Hibernating with Hollywood

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(Photo © 2007 Miramax Films)

Basically, my plan for Saturday after a visit to the Georgia State Holiday Iron Pour is to force-feed myself movies like a goose being readied for a Frenchman’s crusty bread until my brain or my stamina buckles. By noon Sunday, Dec. 16, my picks for the Southeastern Film Critics Association are due, and there are still some huge holes in my 2007 list: Gone Baby Gone, Once, The King of Kong.

Every fall the studios send out screeners for all the award-worthy films so critics can play catch-up. At first it’s like an early Christmas with all that delicious eye candy rolling in. Or maybe Halloween is the better analogy: You get frantic and squirrelly as you madly, obsessively accumulate the sweet stuff. But when it comes down to eating all of it, it kind of makes you hurl.

Even as a professional critic, I have my limits. When it came time to take my 6-year-old to see Alvin and the Chipmunks this Sunday, my husband drew the short straw.

I shouldn't complain, though. A weekend night spent watching Atonement, The Lookout, The Devil Came on Horseback, etc., etc., is not most people’s idea of an ordeal. I can visualize my father laughing at the absurdity of such complaints about my “job.” When I told him I was majoring in film at the University of Florida, I’m sure to his ears it sounded as absurd as majoring in snorkeling or recreational drugs. But it actually is a job, and even the art form I love the most can at times feel like more of a chore. Movies weren’t meant to be digested like a bag of potato chips one right after the other.

I know, I know, shut the fuck up.

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