Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

“Paradise Now” Gets the Globe

posted by dilshad d. ali

Since when does Palestine get recognized by any facet of the entertainment industry? Since a film from that region won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film on Sunday. Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad’s taut thriller, “Paradise Now,” surprised all by picking up the coveted award. The win gave Abu-Assad an unexpected forum to express his love for Palestine. After sweetly flubbing his thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing his film, he quietly announced the win was for the Palestinian people, for their cause, for their freedom.

The movie, shot on location in the West Bank and Israel, explores the motivation and psyche of two Palestinian suicide bombers. Abu-Assad’s clever touch makes for a dual film: It’s an action-packed thriller as well as a sensitive study at how the dismal situation in Palestine creates a breeding ground for suicide bombers.

The independent film circuit has seen a number of wonderful, thought-provoking films come from Israel and the Palestinian region in the last decade. As a film reviewer when I lived in New York, I was privy to many intriguing documentaries, dramas, and docudramas covering all aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And though this film has flopped in Israel, it’s great to see it receive accolades in this country. I hope it paves the way for more filmmakers to bring attention to that region of the world.

Life (Really?) From the Golden Globes!

posted by doug howe

Two wonderful signposts on the spiritual pathway are humor and humility, both of which were present and on display at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony. They were characterized by Joaquin Phoenix’ quickly famous line, “Who would have ever thought I’d be here in the Best Comedy or Musical category?!”

It was typical of a night full of the kind of gentle candor and modesty that was believable, especially when coupled with the kind of laughter and levity that was as unassuming as it was un-arrogant. On the spiritual journey, laughter is the medicine of the heart which helps us hear the truth, while humility is the lens through which we can see ourselves—and God—more clearly. On a night when actors and actresses are playing their most difficult role—themselves—there emerged humble spirits and comedic deliveries that moved past self-deprecation to self-revelation, past acting to apparent authenticity.

Geena Davis nearly shed a tear when discussing a little girl who told her mom she wanted to be president because of her show “Commander in Chief.” “Well,” said Davis after a pause, “that didn’t actually happen.” And, after the laughter died down, “But it could have!” She called “Commander-in-Chief” a “fledgling little show like ours” and referred to co-star Don Sutherland as “the god at whose altar I worship.” To poke fun at oneself and affirm others without reservation are high acts of humility we can ask our kids to emulate.

Reese Witherspoon displayed believable authenticity when turning to her husband and saying, “Thank you to my husband and two kids; nothing in life is worth having if I can’t have you.”

Mary Louise Parker, upon besting all four of the Desperate Housewives: “I wanna make out with all of you, especially (director) Elizabeth (Perkins),” an unintentionally provocative sentiment on “Brokeback Mountain”’s big night. She then paused the celebration and quieted the room in a moment to remember her friend and “West Wing” co-star John Spencer, who recently passed away.

Anthony Hopkins looked genuinely distressed as the camera focused on him as he endured the praise and clips leading up to his receiving the Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement. He then used his speech to praise the key grips, make-up artists, transporters, and all those “who work harder than anyone” to bring these films into being, which drew enthusiastic applause.

Perhaps 14,172 servings of champagne helped loosen everybody up… and certainly helped them adopt a humility that, for a night, seemed more honest than rehearsed, even if some of the lines were written in advance and stuffed in pockets.

Karma: The Newest Religion in the World!

posted by

“By next season we are going to start a religion. It’s going to be all over the world. Karma is taking over!”
–”My Name is Earl” exec producer Greg Garcia, in Entertainment Weekly

Great idea! Why has no one thought of that before?

They Love Us in Allentown!

posted by

Idol Chatter and its editor are profiled in the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call newspaper by Jessica Berthold, who writes a column called “Bloggernaut.”

Holding back tears, Idol Chatter would like to thank Jessica, the Morning Call, all our readers, our families, our ancestors, the Academy, all our fellow, oh-so-worthy nominees (oops, wrong speech), and, of course, the intelligent designer (for designing such a good-looking newspaper page for the article).

Seriously, though, we really appreciate the attention! You can read the piece here.

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