Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Truly Julie

I don't really care that much about the Oscars this year, frankly. Especially since the writers' strike all but ensures that there will be no ceremony this year anyway (as much as I sympathize with the Writers' Guild, the intractibility of Hollywood on this issue only reminds me what kind of an establishment they're working in--frankly, they'd all be better off writing brochures and sales presentations for a marketing company like I used to).

But there is one factor that makes me wish and hope that this mess would get settled. And that's Julie Christie.

She's nominated this year for Best Actress for her work in "Away From Her," but she's always been a huge favorite of mine. I watched a copy of "Darling" my mom had taped when I was in high school, and I was completely blown away at how, even with the "mod" style of filmmaking in the mid-60s (not a lot of incidental music, short edited sequences), she was able to bring out the complexity of her amoral, opportunistic character, and still manage to get us somewhat on her side. Things just HAPPENED to her and she went along--she was so matter-of-fact about it that you almost didn't notice that she broke up a marriage, had an abortion and slept around all over Europe--things that were all very taboo for 1965! (And the moment where Dirk Bogarde calls her a whore and she immediately grabs money from his hand and runs through the station yelling "A Pound's No' Enough!" in a Cockney accent just to embarrass and humiliate him and herself was either inspired acting on her part, or inspired directing from John Schlesinger. Either way, it was brilliant.)

She always chooses good scripts and doesn't just do any old crap--which is why we don't often see her, since she's not 25 anymore and things don't just get tossed to her; and the ones that do must live up to her requirements, which is not easy.

It would also be nice if Sarah Polley takes home a statue for her screenplay, which is also nominated. (I remember her from the "Avonlea" and "Ramona" series back in the late 80s and 90s, when she was a small kid--she's grown into quite a mature young lady!)

In other categories, I'm pulling for Cate Blanchett as Best Supporting Actress for "I'm Not There," but I'm pretty lukewarm over the other categories. I don't care who gets Best Picture--it's the individual achievements that stick out most in my mind. A curious note, however: in a Yahoo article discussing the big Oscar "snubs" this year, I noticed the accompanying photo of Angelina Jolie:

and saw a Valerie Harper waiting to happen:

I can see her future even now...let's hope Sandy Duncan makes a good mother to her children.


Blogger Peter Mavrik said...

OMG, Angelina IS Valerie.

I second the motion on Julie. Fo sho.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Thomas MacEntee said...

Julie, Julie, Julie we do love you!

I just watched the 1986 movie Power with her and Richard Gere as ex-husband and wife. OK movie but always nice to catch a glimpse of Julie!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Isn't that uncanny?! When I first saw the photo, it was such an odd expression that it changed the whole face and I couldn't tell if it was her or Julia Roberts...Roberts didn't get anything for "Charlie Wilson's War," so I wondered if she was the "snubee."


4:54 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thomas: I also liked her in "The Railway Station Man," which got a lot of buzz at the time of its release because it was the first time she and Donald Sutherland had worked together since "Don't Look Now." (Which was truly superb.)

4:56 PM  
Blogger BC said...

The only film on the list i saw this year was the Piaf bio. The French actress was brilliant, the film, pretty good. Julie rules!

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever see The Go-Between? I think Pinter wrote it. She's fabulous. Sarah

9:24 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

BC: I heard really good stuff about "La Vie En Rose." And I was a big Piaf fan when I was little (they played her in French class), and I heard that the film is done in a one-shot style (rather than lots of editing). I may have to catch it!

Sarah: I did see the Go-Between (another one my mom had taped) a long time ago, but I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Plus, it stars the late, brilliant Alan Bates, and I never can see enough of him...loved him in "Gosford Park." I think I felt more compassion for his characters than any other.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know little about Julie Christie so I got nothing. Unfortunately, I still want to comment.
except: How are Women and Tornadoes alike? They both moan when they come and take the house when they go.
Why do people in the Windy City wash their clothes in Tide? Because it's too cold Out tide.
Next time I got nothing I'll keep it to myself. Ed

5:23 PM  
Blogger Tilly Screams said...

I just saw Away From Her last night (hint: it is out on Netflix - move it to the top of your list now before the buzz starts) and I was blown away. Julie was great - even down to the expressions of despair and confusion as the Alzheimer's Disease progressed.

I know this personally since my mother was diagnosed at age 58 and now 8 years later I am seeing her through that final stage.

It was a great move - imagery and the readings from Auden's "Letters From Iceland" fit just right.

Tilly Screams
(and I bet you all thought us drag queens were shallow petty bitches!)


10:41 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Ed: Well, that was a nice little break, now, wasn't it? The women and tornadoes one was kind of funny, though...and quite true, where I come from! (Of course, with their husbands, they had REASON to make noise and take the house.) :-)

Tilly: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. It's so hard to watch loved ones' health fail. My mom has terminal cancer which is in her brain now, and her decline is the hardest thing I've ever had to witness. Big hugs to you!

11:07 AM  

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