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Monday, March 5, 2018

THE 90TH ACADEMY AWARDS

The 90th Academy Awards were awarded last night, later than usual because of the Winter Olympics.  You can consult the media for the details.  I will provide a few points and laffs.

Well, pretty much everything went as predicted by earlier award ceremonies.  Jimmy Kimmel did a decent job and helped extend  the program as long as possible, for this program got decent ad purchases which could be played out. Noticed how the music cut off unimportant winners, but allowed some to plead their case,  By my stopwatch, I think proceedings went beyond the TV-slotted time by around one and a half hours.  

But who really cared.  Maybe ABC News, for everyone was asleep by the time the late news came on.  Kimmel was the first to host for consecutive years since Billy Crystal two decades ago.  I he did only two in a row, but his total is up to six.  Bob Hope?  18 times.  Do you remember Whoopie Goldberg hosting four times?  I don't.

There were just too many Oscar winners providing important comments, hardly of terrific interest for me.  They should have a special earlier dinner for the technical awards, short films and foreign movies, summarizing the best in a five-minute highlight feature.

A second negative was that because of the combination of loud music, mistakes and such, I many times had no idea who were making the presentations.  They did spotlight age, with Eva Marie Saint, at 94, making a presentation.  Faye Dunaway (77) and Warren Beatty (80) announced the Best Picture category.  Christopher Plummer, who was 90, was nominated for Best Actor, the oldest ever to be so recognized.

The Shape of Water got the most awards (13) and won the most Oscars (4), and thank goodness, Lady Bird got noneTo quote myself when I went to see the film:

Lady Bird left me totally dissatisfied. For such a highly rated film (not that many 100's by Rotten Tomatoes reviewers), I was fully expecting a turning point, a memorable moment, anything...and the film simply ended.

However, LB did get five nominations, and I was worried, although I further said in my review:

I still can't help but wonder why most reviewers absolutely loved this film.  But I'm used to being in the tiny minority.

I'm being rather dowdy today, but, although I gave The Shape of Water (won the Oscar for Best Film) an A- rating, quite high for me, I had two very serious reservations.  The fatal common sense flaw was this:

The group delays a few days to weeks (not sure of the timing), for there was this nearby canal, which opened up to the ocean (which they can see) after the rains came.  Rather than have the Americans and Soviets catch up with them, why don't they just immediately drive to the sea and release him?  Makes absolutely no sense.

The second had to do with the fact that this is not a stand alone film.  It is part of Guillermo del Toro's (he also won for Best Director) Hellboy (this is just the kind of comic-book type film I avoid) package, which began 14 years ago, with #3 to come, soon.  Look for Aquaman and his humanoid with gills lover to now play key roles.

I saw most of the prominent films, and watching the Oscar ceremony did not inspire me to see any more of them.  I will end with my surprising favorite film of the year, something I watched in April of last year when I was in Bangkok:  Get Out.  By clicking on that link, you can also view how wet I got because of the Songkran Water Festival.

I particularly want to mention the Oscar won by Jordan Peele for Best Original Screenplay.  He also directed the film.  It was labeled a satirical horror film, and I was certainly hooked into the story and spooked at the end.  Peele is an improv comedian and does a decent Barack Obama.  He said his next project will be in the same genre, and he will have fun again.

Let me end with a surprising development.  In January I caught Japan Air Lines and saw two Japanese films.  The country essentially slid into film oblivion after Akira Kurosawa.  South Korean films totally overtook Japan's...until recently.  For the first time in a long time, clever dialogue, nice twists and good storylines, in particular, The Miracles of the Namiya General Store.  If those two movies were any indication of a revival, we can look forward to Japan making a return to international theaters.

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