Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Springtime for Clooney

You can't see the grass here, but he sure isn't letting it grow under his feet.

MECCA. With a week or so for reflection, we've figured out that the big story of the 2006 Oscars wasn't Crash's upset of Brokeback Mountain. It was the unleashing of Best Supporting Actor winner George Clooney upon the world. Who would have thought that an acting award would be tantamount to the anointing of a new messiah of the artistic and political intelligentsia? He started demarking his new territory with his acceptance speech, in which he explained the commanding role played by Hollywood in leading America out of the darkness of past error into the light of transformational liberalism. As even Peggy Noonan had to acknowledge [Caution: Dowdian elisions below]:

George Clooney is Hollywood now. He is charming and beautiful and cool...  And because [his audience] are his inferiors, he must teach them. He must teach them about racial tolerance and speaking truth to power, etc. He must teach them to be brave. And so in his acceptance speech for best supporting actor the other night he instructed the audience about Hollywood's courage in making movies about AIDS, and recognizing the work of Hattie McDaniel with an Oscar. [hyperlinks added]

Only a day or two later, he reinforced his mandate as a cultural savior by writing an open letter to the youth of America, in which he threw down the gauntlet for youngsters who are as committed to rescuing the world from Republicans as he is:

Still not content with the amount of limelight his newly elevated persona was receiving or emanating, he delivered unto the masses a revolutionary blog entry in the Huffington Post, in which he condensed his accumulated political wisdom into terms even the dumb reactionaries at the New York Post could understand:

George Clooney has a message for Democratic office-holders who voted for the war in Iraq, only to claim later that they'd been misled by President Bush:

"F— you!"

The movie star's argument — directed at the likes of presidential wannabes Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry and John Edwards — is actually more nuanced than that.

"Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the runup to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and Bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bulls—.

Now, the XOFF News Team has learned that his commitment to strike while the iron is hot has proceeded to the inevitable next step -- announcing a groundbreaking new motion picture written, produced, and directed by George Clooney:

While the picture has yet to be filmed, critics are already raving about the production's brilliance and courage. "Daring, gorgeous, hilarious, and bitingly satirical," declares a preliminary review by Shaun Proulx in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "An overwhelming triumph," explains David Edelstein in Slate. "If Mel Brooks had directed Dr. Strangelove, or if Stanley Kubrick had produced [the remake of] The Producers, the result would surely resemble this -- a screechingly funny black comedy possessing the film-noir originality of Clooney's own [remake of] Fail-Safe, the meticulous historical verisimilitude of Good Night and Good Luck, the political genius of Syriana, and more than a soupcon of the devil-may-care sexiness of [the remake of] Oceans 11."

Wow. We can't wait. Industry insiders report that the film is a kind of screwball comedy set in the infamous Eagle's Nest (Berchtesgaden), where the election-stealing German leader planned World War II with his chief accomplices Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Rudolph Hess in 1938. The madcap plot alternates between the social and erotic hijinks of the dim-witted principals and their search for an appropriate lie to tell the German people about why they're going to invade defenseless Poland. According to the draft press release, "An inspired choice of supporting cast manages to make the political satire ring eerily true while simultaneously leveraging the current vogue for gender-bending sexual byplay. The audience will respond delightedly to the hopelessly unresolved identity conflicts of both Goebbels and von Ribbentrop, and they'll hoot with glee at the aburdly violent hunting mishaps of Hitler's number two man, Hess, although it's not too early to speculate that the laugh-riot portrayal of the notorious cross-dresser Goering may grab a Best-Supporting Actor Oscar for surprise co-star Michael Moore."

Michael Moore as Goering and Whoopi Goldberg as foreign minister von Ribbentrop

Streisand as propaganda minister Goebbels and Ed Asner as Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess

Serious makeup: Janeane Garofalo as Eva Braun & Clooney as the fuehrer "H"

It goes without saying that the real star of Weekend at Berchtesgaden will be writer-producer-director-actor George Clooney, known to his intimates in the film merely as "H." Even insiders are secretive about George's take on the role of a lifetime, so we have to content ourselves with a few tantalizing hints. We're told that "H" isn't exactly the genius described in the history books, and "he's been known to mangle a 'liebensrump' or two."

We'll be first in line at the box office. You can count on that. Unless you can't.

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