A few days ago, I started to wonder what would happen first: a BlackPink comeback or a new post on 2 Scoops? Recent news stories have suggested that a BP comeback could happen sometime in November…. so, let’s say I beat them by a couple of days. I could make an excuse for relative silence, but I’ve been busy. When the free time rolls in, I have to ask myself: do I want to do something else or do I want to be on the computer and write about the dang Joker? Something else is a broad, all encompassing term meaning either going to the movies, running errands or suffering through another FC Barcelona match with Ernesto Valverde at the helm (now I have to add suffering through a Lakers game to the mix).
Do I have anything significant add to the 2019/20 Oscar campaign? I feel like Joker is this season’s Green Book. There are a lot of people that passionately love and will defend it to the death and there are a few people that thought the picture was bit of an over praised snooze. The people that forgot for a moment that Todd Phillips wasn’t a radical filmmaker on par with enfat terrible Gaspar Noe. Sure, Todd Phillips managed to make a picture about class and the war between the have and have nots, but at the same time, it was produced and released by a giant corporation. It’s about as rebelious as Rage Against The Machine being on a label owned by Sony. King Joaquin obviously crushes it because he’s the Vegan King. I don’t know, I just feel like Joker is like “Hillbilly Elegy” of comic book movies and all of those Biden/Corporate Pete supporters are going to lap that shit up.
Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat obviously is a better picture, but I believe does a better job of illustrating class warfare on a global scale. I was surprised that Soderbergh stopped short of mentioning how little Netflix pays in taxes towards the film’s end. The film’s dense subject matter and episodic structure will probably hurts the picture’s chances with the Biden/Corporate Pete block, but it’s there. It works. Jeffrey Wright delivers an incredible performance. Meryl Streep is great. Antonio Banderas is great; he’s having quite the fall season between this one and Pain & Glory.
The only other award seasons thought I have is about 1917. Sam Mendes is a prestige director who has been coasting off of the fumes of American Beauty and Road to Perdition, but would the picture work without the gimmicky one long extended take? I have multiple times got the trailer confused with Matthew Vaughn’s The King’s Man so that can’t be good and secondly, it just seems like Saving Private Ryan, but it’s the first World War. Roger Deakins is a legend, a titan, but I feel like Sam Mendes is turning his most likely beautiful cinematography into an art house version of William Castle’s The Tingler. The story isn’t quite there, but it’s going to feel like one long continious take because Birdman did it and it won Best Picture. Maybe it’s great. Maybe it’s important to the story and makes the film feel more viseral and tense, but buddy, it feels like it was made in “illusion-o” and an last ditch effort to remain a prestige picture director. If the picture goes sideways, Sam Mendes will probably go off and become a prestige TV guy and leave cinema to the real ones like Martin Campbell.