Monday, November 09, 2009

Homo Box Office

Tried to see "Precious" on Saturday but it was sold out in Union Square through the night. Was able to persuade Michael to watch the latest Netflix selection (pretty quick considering what happened last time), which happened to be "Midnight Cowboy," the notorious Jon Voight-Dustin Hoffman film that was the only X-rated Best Picture Oscar winner ever. For all of its infamy, I really didn't know what to expect, which was probably a good thing. Although I'd definitely say all "classics" are not created equally, Voight's naive hustler did have his charms, and the unlikely friendship between Buck and Ratso Rizzo definitely laid the groundwork for future male-bonding relationships.

Although I've always known he was Angelina Jolie's father, I hadn't seen the young (and non-revoltingly right-wind) model since Jolie became such a star, and I have to say the resemblance was so uncanny it was almost a distraction. (Angelina in a blond Mia Farrow 'do in tight pants sporting big package -- weird stuff!)

On Sunday we had better luck, getting choice balcony seats for the 4:45 "Precious" and despite the bound-to-be-disappointed "Slumdog" hype, I still managed to be thoroughly moved and impressed by the harrowing tale of Claireece "Precious" Jones. Gabourey Sidibe (as the title character) and Mo'Nique (as her abusive mother) both give Oscar-caliber performances, and Paula Patton (Alan Thicke's daughter-in-law!) and Mariah Carey -- in addition to Precious' classmates -- round out an impeccable cast. Carey's part may be small, but I give her a lot of credit for being able to hold her own, delivering an understated performance where so many other music divas have failed. More often than not, even when they're merely extras in a scene, Debbie Harry and Madonna's mere presence screams bad acting is distracting, so a tip of my hat to you, Mimi. I recommend "Precious." After everything the world has been through following the Mackenzie and John Phillips saga, it good that this film will expose the fact that incest doesn't only happen among rich and famous white people. My grade: A -

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