It’s obvious that Jack Pettibone Riccobono‘s The Seventh Fire, a doc about to screen at the Berlinale, is a cut above. Boilerplate: “A portrait of gang life in rural Minnesota as seen through the eyes of two Native American gangsters — a veteran bad guy named Rob Brown and a 17 year-old up-and-comer named Kevin.” Cinematography by Riccobono and Shane Slattery-Quintanilla. “Presented” by Terrence Malick and produced by too many people to mention, but Chris Eyre and Natalie Portman are among them. Original Music by Nicholas Britell.
I’ve okay with Steve Carell, but I’ve never been a huge fan…no offense. He seemed like a nice enough guy during last night’s Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute, which was moderated by Pete Hammond, but it was obvious that the crowd felt a lot more enthusiastic than I did. They seemed completely delighted with everything he said…with themselves for being in his presence. I recognize that Carell is a gifted, “funny” guy but I’ve never found him all that amusing…sorry. He mugs too hard or something. I hated Evan Almighty, his Noah movie. I thought that the chest-hair-removal scene from 40 Year-old Virgin was a so-whatter. I actually respected Carell’s performance as Toni Collette‘s mean-spirited boyfriend in The Way Way Back and he did make something exceptional out of diseased ruling-class malevolence in Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher, but the only Carell performance I’ve really and truly been delighted with was his nearly-suicidal gay professor in Little Miss Sunshine.
I attended the Carell after-party for five or ten minutes but I left early before he showed in order to join Scott Feinberg for dinner. What would I have said to Carell anyway? “Hey, Steve….Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere. I’m the one who was comparing you to a slow-running wildebeest before you got nominated for Best Actor. I wasn’t trying to be cruel or unfair…it just came out that way. You did a good job in Foxcatcher and I loved the nose, but honestly? I think your slot should have gone to Nightcrawler‘s Jake Gyllenhaal or Locke‘s Tom Hardy…no offense.”
Except I wouldn’t have said that. I just would have just smiled and offered the usual sheepish pleasantries and maybe asked him about his next dramatic role, etc.
Boyhood costars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were honored the night before last (i.e., Thursday) by the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival. An elegant interview was conducted by festival director Roger Durling, running only about 100 minutes or so. Sophisticated patter start to finish, but we tend to pay the closest attention to the stand-out, tabloidy moments in these interviews, and Durling uncorked one when he alluded to an issue about Arquette’s weight gain over the last few years. It seems that some years ago one of the producers of Arquette’s hit series Medium had asked her to drop a few pounds, and she not only refused but got militant about it. She explained to Durling that a request of that sort was completely inappropriate. In other words, she had decided to abandon that super-hottie thing she had going in the ’90s.
Patricia Arquette and her towering boyfriend, painter Eric White, prior to Thursday night’s Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute.
Arquette explained to a Telegraph interviewer a year ago that “you don’t have to buy your mate’s fidelity by looking a certain way…if you’re really in it for the long haul, ten pounds isn’t going to make — shouldn’t make — a world of difference.” I don’t know how to put this gently but nobody in the world welcomes a mate putting on weight…no one. Plus the 46 year-old Arquette has gained a bit more than ten pounds since her performances in Flirting With Disaster and Lost Highway. I’m sure I’ll be derided for saying this, but she’s become, no offense, a woman of somewhat ample proportions. It happens to short women in their 40s unless they become workout Nazis, and Arquette, it seems, doesn’t care to go there.