Second Birthday and Links 5/25

df9748346088f6ba95c08243f271ca22

WordPress tells me the blog turned two today, which is adorable and I had no idea.  As such, I have nothing more celebratory than the regularly scheduled Friday links post, rampant cramps, and a beauty hangover from seeing La Sylphide last night.

Advertisements

Thoughts on the Oscar Noms

Thank you, Variety.com for the easy copy-paste job. I think I wrote these out by hand when I did this post last year and I remember it being kind of exasperating.
Also different from last year: This is only thought son the nominations, no predictions- yet.

Best Picture:
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Overwhelming emotion: excitement at seeing Get Out on this list. It’s really rare for horror/genre films to be recognized, and this film- a social criticism/horror by a black director and starring a black actor- is at once a daring departure from form for the academy but also the most Oscar-baity of horror films they could possibly choose (not a bad thing, just a recognition of the self-consciously politically charged /significant/ nature of the film and the symbolism-charged details).  I’m not one of those people who feels that other genre films (like The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, or Logan) should be on this list. The only film on this list that I haven’t seen at this point is Phantom Thread, but I’m really looking forward to that experience. Because fashion, Daniel Day-Lewis, and tense romance.  I don’t necessarily think Darkest Hour and The Post deserve their spots on here.  Both include some capital A Acting by academy favorites, so their you go.  Courtesy nominations, IMO.  The Post was serviceable. The Darkest Hour was kind of bland, excepting Gary Oldman’s athletic emoting and fat suit wearing channeling of Winston Churchill (did that sound snide? It was supposed to).  I don’t think there are any real snubs, but I’m surprised I, Tonya didn’t make it on. Given that the academy favors biopics, the interesting (and successful) choices re: fourth-wall breaking, and the recognition of the two main actresses in best actress and best supporting actress categories.  The Big Sick I guess could have been on here. I feel a bit take it or leave it though, so I wouldn’t call either of those a snub. Or you could throw in Mudbound.

Lead Actor:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Same as last paragraph, I continue to have not seen Phantom Thread, but generally nominating DDL is a safe bet in my book (his success rate is higher for me than Meryl Streep’s) but I’ve also not seen Roman J. Israel, Esq. I don’t really plan to either. I’ve heard that it’s a not very good movie elevated by an excellent performance from Denzel Washington.  But given that DW (Haha, Arthur flashback) isn’t really my cup of tea, all the more reason to skip it.  Do I feel like James Franco was snubbed? Nah.

Lead Actress:
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
This is all pretty good with me, although yes, I do stand by Meryl Streep’s being either a courtesy nomination or further evidence for her deal with the devil. (No, I’m not a Trumpian who thinks she’s over-rated. She’s amazing. But The Post is over-serious. And I feel like the tide may be turning away from the self-aggrandizing film, the aggressively act-y actor, etc.

Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
I didn’t very much like The Florida Project, finding its naturalistic depiction of poverty and essential child neglect a little too close to home and also too boring. But Willem Dafoe did do good work in it, so there’s that. But I wouldn’t necessarily have him in here.  I would also take out Christopher Plummer for All the Money in the World (cup of salt, it’s a film I haven’t seen), but I guess it is a fair remuneration for his jumping in for a heavy shooting schedule to replace Kevin Spacey’s scenes in a very limited space of time. So go you CP (sorry for all the abbreviations, I’m guiltily taking a break from studying and feel like I should hurry). I don’t feel like Armie Hammer was snubbed for Call Me By Your Name. He was good but I also found his character to be an annoying, condescending, egotistical pedant who could have been remarkably well-played by any number of guys I knew at Yale.  It’s a shame Michael Stuhlbarg couldn’t have been nominated for any of the three impressive supporting roles he had this year (in The Shape of Water, The Post, and Call Me By Your Name).  None of them was a HUGE standout, but I feel like he deserves kind of recognition for all-around hard work in a Hufflepuff kind of way. Go you, MS! I would maybe have put in Michael Shannon for his work in The Shape of Water as the the villainous, sinister, and really creepy Richard Strickland. Free the Michaels.

Supporting Actress:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
YESSS, MJB, I see you! Mudbound was pretty good and her work in it was excellent. In a largely overlooked film, I’m glad she was one of the few aspects recognized. I didn’t manage to see Phantom Thread since I started writing this post, so let’s keep that in mind as we continue. We’ve got three mom figures of varying degrees of good mom-ness (None as good as my Mom, obviously), and I’d like to put into the running a third mom-figure, which I think may be the most significant snub of this year’s Oscar race. Holly Hunter in The Big Sick. Watch this scene and then if you disagree you can fight me. I’ve heard some say that Tiffany Haddish shook have been nominated for her role in Girls Trip. Can’t weigh in because I very much do not enjoy raunchy comedies.

Director:
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
I find it kind of hard to believe that this is Christopher Nolan’s first nomination for Best Director (because honestly he should have gotten one for The Dark Knight but it’s a genre film so…). Excited to see Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig on here, both for their directorial debuts. And The Shape of Water may have had some troubling underlying issues, but I’m happy to see GdT on this list, as he continues to be a favorite of mine. Spielberg wasn’t nominated for The Post which is a (in my book welcome) surprise.

Animated Feature:
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman
I’ll say the obvious, which is that this is Coco’s to lose.  I haven’t seen any of the others with the exception of Loving Vincent, which was gorgeous but also annoying, poorly thought out, and kind of induced some motion sickness. I’m debating whether I should watch Boss Baby. 1) It looks like it might be good in a terrible kind of way. 2) I feel like I should maybe see it high. 3) The title reminds me of Donald Trump.
I remember reading the Breadwinner/Parvana’s Journey in fifth grade, so that’s going on my ‘to watch’ list. I’m pissed that they took another of my favorite simple children’s books and turned it into an overloaded film (throwback to The Lorax), but can we also recognize that Kate McKinnon’s (unnecessary and additional) goat character actually… looks a whole lot like Kate McKinnon? This sin’t meant to offend. We all have a little goat in us and Kate McKinnon is all around a gorgeous and hysterical woman/person.
I wish Your Name was on here. Such a beautiful anime film, but it’s not included because, though it was released in the US in 2017, it’s actual release date was in 2016. Do check it out. It’s lovely and I cried and I don’t cry often. At films.

Other thoughts:

  • Big Sick I think should have been recognized more, in general. Even if I wasn’t the biggest fan. Maybe it will win for Best Original Screenplay, which I didn’t include on this list. But that’s also a pretty stacked category featuring other favorites of the year.  Maybe it will be recognized since it wasn’t anywhere else.
  • Phantom thread hasn’t been getting much awards buzz but it landed quite a few nominations regardless. I’ll be interested to see how it does.
  • Most importantly, the field of Oscar contenders is notably much more diverse than last year (Remember #OscarsSoWhite?). And much more diverse than the borderline (if not straight up) offensive Golden Globes nominations this year. (Natalie Portman is still my spirit animal).
  • Martin McDonagh, who directed Three Billboards, was left out as Best Director, despite all the buzz the film is getting and the recognition it’s receiving in the other important categories.
  • Should The Lego Batman Movie have gotten a nomination for Best Animated? Don’t know, haven’t seen.
  • Jordan Peele is the fifth African-American nominated for best director. Greta Gerwig is the fifth woman nominated for best director.
  • Timothee Chalamet, nominated for Best Actor in Call Me By Your Name, also had a fairy significant role in Lady Bird. You know who else was in Lady Bird? Lucas Hedges, who was the irritating teen boy in last year’s Manchester by the Sea.
  • Daniel Kaluuya is British. He has a British accent. He joins my list of stealth Brits.
  • Sufjan Stevens has been nominated for Best Original Song for “Mystery of Love” (he also contributed “Visions of Gideon”). He almost contributed a song to I, Tonya as well.
  • Mud bound’s Rachel Morrison is the first female cinematographer EVER to be nominated for an Oscar.
  • Christopher Plummer is the oldest nominee for acting ever, at 88. At 22, Timothee Chalamet is the youngest in about 80 years. I.e., since Christopher Plummer was 8.
  • Meryl Streep just broke her own record for most Oscar nominations.
  • Hostiles got essentially no nominations. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s very good, despite the lack of buzz.

Friday Links 1/19

a77396cbdd77b8fd34c8175546549a45-lillehammer-motion-photography

Happy Friday! I have the day off, which is many kinds of wonderful (not least because I get to go out and buy a pastry and check some travel guide out from the library and maybe find a waterproof pair of boots.)
(You know, the real problem is that I just want these ten year old riding boots to be new again, or to find a pair of Chelsea boots that are pretty similar. But the Vogue right now seems to be for combat boots or boots that are combat-adjacent so I’m having some trouble).

Anyway, links!

  • Collider (one of my favorite youtube channels on the film industry, frequently mentioned on the blog) doesn’t usually discuss anime, but Emma’s here to decode some common visual tropes and gags.
  • More things I’ve learned from my amazing and diverse ISIPCA classmates? Dan from Australia taught me about ‘Firehawk’ raptors, which spread bushfires to flush out their prey.
  • There’s a Star Wars-themed Creperie in Paris. The dishes are named after the planets by which they were inspired.  Not at all vegan-friendly, but I’m so amused.
  • I know I hate on GP’s goop, but this is actually a pretty good article about how our negativity is in many ways an adaptive strategy, a self-defense mechanism to protect us from past threats- and so a lot of negativity may no longer really be necessary (and may actually be counterproductive) to leading happy lives.  I know I sound super woo woo so I’ll stop, but it does resonate with a lot of what I’ve observed and thought re: my own negativity and cynicism.
    But yeah, no, I only skimmed the article.
  • What do I really want? Continuing to love Mari Andrew’s illustrations.
  • Also Poorly Drawn Lines’s send up of this classic Lion King scene.
  • Screen Junkies (another favorite youtube channel on the film industry) presents their annual Screens awards for the best and worst in movies and television.
  • Unforgettable movie style moments. Some (Keira Knightley’s green Atonement dress) would definitely be on my own list (which, hey, will maybe happen someday).
  • I hope you made it through Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year, apparently) okay. If you’re still feeling a bit of residual down-ness, here are some lovely feel-good movie dance scenes. I still always listen to Dancing Queen when I need a boost. I have to say I think Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain is actually more feel good than the title song, but whatever. Again, maybe this is a moment when a personal list is needed.
  • You’ve heard of the KonMari Method. Maybe you’ve even partaken in some Swedish death cleaning (I’m only 22 and I know I have. One needs to be prepared)- now t’s time for the hot decluttering trend of 2018: American Apocalypse Purging.
  • Another anticipated 2018 film (see earlier post): Love, Simon.
  • I watched I, Tonya and thought it was pretty good (Blades of Glory is still the best figure skating film), but you know what I’d love to see? A film about figure skating legend Surya Bonaly. Because a backflip is almost as difficult as the Iron Lotus.
  • The mindset of men and women re: sex and during sex itself, and how this influences the way women write about sex.  A really interesting read.
  • A very cogently written account of the issues with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. It’s always brilliant when you find an article that explains your gut feelings. Beautiful film, serious problems.
  • There’s a Colette film coming! Keira Knightley’s going to star! I’m not sure those two go together! But I love both separately!
  • On Aziz Ansari and sexual assault vs sexual coercion: I don’t believe sexual coercion is sexual assault. But it’s not exactly enthusiastic consent either.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask men to interpret mixed signals, particularly when sexual violence against women is so common and fear of the consequences of refusal is so real.
  • If becoming a perfumer doesn’t work out, maybe I can go into gourmet ice cream.

Top Movies of the Month

And today it’s been exactly four weeks since I returned to the home.  I’ve spent most of that time lounging and languishing, as one is wont to do after a fairly brutal confrontation with a semester of higher education.
It’s an important defensive measure- for the preservation of sanity- to do your utmost to expel all of that malignant and intrusive learning from your head so it can be once more empty and happy and light as a balloon.

Yep, summer is a time for the easy pleasures.  Easy pleasures like lovely films; some complicated and thought-provoking, others simple enough that you can let them wash right over you like a summer breeze or murmuring ocean tide.  And of course, for the few days that your remote is out of commission, there will always be the guilty recourse of youtube rendezvous with Say Yes to the Dress, Season 14 (Grow a spine and tell your entourage that they and their opinions can go to hell).
Anyway, these were the happy viewing of a few of my quiet evenings… when I wasn’t rooting for lace over tulle or ballgown over mermaid or whatever. Continue reading “Top Movies of the Month”