Archive for February 27th, 2012

‘A Separation’ Director Asghar Farhadi Plea for Peace

Amid hullabaloo about Angeline Jolie’s leg, the high-flying exploits of Circus du Soleil, and Octavia Spencer’s tearful trip to the podium was a speech that actually has some import beyond the rarified world of Tinsel Town. When Iranian director Asghar Farhadi accepted the best foreign language award for “A Separation,” — which, by the way, is a masterpiece — he inserted himself in an increasingly rancorous geo-political debate. From a hand-written note, the director read the following: Continue reading ‘‘A Separation’ Director Asghar Farhadi Plea for Peace’

Billy Crystal Offers Stale Schtick at the Oscars

Billy Crystal returned last night for the ninth time to host the Oscars. The ceremony was given a retro “Going to the movies” theme, and much of the comedian’s schtick seemed to match that sentiment. With a classless Jonah-Hill-has-a-weight-problem zinger, one too many Bar Mitzvah jokes, and a dreadful singing number, Crystal just seemed stale.

Overall, this year’s show had a strangely anxious tone to it. There were rambling montages that seemed to have little point other than to remind audiences that movies are awesome, along with celebrity testimonials explaining why movies are awesome. With filmgoers becoming more and more comfortable with downloading, legally and illegally, their favorites onto their iPhones, Hollywood’s fear of a music-industry-style collapse was palpable. Given that, Crystal’s presence was no doubt comforting to academy members. Continue reading ‘Billy Crystal Offers Stale Schtick at the Oscars’

February 2012

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