' ' Cinema Romantico: The Oscars of Ephemera, or something

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Oscars of Ephemera, or something

Colin Farrell has indicated many times in many interviews that he does not remember filming “Miami Vice” (2006). This is because Farrell suffered from various chemical addictions for years, bottoming out on “Miami Vice,” saying that when he watched the finished movie at the premiere, none of it was recognizable to him. This, thankfully, is what led him to get clean, a happy ending to a horror story, though it’s unfortunate in a way, too, given the immense quality of Farrell’s own turn in “Miami Vice” and that he has no recollection of it. Artists must suffer is a questionable, if not dangerous, idea in the best of times, and Farrell’s high-caliber work in the years since he got clean seems to refute it, so we will say that in some strange way, the there but not there air of Farrell’s work, not to mention eyewitness accounts that writer/director Michael Mann was essentially writing “Miami Vice” on the fly, all play right into the film’s deliberately ephemeral nature, underlined in the digital photography, cinematic impressionism, here, then gone. You can decree that Time Slips Through Your Fingers all the live long day, but at the end of “Miami Vice,” Colin Farrell (and Gong Li) live it. 

Colin Farrell earned his first Academy Award nomination today for Best Actor in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” I’m thrilled for him, and I’ll be rooting for him to win come March 12th, though whatever happens, he has already earned the right to have Academy Award Nominee attached to his name in all previews. If he does win the Oscar, though, his life, even a life like his, will change. An Oscar triumph, the late William Goldman once noted, “will be right there in the first line of your obit.” Indeed, Goldman’s New York Times obituary noted his two Academy Awards in the very first sentence. Of course, Goldman also skipped the Oscars where he won Best Original Screenplay for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” not least because he wanted to watch the Knicks on television. It’s all relative, and if an Academy Award makes you immortal, time is luck, and it’s just as likely that your best performance won’t even be remembered. 

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