Jan 15, 2015

A David looking for a Goliath

'One hesitates to use the word “egoless” with regard to Hollywood but one of the pleasures turned up by this year’s awards season has been watching the director Richard Linklater’s Capraesque path to and from the winner’s podium. His film "Boyhood", shot over a 12-year period in the life of its teenage hero, played by the newcomer Ellar Coltrane (above), has been the unlikely frontrunner to win the Best Picture Oscar since October. Unlikely because nothing about Linklater’s gently indolent films—from his debut, "Slacker", to "Dazed and Confused" to the "Before Sunrise" trilogy—exactly shouted “Oscar”. They don’t shout much of anything at all, offering up small-scale epiphanies and stoner pensées in a spirit of patient pointillism not a million miles away from the films of Eric Rohmer. Linklater himself has the matte, low-key affect of someone who comes to fix your fridge and stays to unblock your sink and then—since he’s here—rehang your pictures. Wherever James Cameron comes from in the moviemaking universe, Linklater hails from the opposite corner. There’s absolutely zero danger of him proclaiming himself "king of the world" if—as looks increasingly likely—he makes his way to the stage of the Kodak theatre to pick up Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director next month. Instead he is likely to do what he did at the Golden Globes last weekend: get up on stage and pump everyone’s hand, as if he’s at the biggest job interview of his life, and then deliver a speech almost entirely lacking in the false humility with which the egomaniacal traditionally adorn themselves on such occasions. He will be faltering, awkward, not quite up to the occasion, maybe even a little disappointing. That is how an honest man shows up on Oscar night.' 
— from my Oscar handicapping piece for Intelligent Life

No comments:

Post a Comment