On MP’s implicit recommendation, I watched Joel & Ethan’s latest – Hail, Caesar!i – a tribute to the halcyon, bygone days of filmmaking in Hollywood… and by extension the US itself as a going concern. While I’m not quite qualified to say that it was the “definitive Producer’s movie,” Burt Gurney, as played by Channing Tatum, was easily the quiet surprise of the film. Maybe it’s because no one in Hollywood seems to have any discernable skill of any possible description whatsoever anymore, no matter how broad the definition,ii that a man can dance (certainly well enough!) warms a little part of my otherwise dark, ungenerous, almost invisibly small heart ; a part so minute and so remote that I might otherwise forget it existed at all were it not for his wonderfully light-hearted Gene Kelly-inspired tap dancing routine.
Actually, that’s exactly what it is about Channing that I find so endearing : he’s the perfect embodiment of Hollywood today. He has some skill as an actor, but not that much. He has some merit as a dancer, but not that muchiii (and even less as a singer), but because he very clearly knows all this yet still finds himself in high demand, as a de facto A-lister,iv he knows better than to take himself too seriously. So he doesn’t. It could all be gone tomorrow. It’s all so fleeting.
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- 2016, Coen Brothers directing and writing, starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, ScarJo, and some other pinkos. [↩]
- My heart goes out to men like Simon Cowell who’ve earnestly spent a career sifting through the most unredeemable refuse of colonial neglect in an effort to find a morsel of pre-chewed moo even halfways plateable. When [↩]
- Sorry ladies, if a man can’t count music then he’s scarcely any use outside of a bachelorette party and its attendant strip tease. Not that you care. If you did, if your useless fiance did, if either of you were savvy enough to discern Dancing With The Stars from a high school performance of Lady and The Tramp, well, you might still have a culture worth dying for quickly and painfully (as in a war) instead of just slowly and painfully (as in a McGangBanger). Next time eh. [↩]
- When the Coens call you, you’re an A-lister. [↩]