Sunday, February 22, 2009

Awards, Pomp, & Circumstance

I love the Awards. I love the beautiful dresses, and the pageantry, and the happiness of the people who win. I love movies. I love everything from silents to stupid comedies like Super Bad to tear-jerkers like Benjamin Button. Maybe it's because some of my happiest childhood memories involve going to movies with my mom and grandma, I don't know. I remember seeing Doctor Zhivago, Gone With the Wind, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Rocky, Jaws, all at the now long-defunct pleasure domes the Capri and Capitol Theaters in Ottumwa, Iowa. So, so much fun.

At any rate, I devour movies, watching at least two a week. I’m a movie junkie. If I like something, i’ll watch it over and over. (Just lately, it’s been Memoirs of a Geisha.) I almost never dislike a movie. I have the ability to suspend disbelief and enter into the spirit of the thing, something I can also do with literature but can't do at all in real life. I almost always like the actors, too. Actually, I suspect all the hate-on for Cruise and Pitt is largely the ol’ green-eyed monster. Cruise is at least underrated and Pitt is excellent.

Really, I don’t understand this need for everything to be Le Plus Bon Grande High Fucking Holy Hoity Toity Beaux Artes all the time. What’s wrong with just letting go and getting into a story?

There are people who would have you believe that all they ever read is Tolstoy and Pynchon. We know you’re secretly reading that Dean Koontz novel. You stayed up all night just last week to finish that Jennifer Cruisie story, too, didn’t you? S’okay, we understand.


  1. I do actually find Cruise to be annoying (too self-absorbed, too manic), but yeah you're right, he's still a pretty good actor. Pitt's even better.

    You're right that it's actually pretty moving to see the actors and actresses and producers and directors and musicians etc. etc. get up there and thank everyone. Gratitude is really a nice thing. And they seem so happy. I thought it was great that Penn put himself out there as usual and spoke his mind. I like that guy and think he's great as an actor and underrated as an activist. I also like how the awards connect the attendees and awardees not only with the industry, but with a sort of tradition. I think that's pretty powerful.

    Yeah, sometimes people get too snobbish about movies. I do too. I kinda hate TV and sometimes get on my GF about it too much, because she likes TV.

  2. I'll admit I'm a terrible snob about T.V. I haven't had cable in years and am quite proud of the fact that almost the only thing we watch is PBS. I love This Old House and New Yankee Workshop and all the cooking and travel shows. Other than that, I watch virtually no T.V. anymore.

    Except . . . every now and then I'll go on a court t.v. binge. (I actually had a friend who appeared on Judge Judy. She won her case!) We used to watch the original CSI. I used to follow Survivor, and loved the teen shows Roswell, Buffy, and One Tree Hill. And every now and then, to my everlasting shame, I watch Dr. Phil. I used to watch the soaps, and still think General Hospital is a work of art. It was funny and campy and you could enjoy it on several levels. Tony Geary is to thank for a lot of that.

    I think I like Tom Cruise because I kind of feel sorry for him. I read an interview once, long ago, in which he was talking about his youth and I sort of read through the lines and got the impression that he had an awful childhood and has been trying to overcome it ever since. Hence his daredevil flying and doing his own stunts. This is dimestore pop psych, of course, but it goes a long way to explaining Cruise, I think.

    I'm pretty eclectic in re what sort of movies or books I like. When I was younger I read a lot of English literature not for classes but simply because I loved it. Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Barry Lyndon . . . loved them all. I like critic-approved novels but at the same time, I've rarely read a Stephen King novel that I didn't enjoy.

    Sean Penn is an amazing actor. I've been paying attention ever since the wonderful Falcon and the Snowman, way back in the 80s. Even his Fast Times role, for which he will eternally be known, was a work of art. Which is, of course, why it endures.