I might watch The Family some day on Netflix, conceivably, but absolutely no worries if I don’t.
Real Italian ice as opposed to the corporate slop they’re selling in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
It’s generally agreed that Nashville (’75) is one of Robert Altman‘s three best films, the other two being M.A.S.H. (’69) and The Player (’92). (In my eyes Altman’s golden six are these three plus California Split, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye.) Nashville is also regarded as a cornerstone of ’70s cinema, and yet for some odd reason I’ve never seen it since catching it at the Carnegie Hall Cinema in ’79 or thereabouts. There’s a reason for that but what? When I think of the film four bits always come to mind — Henry Gibson singing “Two Hundred Years,” Jeff Goldblum tooling around on a three-wheeled motorcycle, Keith Carradine singing “I’m Easy” and whatsername getting shot in the end. In any event I’m ripe for a re-viewing when the Criterion Bluray streets in early December.
Denis Villenueve‘s Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9.20) “has been a little over-hyped by critics,” I wrote on 8.31 from Telluride. “Don’t get me wrong — this is a moody, meandering, well-crafted thriller by a director who’s obviously a cut or two above the norm. It’s anything but standard issue. Set in the grimmest, coldest, rainiest part of Bumblefuck, Pennsylvania, the story (written by Aaron Guzikowski) is about the kidnapping of two young girls and the efforts of a lone-wolf cop (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the girls’ vigilante-minded dads (Hugh Jackman and to a lesser extent Terrence Howard) to find them. Not in synch, of course.
Every year a Hollywood Foreign Press Association committee decides that this or that award-quality film should be categorized as a comedy or musical. Their calls are sometimes bizarre, to put it mildly. A story by Hollywood Reporter award-season columnist Scott Feinberg says that Blue Jasmine, for example, will end up in a Musical/Comedy slot because it costars “funnymen” Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay. This for a film that is clearly modelled upon and in many ways resembles A Streetcar Named Desire, one of the great dramatic tragedies of the 20th Century.
Feinberg also foresees the HFPA labelling Before Midnight, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and Philomena as comedies — the standard apparently being that if characters in the above films say anything snippy or snarky or sardonic or smartly allusive (which they do on occasion)…anything that results in a slight chortle or guffaw during a screening…they’re comedic. June Squibb briefly flashes her privates in Nebraska? It’s a comedy. The snooty Steve Coogan makes a few smart cracks at Judy Dench‘s expense in Philomena? It’s a laugh riot. I’ve at least agreed with the HFPA in one respect — Joel and Ethan Coen‘s A Serious Man (’09) is definitely a comedy.