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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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How to Give Your Oscar Speech

gwyn.jpg Water Music From Big Pink: Gwyneth's Oscar meltdown. Where is she now?

My perennially sage advice on what to do, and not to do, when you win your Oscar (if you lose, you're on your own) is generating a lot of mail at MSN Movies again. An excerpt:

2. Don't Assume That God Voted for You No incarnation of the Creator of All Things is registered as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and nowhere on the Academy ballots is there a category for Best Vessel Through Whom God's Blessings Might Flow. (There remains some question, however, about whether Jesus Christ personally chooses the Grammy winners.) Winning an Oscar does not make you a special agent of God's will or the divine favorite over your fellow nominees -- or, for that matter, over the lepers in your category who must suffer the enduring shame of not even being nominated. (Didn't Jesus say that the un-nominated would inherit the earth?) Do not demean the concept of the Almighty by implying that either you, or the members of the Academy who voted for you, are somehow helping to implement God's Mysterious Plan so that you all can bring about the End Times. Even if it's true, don't. It's just bad form. [...]

5. Don't Overprepare (In Other Words: No Lists) All persons entering the Kodak Theatre should be frisked for 8 1/2-x-11-inch sheets of paper. Nothing larger than a 3-x-5 card should be allowed into the auditorium.... At most, your index card should have three items on it. For example:

1. One-liner joke 2. Suck up to X (director, studio exec, casting agent, soon-to-be-ex-spouse -- choose ONE) 3. Thank Academy

At least when Maureen Stapleton (Best Supporting Actress, "Reds," 1981) proclaimed that she wanted to thank "everybody I ever met in my entire life," she had the decency to refrain from mentioning them by name....

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