It’s Oscar time and that means I have been in full movie-going mode! I have seen ALL the films that are nominated in the top 8 categories. So for my own entertainment (and hopefully yours too), I am going to share my thoughts on the 9 films nominated for Best Picture.
Here are my mini reviews, loosely in order of my least to most favorite:
My favorite Valentine’s Day ever was when I was about 16 years old. My friend Erika and I had the kind of lonely hearts reserved for teenage girls. Unnamed longing, crushes galore and endless pondering of what it might be like to actually (sigh!) have a boyfriend. Needless to say we were date-less on Valentine’s Day. As ever we found great joy and solace in each other’s company. There was no way this “man-less” state of ours was going to bring us down.
So we decided to scrape our money together and buy a dozen pink carnations at Alpha Beta (our local grocery store). Our plan was simple. We would walk around Canyon Crest (a shopping plaza complete with a movie theatre and several places to dine) and hand a flower to the cutest couples we saw. Give a little extra love to those who already had what we so desperately wanted. Read more
There is one moment in the recent history of the Academy Awards that has haunted me. In 2006 Heath Ledger did NOT win Best Actor for Brokeback Mountain. He absolutely should have won. It is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen, in a film I consider to be a masterpiece. It haunted me even more so after Ledger’s untimely, tragic death. I feared that this work would not be remembered and celebrated enough. Had he won, it would be an “Oscar winning” performance that would be sought out by movie enthusiasts for generations to come.
As crazy as it may sound, Heath Ledger not getting that Oscar has actually made my heart ache.
But now my heart aches more deeply. My heart has been flipped upside down. The actor who won in 2006 instead of Heath Ledger was Philip Seymour Hoffman. He won for Capote. It was a worthy portrayal, of course. His work was always, always magnificent.
Now in the microcosm of my World, a place where film and acting and art occupy a large, important space, this perceived Oscar injustice becomes thoroughly justified. It feels right that Hoffman won and had that moment, I am hopeful that he truly felt the respect he rightfully earned from his peers. Read more
A few years ago I wrote about the Swiss tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka.(you can read that here) I mused about what it might be like for him to be in the shadow of his friend and countryman Roger Federer, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time. Little did I know back then that I had chosen such an inspiring Hero as my subject.
Stan Wawrinka won the Australian Open last weekend. This is one of four major championships of the year, the height of achievement in tennis.
So how does a really, really good tennis player go from being solidly in the top 20, with four tournament wins spanning an eleven year career, to a Major Champion and number three in the World in a single year? Read more