4/23/2007

Judi Judi Judi

Johnny Yen mentioned in a recent comment that a friend of his owns the company that makes the Oscar statuettes. I wonder if he could get the Academy to go back in time and award a few trophies where they may have overlooked particular brilliance as decided by me. I only wonder as I tell myself often, I have exquisite taste and have no doubt I'd make a thoughtful voter.

It seems that every year, there's a fierce competition for the nomination slots and these fill up quickly depending on who has the biggest marketing budget. To offset the boredom next year, I think I'll beg off the Oscar telecast and throw a Spirit Awards party. At least their show is sensibly aired on a Saturday, the participants seem loose and relaxed and a bunch of films that don't necessarily have all the clout at the box office get a shot at things.

I was hoping the Oscar race this past year would have had room for a handful of awards for Notes On A Scandal. I'm handing out praise in lieu of trophies simply because performers like Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett need my help desperately.

This film crackles with an intensity I hadn't expected given the themes it handles so artfully. Loneliness, desire and acts of desperation are on full display and deftly handled. Dame Judi Dench particularly gives a searing performance and Cate Blanchett is, as always, note perfect. Bill Nighy and Andrew Simpson help by inhabiting characters that act like real people and they all do justice to Patrick Marber's excellent screenplay based on Zoe Heller's book. The crowning punctuation to the film is an urgent and involving score by Philip Glass.

Director Richard Eyre has masterfully harnessed the power of these fine performers and presents a top notch entertainment.

In a related note, I saw an advertisement for the Luminato arts festival to be held here in June on television last night. Philip Glass will perform the World Premiere of Book of Longing, his collaboration with Leonard Cohen which sounds really interesting. I think I'll invite Judi and Cate along, you know, for the exposure.

42 comments:

John Mutford said...

I seriously only finished watching that very movie half an hour ago. I agree it was a great film. I'm not surprised that Dench and Blanchett didn't win. I know they're both well respected, but it seems like the Academy just tries too hard to spread the love. They'd both won already, so it'll probably be years before they win again, even if they're the only ones that truly deserve it. Though Tom Hanks would certainly prove my theory wrong.

Allison said...

I've been meaning to rent this, everyone keeps giving it high praise, so I'll take your word and go and see it.

I agree with John on the Academy spreading the love, as frustrating as it can be, but really the truly great films never get proper recognition anyways (in my opinion).

Tanya Espanya said...

I always love reading your movie or opera reviews, even if I haven't seen said movie or opera. But it's especially great when I've seen the movie and agree with what you've written.

Tenacious S said...

Dale, Lulu and I went to go see this one in the theater awhile ago and I couldn't agree with you more. Judi Dench deserved an Oscar for what was one of the most creepily shocking roles I've ever seen any woman play. Additionally, that was the juiciest movie I've seen in quite some time. What a fabulous plot and so well cast and performed. I didn't even watch the awards this year.

Flannery Alden said...

Bill Nighy is a genius. I'd watch him in anything, even a Mel Gibson movie.

Chancelucky said...

Not sure about involving score by Phillip Glass (I sort of OD ed on his music ten years ago), but I like Bill Nighy and virtually everyone else in the cast.
I guess I'll jump it to the front of my netflix list.

BeckEye said...

I haven't seen it yet. Looks good though.

Maybe we can make up an Oscar for Johnny T for his fine portrayal of Vincent Vega. He got robbed that year just because he didn't play that doofus Forrest Gump.

My Side of The Bed said...

My wife and I loved this movie too and were both suficently freaked out by Dame Judi Dench. She really kept you attention, wondering what she would do next. It is a shame it didnt' fare better during award season because it would have driven more people to the box office to see it. Great flick!

Blake

Bubs said...

Thanks for the tip on the movie!

Winter said...

Can I have your autograph?

hapabukbuk said...

i was totally exhausted after seeing this movie. it is so intensely emotional i didn't know what to do with myself. i loved it but i do have be honest in saying that the score actually distracted me while watching...it reminded me of an applause sign, only it was an audio signifier of what to feel.
i've come to the conclusion that the oscars are merely a popularity/political contest/race and whoever toots their own horn loud enough wins. however, judi and cate will both win for other movies in the future as retro-recognition. it always happens.

Tumuli said...

I definitely missed out on watching "Notes on a Scandal." But just the other day I was thinking about Oscar snubs and lost wins. The most inane, in my opinion, was Ellen Burstyn's loss in 2001 for "Requiem for a Dream."

chelene said...

I'll have to rent Notes. I love them both. Dame Judi is quite versatile. I watch repeats of the BBC show As Time Goes By and she's pretty funny.

Speaking of Cate, have you seen the trailer for The Golden Age yet? I actually got a goose pimple or two. She rocks so hard.

Dale said...

That's good timing isn't it John? I think they both won for the wrong things, maybe two wrongs will someday ... Tom Hanks, pleh.

They do miss the mark a fair bit Allison. I think you'll enjoy the film.

Thanks Tanya, glad you have the good taste to agree with me on this one.

It was an excellent role for Judi and unexpected I think Tenacious S, an overall stellar bit of fun.

I'm not overly familiar with Bill but he was great in his scenes Flannery. Wasn't he in Love Actually?

Philip Glass hasn't really blipped on my radar much before recently Chancelucky and now I'm more intrigued.

He was great and should have gotten a nod for sure Beckeye.

Hi Blake, Judi wove quite a web didn't she? She's always spellbinding as is Cate but this was really fun to watch.

Always glad to help Bubs when I'm not doling out the torture.

With or without the 8 x 10 glossy Winter?

Interesting that we had such different reactions to the music Hapabukbuk. I know what you mean though, the Spielbergian orchestral swells often distract. Judi and Cate should be alright now that I've taken them under my wing.

You read my mind Tumuli. That's always been a huge sore spot for me and it still rankles me. Go rent this one.

As Time Goes By is an excellent show and I always stop and watch when I come across it Chelene. I haven't seen the trailer yet but will have a look at it. She really deserved an Oscar for Elizabeth.

mellowlee said...

Wow Dale, Im going to watch this very soon!! I love Cate!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have been wanting to see this as well. It's on my list, right after Hot Fuzz. I understand they are practically the same film.

Johnny Yen said...

Judi Dench was great in Chocolat.

Mistress La Spliffe said...

I haven't seen this yet because I only watch films on aeroplanes now, but I did watch Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula' a couple of months ago, with Philip Glass's score - it was phenomenal.

Otherwise, I only know him from South Park's 'Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo', which was also phenomenal.

Flannery Alden said...

He was in Love Actually, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Pirates of the Carribean 2, Shaun of the Dead and Still Crazy. I'm sure he's worked in other films, but those are the one's I've seen.

He's fantastic.

Beth said...

I've been dying to see this film. I think it played here for just a week or two.

Hell, I'd watch Judi and Cate in a Police Academy sequel.

gifted typist said...

What I'd like to know is the source of your post title "Judi Judi Judi"
I know it so well - I can hear the voice in my head - Paul Lynde? - or one of those camp stars from the 30s?
Who was Judi and who said it?
Dale? Anyone?

Dale said...

I love her too, she's luminous Mellowlee.

Hot Fuzz? Hadn't heard of it but looking it up, I'll be looking for that now too Barbara. And what a title huh?

Tasty you might even say Johnny. Then again...

It's so tough to give a movie it's due on a plane though isn't it Mistress LaS? Mr. Hankey & Dracula, could that get any cooler?

Now I remember him from Shaun of the Dead Flannery, great movie, and now it seems he's in Hot Fuzz which Barbara mentioned up there.

Haha, I would too Beth!

Gifted Typist, it was Cary Grant although I had to look it up to remember it. According to this page though, he never actually said it!

Grant Miller said...

I will get this film thanks to your review.

Dale said...

You mean you'll understand it Grant? :-) I didn't say much about the actual plot on purpose. Hope you enjoy it. If not, I'll see if Judi can refund your investment.

Beth said...

Cary Grant never actually said it ... but George "Goober" Lindsay said it on The Andy Griffith Show. My brother used to live in Nashville and used the same bank as GGL. Every time he'd come in, the tellers would have him do his "Judy, Judy, Judy."

justacoolcat said...

I wonder if I could get an Oscar made for The Hoff. Something in a thong with luxurious hair will do.

Dale said...

Well leave it to Goober! Interesting Beth and funny.

But would he accept it Coolcat? I mean, he's very busy just being The Hoff 24/7.

gifted typist said...

The Cary Grant article mentions Rich Little - maybe that is the voice in my head.
I don't think I ever saw the movie in which CG didn't say it and the "Judy Judy Judy" voice in my head (do I sound psychotic here?) is too camp to be Goober

X. Dell said...

The trailer looks interesting. Then again, trailers usually do.

I'm thinking that your praise might be worth more than an Oscar in terms of the box office. Word of mouth sells flicks. Critical acclaim does not.

Bluez628 said...

I'm not reading any of your comments about this movie until after I watch it tonight. Just got it from netflix today....

Dale said...

Rich Little false memories might be more common than previously expected Gifted Typist.

That's true X. Dell, word of mouth is a powerful thing. This is one film where the trailer is only the beginning.

Hope you enjoy Bluez! Bit of a departure for Dame J.D. I think and a welcome one.

Coaster Punchman said...

And I just asked you for recommendations. Duh.

Dale said...

Not to worry CP, it's on dvd so at your leisure.

Bluez628 said...

I guess you didn't like my critique or the blogger monster ate it.....

Should I write it on lame stuff since we didn't agree , well not 100% anyway.

Dale said...

Now I'm anxious to read what you thought Bluez. Feel free to put something here or on your blog or email me. Or fax, or phone, or carrier pigeon.

Bluez628 said...

LOL no carrier pigeon needed but I will say less than I did before.

I had just finished watching the movie and I was all wound up. Basically what I think is, every cliche` that comes to mind in todays news was in this movie.

I thought the acting was brilliant, no doubt Judi and Cate both deserve kudos, but MAN if I were a lesbian I'd be pissed off the way they made old lesbian's out to be vampirish and desperate. Cate's character didn't quite cut it with me, the good looking teacher knockin boots with the 15 year old AFTER her job was in jeopardy? The older husband who didn't quite understand there was something wrong with his marriage, older man marrying younger women, mom with son with a disability, snotty sarcastic teenage daughter, etc.

I guess I'm just surprised I was pissed off at the end of this movie. I expected more. Loved the score, loved the narrative. Something was lacking for me. 3 1/2 stars is all I can muster up.

Dale said...

Interesting thoughts Bluez. I wonder if lesbian groups did have anything to say or not, to me, I'd have thought - it's not all old lesbians, just one. 3.5 stars is pretty good though! I'd give it a 4 or maybe a little higher. I'm usually so prepared to be underwhelmed with a lot of movies these days and this one raised the bar a bit.

What shall we see next?

Bluez628 said...

how bout The Painted Veil (with Edward Norton) based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.
Its being released here on May 8th.
Gotta love Edward Norton.....

Dale said...

That sounds like a good one Bluez, I agree with your choice for interesting actor Mr. Norton. I'll have to look up the trailer now.

Reese said...

Daley,

I loved Notes on a Scandal, too. But I saw Babel the other day and thought it really sucked ass. I don't get that directors vision at all. Too fearful.

Winter said...

That reminds me I've got to take my movie rentals back...

Dale said...

You're right Reese, Babel ambled and rambled and then connected all those plot points, ooooooooh! The housekeeper was pretty good though and so was the look on that kid's face when they killed the chicken.

Thank you for allowing me to be of service Winter.