Life is like a Box of Chocolates

Here we are. It’s 2010. Conan O’Brian is leaving late-night television. I still remember the millennium bit he and Andy did in ’99, where they predicted stuff for the mystical year 2000. Ten years gone by in a mad rush.

I just realized, as I went over my moderated comments, that only a few short months ago, I nagged about Brittany Murphy’s shaky performance in “Love and other Disasters.” And now she’s gone. Whoosh.

January is nearly over, and appointments for the first quarter of the year are bunched together over the next two months. There’s the long overdue visit to my mother, quickly squeezed in before I’m housebound to care for my husband who’ll be immobilized after ankle surgery. There is the visit by German dog expert Martin Rütter, just before Fasching kicks into full gear, and only one month before a very busy week when the Stuttgarter Kriminächte kick off. And of course, there are all those movies one must see before this year’s Oscars.

I haven’t watched the Oscars in years, mostly because the event bores me to tears. The same dull flicks with the same dull actors giving the same dull speeches. Snooooooore! But this year, I feel a little tingle of excitement. Not usually one for war drama, I recently saw “The Hurt Locker“, a film that is getting very difficult to avoid because of all the buzz it’s been generating. I walked away completely blown away – pardon the pun-, and that doesn’t happen often. It is just such a well done film; the story is good, the casting is wonderful, the direction is great. In short: this is as close to a perfectly done film as it gets. And it may well turn out to be the step into greatness for a man who for years has turned out great performances in small roles to little acclaim: Jeremy Renner.*

Renner absolutely carries this film, and with such ease and believability that it’s nearly impossible to imagine that any other actor could have ever been considered for the role of SSG James. I am particularly pleased for Renner because he’s two-and-a-half months older than me and finally at the point in his career where I hope he’s going to join the rare species of A-listers who manage to make wise film choices and move their audience without having to rely on flashy special effects. With all the positive recognition “The Hurt Locker” has received, I keep my fingers crossed for that Oscar nod.

That would be one sweet surprise.

*Yes, I know that critically speaking, he’s racked up quite a list of awards. Still: would you have had a clue? Exactly.


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