Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taking Chance

In the news this week was the Obama administration's decision to revisit the policy on allowing pictures of the caskets bringing home dead soldiers. The previous president did not want pictures such as the one here to see the light of day. I am glad about Obama's decision, it's both patriotic and symbolic, but I also understand if family members of the deceased would choose not to want photos like this be seen.

All of this ties in with a new HBO film that screened at Sundance called Taking Chance. It stars Kevin Bacon who plays a real life colonel who accompanies one casket back to its final resting place. I say often that one of the things I like about films is when they take me some place I would never get to go, and this film does that. We follow Bacon's character on his journey from Dover Air Force base to the family in Wyoming. It was fascinating in its simplicity.

I have always thought Kubrick's Paths of Glory was the best anti-war war film I have seen. I think Taking Chance is right there with it. We get to see the very real and very unglamorous after effects of war. I have seen some reviews from its Sundance screening that weren't all that favorable, but I liked it. It's small and quiet and dignified and pays its respects to the fallen soldiers.

See it if you can.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars

A quick post about tonight's Oscars. I don't really care about the awards, especially this year with times so tough it seems strange to celebrate millionaire celebrities and studios when things are so haywire in the world. I look at it sort of like this year's Super Bowl between teams I don't care about. I'll catch a little maybe, by Monday morning the highlights will be everywhere to see.

I miss bad songs and streakers and Cher in a bad dress. Bring back those Oscars or make it a 60 minute highlight show.

That said, here's what I hope happens:

Best Film and Director- Slumdog and Danny Boyle. I've met him, interviewed him, great guy, great filmmaker, I liked the film. Please win.

Best Actor- Sean Penn.

Best Actress- Meryl Streep

Supporting Actor- Heath Ledger

Supporting Actress- Viola Davis

Documentary- Man on Wire

Foreign Language- Waltz with Bashir-

Adapted Screenplay- Doubt

Original Screenplay- Frozen River.

I bet I am wrong more than half the time, but I am not in any pools, those are the folks I want to see win.