Cultureguru's Weblog

Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

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Genies vs. Oscars

I skipped watching the Oscars this year, but I did watch The Genies, which give out awards for Canadian films. What made the Genies a better bet for me:

  • Show was just 1 hour long, vs. whatever crazy length the Oscar show is. They do this by not covering all the categories on air; just the interesting ones. Hello. That’s reason enough all by itself.
  • It’s not preceded by tons of other Canadian movie award shows, so I had no idea who would win. With the Oscars, thanks to the Golden Globes, the SAG, the Director’s Guild, etc. you pretty much knew who’d be clutching the trophies.
  • I’d seen 3 of the 5 nominated Genie movies, vs. only 5 out of 10 of the Oscar ones. So percentage-wise, higher. (I realize that’s unusual.)
  • Musical performances that weren’t lame, because, as far as I could tell, they had nothing to do with movies. But they were by Canadian performers.

So there you be.

I was totally thrilled to see the young actress from M. Lazhar win the Best Supporting Actress award, as she was really was amazing in the role. And gave quite a delightful acceptance speech.

And it’s alway fun to see Viggo Mortenson, winner of Best Supporting Actor for A Dangerous Method, who was also very charming in his acceptance  speech.

For Best Picture, though, I have to see that I was really pulling for Cafe de Flore. Monsieur Lazhar won, and I can’t really complain about that, as it was quite a fine film, and it gave the director a chance to give the Oscar speech he couldn’t. But Cafe de Flore spoke to me in a more compelling way. At least Vanessa Paradis was recognized for her work as the lead of that film.

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Movie review: Canadian film fest

In the wake of the Genies, we saw the two main contenders on the weekend.

*** Barney’s Version (January 2011) – Theatre
Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike. A movie built around Barney Panofsky’s relationships—with his father, his friends (especially Boogie), and the three Mrs. Panofsky’s.

She says: Very well-acted, engaging, funny in parts, but a lot of tragedy as well. A realistic love story at its heart. Just barely passes the Bechdel Test, though.
He says: I enjoyed it. Paul Giamatti is a really good actor.

Incendies (April 2011) – Theatre
Lubna Azabal, Rémy Girard. After their mother’s death, her children (twins) are told to locate the father and the brother they knew nothing about. It leads to a tragic voyage of discovery about their mother’s past.

She says: Very well-crafted, completely compelling, but a dark story with a really disturbing twist.
He says: God, that was so depressing. I’m really disturbed now. Why would anyone want to see that?
She says: I think the fact that it’s affecting you so much shows that it’s a good movie.
He says: No. It was terrible.
She says: The story is terrible. (And I’m grateful that the worst of it wasn’t actually shown.) But I still think the movie was good. It was haunting.