Thursday, August 17, 2006

I woke up early, even for a Thursday, to-day. This follows yesterday, when the neighbours made noises like a leaf blower war outside my window early in the day. I managed to write the new Boschen and Nesuko script in spite of that, and I'm fairly happy with it.

To-day the maids just decided to come early and, apparently, rearrange my things in maddening little ways. It's baffling how they manage to put everything they pick up in the wrong place, even after all these years. Stuff I think I could've learned in an hour, tops . . .

I was glad to see there were actually some early movies playing, so I went to see Little Miss Sunshine. It's a film that belongs to what you might call the "Precious Ennui" genre Wes Anderson pioneered, and it's not as strong as Rushmore or The Royal Tennenbaums, but it isn't a complete misstep like I Heart Huckabees. Really, Little Miss Sunshine only occasionally treads too far into gooey, and most of the time it sets the right tone.

The movie's about a family of misfits, each one what could be described as a "loser" in his or her own way. It's a movie about not being defined by how much you win, I guess . . . It also seems to just noticeably be an allegory for the current socio-political climate in the U.S. This is best shown in a scene in a hotel--Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette, the parents, are in one room while next door are Steve Carrell, as the uncle, and Paul Dano, as the son. Carrell and Dano can hear them fighting through the wall and Carrell says gently, "You don't have to listen to that," and switches on the television before going back to the bathroom to brush his teeth. On the television is President Bush, fumbling through his latest dull excuse. Dano switches off the television, smiling contentedly to again only hear his parents yelling at each other.

The movie has a number of nice performances, but best of all is Steve Carrell as the suicidal Proust scholar. That man continues to amaze me by how much he's able to do by doing almost nothing. It's what made him my favourite correspondent on The Daily Show--he'd say things that weren't necessarily funny but still make me laugh, by sheer will. It's exciting to see that he can do it with dramatic material, too. I really hope he gets attached to a really great production at some point.

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