This being academy season, I get to view many of the new Oscar contender releases. I want to talk about two of them in today's Blog in order to tell my loyal readers to stay away.
The first one is "Somewhere" by Sofia Coppola. This film has a bit of history behind it, in as much as it won the grand prize Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year. The scandal arose when Quentin Tarantino, the head of the jury and Sofia's ex-lover, awarded her the prize. But to compound to the fiasco, the film is one of the most boring films of the year.
The theme is about a Hollywood actor played by Stephen Dorff, who is bored by fame and by life and spends the whole film doing nothing. Now this is a theme she's covered in her two previous films, the wonderful "Lost in Translation" and the not so wonderful "Marie Antoinette". Fortunately, I was able to see it on DVD so I could fast forward the very long tedious parts – I give "Somewhere" a D.
Unfortunately, "The Tempest", by the embattled director Julie Taymor, was shown in a movie theater so I couldn't speed through the slow spots. How this film got money for financing, I do not know. With its Shakespearean verse – I was lucky if I could understand 2 words per sentence. It should have had subtitles. If one doesn't understand the dialogue, what's the point? And the visual effects and costumes, Ms. Taymor's forte, were incredibly cheesy.
The group I saw it with got into a heated argument about the costs of this ill-fated production. I guessed 2 million and another guessed 20 million – suffice to say, I lost.
How they're going to get people into the cinema to watch an indecipherable film, Helen Mirren notwithstanding, is beyond me. Unless her Broadway version of "Spiderman" is a super smash success, I can't see how she'll be able to make another film. I give "The Tempest" a D-.
Happy New Year, everybody.