Friday, March 26, 2010

My beloved Oridnary People.

"I hung on. I stayed with the boat."
-- Tim Hutton in Ordinary People.

Tonight I leave all of my little blades with a clip from one of my favourite movies of all time -- and this is the sugariest, juciest, most delicious, beautiful, redemptive, heartbreaking scene of the whole movie...

I remember thinking that if I were to ever have/star in one movie -- this would be  my choice. I would be the girl version of Tim Hutton's role. He breathes this character. He IS Conrad and all the he feels.

This, to me, is the most perfect movie I can think of.

Robert Redford's directing debut is spotless -- with just the exquisite combination of humor and sadness and anger and every day life.

The music by Marvin Hamlisch is sooo moving. And I believe this was the first time that music was used repetitively in a movie -- meaning the same song again and again as the only score in the movie. Exceptionally effective.

The set designs -- the table meant for 4, but set for 3.

The writing is clean and touching and with no extra fat. It is like poetry.

The acting -- utterly stunning. I mean -- calling it "acting" is almost rude. I adore Donald Sutherland in this movie -- he is perhaps the most heartbreaking of all.

Tim Hutton is SO real and young and adorable and tortured and living it.

And Mary Tyler Moore is perfection. What a break-out role for her.

Judd Hirsch was sooo clearly the example Good Will Hunting used for their therapy scenes. He's the epitome of the therapist any kid would want. Or adult for that matter. I love that he smokes during the session -- so 70's! And seeing as this movies was released in 1980 -- it was on the very heels of the 70's.

And for such a young, sensitive, and imaginative director as Robert Redford was -- wow.

I literally watch this movie at least once a year -- to remind myself of a quality production and the great, great possibility of film, of movies that are driven by relationships, of directing that is sensitive and loving towards the actors -- Redford let his actors breathe and stretch and grow before his very eyes.

I remind myself of why I am in this business when I see this movie again. I remember the kind of actors I want to work with. I remind myself of the kind of director I am going to work with. I remember the power of great writing -- its simple, heartbreaking, intelligent quality. I remember the very first scenes I ever worked on in acting class. The juicy speeches, the feelings deeper than I almost felt safe to go, the jumping off a cliff feeling, the "jump and the net will appear" feeling, the sense of losing yourself in a role, the why I am SO READY to break-out and show the world what I have inside.

This movie, this Ordinary People reminds me of how I felt when my mom died, of the prep school I attended, of feeling depressed, of wanting to be happy, to push it all away, to watch my father struggle with raising the rest of me.

I remember a super young me on Broadway.

I see a young woman now who is ready for the world.

I post this scene because it reminds me that I am ready for my "close-up." For my break-out role. For my big, juicy -- only I can play it -- part.

I post this scene on my blog and in my heart to remind myself every day of what is coming for me. The big sneeze inside of myself that is bursting to see the light of day.

My Ocsar, my Tim Hutton moment, my Robert Redford director, my scandalously, beautifully, heartbreaking screenplay, my living the role, my deep and funny and petrified and exuberant and honest and scared and once in a lifetime role.

I. Am. Ready.

And this movie reminds me of what I am ready for.

I hope you all take a moment to enjoy it. It's a little over 7 minutes long -- and it will honestly remind you all of the golden potential in storytelling on film. I SO dig the 70's American Movies -- our golden era. And this movie is a perfect example of what I loved -- gritty,funny, honest, intelligent, lovely.

So... have an extraordinary Friday my little blades. I owe 3 extra blogs for having missed 3 -- so expect 3 bonuses from me this weekend!!!

Let us all remember why we are living certain dreams, why we live in certain cities, what we are really up for in our lives, what we are willing to sacrifice, the size of our dreams, and what we demand of ourselves and of our art.

Let's create a new golden era of American cinema.

I have my movie coming this fall -- and I promise to break hearts. Tell a beautiful story. And make you laugh.

Let's all hang on... Let's all stay with the boat.

Love... Always.


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  3. Elliott, oh my gosh!!! You are becoming like a great teacher to me -- and hopefully to all of my readers... I know there are A LOT more than the "23" who are listed as following... I've gotten many an email and phone call and text -- from lovely people who are following my blog!

    These clips are exquisite. Christopher Reeve was beautiful -- and such a natural actor. So intelligent -- Princeton! -- and exciting to watch.

    Thank you for these clips -- see, you inspired me to put clips on my blog, too!

    Keep 'em coming!

    And I hope this finds you -- and all of my little blades -- smiling.

  4. Sooo my pleasure. That question Jane Seymour answered "no" to: "Have you ever been in love." (all the other auditioning actresses recounted their tedious, schmaltzy, personal anecdotes).

    Elise Mckenna had never been in love... until time somehow, somewhere, had found her heart.

    Elise's character is based on the Broadway great, Maude Adams. Richard Matheson read her biography while staying at the Hotel Del Coronado (the novel's setting) and divined the story. Read them both when you have a chance (Ms. Adams was a very special lady).

    Aside from Rod Sreling, Matheson was the most prolific writer for the original Twilight Zone series. All of his novels and screenplays are SciFi / horror oriented with just two exceptions: Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come. The former, a tale of timeless love; the latter, a story of love which transcends death and changes the rules of Heaven. There's a passage where Chris Nielsen sits beside his wife Ann (no longer able recognize him) and thanks her for everything she has ever meant to him, as he prepares to renounce Heaven's splendor to stay with her in perdition -- It will floor your heart.

  5. PS~
    I could not care less if anyone other than you ever reads my words.

    (but it's sweet that you care)