Earlier in the day (life has been busy, busy, busy and FUN, all weepy blog posts to the contrary), caught the press screening for The Hottest State since I'll be at the AFS Doc Tour for Steven Okazaki's White Light Black Night during the Paramount premiere.
I enjoyed it. I know Hawke's getting slaughtered in the press (37 on Rotten Tomatoes, oiy). Too much. Too narcissistic. Ok, it's not a movie classic for the ages, but there was still plenty for me to enjoy. And in my own self indulgent way, I'm always interested in what makes a movie interesting to me, regardless of the critical acclaim or not.
In The Hottest State, I found myself amused by Hawke's recreation of his physical self via another actor. I found myself enamored of his NYC. A gritty, arty, barren landscape of yesteryear - not the gentrified Disneyland version that dominates now. His bars were dark and laden with Christmas lights. It was a New York, cold and grey, that I recognized and loved. And now that I'm a Texan, the Texas subtext amusing.
But what really made the whole film for me was the brief appearance of Laura Linney as his mom. Oh, she must be my favorite actress these days anyhow. She's always brilliant and amazing. But in this quick appearance, deep into the film, she just cuts through it all. The character is sharp and tough and self involved. Not an easy Mom for anyone but wonderful to see for those very reasons. Can't imagine any sentimentalizing going on there.
Tickets are still available for the AFS premiere with Ethan in attendance. Norah Jones will be joining Jesse Harris at the after party as well.