The brave ones

K is away, so I stave off the loneliness and boredom* by playing Morrowind and spending some quality time with the idiot box. Yesterday was Madagascar 2 (not as good as the first one), today was The Brave One.

I didn’t expect much of a film I found in the DVD discount bin barely more than a year after its release, but I thought it was pretty good, although I agree with the critics that its artistic pretensions came off as, well, pretentious, and did more harm than good. The rolling camera angles in some of the scenes (such as immediately before the attack where David is killed) made me seasick, and the sitting-in-the-diner-talking-not-looking-at-each-other-except-they-are-actually-looking-at-each-other-in-the-mirror-behind-the-bar trick passed me (and probably 99% of the audience) by until it was pointed out in the behind-the-scenes featurette, and even then it just seemed… lame.

Still, I’m never one to turn down a Jodie Foster flick. She’s one of my favorite “strong woman” actors, along with Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton.

High point of Jodie Foster’s career so far, apart from actually winning two Best Actress awards, out of four nominations (one for Best Supporting Actress and three for Best Actress):

Tallulah: So this is show business?

That was from Bugsy Malone, the greatest movie you’ve never seen. Pop in the DVD and fast-forward to 1:24:05, where Jodie gets creamed (literally) and utters that unforgettable line. I wonder if it was ad-libbed; it just feels different, like the conversation between Dustin Hoffman and Samuel Jackson at the beginning of The Sphere, or the “bathroom scene” with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman in Runaway Jury—which was the first time Hoffman and Hackman played in the same film, despite being long-time friends (all the way back to the Pasadena Playhouse), just like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, who were practically made for each other, never met on the silver screen until Heat (one of my all-time favorites).

Another high point is The Silence of the Lambs, of course:

Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?

You really have to see the French and Saunders parody, where Jennifer Saunders plays a BBC trainee who is sent to ask a sociopathic script doctor (played by Dawn French) for help when (if memory serves) the writers of a BBC sitcom hit a dry spell. I really have to get it on DVD so I can quote from it.

Then there’s always Taxi Driver. Goes without saying.

Low point: La vie c’est chouette. What were you thinking, Jodie?

Off on a tangent again, Jodie Foster was considered for (but did not get) the part of Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love, an absolutely amazing film that won seven—count ’em—Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actress for Dame Judi Dench, who was on screen for only a few minutes!

High point of Sigourney Weaver’s career so far:

Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

She actually got a Best Actress nomination for that one. Does that lady kick ass, or what?

The following exchange from Alien: Resurrection is a good second:

Johner: Hey, Ripley. I heard you, like, ran into these things before?
Ripley: That’s right.
Johner: Wow, man. So, like, what did you do?
Ripley: I died.

She was great in Galaxy Quest, too:

Gwen: Fred, you had a part people loved. I mean, my TV Guide interview was six paragraphs about my boobs and how they fit into my suit. No one bothered to ask me what I do on the show.
Fred: You were… umm, wait…
Gwen: I repeated the computer, Fred.

…and in Ghostbusters (“There is no Dana, only Zuul!”), and in Dave, and in Copycat, and in Heartbreakers, and, oh!, we mustn’t forget The Ice Storm (Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Tobey Maguire: what’s not to like?), and probably a ton of others I haven’t seen, including the other two (beside Aliens) that got her Academy Award nominations.

Low point: I haven’t seen a Sigourney Weaver film I didn’t like, but she turned down the lead in The Accused, which went to Jodie Foster, who got a Best Actress for it. Bummer.

Linda Hamilton is kind of a one-trick pony—she’s done Sarah Connor and… uhm… Sarah Connor? Still, props for “coming out” as bipolar; perhaps that explains why she hasn’t done anything notable outside of the Terminator franchise.

High point of Linda Hamilton’s career so far: the escape from the hospital in Judgment Day.

Low point: the clothes she’s wearing at the beginning of The Terminator

*Husbandspeak for “for a few days, I can do whatever the hell I want!”

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