Sunday, March 05, 2006
Rushing Home to Read Ted's Oscar Predictions?
Went to the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood tonight to see David Mamet's new play, "Boston Marriage" starring Mary Steenburgen, Alicia Silverstone and Mamet's wife Rebecca Pidgeon.
It was horrible, terrible, painful, awful. It's the second Mamet clunker in a row I've seen, the last being "Romance" at the Mark Taper Forum.
Mamet is best known for writing testosterone-filled dialogue of men (and their egos) at battle.
In "Boston Marriage" he tries his hand at a play with only three women in the cast. It's a parlor drama that falls flat of its own weight.
In the first act one character asks, "Do you believe in God?" and another character answers, "I would if you would shut up." Here! Here!
In this play all the characters just talk, talk, talk. At one point GeezBob turned to me and asked, "What are they talking about?" Unfortunately I had no answer for him.
It's a bad sign when the most interesting point in a play is a set change during the second act.
And what's with the Bride of Frankenstein size wigs all three women were wearing?
And the costumes were completely out of control. Over done to the point of being cartoon-like. They looked like something out of the recent musical "Wicked."
Throughout the play Steenburgen did this strange voice, something along the lines of Katherine Hepburn before the tremors.
Alicia Silverstone was completely annoying as the Scottish maid. She was supposed to be the comic relief. It doesn't work when you're not funny.
And the lighting was so terrible any time one of the characters walked along the side of the set it cast giant shadows along the wall -- like an old-fashioned Boris Karloff horror movie.
Mamet himself directed this production. I guess that why the actresses spent nearly the entire show delivering their lines directly to the audience. I guess he didn't want us to miss a single one of his precious words.
Can you tell I didn't like it? I wasn't alone. A large number of audience members left at intermission. (photo above)
This afternoon I caught a screening of the five live action short films nominated for an Oscar tomorrow. They were all pretty good, but "Six Shooter" written and directed by Martin McDonagh stood out as the best. He's a tremendous story teller.
Last year I saw his play "The Pillowman" on Broadway and am still haunted by it. Just this week his play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" opened on Broadway. I saw it a few years ago in London and still remember it well. It was one of the bloodiest plays I've ever seen. There were literally gallons of fake blood used. They had to corral it with giant squeegees during intermission. I barely stopped myself from throwing up at one point. Quite a night at the theater.
His short film contains many of the same themes as these two plays: death, child/parent relations, killing of household pets. I'm not saying his stuff is easy to watch -- but you won't forget it either.
Well, it's time for my annual Oscar predictions. I've seen all the nominees in 21 of the 24 categories. Of the remaining three categories I saw 4 out of 5 of the nominees in 2 of them. I haven't seen any of the Best Documentary Short Subjects -- I'm just making a guess here based on the names of the documentary shorts.
Here are my predictions of what is going to win. If I feel strongly that a different film DESERVES to win I've noted it.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Philip Seymour Hoffman -- Capote
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
George Clooney -- Syriana
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Reese Witherspoon -- Walk the Line
Deserves it: Felicity Huffman -- Transamerica
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Rachel Weisz -- The Constant Gardener
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
Memoirs of a Geisha
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Memoirs of a Geisha
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Ang Lee -- Brokeback Mountain
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (Didn't see "Street Fight")
March of the Penguins
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT (Wild guess)
God Sleeps in Rwanda
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR (didn't see "Don't Tell)
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
Travelin' Thru -- Transamerica
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Walk the Line
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Deserves it: The Squid and the Whale