Starting Out in the Evening director Andrew Wagner depicts the relationship between novelist Leonard Schiller (Frank Langella) with an admiring student (Lauren Ambrose) and his wayward daughter (Lili Taylor) “with some delicacy — perhaps too much delicacy,” writes New Yorker critic David Denby. Someone who was vaguely irritated with this film….finally!
“Schiller is meant to be a survivor of the New York Jewish literary renaissance of the 1950s and 60s, but the movie, for all its considerable intelligence, dries out his temperament too much. Anyone who remembers that vanished tribe of New Yorkers knows that, even in their later years, they made a joke now and then and were given to malice and desire as well as to bouts of intellectual severity.
“After a while, Schiller√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s austere ironies wilt one√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s respect for him. Langella is superb, and Starting Out in the Evening is a classy film — I never thought I would hear the phrase ‘Trilling, Howe, and especially Edmund Wilson’ uttered in a movie theatre — but it could have used a little less circumspection, a little more juice.”
“I saw There Will Be Blood again Friday here in bluer-than-blue New York City. They showed the preview for Stop Loss and you could feel a palpable sense of dread and disconnect in the audience. The room which had been so buzzy and excited before this, just went dead. Luckily the Kung-Fu Panda cell-phone announcement came on next and brought everyone back to life. Seriously.” — HE reader “tophertilson.”
Red Carpet District‘s Kris Tapley has posted a rundown of the big award-related dates in January. Here’s my edited version with the who-cares? events removed:
1.6.07: BFCA hosts the Critics Choice Awards (live on VH1). 1.8.08: DGA feature film nominees announced (Directors Guild of America). 1.10.08:: DGA documentary nominees announced. 1.10.08: WGA screen nominees announced (Writers Guild of America). 1.12.08: AMPAS nominations polls close, end of Oscar voting. 1.13.08: Golden Globe Awards — probably no TV, phone reporting, webcasts. 1.16.08: Leave for Sundance Film Festival. 1.22.08: Oscar nominees announced at he crack of dawn. 1.25.08: Return from Sundance Film Festival. 1.27.08: SAG Awards (Live on TNT, except on west coast).
The Benazair Bhutto “Zapruder tape” is a little hard to sort out. I had to watch it three times before spotting the assassin. You need to watch the other one too, which also has sounds of gunshots and an explosion.
The visuals of the Ray Ban-wearing assassin and the sound of gunshots strongly suggest that Ms. Bhutto didn’t die by hitting her head on a lever of her car’s sunroof during the attack, as Pakistan government spokespersons have claimed in a stab of almost Duck Soup-like surrealism. The N.Y. Times reports that yesterday Pakistani newspapers “covered their front pages with photographs showing a man apparently pointing a gun at her from just yards away. ”
Bill Clinton talked up Mike Huckabee a day or two ago in Sergeant Bluffs, Iowa, and said he wasn’t surprised by Huckabee’s rise. He “seems to be the only one who can give a speech, tell a story, or tell a joke,” Clinton said. “It’s pretty dour crowd on the other side, and Mike’s pretty funny.”
In other words, the electoral Dating Game principle — the standard that gave us two terms of George Bush — is alive and thriving. Give us a president we can enjoy having a beer with, and who excues personal charm and can make us laugh. This doesn’t explain Hillary Clinton‘s popularity, I realize.
What do we do with this? We think we’ve got a really good film here and we’re dead with the leave-us-aloners, just like with every other sand movie. What other options do we have? The lifestyle-holics don’t want to know about anything remotely connected to Iraq. It’s a settled issue and the paying public is a bunch of ADD iPhone escapist junkies. Don’t want to be a pessimist but we’re screwed, we’re toast and there’s no way out. Or is there?
Wait…can we get some traction by selling it as a Ryan Phillipe-Abbie Cornish love story that spilled over into real life? Naah, people will see through that. If anything, the Reese Witherspoon fans (the ones who’re loving the Legally Blonde musical) will turn their backs out of loyalty.
This really isn’t fair, dammit. Kimberly Peirce finally gets a movie made and released seven and a half years after Boys Don’t Cry and the public…this is depressing. Why did we get into this business? To make a lot of money, I know, but some of us care about making good films that we’ll be proud of 20 years later. Goddam Rubeville, Redville…whatever. You sweat blood and pour out your heart and they turn around and make a huge hit out of National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Let’s all move to France. No, we have to fight for our movie. We have just under three months to try and fix this. We need a miracle….help.
Wait, should we say “eye-rack” now? My assistant told me she read that the rubes don’t like to say “eehr-rahq.” We don’t want to do anything to offend anyone. Eye-rack, eye-rack, eye-rack.