Ahoy, squirts! Quint here presenting Latauro and this week's AICN-Downunder column. Here he's had a chance to shout 2 questions to Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette all red-carpet style. He also talks a little bit about IN MY FATHER'S DEN winning tons of awards. I saw this flick at the American Film Market a while back and it is indeed a great movie. Maybe all these awards will mean a small theatrical run in the states? I hope so. Anyway, here's Latauro! Enjoy!
Shoes like this should not be locked up in a closet! You should be living a life of scandal. You should be getting screwed in an alley behind a club by a billionaire while his wife waits in the car and he told her he just forgot his wallet!
Red carpet interviews aren't really that interesting. You wait for hours next to paid journalists with a big sign saying "AICN-Downunder", and when you go to explain what Ain't It Cool is, the print journalists admit they read it regularly, so you start apologising. You only get a few moments to spit out a question (in my case, I got two) while listening to inane radio DJs ask some of the dumbest questions you've ever heard.
Nonetheless, it was a chance to meet (or, at least, be in temporarily close proximity to) Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, who, several weeks ago, walked the red carpet in Melbourne for the premiere of IN HER SHOES. Trying for something a little different than "How do you like Australia?", I shot out some alternate questions.
LATAURO: With all the premieres that you guys go to for each film, how many times do you watch it through before you say "That's it, I'm not going to sit through this again" ?
DIAZ: Well, I'm done. I've seen this enough times. I've seen it, like, three times. Not that it's not enjoyable every time, but I think after a while you're like, okay, I know it, it's done...
COLLETTE: It's time to let go. We saw it for the first time with an audience at the Toronto Film Festival last weekend, so...
DIAZ: It's usually after I've seen it with an audience that you can kind of put it to bed.
LATAURO: Can you complete this sentence: Curtis Hanson needs a...
COLLETTE: ...another script for me to be in.
DIAZ: I was just going to say that exactly! Ditto.
So there you have it. As for my review of IN HER SHOES, scroll down...
WOLF CREEK, which is due for its Australian release on November 3, will now be delayed in the Northern Territory. CREEK is based on two prominent cases: the Ivan Milat killings and the Peter Falconio case. The problem is that the Peter Falconio case began in Darwin about forty-eight hours ago, and it's feared the film may influence the outcome. If John Jarrat was up on the murder charge, I could understand that, but anyway...
Just for the sake of mentioning it (because, let's face it, it'll probably shoot in New Zealand), Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will be Executive Producing the new HALO movie. Five bucks says Andy Serkis puts on a mocap suit and plays the title role.
LOOK BOTH WAYS, which is currently enjoying a pretty successful Australian run, has just been picked up by Kino International and will be distributed across the US. Like every other Australian film that enjoys a moderate amount of critical success, it's being shouldered with the responsiblity of reviving the Australian film industry's international prospects.
OFFING DAVID is a new Australian indie feature. I'd tell you all about the film's teaser trailer if my computer hadn't suddenly decided it didn't want to play sound any more, so you'll have to see it for yourself at this link right here!!!
Finally, I know it's not technically film news, but I haven't read this anywhere else. Aussies and Kiwis who want their "Simpsons" season six to fit in with the rest of their collection aren't able to order it from the US -- www.simpsonsbox.com only ships to the US and Canada. Well, Fox Video in Australia will be releasing a more uniform box this December. So, if you're as anal retentive as me, you can now be happy in the knowledge that the new box will fit in with the first five. Except, of course, for that stupid new ratings logo that's plastered on every DVD now.
AWARDS AND FESTIVALS
16TH DINARD BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL IN... FRANCE?
Never heard of this one, but New Zealand film IN MY FATHER'S DEN took out the Golden Hitchcock (the jury award), the Silver Hitchcock (the audience award) and the Prix Kodak for Cinematography. Which may or may not be a Bronzed Hitchcock.
PUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Australian film LOOK BOTH WAYS will premiere in Korea at PIFF, along with popular Aussie short JEWBOY.
While they haven't cracked the top five, LITTLE FISH and THE PROPOSITION have made some pretty decent cash in the short time they've been out; LITTLE FISH has had the biggest opening for an Australian film this year, beating HATING ALLISON ASHLEY.
RELEASED THESE TWO WEEKS PAST
Rob Zombie finds an apt use for the term "reject", we get the prequel to HALLIBURTON: THE RICHEST GUYS IN THE OVAL OFFICE, Curtis Hanson oversees this year's clunkliest metaphor-cum-title, Russia begins a mighty trilogy, Guy Pearce goes in search of a bad seed, and I'm far too hungover to come up with anything for this last one.
THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM
IN HER SHOES
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA'S PEARLS
IN HER SHOES
If there's one thing that drove home how removed I am from the majority of Australian critics, it's the reactions to both SERENITY and IN HER SHOES. For all the positive reactions SERENITY got from mainstream critics in the US, it got a fairly widespread panning over here. "Serious" critics bemoaned the apparent immaturity, humourlessness and crapness of SERENITY, and I was left scratching my head. Had we seen the same film? I shrugged it off; I hardly ever agree with them anyway. Why should this time be any different?
Imagine my surprise over the past week as I read/see/hear review after review praising IN HER SHOES. Apparently, this film is mature, funny and just plain wonderful. I'm in the film reviewer's version of Bizarre-O World.
I saw IN HER SHOES about a month ago, and dutifully abided by my first ever embargo. Well, not my first; technically speaking, it's merely the first one I've taken notice of. If you're singing the praises of a film before you're supposed to be talking about it, distributors don't tend to mind. If you tear a film a new hole on AICN before they can begin their marketing blitz, they do.
IN HER SHOES is a mess. It's a poorly-scripted bunch of nonsense that your ex-girlfriend (the one who thinks the two greatest shows in the world are SEX IN THE CITY and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) is going to love.
I was actually looking forward to this film. Sussannah Grant, screenwriter of ERIN BROCKOVITCH, penned the script, and Curtis Hanson, whose filmography boasts LA CONFIDENTIAL and WONDER BOYS, was directing. The three leads were Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley Maclaine. How could this not work?
Well, first of all BROCKOVICH was very much a Steven Soderbergh film, and OCEAN'S 12 notwithstanding, the man knows how to elevate a script far beyond its standing (sorry, Mr Dobbs, but it's true). Curtis Hanson is pretty much absent during the entire film; I saw zero evidence of his involvement beyond his title card, and can only assume he was off counting his piles of money, Gus Van Sant-in-JAY AND SILENT BOB-style. As for Diaz, Collette and Maclaine, they're all terrific, but terrific performances in a bad film still leaves you with a bad film.
I can definitely see why Diaz and Collette were attracted to the script. The roles are meaty, even -- dare I say it -- Oscar-baitish. Collette gives us extreme happiness, soulful tears, deep anger, and mental breakdowns, with her usual down-to-Earth authenticity. The only problem is, we're treated to these in every single scene. The gamut of emotions is run at regular ten minute intervals, and it's a credit to Collette that she doesn't come off as ridiculous. In fact, she's really good. Also impressive is Diaz, who manages to sell her character as sympathetic despite the myriad of unsympathetic things she does.
Despite these two -- and Mark Feuerstein -- there's really nothing to recommend. It's very rare that I'll say "it's for women"; for me, a good film is a good film. I thought the first BRIDGET JONES was terrific, and the second one was unwatchable. I love "Gilmore Girls" but loathe "Sex In The City". This is the first film I've seen where I've felt that it's just not for me. I am in no way the target audience. Part of me wants to dismiss it outright as a lazy piece of crap (that part of me wrote the majority of this review, by the way), but maybe it's all to do with my chromosomes. Maybe if I was a little more hystrionic and cared more about shoes, I'd like this film. But I don't. And I don't recommend it. It's an ultra-lite SIDEWAYS clone for chicks who look up to Paris Hilton.
MESSAGE FROM FALLUJAH
This is one of those times I'd gone into a film knowing nothing about it. Hell, I hadn't even heard the title before I got the invite, so curiousity got the better of me and I cleared a few hours to find out what it was all about.
Turns out it's a short film. Fifteen minutes. It stars Lance Henrikson, and was actually made by an Australian outfit. Unlike most short films, I suspect you'll be hearing about this one soon.
Without giving too much away, the film is about an American national who is kidnapped and held hostage by terrorists. It's a pretty powerful bit of work, with some of the best production design and cinematography I've seen in a short film (BMW ads notwithstanding). The editing occasionally slips into Fincheresque grandiosity, but thankfully keeps it from overwhelming itself.
The only real problem with the film is that it pushes its message too hard. It's definitely got an agenda, but that agenda is worn on its sleeve and is the film's biggest hurdle. Still, as hurdles go, it's not a fatal or debilitating one. The direction as well as Henrikson's impressive performance will almost certainly assure this film of an Oscar nom early next year. Definitely one to catch.
- Woody Allen rumoured to play the villain "Jokester" in CASINO ROYALE
- Roger Donaldson begins production on the Anthony Hopkins magic carpet-themed sequel, THE WORLD'S FASTEST AFGHAN
- After a complaint by the AFA, Shane Black's latest film gets an Australian title change to HUG HUG HIT HIT