« Notes, bicycles, sidewalks | Main | "Nice guys", profeminism, personal transformation -- a longer post »

February 07, 2005

Comments

emmy

Zuzu, OF COURSE SHE DIDN'T KNOW ! That's not the point. The point is .... why does she let a man become so intimate if she doesn't know him. If she had waited... say like even a week... before she jumps all over him... maybe she would find out he was getting married. Then she wouldn't be hurt and feel the need to become violent.

Furthermore, the guy is a jerk. Everyone knows that. But like you said... she made the invitation, and he accepted.

As far as delineating actresses over 40... Hugo did that in his original post... not me.

zuzu

Zuzu, OF COURSE SHE DIDN'T KNOW !

So why are you saying that the film never said he lied to her?

The point is .... why does she let a man become so intimate if she doesn't know him.

Because she likes sex, and does not buy into the notion that a woman must be in love to have sex and enjoy it.


If she had waited... say like even a week... before she jumps all over him... maybe she would find out he was getting married.

Why should she wait? What earthly difference would it have made if she waited, if he was determined to lie because he didn't want to face getting married? Moreover, why is it any more acceptable to those who get the vapors about women having sex that she waits a week or invites him home after meeting him?


emmy

"So why are you saying that the film never said he lied to her?"

Once again, just because she didn't know, doesn't mean he lied. She may never have asked him... "Hey are you getting married on Saturday?" Of course a self-serving jerk like that will not volunteer such information.

"Because she likes sex, and does not buy into the notion that a woman must be in love to have sex and enjoy it."

Great for her. Then why does she get upset when she finds out he's not in it for the long haul. To quote another movie "Down with Love"... she can have "sex a-la-carte" all she wants. But then she should not become violent at the thought that he is leaving her. After all... he was just enjoying himself too.

"Why should she wait?"

She need not wait at all if she wanted only a one night stand. But then that's NOT the impression the film wants to leave you with. When she allows him to become acquainted with her mother and daughter... she is clearly becoming emotionally involved. When a woman is searching for a "relationship" she should be more careful. And if she is not careful ... then serves her right to get hurt.

And by the way... the same would go for a man...

Amanda

Amanda, clearly you are mixing real life with film. What occurs in the privacy of one's home is their business. Why show it on the screen... I think everyone knows what happens. It only degrades both men and women to be so explicit.

What happens in my bedroom is pretty explicit. Does that mean that I'm being degraded all the time?

djw

emmy, if you're asserting that Sandra Oh's character made some questionable choices, you'll get no argument from me. But it seems to me you pretty clearly implied that Sandra Oh herself made a bad choice by portraying a woman making bad choices in this film. I've yet to see a coherent justification or explanation for this position. The world of cinema would be profoundly impovershed if good actors like Oh and Madsen refused to take roles in which their characters make mistakes.

Avi

I skimmed through the comments and I'm not sure if anyone said this or not--it was sort of touched on but not exactly.

Of course women who gained a lot of weight/became ugly for their roles are going to be applauded. After all, in Hollywood and much of the real world, a woman is worthless without her good looks and thin body. To give that up is to sacrifice her entire being. Obviously they are being awarded for taking the risk of worthlessness for their art.

(Though you have to remember that women are pretty worthless, anyway, so it's not that much of a risk.)

Jeff

I also find the reverse interesting--that, since '96, only one man under 35 has won best actor. Is it just because a lot of these actors get "credit" for past performances that younger actors can't? That casting is catering to an aging boomer demographic? That we (or at least the Academy) don't take younger actors seriously?

zuzu

Once again, just because she didn't know, doesn't mean he lied. She may never have asked him... "Hey are you getting married on Saturday?" Of course a self-serving jerk like that will not volunteer such information.

Again, why is this on her shoulders? He's the one with the information, and failing to tell someone you're sleeping with and who might think there's some chance of continuing that you're about to marry someone else is a lie by omission.

Jeff, that's also an interesting observation. There don't seem to be that many really chewy performances for very young actors; they seem to be cast in heartthrob/action-hero roles.

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I think movies have a tendency to put the actors to bed together rather faster than most people go to bed together in real life, probably for dramatic purposes. Just as weddings get interrupted mid-ceremony a whole lot more often in the movies than in real life.

Sometimes, I find this a drawback in the movie, if I'm not convinced the characters really would have had sex as fast as portrayed. For example, in _Ryan's Daughter_, set in early twentieth century Ireland, the young bride begins her affair with the British soldier practically on sight, which makes for dramatic contrast between her passionate affair and her loving but unpassionate marriage, but which required considerable suspension of disbelief on my part.

On the other hand, I'm with djw in having no problem with characters making questionable choices in movies - as long as I can believe that the character would have had the one-night stand, or the affair, or whatever, and as long as it's portrayed in a way that's psychologically plausible, I'm OK with it happening in the movie.

emmy

"Is it just because a lot of these actors get "credit" for past performances that younger actors can't?"

Good point. That's why I was really happy for Adrien Brody winning best actor instead of Nicholson whose performance in "About Schmidt" was dull. Personally, I think Sean Penn's Oscar last year was a direct result of past neglect - because nobody deserved that honor more than Johnny Depp for his truely unique portrayal of Capt. Jack Sparrow.


"After all, in Hollywood and much of the real world, a woman is worthless without her good looks and thin body."

Very sad if you believe this. Men may want you to believe this... but those men who do are completely worthless themselves.


"But it seems to me you pretty clearly implied that Sandra Oh herself made a bad choice by portraying a woman making bad choices in this film."

If Sandra Oh wants to portray that, that's her business. Isn't she also the one who was dumped by her lesbian lover just as she is about to give birth to "their" child in "Under the Tuscan Sun"? Hey... I'm just a conservative... I know I'm definitely in hostile territory here!

NancyP

It's a movie - fiction! People make bad choices in fiction, and a good thing too, since if they never made mistakes, the fiction would be pretty dull. Now, you might prefer not to watch movies in which sex occurs. That's fine, and there are interesting movies out there where sex is not featured.

aj

"It's a movie - fiction!"

I remember Hugo saying though in an earlier post that he thought "Sideways" was so "realistic" that he was going to offer his students extra credit for watching it. That is really unfortunate.

As for good movies (without sex), I think "National Treasure" is a wonderful example of a smart, wholesome movie that is entertaining enough for all ages.

And I wouldn't be against "romantic" movies... I am just thoroughly disgusted when they show humans mating.

"The Aviator" and "Sideways" both deal with a womanizing main character. The difference is that in "The Aviator" it is implied, and in "Sideways" it is shown very explicitly. I think that showing that sort of graphic sex is very degrading to both men and women. And it is also very dangerous to the eyes of a child... which unfortunately despite the R ratings many kids are seeing these films due to lax "parenting".

djw

Emmy, of course it's her business--would anyone deny this? That hardly answers my question: If good actors only portrayed characters who didn't make bad decisions about their lives (including their sex lives), wouldn't the world of cinema be limited in ridiculous and boring ways?. I haven't seen Under A Tuscan Sun and I don't see how that's relavent. Congrats on being a conservative, but I don't see how that's relavent either.


aj--I think there are some aspects of Sideways that are strikingly realistic, and others that are pretty far in the other direction. Many of the interactions and conversations between the two male leads are in the first category. Their relationships with women, not so much.

CaptDMO

I'v found that awards from Hollywood rarely reflect skill or craftsmanship.Quite often I find the Acadamy merely jumps on board with what's hot at the time,politicly or popularly (box office). Some of the best stuff I see is well established character actors supporting or co-starring with this weeks model.
In My Humble Opinion Hollywood is about the almighty dollar and perception. It's hype and box office that pat each other on the back. No more than vapor from the opiate of the masses. I'm not convinced the incestuous bestowal of recognition is any more important than tomorrows romance novel cover art,nor is the gender/maturity breakdown.

craichead

"If she was truely enjoying herself, why would she beat him up and break his nose."

Wow sounds like a good movie.

Does he hit her back or does he stand there and take it like a good peasant?

Such a courageous portrayal of womanhood.

emmy

djw, I don't see how your original supposition is relevant either.

I personally would rather see a movie about people making good decisions. That is what can inspire.

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I personally would rather see a movie about people making good decisions. That is what can inspire.

Depends how the bad or good decisions are portrayed. A story can show people making terrible decisions and still be redemptive in its overall thrust (after all, that describes much of the Bible). I'd put Magnolia, for example, in this category. Or a movie can glamorize bad decisions, unrealistically brush over their harm, etc. There's a difference, for example, between a movie which portrays a racist, and a movie that presents its whole world as if racism were true.

On the other hand, if you haven't seen it, a movie that you might like, which I found inspiring, and which didn't have any sex in it, is A Trip to Bountiful.

rabbit

Does anyone else find it really weird that in criticizing a movie with emotional weight like Sideways, aj sites a crappy action-ish movie with a dumb premise? I mean...there's a lot of good movies with emotional weight that don't have any sex in them...why site something as vapid as National Treasure?

I am certainly not conservative, but I would agree that many movies show too much gratuitious sex. Not that I care, or think its degrading...more that it seems like its an afterthought, like, "oh, and they should have sex here, because she'll look hot naked." I have no problem with sex in movies...but I think that it (and also stupid side-story romances) is distracting from the plot...and more a symptom of sloppy writing and movie-making in general than a societal ill. "Well it can't sell without a love story/sex/cute animals/whatever!"

As far as why didn't they pick someone who was already a little heavier instead of making a skinny girl gain weight: didn't you know that fat girls can't act? Only skinny girls can act. Fat girls are allowed only in comedies until they're in their late 30s. Then they can play someone's mother or unmarried aunt. (okay, I'm generalizing and a bit bitter...but its mostly true.)

aj

"sites a crappy action-ish movie with a dumb premise?"

What I think is really wierd is that "rabbit" thinks a crappy movie like "Sideways" has real emotional weight. Thats what is crap.

"National Treasure", despite its premise, is a movie that gets people (kids in particular) thinking about the history of their country. What is wrong with that. If you go to the website of the National Archives, it references the movie and helps to explain and dispell the myths surrounding that film. If Americans take an interest in the Freemasons, Benjamin Franklin, The Declaration of Independence, and other aspects of their Nation's history as a result of this film, then I say bring more "crap" like this to the screen.

"Sideways" would seem to bring an increase interest in womanizing, casual sex, deceit, violence and (in the real world) unwanted pregnacies and STDs. The only positive might be an increase in the Wine industry.

And I hope that "rabbit" was only being sarcastic when saying that "fat girls can't act". Anyone who believes that is an idiot.

djw

OK, emmy, thanks for responding. At this point we'll just have to agree to disagree about what makes for good drama. And I'm very, very grateful your view isn't shared by those who patronize film and literature and the like, because our aesthetic world would be very narrow indeed were that the case.

emmy

"I'm very, very grateful your view isn't shared by those who patronize film and literature and the like, because our aesthetic world would be very narrow indeed were that the case."

Sorry to break it to you honey, but I do patronize film and literature. I'm sure glad that there are some out there who don't share your view of what makes good drama, otherwise this world would only be filled with overemotional, oversexual, psychobabble crap.

Hugo

Emmy, I share your fondness for films in which people make "good decisions." But I don't believe that the sole purpose of the arts is to provide moral guidance. Besides, one healthy function of art is to show us who we are (rather than who we would like to be); another is to show us what we most definitely DON'T wish to be. Look, I watch "It's A Wonderful Life" every holiday season. But a diet of Capra-esque cheer would become awfully tiresome.

Personally I go to the movies for many reasons: to be challenged, frightened, aroused, inspired, provoked, offended -- above all, I go to have my pre-suppositions undermined. Good art doesn't just tell me what I already know.

emmy

"Good art doesn't just tell me what I already know."

At the expense of sounding "crude", do we really need to see explicit sex on the screen if one "already knows" what goes on?

Hugo

Emmy, I didn't see lots of explicit sex in "Sideways" -- we had a few seconds of somewhat comic sex. Did I need to see that much? No. Was the experience tainted because I did? No. Were I directing, I would have shown less, but the explicitness neither enhanced nor devalued my experience of the picture.

emmy

Comic though it were (to someone who appreciates that kind of humor), it was truely unnecessary. And the scene of the husband running out of his house buck naked with his "you know what" flopping around was THE MOST disgusting thing I've ever seen in a film.

Obviously, there is a wide gap between my judgement of good taste and that of many here.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004