The French play God of Carnage became the toast of Broadway in 2009 when it hit the Great White Way with high-wattage film actors Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden in the lead roles. All four actors ended up nominated for Tony Awards, and the production became one of the longest-running stage plays of the 2000s. Now infamous director Roman Polanski takes a stab at a movie version starring Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster. That’s hardly what you’d call a step down in quality from the stage version. But what soars on a stage doesn’t always fly on a movie screen.
Hollywood’s award season is in full swing. It began last week with the lowly People’s Choice Awards and continues though Feb. 26 with the handing out of the prestigious 84th annual Academy Awards. In between, we get award show telecasts of varying import, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Jan. 12 on VH1) to the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 on IFC).
If you tried stopping by the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill sometime this week for a movie, you might have noticed the venerable venue was closed. The place took a four-day break to remove the old movie theater seats and install brand-new ones. The new seats are larger and more comfortable than the old ones. As a result, there will be fewer places to sit in the theater, but they’ll be much nicer. Patrons have been offered the option of “sponsoring” one of the new seats, having their name (or a loved one’s name) permanently affixed to a brass plaque on the back for a one-time fee. Guild owner Keif Henley says response to this special promotion has been swift and few unsponsored seats are left. (If you’re in the market for eternal glory, hurry up.)