I sympathise with Jodie Foster insofar as the Golden Globes crowd seems like it was a really tough crowd. Not because they weren't receptive to what she had to say, but because everyone seemed so sedated by alcohol, their egos, and who knows what else that the reactions from the crowd made it seem like Foster was in an empty room except for the camera cutting to teary eyed, barely comprehending pretty faces. It's no wonder she felt the need to directly ask for audience responses a few times, particularly after announcing to everyone that she felt like the prom queen. Who wants to be a prom queen in a room of lazily masturbating zombies?
That being said, the fumes of self congratulation and self adoration that wafted through my computer screen were a bit stifling. I didn't watch the Golden Globes live because I don't have a working television and I couldn't find an online stream, but I watched reactions live on Twitter and saw everyone was either calling Foster's speech admirable or incoherent and crazed. My opinion leans towards the latter. I mean, vaguely alluding to the fact that she's gay, which I think was mainly done to get some kind of response from the audience--it certainly is nice to see public figures showing that it's nothing to be ashamed of, but it seems like such a tiny component of the wobbly maelstrom of nerves she was presenting onstage.
It is weird, too, as a lot of people are saying, seeing someone get a lifetime achievement award at fifty. I guess she has had a long career that began when she was young, and, to be fair, Judy Garland received the same award when she was 39. Foster is among the younger recipients, though, and it's not hard to think of people it might have been more sensible to give the award to--Christopher Lee, Ennio Morricone--how the hell is it the song by Seth MacFarlane from Ted was nominated for the best original song Oscar and "Ancora Qui" by Morricone from Django Unchained wasn't?
Okay, the Oscar nominees--Lincoln is nominated for nearly every category, which I suppose means I need to see it, but the prospect of dragging myself through another Spielberg movie after seeing Warhorse is a bit daunting, I'll admit. And I managed to get through Cannibal Holocaust last week (I've been putting off writing about it). Maybe I'll wait until more people who don't seem like shills recommend it.
I came close to seeing Les Miserables a couple weeks ago. I was actually standing outside the movie theatre at the mall with my gift card in hand when I was overcome with a feeling of meh, generated mainly, I think, from memories of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway singing together at the Oscars a couple years ago. I can enjoy Jackman as Wolverine and Hathaway as Catwoman well enough, but singing together they just seem to shimmer with those fumes of self-adoration I mentioned above. It's really unfair of me to judge that way, I guess. And although I have yet to read Victor Hugo's novel, I have quite a few experiences with adaptations under my belt to give me context for viewing the film--the film with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush, Orson Welles' radio adaptation (my favourite so far), and the actual stage musical upon which the new film is based. It doesn't seem from that old entry like I was too impressed with the stage musical when I saw it, but that was almost nine years ago, and I'm a different person in a lot of ways, so who knows how I'd react now.
A few people I respect, including Caitlin, are saying they felt Cloud Atlas was the best movie of the year. I remember Caitlin being especially fond of the Farscape episode "Unrealised Realities" so I kind of see her love of the film as a predisposition in her to love stories about alternate potential identities in human beings. Mostly, though, I can't quite account for why people are so taken with it. I didn't hate it. It actually reminded me a lot of my feelings for The Matrix; a decent, exciting story, but taking too hard a line in terms of morality to be something I'd consider a masterpiece. Obviously this didn't stop me from loving Battleship Potemkin. Maybe it's because Potemkin was more a self-conscious work of propaganda and I feel like the Wachowskis might actually see the world as made up of good and evil people. Well, it's unfair to make such strong assertions about an artist's personal beliefs from their work, but I guess the impression comes from the fact that Potemkin seems to focus more on the struggle, the circumstance, while the Wachowskis' movies are more broadly about good versus evil.
I'm less disappointed, I think, by their heroes than I am by their villains. I remember reading Quentin Tarantino saying in an interview that he's obsessed with Birth of a Nation, and how disturbed he was in reading about D.W. Griffith that he found he began to understand him, which, as Tarantino observed, is far more disturbing than a blank, two dimensional villain. I guess my taste in stories is similar.