Monday, December 29, 2008
New York, They Hate You
When I saw it last year, I was very pleased with Paris Je T'aime, a collection of uneven but occasionally wonderful little short films about Paris. And I was very happy to hear that the producers were spinning the idea off into the States for New York, I love You, which is due out in early 2009.
You'll recall Paris was the film where I fell head over feet for Margo Martindale pathetic-but-dignified performance as an American tourist in the final installment, directed by Alexander Payne.
Which brings me to my point, actually. Half of the fun of Paris was the dizzying collection of directorial talent on hand: Payne, the Coen Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant, Christopher Doyle, Walter Salles, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven.
Now check out the comparatively depressing collection of talent lines up to direct the shirt films in New York: Brett Ratner, Shekhar Kapur, the Hughes Brothers, Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson. There are two names I'm genuinely excited about: Joshua Marston (Maria, Full of Grace) and Mira Nair (The Namesake). But everyone else...? I'm all for Natalie and Scarlett branching out, and short films are a good place to start, but there's no telling if they'll be any good. I liked Garden State more than most movie snobs, but Braff's nowhere near the top of the list of filmmakers I'd want to see making a short about my newly adopted hometown.
It's just so uninspired. And given that Paris was given such a sparkling collection of talent and New York such duds, I have to ask, yet again, WHY DOES HOLLYWOOD HATE AMERICA?