Oscar Sunday and Movie Monday: Swept Away and Django Unchained

Jessica Chastain at 2012 Oscars.  She's awesome.

Jessica Chastain at 2012 Oscars in Alexander McQueen.  She’s awesome.

So the Oscars are this Sunday.  Oh yeah, another chance for Hollywood to congratulate itself.  Yessss* but also a good time to invite friends over, make food and drink.  Of course we watch the Red Carpet and talk to the TV and criticize the fashion choices.  And yes we print out Oscar ballots to add in some friendly competition.  I wish that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosting but c’est la vie.  They chose Seth MacFarlane.  Hmm.  I’m sure he’ll be better than James Franco and Ann Hathaway.

I am not romantic about who wins and loses an Academy Award.  For a good laugh read this Oscar voter’s take on this year’s nominees from The Hollywood Reporter.  It does not disappoint.  I agree with him on a few things.  Maybe I’m an old curmudgeon.

I especially agree with him on “Django Unchained.”  For a brilliant breakdown read Jesse Williams‘ take.  I agree with him, a lot.

This brings me to a post I trashed.  It’s the first time I’ve done that.  I made it a goal not to be negative here and not to rant, too much.  In the end I decided that I should post it.  I watched two movies and had strong reactions to them, and to me, this warrants attention.

*There’s an article in the Atlantic about the study of extra vowels and elongation of words.  I am guiltyyyy and I like it!

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the movies.  Since it’s Awards season it’s time to see how many of the movies that are nominated we can see.  I had no desire to see “Django Unchained” but bf wanted to see it since there was an Italian Western movie called “Django” from 1966.  The star of that movie, Franco Nero, has a cameo in “Django Unchained.”

I wasn’t excited by the previews for “Django Unchained” and by the second hour of the movie I was bored.  The first half establishes the how and why and has some nice moments for Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx but as it prodded on I kept looking at my watch.  I liked “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.”  I even liked “Kill Bill” because the ladies got to exact revenge and chop up people, but I’m over the revenge stories, Quentin.  Can we try something else?  Can we also try to be a little less masturbatory with the monologues and unnecessary scenes?  I’m so glad you can craft a screenplay and an interesting scene but they’re not needed.

“Swept Away” is not an Oscar contender but it arrived via Netflix.  I knew of its existence because of the Guy Ritchie remake starring his then wife Madonna and the son of Giancarlo Giannini, Adriano.  I never saw it.  I did want to see “Swept Away.”  Now I wish that I could unsee it.  There are parts of the movie that are more disturbing than “Django Unchained.”  I sincerely dislike violence against your fellow human being.  Yes I watch it in movies, and even that makes me uncomfortable, but the calculated violence and manipulation in real life brings a lot of existential and religious questions to mind.

I did not enjoy watching Giancarlo Giannini’s character, the stereotypical Silician Gennarino,  verbally, mentally and physically abuse the haughty, rich Italian from the North, Raffaella, played by Mariangela Melato (Just a note, she recently died).  I understand why the Director Lina Wertmueller created the characters but I did not like them.  I’m not a fan of violence against women.  And if Raffaella has Stockholm Syndrome, well I sure hope she was faking it for survival.

The scenery was lovely and it made me want to jump on a boat and sail around the Mediterranean but the strange games played between rich and poor, man and woman do nothing for me.

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