FILM FORUM: Oscars Edition #7
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Halle Berry and I hail from the same area so there will be no questioning her enormous talents on my watch. Besides, she did just a fine job in Monster’s Ball. That scene where she walks out of the water in that orange bikini was classic. (I might be confusing my films here)
As an aside, did Billy Bob Thorton sell his soul? Someone needs to look into this. How else can you explain his marrying Angelia Jolie and then performing in Halle Berry’s first ever topless scene? In the history of Hollywood could you come up with a less likely man than Thorton to pull off such a feat? Without a doubt Berry and Jolie are two of the most beautiful women to grace the silver screen over the last thirty years and a dude named Billy Bob — and only Billy Bob — has been with both of them. What?
Since Mrs. Berry and I share a close geographical connection (probably the only connection of any sort we’ll ever share) I don’t want to leave you feeling lonely so let’s talk about a Hollywood figure to whom we’re both connected: Julie Taymor. What of Julie Taymor? How about the piece of crap that was Across The Universe. I hope you didn’t submit yourself to ATU. I mistaken did one autumn afternoon and by the time the final credits rolled I had watch a good thirty minutes of the film through my fingers, which were covering my eyes while simultaneously plugging my ears, a feat nearly as impressive as Thorton’s, but not quite.
Taymor has a history of thinking big — think one person can change the world? — and her Broadway revision of The Lion King was the most imaginative re-imagining of an already spectacularly imaginative work. Anyone who hates her Lion King does not have a soul (Billy Bob?). The Lion King was great. I also happened to be a fan of Titus. Anyone willing to take on one of the truly great pieces of crap Shakespeare ever wrote gets high marks in my book. High marks also go to her for getting Anthony Hopkins to eat people (Demme should have claimed copyright infringement).
With Across The Universe Taymor once again swung for the fences, but this time she threw her back out whiffing at the pitch. Or to put it in your terms: The bowler tossed a nasty wobbler and Taymor passively batted it to the Short-Mid Wicket before retiring for tea, which she promptly spilled all over her all-whites. I think ATU was my least favorite film of the year. I suggested to a friend that we go and upon leaving the theater I actually apologized to her.
I quickly want to recognize one of my favorite films of the year. There is no doubt that I am but one of many to sing its praises, but let’s give some love to Ratatoullie. When you combine talent with consistency Brad Bird might be the best mainstream filmmaker working in Hollywood today. The man can do no wrong.
Sehban Zaidi is a Chicago-based filmmaker.