It’s been a week of silence in Imitation of Life. The dissapointment in the aftermath of the Golden Globes fiasco left its author literally speechless.
With the benefit of hindsight one could say it was all too predictable to have been able to foresee it. Avatar was, in all senses, too big a contender to be snubbed in a ceremony ostensibly marked by its populist choices. Rick Gervais’ shrewd joke about the Globes being an award that can be bought was all the funnier because of the bottom of truth it contained. The thin line between his statement and Avatar‘s fierce pre-Oscar campaign is as blurred as that between political lobbying and plain bribe.
In a ceremony that doesn’t recognise technical achievements, however, the accolade to Avatar as best picture of the year could be understandable. The real downer of the nihgt was the fact that radiant frontrunner Kathryn Bigelow was usurped her crown by flabby ex-husband James Cameron in the best director race, thus sending The Hurt Locker back home empty-handed.
Things were not much more encouraging in the comedy category, with the bad lad flick The Hangover prevailing over (500) Days of Summer and the half perfect Julie & Julia.
The acting categories were on the contrary generally good, most notably with the trophies to Jeff Bridges, who received one of the few standing ovations of the night and virtually put a lock on the Best Actor Oscar race and to Meryl Streep, but were somehow overshadowed by the consistently uneven speeches delivered by the winners. Despite praise by fellow winners and the press, Mo’nique was simply awful in her acceptance words; Christopher Waltz lost himself in an interesting but overelaborated speech, while Streep was unable to live up to the expectations of her usually smart, witty post-award remarks. To top it all, Sandra Bullock prevailed in the drama actress category over Gabby Sibide and Carey Mulligan and has now a serious shot at the Oscar. I promise never to watch a film she’s in again if she snags the trophy from Streep in which now appears to be the nail-bitting, jaw-dropping race of the year.
It’s almost a week since the Globes took place and it’s time to move on and and look forward to the SAG Awards and, more importantly, to the week ahead of me. I’m scribbling these notes on an Air France flight from Paris to Salt Lake City and enjoying the anticipation of a week of great films and tonight’s first exploration of Park City, where the festival’s main venues are located.
Among the many films I’ll be watching over the next 7 days are Howl, an account of America’s reaction to Allen Ginsberg’s poem with James Franco in the main role; Welcome to the Riley’s, a story of marital estrangement with James Gandolfini, Twilight star Kirsten Stewart and former Sundance champion Melissa Leo; and The Romantics, a post-teenager tale of friedship and rivalry with Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin.
Jetlag and fatigue notwithstanding, I’ll try to sneak in one of tonight’s late screenings and get a glimpse of the atmosphere. The festival, however, officially kicks off for me tomorrow at the New Frontier section with Double Take, a promising study of the mutual influence of art and politics, with interweaved images of Hitchcock’s work and of real life scenes of Kennedy, Nixon and Khrushev.
Keep an eye in IMITATION OF LIFE. I’ll keep you posted about everything going on here.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
PS: I miss you, Mr. T.