Luckily, I have another passion besides baseball: movies. And, as long-time readers of this blog know, I’m fortunate to live in Santa Barbara where an annual film festival takes place and affords me the opportunity to see lots of international films – plus the actors, directors and writers responsible for making them.
The Festival will be held February 4-14th this year – perfect timing. I’ll be done with it by spring training.
Meanwhile, over the next several weeks I get to see pre-festival screenings of films that are sure to be nominated for Oscars. Last week was “Precious,“ which won the big prize at Sundance. It’s definitely not for those looking for a lighthearted romp. It’s about an illiterate, obese, abused Harlem teen trying to make her way in the world. The subject is tough. But the acting? Amazing. I’d never heard of Mo’ Nique, but if she doesn’t get an Oscar nod I’ll be stunned. And Mariah Carey? She’s fantastic. No joke. She’s so de-glamorized I wonder if Jeter would recognize her. I absolutely loved this movie, as difficult as it was to sit through. Here’s the trailer.
Today’s screening was “A Single Man,” the movie that marks the directorial debut of former fashion designer Tom Ford of Gucci fame. The story takes place over the course of a day in the life of a college professor who has recently lost his partner of 16 years. (Yup, another laugh riot – not.) Colin Firth plays the lead and he won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival. He’s a shoo-in for a best actor Oscar nomination. There was a lot to like about this film. It’s gorgeous to look at and the haunting flashbacks reminded me of “American Beauty.” But for me there was too much style and not enough substance. I can’t show the trailer, since it’s R-rated, but here’s Colin Firth and co-star Julianne Moore talking about it.
Next weekend is “The Road,” based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel – another very dark tale that I might otherwise avoid except that it has Viggo Mortensen in it.
I’d pay to watch him take out his trash, so this one is a no-brainer for me. Of course, all these movies can’t take the place of them.
It’s only been a couple of days, but I miss them. Sigh.