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…conclude

It’s here, crusaders! Oscar Sunday is here!

It’s been quite the journey and if the history of this award season has taught us anything, it’s far from over.

This year, Jimmy Kimmel gets a chance at hosting redemption, and the Oscars get a chance at changing its image in the midst of a transformational awards season.

Heading into its 90th ceremony the Academy is already pushing its boundaries (which frankly does not take much when your boundaries are very, very, very narrow). Read the rest of this entry

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…take flight

I hate to be too hyperbolic as I head into my final best picture review of this 2018 Oscar season, but to say that “Lady Bird” spoke to my soul would not be an overstatement.

This story, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, tells the tale of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a senior at an all-girls Catholic high school in Sacramento.

It’s both a coming of age story and a mother-daughter tale as Lady Bird navigates high school (and all of the best friends (Beanie Feldstein), boyfriends (Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet), and drama club that goes with it) and her relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf). Read the rest of this entry

…discover

At first glance, “Call Me By Your Name,” is a pretty standard coming-of-age story. Yes, its backdrop, an Italian summer, is absolutely stunning, but on the surface, the emo/intellectual nature of its lead is nothing we haven’t seen before. But as Elio (Timothée Chalamet) learns, first impressions aren’t everything.

This is the story of Elio Perlman, a young man who spends his summers (and a few other seasons) in Italy while his father (Michael Stuhlbarg) conducts archeological research.

This particular summer, 1983, Elio’s father (Michael  Stuhlbarg) has a grad student, Oliver (Armie Hammer) in Italy assisting with his work. Read the rest of this entry

…fight the good fight

As I embark on my first review of the 2018 Oscar season, I can’t help but reflect a bit. The impulse is only helped along by the fact that it’s been many months since I first saw this film.

At the time, the Oscars were still a far-off possibility for all of this year’s nominees, including “Dunkirk.” (Although I will admit that even then it screamed Academy gold.)

Awards aside, what I’ve found with all of these reviews (even the blockbuster ones) is that the things that stick with me the most are the things they taught me. Sometimes that’s a life lesson, sometimes it’s a historical fact, sometimes, as it was in the case of “Dunkirk,” it’s a little bit of both—the Dunkirk spirit.

For those who are unfamiliar and haven’t seen the film, I’ll explain. The Dunkirk spirit is bravery in the face of unbeatable odds, but even more than that, it’s the spirit of community and comradery and selflessness that comes with such times. It’s the human spirit at its finest and most resilient.

“Dunkirk” made its debut this past summer, right in the middle of the summer blockbuster season. With all of its blasts and explosions (which are practically a character all their own), it fit in quite nicely right alongside the dueling robots and superheroes. It’s defining factor, of course, is that it’s based on actual events, and its heroes were just as ordinary and you and me, yet they accomplished extraordinary things. Read the rest of this entry

…A New Take

It’s the first weekend of the Oscar viewing season. To those who’ve been holding off on seeing any Oscar contenders, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Before you lock yourself in your Academy Awards’ bunker for the next few days (or weeks), I thought I’d take a moment for a few of this year’s more encouraging nominations that happened behind the camera.

Read the rest of this entry