Monday, October 25, 2010

Been a while

I have no shortage of things to write about, but I haven't been. That's about as simple as it gets. I even am behind on War & Peace.

So I'm pulling myself up by my bootstraps.

I saw the new Woody Allen movie "You will meet a tall dark stanger" this weekend. It was awful. Possibly one of the worst movies I've seen in the past several years. It ranks in my top five least favorite films ever. It's misanthropic, misogynist, nonsensical, and badly written. Some of the characters don't even make sense. Lucy Punch comes off well as a gold digger, and so does Anna Friel. Antonio Banderas is good, as is Gemma Jones. The problem, aside from the script, is Josh Brolin and Naomi Watts. I didn't like their characters, and I thought he, particularly, was just bad - lost, possibly, but bad.

Everyone in the movie had affairs, no one was honest, and the voiceover summation in the end actually said the only way to be happy at all in life is to be delusional. What a sad, sad, film. I know he's been uneven lately, but I like "Vicky, Christina, Barcelona". I keep hoping for a "Fanny and Alexander" from him, but it doesn't look forthcoming. Someone, take away the camera.

Meanwhile, I really liked "Social Network". Smart, well-acted, fast-paced. I don't know how true it is, but it's the perfect moment for it. The cast was uniformly great, and I was very impressed with Jesse Eisenberg. And Fincher. And Sorkin's script. Engrave the Oscar with that one.

I like "Howl" with James Franco, and want to write more about it - see previous post.

I also saw "Leap of Faith" at the Ahmanson. Raul Esparza was great - such a great voice. The supporting cast was wonderful, too. The show is servicable, with some good music. The weak link is Brooke Shields. She's likeable as an actress, but the role is not incredibly well-written. She would also not be my first choice for a put-upon, cynical single mother. I kept wishing for an actress with some real musical theater chops. She was drowned out by the other singers when she had to sing with them, and was bringing them down as well. Susan Egan would be great, I think. It's not an easy role - a lot of traps, and you just want someone who has a strong voice.

And a side note - the traveling choir was all in contemporary clothes, but the people of the town looked like they all bought one bolt of cloth in 1955 and dyed it different colors to make the same dress. Awful, ugly. It's shorthand, I know, but still...come on.

I saw "Glass Menagerie" with Judith Ivey at the Taper. Not sure I love the play, but she was really great. She made Amanda a real character - symapthetic and maddening. Heartbreaking. Patch Darragh was good, too, though I think directed a little over the top on the gay. Probably so the audience could not miss it, but still. He was good, though - wry. The concept was to keep it in the hotel where Tom is writing the memory play, so you never leave the hotel room. Unlike a regular production, where you're in the apartment, this took place in memory. That feels more true to life for me, but it also means the frame never leaves. You never forget that you're in a hotel with a drunk man rehashing memories. ON that level, it makes the play just that much sadder. Some beautiful writing, of course, and good performances. Laura's a hard one - that's all I'll say.

On the reading front, just started Joshua Ferris' "The Unnamed" which I'm excited about it. Great prose so far.

Excited to see "Venice" at the Kirk Douglas. And there's also a rare revival of Christopher Hampton's play Tales from Hollywood" that looks interesting, about Brecht and the foreign writers who wrote in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s.


Elizabeth said...

I was just saying to our mutual friend today that I missed you and your blog. And here you are! My wish came true for the day!

The Unnamed -- one of my favorite books I read this year. Weird and creepy and wonderful.

Criticlasm said...

Thank you! I've been so busy and haven't been making the time, so I'm hoping to more. I miss it, too.

And! November is NaNoWriMo. We should all wrtie a novel!