Deja vu at the movies

No, this isn’t about former stripper Diablo Cody winning the Oscar for the best original screenplay for Juno, although congratulations on that. Apparently she was writing it at the Starbucks in the Target store in Crystal, MN. And kudos to the Coen brothers, also with the Minnesota connection, who won best adapted screenplay, best director and best picture for No Country for Old Men.

Now for me, Sunday was deja vu because of one day at the Toronto International Film Festival. I was reading about Sarah Polley’s nomination for best adapted screenplay and Julie Christie’s best actress nominations for Away From Her. I had seen Away From Her at Ryerson at 9 AM on September 12, 2006. I was really looking forward to seeing Sarah Polley’s directorial debut of a feature film. It is a very good movie and Toronto native Sarah Polley got the biggest applause of any person at the 23 movies I saw that year.

Now one movie is not enough to give me deja vu, but two are. The other thing I saw yesterday was the ad for Bonneville staring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Joan Allen. Talk about star power, twelve Oscar nominations and three wins between the three of them. I saw this at noon of the same day in the same theater just after Away From Her.

What I don’t understand is how come Away From Her was released, albeit limited, May 4, 2007 and this is being released February 29, 2008.

Here is the trailer from Bonneville,

I was lucky enough to hear the Q&A with the director and screenwriter. The most memorable question and answer was when one of the audience members asked about how does a young man write such great roles for older actress, which are few and far between in Hollywood. The screenwriter had the very easy answer, he based it on three important women in his life, his mom, his aunt, and one of their friends (I think those were the three people, it has been 18 months, so if I am off, apologies).

SPOILER ALERT BELOW

You can pick up on some of the premise from the trailer. I am not going to give away anything major, but provide more of the background story.

The plot revolves around Jessica Lange’s character. Her husband of 20 years dies while they are on a trip to Bali. She has him cremated and brought back to Idaho where they live. His daughter, her step-daughter, shows up at the wake. She is pissed, she plays the bitch role perfectly, she didn’t want him cremated, she wants him buried next to her mom in California.

Now the house in Idaho is very nice, and in the will is to be left to the bitchy daughter. Apparently he had updated the will to leave to Jessica Lange’s character, but they can’t locate it. The daughter use this to force Jessica to bring the ashes to California to be buried next to his first wife, in exchange she will let Jessica have the house. I told you bitch.

Jessica decides to take the ashes in person and her two friends played by Kathy Bates and Joan Allen decide to join her for support. The rest of the movie is really their journey to California. I really liked the movie and recommend it highly. My friends have been wondering when/if it will ever come out.

-Josh

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