Daily Beast contributor Michael Musto has chatted with an “anonymous Oscar voter” about likes and dislikes among the nominees. Whenever these articles run (The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg started the trend), people always call the Oscar voter in question a muttonhead, a barbarian, a fool or an old fart, etc. Musto himself says the guy he spoke to “deserves an award for the surprising things he had to say” — surprising as in clueless or idiotic. You can tell the voter is long of tooth because he doesn’t recognize that Justin Hurwitz‘s La La Land score is quite good and hummable, and because he references Singin’ In The Rain. At least he has his own views and isn’t asking his secretary or housekeeper to tell him which names to fill in, etc. I for one completely agree with the guy about Toni Erdmann and The Salesman.
If somehow Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump could actually switch jobs, I for one would be delighted. Who wouldn’t? During his tenure as California governor Schwarzenegger showed himself to be a sensible, practical, non-crazy Republican. Was he as good for the state as Jerry Brown? No, but if I could install A.S. in the White House by clapping three times, I would definitely do that.
“…but not everyone prints them in a book.” — Ochan Powell speaking about husband William, author of “The Anarchist Cookbook,” in Charlie Siskel‘s American Anarchist:
From Jessica Kiang‘s 9.11.16 Variety review:
“In 1970, at 19 years of age, William Powell wrote the infamous bomb-making manual and anti-authoritarian tract ‘The Anarchist Cookbook‘, and in his compelling but ultimately sanctimonious documentary American Anarchist, director Charlie Siskel insists that Powell repeatedly berate himself for it.
“What starts out as a potted political history of a turbulent time and a righteously confrontational investigation into intentionality and personal moral culpability for the actions of others (and whether such things have a statute of limitations) turns into a self-righteously insistent harangue that leaves an especially sour taste in light of Powell’s sudden passing in July, just a few months after these interviews were filmed.
The ultimate heat-generating, blogaroo-friendly, 10-day award-season gathering kicks off tonight —
Nick the Gr…sorry, Roger Durling‘s Santa Barbara Film Festival. Tonight’s opening event (kicking off at 8 pm) is a Modern Master award tribute for Denzel Washington, whose recent SAG win suggested that Casey Affleck‘s fait accompli Best Actor Oscar might not be a fait accoimpli.
Could Denzel snatch it? I kinda doubt it but maybe. I suspect the SAG thing was an anomaly, but you tell me.
Hollywood Elsewhere drove up yesterday via the scenic coastal route, which took 150 minutes or so but was well worth it. I’m bunking in room #236 at the Fess Parker Doubletree, and incidentally coping with a cold — Vitamin C carpet bombing, antihistamines, Alka Seltzer daytime, Vitamin B-12 shot at 5 pm.
As predicted, as expected, a certain needling presence in the HE realm has called out yesterday’s Moonlight riff (“Moonlight in the Ozarks“) for stating that a big part of Moonlight‘s success with critics and industry types is that it’s black and gay, and that it wouldn’t have done half as well if it had been about some rural gay kid from the Ozarks. The needling presence accused me of expressing myself in a racially incorrect manner. Here’s my reply, sent a few minutes ago:
Do you keep a hickory stick at home to beat people like me with…you know, people who don’t get it the way you do?
You know that Moonlight, which I’ve admired all along as far as it goes, would be considered a marginal film at best, and certainly not a Best Picture contender, if the lead protagonist was a gay white-trash kid/teen/older guy from the Ozarks. You know this and you lie all the same.
You know that a certain carte blanche NY & LA p.c. mindset exists regarding any and all black, gay, lesbian, transgender, fat-shamed or Native-American characters in movies. You know it, and yet you lie and try to give me grief because I speak plainly and frankly about these matters rather than put on my p.c. ballet shoes and tippy-toe around them.
Moonlight is very good for what it is, but it’s on the slight side. It really is — it’s not a full-boat movie as much as a sketch, a concept, a less-is-more exercise. It’s one of those films that feels like a short story and expands when you think back on it (which, granted, is always a mark of something exceptional or at least rooted) but there’s still not a whole lot of “there” there.
Journalist pal #1 (who’s gay): “I hated it.” Journalist pal #2 (who’s straight): “It’s not gay enough.”
The early life of a “soft” kid, Chiron (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders), who’s lonely, scared and huddled, is influenced by two factors — a kindly local drug dealer (Mahershala Ali) who briefly provides some much-needed paternal attention and affection, and in his mid teens by a kid (Jharrel Jerome) whom Charon is drawn to and who winds up giving the teenaged Charon (i.e., Sanders) a life-altering handjob on the beach.