My former fantasy lover Anne Hathaway, who has won the Golden Globe and SAG Award on her inevitable road to the Oscar for her performance in Les Misrables. I thought Ms. Hathaway was superb as Fantine: subtle, well-measured and heart-rendingly moving. That's what makes it all the more puzzling that her performances as an award recipient are as convincing as a six year-old playing a tooth in an elementary school pageant. In any awards season, the acting recipients unavoidably settle into maybe one "anybody's guess," a handful of "strong frontrunners" and one "sure thing" that you can not only bet the farm on, but all of the livestock as well. This year is no different, with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar being a free-for-all (Tommy Lee Jones seems like the one to beat but all of the nominees already have one statuette at home and have a reasonable chance of adding a second) and shoo-in Best Actor and Best Actress contenders Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence (who can only lose if the voters decide that they don't want to give him a third Oscar, having already awarded him for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood, when Hugh Jackman's house is filled with empty shelves; or if somebody suddenly realizes at the last minute that Silver Linings Playbook wasn't all that great a movie). That leaves Ms. Hathaway, who is such a sure bet for Best Supporting Actress that they might as well engrave her Oscar now and save themselves a little time. Yet on every occasion that she has won an award for Les Miz, she chooses to put on an over-the-top shtick that the award was totally unexpected, as they though she was being honored as a write-in candidate for her performance in Bride Wars. I get that Ms. Hathaway is just trying to put across the message that she's grateful for the honor and maybe even a little emotional about it, but anyone whose only experience of her histrionic abilities was watching her accept the SAG Award and Golden Globe might think that she needs to enroll in an acting class if she ever wants to be convincing to audiences. James Cagney said that the key to great acting was to "plant your feet, look the other guy in the eye and tell him the truth."Up to now Ms. Hathaway's acceptance speeches project all the truthfulness of Lance Armstrong testifying about his steroid use.
The Screen Actors Guild, which awarded their award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture to the committed ensemble of Argo. The meaning of that award has long been a subject of debate; some feel that it is SAG's "Best Picture" award that encompasses such aspects as direction, writing, design, editing, cinematography and presumably catering. Others (myself included) feel that the award honors exactly what the category describes: the film which had the most consistently impressive performances by its actors. I thought Argo was a good movie; it was a fun espionage thriller that was done in only by a completely implausible and over-the-top ending. But while it had a few enjoyable quirks among its ensemble (notably from seasoned scene stealers Alan Arkin and John Goodman), I didn't leave the theatre feeling like I had been given a master class in the art of acting; a feeling that I did have after seeing nominees for the same award like Lincoln or Les Misérables (even Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that I've been harshly critical of, had many far more memorable acting moments than Argo). So if SAG is going to vote they way they do, I wish that they'd add a Best Picture Award to settle the issue. And while they're at it, they might take a cue from the Teen Choice Awards and add some fun categories like Best Kiss, Best Action Sequence and Best Full-Frontal Nude Scene. I'd like to finally be able to vote for an award to movies that I actually want to watch.
Eddie Frierson. After last week's entry on Jonny Comics, I became obsessed with the subject and created a cover for the story described in the listing about the fantasy wedding between Jonny and Enemies List favorite Mara Marini. I posted it on my Facebook wall and the hurtful, offensive comments that it received inspired another cover in which Ms. Marini's muscular escort encounters me in a bar with the intent to rearrange my face (not realizing that even the slightest alteration would be an improvement). Finally, due to a combination of boredom and alcohol consumption, I created a third cover in which I go to Mr. Frierson's house to watch the Super Bowl (an experience that I have endured more than once and always offer as a reponse to women who tell me that there is nothing worse than the pain of childbirth) and encounter the photo of Ms. Marini that he ran off with after it was supposed to be my date on New Year's Eve.Since Mr. Frierson hails from the deep south and his gray matter is compromised by generations of inbreeding, he confused the idea that a photograph of Ms. Marini would harbor romantic thoughts towards him with the belief that she wants to hook up with him in reality; an eventually that would only be conceivable if he were to go on a regimen of human growth hormones and Minoxidil and if he got a job as a senior casting director at NBC. Mr. Frierson if hardly the first man to have unrealistic fantasies about Ms. Marini's level of romantic interest in him; even I have had to accept the idea that she's not likely to accept my standing proposal of marriage until her restraining order against me runs out in August of 2016. So my advice to Mr. Frierson is to test the waters by sending a photograph of himself to Ms. Marini first in order that she might gauge her interest in him. It will work out for everyone concerned, since Mr. Frierson will avoid the embarrassment of a face-to-face rejection and Ms. Marini's dog Monroe will have an appropriate surface on which to release her bowels. Everybody wins.
Bro Joe. I continued the Jonny Comics theme - even after Mr. Frierson's attempted to hijack it into a opening to inflict his Axe Body Spray-slathered mojo on Ms. Marini - by devoting a cover to Joe's daily dispatches describing the clientele at the various coffee shops at which he works. Joe is a writer by trade, specializing in erotic short stories for gentleman's magazines which inevitably begin with the sentence "I never believed that the letters you published were real until this actually happened to me...", and plies his art at a network of Starbucks and Coffee Beans; always being sure to alternate the schedule until the management forgets about his behavior the last time he was there. Joe's descriptions of the dregs of humanity who spend their day at the jamocha emporiums (brought in by the siren song of free WiFi and staying for the kick to their central nervous systems that only six grandé cups of high test caffeine can supply) makes it easy to understand why freak shows went out of fashion in this country: there's no point in shelling out a five cent piece to some unsavory carny to get a glimpse of a 400 pound bearded lady when you can have the same experience at a Starbucks and get a Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino® Blended Beverage in the bargain. Granted, the Frappuccino® will cost you about five bucks but that's a small price to pay for the entertainment value that Joe describes witnessing on a daily basis. Just the other day, he saw a pair of nursing students who might well be this century's Lucy and Ethel blathering on and on about their need to construct an organizational flow to their study habits, breaking off the conversation every five minutes to take a cell phone call or go on the Internet to stammer opinions about designer eyewear that one or the other of them was considering buying. The saga was concluded when one of the nursing students stared blankly into space and lamented "I need to read about brain trauma now."I could only assume that they're in one of those programs where they make you experience the malady so you can better understand the treatment.
My nemesis Misty LaRue, who posted on her Facebook wall a photo of an impressive drawing by her late father and asked for advice on how to remove some discoloration from the cherished family heirloom. In today's high-tech word of Photoshop and scanners, Ms. LaRue's request can be cheaply and easily fulfilled. But it did cause to wonder what will become of the thousands of drawings now housed in my subterranean porn vault that I created between the ages of 6 and yesterday afternoon. I have no daughter who would want to carry on my legacy (unless that iffy-looking condom I brought with me on a weekend to Tijuana in 1998 turned out to be as useless as it looked) so it seems unlikely that anyone want to preserve it. But then again, I think of an example like Vincent Van Gogh; someone who left behind hundreds of works of art without having any idea that they might be worth millions after his death. As just one example, I could easily someday see hanging in the Louvre this graphic pen sketch of circa-Partridge Family Shirley Jones (after undergoing a badly-needed boob job) spanking my ass. This masterwork represents only a tiny fraction of the canvasses I'll be leaving behind that depict stars of the stage and screen sexually humiliating me. My collection has pieces dating back to 1967 with a crudely drawn sketch on notebook paper of Julie Christie putting out a cigarette in my hand to my masterpiece, a 200'x600' oil-on-canvas titled The Cast of Melrose Place Branding Jonny and Kicking Pig Feces on Him. It would be an unforgivable loss to posterity if these works of art were not properly preserved but without any progeny to carry on my legacy, I'm leaving the responsibility to you. We're going to need to raise $200 million dollars to construct a Jonny Art Museum that will house my pornographic doodling, and we're going to start by having everyone reading this listing to call now and make a minimum donation of $5,000. Otherwise, the bar napkin on which I scrawled a picture of Linda Ronstadt anally violating me with a broken bottle could be lost to the ages. Operators are standing by.