Paramount held a special screening this evening of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody‘s Young Adult (12.16). The kicker was that it happened at the New Beverly Cinema, a beloved West Hollywood repertory theatre that has sentimental value for many but still has awful sight lines. The good news is that I wasn’t the only one who admired the hell out of it, and that Patton Oswalt, portraying a blunt-spoken, half-crippled fat guy who befriends Charlize Theron‘s neurotic writer character, is now a Best Supporting Actor contender…definitely.
Patton Oswalt at Tuesday night’s Young Adult after-party at an art gallery on Melrose near La Brea.
I don’t know what the rules are about reviewing Young Adult, but I can least say that (a) it’s very ballsy, very well written, very uncompromising, very brazen — a leap forward for Reitman and Cody both; (b) it’s darkly funny during the first two-thirds to 75%, and sometimes hilarious; (c) it’s a kind of Jason Voorhees horror film about a raging blind woman, about egotism and myopia and the absolute mania of the self; (d) as I thought about it during the after-party I began to realize it’s more than just a character study or a black comedy, but a cautionary tale about a kind of egoistic Kardashian-like malignancy afoot in the culture right now; (e) Jack Nicholson‘s Bobby Dupea character in Five Easy Pieces bears a certain resemblance to Charlize’s Mavis Gary; ditto Isabelle Adjani‘s Adele Hugo in Francois Truffaut‘s The Story of Adele H..
A guy named Chris who attended the screening shared some comments tonight in an email, including this one: “I do believe that Patton Oswalt is a lock for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, and may even be the frontrunner. The character of Matt Freehauf sticks with you long after the credits are finished, and it is so much more then the ‘comic relief’ performance that the trailer has made it out to be. If Young Adult is a game changer for anyone, it is Patton Oswalt.”
(I. to r.) Diablo Cody, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Reaser.
(l. to r.) Cody, Theron, Reaser, Patton Oswalt, director Jason Reitman.