From the juiced-box but not the soundtrack: Renée Zellweger - This Land Is Your Land (excerpt 1’16″)
[Press "Play" for an excerpt of the song from the film.]
Yep, that’s right, babes. Here it is April 10th, 2010 and i saw this movie 3 days ago. IMDB has it being shown in the States for the first time on the 22nd of this month, and even then only at the Tribeca Film Festival. Now are you starting to see the advantages of living in Yeman?
Ramblings: My Own Song
Final Proof: 4 Shots
You know how you go drinking with a friend? He’s not cool or trendy, his jeans are dirty and have holes in strange places, he doesn’t listen to the “right” music and drinks Bud straight out of the bottle. He tells weird jokes and he’s kind of simple but it’s the right kind of simple ’cause he rambles meandering stories when he drinks enough but they’re good stories and they make you feel something other people’s normal stories don’t. His tales touch you and you get this guy because he gets you. He doesn’t have any pretensions and you don’t really want to introduce him to your other friends, not because you’re ashamed of him but because he’s too good for people who are gonna think he’s not all that. He’s a buzz you don’t want to ruin by talking about, like not wanting to jinx a perfect drink by thinking about it too much. My Own Love Song is kinda like that friend.
i loved this movie but, like that friend i was rambling on about, i’m not gonna recommend it because i’m not sure you’re gonna get it. My Own Love Song struck a chord in me but i march to my own beat so i’m not sure anyone else will be able to follow along. Let’s just say i don’t mind going solo on this one.
My Own Love Song is a road movie on a dead end street in a trailer park. Contrary to director Olivier Dahan’s previous effort , La Vie En Rose—a ginormous biopic about the life of Edith Piaf, MOLS is a portrait in the art of understatement to anyone sensitive enough to see it. There are even these little detours from reality through cartoon birds or Angels circling the moon, that give the movie an indie feel. This is a film that succeeds in being exactly what it sets out to be: a small movie with a soul as big as post-Katrina N’awlins.
The actors are a big part of this magnificent landscape. Renée Zellweger, despite a squinchy face that really pinches Miss Demeanor’s ass, rocks the role of Jane, a wheelchair-bound accident victim on the road to spiritual recovery. It’s a subtle part and Zellweger plays it with the right amount nuance. Then we get Madeline Zima. Let’s take a moment out for the appreciation of Madeline Zima. Ahhh, Madeline Zima. Madeline Zima is Billie, a stray our heroes pick up on the way. Madeline (can i call her Madeline?) has a quirky beauty that suits the part beautifully. The talent she’s been nourishing since her child starlette days really shines here.
i would also be amiss (and i hate being a miss) if i didn’t give a shout out to good ol’ Nick Nolte, who plays a guitar playing drug addict on the lam. So yeah, basically he’s playing himself. Cool voice, though. Just the right amount of ragged.
The most memorable performance of the movie, though, comes from Forest Whitaker. His character, Joey, is a simple man straight from Of Mice And Men who doesn’t have all the strings in his air guitar. Whitaker owns this role of a Soul Seer and Angel Speaker with electric sincerity.
What i’m sayin’ is this. My Own Love Song is a sweet delta blues ballad i’m gonna be playing in my head for a long time.
Before we move on to the good stuff, i gotta card Sarah Ellis, who plays a birthday party guest, ’cause i don’t know how old she is but she’s way too young for The Bar None. The photo links to her agent’s page.
Buzz Kills (Watch Out for Spoilers)
Sex: 1 Shot
i’m not gonna lie, i’m all about the Madeline Zima. This 24-year-old started off in TV at 8 (in a series called The Nanny) and more recently erected headlines with a topless sex scene in the first episode of Californication, before moving onto to Heroes. You wanna see some of her in Heroes? i got her in Heroes for you right here:
Pretty damn heroic, you ask me. But enough about me, i was goin’ on about Madeline Zima. Like i was sayin’ in the lobby, she’s good lookin’ in this cool, indie way. Like her cleft chin or these intoxicating eyes that are a green and brown mix kinda like dark beer in absinthe but a lot tastier. Her hair is deliciously long in MOLS and you know the director’s gotta be French because there are tons of scenes from behind with her in jeans. Madeline Zima looks good in jeans. Just sayin’. Here’s more of her lookin’ good:
More indie shots of her are waiting down below in my drawers.
There’s also Renée Zellweger (40). Now i’m a big Renée Zellweger fan. i can’t name a movie of hers that i’ve seen where she didn’t do a good job acting. Maybe it’s the squinty eyed thing, i don’t know, but i just don’t think she looks all that good. She looks better here than usually, though, mostly because she looks like Miss Demeanor in many shots. ‘Course Miss D is tons hotter, but that’s not my problem. There were some cool scenes of Renée, though, like when she wore a wife beater top with no bra for pajamas.
There’ll be some more shots of her lingering at the bottom of the post in my drawers.
Let’s start off with the beautiful Andrea Powell (44). She plays Devon’s step-mom and looks as great as she acts.
Believe it or not, i was able to score (an interview) with this stunning young lady for The Booze Talkin’: Exclusive Interviews. Click on the link if you don’t believe me.
Later on, we get Courtney J. Clark as a waitress in a diner. Here’s a drink to her career and seeing lots more of her. Her age is unlisted, but she says on her resumé that she can play anyone between 15-25 (that and a box of wine will keep grinnin’ for more than a weekend).
For those of you who prefer Staffs to Whole Notes, well, you’re basically S.O.L. Here’s the least ugliest shots of the leading lads i could find.
Forest Whitaker (48):
Nick Nolte (69):
Drink: 1 Shot
i knew it was a good sign when the movie started off in a hole in the wall bar. Jane (Renée Zellweger) is sitting at a table drinking Bud from the bottle when she gets hit on by a guy who loses interest when he discovers Jane’s always sitting down because she’s in a wheelchair.
Later on there’s a buffet party out back where they drink a toast to Billie with red wine in plastic scotch glasses. Some of the people are a little tipsy.
Finally, Billie (i think, but i didn’t get that specific in my notes) sips beer from a bottle while sitting on the curb in front of a hotel.
Rock & Roll: 3 Shots
Despite not being very rock and roll, i’m giving this hummer three shots for two reasons. The first is that i was floored by Renée Zellweger’s voice. i didn’t know it was her until the end credits (’cause the only way i’m ever gonna see Chicago is passed out at midnight on the El), but man, listening to her sing a Dylan song and “This Land Is Your Land” almost made me almost cry. She was that good. (Speaking of “This Land…”, another reason i didn’t realize it was the Z singin’ is the dubbin job they did in that scene was worse than stale beer that’s turned to flat vinegar, and i don’t nearly have enough time or space here to go into how i know that—they shoulda just recorded her live.)
[Press "Play" for Bob Dylan's "Life Is Hard", from the juiced-box and the 'soundtrack' (if you can find one, let me know!)]
The other reason i’m down with 3 shots for the rock is that Bob Dylan wrote the song “Life Is Hard” for this movie. Not only is it a killer Waits’ impression, Renée also sings a sweet and heartbreaking as honey wine version of it in the film. According to Wiki, Bob was so inspired by writing music for this movie that he decided to sit right down and write himself an album, 2009′s Together Through Life.
i also gotta give an honorable mention to the guitar solo Nick Nolte’s character is saturating the night air with, attracting the band of three like angels to the head of a pin.
Boring Technical Crap
Written by: Olivier Dahan
Directed by: Olivier Dahan
Madeline Zima – Billie
Renée Zellweger – Jane
Andrea Powell – Devon’s Mom
Courtney J. Clark – Waitress
Sarah Ellis – Party Guest
Forest Whitaker – Joey
Nick Nolte – Himself (just kidding; “Caldwell” is the character’s name—Thanks Tish! Props to Tish!)
Did you not read what i wrote up top? This movie struck a personal chord with me that i’m sure won’t resonate for you. Pro’lly not in the theaters but for sure not on DVD.
Al K Hall’s Drawers
Thus ends the wit, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. From here on out it’s just the shots of the hotties i didn’t want to clutter up the post with. Please feel free to loiter elsewhere should you feel so inclined.
Madeline Zima (24)
Renée Zewlleger (40)