Watched Che: Part One last night. I had heard bad things but the F-word has some Communist sympathies and I have some sympathies with wanting to fuck Benecio Del Toro. Fuck, that man is hot. So I figured in the worst-case scenario I could just sit there for two hours staring at the manhood. It turns out it was good - solid structure, and believable characters, which was quite a feat as it was based on the memoirs of the lead. Gave itself some credibility, at least as a story, by making him look like a bit of a prig.
Anyways, it was perfectly fine, and Benecio del Toro disappeared into the character, as he has such an unsettling way of doing. I always have to reconvince myself that that really was him in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, being that bloated beached whale on angry drugs, and that he's also Ernesto Guavera and that Mexican cop in Traffic and whatever else he's been in, even the dogs like Sin City. It was a really fantastic performance, actually, and while I don't pay the Oscars any attention at all as a rule I'm quite surprised now there was no mention of what he'd managed to do in the Best Actor category. Or looking over the nominee list, there was no mention of Che at all. I mean, it was quite good, at least relative to what was nominated . . . I think . . . I haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but I'm willing to hazard a guess it was way shittier than Che.
It does make me wonder, I'll confess . . . did a stucturally sound movie with such good performances get such shitty reviews because People Don't Like Communists? Or rather, because People Don't Like Violent Revolution? Is the closest we can get about a pop movie about violent revolution that peice of ridiculous, over-marketed shit with bald Natalie Portman that came out a few years ago? Or it just that these days I only read financial newspapers for work and the last thing somebody working for such papers would do is praise a movie about Communists that doesn't villify them, or else the Independent, as it's the least worst of the British papers, but it's still a fucking snotrag? (The love affair is ending, by the way. I keep catching them copying or re-writing Wikipedia entries, and more disturbingly the press releases that I get as well). I don't know. I'm just not sure why this movie inspired so much bile from the critics and got so completely overlooked by a Hollywood awards show that everybody's accusing of getting all pink these days.
Mind you, I don't know how it was released in the US - here it's being released part by part. Possibly if I'd had to sit through four hours instead of two I'd have thought it was a steaming pile of crap as well.