…and I’m just not ready.
I’ve only seen three of the Best Picture nominees. American Hustle. Dallas Buyer’s Club. And Captain Phillips.
Gravity I deliberately avoided because 1. there’s no IMAX nearby and it seemed that was one movie that really needed to be seen that way, and 2. it would have scared the willies out of me.
Nightmares for weeks.
I also gave The Wolf of Wall Street the skip because…
Well, just because.
The others---Philomena, Her, Nebraska, and even 12 Years a Slave---came and went at the local art house one right after the other so fast it seemed they were all shown in the same week.
The upside for you regular readers is that this means I don’t have a bunch of second-run reviews to re-post or excerpt in the lead up to the Oscars Sunday night.
What I’m going to do instead is post all-new reviews of movies I’ve over the last few months but for one reason or another haven’t yet typed up my notes on. These will include Dallas Buyer’s Club and Captain Phillips but also The Great Gatsby, which is going to be a doozy of a post, full of art and literature and pseudo-intellectualizing of all sorts, and, the one I’ll be starting with, The Monuments Men, which I enjoyed but probably wouldn’t be on anybody’s Oscar list even if it had come out in time for consideration this awards season.
The fun gets underway tomorrow morning, bright and early.
This morning, bright and early, I’m off to Syracuse to talk movies and fairy tales with my students.
Same difference, right?
Meanwhile, here’s one of the best things I’ve read on this season’s crop of nominees, The Oscars’ Addiction to Lame Historical Dramas, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has mapped out an admirable post-basketball career as an activist, writer, filmmaker, and public intellectual. His choice for Best Picture? Philomena.
Also, the In Memorium segment of the Oscars ought to be livelier and less maudlin than the producers make it, if only because the people being remembered devoted their working lives to one of the most heartening and cheering endeavors going. This year the tributes to Shirley Temple and Sid Caesar alone should be lots of fun, but add to that there's now Harold Ramis to be remembered. If only Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray would take the stage to lead the crowd in singing the Ghostbusters theme...Ah well. There are many good pieces about Ramis online and here's one I really liked, by Mary Elizabeth Williams writing at Salon, Why Harold Ramis "Groundhog Day" is a perfect guide to life.
To gear up for their next big writing assignment, my students in Media Criticism for a Wired Age had to find and post the links to two movie reviews they particularly liked as pieces of writing that just happens to be about a movie and not because they seconded their own opinions about movies they liked or hated. They followed instructions (mostly) and came through with an impressive array of reviews on an interesting selection of movies.
I also asked them to include a sentence or two about what they thought was particularly well-done in the review. Being honor students, they couldn’t limit themselves. They just had to do more than the assignment called for. The result is that their comments on their links alone are worth the price of admission, popcorn, and a large soda. Please check it out our Facebook group page, Wired Critics.
And feel free to join the group and join the discussion as some of your fellow Mannionvillians like Ken Houghton, Janelle Dvorak, and Chris Galdieri already have, bless their virtual hearts.