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.