Tootsie

I sat down to grade a lot of papers and give two lectures.  I looked up the baseball score and saw that the Blue Jays won in eleven innings.  I made my way home and watched the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “Tootsie.”  Even after 34 years, this movie is still pretty funny, with Bill Murray in good form and Teri Garr very reliable.  After seeing movies like “The Crying Game” and “Transamerica,” however, I couldn’t see how this man could go too long with this masquerade.  I thought that the voice would be a sure giveaway.  I noticed that as a woman, Michael made sure that his Adam’s apple couldn’t be seen.  A transgender indicator is wearing something across the throat.  There is one irritating thing about the movie, and that is how much it is about actors, rather like “Shakespeare in Love.”  I do like how Dabney Coleman and Charles Durning are in the cast.  I had forgotten that Geena Davis had a part, and I didn’t even know that Estelle Getty was also present.  I questioned whether Jessica Lange really deserved an Oscar for her performance.  I do remember that she was very good in “Frances.”  Michael treats Sandy horribly, which made all these realizations he supposedly had seem questionable.  It seemed that Dustin Hoffman was a bit old to still be a struggling actor.  If he was really any good, he would have been discovered at some point, or at least tolerated.  It’s a bit sad to watch Sydney Pollack now, knowing that the years caught up with him and he’s passed away.  I thought there were big problems with the ending, which I found totally unconvincing.  The revelation is too much of a shock for there to be any kind of a smooth resolution at the end.  The 1980s in this movie doesn’t seem that distant, except for the answering machine and the bus advertisement for “Evita.”  Hoffman looked like he wasn’t too far removed from “Kramer vs. Kramer.”  Somehow, I couldn’t picture Bill Murray as a playwright.  We didn’t hear too much of the dialogue from “Return to the Love Canal.”  One thing I thought was amusing was the Andy Warhol cameo for the photo shoot.  It seemed very appropriate that he should pose with a man impersonating a woman.  It was a pleasure to watch this movie again, even if it could not be quite as hilarious as it was the first time around. I’m not sure that Dustin Hoffman has reached the height of performance again since this movie.  I liked watching Hoffman, but I wouldn’t have given him an Oscar for this movie.  It was originally released just before Christmas in 1982.  It was popular through the early months of 1983.  I thought of it as a kind of update of “Some Like It Hot.”  I could see how Elaine May could have been involved in shaping the script.  I think I’ll always remember 1982 for this movie, “Gandhi,” “The Verdict,” and “My Favorite Year.”  Some of the people who died on October 5 include Tecumseh (1813), Jacques Offenbach (1880), Jean Vigo (1934), Gloria Grahame (1981), Eddie Kendricks (1992), Rodney Dangerfield (2004), and Steve Jobs (2011).  Today is a birthday for Kate Winslet (41), Maya Lin (57), and Bob Geldof (65).

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