As threatened on the Facebook, a note about the Oscars (and what I’ll watch this year) and then relative silence while attending to some other stuff.
It’s funny that with a zillion films in the world (DarkHorizons.com typically lists about 500 releases of note each year), the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture include:
•2 films about U.S. covert activities against Muslim radicals (Argo, Zero Dark Thirty)
•2 films about slavery (Lincoln, Django Unchained)
•2 films about a kid with magical animals (Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild)
•2 films about the tension between love and mental health problems (Silver Linings Playbook, Amour)
•plus 1 about musically-inclined French people, which was also an element of the previous film I mentioned (Les Miserables – and Amour)
(The sweeping and political fantasy Cloud Atlas would not have been greatly out of place among them, really, especially if it'd been a musical, which would've been fitting.)
I skipped Lincoln when it became clear its writer, who also wrote the revisionist gay history play Angels in America, had misrepresented Lincoln as the ardent liberator dragging along those slow-moving Republicans in Congress, when in fact the opposite was true (Lincoln having said he’d have ended the war without freeing any slaves if he could have – and the congressional Republicans having been radical abolitionists).
It is reasonable for me to suspect that Hollywood is so simple-minded in its leftism as to think that attacking the homonym “Republicans” is sufficient reason to rewrite history. Don’t kid yourself that they’re more sophisticated than that in their political choices. We must stop encouraging them (as with my boycott of projects overseen by the nasty and juvenile big-government advocate Joss Whedon, even if it means farewell to Iron Man et al; most people rightly think life is too short to waste on assholes, Mr. Whedon, something you might want to consider before making further efforts to impress fourteen year-old girls with your snarkiness).
I won’t be the slightest bit surprised, then, if Lincoln wins, especially since the word already seems to be out that the excellent Argo and Zero Dark Thirty might both be deemed too conservative. (I somewhat preferred Argo to Zero, by the way, since Jessica Chastain, despite making an admirable effort, was still slightly miscast, as was that poor dope who had the one scenery-chewing meeting-room scene where he announced it was time to get serious, people, etc., as if he’d wandered in from some schlocky cop film and Kathryn Bigelow was too busy thinking about explosives to tell him to tone it down a little.)
But on an older movie note: here’s someone other than Andy Kaufman portraying his character Tony Clifton (a big influence on the more current fictional-entertainer character Neil Hamburger), singing the Kaufman-inspired R.E.M. song that loaned its name to a film about Kaufman (it’s complicated – but that’s showbiz). H/t (and congratulations to) newly-engaged Austin-dwelling hipster/nerd Janet Harvey on that number.
And speaking of nerds, once the Oscars are over, we can get back to anticipating The 10 Movies Todd Wants to See in the Remainder of 2013 (once more updating an earlier list), all of them geeky but all likely to be decent (I keep raising my standards, and so does a wonderfully nerd-dominated Hollywood – let none dare call these skippable, aside from maybe World War Z). Here, by month:
MAY: Star Trek Into Darkness
JUNE: Man of Steel, World War Z, Kick-Ass 2 (with more Hit Girl)
JULY: Pacific Rim, The Wolverine (which is using a nice Frank Miller/Klaus Janson-style poster image)
SEPTEMBER: Machete Kills
NOVEMBER: Ender’s Game
DECEMBER: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
In short, a fun-filled year of oblivion, darkness, war, killing, and desolation. It should be a blast, even if none of these get 2014 Best Picture nominations.