Saturday, March 6, 2010


It's here! The race is on! Today! In just hours, minutes, lists of seconds!

You know what I'm talking about. The blue people. Stewardesses. Tragic, mystic, violent nazi hunters, flying houses, the alien camp, and all the other great ones.

Yep. The Oscars. (Is it fitting to now ask who is this Oscar and whether or not he should have some sort of fingerling moostache with a name like that? Or how he is so fit? Or, for even as far as androgyny goes, why he wears no pants, no shirt, no smile or face? Meh. The questions that keep sane men up late.)

Anyways. As we all celebrate Hollywood's entertainment superbowl -- which really is the same as the bowl except for the makeup, the flat jokes, and that a large group of very old white men decide on its outcome -- it's good to remember that so many of our favorite films of the year were born firstly on the page. Check it out! Read them! And even though none can ever be as faithful or brilliant as McCarthy/The Coens No Country for Old Men, Read them, See them, and Decide which is better!

Push by Sapphire (Vintage, $13.00) -- A sorrow-filled but vitally inspiring novel, Sapphire's first is conveyed deftly through abused, obese, 16 year old Precious's stream of consciousness narration. Up for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress Best Director, and others.

An Education by Lynn Barber (Atlas, $13.00) -- Candid, funny, honest, heartfelt -- you name it and Lynn Barber's memoir has got it. Written for the screen by Nick Hornby and up for Best Picture, Best Actress, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay .

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis (Norton, $13.95)-- You've probably read it already, haven't you? Inspiration story of a homeless teen (African-American) taken in by a wealthy, well-to-do family (Caucasian). Football stardom/ Sandra-Bullock-Oscardom ensue. Best Picture and Best Actress.

The Last Station: A novel of Tolstoy's Final Year by Jay Parini (Anchor, $15.00) -- A New York Times' Notable of the year which pieces together the last years of Tolstoy's long life. Great book and a memorable movie. Best Actress.

Up in the Air by Walter Kirn (Anchor, $14.95) -- Poignant corporate satire about people, goals, society, and secret lounges for the very highest mileage flyers. Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress (x2), Best Director, etc.

Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb (Harper Perennial, $13.99) -- Cob convinces us of both Bad Blake's character and (true) country music's fading, rambling, beaten yet brilliant old soul in good style. And the best commendation: he writes a character encompassing enough for The Dude, Jeff Bridges's, near-endless gift for acting in the way of Bad Blake. See the film, hear the songs, read the book! Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Song.

Invictus by John Carlin (Penguin, $16.00) -- A perspective-wielding book about Mandela's first years in office and the struggle he faced to keep a fracturing country together. Starring Matt Damon, Rugby, and Morgan Freeman in his long-inevitable starring as the great Nelson Mandela. Yup another beautiful film by Clint Eastwood and a pretty damn good book too, from what I hear. Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor. (And btw, invictus means 'unconquered' in latin. I wondered too)

Others: THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX by Roald Dahl (Best Animated Picture), CORALINE by Neil Gaiman (Best Animated Picture), JULIE & JULIA by Julie Powell (Best Actress) ... etc


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