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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – November 26

Running around New York today… hoping that the Broadway strike ends so I can see Brian Cox in Tom Stoppard’s Rock-n-Roll tomorrow night. If not, The Gothams could await!
Here is some room for y’all to stretch.

39 Responses to “BYOB – November 26”

  1. crazycris says:

    I finally made it over to Maastricht to watch Atonement last night, and much as I enjoyed it (loved it actually), it didn’t quite manage to transmit the same sensations as the book. Briony’s shock and confusion didn’t come through as clearly (although I must say bravo for the 3 actresses bringing her to life! but did they all have to have the same haircut?).
    Also, I don’t buy into a nomination for Keira Knightley… she’s too bland in this film (not as good as Elisabeth Swann), doesn’t have enough to do. And there are too many other excellent performances by actresses in leading roles out there. I’m sure she’ll win an Oscar some day, but I’d be disappointed to see a Blanchett, Cotillard, Jolie or Chirstie lose their spot to her for this role.

  2. JackTorrance says:

    When do you see Sweeney Todd?

  3. Ian Sinclair says:

    When you feel the need for an extremely close shave.

  4. bipedalist says:

    Ian, haha. CrazyCris, if they really love the movie Knightley will get swept up in it. Isn’t it always hard for a film to live up to the book? They are and should be too different animals. The English Patient is such a great book and the movie nowhere near lives up – but I guess the movie is the movie and the book is the book, separate but equal – is that possible?

  5. Aris P says:

    Some post thanksgiving rants:
    1- It’s not “cause celeb”, it’s “cause celebre”. Not the “R”. To all you journalists out there, please not this already.
    2- When one uses the french word “sans”, meaning “without”, the second “S” is not pronounced. So it would sound like “sawn”.
    3- Stop using “to wit”, in every single article on the planet.
    Carry on.

  6. Aris P says:

    And I should point out that i meant “note”, and not… “not”.

  7. Me says:

    Crazy, that’s what always surprised me about the hulabaloo about Knightly for Best Actress. The character in the book didn’t seem a large enough presence to be anything more than a supporting role, but because she is who she is, she’s getting top billing and the buzz for Best Actress.
    Atonement is my number one, must see of the season, mainly based on loving the plot and characters of the book, without some of the overdone stream-of-conscious writing.
    Every trailer I’ve seen has looked perfect. Can’t wait!

  8. Me says:

    Biped, I know I’m in the minority, but I’ve always loved the English Patient movie. Then again, I have yet to read the book, so it never paled in comparison for me. I’ve always been disappointed that the director, Mignella (sp?), never did another film that captured the magic of that one for me (as I hated Cold Mountain, and thought Ripley was just so-so).

  9. doug r says:

    Great plane crash in The English Patient. Otherwise, ZZZZZZZZZ

  10. LexG says:

    Give it to Knightley all the way.
    Why? Because she’s the hottest likely nominee, and like 90% of the moviegoing public, both male AND FEMALE, I really never care about the lead actress or her performance, beyond how good she looks.
    They should just have BEST ACTOR and then HOTTEST ACTRESS, and then just nominate Alba, Johansson, Brewster, etc. every year.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    That’s how Mirren won last year.

  12. movielocke says:

    as good as Adams was in Enchanted, her work pales in comparison to the range Heigl showed in Knocked up or Keri Russell displayed in Waitress. But apparently Ellen Page will be the only pregnant actress to get a shot at the nomination, though all three could be up for a nomination at the globe. new awards strategy for next year: ladies, get pregnant.

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    Hey everyone; the strike is over. WOO TO THE HOO!

  14. crazycris says:

    Biped., I’m with Me on the English Patient love… and I read the book as well (but was such a long time ago I can’t remember my reaction to it, the book I mean).
    I guess what I meant to say is that Atonement is a devilishly difficult book to bring to the screen, because most of the story hinges on what’s going on INSIDE Briony’s head, and it’s hard to get those thoughts of hers expressed on a face.
    Also, Cecilia is no where near being the lead in the book, it’s Briony, she’s the one atoning for a crime/error. But because of the time lapse in the story, well the same actress can’t pull it off. So Knightley gets to call lead, even though she doesn’t feel like one…
    Me, if the conscience stream of writing bothered you in the book, then you’ll enjoy the movie ’cause it’s not there! I really appreaciated the way the managed to flit back and forth to re-tell scenes from different viewpoints (i.e. the fountain scene in particular).
    In any case, definitely a “must see” ;o)

  15. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “The English Patient” = Miramax Buying Oscars for a piece of s#!t.
    “Atonement” = Name-Checking a Box-Office Flop. Will be lucky to escape the arthouse ghetto given all the movies being released in December.

  16. Me says:

    Thanks Crazy – If I wasn’t already drooling for Atonement before, I would be after your encouraging words.
    I get what you said about so much hinging on what is going on inside Briony’s head. The movie will definitely rely on the three actress’s abilities to be expressive enough to convey all the emotion and thought that was in the character in the book.
    On the other hand, I’m betting the movie will play up the emotion a lot more than the book really seemed interested in doing. I like McEwan, but he can be one cold fish.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Knowing that Atonement is from Joe Wright makes me more interested in seeing it, because I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice. By that standard, it’s good marketing.

  18. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Come Xmas Day your average multiplex won’t play “Atonement”, it’ll be playing “Sweeney Todd” and the other Xmas Weekend/Day releaes.

  19. L.B. says:

    None of which will have anything to do with name-checking. So…good point?

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, so?

  21. L.B. says:

    Not snarking at you, Jeff. Getting in my shooting fish in a barrel practice for the day by slinging one at Chucky. Calm down.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sorry, my previous post was a response to Chucky, not you, LB.

  23. L.B. says:

    Wow, we created some sort of comment-thread misunderstanding singularity that could destroy us all!

  24. I just walked in from ATONEMENT and I’m calling serious bullshit on the film. The script is a joke in terms of poor (really poor) character development, HORRID issues of tempo and some truly arbitrary plot devices that are wholly distracting. The last scene is such a total bullshit cop out…ugh. If you’re having issues with the end of “No Country,” you’ll love this one.
    Knightly does NOTHING for 2 hours and any Oscar talk for her is either from diehard Knightly fans or people hedging their bets cuz the film fits the a-typical preconceived Oscar notion and they haven’t seen the film.
    Every great cinematic moment in the film feels like a self reflexive “Look! We’re having a cinematic moment! scene and just, blah. Sadly, both Joe Wright and James McAvoy were there and seem like super great, young guys…but this is exactly the kind of Oscar pandering shit I hate.
    I actually didn’t *hate* the film, I was just completely tepid on it. I hope people in charge of Oscar votes see through it…ala “The Shipping News” (or any other Oscar grabber) rather than going all “English Patient” on it.

  25. crazycris says:

    Ouch! Sorry to disappoint you Me, but lack of emotion was precisely what I didn’t like about Keira Knightley’s performance! Although it might just be my modern-day passionate self ;o) having trouble understanding the famous British lack of expressing sentiments (particulary in the first 1/2 of the century), in which case you could say the performance is spot on. But I could have done with some more convincing emotional expression…
    Wow, Petaluma sure is vehement about this film! And although I agree that Keira Knightley didn’t do much in the film (which is why I don’t believe talks about an oscar nomination), it’s totally understandable once you realise she’s NOT the main character, Briony is!!! (fact people seem to forget because Knightley and McAvoy have top billing, and Briony is 3 actresses…).
    Looks like this film will be dividing people down the aisle… I look forward to reading more once it actually hits the screens on your side of the pond! :o)

  26. If Briony were played by the same actress then she’d be lead. But she’s not. So…

  27. movieman says:

    One of the things I love most about “Atonement” is how Joe Wright brings a modernist sensibility to (mostly) period material.
    It reminded me of vintage Mike Nichols.
    Knightley, McAvoy (in a revelatory performance) and Redgrave all deserve nominations.
    If “P&P” was Wright’s “A Room With a View,” this is his “Howard’s End.”

  28. If I’m “vehement” about this film, it’s more in the vein of I’m annoyed at what it’s trying to pull rather than what it actually is….if that makes sense.
    And I wish I had read the book because the big scene with Redgrave came off as totally false and a BS plot move…but I bet in the book it’s a revelatory and moving moment.

  29. Me says:

    Petaluma, the ending in the book actually felt false and too tricky to me at first… much like No Country. But like No Country, the more I digested it and thought about it, I really came around to respecting it as an interesting and surprisingly thoughtful ending.
    That said, I never stopped disliking Briony, even by the end. I thought the ending just served to show how self-centered and self-absorbed she really was and that her atonement was in many ways, quite false. But that level of depth is what made it work for me as more than just a run-of-the-mill romantic epic (which it also has elements of, and is quite enjoyable).

  30. Me-
    We can just agree to disagree 😉
    I can’t wait for the spoiler thread on it though, then we can re-engage. Not really fair otherwise….

  31. Me says:

    True – though, I might end up hating the film (I’m not really a Kiera Knightley fan). So in that case we could agree to agree. ;>

  32. crazycris says:

    I’m all for a spoiler thread! This dancing around the end makes it hard to discuss things. So much hinges around that one moment by the fountain and the big reveal…
    I had no problem with the ending of the book, made me gasp, brought tears, and swear. But the movie doesn’t end at quite the same point as the book, and I felt like there was something missing.
    And can I say again how annoyed I was by there insistance on having all three Brionys with the same haircut? A person evolves through their life… and haircuts are typical of that! It just made it feel artificial, like theyr were trying to make us forget it was 3 actresses, playing up the physical similarities between them. We don’t need that!

  33. It’s an insipid film crazycris, that’s why they all had the same haircuts. You could drown in the pseudo-cleverness found in ATONEMENT. I lvoe the flashback sequence that occurs alot in the first hour and then apprently runs out of gas halfway through the film. Brilliant. Really made me think.

  34. LexG says:

    “I’m not really a Kiera Knightley fan.”
    Man, is EVERYONE on this blog gay? She’s HOT. She may be the hottest actress in the world. That inherently makes her the BEST actress in the world.
    Anyway, how has everyone seen this movie, and seemingly multiple times? I know it came out in England in 1998 and all, but here it doesn’t *drop* until next Friday. Christ, how do ALL of you guys see critics screenings?

  35. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe some of the dudes here like to bang chicks who don’t look like little boys.
    (I’m trying to speak the same language.)

  36. LexG says:

    Please. Like Cate Blanchett is so amazingly thick and hearty looking. Funny I didn’t see you bringing out the lame, tired “Eat a sandwich/body like 12-year-old…” comebacks in her circle jerk of a thread.
    Thin is in. Deal with it.
    (Though points for the typically Jeff-condescending parenthetical.)
    Do you have a goatee? I’d bet that you do.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    You’d lose.
    (I mean, you don’t seem like a bad guy…but how many steroids are you on?)

  38. LexG says:

    My goal is to be the John Milius of the Hot Blog.

  39. crazycris says:

    Keira Knightley HOT?!?! huh???
    That’s one comment I hear about her that I’ll never get! Yes she’s pretty… fine bone structure, nice face… but she’s so scrawny!!! She’s nothing but skin and bones! Not a single curve! Especialy noticeable in some of these slinky dresses she ends up wearing. How can anybody consider that hot?!
    And LexG… I saw the movie by heading into another country! It’s been out in Holland (1/2h from here) since Halloween… otherwise in my neck of the woods Atonement won’t be out ’till January.

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