Saturday, December 15, 2007

Golden Globes -- Comedies and Musicals

Over on Drunk Writer Talk, Sinead had a rant about some of the TV nominations. For me, the Golden Globe TV nominations are always strange. I mean TV, even more than films, is a very US centric thing and not all television shows shown in the US get shown in other countries and often shows that do well in other countries don't do well in the US and vice versa. So, the GG TV nominations can be strange. Sometimes smart... like recognizing shows like Arrested Development that bombed in the ratings state-side, but sometimes just odd -- Samantha Who? I watch a lot of TV. Okay, WAY TOO MUCH TV. And I've never heard of this show. And Sinead's right. Where the hell are the noms for BSG and FNL???

But back on topic. The foreign films and comedy nominations. The fact that the GG's, (I keep feeling strange using GG, because that's used in Canada for the Governor General -- basically our head of state, he/she (currently she) stands in for the Queen) Anyway. The fact that the GG's separate out comedies and musicals is sometimes great because it means some good movies get recognized that aren't so serious. I actually like it, because more actors can get nominated. The movies themselves on this list... Enh.

That's not to say I didn't love some of them and/or I'm not excited about the two that haven't been released yet.
Here's the list with a couple comments from the peanut gallery.


Absolutely loved this film. A magical experience.


I am excited about seeing this one. I think it's released on Dec 20. I'm curious to see how much they'll tie what happened then with what's going on now... That is, how this guy might have helped get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, but at the same time armed the Taliban. Given that it's Aaron Sorkin and Mike Nichols... well, I expect they won't shy away from that--even though the studio seems to have in the previews and ads.


Really? I mean, it was fun, but REALLY? (And don't even get me started about John Travolta's nomination. I found his performance unbelievably offensive. I not sure I can even explain why, although I tried to in this post. BTW I watched the original Hairspray on DVD last night. I stand by everything I said about the new one and Travolta and the changes they made to the script/plot making Tracy and her mom self-conscious about their weight, whereas in the original, no one except the "villains" even seemed to notice that Tracy and her mom were fat. Linc is instantly attracted to Tracy in the original as soon as he sees her dance. He doesn't need to get past the fact that she's fat. He doesn't seem to notice or care. Maybe that's not realistic, but to me it's what made the original story so great and made the weight issue a metaphor for the racial issues. It never seems odd to Tracy in the original that the most gorgeous guy on the show wants her. In her mind, she's fabulous. Who wouldn't want her. I love Ricki Lake's Tracy Turnblad. The new one? Just corny.)


Okay, I loved this movie. It's sweet and quirky and has the most ridiculous but fun to listen to dialog I've heard in a movie in a long time. To me it proves that fun to listen to, but not realistic, dialog can work. Like in Pushing Daisies on TV. And arguably Elmore Leonard film adaptations, too. No one talks like that. But it's fun to listen to.

I'm not sure I'd put Juno in an overall best movie group... but since they have the comedy category in the GG's, I'm okay with this nod. (The foreign press collectively heave a sigh of relief.)


VERY excited about this one. Love Tim Burton. Love Johnny Depp. Love Sweeny Todd. It's funny to me that the first trailers I saw for this movie didn't feature any of the music. I'll bet viewers who didn't know it was a musical wouldn't have realized. In fact, at first, I was kind of shocked. How could Tim Burton take the music out of Sweeny Todd??? The most fun in that play is hearing a chorus of Broadway-style singers and dancers singing lyrics about slashing throats and eating human meat pies. But then I read an interview with Depp where he talked about the singing and I realized it was a musical... the ads were just trying to disguise it. (Kind of like I assume the ads for Charlie Wilson's War are hiding the real political message and making Wilson sound like he single handedly ended the cold war.)

Okay, I was going to talk about the foreign films today, too, but they deserve another post. Some GREAT films on that list this year. Really great.

And as for the animated films. Why do they have this category??? And The Bee Movie? Okay, I didn't see it, so it might not be fair for me to comment, but it was so badly reviewed and didn't do as well with the public as hoped either -- in spite of a year of over-the-top publicity. Why the hell is it getting this award recognition??
(A final aside... One of the FABULOUS foreign films this year, Persepolis, is animated. So, I'm not against animated films... but if they're great, they're great and can be nominated along with the musicals and comedies --or dramas--or foreign films-- if applicable. Hollywood Foreign Press take note. Academy, too.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Golden Globes -- Best Films (Drama)

Yes, it's awards season again. The season where Maureen rants about who gets nominated and who doesn't and what idiots everyone who has the power to make such decisions are.

I've barely glanced at the nominations, but this year my biggest beef/disappointment is the total absence of INTO THE WILD in the nominations, except for an original song and score nomination for Eddie Vedder. At least there's that. If that doesn't win original score, I don't know... But actually, the other movie who's score I noticed (and also got a score nom) was ATONEMENT. You might remember I talked about how the film used a typewriter sound as a percussion instrument rather effectively when I blogged about ATONEMENT at the film festival.


Imagine Entertainment/Scott Free Productions; Universal Pictures
Working Title Productions; Focus Features

Kudos Pictures – UK Serendipity Point Films – Canada A UK/Canada Co-Production; Focus Features
Harpo Films; The Weinstein Company/MGM
Clayton Productions LLC; Warner Bros. Pictures
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production; Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films

I've seen 5 of these 7 films. Well, all five that have been released to the theatres. And all 5 were good films. Although for me, MICHAEL CLAYTON was more about performances than great storytelling... so I'm not sure if I agree with that nom 100%. As for the two I haven't seen, I must say I am VERY excited about THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Daniel Day Lewis in a Western written and directed by PT Anderson???? WOW.
On the other hand... THE GREAT DEBATERS... Well, it has potential, I guess. But also has the potential to be a sappy, predictable feel-good piece of schlock. (Oprah's company is the producer? Maureen shudders.)

I am excited about EASTERN PROMISES getting nominated (it won't win) mostly because David Cronenberg deserves the recognition and it's nice to see a Canadian film on the list, even if there wasn't much Canadian about that film. (BTW. It says a UK/Canada co-production, but Serendipity Films is very Canadian, (Robert Lantos's company) even if it happens to have a UK subsidiary.)

Speaking of films being Canadian or not, and I will talk about the comedies and musicals tomorrow... But JUNO. GREAT film. Loved it. Will see it again when it opens for sure. This is a movie that's totally Canadian, but actually NOT officially Canadian. But the director is Canadian and the two main actors are Canadian, it was filmed in Canada, and it has a very Canadian film feel to it. Even the director said this when he introduced it at the festival this year. But it was financed in the US, so it's a US film. Go figure.

Which film do I hope wins? This may sound bizarre, but I'm hoping for the yet to be released THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Mostly because I want it to be amazing.

But INTO THE WILD should have been on the list.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Butter tart recipe

So, there was some discussion of Tenderflake lard over on The Debutante Ball yesterday. Okay, it wasn't really a discussion of lard, but author Meg Tilly was guest blogging and a number of people who commented there had read her post about making pies on her own blog. And the secret to her pie crust -- Tenderflake lard.

All my childhood pie memories involve crust made with this lard and the jingle from the 1970's era ad: "When I bake a pie, for the apple of my eye, I bake it with a crust, I know that I can trust. I bake it so good, he can smell it from the yaaard. I'll tell you what my secret it, the secret is my laaard." [I've probably just violated someone's copyright. Ooops.]

I defy any Canadian at least in their mid thirties or older to tell me they don't know that jingle.

So back to my point. I mentioned my grandmother's butter tart recipe and the imprecision of some of the measurements. I love recipes like that. Cooking, like writing, is an art. Sure you need a plan and some structure and to follow some basic rules or it will be a big ol mess. But a little extra of this or that, and tossing something extra into the mix in the heat of the moment, can create real magic.

Anyway, I promised I'd post the recipe here, today. (I also promised I'd double check the details with my mom... which I didn't manage to do. So I hope I haven't misremembered anything.)

For those of you who've never heard of a butter tart (my American friends) let's just say the absence of this delectable treat on grocery and bakery shelves when I moved to the US almost made me want to move home immediately.

Butter tarts could be more aptly named sugar tarts. I guess the closest thing in US baking would be pecan pie and in the UK treacle. But it's not exactly like either of those things.

My grandma's butter tarts (as I remember the recipe)

- Cream a piece of butter the size of a shelled walnut with one cup of tightly packed brown sugar. (NB. The brown sugar in the US and UK aren't the same as Canadian brown sugar, either... but I did successfully make this recipe when I was living in the States. Go for the more golden kind. The soft stuff.)
- Beat one egg and stir into the butter/sugar until well blended
- Add one half teaspoon of vanilla and some lemon juice to taste
- Add a big handful of raisins (I always eyeball this. Maybe half cup?)

Pour into unbaked tart shells to about 3/4 full and bake

Okay, so the temperature is probably 350 F and for how long? They should bubble and the crust should go golden brown. I can't really remember, so keep an eye on them. Must be at least 20 minutes, I'd think.

Let me know if anyone tries to make them!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Speed thing

I did tackle the speed thing over on Drunk Writer Talk yesterday if you're interested and haven't visited us over there before. Stop on by for a drink!

Oh, and there's an amazing interview, by my friend and CP Danielle Young-Ullman, of Meg Tilly (yes, that Meg Tilly) over on The Debutante Ball today.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Why do I even kid myself that I can do Nanowrimo???? Fast is just not how I write best. I need to think about my book, or type ideas for scenes instead of actual scenes, or go back and think about my overall character arc, in between those great days where everything is flowing like magic. If I just keep typing, it's often a waste of time and energy and simply crap.

I did less than 17K this Nanoseason. I guess that's nothing to sneeze at. But if I'm honest about it, at least 5K of that will be completely cut and the remaining 12K will need significant revision. If I hadn't been doing Nano the 5K I know is all wrong would have been gone already, but no way do you cut anything, even redundant words, when you're aiming for that 50K goal.

I wish I'd done better... Sigh.

How about you? Can you write fast? I promise I won't hold it against you. Much.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...