Our look at the films nominated for best picture continues. Please enjoy with your loved ones.
Your Neighborhood Garbage Man
by Robert Rutherford
dir. Tony Gilroy
Michael Clayton has the unfortunate honor of being the best film with the worst title of the year.
What kind of story were they trying to connote with that name? If the Warner marketing department was trying for the life and times of a mid-level CPA, or an introspective on a Community College Art Teacher, or a character study on your neighborhood garbage man then I can see “Michael Clayton” working as a title. Not so much for a bad ass hatchet-man lawyer who takes care of his firms’ business the old fashioned way – with subterfuge and prolonged looks of consternation.
I mean, if I was a lawyer I’d want to be Michael Clayton, I just wouldn’t want to be named ‘Michael Clayton’. I’d want to be named Timberlake Wertenbaker and try cases like ‘Zakk Wylde v. 357 Customs, Inc.’ .
george: the hillary clinton of the oscars?
But if Tony Gilroy (longtime writer, first-time director) can only be faulted for his protag’s nom de guerre, he’s in pretty good position for a blow job come the big dance on Feb 24th. There’s a long history of asininely named-after-names movies taking home more Oscar gold than would the bastard out of Carolina child of Forrest Gump and Norma Rae.
Tony is up for Best Achievement in Directing and Best Original Screenplay; winning either will guarantee we see far more smart, terribly named melodramas on the screen.
george yapping about darfur
This, if you were wondering, is probably a good thing. Because the only truly redeeming melodrama, and Michael Clayton is indeed high melodrama, is people getting killed and cars blowing up.
Incidentally, this never happened in a Douglas Sirk film that I know of, unless there was some vehicular arson in All That Heaven Allows, which I never saw so can’t vouch for. Anyway, when I see two men staring intensely at each other on a 30-foot high screen, I generally want them to shoot each other, not fuck. And no, it’s not the same thing.
So this brings me to my point, Douglas Sirk should be brought back from the dead to rename Michael Clayton using some combination of the words TIME, HEAVEN, WIND, ALWAYS and VAGINA. Then we’d at least have a film that academy members can feel comfortable voting for. Instead they’re left with the inherently awkward situation of casting a ballot for Best Motion Picture of the Year for a film that shares a name with their plumber. And that’s melodramatic.
Robert Rutherford is a tripod living in Los Angeles, CA. A graduate of Brown University’s much-feted English department, Bob now name-drops for a living. This is his first appearance in these pages.
FROM THE ENDLESS BOUNTY OF WISDOM THAT IS JASON SCHWARTZMAN’S BREIN
coconut records myspace
Danish says he likes ‘West Coast’ in a generic way, so there’s a ringing endorsement. I will wait until it is used in One Tree Hill to decide one way or another.
“The Thanks I Get” – Coconut Records (mp3)
“Nighttiming” – Coconut Records (mp3)
“West Coast” – Coconut Records (mp3)
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
We figured out how to use our new camera.
I miss Big Love.