Entries in the Category "julie and julia"
I am reading all these bloggers who’ve pledged to see all the Best Picture nominees, or all the films with a non-technical nomination (that’s Sarah Bunting, and she almost did it). Some of them spent two Saturdays in a row parked in a movie theater seat watching five wannabe Best Pictures back-to-back. My major regret going into Oscar night is that I haven’t seen enough of the nominated movies. Living virtually across the street from a limited-release haven like the Cedar Lee, just about every one of these movies has crossed my path (not something I could say back when I was living in Lansing, Michigan--sorry Lansing). I went to an Oscar party in which the crowd was generally well-versed in movies—not just the big ones, but independents, foreigns, documentaries—and I wished I could have given more opinions instead of continually saying, “That looked really good. I heard that was good. I was going to see that. Everything I’ve read online says that was overrated, actually.”
The real problem is this whole being-in-grad-school thing, which will be over soon enough. I’ll be a cultural civilian again by May, and then it’s seeing movies all the time, reading books all the time, just because I damn well want to. And maybe next February I’ll plan my own Oscar film binge.
This year, I had to content myself watching the Oscars having seen only Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, Julie and Julia, and one-third of The Hurt Locker. I'm catching up on the other movies at my usual snail’s-pace rate. (Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning movies I have seen in the past few months: Valmont, Mrs. Brown, Frozen River, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Gangs of New York.)
Anyway, here are my totally uneducated thoughts on the proceedings.
Movie Reviews: Talented Teens and "Actresses of a Certain Age" edition
This is kind of sick, but one night I was on Netflix Instant looking for a short movie to watch before bed, and I had read on the Internet that day about a girl who was killed by an Amtrak train. So, uh, I decided to watch Stand By Me, a great coming-of-age movie which is about, among other things, kids getting hit and/or almost getting hit by trains.
I’ve never read the Stephen King story on which the movie is based, but I’ve heard it’s great. The movie definitely charms with its 50s detail and foul-mouthed little boys. What’s really distracting, though, is looking at all those young Hollywood actors and thinking about how none of them ended up where people expected. Like, the fat kid slimmed down, is now a regularly working actor (I may have watched his former show, Crossing Jordan, a time or two) married to a former model. The kid who actually seems to have a future as an actor is the one who didn’t (instead he died from drug addiction). The smartass who was already a pretty big star is in the reality TV doldrums now. I especially like that the kid who, in the movie, grows up to be a writer, actually did. Wil Wheaton, one of the few teen Hollywood success stories.
More movies follow!
Golden Globes Recap
This will be shorter and less detailed than my usual next-day awards show extravaganza. I had family visiting this weekend, and both my mom and aunt joined me for the Globes viewing, so we were able to crack jokes and comment on the clothes in real time, which sort of took away some of the excitement of doing it here. What can I say? SO SORRY INTERNET. We still have the Oscars.
Julie and Julia, and the Lure of the Self-Imposed Challenge
Just recently I saw the movie Julie and Julia, and the similarity of Julie’s self-challenge to my own (recently, my Summer Movie Watch and more broadly, my 30 before 30 list) prompted me to think about the impulse towards self-improvement.
I think age—Julie was in her late twenties when she embarked on her project, just as I am now—was a crucial component of both projects. There’s a certain amount of stasis associated with being a grown-up. At 14, I thought I might grow up to be a travel writer—why not? At 14, you can do anything. At 18, I effectively crossed that off the possibility list by being too chicken to major in writing, choosing instead to major in literature and spending the next four years passively reading instead of actively writing. No idea at that point what I thought I would do when I graduated—that’s part of the dodge of college, that you have four years to put off thinking about that.
Fast forwarding a bit, I’m in the waning days of my 20s and on what might be called a career track. (Early on the track, way early. But on it.) I’m in a stable relationship. Conceivably, my life will not change except by small margins over the next five to ten years. It would be easy in that case for me not to change for the next five to ten years. For a compulsive self-improver, that is not OK.
Julie and Julia, and my summer of movies, after the jump.
Upcoming Movies (with trailers!)
I swear that over the next few days I will write some posts that are not about movies. People are getting burned out on them, I understand that.
What may surprise you is that I have not reached that point at all. In fact, I'm beginning to anticipate the end of my Summer Movie Watch by thinking about the movies I'll get to prioritize when the challenge has been exhausted.
There's plenty of them on DVD--my Netflix queue has almost two hundred movies in it, and I Love You, Man! (which comes out August 11) has been on our rewatch list for months.
There are a few hitting theaters soon that I'm eager to see, too. Usually I'm pretty reserved about announcing this before reviews come out; my interest can chill considerably when the Metacritic number hovers on the wrong side of 50. Still, barring any unforseen flops:
Julie and Julia comes out August 7. This one has got your name on it, Mom. Should we see it next time I'm home?
Funny People is supposedly Judd Apatow's big dramatic opus, coming out July 31. You can see the trailer anywhere on the web--many people are complaining that it tells too much of the story, often a problem with trailers.
Here instead is a marketing video they created for the movie; the character played by Jason Schwartzman (from Rushmore, and one of my favorites, The Darjeeling Limited) is apparently a sitcom actor on a cheesy show called Yo Teach! a portion of which you can see here:
Also looking to indulge in some thrills and chills courtesy of Marty. Here's Shutter Island, coming out October 2.