February 25th, 2008

Marion Cotillard

This kid has you on acid screaming, ''I'm a golden god,'' from a fan's rooftop.

I think I use that subject line too much...but check this out.

These were my predictions for my family's Oscar pool (we only do selective categories, and three tie-breakers):
Best Picture: "No Country For Old Men"
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood")
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose")
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem ("No Country For Old Men")
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton")

Film With Most Wins: No Country For Old Men
Number of Wins: 4
Time: 3 hours, 21 minutes

And if you watched, you may notice that those were EXACTLY RIGHT. Including the tie-breakers. Including the LENGTH OF THE SHOW.

8 out of 8.

BAM BABY! I am a golden god!

Overall, I was happy with the show. I thought Jon Stewart did a great job (he was very funny in an appropriate-to-the-Oscars way...for the most part). I thought the speeches were interesting and the winners were excited and sincere (not boring or reserved like some of those pretentious fuckers are). There were some wins I was really happy about, including "Falling Slowly" from Once for Best Song, Dario Marianelli for Best Score from Atonement, and Sweeney Todd's win for Art Direction (perhaps they were only small tokens, but at least it was something for three films I found particularly fantastic this year). Additionally, after seeing Juno again this morning, I really found that most of the greatest things about the film were contained in the script so kudos to Diablo Cody for that. I think it was well-deserved (and like many of the winners, she was excited and gracious).

I was, however, disappointed that Atonement didn't take anything else (I was really hoping for screenplay). And while I appreciate that No Country For Old Men cleaned up (as I stated earlier, I truly think it's a better film than equally hyped There Will Be Blood), I think my biggest disappointment was that The Diving Bell and the Butterfly didn't take anything. I was certain it would grab Cinematography, if not Editing, and I was really hoping for Direction...I mean. Julian Schnabel is great and for an American director to choose to do a film in France, in French, and with such unique technical aspects and challenges...it was brilliant. And I really don't see how any other film even came near it. It was ridiculously distinctive and redefined the boundaries of how the camera is used. It really makes me wonder about whether the Academy members voting saw the film, or saw it all the way through. I know when I went to the theater, it wasn't more than 20 minutes in when I found myself wondering if I could sit through the entire thing. It was so uncomfortable and constricting and I honestly considered walking out just because I wasn't a strong enough person to deal with the intensity of the themes and subject matter, both of which are conveyed through amazingly direct cinematography. But I stayed and it was incredible. I just wonder how many people, especially if they were watching screeners in the privacy of their own homes, turned the film off when it got uncomfortable and didn't bother to finish it. It's a lot easier to turn off a DVD than walk out of a theater. Personally, I don't turn off movies a lot, but I never did finish La Vie en Rose. Perhaps the most incredibly parts of the film were in the last half, but I'll never know because I didn't enjoy the story or characters. Edith Piaf is just so unforgiving and so unforgivable. Marion Cotillard is fabulous, especially as she is able to portray such an unequivocal bitch when she is really so sweet and adorable.

So yes. Part of me wonders if the Academy just didn't see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, or whether they just didn't see in it what I did. I don't understand how anyone who saw the entire thing could have thought it wasn't the most brilliant Directing, Cinematography, and Editing of the year.

I was also surprised that The Bourne Ultimatum took three awards...it made it the second winningest film tonight. So odd.

I think that's it, really. I need to get to bed. Tomorrow starts off early with 8:30am class, then I'll be finishing up the work on my thesis outline so that I can start actually pounding out the rough draft this week. I also have to write a paper on "urban anxiety as a theme in an American film" (I will be using Modern Times--it's perfect); it's due next Tuesday.
Pennies for a rainy day

No right minds could wrong be this many times...

It's odd, but I've always sort of believed that money was something that would work itself out. And to a large extent, I think much of my conscious and subconscious mind still believes that.

Sadly, I don't have any long-lost rich uncle from whom I could stand to inherit loads of money. But I guess the thought of winning the lottery never seemed all that far-fetched (although I've never actually played).

Last week, someone in Georgia won $270 million on the Mega Millions drawing (something we don't have in Florida, otherwise I totally would have played for that jackpot).

And I thought about what I would do if I had won that sort of payout. First off, I'd get the lump sum and after taxes, I'm sure it would be no more than $125 million. So I'd put $100 million into a savings account (so I can earn more money). Then I'd pay off my student loans. After which I'd pay off the mortgages of my parents' and all of my siblings' houses. Buy my sister Chris a house. Pay off everyone's debts (credit cards or whatever). Buy anyone who needs one a new car. Put $500,000 in college savings accounts for my nephew and each of my nieces. And after I've done what I think is fair for my immediate family...I'll probably be a little selfish and get myself a new car and possibly buy an apartment in Paris. Or Chicago. Or New York...I don't really know. I'd decide on some place to live, though. And I wouldn't have to worry about getting a high-paying job...I could just find something that I love to do...I could volunteer, even. And when I get bored of that, or realize that it's not using my full potential, I could go to grad school, maybe even somewhere ridiculously expensive and I could study art and film they way they are meant to be studied and it would be fantastic.

And while that all seems pretty out there, I think I've always expected my life to turn out this way at some point. Much in the same way that I assume civilization will end within my lifetime. I am wary of anything that extends into the future more than 50 years because I'm highly skeptical that mankind will exist that far ahead.

It's so odd. And it makes no sense. But I honestly believe these things.