Today I saw something that kind of ticked me off. It is, unfortunately, on the embargo list, so I will not be saying what it is called, but please, just indulge me a moment here while I rant about some anonymous movie.
Hugh Grant called them “Europud.” He was quoted in Richard E. Grant’s (no relation) memoirs, With Nails, as describing a movie he was working on as such. It happened to be Impromptu , where Hugh portrayed Chopin opposite Judy Davis’s George Sand, and the movie is a total delight, but I can still see his point. Throw together a bunch of actors with different accents and acting styles, make it a period piece with lovely exteriors somewhere in Europe, maybe throw in a bit of nudity, and sell it as if it were art. Europud.
I saw a great example of Europud today, and a lot less fun than Impromptu, which at least had a sense of humour. The airless romantic drama I saw today also stars a very recognizable female actor, who has no weight here, dramatic or otherwise, and a leading man who, every time I see him, I'm astounded he keeps getting work. He started on a dire 90s nighttime soap, and somehow found his way into art movies by very talented directors. He is pretty, there’s no doubt, though he has but one expression, and absolutely no depth. He’s a himbo. He seems so contemporary that every serious bit of uncontracted dialogue out of his mouth sounds ridiculous. Keanu Reeves can now relax, they’ve found someone less comfortable in period or speaking without slang.
What can I say that’s good about the film? Lovely exteriors somewhere in Europe and a bit of nudity.
In the afternoon I dropped in to see Eva Madden and Drew Hagen at Tribeca to wish them well on the screening of Eva’s short Eastern Shore and happened to catch the end of a set of music by the frighteningly talented Amelia Curran. She has some great new songs she’s playing at the moment.
Then my friend in from Toronto invited me to the Rogers party at Mosaic. What a snazzy joint that is. It was there I met a director and producer of the evening’s gala Emotional Arithmetic, Paolo Barzman and Suzanne Girard. The film has very similar themes to Fugitive Pieces, the inability of people to let go of the past, in this case, the horrors of the Holocaust. Emotional Arithmetic is very much a picture for fans of acting, with stellar performances from Susan Sarandon, Max von Sydow, Gabriel Byrne and Christopher Plummer, who steals every scene he’s in, the sly fox.
This evening I also met Julia Rosenberg, the producer of The Bodybuilder and I, a Hot Docs-award winning documentary that is screening here on Tuesday night. She urged me to go and see it, and to tell my friends about it. Which is what I’m doing right now. (CK)