Monday, February 23, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards

I haven't seen so much as a single minute. I did, however, see about seven or eight minutes of the red carpet -- just long enough to catch this supremely awkward "family moment" between Melanie Griffith and daughter Dakota Johnson. The movie in question is Fifty Shades Of Gray, and it is a rare mother who would express enthusiasm for watching her daughter enact a too-tart-to-be-vanilla sexual-coming-of-age story. But then Griffith is a rare mother for having taken similar risks and roles back when she was her daughter's age, in Body Double and Something Wild. Has Ms. Johnson troubled herself with either of those movies, I wonder?
"Who's next?" Jeff Daniels, Something Wild
Mother and daughter fled the interviewer, and I the television, opting instead for my usual Sunday night old duffs' hockey game. The fire in the hearth was tempting, but resistible. Had I stayed, I'd likely have had too much wine, to counteract the gnawing existential dread spurred on by the glowing flat-screen. As it was, the evening yielded no goals, but two assists, and some accomplished defense, followed by a hot shower and a good night's sleep. More than reward enough.

Something else I haven't seen: American Sniper. I'm lukewarm-to-cool on most Clint Eastwood movies. The last movie of his I saw on the big screen was Unforgiven, and ever since then I've adopted a Wait-For-The-Video policy. But even sight unseen it's safe to say this latest flick is something of a phenom. In Michael Moore's words, it's bringing out The Passion Of The Christ crowd. Speaking of Moore, I'm generally lukewarm-to-cool on his agitprop, but he does give a good interview. As for Eastwood's movie, I figure any flick that gets people talking this much about what a movie does is a good thing, for everyone.

That last link (again) is from the Roger Ebert website, and man, do I ever miss him after last night. I would have loved to hear his reaction to Selma, and the Academy's non-reaction to it. Matt Zoller Seitz stands in for Roger and makes the case for Selma. True to form, however, the Academy instead awarded the movie about show-biz. For a peek behind the votes, here is one Academy member's brutally honest evaluation of the ballot.

But to close with Roger Ebert, every once in a while someone in the biz shows up on the site to plug their favorite Ebert piece. This is mine. He had other observations about his Calcutta trip, all worth reading (type "calcutta" into the site search engine). With the exception of, and just prior to, his illness and debilitation, his time at the Calcutta Film Festival changed his writing more than any other life event.


Joel said... curious what you make of this.

Darrell Reimer said...

It's curious to me that it still manages to draw a sizeable television audience. The AAs are no longer the only game in town. The Golden Globes probably have a more respectable critical pedigree, and alcohol is served to the celebs as the show grinds on, adding a more entertaining element of surprise to the whole ordeal. I guess the AAs have "tradition" going for them -- glamorous types have made a priority of showing up outside the theatre since the Dust Bowl years, so it's still the place to be seen, still a spectacle to watch. The movies under discussion are increasingly beside the point -- which seems to be the observation from everyone paid to opine on these things, whether they do it for Cracked or New York Magazine.

When I woke up the next morning and checked my FB feed, it looked like the only people who'd watched the show were gay.

paul bowman said...

Just for kicks, I googled ‘the gay traditionalist.’ Nothing about Hollywood — but then Google knows I’m more interested in Catholicism than the movies, doesn’t it?

paul bowman said...

Then again, Duck Duck Go gives me the same hits, more or less. Guess traditionalist has limited currency really. Somebody ought to do something about that.

Darrell Reimer said...

Huh. You inspired me to do likewise. Looks like there's a fledgling movement of sorts in the Catholic fold. But if you've only garnered 243 "likes" on Facebook, that's a preciously small movement, indeed.