|Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?|
(USA, 97 min.)
Written and directed by Sofia Coppola
Starring: Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning.
It’s an odd coincidence to review Somewhere the same week that I’m beginning a unit on auteur theory with the first year class that I’m TA-ing. Sofia Coppola seems tailor made to fit both the criteria and the contradictions of the theory. She suits the profile of an auteur because she writes, directs and produces her own films, and, therefore, enjoys a high degree of control over her projects. She also has a discernable style, namely a minimalist aesthetic combined with a catchy indie-pop soundtrack. Finally, her films demonstrate consistent themes and preoccupations, most notably a fascination with disillusioned young girls. If Coppola meets the fundamentals of the theory, then why can one not champion her as an auteur? It seems the answer lies in what so often proves to be the restricting feature of auteur theory: the isolated masterpiece.
|Denis Villeneuve adds another pair of Genies to last year's haul|
Full list of winners for the 31st Annual Genie Award Winners! Incendies is tops with 8!
As expected, Incendies and Barney's Version dominated the awards. Barney took 3 acting honors, while Incendies' Lubna Azabal was a surprise winner for Best Actress. I'm disappointed that Tracy Wright didn't win, but her performance will nonetheless remain a hall mark of Canadian cinema.
BEST MOTION PICTURE: INCENDIES - Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTION: DENIS VILLENEUVE - Incendies
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: PAUL GIAMATTI - Barney's Version
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: DUSTIN HOFFMAN - Barney's Version
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: LUBNA AZABAL - Incendies
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: MINNIE DRIVER - Barney's Version
ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN: CLAUDE PARÉ, ELISE DE BLOIS - Barney's Version
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN: NICOLETTA MASSONE - Barney's Version
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY: ANDRÉ TURPIN - Incendies
ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING: MONIQUE DARTONNE – Incendies
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP:
ADRIEN MOROT, RÉJEAN GODERRE, VALLI O'REILLY, MICHELINE TRÉPANIER -
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE: PASQUALE CATALANO - Barney's Version
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG: MARY MILNE – The Trotsky – “Already Gone”
ACHIEVEMENT IN OVERALL SOUND: JEAN UMANSKY, JOCELYN CARON, JEAN-PIERRE LAFORCE, BENOIT LEDUC - Incendies
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING: SYLVAIN BELLEMARE, SIMON MEILLEUR, CLAIRE POCHON - Incendies
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: JACOB TIERNEY - The Trotsky
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: DENIS VILLENEUVE - Incendies
BEST DOCUMENTARY: LAST TRAIN HOME - Lixin Fan, Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT DRAMA: SAVAGE - Lisa Jackson, Lauren Grant, Lori Lozinski
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: LIPSETT DIARIES / LES JOURNAUX DE LIPSETT - Theodore Ushev, Marc Bertrand
CLAUDE JUTRA AWARD/ PRIX CLAUDE-JUTRA
JEPHTÉ BASTIEN, Sortie 67
Honourable Mention: PETER STEBBINGS, Defendor
GOLDEN REEL AWARD/ PRIX DE LA BOBINE D’OR
Resident Evil: Afterlife – Don Carmody, Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer
|Barney's Version leads the Genies with 11 nods, including Pic, Actor (Paul Giamatti) and Actress (Rosamund Pike)|
The Canadian Genie Awards will be handed out this Thursday. While I’m quite eager to do a full discussion of the nominees, as well as offering my predictions for the winners, it sadly dawned on me that, well, I can’t. (I’ll explain that later.) Instead of offering analysis by category, I propose three wishes for the Genies, should I happen to find a magic lamp on the streets of Ottawa this week.
Wish #3: That we don’t lose to Denmark.
The Adjustment Bureau ★★★★
(USA, 105 min)
Written and directed by George Nolfi
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, Terrence Stamp, John Slattery.
That unseen, unnamed man; he just loves to pull the strings, does he not? The Chairman never appears during The Adjustment Bureau (or does he?), but that doesn’t stop his myriad of fedora-clad henchmen from bending the laws of fate. It might all sound confusing, but this is actually a deceptively simple and straightforward adaptation of the short story by Philip K. Dick. It might just be that I’m a sucker for old-fashioned Hollywood love-stories, but The Adjustment Bureau is cinematic escapism at its best: it offers fast-paced entertainment, yet it avoids the idiocy that often accompanies such slick productions.
Much like the storytelling, the hero, David Norris (Matt Damon), turns out to be more than he appears. David is a suave and charismatic New York congressman running for Senator. Like a recent well-spoken politician, David’s campaign champions him as being a man of the people and he appeals to the younger demographic far more than his competitors do. David’s status as the front-runner in the race, however, takes a turn more abrupt than that of The Social Network when the New York Post runs a full-page photo exposing his frat-boy antics to the voters.
Cedar Rapids ★★★½
(USA, 87 min.)
Dir: Miguel Arteta; Writ: Phil Johnston
Meet Tim, a dorky insurance sales representative from Brown Valley, Wisconsin. Played by Ed Helms, Tim is so awkward, bumbling, and socially inept that he could be ripped from the cast of The Office. “I used to stare at you in class and imagine what you’d look like with your clothes off,” Tim says to his lover, and former teacher, Miss Vanderhei (Sigourney Weaver), “Did you ever think like that about me?”
“No Tim,” she replies, “You were twelve.”
Welcome to Cedar Rapids, a comedy that, like Tim, is awkward, offbeat, and fun.
Tim’s relationship with Miss Vanderhei might be the best thing going for him at the beginning of the film. Maybe it seems a bit too good, since Tim thinks they are practically engaged, while Miss Vanderhei insists that they are just having fun. Otherwise, Tim is a bit of a loner and he is also the human doormat at the wood-panelled office of Brown Star Insurance. Tim finally lands a big break, however, when the star salesman at Brown Star is discovered hanging in his bathroom with his belt around his neck and his trousers around his feet. This unfortunate death leads Bill (Stephen Root), the CEO of Brown Star, to send Tim to the all-important insurance conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to defend Brown Star’s win of the prestigious “Double Diamond” award for insurance excellence.