Thursday, March 17, 2011

Laurie's NEXT Blog - The Other F Word, Beaver, Win Win and MORE!

Smack in the middle of SXSW, my beautiful granddaughter, Leia Anne Roselyn Coker was born. I typically am more on top of my blogging and reviews and while I have managed to make several screenings and a few red carpets, I have neglected the writing aspect. Shame on me, I suppose, but my new little angel and her wonderful parents and of course, my adorable grandson, take top bill with me.

Jumping right in, however, I'd like to mention a documentary that I saw called 'The Other F Word,' about punk rockers from the eighties (from bands like Pennywise, Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others), who are fathers now (thus the "other F word"). Honestly, the day I saw the film, I was exhausted, sleep deprived really, but colorful characters, perfect editing and excellent direction kept me engaged and entertained. I had opportunity to speak to the film's producer, director and editor the next morning and I truly enjoyed the visit (which I will write more about later). They tell me no one has picked up the film yet (I am thinking IFC, HBO, VH1 or MTV should). More than a film about punk rock dads, 'The Other F Word' is about all fathers and the way men can grow up and out of past bad experiences and become fathers if they want to bad enough and about how no one is perfect, no one. These father just do the best they can and they love unconditionally. Most has rough childhoods and most has lousy or absent fathers, so being better dad holds priority to career even and the irony of singing about how authority sucks and dropping anti-establishment credos and every foul word in the world and then turning around as authority figures for their children is not lost in the film, in fact was suppose to be the focus, but there is so much more to this dads. I cannot say enough good about 'The Other F Word,' which will screen one more time at the festival, (Thursday 17th March) and I do really recommend it and hope that some smart company executive does pick it up. Dads from all walks of life, heck all parents, will appreciate the candor and honesty of the film.

My festival favorite so far and holding firm, is Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan and directed my Thomas McCarthy (who gave me my festival favorite two years ago with The Visitor). 'Win Win' will hit theatres soon and I was lucky enough to catch it at the Paramount (even if it was 8:30 am) with only two other people. I loved it. McCarthy has a way of capturing people - real people in real, not always perfect situations and in this case, we get a laywer who business is waining, a boy who hates his mother, a wife who loves her family and a mother who is terrible at the job of parenting. HUMAN, REAL and MOVING to watch. The film introduces us to newcomer
Alex Shaffer (a high school wrestler) and I sat down with Alex to ask about his transition into acting. Because of a back injury, he is dropping wrestling (he is GOOD) and focuing ALL his energies on acting - and I will say, he is a natural. I spoke to Paul and Amy on the red carpet and Thomas McCarthy and all are so gracious and sincere. I see Paul, like I do Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) as quiet, gentle and yes, sexy men and love them in leading roles. I will be writing a longer review when the movie opens and more about my red carpet experiences and conversation with Shaffer, but for now, know that 'Win Win' is a WINNER!! Wonderful film!!
I also saw 'Beaver,' starring and directed by Jodie Foster and co-starring Mel Gibson, a film about a man's battle with depression, his family's struggles and a beaver puppet. As weird as it sounds, Foster's take on depression and the hold is has over all involved is moving. I felt the film was too short (just over 90 minutes) and I don't say that every often, but I needed more character discovery and with a side story involving the son, Foster rushes out too soon. Still, I did enjoy and appreciate the film's message.
For now I am going to call it quits and head once again to the festival and the Alamo South. 'The Dish and the Spoon is on my list today, so off I go.

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