Hey hey hey!
“Beep boop boop” is the message that comes up while WordPress is opening a new post window. I couldn’t think of a subject for this post, so it will have to do.
I am beyond saying I am behind on my blog because I haven’t posted in so long. I will just consider this, hopefully, a starting over point to keep up with it and move on.
Before I get to all the movies I’ve seen and want to see and the upcoming Academy Awards, I must touch on sad news in the journalistic world that ended the week. David Carr, a media columnist for The New York Times, died on Thursday in the newsroom at age 58. I got to see him speak at the Minnesota Newspaper Association convention a few years ago and just loved all his commentary and seeing him on assignment in the documentary Page One: Inside The New York Times.
I was too shy to introduce myself to him at the convention, and knew I would be. I was comfortable listening to him and admiring him from afar much like I felt reading his work every week. He will have a legacy that lives on in that but he definitely left this world much too soon.
That is all… wait, no, The Oscars are on the way on Feb. 22. Last year they weren’t until March 2. I guess I’ll just have to wear skinny jeans and a hoodie that day because there is definitely not enough time to find a gown appropriate for the red carpet at H&M. I only have three of the best picture nominees left to see, Selma, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game, so I may actually be able to finish that category on my Oscar ballot if I see a couple this weekend.
It seems clear Boyhood will make a sweep at the awards show, and rightfully so. I saw the film when it came out last summer and appreciate the mix of a simple story about a boy growing up and his family life on screen knowing in the back of my mind nothing about how it was made was simple. As many people probably know it was made over 12 years to reflect the actors growing up and aging much like the characters in the film. And, from what I can tell, although certainly there is a lot of buzz about the project now it was done with little fanfare or attention-seeking.
If it weren’t for Boyhood I’d love for Whiplash to take the best picture statue. it was definitely my favorite of the eight nominees and I’m tempted to see it again before the big show and it leaves the theater. I work one of the theaters in the Twin Cities that is showing it right now and get to hear snippets of the jazz music blaring through the halls, especially during the final scene of the film, and it’s fantastic.
The rest of the nominees are a mix of fiction and films based on true stories.
I did not like Birdman as much as I thought I would, and I’m not entirely sure I understood it, but the acting makes up for it and Oscar nods for Michael Keaton and Emma Stone are just.
I saw American Sniper to learn more about the story of Chris Kyle. It’s obvious there is more to it than the movie could tell, or Clint Eastwood chose to focus on, but the film itself didn’t impress me either way. The acting was middle of the road and I don’t think, as a movie, it is deserving of any accolades.
I wonder why Foxcatcher didn’t make the Best Picture nominee list. I enjoyed the film and unlike American Sniper, the acting across the board by Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo was solid and compelling. Each actor seemed to embody the men they played and the film drew attention to a story that people might not know a lot about. I, for one, did not and I will say Bennett Miller’s depiction of it reminded me a lot of his work in Capote. It was very stripped down and raw and focused in-depth on the characters. Somehow it left me wanting more at the same time, but maybe that’s because the directing and acting was so good I just wanted to watch more of what could be done with the story.
And last but not least, of the best picture nominees I have seen, The Grand Budapest Hotel made the cut. It won’t win and I remember reading there was a divide in feelings about the film from Wes Anderson fans. Maybe I’m not critical enough to delve into Anderson’s work, but he took it up a notch with his visual depiction of the story in The Grand Budapest Hotel and of course it’s always great to see his regular cast of characters like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzmann have their small roles mixed in with newcomers like Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel.
I’m behind, as usual, on seeing the feature-length documentaries among the nominees, but I did catch a showing of the animated short films this week. My favorite was The Dam Keeper about a young pig charged with operating a windmill dam that needs to run to protect his small town from pollution. He befriends a fox in his school and the story also focuses on their friendship and it was a adorable.
Speaking of adorable, I was recently alerted to a story about how Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman met years ago and she apparently was interested in him. I was smiling and laughing so hard during the video of them talking about it on his show, it made my cheeks hurt. Jimmy Fallon is just all around adorable and this is why.