Thursday, March 3, 2016

quasigrecian thoughts

1. Are you interested in my friend's theory that Mark Ruffalo is under 9 years old? He doesn't actually say that, but he's backed himself into a position where it must be so. He has this notion that the Oscars refuse to give Leading Role nominations to juveniles, dating back to the creation of a special juvenile award in the 1930s, and citing Tatum O'Neal and Hallie Steinfeld as examples; but then he has to explain Keisha Castle-Hughes and Quvenzhané Wallis, which he does by postulating exceptions for foreign films or something. I maintain this is nonsense, and that the injustices to O'Neal and Steinfeld are due to the billings on their films, while Whale Rider and Beasts of the Southern Wild had no above-the-title billings. If there is an age threshold below which the Academy will not give a Leading Role nomination, it must be 9, which is how old Wallis was. So if these injustices are limited to juvenile actors, then since Mark Ruffalo had the top above-the-title billing for Spotlight but still got nominated for Supporting and not Leading, he must therefore be under 9 years old.

2. Fun with auto-correct: B's pocket appointment computer insists that what we are taking to the vet next week is not our cat Pippin, but our cat Pipeline.

3. The movie with Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins has released its first trailer. He may not be recognizable in that get-up, but her accompanist is played by Simon Helberg of Big Bang Theory and Dr. Horrible. What sort of alchemy was required to get the guy who played Moist into a movie with Meryl Streep I can't imagine, but I'm looking forward to the results.

Or maybe I'm not. The trailer omits any sound of Jenkins, or Streep-as-Jenkins, actually singing, so I looked up Jenkins' recording of the Queen of the Night's vengeance aria and quickly wished I hadn't. (I'd heard her before, but one forgets.) I then went looking for a good version to wash the bad taste out, and the best one I found was this stage performance by Diana Damrau (it was her signature role before she retired it), who actually succeeds in making the light coloratura flourishes seem desperately sinister.

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