Friday, January 30, 2009
Meeting of the Minds
Just over a week ago, the 2009 Academy Award nominations were announced. Many things went as expected: Mickey Rourke is nominated for Best Actor for The Wrestler, Heath Ledger is nominated for Best Supporting actor for The Dark Knight and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is nominated for Best Picture. Still, there were some surprises. Chief among them: the lack of a Best Actress nomination for Sally Hawkins, whose magnificently committed performance powered one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Happy-Go-Lucky, and the exclusion of Clint Eastwood from the Best Actor category for what might be the Academy darling’s swansong performance in Gran Torino.
In light of the mutual Oscar snubbage, Happy-Go-Lucky’s Poppy stopped by the Detroit home of Gran Torino’s Walt to try and raise his spirits. Here’s how it went:
Walt: Get off my lawn!
Poppy: Well, someone’s a little grumpy isn’t he?
Walt: I said, get off my lawn!
Poppy: Get off in your lawn? I’d rather wank in the shower, thank you. But whatever turns you on, Walt.
Walt: What do you want?
Poppy: I want you, big man. Y’up to it?
Walt: Get the fuck out of here, you limey dipshit.
Poppy: Blimey, you called me a limey.
Walt: Yeah, what should I call you?
Poppy: Name’s Poppy.
Walt: Well, Poopy, why don’t you go have some spotted dick and leave me alone.
Poppy: Had some spotted dick this morning, actually. My boyfriend’s a freckly bugger.
Poppy: Truth is I’m here to talk to you about the whatchamacallit-ding-dang-dilly-dally-da-da-hoo-hoo …
Walt: The ding-dangs live next door. No gooks in my house.
Poppy: I mean the little golden statuettes, gigolo.
Walt: (growls) You know the Academy Awards are one of the few things we still manufacture in this country. Would be nice if you’d call them by their name.
Poppy: Hmm. Can’t call them. My celly doesn’t work here in the States.
Walt: (grunts) You make about as much sense as those babbling zipperheads.
Poppy: Oh, me. I’d undo a zipper to babble a head, I would.
Walt: Well, why don’t you run along then and go back to your tea-sipping boyfriend. You know, we used to stack lobsterbacks like him 5 feet high during the war, use ‘em for sandbags.
Poppy: Ah, truth is the only date I’ve had was with a guy named Oscar, and he stood me up. I haven’t got any action in a while. I’m all pent up.
Walt: Go into my garage, take some WD-40, a vice grip and a roll of duct tape. That’ll fix almost any problem.
Poppy: Walt, you cheeky bugger.
Walt: I’ve been called a lot of things before, but never cheeky.
Poppy: Blimey O’Reilly!
Walt: O'Reilly? Never been called a Mick either.
Poppy: Only Mick I know sings for the Stones.
Walt: Bunch of pusscakes.
Poppy: Did you just call the Rolling Stones vagina pastries?
Walt: (sneers) Poopy, have you ever come across someone you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.
Poppy: Walt, you stick your finger out at me and you’d better be prepared to use it.
Poppy: You moaning for me, gigolo?
Walt: Why don’t you go eat some bangers and mash and leave me alone. (crumples beer can)
Poppy: You pissed, Walt?
Walt: That the Academy nominated two spooks for Best Supporting Actress and a white guy pretending to be a colored guy for Best Supporting Actor? Yeah, I’m pissed.
Poppy: I meant drunk, gigolo. Besides the only thing that’s worse than seeing Angelina Jolie nominated for Changeling is taking driver’s education classes from a spit-spewing psychopath named Scott (who, incidentally, if played by Eddie Marsan should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor).
Walt: (squints) Gook.
Poppy: Did you just call me a gook?
Walt: Yeah, I hadn't used it in 30 seconds and American audiences think it’s charming.
Poppy: Not as charming as my inability to take things seriously, which has been mistaken for brave optimism.
Walt: (coughs blood)
Poppy: You know, what was truly brave was the performance by that Sally Hawkins. Too bad she’ll probably never be heard from again. Walt, what’s it like to win an Oscar?
Walt: You don’t wanna know.
Poppy: Probably right. Because this whole getting snubbed thing kind of feels like getting pummeled by a bully at school for no reason whatsoever and then having my teacher feel worse for the kid beating the shit out of me than for me and my battered face.
Walt: Dragon lady.
Poppy: Dragons! Now wouldn’t those be fun to make out of brown paper bags!
Walt: You mean spook paper bags.
Poppy: Oh, Walt. You keep on snarlin’ and slurin’, and I’ll keep on smilin’.
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Very funny, especially . . .
"Poppy: Did you just call me a gook?
Walt: Yeah, I hadn't used it in 30 seconds and American audiences think it’s charming."
Anything can be charming if Clint Eastwood says it with conviction.
This was genius. I'm desperately trying to contain my laughter here at work.
Hilarious. I didn't see Happy-Go-Lucky and I know you didn't like it, but it's on my list -- and just based on this dialog alone I think I'd enjoy it.
My favorite passage:
"Walt, what’s it like to win an Oscar?" ... "You don’t wanna know."
The Oscars screwed things up royally by not nominating Kate Winslet for the more deserving performance ("Reservation Road") - but at least Clint wasn't nominated for Best Growler.
Meanwhile, out here on old Cape Cod, the film critic for the Cape Cod Times, Tim Miller, was beset with complaints and demands that he be fired because he called "Gran Torino" "simple-minded commentary." One fan of Eastwood's film said that Miller should "respect his elders."
Loved your humor. I'm sure Poppy would praise Eastwood for his wonderful singing voice!
In other news, we saw "The Wrestler" last night. I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
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