Goldblum’s Moment

Okay, no more Jerry Lewis jokes. Paul Schrader‘s Adam Resurrected, which just screened at the Telluride Fillm Festival, is in no way a problem film, a friend says, and Jeff Goldblum‘s lead performance is, he insists, an Oscar-level achievement. Seriously — that’s what he said.

Jeff Goldblum, Paul Schrader following this afternoon’s screening.

Scale that back a bit and at the very least Goldblum is looking lucky, skillful and back in the groove with God smiling down. If the buzz is real, people may be calling his work in Adam Resurrected his best performance since….Jurassic Park? The Big Chill? Igby Goes Down?


Telluride Film Festival panel discussion with Jeff Goldblum (far right, light blue shirt), David Fincher (black T-shirt) and others participating. It looks as if Annette Insdorf may have moderated.

A little rain began to pour this afternoon, and with it the temperature dropped down to cool. But those mountain aromas!

  • Geoff

    “Now I’m, uh, getting Oscar buzz. You see, uh, that’s chaos theory.”

  • broadstreetbully

    I hope this is true; it’d be great to have Goldblum back in form. Jurassic Park is the last performance of his I enjoyed, although I never saw Igby.

  • Richardson

    Igby is a terrible, terrible movie, but he’s pretty great in it. Very small part.
    He’s also great in ‘Powder’. In fact, Goldblum tends to be a lot like Walken; he’ll just come in and be interesting to watch for a while, movie-be-damned.
    I’m hoping that ‘Law and Order’ he’s on puts him and D’Onofrio together at least once.

  • NDH

    I’ve always enjoyed Goldblum and I always forget how big he was in the mid 90s. Jurassic Park, followed by Independence Day, followed by The Lost World (which was not a success in retrospect, but you can’t deny the hype that preceded that film). So I’m glad he’s getting decent buzz with this new flick. Hopefully he’ll be able to make a comeback out of it.

  • Jason

    Goldblum’s sardonic presence was a real asset for The Lost World. I hated the movie when I saw it opening night in 1997, but lately I’ve learned to ignore the inept plotting and appreciate the good stuff, like Goldblum’s performance and Spielberg’s set pieces.

  • lazarus

    I wouldn’t call Goldblum’s Zoo TV-era Bono impression a great performance, just a flashy and lame way of trying to make the science of the story more palatable.
    As someone who was a fan of the book before the film came out, I found it as insulting as the “Dino DNA” cartoon that the tour group (read: the audience) is shown when they arrive.
    An entertaining thrill ride, but nowhere near the powerful balance of speculative fiction and cautionary tale that the source was.

  • http://www.oregonchannel.org Edward

    I hope it’s true, I’d love to see Schrader and Goldblum hit one out of the park. I just watched Schrader’s “Dominion” and while it’s not great, it does have it’s moments. The opening is pretty good, but why a studio would expect Schrader to make a horror film is anyone’s guess. Besides the Exorcist and it’s many follow-ups were never horror films in the first place, but I’m getting off topic.

  • Dan Revill

    Goldblum was great in Igby. He also was pretty good in The Life Aquatic, but his performance in Jurassic Park is certainly the hilight there (well after the dinos anyway).

  • Lumiere

    The Big Chill was his best performance I think.
    Casting him in The Fly was one of the strangest decisions ever, but he holds his own in that flick.

  • nemo

    Tyrannosaurus Rex doesn’t want to be fed! Tyrannosaurus Rex wants to hunt!

  • JHRussell

    His best performance ever: INTO THE NIGHT

  • calraigh

    ” Casting him in The Fly was one of the strangest decisions ever, but he holds his own in that flick. ”
    Talk about damning with faint praise! The Fly launched his career, was a fascinating, startling and poignant movie and a genuinely freaky piece. As for his casting, I have to say it was one of the most apt decisions made in film. He is the Fly.
    Not something I’d imagine you’d try and chat women up with but a bona fide, iconic character. I really hope Adam Resurrected is as good as it sounds.

  • Griff

    Goldblum has been in some dogs, what working actor has not? But check out a very wacked out comedy called “The Tall Guy,” written by Richard Curtis, with the able assistance of young (and hot) Emma Thompson and Mr. Bean. Its funny, twisted, and touching at the same time.

  • Jason

    Lazarus: I don’t think I’ve ever seen sci-fi exposition done more inventively than the “Mr. DNA” educational cartoon in Jurassic Park. It’s a total hoot. And if you can’t enjoy Goldblum’s “deplorable excess of personality…”

  • lazarus

    Jason, so calling attention to the fact that you’re patronizing is somehow not patronizing? We’re supposed to be in on the joke?
    Yeah, that fits right in with Spielberg’s normal modus operandi.
    Again, I’m not saying Goldblum wasn’t funny, but it made a mockery of a large part of what made the book so enthralling.

  • Caustic712

    I’m with Jason on the educational cartoon — it’s exactly what you’d expect the imagineers to do for the paying public. And I was a fan of the book as well, but I didn’t expect the movie to regurgitate all of the careful science for those who hadn’t read the book — I expected them to dumb it down to keep things moving, and thought that was a clever and appropriate device to do so.

  • Caustic712

    Also, props to Griff for bringing up The Tall Guy — very funny, and features (extremely faint praise alert) Rowan Atkinson’s least annoying performance.

  • calraigh

    Rowan Atkinson’s least annoying performances)were in Blackadder and especially, Not the Nine o’ Clock News but I agree, The Tall Guy is great. Emma Thompson in particular gets to show her funny side, which is how she started out, after all.

  • Jason

    Lazarus:
    “Mr. DNA” is a pitch-perfect send-up of the sort of pop science edutainment you get at high concept Disney attractions and their like. It’s exactly the sort of thing that a real-life “Jurassic Park” would have. I mean, EXACTLY. The only incredible part is where Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond character interacts with the program. No CEO would ever do that. Can you imagine Robert Iger welcoming all visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
    “Mr. DNA” can also be seen as a satire of the usual condescending sci-fi exposition you get from most Hollywood blockbusters.
    The book is borderline pulp fiction. The movie isn’t perfect, but it’s much more entertaining.
    That’s just my opinion, of course. It’s obvious we disagree!

  • televisiontears

    Goldblum was a highlight for me in Life Aquatic, which I’ve since grown to love. I think I was the only one in the theater who found his nonchalant dog-beating at all funny. I remember the geriatric blabbermouth behind me say to her husband, “Was that supposed to be funny?”
    His physicality has tremendous comedic potential in the right hands. I’m surprised the Coen’s haven’t given him a shot yet. Anyway, good for him.

  • Aladdin Sane

    Goldblum was great in Igby. He also was pretty good in The Life Aquatic, but his performance in Jurassic Park is certainly the hilight there (well after the dinos anyway).

  • The Winchester

    “Congratulations, I heard you just drove through a mountain!”
    I just wanted to second the emotion of Tall Guy and Life Aquatic love. Not great movies, but solid performances.
    I thought he was pretty good on that TV show, too. Raines? It had one of those names, like McBain, that is just ripe for the chief to yell it angrily.

  • Filthy Rich

    I find it tiresome every time a book is adapted into a movie and readers have to bitch about how ‘they ruined the book’. They didn’t film the book. They filmed a movie version of the book.
    To call the Mr DNA segment patronizing is missing the point that Jason made: a real Jurassic Park would do just that. It’s a fine piece of exposition that succinctly boils down the ‘science’ of creating these dinosaurs into a 3 minute very palatable lesson for the audience to absorb.
    It was intended to be informative on a textbook level and it had to be entertaining. It’s actually one of the finest bits of exposition that writer David Koepp has done – exposition, after all, being one of his weaknesses (witness the clunky and awkard dialogue in the exposition scene from The Lost World, or the dull crap that literally had me sleeping in Crystal Skull).
    And to call Goldblum’s performance in Jurrassic flashy and lame is just, well lame. It was a fine performance based on the writing of the screenplay which, again, was NOT the book, nor was it intended to be. He almost stole the show from the dinosaurs, no small feat that.
    Anyway, I have to agree with most everyone here that I’m glad to see Goldblum back in fine form and hope this bodes well for a higher profile comeback as he is always entertaining as hell.

  • frankbooth

    Calraigh beat me to it. To say that Goldblum holds his own implies that he merely keeps up with the other actors. He IS that movie, and in a just world he’d have gotten a Best Actor nomination.
    The Tall Guy is funny stuff, and Emma shows more than her funny side. (“See, I’m like, referring to her breasts.”)
    It’s been a long time, but I remember Jurrassic Park being a really awful book, which would make it hard to ruin. Flat characters and very dull writing. Crichton has good gimmicks, but that’s about it.
    He actually used exclamation points to create excitement: The T-Rex was coming straight at them! There was no way out! That sort of thing. Made Stephen King look like a master of prose.

  • frankbooth

    I misquoted “I’m fucking Matt Damon.” I cannot describe the depth of my shame.

  • Drew

    A friend of mine once said it best:
    “Jeff Goldblum always, always, always seems like he just walked into a surprise party for himself. Watch the way he plays every scene or the way he handles pretty much every interaction or public appearance.” It’s absolutely right on, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy him so much.
    He and the FX team were the MVPs of JURASSIC PARK.

  • BurmaShave

    I guess he remembered his mantra.

  • Richardson

    Honestly, I never thought I would see the day when somebody was holding up a Michael Crichton book as having any sort of artistic merit that the movie version removed.
    And I say that as a guy who enjoys reading his books. They’re fun.
    It sounds as if laz wanted a movie that took a really long time explaining all the details about the dinosaur procedure. All I can ask is: Why? All anybody wants from that movie is dinosaurs.

  • frankbooth

    Thank you, Richardson. (That is, if I’m correct in assuming that you agree with me about Crichton’s abilities as a writer.)
    And I’m in complete accord with your last sentence. I scratched my head at people who complained about JP’s shallowness. It was Spielberg doing the best-ever dinosaurs, using the latest technology. To an adult who grew up watching stop-motion monsters on Sunday-afternoon TV, it was more than enough. It was a kind of fulfillment.
    It’s also the reason I’m no longer wowed by special effects. We’re now at the point where almost anything can be done — and there’s no fun to be had in figuring out HOW it was done when you know it’s all digital. It boils down to “good CGI” or “bad CGI.” I’ll never see another movie just because there are dinosaurs in it.
    The only recent movie that impressed me FX-wise was Dark Knight. Think about it: have you heard anyone even mention the film’s effects? You might even think there aren’t any, until you realize that they didn’t really throw Maggie Gyllenhaal off a building.

  • frankbooth

    Oh, and Zodiac, for the same reason. I had no idea there were many effects shots in the film.
    Drew — your friend’s line about Goldblum is hilariously accurate.

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