Thursday, February 26, 2009

on the horizon

Next up, Opera Boston and Shostakovich's The Nose on Tuesday, March 3.

On March 7, the plan was to see The Daughter of the Regiment, but Connecticut Opera made the disturbing news last month that they were canceling the final two productions of their season. This is a troubling trend these days. Let's hope that these local companies can ultimately weather the storm.

However, this opens up the New England Chamber Opera's production, also on March 7 (and March 8) of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea. And guess what? Admission is FREE!!!

March 25 will find me back in Boston, this time for the Boston Lyric Opera and Rusalka.

And finally, I make my way back to the Met on April 1 for the Diana Damrau premiere of Rigoletto

Sunday, February 22, 2009

and the correct answers are...

These are my choices, not predictions:

Best Picture: Milk. The best of the choices given, but three of the choices were weak. My nominees would have been Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, The Visitor, Doubt, and The Wrestler

Best Director: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. This is the year to split the Picture/Director awards. The nudge goes to Boyle for doing what he did in the difficult location shoot in Mumbai.

Actor: Mickey Rourke. Sean Penn and Richard Jenkins were also strong contenders. Frank Langella and especially Brad Pitt have no business being in this category this year.

Actress: Melissa Leo. Anne Hathaway the only realistic alternative here. I loved Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, unfortunately she was nominated for the wrong film.

Supporting Actor: Robert Downey Jr. Josh Brolin, Philip Seymour Hoffmann, and Michael Shannon also very good. Heath Ledger the only weak link in this category: I did not particularly appreciate his over-hyped performance.

Supporting Actress: Taraji P. Henson. Everyone is strong in this category. Viola Davis was very effective, but in the end, her role was just too small to give it to her.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Some first impressions...

I am currently reviewing most of the films that have been nominated for Academy Awards. Out of the Best Picture category, I have seen Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, and Milk.

I am almost willing to say at this point that Milk should win it all. Slumdog is a great picture, as is The Reader. But emotionally, I need to go with Milk. Especially given the profound disappointment with California this year and the Proposition 8 vote which was manipulated out-of-state by the Mormon Church this year. Fuck them.

Let's back up a minute and review the two nominees that I have not yet seen (and I might very well revise my opinions once I have seen them, which will be soon).

Benjamin Button sounds like one of those trite romantic fantasies that always seem to make into the finals, but never stands a chance. Frost/Nixon is a Ron Howard film. Ron Howard knows very well how to make inconsequential popcorn movies and nothing else. That "A Beautiful Mind" ever won Best Picture is an eternal blight upon the Academy Awards (eclipsing even the travesty that was "Titanic").

I will see both "Frost/Nixon" and "Benjamin Button" within the next few days. Unless either of them unexpectedly blow me away, "Milk" is my winner along with Sean Pean as Best Actor as he truly WAS Harvey Milk in this film. Despite the fact that I still have a really hard time seeing guys making out on film (I admit to averting my eyes), I feel strongly that gay rights ARE the civil rights issue of this day, and I feel personally offended whenever some idiot politician comes out opposing gay rights for lack of any other substantive issue in his platform.