Monday, June 06, 2005

Movie: Cinderella Man (2005)

Playing boxer James J. Braddock, Russell Crowe somehow rearranges his features so that he looks vaguely like John Garfield. I don’t know how he did it. For that matter, I don’t know he managed to deliver another terrific performance, one that manages to be relentlessly physical even when he’s sitting still.

And he’s more than matched by Paul Giamatti. After AMERICAN SPLENDOR and SIDEWAYS, you have to ask: is there a better actor in American movies right now? I came across SPLENDOR on cable again last night, and it’s become one of those films that I can never turn off. It’s got so much to say about life, work, and art, and those rare instances when all three can be the same thing. Above all it’s got Giamatti, offering so many grace notes that every viewing yields a new delight.

Watching these two heavyweight actors spar is a treat. And Ron Howard shoots the hell out of the fight sequences, especially the climactic bout between Braddock and Max Baer (Craig Bierko).

But personally, I’d rather see a movie about the other guy.

TV: Jeopardy!

Another reminder to tune in and see my lovely wife Rosemarie on the show tonight. Or go to the JEOPARDY! website and watch her Hometown Howdy. Honest, that’s what they’re called.

Miscellaneous: Link

“Who else is still around who can say he wrote a screenplay with F. Scott Fitzgerald, yakked about movies with Sergei Eisenstein and is still owed $100 by Harry Cohn?” Budd Schulberg, that’s who.