#9/16: bob dylan
calypso

the cooler (wayne kramer, 2003)

The Cooler is an acting showcase for the three leads (William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and Alec Baldwin). Each is excellent in their own way: Macy, for the subtle ways this loser character differs from others he has played (for one thing, he gets nekkid), Bello for the way she makes her beauty look natural rather than actorish, and for the way she makes her involvement with Macy's character seem believable, and Baldwin for not so much playing himself as playing the version of Alec Baldwin that we get from the tabloids.

The movie itself isn't much ... it's not really about anything (there are pretensions to young-devour-the-old homilies, but they are never more than pretensions), and the characters are not out of "real life." Which makes the performances of Macy and Bello so remarkable: while we're watching, the characters do seem real, not just fictional constructs. (Baldwin's character is always fictional, but as he plays it, that seems appropriate.)

Baldwin seems to have the inside track on an Oscar nod, although Bello deserves one, as well. Of course, Macy deserves one, but then, he always does, even if he's only ever gotten one nomination.

Comments

Kim Dot Dammit

Hmmm. Thanks for the notes. Well first of all glad to see you went to a movie. I've been debating about The Cooler. All I've read about it sounds like it's tepid. I'll see it anyway though because I like to see everything. Especially with my new philosphy which is to see everything and anything that is "worth" seeing on the basis of how much it's talked about, actors, directors, etc, regardless if I personally like it or not. So even when I see movies that are wretched like Cold Mountain, it's a good thing. Ultimately though, I love a gambling movie and I love William Macy, so I think The Cooler is definitely worth checking out and I will do so soon. BTW -- if you have not seen it, rent Owning Mahoney when it's available to rent. It is the best gambling movie since Casino and Hard Eight. Oh yeah, along those same lines, for an excellent grifter/heist movie, check out Confidence if you haven't already. That's definitely available for rent.

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