Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So I watched the Academy Awards show and everything was pretty predictable and boring mostly. Apparently the people who voted missed Helen Mirren's movie "The Last Station," or the brilliant performance of Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious." That's the only explanation for the misguided choice of Sandra Bullock as best actress.

I have nothing against her, but that movie, which I went to see for no good reason, is one of those feel-good Lifetime TV movies of the week sort of things. She was okay, playing the kind of woman I have never much cared for - a Southern, gun-totin' blond version of Sarah Palin. It was another movie in which the great white do-gooder rescues the poor, Black kid and gives him a white,middle class life. This character would have taken Precious in hand, and put her in Weight Watchers.

It was good to see "Avatar" get almost nothing. I think James Cameron was all ready to make another "King of the World" speech. I wonder if there is anybody out there who still thinks "Titanic" was a great movie, or even a good movie. If "Avatar" had won for best movie, God only knows what sort of bloated, over the top flick Cameron would have tried to foist off next.

I liked Mo'Nique's speech when she stated that it was good to see that the academy counted on the importance of performance over politics. She was so very good in that difficult role of an abusive mother. Sometimes they so tings right.

But Sandra Bullock?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Oscar Choices

Since I'm not a member of the academy, and no one really cares what I think, I am free to make choices based on my own preferences. I have not seen all of the nominated pictures (wild horses couldn't drag me to "Avatar;" I'm still astounded that "Titanic" was even nominated, much less the winner of best picture. ), but I have seen most of them. I haven't seen any movie this year that I would want to go to see again (except "Up."); in fact I can hardly remember most of them.

Two of the nominated pictures which I found worth an award are "A Serious Man," by one of the Coens, and "Precious." I'm not sure either one has a chance, but they were both films that had something to say beyond mere entertainment."Up in the Air" was very good and is the sort of movie which would have won easily in the past. Actually, I think most of the films this year were pretty blah. Yesterday I saw "The Last Station," which was not nominated but was a hell of a lot better than "The Blind Side." I hope that either "Precious" or "A Serious Man" wins, but I think it will be "The Hurt Locker." which I haven't seen and don't want to see.

The best Best Actress award should go to Helen Mirren or Gabourey Sidibe (I'm sure she's had as much trouble with her name as I have had with mine.) Both of these performances were just so good, really good, that I can't think of anyone else who could have been better. I didn't see "An Education," because the premise rather creeped me out, so I can't judge that actress' performance. I'm going to give my Oscar to Helen Mirren.

The very best actor this year was Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart," Although I have loved Colin Firth since his two Mr. Darcy roles, Jeff Bridges is so incredibly good that if he doesn't get the Oscar, there;'s something terribly wrong with the voting system. George Clooney was good in "Up in the Air," too. But but not this good.

Best Supporting Actress will go to Mo'Nique. I'd never heard of her before "Precious" and couldn't believe she is a comedienne. She is simply amazing. The only actress I didn't see was Penelope Cruz in "Nine," but I did see the others and they can't compare with Mo'Nique. (I wonder where this love affair with the apostrophe came from?)

I only saw one of the actors in the supporting actor category, but I have heard that the German actor in "Inglorious Bastards" is amazingly good. Christopher Plummer plays Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station," and he was good, but I doubt that he will win the award. If I could get over disliking Quentin Tarantino, I'd go see that movie, but it sounds uber violent.

So tonight I shall try to stay awake as all those overdressed, over bejeweled, over made up, and over coiffed (and I'm talking about the guys) player ts strut their stuff and make teary speeches and wonder why I'm doing this.

A Welcome Visitor

I had the pleasure of a visit from my baby brother, Ed, who was making a friends and family tour. I was third on the list. We had such a good time. We usually see each other at large gatherings and this time we were able to just talk and listen and have some wine and catch up on news of family. He is the father of the late Terry, and of course we talked about him and his family, too. He had visited the other younger brother Mike, in Dayton and brought news of him and his family.

Ed and his wife Joan are super volunteers, spending time at their local hospital where they live in Oklahoma. They also are docents at what used to be called the Cowboy Hall of Fame, which is now a museum of Western art and "stuff." They have a lot of visitors from Europe who are fascinated by the Old West and the myths of the cowboys.

We had lunch at the famous Ray's Place, our local pub, and I directed him on a drive around to see some of John's masonry work. We just had a good time. He left here headed for Corning for a visit with another older sister. It was a loverly time.