Not much law today. We'll catch up later in the week.
The first weekend of football 2013 is almost in the books. In the suicide pool we had some first week losses. DC super lawyer (who always plays) Cary Clennon, @draculawyer Fake Alex Michaels, 52nd Street Irwin (our bookie in Vegas), Shumie's Revenge, and Robin Faber all picked poorly. One of these will receive a Rumpole "First Out 2013 Suicide Pool" Hat which they need to take a picture of themselves wearing and then email to us. It was part of the non-binding contact they agreed to when they played.
Everyone else survived.
In the Fantasy Football league there were a few blow outs (Peyton's Place-our team- 119.3 over Team Fi Man 63.9, and we still have our RBs playing Monday), but the closest battle heading into Monday is BeatnDRap 104.25 vs. NoProbableCause 108.4. BDR still has one player active Monday night versus zero for NPC. If Texan WR Andre Johnson can put up 50 yds in catches (1 point per ten yds of catches) or score a TD, BDR will squeak out a win.
We've been sitting on this film for a few weeks now, letting the awesome impact of Cate Blanchett's powerful performance sink in. Now we're ready to write about it. Blue Jasmine is vintage Woody Allen: a main character (Blanchett as Jasmine), a superb universe of supporting characters who spin in and out of Blanchett's orbit, and a simple story taken from the headlines. There's a powerful genius to this simplicity.
Imagine Allen sitting down and thinking: " I want to do something about the Madoff scandal. Hmmm... I'll do from the wife's perspective (Blanchette). And....she has a sister. But her sister is poor. She's poor because.....they were both adopted so they're entirely different in looks and character and drive. And....hmmm... her sister and her working class husband come into some money for once in their life and also become victims. And.....the wife loses everything when the Madoff character (Baldwin) gets caught and the wife (Blanchette) is forced to go live with her sister and two kids in a dilapidated apartment in San Francisco. Yes... this could work."
Throw in some plot twists- some foreseen, some not, and you have your standard 100 minute Woody movie. It's like eating a perfectly cooked hamburger. No special effects. No steak. But it's so damn perfectly done that you can't help loving every single bite (scene). And lets just put this to rest now: Blanchette wins the Academy Award or the Oscars are a fraud. She is stunning. Amazing. Powerful. She carries scenes with devastating impact fueled by Xanax and vodka and thousand yard stares and sweat stained thousand dollar dresses from her forgone society days and nights. She dissects her life with sad yet comedic impact to her sisters stunned six and 8 year old boys in a classic diner scene, and gets ambushed by an Allen script twist when all seems finally resolved. Blanchette is the moral voice of success in the first decade of the 21st Century: why settle? Why not live a meaningful and luxurious live? And yet there is a cruel twist to her morality, fueled by her all too human frailties. Along the way, as Blanchette lifts and carries this movie, we get yet another Woody take on love and sex and infidelity. Andrew Dice Clay is working class great as one of the victims of the fraud, and Louis C.K. is a charming...well, we can't spoil the subplots of the movie here.
Woody Allen famously said 80% of success is just showing up.* He writes. He scripts. He casts. He films. He edits. He makes these wonderful 100 minute movies by showing up every two years with a few characters who have a few simple stories. Allen shows up and serves up the most wonderfully cooked simplistically done, but ethically and philosophically challenging movies possible. (We'll continue to rave about Crimes and Misdemeanors where the good man Rabbi goes blind before his daughter's wedding, while the bad-adulterous-murderous main character gets away with it all in the end.) Nothing fancy. Just a simple movie done better than anyone else ever could.
Go see it and eat a hamburger afterwards.
See you in court.
* The phrase has been repeated several times and reprinted in various forms in hundreds of places. Allen acknowledges saying "80% of life is just showing up" but in subsequent interviews he equates "life" with success. In explaining the quote in 2008 to the website The Collider , he expounded that " I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up. People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening. So that I was say my biggest life lesson that has worked. All others have failed me."
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