What I Learned From A League of Their Own

Duh.
This lesson is obvious. It’s also not true because there is crying in baseball, especially when A League of Their Own is involved.

What can you learn from A League of Their Own? So much. I recently rewatched the movie and after I finished crying, I realized how many valuable lessons we can take away from it. Particularly if you are a women struggling with domesticity. Then A League of Their Own is the ideal movie for you to base your entire existence around.

Here are its key lessons.

Continue reading “What I Learned From A League of Their Own”

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Cannes Controversy

Is it just me or are all the complaints surrounding The DaVinci Code starting to get really irritating? I get why people are upset about it, after all contradicting the Bible is a BIG no-no, but seriously it’s entertainment, the movie has already been produced and there is nothing that can be done about it.

It seems that Director Ron Howard agrees.

Howard: Don’t See My Movie
Director Tells Protestors,’ Don’t See The Film If It’s Upsetting’

CBS/AP) It’s a rare suggestion from a movie director: Ron Howard says if you think it will bother you, don’t go see The Da Vinci Code.

With protests swirling at the Cannes film festival — where the protesters include a Catholic nun reciting a rosary at the foot of the red carpet — Howard agrees that the movie, like the novel, “is likely to be upsetting to some people.”

The book and its screen adaptation suggest Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a secret dynasty. But Howard insists his movie is “supposed to be entertainment” and “not theology.”

Howard says protestors should wait and talk to people who’ve seen the movie, then come to a decision independently.

CBS News correspondent Elaine Cobb reports that the film critics at Cannes have given the film a lukewarm reception. A press screening for 2,000 critics from around the world drew no applause in a setting where even bad movies usually get a few claps.

Some critics jeered and booed during the film and many dismissed the movie as vacuous. Most agreed that the film was completely faithful to the book.

Literary critics hated the book, which went on to sell more than 60 million copies. So the fact the movie won few fans among cinema critics doesn’t mean it won’t be a runaway success too.

Tom Hanks, who stars in the film, hasn’t lost his sense of humor during the controversy. When the cast was asked if they believe Christ was married, Hanks quipped, “Well, I wasn’t around.”

The Art of Acting Gay: What Does It Entail?

I found this interesting article in the NY Times. There is an emerging and rapdily increasing trend in Hollywood Straight actors playing gay, transgender, or transvestite characters.

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The Winner is…. Only Acting Gay
By: Caryn James

Groups that hand out awards can be suckers for acting stunts, from Nicole Kidman’s fake nose in The Hours to Adrien Brody’s near-starvation for The Pianist. The tradition is so entrenched that Kate Winslet, playing an outrageous comic version of herself in the HBO series “Extras,” listed a surefire way to get that elusive Academy Award.

“Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot? Oscar. Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man? Oscar,” she says. “Seriously, you are guaranteed an Oscar if you play a mental.” Irreverent, imprecise (the Day-Lewis character was not mentally troubled) yet essentially true.

This season she might have added: playing gay. There has been an explosion of Oscar-baiting performances in which straight actors play gay, transvestite or transgender characters. Philip Seymour Hoffman melts into the role of the gay title character in Capote, while Cillian Murphy plays a transvestite in 1970’s Ireland in Neil Jordan’s witty, endearing Breakfast on Pluto. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger play lovers in Brokeback Mountain (set to open Dec. 9), already better known as “the gay cowboy movie” and already a Letterman joke.

But big-name actors are leaping into such roles in smaller films, too. Felicity Huffman stretches way beyond “Desperate Housewives” as a man about to become a woman in Transamerica (Dec. 2) and Peter Sarsgaard plays a gay Hollywood screenwriter who has an affair with a closeted, married studio executive (Campbell Scott) in the current Dying Gaul.

It’s this cluster of sexually different roles that is new, not the idea itself. These actors are simply following the Oscar-winning path set more than a decade ago by Tom Hanks as a gay man with AIDS in Philadelphia, followed by Hilary Swank as the cross-dressing heroine of Boys Don’t Cry and Charlize Theron, whose role in Monster was a kind of award-baiting triple-whammy: she gained weight, wore fake teeth and played a lesbian.

With evidence that they will be rewarded for such stretches, and with a public now accustomed to seeing gay characters in movies and television shows like “Will & Grace,” big-name actors seem eager to take these roles. Ralph Fiennes is now filming Bernard and Doris, in which he plays the gay butler of the billionaire Doris Duke (Susan Sarandon).
The actors are straight as far as we know (give or take the occasional rumor on the Internet, where you can find rumors about anything), an issue that matters only because it becomes part of the filmmakers’ shrewd if unspoken calculation. Especially in today’s celebrity culture, the line between the actor’s life and the movies never entirely vanishes. [ …] Our awareness of these nonfiction roles makes it easier and maybe more acceptable for middle-class heterosexual viewers – a group that does, after all, include most of us in the audience – to embrace characters whose sexual preferences we don’t share.

This politically incorrect pragmatism aside, portraying gay, transvestite and transsexual characters allows actors to draw on a huge supply of gimmicks – wigs and costumes, mannerisms of speech and posture – that signify Acting. The real magic is to let the stunt give way to character, which happens in the best of these performances. Mr. Hoffman in “Capote” and Mr. Murphy in “Pluto” use the outer signs of dress and manners to get to the essence of the men they play, to define a richness of personality that is entwined with the character’s sexuality, yet goes beyond it. […]

The complete article can be found here.
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I understand the point of actors playing gay characters and part of me hopes that not every actor is taking these intense and challenging parts just for the accolades.

The main problem I see with this “epidemic” of sorts is that straight actors can take on gay roles so easily (the article touches on this point) andthe American public will still have no problem accepting the actor. It will still be considered acting. As long as we know that the actor is married with a family then we’re fine with whatever career moves they make.

If a gay actor played a straight man, people would find issues with this. His performance wouldn’t be great but rather not real acting. And therefore, the out gay actor is limited to the best friend roles (like Rupert Everett in My Best Friend’s Wedding.)

Maybe the other issue is that there isn’t currently a young gay actor (in that young Hollywood clique of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan) setting the trend. Because actors such as Rupert Everett and Ian McKellan are great actors, I don’t think people automatically associate them with being gay.

Whatever the purpose is for this new trend, it is an ineresting debate/discussion. How do feel about it? Do you think it is a good pattern or just a horrible concept all together? Or does only content matter to you and therefore as long as the film is good then you do not care about the actor’s personal life?