Oscar Predictions

My predictions are in the Herald. Click here for the guesses.

Hard to go against the predicting consensus for Slumdog Millionaire, which means it’s yet another year of Oscar embarrassment. But this is nothing new.

One other link: the restored version of Lola Montes (playing, gloriously, in Seattle this week at SIFF Cinema) leads to some thoughts on that film and the golden age of foreign films in the U.S. I talk to KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel here.

Movie Diary 2/3/2009

lola2Lola Montes (Max Ophuls, 1955). Working off 20-year-old memories of a 16 mm. print as I am, this recent restoration (which plays at SIFF Cinema in Seattle beginning Feb. 20) is truly a different movie, a grand and elaborate thing full of screens and glass and ornate staircases (in almost every scene, somebody’s going up or down, illustrating the movie’s obsession with upward-striving — which nobody can really achieve, because they’re all trapped in horizontal CinemaScope). Martine Carol, in the title role, is not an expressive actress, but by the time you get to the end you begin to suspect that maybe her opaqueness is close to the film’s cool, sad point. It isn’t at all hard to see why audiences and critics at the time were annoyed, but they were wrong.

Ice People (Anne Aghion, 2008). Documentary in Antarctica that has nothing to do with Werner Herzog. (full review 2/6)

He’s Just Not That Into You (Ken Kwapis, 2009). Kind of like Love, Actually without the dollop of heavy cream. (full review 2/6)