Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscar (but not Felix)

I watched more of the Academy Awards telecast than I should have, while doing dishes and eating dessert. I missed the messed up announcement for Best Picture, because I was asleep before the original mistake was corrected on the air. But I did see La La Land. Like Neo-Neocon, I liked it. Wonderful movie-watching company influences how I feel about a film, and I had truly wonderful company. Nevertheless, I think Robert Tracinski's curmudgeonly critique of the film has considerable merit.

Writing in The Federalist, Tracinski points out that La La Land is a messy homage that has more regard for success (in monetary terms) than for love.

In the theater, I remember wondering how Sebastian (Ryan Gosling's character) could honk the horn of his Chrysler (?) convertible so obnoxiously even when the car's engine wasn't running. More than a few cars make that impossible.

As for the Oscar telecast itself, I thought Viola Davis did an excellent job of emoting all over the stage when she picked up what was presumably a well-deserved nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, but I could have done without her misguided homage to artists like herself on the grounds that "we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life."

Ha! That statement that deserves only incredulity.

Emma Stone's promise to "hug the hell out of my friends when the numb feeling in my body wears off"(I think she said that -- it was something close to that, at any rate) made me smile.

Jimmy Kimmel seemed to be in over his head as the host of the show. Defending an actress accused of being overrated by emphasizing that she had been nominated 20 times for an Academy Award over the years would seem to make precisely the point Kimmel was trying to refute, would it not?

Most of the awards were predictable. It was the Hollywood version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, where black beats white, gay beats straight, and movies from any countries that a Republican president might want to keep a special eye on are automatically more artistic than comparable work by Indian and European filmmakers.

Arrival intrigues me, although I have not yet seen it. Hacksaw Ridge got robbed. It was, however, good to hear that Jackie Chan had finally won an honorary Oscar.

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