Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Angelina's Right Leg for Best Picture!

The Artist won Best Picture. Was that a hiccup or Hollywood giving itself an indulgent hand job? If the latter, as I suspect, then the casting couch has been replaced by the awards season multi-mirrored orgy tent.
The Artist is France's biggest gift to the USA since this statue. Angelina's leg has no comment.
It's surprising, given that the nation most vehemently protective of its culture's language would be the one to bend over backwards for the beast to give Hollywood that hot hand job in return for a golden statuette! France rejoices in its first Best Picture, but what a pyrrhic win, and what will become now of their lucrative, complex industry that expertly voices-over all English spoken films and television into French? Did you know there is a French actor who does my voice? Perhaps strict French-only media mandates will weaken. Perhaps there will be parallels drawn with the fate of silent film as portrayed in The Artist.

Here we have a French production with a French lead actor about Hollywood where words mouthed are in English; words written are in English. Aren't foreign films supposed to offer something of a reflection of that particular culture? For example, the British film Iron Lady. Just look at those feral teeth on Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher - they are a reflection on the British. So when I watch a "French" film that so flagrantly fucks Hollywood on an altar of imitation (that is no longer just flattery, but now a ticket to a golden statuette) I find it pretty sad. I believe the likes of Truffaut, Fellini, Bergman and all others who showed us something different would find such selling out sad. 

Then again, maybe, like any good hooker, they needed the money? 
Warner Bros should be inspired to make a French speaking romance starring Bradley Cooper set at a cheateau in the Loire Valley featuring a cameo of Cate Deneuve and win the Canne's Palme D'or for reciprocally humping the hostess with the proof: Hollywood adores the French for their outstanding way around a delightful drop - and Americans down burgers no longer with a side of Freedom Fries.

I suppose this is why The Artist was not labeled a "foreign film". Not that I'm a fan of "foreign" in the first place. Uranus is foreign. Films, much as nations, are made up of a diverse collection of humans. We are all foreign. We are all domestic. I'm a citizen of the planet so show me yourself, your authentic self. Why pander?

I suppose, besides the vanity, it's the pandering that bothers me most about The Artist as Best Picture. It feels representative of a new paradigm for success: sweet, predictable and absolutely inoffensive. If you seek to please everyone, you are inherently less interesting because you sink to a lowest common denominator that has now spread out to 7 billion people. Perhaps that's just it.

The Artist's Jean Dujardin sure has charisma in Clark Gable spades. And it was a charming movie, with shades of many other movies as it paid homage to the movies. Cue Madonna sneering "reductive", cut to a shrill Kim Novak screeching "rape", pan to Beverly Hills where, absentmindedly combing her hair, a distraught Debbie Reynolds wonders why the girl playing her part in the un-singing, un-talking, un-dancing French-ish re-make of Singin' in the Rain has such big teeth?)

While we're on about toothy overbites, let's return to Iron Lady. Meryl Streep, an American actress, portrays a British Prime Minister - and did anyone give her producers the wrath they gave David O. Selznick for casting Vivien Leigh, a Brit, to play spunky American Scarlett O'Hara? You see? Nobody cares about what's foreign anymore! Perhaps the times are further along than I imagined.

You ask: Is the post Mardi Gras crash really that bad, Jesse? Yes! What in the world am I going on and on about? It's this: The only thing that's daring in Hollywood these days is Angelina Jolie's right leg.
Yes, that provocative pin is an internet sensation and yes, I am following @angiesrightleg on Twitter!
The glamorous gam has popped up on everyone from Betty White to At-At from Star Wars, prompting someone to note: "Photoshop is the best invention since the cotton gin!" 

This one had me giggling for about a day.


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