This being my University’s Spring break week, I have a little time on my hands to recreate. I also have projects due on the last day of break (which just seems rude to me) so I can’t goof off too much. I thought I’d take a few minutes to write about a few things.
The first thing on my mind this morning is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aka the Academy awards or “Oscars.” The awards were televised last night and, in my opinion, sometimes they got it right. And then there are two times when they simply did not…
I agree wholeheartedly with Frances McDormand as Best Actress, with Sam Rockwell as Best Supporting Actor, and with Allison Janney as Best Supporting Actress, but I do not agree with Best Actor or Best Picture. They got it wrong.
[Disclaimer: I didn’t see every film nominated, but I saw all but one nominated for Best Picture (Phantom Thread). I can’t comment on things like Best Director and Editing and Lighting and Original Screenplay because I’m not sure what some of those things mean. To me, some of that stuff is splitting hairs. If a movie is truly the “Best Picture” shouldn’t it also have the best of the other stuff too? Maybe, maybe not. But those are the categories that I doze off for. I will say that I am happy that Jordan Peele got the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I liked that movie a lot.]
What do I think are the right choices for Best Actor and Best Picture? Timothy Chalamet and Call Me By Your Name, hands down. There were times when I had to remember that he was playing a role. He was so genuine. And I loved his dad, oh so much. That speech? O. M. G. Parent of the freaking DECADE! I wish I’d heard that speech before. I wish I’d given it before. I wish others had been given it before. It was a speech to his son about not trying to numb the pain of lost love because doing so numbs the good parts too and not everyone is lucky enough to get the good parts as good as his were. Tears for days.
The theme of the movie is relevant and is a story that needs to be told. It’s about young, gay love. But it’s also about old, straight love. And parenting. And finding a way through hard times. And it’s wonderful to see how our world has changed for the better since the early 80s (and not just in fashion and music playing technology).
I am simply in love with this movie and will see any other movie starring Timothy Chalamet. He blew me away. Not that Gary Oldman was bad. I really have no criticism of his performance whatsoever. But it wasn’t as good as Timothy’s, and that’s all I have to say about that.
As far as The Shape of Water goes (aka Frankenstein in Water), it was a well-made movie that I didn’t need to see. It was a long way to go for the metaphor, and I was not at all surprised that those marks on her neck ended up being gill slits (fake gasp!). All of the reviews I read said things like “weird but wondrous” and “sounds ridiculous but works, miraculously so.” I’d stop at weird and ridiculous, personally. “Winsome finesse?” Couldn’t disagree more.
I am headed to Germany for a semester. I hope that those of you that have expressed interest in visiting me abroad will do so! Please reach out to me privately for details on when I’ll be where. Let’s make a plan to do it up, Deutschland style! Or Switzerland or Holland or France. I’ll be making trips to all of these places, or others if you have a burning desire. Just reach out, and let’s make a plan! I’m leaving in May, so let me know ASAP. You have my email and my phone number. 🙂
Some good news on this front as well — Last week I got the news that I’ve been awarded a scholarship to support my semester abroad! It is granted through the German Language and Culture Foundation and is specifically intended to support a student who is studying German and plans to teach. I was so happy and surprised.
I am really looking forward to studying while I’m there. Last time was all vacation. This time, I’ll be in German class 5 hours a day, 5 days a week for two separate sessions. One in Hamburg (in the north, near the North Sea and enveloping Lake Alster) and the other in Freiburg (in the south, along Lake Constance, and a stone’s throw from Switzerland).
Roger Bannister died. He was the first person to run a sub-4-minute-mile. Just let that sink in for a minute. Less than four minutes to run a mile. A whole mile. At four minutes (technically 00:3:59:40) into my run, I am still trying to convince myself that I brought the right gloves. I’m trying to figure out my course for the day. I’m trying to talk myself into wanting to go the whole distance. Meanwhile, this dude is already done. Insanity.
I read an article about him where he said that his greatest achievement wasn’t his running (he was an Olympic middle distance athlete) but rather, his life as a family man that constituted 14 grandchildren. He was also an accomplished doctor for 40 years, and he was knighted by the Queen in 1975. Impressive, on all counts, Sir Bannister. RIP.