Friday, January 05, 2007

Weird Things That Happen in Phoenix, Hollywood, and some other places

OK, the following has happened twice now during my little winter break in Phoenix. There I am walking down the street (that's not the weird part, although it could be taken as such in this city) or riding the bus (ditto) and someone will spy my cell phone, on which I am undoubtedly sending or receiving a text message. As I am about to tuck it away in my pocket the presumably mobile-less person says, "Excuse me, may I use your phone?"

Now, it's true that there is some sort of automatic sympatico among those of use "on the street" here in the Valley of the Sun, as most people are safely nestled in their cars and have never actually tried out a sidewalk, but even so, I don't get the impression that that's what's really behind the phone borrowing. Also, it's interesting because they don't seem particularly grateful. I mean, it's not that they're not grateful. They don't act rude or anything, but it seems to be sort of taken for granted that because I have a phone, s/he can now use it. Well, of course I have let them both times. I don't really care. That's part of the point. Who cares, right, so why not?

But I have spent a lot of time "on the street" in many cities (multiple countries, even) with a cell phone at hand, and no one has ever so cavalierly asked me if they could use it. Twice.

I don't think that the percentage of people without cell phones could be that much higher here. So maybe it is due mathematically somehow to the fact that a FAR smaller percentage of people are "on the streets" making use of things like their feet, or public transit. But I see plenty of others phoning and texting and such from the bus. I find the phone borrowing phenomenon very interesting.

All right, back to my movie watching. I have now seen a bunch of the Golden Globe nominees, including today's choice, Notes on a Scandal. I thought it was great, and I would love for Cate Blanchett to win an award for her perfomance in her STARRING ROLE. That's right, I said STARRING ROLE. But do you think she is nominated for actress in a lead role?

No. She is nominated for actress in a supporting role for both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. And I think that's crap. In fact, I think all of the "supporting" actress nominations are crap this year, because they are all lead roles. This is a notoriously troublesome category many years, and I realize this is partly due to the lack of good roles for women, etc. But usually it's just one or two that are infuriating...most famously in my world whenever Renee Zellweger is involved. During the year of Chicago I was so irritated that Ms Thangweger was up for best actress and my beloved Catherine Zeta Jones was deemed supporting. That troubled me, because of course I wanted Catherine Zeta to win, and I was glad she did, and I know that they do that, they "market" them as a supporting actress or actor to increase the chances of their winning an Oscar. But I think that's crap. And I think it was especially crap that year because whatEVer Roxie Hart running around trying to steal the show from the superior Catherine Zeta, life imitating art. Then Renee came back to annoy me again with Cold Mountain, this time pretending she was the supporting actress so she could win, when she was clearly a star in that movie.

This year, it's all of them. Take Babel. Adriana Barraza is simply amazing. She also does quite a bit more in that film than some of her co-stars. But she's nominated for supporting for a Golden Globe and a SAG award. The same goes for Cate Blanchett, who I frankly think had a supporting role in Babel. She's not nominated for Babel, but she's nominated for actres in a supporting role for Notes on a Scandal, in which she STARRED with Judi Dench (who's up for lead actress). And Rinko Kikuchi in Babel, same same. Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls is the only one you could POSSIBLY make a case for, but I still disagree. I consider her a star in that movie; she just wasn't as big a name as Beyonce, or Jamie Foxx. UGH.

After pretending Cate(Notes...), Jennifer(Dreamgirls), and Adriana & Rinko(Babel) are supporting actresses, the SAG and Golden Globe awards differ on their fifth actress choices. The Hollywood Foreign Press nominates Emily Blunt for a Golden Globe for The Devil Wears Prada and SAG nominates Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine. I haven't seen either of those yet (they're at the top of my Netflix queue and will be viewed soon) but I'm pretty sure based on previews alone that once again, it's a starring actress who just isn't famous yet.

If that's what the category's going to be, then why not just call it that? Or why not make a separate newcomer award? Because it's clearly not always a "newcomer" award. Witness the Catherine Zetas...or, witness the times when your Judi Denches are nominated for your brief scenes in your Titanics. That, ladies and gentlemen of the academy, is support. But I think it's dirty pool to be like, Oh, she starred in this movie but she does not quite have the clout to win a Best Actress Oscar, so let's work it so she's "supporting" instead. That's so uncool!

Grr. I really, really liked Cate Blanchett's in Notes...Scandal but SERIOUSLY, it was just not a supporting role by any stretch of the imagination.

And it's happening with men this year, too. Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for supporting actor by SAG for The Departed. But he's nominated for a LEAD Golden Globe for that same role. Of course, in the Golden Globes, he's competing against himself in that category, whereas in the SAG Awards he's nominated in two different categories for The Departed and Blood Diamond. So theoretically, he could win a SAG Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role for Blood Diamond and another for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Departed and then he could win a Golden Globe for Actor in a Lead Role for The Departed. That's just silly. And don't even get me started about Jack Nicholson being nominated for a supporting Golden Globe for The Departed. Let alone Djimon Hounsou's brilliant starring performance in Blood Diamond for which SAG nominates him as supporting.

What's next? What if I decide Hans Zimmer probably can't win for Best Original Score for The Da Vinci Code so I nominate him for Best Sound instead? After all, music is sound, right? Or what if I thought someone couldn't quite pull off a costume win; can I pretend it's a Visual Effect?

Just - stop twisting things around! If you're in a starring role, accept that you're going to be in the lead category and possibly lose. What is with all the category manipulation? After all, isn't it an honor just to be nominated???


Catherine said...

I haven't seen Notes on a Scandal yet, but I really, really want to. I want to see Cate and Dame Judi face off!

Have you seen The Queen? It's so awesome! I LOVE it. Helen Mirren is the bomb, as the kids would say.

The only thing I've been talking about for the past three days is Children of Men. Seriously - go to my blog and you'll see what I mean. It's UNBELIEVABLE. I know you'd love it! And they're not even paying me for this message, I swear! Exclamation point!

Also? Mmm, Mexican food. Next time you're in L.A., I'm taking you to the place that serves a chile relleno INSIDE A BURRITO.


linda said...

I know you loved The Queen, Catherine. I recall. I saw it and thought it was a fine, fine film. Children of Men isn't playing in middle America yet so I'll have to see that when I get back to New York. And now I AM sorry I didn't make it to L.A. this time. It's inside the burrito?? Wow.

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