My mother has abandoned me.
Last night, she notified me that she had no intention of watching the Academy Awards with me on Sunday. And I don’t really blame her, because let’s face it, the Oscars are usually deadly dull. What makes it fun is watching it with someone and sharing snarky/admiring comments about the clothes, the speeches, and the presenters.
Every now and again, they do something that livens things up. And then they go back to the same old thing. Take last year. There were one, maybe two of the major awards at the very beginning, followed by two hours of interminable dullness, and then they rushed the rest of the major rewards into the last 20 minutes. Who was responsible for that abomination?
Yet I watch every year in the hope of something unique, entertaining happening, and of course of my favourite movies winning. To that end, I spend some time watching all the Best Movie nominees before the big night. Oddly enough, I also develop opinions about them. Odder still (ha!), I intend to share them with you.
What? It’s perfect blog fodder for a week with excessive brain fog.
Arrival. Aliens land and a linguistics professor is enlisted to try making sense of the language. I’m not going to say anything else about it, because it would ruin the plot, the surprise, and the experience. It is thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and uplifting, all at the same time. I loved it.
Fences. Denzel Washington in a tour de force performance that highlights the joy of talking. Unfortunately, I experienced a severe immigrant moment and couldn’t really understand the accents the characters used. I’m normally very good with accents. This was very frustrating. It looked good, though.
Hacksaw Ridge. Based on true events of a conscientious objector who joined the Army in World War II. The story itself is amazing and there are moments of intense action, as well as quiet heroism. Mel Gibson returns to direct a loving paean to the violence and gore of war.
Hell or High Water. A Western and a thriller, this is the story of two brothers who are engaging in a number of bank robberies, and the man who wants to find them. It has a quiet intensity and takes the time to tell you the reason behind the robberies. Again, I ran aground on accents. That low drawl of rural Texas was hard to understand for these Danish ears.
Hidden Figures. The based-in-fact story of the black female “computers” at NASA that helped get the space program develop. Fantastic story of both the space program and civil rights. Brilliant performances by all. I loved this movie.
La La Land. Skinny, white millennials sing and dance their way to adulthood. Gorgeous movie, wonderful eye candy, lovely music, but I kept getting distracted by wanting to feed Emma Stone a sandwich. And by there were only a handful of non-white characters (and that’s counting the extras) and maybe one or two people over the age of 30. Maybe it’s that is been built up so much, but I also sort of…
Lion. Didn’t see it. Do you know how it is?
Manchester by the Sea. Lee is a very quiet handyman in Boston who receives a call to come home after a death in the family. Gradually, we find out why he is so quiet and sad, and see his relationship to family and his past in Manchester. The movie is compelling and yes, quiet, but really gets under your skin.
Moonlight. A story of growing up black and gay in South Florida. And about love, abandonment, the impact of drugs on families (jn more ways than one), bullying, hope, and so much more. This is a fantastic movie, brilliantly written, directed, photographed, and edited. Not the only movie I loved, but it may be the one that deserves getting the award.
What did you think of these movies? Who deserves getting the Oscar?