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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Femme Films of the Week — 10/24/2008

Femme Films of the Week — It’s a good week for femme films, with three solid female-led films in theaters now on my “recommended” list, and several other offerings you might find worth catching.

Happy-Go-Lucky**** — Mike Leigh’s latest film, starring Sally Hawkins in an effervescent performance as a charming, bubbly schoolteacher whose upbeat world view is challenged by her relationship with a surly driving instructor (Eddie Marsan). Standout performances by both Hawkins and Marsan make this immensely enjoyable film one to catch.
I’ve Loved You So Long **** 1/2 — Pay no attention to anyone who tells you this film is over-rated. This is, quite simply, one of the best films of the year, with powerhouse turns by both Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein as sisters reunited after the older (Thomas) is released from prison after a lengthy sentence. Scott Thomas will haunt you long after the closing credits roll.
Rachel Getting Married **** — Another film about sisters, this own starring Anne Hathaway, cast way against type as a drug addicted, perpetual screw-up released from rehab to attend her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie Dewitt) wedding, stirring up a boiling cauldron of unresolved familial conflict, grief and resentment. Screenwriter Jenny Lumet’s script is raw, honest, and deeply stirring, and Hathaway, far removed from her Princess Diaries days, is a revelation, as is Rosemarie Dewitt. Must see.
Also playing:
The Secret Life of Bees**
Nights at Rodanthe
The Duchess*
The Women
Trouble the Water ***
The Longshots
Mamma Mia!
High School Musical 3 ** 1/2
And also … while I wouldn’t recommend this film to an adult cinephile looking for a great film this weekend, if you have a tween or teen girl in your life, I highly recommend taking them to see High School Musical 3, for its positive portrayal of smart girls heading toward college and the future, and for its unusual (for Hollywood) showcasing of girls who don’t look like anorexic models in prominent roles, singing, dancing and looking good.

Note: films with no stars are those that I have NOT seen and therefore have no recommendation one way or the other.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon