Many critics noted Ann Savage’s performance as the daunting
mother in Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg,” her first screen role since playing “Sister
Harriet” in “Fire With Fire” in 1986 (one
wonders how she might have tackled the Meryl Streep part in “Doubt”). It was
enough for her to garner the 13th spot in the Best Supporting category in the “indieWIRE”
2008 Critics Poll (she
got my vote
I invited some of my highly respected colleagues at “The
Phoenix” to send me their ten best lists (and worsts, if so inclined). Here are
a few responses.
1. My Winnipeg Meta-oneiro maestro Guy Maddin’s most personal launch into the
timeless void, and probably his simplest, and perhaps his most moving.
These might not seem the worst films of the year, nor even
the worst that I might have seen (I have a privileged position that allows me
to assign the very worst to other critics). Those are too easily dismissed and
mean nothing in the big scheme of things. These films are the worst in that
they represent some of the most pernicious trends in movies.
In which Aronofsky deconstructs rumors that he was inspired
by Roland Barthes’s essays on wrestling and striptease, and explains why Marisa
Tomei’s character is not a dental hygienist.
PK: Marisa Tomei, was she who you had in mind first for the
DA: It was a very hard role to cast, because of the nudity,
so I kind of cast a big net, and I didn't have any ideas about who I wanted
because I figured I'd be more of a beggar than a chooser.
After spending years trying to put together his epic about
eternity, “The Fountain,” only to have the critics excoriate it, Darren
Aronofsky decided he was ready to face the ultimate challenge: Mickey Rourke.
So far the gamble has paid off in a big way for both director and actor. “The
Wrestler” won the Golden Lion for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival and
the film and the director and actor, not to mention co-star Marisa Tomei, have
come up repeatedly as winners and nominees in the ongoing flurry of critics awards, Golden Globes and ten best
I have just finished tossing away the discarded ballots and
finished eating the leftover donuts and can report the results of the Boston
Society of Film Critics voting for 2008.
Let’s just say it’s a bit eclectic, a bit of a smorgasbord, with
only three films getting more than one award (“Wall-E,” and “Slumdog
Millionaire” getting two, or maybe one and a half,given the tie for Best
Picture, and “Milk” getting three, or
maybe just two and a half, given the tie for Best Actor, and many of the top
runners (“Benjamin Button,” Frost/Nixon,” “Revolutionary Road,” “The Reader,” “Rachel Getting Married”) getting
Speaking of Oscar nominations, the canine half of “Wendy and Lucy”
has already reeled in a prize from Cannes,
the diamond studded collar given to the winner of the Palm Dog.
Which makes me wonder why the Academy doesn’t consider similar
awards for outstanding dog performances. Maybe call it the “Old Yeller” after
the inimitable scene stealer in the 1957 Disney classic.
The tradition of No Make-up = Best Actress goes back at
least to Kathy Bates in "Misery" (1990). If a movie star doesn’t have
her face all dolled up for the camera that’s got to mean she’s really digging
deep and giving a raw performance. This year offers a powerful slate of
un-made-up actresses and no doubt we’ll be seeing their names come Oscar time
on February 22.
Forget about Springtime -- these days it’s Yuletide for
Hitler and Germany.
The people at “Ad Age” aren’t alone in trying to figure out why the Third Reich is
such a popular Holiday theme this year (and in previous years, as with “Black
Book” and “The Good German,” but not to this extent) on
the big screen.