Friday, November 30, 2007

The One In Which Glenn Hates on La Vie en Rose Again

Yes! It's been a while since I trashed La Vie en Rose so I figured now is as good a time as any, considering the monumental blunder that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made today. I speak of their ridiculous decision to classify the French La Vie en Rose from director Alajandro González Iñárritu Olivier Daham as a "Musical/Comedy" for the Golden Globe awards, with nominations to be announced Dec 13.

I don't know how anyone who has seen the movie (whether they like it or loathe it) can classify it as a "Musical/Comedy". If La Vie en Rose classifies itself as a musical (there ain't no comedy in this flick, let me tell you!) then basically any movie with a soundtrack can classify itself as one. The movie that people routinely come back to in defending this decision is Ray, for which Jamie Foxx won a best actor in a musical/comedy Globe. You see, the performance sequences in Ray were actually "musical sequences". They had the energy that you would find in a regular song-and-dance musical and the movie revolved around the music. Even though Foxx was miming do Ray Charles' music he was "performing" and the film felt like a movie about music rather than a movie with music in it, which is the case with La Vie en Rose. And I don't even like Ray so I certainly am not defending that movie.

No, because Edith Piaf, as played by Marion Cotillard with an assortment of wigs and Amelie impersonations, in her performances merely stands on a stage. The only time the movie becomes about the music and not about OMGMARIONCOTILLARDISEDITHPIAF!! is during the film's climactic rendition of "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien". The music sequences are good in that the music is good, but the movie is more interested in watching Marion Cotillard act twee/drunk/depressed instead of being a film about Piaf's music, which is where the film stops being a "musical" and becomes a "drama", which is the category La Vie en Rose should have been placed.

Then again, the HFPA are weird like that. Remember when Dancer in the Dark was classified as a drama when it is clearly much more of a musical than La Vie en Rose, Ray and Walk the Line are combined? Bjork got a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama despite a large part of the power of her performance being her musical passion.

Still, perhaps this decision will have a silver lining. Now that Cotillard isn't in drama contention she has a higher chance of losing because this year's musical/comedy category is stacked to the rafters and if something like Sweeney Todd sweeps (and some people think it deserves to) then will Helena Bonham Carter not get swept up? And you can't deny that people like Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Laura Linney (The Savages) will be very strong candidates as well.

It also means that in the drama category, where Cotillard would most certainly have won even though it's a foreign language performance, Julie Christie could have a free walk to the podium for her excellent performance in Sarah Polley's Away From Her, which I don't think anyone would begrudge. Or Keira Knightley could even give her campaign a big boost if Atonement really does explode onto the awards scene.

So, basically, it's utterly absurd and kind of insulting that they deemed La Vie en Rose as a "musical" or "comedy" (the decision is quite comedic in itself actually), but perhaps, just maybe, the "omgsheISedithpiaf" campaign will run off the rails because of it. I certainly hope so.


J.D. said...

I really liked this movie


and LOVED her performance

[ducks even lower]

and thinks she deserves any award there is

[transports to the twelth dimension]

but this is just completely retarded. Anyone who thinks this film is a comedy is seriously disturbed. The film, not peoples' reactions to it. Because your's are pretty damn funny, man. :)

Rural Juror said...

J.D.. . . . stop embarassing yourself! :)


Best description of the film I've heard.

As for Bjork, I thik the main problem is that they automatically classify a musical as part of the comedy category. A musical can be either/or.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I don't generally have a problem with Bjork and Dancer being classified as drama because, hell, if there's a more dramatic film from 2000 then I don't think I saw it, but if they classify that as a drama when it has actual song-and-dance musical sequences then I don't understand where they're coming from labelling Rose as a musical/comedy.

JD, do you care to elaborate on why?

Rural Juror said...

Basically, my point is that a musical shouldn't automatically have a category. If I were in charge, Ray and Walk the Line and Dancer in the Dark . . . they'd all be drama. It should be case by case.

Colin said...

I agree with Rural Juror. The times when musicals were a priori comedies are long gone (thanks to movies like Cabaret, Dancer in the Dark, Ray, etc.). They should remove the "/Musical" part of the award title.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well yeah, but if they did that they'd throw a spanner into the works because they'd have to look at the actualy comedies and judge them appropriated instead of nominating musicals and dramadies.

adam k. said...

Well I disagree with you in that I think she would've lost to Christie but will now win in musical/comedy, beating out many more deserving candidates. (I haven't seen Cotilllard yet, but I'm just assuming I'll hate her, I guess). So I'm even more pissed about this move.

But yes, now Christie should win in a walk. I actually think her biggest competition is Angelina Jolie, and that's not saying much.

Melquiades said...

I agree with J.D.... Cotillard deserves an award in whatever category they put her in.

I wasn't crazy about the movie, but she was astounding.

J.D. said...

Elaborate on what? Why I liked the movie, LOVED her, or why I think she deserves any award there is? Because, well...

I . H a v e . N o . I d e a .

David said...

I completely agree with j.d. It was one of the best films i saw all year, and her performance was fantastic. It does however, seem to be an odd fit for the category that its been placed in.

Anonymous said...

I loved La Vie en Rose. I don't pay attention to awards anyway so couldn't care less how it's categorized. I certainly won't listen to anything more that you have to say though. We have very different ideas about what is a good movie.