not in our stars, but in ourselves
Last night, I did not watch the Golden Globes. This is for reasons to be discussed in “secundo,” don’t worry. Nevertheless, since most of the morning news cycle has been a regurgitation of everything that happened already, I feel exactly as if I were there. While I haven’t seen quite enough this year to offer informed opinions about who should and shouldn’t have won (not that that ever stops anybody else), I do wonder if a movie about a White Boy Coming of Age is really better than the first Martin Luther King biopic. Maybe I’m cynical. I have yet to see Boyhood or Selma, so I guess I’ll just have to bite my tongue until then, but I know my gut feeling.
But one thing I can, and will, opine on until the cows come home: the fashion!!!!! Hooray. I know – very exciting, yes?
Usually the men are too boring to think about, but David Oyelowo (or OyeloWOW, as I typed accidentally but correctly, let’s be real) was amazing in his sparkly suit:
I’m not being facetious at all. I love it. Impeccably tailored, lovely color, the kind of thing you might see Fred Astaire wear in a dance-dream sequence. I assume Hollywood will at least nominate him for an Oscar, so I look forward to seeing what he wears then as well.
Now, the women. Queen Lupita of Nyong’o is always, always, always best dressed – even if/when she looks like an explosion at a florist’s shop.
Doesn’t matter. She is a queen, and you will bow to her superior fashion sense, beauty, grace, poise, eloquence, etc., etc.
Somehow or other, we had two knockoffs of the same Marilyn Monroe dress.
William Travilla designed this unreasonably sexy gold lame number for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, where it was deemed too racy to be shot from the front. The rear view wasn’t much less erotic, though:
First up, Jessica Chastain.
I don’t much care for Jessica Chastain. I don’t know what it is about her, because she’s been perfectly adequate in the films I’ve seen her in; there’s just something about her that I don’t like. Nevertheless, she looked amazing last night. The deep bronze color provides an edgier update on the original Travilla dress, but the draping and the silhouette are exactly like Monroe’s version. 10/10.
And then, Lana Del Rey.
Sigh. I like the color; that’s about all I can say. It’s not especially politically correct to criticize someone for wearing something unsuited to their body type – but lovely as Del Rey’s body is, it’s not right for this dress. She lacks the proper curves. We can’t all wear everything we want. Believe me: I would love to swan around looking like Cyd Charisse in that red dress from The Band Wagon, but I’d look like a cheap cocktail waitress. Del Rey looks like a mom supervising a prom in the 1970s.
Let’s end on a high note: Uzo Aduba.
I admit: I love a good sparkly dress (or suit). The trouble is, they’re usually so garish and terrible. Aduba’s is perfect. Fabulous without being tacky. Fits her like a glove without making her look like a sausage. She looks gorgeous in a glorious dress, and I only hope that the next season of Orange is the New Black includes lots of prison fashion shows. (By the way, Uzo, if you ever see this: please share the secrets of your arm workout with me. Are you licensed to carry those guns? Yowza!)
The reason, dear reader, for my missing the live broadcast of Hollywood’s Funnest Night!!!!!!!®, was that I was seeing Inherent Vice. It was quite good, and according to my fella, an extremely faithful adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s book.
I don’t think I have it in me to do a full review, but here’s something: when I saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s last film, The Master, I walked out of the theatre feeling that I’d seen an amazing piece of acting, directing, and cinematography, but that nevertheless felt like it wasn’t about anything. It felt hollow in a way that wasn’t, I don’t think, intentional. Inherent Vice is again amazingly acted, directed, and photographed – and, this time, well-written. It’s not about nothing. What is it about? Well, that’s harder to answer. It feels like the love child of The Big Sleep and The Big Lebowski: as meandering and convoluted a plot as the former (so convoluted, in fact, that the screenwriters – including William Faulkner, of all people – literally lost the plot at points while writing it); and as hilarious a hippie-dropped-into-a-film-noir as the latter.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an A+ as a movie. The book, apparently, is structured as a series of crescendos that don’t really lead to anything; so, too, is the movie. That’s fine. I don’t need a clean resolution. However, some of the more meandering crescendos could have been ever so slightly telescoped: the movie is about two and a half hours long. Even if you’re enjoying the ride, that much aimless hippie paranoia can become grating after a while. Still, it’s well worth seeing, and perhaps I’m just quibbling because I’m a bad-tempered old square.
A side note: we saw it at a theatre frequented by all kinds of college-age Brosephs and Brosephines. I was somewhat surprised to see so many people under the legal drinking age at a 7:00 p.m. Sunday screening of A Film By A Major Auteur. I was not surprised when, an hour or so into the film, hordes of them began walking out. Poor little dears. It can be hard to follow a plot string, I know, my dimwitted children. Maybe go back to your dorm rooms, read the Wikipedia synopsis, and try again. Have fun with your 1.70 GPA.
EDIT, the day after: This essay from Avidly, part of the Los Angeles Review of Books, is a great critical piece about women in Anderson films. If you want something feministy, I’d recommend it highly.