A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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And so it’s the final post from 2010’s Green Room. Fest doesn’t end until Saturday, but for many Jews it’s over. High Holidays strike again!

And speaking of Jews, both movies were very very Tribe-related. And yet couldn’t be more different.

First up, CASINO JACK.

True tale of “Superlobbyist” Jack Abramoff. Washington. Corruption. Greed. Politics….Yawn. Wake me when it’s over.

No, seriously, I wanted to be woken when it ended. I was exhausted. After bobble-heading (and possibly sleeping) for 30 minutes or so I woke up to find myself lost in a movie I cared nothing about. Not a thing. Apparently people enjoyed the film. I recognized an awesome performance from Kevin Spacey and a…less awesome one from the very strange looking Barry Pepper. His hair matched his skin. Weird. Maury Chaykin was excellent in one of his last roles. And John Luvitz was pretty funny. But I didn’t get the appeal of the film going in, and it remains a mystery coming out…

Green Room was chilled. Kelly Preston arrived, 7 months pregnant and 47 years old and gorgeous. And nice! We discussed November babies – her baby, a boy, is due end of November – and she was quite smiley. Pregnancy seems to be the great equalizer.

Pregnant in belly only.

Lots of actors from the film who I’d never seen before and may not recognize again. And Kevin Spacey. Charming and, dare I say, somewhat attractive.

Not bad, right?

I know, I know crazy, right? But he’s very smiley, wears his suit well, and looks better in person than on screen. Another strange, but true-ism.

Finally, my last festival film: SARAH’S KEY.

Based on one of the most devastating and amazing books and a personal fave (click here for a reminder) this was the film I was told to look out for before the festival began.

But first, the Green Room. It was a nervous group in there. Perhaps because there’s a lot of pressure to make such a beloved book’s transition to screen a good ‘un. Kristen Scott Thomas is quite the lady. Very regal looking, tho’ probably more a girl’s girl. Men I’ve spoken to her (ok, mine) find her a bit stark.

I should be so stark.

Aidan Quinn arrived next. EYES!!!

Demin. And beads.

Wasn’t so into his shirt: denim. Under a suit jacket. But it brought out those baby blues enough to make a grown woman (photographer) blush. And break into a sweat.

Film, as expected, was gut-wrenching. I don’t want to give away too much, but remember the premise of the book? Again, click here for refresher. Writer/director (who looked about 30) did a very sensitive, beautiful adaptation. He chose to make this less a typical “holocaust” film and more a story of identity and history – ie it’s just about the present-life story as it is about Sarah. The book, on the other hand, dwelled far more on the past. Some folks I spoke to didn’t give a rat’s ass about Kristen Scott Thomas’ character, Julia, or her issues. I guess the filmmaker felt that watching a harrowing, heartbreaking life for 2 hours would simply be too much too handle. As it was there were scenes of such emotional devastation that thinking of them now gets me welly.

There’s a very fine line when it comes to reading, hearing and watching these stories about the Holocaust. They’re grisly scenes from which it’s impossible to avert your eyes. I think the director gave us a break when he flashed forward. We got a chance to breath, to wipe our tears, and to brace ourselves for more. I loved the book. I loved the film. Bravo.



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