the little gold guy

1

Tuned in to watch some American Cup gymnastics and was startled to see Canadians and Brazilians holding their own with the Americans, Russians and Chinese. So this is what happens when the Soviet Union disbands: their coaches scatter round the world, and next thing you know you see one of my Canadian homegirls doing a lovely, dramatic, Soviet-esque floor routine and scoring up there with the players.

2

Ah, the Oscars. I admit: I outgrew watching beauty pageants a long, long time ago, but I still watch the Oscars…Jon Stewart hosting! Hell yeah!

You know, I think CRASH will win Best Pic. For all the BROKEBACK hoopla, CRASH has been gathering the kind of quiet buzz and momentum that reminds me of MILLION DOLLAR BABY and THE PIANIST and their ‘upset’ wins over the bigger, more overtly talked-about pictures. Although people will ask me, “Have you seen BROKEBACK?”, it’s usually in the I’ve-heard-about-it-I-haven’t-yet-seen-it kind of way. But I’ve lost count of the number of times someone’s asked me, “Have you seen CRASH?” in the I-saw-it-and-loved-it-and-must-talk-about-it way which indicates to me that something’s afoot, that the true collective opinion of the voting members has split off from what popular culture will have you believe (that it will be a BROKEBACK sweep. Don’t think so, although Ang Lee will get Best Director).

MATCH POINT — which would have been one of my candidates for Best Picture, along with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, but of course the Academy spits on genre, the rare exceptions (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, LORD OF THE RINGS) only proving the rule — should win Best Screenplay, but won’t, because the universe is unjust.

3

Friends Scott and Jennifer, and E and I, came out of the Dave Chappelle concert movie the other night and were milling around in the lobby when E suddenly turned to the unsuspecting Jen: “My name’s on a movie poster.”

“No way,” she said.

“I’m serious. I can show you right now.”

“I don’t believe you.”

To put this in proper context, my husband has a well-developed sense of the absurd which he can deliver in the most reasonable tone of voice, complete with convincing (to some people) argument (he was once a debate champ) and appropriate deadpan expression. I will never forget the time he had one guy convinced of the existence of “South Seas Terriers”, a species of which our own dog, Hobbes*, was allegedly a member; their long coats protected them against the chill of the ocean as they swam from island to island. And I still have moments at social gatherings of one kind or another where someone I just met will turn to me with a bright expression and say, “So, your husband tells us you plan to have eight kids. That’s a lot, don’t you think?”

“I’ll bet you one dollar,” E told Jennifer, and she accepted the bet, not knowing that whenever E says, “I’ll bet you…”, he’s telling the absolute truth. So he took us all over to the movie poster for THANK YOU FOR SMOKING — the first time I’d seen the thing — and sure enough, his name is listed near the bottom right corner as one of the exec producers.

(Scott’s knowing response: “How much did that cost you?” But E — who invested in the film company, Room 9, rather than just the one picture — did have some input into what script got developed, how it was cast and budgeted, etc. I read the TYFS script first — we were on a plane, E heard me laughing out loud, and asked me what I was reading. He believed in the screenplay from the beginning and was a fierce proponent of it, advising Room 9 to “put all your resources into this picture” if that’s what it took to get the thing made. Room 9 is already in decent shape, due to the picture’s sale to Fox Searchlight at the Toronto Film Festival. E is proud of the film, proud of his association with it.)

Wordlessly, Jennifer handed over a single dollar bill.

*In truth, a humble Yorkie.

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