Few tennis fans in Canada thought that the Canadian Davis Cup team would lose to lowly regarded Colombia in the Davis Cup playoffs in Halifax. However, those hard-core fans knew that it was not an open and shut case. Colombia has an extremely talented doubles team that has played together for at least three years (not only in Davis Cup, but on the regular ATP Tour). Santiago Giraldo is also a talented singles player. These factors played in the back of the fans minds as Canada met Colombia in Halifax.
As it turned out, Colombia indeed won the doubles and in the end, it wasn’t even close in the live singles rubbers, as Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil both sealed the deal for Canada in straight set wins. I thought Giraldo would have put up more of a fight in his match with Pospisil to make the tie interesting, but the atmosphere, fans, arena and host city all combined to give Pospisil the edge and the confidence.
Once again, the big giant heads (first seen in Vancouver in 2013 vs. Spain) made an appearance in Halifax from the offices of Tennis Canada. They are instantly recognizable and a crowd favourite. Without them (and maybe the noise from the buckets from the cheering section), the tie would have been far less interesting and the crowd would not have gotten into the matches as much as they did without them. At the end of 2013, I predicted that this big giant head idea would morph into something bigger and make appearances at other Davis Cup matches. That, so far, hasn’t materialized and it seems that Canada has an unofficial patent on the big giant heads idea. It’s a great marketing tool.
Halifax was a great host city. I was proud of them for getting behind the Canadian Davis Cup team, tennis and even more proud to be from Nova Scotia. I just wish I could have been there in person. Next up, Japan in Canada for the first round of the World Group – the fourth year in a row that Canada has been in the prestigious top 16 nations group. That is unprecedented – history making really, much like 2014 has already been for Canadian tennis. Also unprecedented is both the men’s and women’s teams in the top tier of tennis’ elite team competitions at the same time – the men in Davis Cup’s World Group and the women in the Federation Cup’s World Group.
An absolutely brilliant, superb film from 2001. It is firmly in my Top Ten of the best dramatic films of all-time. When a terrific screenplay, a solid directorial performance and class A acting from all the actors combine, you have a truly special film. This was an independent sleeper hit that, by word of mouth, gathered steam through the awards season. That’s how I first heard about the film. Both Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek are brilliant. It is Wilkinson’s finest performance and it rivals Spacek’s performance in Coal Miner’s Daughter as her greatest role. This was my introduction to Tom Wilkinson and he has since become one of my favourite actors. The entire cast from top to bottom gives deep, raw, multi-layered performances.
I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say this many times again: Sissy Spacek deserved to win the Oscar for Best Actress. It was gut wrenching when she didn’t because you became so involved in her performance that anything less than an industry pat on the back was pure treachery. Was she robbed? No. (See The Manchurian Candidate post). I’ve seen Halle Berry’s performance in Monster’s Ball. Was she good? Of course. Was it an over-the-top performance (that the Academy salivates over) given by the pretty, young actress du jour? Yes and yes. Was it also a political choice? Yes, but that deserves to be elaborated on in a longer, exploratory post on the politics behind Oscar’s choices. I preferred Spacek’s performance (for the reasons I outlined in my Being There post). To see her not win, after she had won almost every other acting award that season, justifying her outwardly quiet, inwardly raging performance, was like watching a tire quickly deflate. I haven’t yet gotten over that. She is so good…
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