So, Friday afternoon brought the second Letter of No to my house. Lucky for me, Friday evening brought a fabulous distraction, in the form of Indian buffet with kristenb615 and her husband, and then a viewing of the World’s Worst Movie Ever, “Ultraviolet.” The movie was so bad that it totally wiped all thought of anything but its own horribleness out of my mind for at least 24 hours. Really. So, so bad. Bad dialogue, confusing, muddled plot, unconvincing acting, not even the costuming was that cool. And they airbrushed everyone so aggressively that I can’t even say it was nice to look at. If you must see this movie, see it with friends so that you may dissect its awfulness together later, and thus feel better.
Tomorrow, there is a Men in Feminism panel on campus that I’m not only intrigued by but feel that I should go to, because I’ve been getting e-mails from the Commission on the Status of Women for at least two years now. There’s also a Student Union Association-sponsored lecture, “The Bomb in my Garden,” by Saddam Hussein’s former chief scientist. All of which means that my previous mention of seeing “Mrs. Henderson Presents” tomorrow will have to be nudged back a day or two, possibly to Thursday.
The Oscars were also a beautiful distraction. Jon Stewart was excellent. Tamer than usual, yes, but that was probably what was called for. And everything moved smoothly, and everyone won/lost graciously. I wouldn’t pick “Crash” as the best picture of 2005, but the reasons I wouldn’t pick it as best picture would also work against the one I thought would/should win (“Brokeback Mountain”), so I’ve got to think on that more. Does a movie deserve an award for being a discussion piece? Maybe so. “Crash” was a good story and a great idea, but not necessarily fabulous (and certainly not original) filmmaking. Part of me says, if it raises the level of discussion on prejudices and racial inequalities in our country, give it ten awards. Give it a hundred. What holds me back from full-throated cheering for the film is that I don’t think it was the best made, best acted, or even most compelling movie of the year. I think it struck a chord with the right people and became, certainly, the best promoted film of the year, and that this parlayed into an Oscar win. Maybe that’s what’s made me a little “eh” over the victory.
If I could’ve voted for the Academy Awards, based on what I’ve seen, I would’ve chosen thus:
Best Picture: “Good Night, and Good Luck” (though I would’ve nominated “The Constant Gardener”
Best Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote” (and I would’ve nominated Ralph Fiennes)
Best Actress: Felicity Huffman, “Transamerica”
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jake Gyllenhaal – “Brokeback Mountain”
Actress in a Supporting Role: Rachel Weisz – “The Constant Gardener”
Director: Ang Lee – “Brokeback Mountain” (again, would’ve nominated Fernando Meirelles for “The Constant Gardener”)
On the rest, I’m generally in agreement. I would’ve picked “Brokeback Mountain” or “Capote” for Cinematography, probably.