Laura Linney explains it all at a screening of The Savages. A couple weeks ago Liz Logan asked me on CBC, "If you love Laura Linney so much, why don't you marry her?" But Linney just got engaged to her boyfriend. So. Missed that boat.
I have my first walkout today. I usually don't bother, but there was a time crunch and the movie was excruciatingly boring. If the unparalleled beauty of Gael Garcia Bernal cannot save your film, you have no hope. That's all I have to say about that.
I skip across the hall to join the ine for I'm Not There, Todd Haynes's Bob Dylan epic. I am fifth in line.
"Let me explain the situation," a lady with a clipboard announces.
I knew it seemed too easy.
Turns out the preceding film had started a freaking HOUR late, so they are letting people stay in their seats between films.
"Can we go in now?" someone asks. The answer is yes. But it's the new Woody Allen so I just stay in line. About half an hour later we make it in, and it is worth the wait. I think Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven), is one of the weirdest, most interesting filmmakers working today. I don't give a crap about Dylan -- and the movie makes him come off like the douche he likely is -- but I'm Not There is a crazy, mindfucking meander that sees six different people playing Dylan at different stages in his life. They include Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and, most Oscar-worthy, Cate Blanchett (who I really hope will be recognized awards-wise for playing an original character someday). There's an unfortunate Richard Gere plotline that could've been excised and cut the 135-minute running time down under two hours, but that's really the only complaint.
A five-minute dash down to the grocery store later and then I'm stumbling in the dark to see Death Defying Acts by Australian director Gillian Armstrong. It's one of those ones where I'm only going because I recognize the name, not because I know anything about the movie. It's about Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce plays him) and his apparent Oedipal complex -- he's offered 10 Gs to the psychic who can tell him what his mother's dying words were. Catherine Zeta-Jones, a grifter slash psychic, thinks she can swindle him. But it's her heart that ends up getting played. Or something. Feels more like a Sunday afternoon Bravo thing.
My final film of the day is a public screening of Margot at the Wedding, the new film from Noah Baumbach, who made the terrific Squid and the Whale a couple years back. This one stars Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh as estranged sisters reuniting for Leigh's wedding to Jack Black. As with Baumbach's previous film, everyone is a sharply written asshole, but I like this one better (maybe because I am the oldest of three sisters?). This family feels lived-in, truly damaged, not acting so, and there are little moments that sometimes set other moments up and sometimes come to nothing, just like life. It's great stuff.