THE GREAT RACE
You did a great job on your Oscar Race issue, and I hope it becomes a regular part of your yearly calendar. But you blew it when you all but ignored Seven as a viable candidate. Dark horse? Yes. Too gloomy? Perhaps. But its undeniable power as a thriller and as an indictment of the human condition may turn out to be too much for voters to ignore.
I find it amusing that after 13 years of playing the same role in movie after movie, Jennifer Jason Leigh finally found a script into which she could fit her tiresome character (Georgia). But an Oscar nomination? Let’s hope the Academy remembers that talent includes the ability to transform into a role, not just to play the same role until it fits a character.
Patrick Stewart in Jeffrey?…
Kevin Bacon in Murder in the First?…
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Great Pre-Oscar coverage. But how did you overlook the year’s best female performance? Kathy Bates’ outstanding work in Dolores Claiborne has no peer.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
DON’T DEMEAN DEAN
Had you asked, countless entertainers could have told you that Dean Martin did care — about show business, and about the millions of fans who loved him. A good deal more respect is in order for a man who was such an integral part of an entertainment era well worth acknowledging. He would have certainly given a ”rat pack” about that.
BEST OF JANET
You can hardly blame slow sales of Design of a Decade on the decline in trendiness of Janet Jackson. A more realistic reason that sales are sluggish could be that the lady culled hits from three albums that multimillions of people already have! Decade might’ve sold more copies had she left the two new tunes on the record as an album-only exclusive. But with ”Runaway” and ”Twenty Foreplay” available as singles, her fans are smartly sidestepping the hits package by paying less than $10 for two new songs, instead of $20 for old songs they’ve already got.
‘ROOMS’ WITH A VIEW
Tim Roth’s performance in Four Rooms was wonderfully, hilariously over-the-top, and most of the film maintained an atmosphere of anarchy and surrealism worthy of the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin. Owen Gleiberman condemns the film for resorting to ”overacting” and ”slapstick mayhem.” But condemning it on those grounds is like calling the dictionary too wordy.