Born to Be Blue

While I love Uma (she’s one of the few reasons to suffer VonTrier’s Nymphomania) and I have her back re. being dumped for the nanny, I find it very difficult not to be enamored by Ethan Hawke.

His finest performance in my book is Before the Devil Knows our Dead (also containing two of my other faves-Hoffman, Tomei). But a very close second, 3rd and 4th are the Linklater “Before” trilogy films.

I can’t also not mention a recent Netflix rental called “Seymour An Introduction”, a documentary film made by Hawke as a tribute to a dinner party companion he sought advice from regarding stage fright. I even used a clip of it to show my 7th Graders what students reactions to constructive criticism should look like (which isn’t pouting or attitude). Seymour, an inspirational NYC piano instructor has a loving but intensive style of instruction.

Boy, have I digressed….are you getting the impression that “Born to Be Blue” wasn’t that fantastic? You are quite perceptive, I must say. Ethan was great and the strongest link, besides the spot on a-hole of a dad portrayed with Giamatti-like precision by Stephen McHattie.

But the story was, even if more true than the Miles Davis flick, cliche~ and I didn’t really feel for Chet other than, ‘darn, he deserves a more gut wrenching portrayal. Instead I just rented “Let’s Get Lost” (Chet Baker doc), which although I remember seeing many moons ago, I believe I was distracted, and hence will revisit, the next time network tv disgusts me.

So Born to Be Blue, a decent rental.

Last The Little Theater Movie Podcast Notes

God willing, I’m moving to Florida in July. My blog will go on, but I’ll probably never get another podcast opportunity. If you can’t find the link on The Little Theater website, here are my notes I’ll be chiming in with this afternoon:

Highlights of The Little 5/19/16
I first knew The Little solely through music in the café. A musician boyfriend at the time and I would go see Bob Schneider every Friday night. Joe Romano, a renowned sax player from Buffalo gave the café a Sinatra like swagger as he drank his red wine and wowed the crowd. Watkins and the Rapiers and The White hots have also been among my highlights. I’ve even written novels in the café!
Movie wise, THE highlight of my life was coming to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Rochester premiere of Flawless in 1999. My friend and co-worker Alice Berlinski knows Marilyn Hoffman so we were able to participate in the post movie champagne reception. Not only did his performance of a trans performer so well done, but to see him in person was a thrill, a sad note now of course, but definitely the highlight of my time at the Little.
Other movie highlights:
Parental epiphany after seeing Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck in 2008. The movie was such a revelation in being a sex ed tool without any awkward conversation starter needed! The basic premise to young men is that women can be deceitful and watch your heart even if you’re thinking with another part of your anatomy.
I’ve had a couple of movie experiences that I just didn’t want to end. Like The Reader with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes also in 2008, even the score (by The Creation they’re called) was also so gorgeous, I stayed until the sweepers came through.
Linklater’s trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight crackled with the best dialogue. As much as the third made Delphy out to be a shrew and Hawke a cuckold, just listening to the lyricism of the couples’ banter was a thrill.
Recently, my best surprise memory was The Bronze…I thought it would be trashy, but the story of the Tanya Hardingesque gymnast was hystericalIy funny-it was great cinema therapy in the hellishly cold Spring we had. Melissa Rauch saved me from seasonal affective disorder. I understand now why some like heavy metal..The Bronze was that angry raunchy, funny flick that gets you passed a bad day

Lesser not Louder

“Louder Than Bombs” would more appropriately be called “Lesser than Perfect”. Still merit worthy, Joachim Trier’s LTB stars the actor I came late to the party to-Gabriel Byrne.

Stress fractured and laid up, I borrowed the since cancelled HBO series “In Treatment” and fell head over heels with the brooding Irishman. In LTB, he plays basically the same character, a misunderstood man, a father dealing with the death of his wife. My bank account is glad that I did not see Byrne’s starring in Long Day’s Journey on Broadway, as I chose the less expensive Birbiglia belly laugh show for my Memorial Day son visit…but I digress. LTB is worth seeing if only to see Gabriel Byrne, an actor’s Haley’s Comet.

If only the film had been tied up a little neater, ASIDE: I am for hire as a novice screenplay editor, as it mystifies me that pretty good movies are ‘this’ close to being great with a smidge more story.

Last, I must also mention Devin Druid who plays the movie’s other ‘hero’ as Gabriel’s confused and demented teenage son. While I find House of Cards too dark to watch, Druid’s in the show this season and is no doubt keeping up with the Spacey’s.

Worth a rental or discount theater for sure.