Weekend break turned Sideways

I’ve had a lovely weekend with Mom and Maria. We’ve been shopping (which I don’t actually enjoy, but Mom and Maria do); we’ve been out to eat; and Mom and I just got back from from seeing Sideways at Liberty Hall. I have to admit, seeing the film for the second time gave me a chance to look at it more closely. I hope Alexander Payne gets some Oscar mention. The direction and the writing, in combination, were just so perfectly set up in so many scenes — like the scene where Stephanie beats the crap out of Jack: not being able to see the helmet hitting him allows the scene to be funny, just as following it up with Jack yelling through the bloody towel ups the ante on the humor. Also, the fact that there’s a visual of Jack & Stephanie having sex but the Miles/Maya scene is a sort of “fade to black” effect is really nicely done. And Jack! Thomas Haden Church was brilliant, acting like an actor who’s always acting. The “crying” over losing Christine really hit me this time — it was tragic in its fakeness. So I guess this means I’m on board with the L.A. Film Critics Association, which awarded Sideways the Best Film award for 2004 this weekend, and Payne its Best Director award, too.

This more than makes up for the fact that we were supposed to see Finding Neverland this weekend but didn’t make it to KC. In another sign of strength, I’ve managed not to read any of the reviews for The Life Aquatic yet. I want to see it first, and I probably won’t get to until well after its Christmas-day release.

Movies I would like to see before the end of the year:
(in no particular order)
Ocean’s 12
House of Flying Daggers
, though I doubt this will be possible
Closer
The Life Aquatic
The Aviator
Meet the Fockers
Spanglish
Finding Neverland

There are others releasing before Jan. 1 that I’ll eventually want to see, but… they can wait.

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