January 30, 2006

Go, Amy, Go!

Last night I dreamt that I was on a Survivor-like competition show and would win $1 million if I agreed to have a live cockroach placed on my nose while I bounced a soccer ball on my knee. I agonized over this decision and finally opted not to do it because I could not let a cockroach perch near my facial orifices.

I woke up and gave it some more thought. I mean, $1 million would be excellent. I think I might just have to face my phobia of cockroaches. It'd be pretty hard, though. Yeah, I don't know if I could do it. In my dream, I remember plotting to be somehow drugged beforehand so I wouldn't be aware of what was happening, but that was forbidden in the competition so I was afraid to risk it.

I watched Junebug yesterday, and it was excellent. Amy Adams really deserves the recognition she's been getting, and I loved the little impromptu a cappella version of "Softly and Tenderly." Alessandro Nivola has always squicked me out a little bit, as does anyone associated with the humongous squickfest that was Laurel Canyon (except for Frances McDormand and Christan Bale) and honestly he still kind of does, but he sure does have a beautiful voice, and I surely do love that song. I think it might be the most beautiful hymn of all time. Anyway, I thought this movie was interesting because it shows really well how really good people can do shitty things and still be good people and still love each other even while really hurting each other and finding a way through that. Of course, most of these are really repressed people so it's not really done in a healthy or functional way, but that's part of what makes the movie so real and so good. Ryan Atwood was hardly recognizable as the mean and mulletty Johnny, and Embeth Davitz, while alarmingly thin, really gave a rich and nuanced performance. And the performances are really strong all-around, even the tiny little moments, like when the mom, Peg, watches George singing "Softly and Tenderly" and she starts to kind of mouth the words while her eyes are FILLING with tears and I was like, damn. People who can really act really astound me with their talent sometimes. There was one aspect of the film that I found rang a bit untrue, but I don't want to explain it or it will be a big old spoiler. So, yeah. You should rent this movie. It's mighty fine.

I was disappointed to see Amy Adams lose at the SAG awards last night to Rachel Weisz, because she really is just so good in Junebug that it's unbelievable. I think Weisz is gorgeous and was really good in The Constant Gardener, but it was in no way the revelatory, breakthrough kind of performance that Adams had in Junebug. We watched The Constant Gardener this weekend, and while it's a "good" movie, I mean, whoa. What a downer. I'd recommend it on the basis of being interesting and well done, but I can't in good conscience recommend it on the whole because it just kind of makes a person want to lie down and die. Sorry. Also, some of it was pretty confusing. But again -- no disrespect to Rachel Weisz, who is (a) a good actress and (b) hot.

Am I the only person who wept during the Shirley Temple Black tribute on the SAG awards? When I was a very little girl, I would wake up long before anyone else in my family did. I would play in our living room, which is now our dining room, with all sorts of old glass bottles and decanters that my mom had. I would pretend to be having little dinner parties with my barbies and I'd pretend to be rich. When I wasn't doing that, I was sitting in front of the television waiting for the test pattern to flip to actual programming, and at that time, all I can remember being on is old Star Trek reruns and Shirley Temple movies, both of which I watched faithfully. I don't remember the Star Trek stuff very well because I stopped watching it after being terrified to death by an episode when everyone turned to stone, or became motionless, or something. Crap, that was scary. But I watched Shirley Temple movies constantly, and I loved her so much. I'd forgotten. It seemed like the crowd genuinely adored her last night, and it's easy to see why. She is awesome.

What else? We ate at the Asian Pacific Cafe on Esplanade on Friday night, painted our parade costumes on Saturday, and ate at Dante's on Sunday morning, where the grits continued to slay me with their unbeatableness. The painting was an adventure to be sure. Sometimes I forget that I am old until I sit, kneel, and lie in very unnatural positions on a hardwood floor for nearly four hours trying to paint a costume. I swear to God that I could barely walk when we left. I'm excited about the parade, though. Tonight I painted the back of the costume while Shelley read me passages from Tao Te Ching. It was both enlightening and amusing somehow.

I'm looking forward to the announcement of the Oscar nominations tomorrow morning. I'd be happy to see Junebug get some recognition now that I'm in love with it. I suppose I'll churn out the old nominations entry sometime later this week. It's kind of a crazy week ahead, in terms of assembling favors for a baby shower I'm hosting, dinner with a friend whose dad just died, dinner with my parents who want some "alone time" with me, painting another coat or two or my costume, trying to get to the gym, and trying to finish some pretty big projects at work. But clearly none of that is more important than whether Felicity Huffman or Amy Adams gets nominated. I mean, really.

:::

About this time in ...

2005

1/26:

And even knowing now how it all turns out, watching the slow walk up the staircase always brings me back to how I felt the first time I saw it and how I was tied completely up in knots in the theater, holding my knees up to my chest and squeezing them, practically writhing in anticipation.

1/25:

I have loved him since Lean on Me. That's right. Free Mr. Clark! Goddamn.

2004

1/30:

I quickly gave up trying to keep track of the dates and ages and impossibilities of the time travel aspects, and I think if you are able to let that go and just relax into the story, it's a good one.

1/29:

Goodbye, pee-stained, fur-trapping white berber carpet; I will not miss you one tiny bit.

1/27:

I thought it was technically and artistically and emotionally perfect and a film that never met someone who didn't really love it for his or her personal reasons.

1/26:

I mean, Top Gun is just a part of everyone (even you, don't deny it!) and Jerry Maguire is just charming (in large thanks to the supporting cast and Cameron Crowe), but my God, after the sheer horror of Vanilla Sky and this fakery with Lipton? Bad taste. BAD TASTE IN MY MOUTH. Cannot abide him.


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