Monday, March 8, 2010

Congratulations Oscar & Spirit Awardees!

OK, I know this is kinda lazy, but I'm just re-running my article from last November when I talked about Precious (YAY Mo-Nique has an Oscar!) and Anvil (YAY Anvil won Best Documentary at the Independant Spirit Awards!). I'm having a bit of a gloat over my predictions, but also really think you should see these marvels if you haven't yet. I would write something about Kathryn Bigelow winning the first Oscar for Best Director by a Woman, but that seems so ridiculous (Waaaay overdue ... are there really still gender considerations in these matters? Absurd.) that it needs no further attention, in my book (blog).

Heartfelt Congratulations to everyone involved ... it's not easy to get your stories told, but you did, and you excelled! CHEERS!

*Oh, and James Cameron ... Avatar ruled. But you know that.

(From November 12, 2009)

I love this time of year. Yes, for the subtle California seasonal changes - the golden afternoon light, the need for a sweater at night, the smell of fireplaces burning around town ... but the real way you know the seasons have shifted in Los Angeles is by the GOOD movies finally coming out. I don't really like it that they save all the good ones until now so that they can be fresh in Award Season voters' minds - spread it out a LITTLE! - but it's just the way it is, so now is the time to be ensconced in a dark theater ... if you can't be at the beach that day, that is.

Yesterday was an especially trying day for some reason, and I don't think anything is in retrograde? Technical difficulties all week;

{Dear Verizon High Speed Internet Customer Service: You can suck it. And by It, I mean the yawning abyss left empty by the vanishing of my business. Losers. Bye. CJG}

... delays of all kinds; rejection letters; a three day headache; and general disillusionment. I'd finally had it with trying for the day, and went to the movies to escape it all. We were going to see the new Coen Brothers' film - because one must - but only front row seats remained. Precious: Based On The Novel "Push" By Sapphire was starting at the same time, and it was also high on my list. WHOA.
If I thought I had even ONE problem before seeing this astounding film ... it all dissipated about three minutes into entering the life of Clarice "Precious" Jones. The things that she endures are so horrifying ... we were shaking with held-back sobs at one awful point ... but she keeps going. The spirit inside of this 16 year old girl is so strong, I was instantly ashamed at myself for thinking I'd had an inkling of a bad day. The performances by absolutely everyone are so honest and touching - and EVIL, in the case of Mo'Nique (who I'm telling you, will win an Oscar) - that you are firmly in their world for every frame.
Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey each play small, but important roles, and excel. (Mariah Carey! Acting well!) But the lead performances, for sure Mo'Nique, but also Gabourey Sidibe as Precious, will just tear your heart out. I left the theater, first shaking my head and wiping my face of tears, but then skipping and clicking my heels that the cards I've been dealt have not ever come near the absolute trauma of this titan of a girl. Who keeps going forward no matter what happens. The movie ends with the dedication, "For Precious Girls Everywhere ..." - and that's about the roughest part of the movie - realizing that these scenarios DO exist. We could all do well to remember that ... all the time. That even though stuff happens that shakes your head up and ruins your day, it could always be so, so, so much worse.

Don't shy away from this movie because you think it will be too sad, either. It's actually laugh out loud funny in a few parts ... but inspiring all the way through. Go.

On another movie note ... I like when you go to Netflix and there's the little section that says "Local Favorites For Venice, CA". I always find it kind of reassuring to see the ones that people whom I live around watch - decent movies. What an interesting way to check out demographics. I'd be interested to know what other areas have in that section ...

That's how I first heard about the one I watched the other night, Anvil. What a great documentary! It's great for how METAL it is (Anvil is a metal band from the 80's that never blew up, but the guys are still going for it up in Canada, hoping they'll still break through and be huge.), but also for, again, how really inspiring it is. (It would be a swell double feature with American Movie - similar dreams, equally touching). Though it seems unlikely that these rockers, now in their 50's, will ever be massive (you do find yourself wanting to order their cd's just to help), they love what they do, their families support their dreams, and they never give up hope. And isn't that what it's all about?

View, reflect, and count your blessings.

No comments:

Post a Comment