Politics, Technology, and Language

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No award for old men?

Posted by metaphorical on 24 February 2008

In the run up to the Academy Awards, Knowledge News has a nice article, “Oscar’s Biggest Snubs” (thanks Claire, for the link), describing how some of Hollywood’s best films didn’t even win best-picture in the year they were released.

Citizen Kane, often cited as the greatest movie of all time, tops the list, and two of my favorite movies ever are there as well, Chinatown, and Double Indemnity. Singin’ in the Rain, not one of my favorite movies, but surely touched by greatness, and Some Like It Hot, round out the list. There’s also an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, surely the most underawarded director in Academy history.

Singin’ in the Rain apparently lost out to The Greatest Show on Earth. Now that’s a movie that I could watch over and over again, but it’s hard to see it as better than one of a few score movies that people will remember for the next fifty years.

Hollywood has always confused entertainment with greatness, and it’s always fun to see that tension play out as the Academy votes each year. Oddly, they struggled in reverse with Hitchcock—voters obviously thought of movies like Rear Window and Psycho as throw-away entertainment, when in fact we now see their lasting value and Hitchcock as one of the great auteurs of all time.

Which brings us to this year. Of the five nominees, there’s no obvious winner, though a couple will be memorable for a long time and none of them is really disposable entertainment. (The official list is here, but you have to like ImdB’s for its linkability.)

Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

We can cross There Will Be Blood off the list right away. It’s a mess of a movie, structurally unsound, poorly plotted, and with absolutely no likeable characters. It’s hard to even see how it even got nominated, except for Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance.

Michael Clayton is a terrific movie, but not the kind that normally emerges as Best Picture. For one thing, it has no actual point, other than revenge is sweet and, at least in Hollywood, the smartest guy sometimes wins. It puts wit and charm in an action movie, but, frankly, that was true of Sneakers and The Italian Job, and no one ever nominated them for Oscars.

No Country for Old Men is a strong contender, because it captures a lot of mind-share as possibly the best-ever for its genre, which is that of Gruesome Thoughtful-Action Movie, a specialty of the Coen brothers. Unforgiven was in that genre, and did well its year, as did Fargo. The comparisons are limited, in that each of those movies had characters more likeable than Tommy Lee Jones’s. On the other hand, there’s a growing recognition of the auteur quality to the Coen oeuvre.

Juno is the kind of small picture that can, in these post-Little-Miss-Sunshine days, easily get nominated, but perhaps never win. It does have the merits of actual themes, a plot, a point of view, and funky believable characters, the central one of which has just the sort of change that a leading lady, even one of 16, is supposed to undergo. In other words, it’s a classic movie, and those are in somewhat short supply this year.

Even more interestingly, the central character in Atonement is likewise transformed and then, as the characters who inspired it die off, reverts to her earlier self. That’s a remarkably difficult message for Hollywood to deliver, and Atonement succeeds against all odds. Combine that with the luminous development of two characters we give our hearts to in the first part of the movie, and the radically different cinematography in the front and back halves, either of which probably deserves an award in that category, and I would have to pick this as my favorite movie of the year, and the one I’d like to see win the Best Picture award.

Some other quick picks:

Best Actor – I only saw two of the nominated performances, so I don’t get a vote. If anyone beats Daniel Day-Lewis, though, I will have to run out and see that movie.

Best Actress – I only saw one performance here. Normally that wouldn’t matter, because it was Ellen Page’s, and you ask yourself, is anyone good enough to beat that? Unfortunately, when the category includes Cate Blanchett and Julie Christie, the answer is yes.

Best Supporting Actor – the three performances I saw, Javier Bardem, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tom Wilkinson, were pretty amazing. Even more astonishing, though, is that Casey Affleck is nominated for something that’s presumably even better than he was in Gone Baby Gone. Personally, I hope Javier Bardem wins, because we’ll see Philip Seymour Hoffman get nominated a bunch more times, while this was Bardem’s role of a lifetime.

Best Supporting Actress – I saw four of the performances. Ruby Dee might get it, for sentimental reasons. I hope not, because it just wasn’t that memorable a role, certainly not compared to Saoirse Ronan’s, or Amy Ryan’s. Again, the missing performance is Cate Blanchett, so anything could happen here. I’m rooting for the kid.

Adapted Screenplay – I missed two of these films, unfortunately. I just hope and trust that There Will Be Blood doesn’t win, because most of its problems as a movie, not the least of which is an ending that’s both totally inevitable and completely unsatisfying, could have been fixed at the screenplay level.

Original Screenplay – I only saw two nominees, but I hope Juno gets it. It is, truly, original, in its story and its characters, in all the best ways. As a budding screenwriter, I am in awe of the writing in movies like Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, and Juno.

Update:

Well, most of the awards I cared most about fell where I wanted them to. In many cases, I didn’t see the winner’s work, so I can’t judge how smartly the Academy vote.

One exception to that was Tilda Swinton, who won best supporting actress; it was a great little part, played with greatness, sure, but it was a little part, and surely any number of actresses would have done just as well. I thought none of that was true of Saoirse Ronan’s performance.

We actually have the DVD of “La Vie en Rose” in the house, I’m eager to see Marion Cotillard’s performance. She looked and sounded pretty damned good.

I’m disappointed that Atonement didn’t win Best Picture, but I’m happy that the Coen brothers won for directing. Similarly that There Will Be Blood won for cinematography; whatever that’s pictures flaws were, there were none at the level of images on the screen.

On the plus side, Javier Bardem won his gold, and gave a great speech.

Best of all, Juno won for original screenplay.

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30 Responses to “No award for old men?”

  1. Emily said

    I’m surprised to hear you haven’t seen “Away From Her”; it strikes me as one you’d appreciate. It’s flawed — I thought Olympia Dukakis in particular broke the mood (which, admittedly, is part of what she was supposed to do). But overall I found the film incredibly atmospheric and quite moving. Julie Christie’s performance is so understated and natural, you hardly notice just how extraordinarily good it is. I’m rooting for her this year, despite how much I love Cate Blanchett in anything.

  2. The summary description for Away From Her kind of creeps me out, though often that happens and the movie is fine. But I’m also a — what’s the word for the opposite of a fan? I’m one of those for Dukakis. I thought she was the only blemish in the otherwise ethereally pure complexion of Moonstruck, and while Steel Magnolias would be pretty bad even without her, her godawful acting kicks it into a whole new level of unwatchability.

    Still, I’ll get around to it. I mean, come on, it’s Julie Christie.

  3. ClaireDePlume said

    I’ve not seen ONE of the nominated movies so I’ll not speak to this year’s Oscars. But I do have thoughts about Olympia Dukakis and two films I did see…

    Steel Magnolias (based albeit loosely on a true story), bordered on mawkish. Dukakis played a character who “fit” with the film’s tone. Whether the audience found the film appealing is another story (I cannot STAND Fargo, but I seem to stand alone with that opinion – this would make me the “anti-fan” to that movie.)

    Dukakis was nominated for her role in Moonstruck. I appreciated her dry, convincingly Italian character. If you know any Italian mothers, hers was a plausible effort (and I LIKE her in that movie. But then I like that movie and she was an enjoyably integral part of the theme. I guess this makes me a fan.)

  4. And it doesn’t bother you, Claire, that she played the same Italian from New York in Steel Magnolias, albeit with a horrible Southern-accent overlay?

  5. ClaireDePlume said

    Oh fiddle-dee-dee Meta, it takes much more than a poor southern accent to bother poor little me.

    Acting is acting. The only time it has been woefully painful to watch for me was enduring Keanu Reeves’s foray into idiocy in “Dracula”. Reeves should have had the blood sucked out of his body long before he ever opened his mouth – not only in that film but all others before and ever after.

    Otherwise, a good screenplay will always withstand the slings and arrows of outrageously poor acting, accents and all.

  6. He was great in Parenthood.

  7. ClaireDePlume said

    If he (Reeves) was “great in Parenthood”, I don’t recall, although I am nearly certain I saw the film. It just wasn’t memorable for me.

    Perhaps this means there were no emotional high moments and no low ones either.

    In my opinion, Keanu Reeves recites lines and moves according to the blocking of his scenes. He doesn’t bring depth or audience identification to his roles. He’s as one critic once claimed of Paul Newman, “wooden”. But then if Newman was once wooden, he improved in memorable ways. Perhaps there’s hope for Mr. Reeves and I’ll remain receptive to any improvements he can muster.

    Until then, I remain unconvinced yet open. And for me, “open” means both sides of the coin – having an actor receive either his comeuppance or his recognition.

  8. Emily said

    Don’t worry, Dukakis has a fairly small role in “Away From Her”; it’s just jarring while it lasts. I was surprised by the movie after having read the summaries. The summaries weren’t wrong, but they emphasized the wrong things. For me more than anything else it was a character study of the husband — a selfish man who loves his wife — and a study of his and Julie Christie’s relationship as it changes. He loses his wife to Alzheimer’s and the brutality of institutional life, and he has to figure out who he is without her, and whether it’s possible to let go of his expectations without letting go of her completely. Meanwhile, the whole time, she’s there but not there, all at once. That’s my gloss, anyway.

    But on to Keanu Reeves: You’re right, he gave a marvellous performance in Parenthood, and I can’t figure that out because he’s sucked so bad in pretty much everything else I’ve ever seen him in that required acting. You think “Dracula” was his nadir (to date)? What about “Much Ado About Nothing”, my friend?

  9. Emily said

    Oh, and on the Oscars: Tilda Swinton’s award felt more like a nod to her in general, and they just happened to have this role to hang it on. I’m glad she got it, but I can think of half a dozen other roles she deserved it for more.

  10. Lo said

    Claire, Know-it-all-asshole, LIST all the Keanu movies you’ve seen, then talk.

  11. ClaireDePlume said

    Well lo and behold, there’s a dissenter in our midst. Try if you can to form an intelligent opinion and perhaps I’ll deem it worthy of a response.

  12. digglahhh said

    Just to throw out some more Oscar snubs…

    Do the Right Thing wasn’t even nominated – that was some horse shit. Spike boycotted the ceremony over that. Fun fact, generally acclaimed Uncle Tom, Will Smith, pulled some gangsta shit the year before and boycotted the Grammys because they wouldn’t televise the hip-hop award; he won that year. Yeah, Will fucking Smith!

    Anyway, the worst snub I ever saw was Julia Roberts (Erin Brocovich) winning over Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream). Yeah, I’m biased because Requiem might be my favorite movie of all time. Regardless, that’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen!

    Go ahead, psycho-analyze away. I’m fully aware of how disturbing it is that a movie most people would never even consider watching a second time competes for standing as my favorite movie of all time.

  13. Lo said

    In translation: Hasn’t seen anything but a couple of Keanu Reeves films so doesn’t know what to say, and is therefore stalling.

    You catch up on a few more films, instead of flaming sitting duck Keanu Reeves because it’s what everyone does, and then you will be awarded with a response you seem to think is worthy of you.

  14. Lo, how about you and I discuss it then, since I’m well acquainted with Keanu oeuvre. I warn you though, that if the insult:content ratio is what we’ve seen so far, I’m going to be tempted to just delete all your comments here.

    I thought he was very good in Parenthood and Bill & Ted, fine in Speed, Johnny Mnemonic and the Matrix movies, and okay in Point Break and The Replacements, to name a few of his better-known performances. None of them was much of a stretch for him.

    I thought there was some real acting in The Net and The Lake House (both underrated movies).

    Then there’s the disasters that were Dangerous Liaisons and A Walk In The Clouds. These are the movies from which, honestly, none of the above-named relative successes, in varying degrees, can recover you from.

    However, I also thought there are probably 50 actors in Hollywood who could have done a better job with The Net and at least that many who would have been memorable in The Lake House, which Reeves was not.

    Jack Nicholson had a string of fine movies and a few clunkers from which he needed to recover his career with an Oscar-worthy turn (just to get back on topic at least briefly) in Terms of Endearment. You can see Reeves has a much steeper hill to climb if he’s to remain any kind of star once his youthful grin and athleticism have left him. A serviceable but forgettable performance in The Lake House isn’t going to cut it.

    So let’s discuss it like men. Oh, and bonus points if it includes an apology to Claire.

  15. Lo said

    Where’s Claire then? What has she seen? Besides Dracula, where Gary Oldman apparently DIDN’T overact or suck, unlike Reeves?

    I have a feeling that you don’t quite get that it’s NOT NICE to bash someone out of habit just because every other dumbass who hasn’t seen most of his/her movies bashes him/her.I have a feeling you don’t quite get that saying someone should have his “blood sucked out before he opened his mouth” is a BAD thing, let alone pretty personal. So no, no apologize to Claire. I mean, are you kidding me?

    Talking about “stretching”, it seems that every time people like Keanu Reeves in something, it just happens to be in movies that don’t require ‘stretching’. Why don’t you read up on how much work The Matrix movies required for him and then get back to me. Why don’t you read up on how he was practically the only one who understood the meaning of the movies and the amount of dedication they required when they were in danger of almost not being made?

    And unlike many actors, Reeves has actually played MANY different characters in far more than stock ‘action’ flicks (which you seem to be insinuating with the ‘athleticism’ comment. What’s so bad about athleticism anyway? Why don’t you bash actors who haven’t been able to display it even when necessary?)

    I have a hard time understanding what was “disastrous” about sappy movies like Dangerous Liaisons (where he’s supposed to play a stupid sappy naive young man with no real effect on anyone- great choice to argue, by the way) and another with much of the same, such as A Walk in the Clouds. During DL, all I could personally think about was how miscast John Malkovich was, while the forgettable nature of Danceny pretty much did its job.

    And what on Earth is The Net?!
    Go look it up on the Internet Movie Database because it sure won’t be under Keanu’s page.

    There are movies out there that Keanu Reeves definitely was not good in. What needs to be said though is that I can claim the same for ANY ACTOR I have ever seen. So you listing two movies where he apparently put you off for life is a big joke. I can list more than two movies any actor including Reeves wasn’t good in, and then I can list far more where Reeves WAS good and/or great in (I for one keep in mind that ‘great’ is subjective, and that Reeves is usually WAY too idiosyncratic and way too understated to ever be on the same level many over-actors get praised for).

    Among those most overlooked are The Gift, The Matrix, Something’s Gotta Give, Prince of Pennsylvania, Scanner Darkly, Devil’s Advocate, and yes Parenthood and Bill and Ted where he wasn’t just playing ‘himself’ contrary to popular opinion. Not to mention that Reeves simply happens to be the designated sitting duck, and people that don’t know anything about him just assume it’s OKAY to bash him and say just about ANYTHING ridiculously insulting, and that no one will argue. Well, sorry but I’m afraid they need to reread their comments before they submit them next time.

  16. First of all, Claire didn’t call your beloved Reeves an asshole; that’s what you would be apologizing for, and no, I’m not kidding.

    It is odd that I remembered him as being in The Net when clearly he wasn’t. I guess I’m stuck saying I think, based on liking him in The Matrix, that I think he would have been good in that role.

    And I see as I peruse IMDb that we’ve both completely overlooked Chain Reaction, which I thought he was quite good in. It might be my favorite role of his, actually.

    So let’s now turn to your very provocative claim, I can list more than two movies any actor including Reeves wasn’t good in.

    Let’s keep in mind that these need to be movies where the actor’s performance actually turned you off to the actor as an actor, and not just bad movies that an actor got trapped in. Now tell me what what those movies are for the following. And I’m going to make it easy for you by generally avoiding the iconic great actors of the ages. No Spencer Tracy, no Fred Astaire, no Walter Huston, no Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda, nor Gregory Peck or John Garfield, no Anthony Hopkins, and certainly no Laurence Olivier. Here goes:

    . John Cusack

    . Jamie Fox

    . Tom Hanks

    . Denzel Washington

    . Dustin Hoffman

    . Gene Hackman

    . Clint Eastwood

    . Paul Newman

    Your assertion requires you to be able to do this for each of them, but just do three or four convincingly and I’ll happily concede the point.

  17. Lo said

    Yes why don’t we overlook Reeves, since you are such an expert on him, and concentrate on other actors, those which you are obviously not biased against?

    Let me guess, if it’s Keanu Reeves, there are performances that are so bad, they turned you off of the actor “as an actor” (he must have been pretty damn impressive to make such an impact on you in a puny, ridiculous role such as the one in Dangerous Liaisons, congrats Keanu!) but with other actors, it’s just poor things being “trapped in a role”. Do you not realize how transparently biased this is?

    Well, here’s the thing. I am not vindictive enough against any actor, unlike you and your pal here are against Keanu, who seems to bring you to an uncontrolable, frothing-at-the-mouth rage. Therefore, I think MOST actors, if they are worth squat of course, ARE indeed just “trapped” in crappy roles, uninspired, had a bad experience, or whatever. Then there are some actors who just don’t do it for me, but I’m not about to name them all cause that’s not the point of this. The point is this, people are assholes if they decide to just randomly bash someone with absolutely personal, hate-filled ‘ figures of speech’, but I’m sure you view Claire’s comments as being all in good fun on this nice little blog of yours.

    Now then,

    Tom Hanks- pretty damn bad in Da Vinci Code, but then that movie is crap, and therefore, a ‘trap’. He was as lame as one gets in Sleepless in Seattle, but then that movie was surely a “trap” of the cheesy-romantic variety. He also kinda over-acted in Private Ryan. Older than Keanu in 1988 but less impressive in Big than Keanu was in all of his 1988-made movies (oops! Minus Dangerous Liaisons! Just ATROCIOUS!!)
    Hanks was excellent in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, and I also liked him in Swept Away, so darn it, no putting-off-for-life thing.

    Jamie Foxx- God, Miami Vice much? I guess that was a “trap” of a totally-unnecessary-remake-of-80s-cheese variety. Hm, he was doing the predictable imitation-thing in Ray just like any other actor is ‘trapped’ to do in those silly biopics (except Joaquin Phoenix did it much better in Walk the Line). I liked him in Collateral though. Didn’t see anything else.

    John Cusack- well, Serendipity was far more sappy and charmless (and with less time travel) than The Lake House, so I’m gonna have to disagree with you about Keanu’s charmlessness in said film since I thought he quite brought the goods in comparison with Cusack here. But again, sappy movie ‘trap’. Cusack, too, was far less impressive in his brat pack days back when Reeves was quite good in River’s Edge and pretty impressive in Prince of Pennsylvania. 1408? I admit I didn’t expect much from that movie, but he was so meh, that even not expecting anything left me pretty unimpressed. LOVED him in Being JM, and High Fidelity was pretty cool, though!

    Dustin Hoffmann- see, this is a BAD idea. He is the type of over-the-top actor that would chew scenery even if put side by side Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman (not bashing Pacino though, not THAT crazy, this deluded Keanu fan!) I still remember watching Death of a Salesman in 8th grade, and having the entire class giggle embarrassedly at his ‘breakdown’. Hook was horrible, but that movie was so bad it is worse than a mere “trap” for just about anyone. Incidentally, in 9th grade we got stuck watching Little Big Man, and man, I don’t even remember him in it.

    I can name you a few other actors not on your list that I find simply not ‘all that’ in many roles, despite being showered with praise and Oscar gold for them. Nicholson was not that great in As Good As It Gets, Robin Williams was smarmy and one-note in Dead Poets Society, and Kevin Costner has an Oscar but he’s pretty much the definition of ‘wooden’, yet I’m sure none of these performances are apparently as atrocious as Keanu Reeves knows how to give, and be bashed for accordingly.

    Hackman, Eastwood, Newman- This is ridiculous. I didn’t CALL Reeves a “Newman” or a “Hackman” (but he held his own in Replacements) or even an “Eastwood” who, while something of a stereotype actor himself, has awesome directing credits- a field Reeves hasn’t even showed interest in yet. Your insinuation that a mere defense of someone who constantly gets unfairly trashed can only be done by a psycho worshipper is pretty offensive.
    Now, just to be fair, here are movies in which Keanu Reeves was bad or unimpressive:

    Point Break- there were no ‘dudes’ or ‘whoas’ uttered, but his speech patterns, though not through the whole movie, were so bad on a few line readings that it makes me question the sanity of Ms. Bigelow for leaving them in. Or maybe, darn it, he’s just too dumb to get it right even after 200th take!

    Hardball- points for trying, but completely off the mark. Not an interesting interpretation, and certainly not endearing, if that was what he was going for.

    Much Ado About Nothing- oh, wait, what, WOW! I DIDN’T leave Denzel Washington out by mistake after all! Majorly unimpressive performance by EVERYONE except Emma Thompson, who comes out smelling like a rose in an otherwise really silly movie.

    But once again, this is just about Reeves, and how sometimes, as hard as it may be, one should just leave out the insane VENOM when talking about him, because he doesn’t deserve it.

  18. Lo said

    And it took me a while, but yes, that would be Cast Away, not Swept Away, lest we get into the acting merits of Madonna and how much she kicks Keanu’s ass in that department.

  19. Lo, thanks for not giving a single example of what you claimed was universally true. Just to save you from having to scroll through your interesting but completely irrelevant response, it was this I can list more than two movies any actor including Reeves wasn’t good in.

    You needed, just to summarize, to name at least three roles for every actor under consideration in which his performance was bad in a way that made you think less of him as an actor. You did this for, hmmm…. let’s add up the subtotals here… zero actors. Nice work, and thanks for doing such a thorough job of proving yourself wrong.

  20. Lo, I’m a little puzzled whether you’re even reading what people are writing.

    For example, you wrote … The Lake House, so I’m gonna have to disagree with you about Keanu’s charmlessness in said film while I wrote that I thought Reeves did “some real acting” in it and that it was an underrated film.

  21. Lo said

    *test*, *test*?

    :D

  22. Lo said

    “Lo, thanks for not giving a single example of what you claimed was universally true. Just to save you from having to scroll through your interesting but completely irrelevant response, it was this I can list more than two movies any actor including Reeves wasn’t good in.”

    ?
    I *did* think less of them, I was unimpressed. Except not with a seething, venomous anger like you and buddy Claire do with Keanu Reeves. And not with one of those “Let’s see, do I hate this guy enough to blame it on him or on the ‘trap’?”
    Which, again, was the whole point of my posting. The point, once again, was Buddy Claire’s out of line comment about an actor she thinks she knows she can easily get away with just totally trashing.

    And I do hope you don’t think Reeves’ apparent atrociousness in DL and WITC that immediately makes people think “less of him” is “universally true”– (point to where I said that, please. Saying “I can claim” refers to my opinions). Because if you think that, you’re in for a bit of a reality check.

    ———————————————————–

    “while I wrote that I thought Reeves did “some real acting” in it and that it was an underrated film.”

    No, actually, you wrote: “at least that many who would have been memorable in The Lake House, which Reeves was not.”

    I called it charmlessness, but to me charm = memorable, and lack thereof, well, I hope I don’t have to spell out that one!

    Finally, my response was not ‘relevant’? My response(s) were defending Keanu Reeves, the guy you and buddy Claire have the irrational hatred towards, so I’m sure you would think ANY claim that there are people who actually like him and his acting is irrelevant. Or any claim that doesn’t end with “should have all his blood sucked out” is just plain “universally” untrue.
    You kind of just confessed you didn’t really read the Keanu parts because you keep attributing things to me that I didn’t say, and missing the point.

    Thanks for the open-minded nature of your ‘manly’ discussion.

  23. digglahhh said

    Holy shit!

    Well, I guess the conclusion to draw here is that Keanu’s agent is as good at agent-ing as Keanu is at acting.

    I’m sorry, I can’t take anybody seriously who says that his performance in Devil’s Advocate was anything but atrocious.

    Pairing him on the screen with Pacino was about as shrewd as throwing today’s rapper du jour on a track with Rakim – get ready to see the emperor naked! And, as you couldn’t fault Rakim for spitting a throw-away verse (assuming he’s ever written any), Pacino turned in a mediocre (by Pacino-standards) performance. Still, good ole’ Dogstar front-man, Keanu, looked terrible by comparison. How about using the same accent for the whole movie, buddy – that’s hardly the stuff of legendary thespians…

    Actually, Pacino gets a pass for kinda doing the same shit in every movie – he is very good at whatever that thing is though.

  24. ClaireDePlume said

    Yes, Digglahhh, Holy Shit. There’s no shortage of SHIT here is there?

    About Reeves’ filmography, of which I’ve seen approx. 30% of films he’s credited for. Matrix was interesting – the plot is an inventive SciFi romp into an altered state of reality while making a relevant comment about the world we currently acknowledge as “real”. All of this in spite of covering up overall stilted acting of key roles with hyperbolic special effects.

    Odd thing though, even in films he (Reeves) played in, I just seem to have blocked out his lack luster abilities. I thought, well, perhaps he’ll have an Oscar nomination. He did not. But, then there are always the Golden Globe Nominations… hmmm maybe another year.

    I have though root-caused my lack of resonance with his stilted, uncomfortable, all too geeky diction:

    “When he’s not filming, Reeves maintains an everpresent residence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.”
    ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

    Even Pacino, now a relevant contributor to the art of film, could not rescue Reeves from his mediocrity in “The Devil’s Advocate” and if asked about that movie, it is Pacino’s performance that is memorable. The rest was merely window dressing showcasing a dullard reminiscent of a talking tailor’s dummy. Much like Reeves’ fans.

    But there are far greater roles, far greater male actors, and far greater social commentaries as integral aspects of film we can discuss. It’s a shame to waste time with a bland facade of a person plying his wares for an obscenely extravagant wage in films. And it’s a sad testament to the viewing audience, what drivel will sell for when there are those who support – and actually fight for – mere mediocrity.

  25. ckage said

    Different strokes…

    For me, it’s hard to get how somebody doesn’t give Keanu credit for his performance in Devil’s Advocate, and even goes as far as to call it “atrocious”… It really sounds like a rather tendentious analysis of his work.

    But what I find even more peculiar is the tendency some display to immediately put themselves in an arrogant, culturally conceited position when confronted to different opinions, and resort to insulting the intelligence of those who do not follow the same tastes, as well as disrespecting and spitting on the work and persona of a particular individual.

    And before somebody compares this type of reaction to the annoyance Lo demonstrated: Lo came here to question a poster’s knowledge about a given theme, after being confronted not just with what she found where unfair appreciations of the subject, but also with… a veiled life threat to said subject.
    Given this, I really don’t know how one can expect for fans to have a diplomatic, reasonable response… Further more, I have the feeling people around here do not want fans to be reasonable: a subservient attitude seems to be what is expected here.

    Most fans are indeed accepting of different opinions, when they are stated as opinions and not masked as facts. Obviously, a somewhat rough dismissal tends to aggravate those that do hold a diverging point of view.

    Not that most of you seems particularly worried about not aggravating others: after all, the response was to equate these different opinions to “shit”, putting them down as mere products of desperate PR manoeuvre, and only fit of dull and weak minds, in an insults and exaggerations fest. All wrapped up in the dismissing, conceited stance that started all of this in the first place.

    Or I guess fans are yet to reach that far greater attitude where the thing to do is despise, diminish and disrespect what doesn’t meet our fancy.

  26. ClaireDePlume said

    “”what I find even more peculiar is the tendency some display to immediately put themselves in an arrogant, culturally conceited position when confronted to different opinions, and resort to insulting the intelligence of those who do not follow the same tastes…””

    Agreed.

    Share your comment with “Lo”.

  27. ckage said

    Yes, I’m sure Lo also threatened and spat on the work and personality of all the actors she numbered. She also equated anybody who didn’t agree with her, to “shit”.

  28. digglahhh said

    Pardon me for not re-reading everything if there was an explicit statement I missed, but how do we know “Lo” is a she?

    Anyway, I just think Keanu’s performance in DA was awful. Trust me, I have no bias in favor of high culture. Word to my Artie Lange CD collection. I appreciate a lot of what the cultural elite are fond of calling “shit,” or what ever the pretentious equivalent of such an insult is.

    I genuinely think Reeves is a very poor actor and that his performance in DA reflected that. No more, no less.

    Decue Bigalow (the first one), on the other hand – totally underrated!

  29. ckage said

    I say Lo is a she because I think I know her from other boards.

    And Bigalow? Underrated? OK. So we’re definitely in a different wave-length; let’s leave it at that.

  30. ClaireDePlume said

    Few who come here, Kage, are looking only for agreement.

    Some might even reach deep into their thoughts to find a single spark of interest, a resonating wavelength hidden inside notes of discord.

    To reduce the world of possibilities to a microscopic dot of disagreement is to deny oneself the benefit of all that might grow from one momentary flash of intersection.

    All of us are, unlike films and actors’ roles, much more than 2 dimensions. Our words and “voices” are not scripted to recite lines written by others. It’s so much more than this, and it’s a loss that you choose not to join in when the olive branch of further dialogue is extended to you.

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