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.

Love Strange, but Chopin Marvelous

marisa tomei

Saw “Love is Strange” at my favorite theater, The Little in Rochester, New York. I’ve been a fan of Marisa Tomei forever and while I’d like to say this is a knockout performance equal to “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead”, alas, it’s not Oscar season just yet.

The best thing about the movie was the Chopin soundtrack, which was an audio bubble bath after a long day. I really like Al Molina, too. I’ve been a sucker for him since his gun brandishing coke head in “Boogie Nights”.

But the story has holes and one semi big narrative leap which had been foreshadowed ad nausea.