Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hodgepodge 120/365 - Academy Awards

I may be the only person in America who doesn't watch the Academy Awards.

Wait, no, I know that's not true. The "Hollywood elite" is not held in high regard by a lot of my fellow citizens. So no, I'm sure I'm not alone.

I don't not watch the awards show because Hollywood is elitist or because I don't like movies. In fact, I love seeing movies on the big screen.

But, yeah, I'm not crazy into fabulous thousand-dollar dresses, all the self-congratulating, and the whole "celebrity" thing. When I have watched the awards, what I've most enjoyed have been the film clips—especially of movies I've seen. My friend Dave is responsible for those film clips going smoothly, which adds to the pleasure of watching them.

I wrote about the Academy Awards just a year ago as I was close to winding up my first daily blog. In 2015, I had seen only four of the eight best picture nominees. How many this year? Let's see . . . five of the nine: La La Land, Arrival, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, and Manchester by the Sea. I am very sorry to have missed Moonlight, but I will pick that one up on DVD, I guess. Fences is still playing in Salinas, at 10 a.m., so I think I'll sneak out one morning this week and take that one in. I have never even heard of Lion, and Hacksaw Ridge does not appeal to me.

Of the five I saw, I'd be hard-pressed to say which was "best." They all had something to say about our country, about relationships, about dreams, about loss, about striving, about life. And even though I haven't seen Moonlight, I'm hoping it beats out La La Land. On principle. We are in a difficult, complicated time, and that needs to be acknowledged.

We'll know in a minute or two, I expect, since I see that the best actor (yay, Casey Affleck!—and not having seen Fences, I can't honestly say that Denzel deserved it more; Casey did a wonderful job in a difficult, understated role) and actress (nice going, Emma Stone) have been announced.

I can wind this up by saying—thanks to the passage of time—that I'm disappointed but not surprised that La La Land won for best picture. Yeah, that's Hollywood.


A couple of hours later: Ha ha ha—as can happen only in Hollywood, La La Land did not win. Moonlight did! Vindication! And wow—wow wow wow wow wow—what a strange time we are living in. . . . This Academy Awards show is just another symptom of that fact.

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