its inclusion of Laurent Cantet's "Entre Les Murs" (The Class), which is an absolutely stunning semi-documentary about a school teacher playing himself, or someone strikingly similar, teaching a class inspired by clases he used to be teaching; in a really dark and fascinating study of the French society and its school system; which I had the pleasure of watching last weekend, and which I sincerely hope will win. That being said, there were other and equally worty nominees (unfortunately, within the same category), for instance a German production; "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex"; featuring the ever-so-talented Moritz Bleibtreu (with the funny name). Regretfully, zero nominations for "Låt den rätte komma inn", which I deem highly unfair - then again, when did they start noticing Scandinavian films? And to be quite honest with ourselves and our precious movie history, maybe they've got a point? Nevertheless, there are outstanding pictures originating from Swedish, Danish and Norwegian production companies as well - at least from the first two. But, to my immense surprise and (consequent) delight - it would appear that us Norwegians have also learnt a bit about the industry lately. Had the chance to catch the new Norwegian classic "Jernanger" last Saturday evening (so, yes, I do get around a bit, all in all); at the "major premiere", as they'd dubbed it; with the cast and crew present and the director in the audience, but all he had to say - before the film started - was: "hope you can use it for something". Those were his exact words. Oh well. The film itself, however, was remarkable - in the sense that it did not sound like some odd theatre performance with monotonous voices and really bad articulation, like we're (I'm) used to. Instead, almost everyone sounded remarkably sincere, and almost everyone behaved in accordance with natural habit, not directorial instructions, and with Mr. Bjørn Sundquist in the lead, it was all a tour de force, and a great achievement; I was left pretty dumbfounded at the end. The dialogue never works in Norwegian films, such is the rule. Or, so it has been, until now. Whereas "Jernanger" was a refreshing and beautiful exception; not the best (Norwegian) film ever made, on a production level - the filming/editing/cinematography was pretty lousy at times - but the talking! The talking actually worked! And the characters were interesting, and the locations looked genuine and the extras were people not cardboard silhouettes! I mean, wow. So, maybe, just maybe, this might mark the beginning of a new era where Norwegian films could also be up for Oscar nominations (again), and Norwegian film makers could be recognized abroad for their abilities, not their utter strangeness?

I'm entitled to some hope. In every respect.

Truth be told, one should always retain hope, one should always revel at the sheer prospect of opportunity and coming changes, that better times may lie ahead. Obama's taught me that. Now I praise his gospel. But: Oscars' coming up - shortly! To await, with excitement, first of all!

sources: imdb - dailymail - vg

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AND!! By the by-way, late at night!

Michelle Ryan has just been announced as the Doctor's new assistant! According to the ever-so-reliable Daily Mail (and now confirmed by the Beeb), the former Eastender "hottie" and Bionic Woman (no pun whatsoever) has been filming with David Tennant for the upcoming Easter Special (entitled "Planet of the Dead") on a bus somewhere in Wales or London or wherever (they wrote: "on location", to be specific) and she's a apparently a "key contender" to the role of permanent companion alongside Matt Smith, because she's young and cool and they'd "look good together". Alright. For the record, Miss Ryan auditioned for the role of "new assistant" after Billie quit, but they didn't want her. Why they've changed their minds, or why they turned her down in the first place, I don't know. What I do know is that she's a twentysomething brunette from Middlesex, about as commonplace as it can get; we requested someone older, non-female, non-Londoner, whereas she's exactly the same kind of character we've seen a thousand times before and hope they'd give us a break from. Because we miss Rose, and she's the one and only (such). Sorry, Michelle. Pretty, young and all that, but you're not an alien, you're not a man, you're not old (enough) and you're not spooky! Hence we think we've seen it all before. And we're already bored. Surprise us! Please!

Something about living in hope, yes?

1 comment:

Randi said...

Poeten må ta seg tid til film på kino - det gir inspirasjon for videre lyriske betraktning ....