Monday, March 03, 2014
jared leto evens the score
I miss movies in Mexico.
It isn't that there are no movies in Mexico. There are. But driving the hour to Manzanillo to see nothing other than mass-market American movies is a luxury in which I seldom indulge.
Not so on my trips north. Movies are everywhere. The only trick is to find the time.
I have -- twice on this trip. First for the second Hobbit movie. And then for The Monuments Men.
Because this essay is not a film review, I will simply say that I enjoyed the Hobbit film. It bears the cross of being the second movie in a trilogy.
It transcends the genre. The movie tells a rollicking tale and drives the narrative toward the finale of the third film.
As for The Monuments Men, I really have no idea why the film was made.
Well, that's not quite true. What is true is that George Clooney had no idea why the film was being made.
It undoubtedly sounded like a good concept -- a group of academics insert themselves into Europe during World War Two to protect the art of Western civilization from the ravages of the Nazis and Russians.
But, on the screen, it plods and stumbles through a set of blackout vignettes that run the emotional gamut A to B. I would have walked out, but the movie's flaccidity had drained the energy from my legs.
I thought about both movies on Sunday night while watching the Oscar ceremonies with my friends Ken and Patti. It must have been at least twenty years since I last watched the Oscars. And nothing has been missing from my life by not seeing the little naked statuettes being distributed to show folk.
Having said that, I must confess it was fun to watch the cascade of self-congratulation with my friends. Lawyers have a jeweler's eye for cant -- and fashion disasters.
Rack it up to schadenfreude. I may not earn enough with each film to save a full region in Africa from starvation, but I would never be caught wearing a necklace backwards.
I have no idea who won what. Nor does it matter to me. It may be the Woody Allen in me, but I cannot understand how any single performance or film can be rated as "best."
Maybe my feelings are a bit stronger this year because I have seen only one of the movies nominated for best film. And because I made mock of the acting abilities of Jared Leto (jared leto nude (almost) in mexico) -- just before he won the best supporting actor award.
But even in the vast sea of narcissism that is the Oscars, a gem occasionally appears. Last night it was offered from the soul of Lupita Nyong'o: "To every child, no matter here you are, your dreams are valid."
And that is why we go to the movies. It is one place in our lives where we can consistently chase our dreams. Even when we are ready to walk out of the film.