January 17th, 2012

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Carnage

I'll start things off with something shiny. It's Quentin Tarantino's Top 11 of 2011. We only had two overlaps this year.

Carnage is one of those that I've followed from the first few blurbs announcing it. Actually, it goes farther back than that. When I heard about the original broadway play, it intrigued me. Then it won the Tony for best play and it fascinated me. I managed to make it down to NYC to see it just before it closed. My cast was Jeff Daniels as Michael, Lucy Liu as Annette (renamed Nancy for the movie), Janet McTeer as Veronica (Penelope), and Dylan Baker as Alan. I \m/ loved it. I was laughing hysterically thru the whole thing and thought it was sheer brilliance. So then when the first movie announcements came out, I was thrilled. When I saw who was attached to it, OMG I freaked.

As is often the case with adaptations whose sources I love, there were concerns. When a play is adapted into a movie, they often feel kinda claustrophobic. You're taking something that's typically fit into a small space and trying to expand it into something bigger, which often ends up kinda forced. Here, we've got four people locked in a room for an hour and a half. That doesn't typically work on film.

But you know what does work? If that cast is Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C Reilly, and Jodie Foster. Yes, it did play out much better on stage. And yeah, the claustrophobia increased the awkward factor and decreased the laugh out loud moments. But Oh My God that cast! Kate Winslet was absolutely beyond stunning. I've loved seeing Christoph Waltz's career expand past Inglorious Basterds. It felt like John C Reilly's role was written just for him. Jodie Foster was just a complete embodiment of her character.

What I did find a little distracting was that there were a few key events I remembered from the stage play that I was just waiting for. Oddly they were all things that Winslet's Nancy did. But there were times when I wasn't paying attention cause I was just thinking "Is this it? Is she gonna do it?" Not like any of those moments were particularly significant, its just some moments on stage are so magical that they stick with you.

There's actually a stage production going on in Boston right now. Part of me is tempted to run out and see it, but actually, I think I just need to pick up a copy of the script to recreate it in my head. But it was great reliving some of that on screen.

Carnage - \m/ \m/ \m/ \n