Last night was all about Kate Winslet, who appeared at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to receive an award for her work in “The Reader” and “Revolutionary Road.”
Unlike some of the stars who show up at this event, Winslet took the time to sign autographs before striking a pose on the red carpet.
(No, I’m not in that mosh pit. I avoid crowds except at ball games.)
Between clips of her movies, Winslet answered questions from film critic Leonard Maltin.
(No, I didn’t raise my hand and say, “Are you a Yankee fan?”)
After the ceremony, there was a private party for Winslet at a clothing boutique in downtown SB.
(No, I didn’t go. I was invited, but it was raining and I decided to bag it. Well, O.K. It wasn’t just the rain. The truth is, I was afraid I’d spill red wine on some of the clothes and/or Winslet. Remember my post about the chili? I don’t trust myself anymore.)
Today was about the movies themselves, not the glitz, and they’re the reason I look forward to the Festival every year. These are small films, foreign films, films that will never make it to the Multiplex – indie movies that are shown at festivals in Toronto, Sundance and Santa Barbara in the hopes of finding distributors. They come from countries like Japan and China, Norway and Germany, Mexico and Argentina, even Russia and Afghanistan. This morning I saw one from New Zealand. Talk about movies being the universal language.
This afternoon was a screening of “Sugar,” the baseball movie I’ve mentioned. Is it the greatest movie ever? No. But it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s an eye-opening look at how young players in the Dominican Republic will do almost anything to get to the States and stay here.
The main character, Sugar Santos, is a pitcher with a wicked knuckle curve.
When he’s plucked from the baseball academy where he and his friends train and given the chance to play for a minor league team in Iowa, he can’t believe his good fortune. But the transition isn’t easy. He has to adjust to an English speaking country (he orders French toast for breakfast every morning, because it’s the only thing he knows how to say), deal with fans who yell “You suck” at him (you’ll never utter those words again) and stay healthy or be sent back to the Dominican (he resorts to taking PEDs).
There are lighthearted moments, and I let out an actual cheer when Sugar and his friends talk about playing for the Yankees. But mostly, the movie is about how hard it is for these kids to make it here. We have no idea. Seriously.
As I was leaving the theater, I vowed to go much easier on Robinson Cano.
Do you hear that, Robbie? I’m going to give you a break. I won’t scream at the TV the first time you swing at a pitch in the dirt or forget to run out a ground ball or let a dribbler get through the infield. I have sympathy for you now.
For him too.
Just don’t take advantage of my newfound generosity of spirit. Movie or no movie, you’d better bust it this year.