Sunday Evening Open Thread: Movie Shorts


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Speaking of movies, anybody gonna watch the Oscars tonight?

136 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    I hope Hillary and Bill stayed for the after-credits scene.

  2. 2
    zhena gogolia says:

    I always think I’m going to watch it, because I used to love it so much. David Niven and the streaker! But I usually get fed up after about 30 minutes. Plus I never see any movies any more. I think Paddington 2 will only be eligible for next year.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    I will watch the Oscars while doing laundry. I usually enjoy watching the show, and immediately forget who won. Except last year, when I really wanted Moonlight to win.

  4. 4
    germy says:

    I donated to Democrats in 2016, so that means that the DCCC calls me about once a week to ask for money. I always tell them no, because I support Democratic candidates through organizations like Our Revolution — the kinds of Democrats who stand up for working people, universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, investment in renewables and curbs on the finance industry.

    The DCCC, on the other hand, spends its donors’ money running smear campaigns against the likes of Laura Moser, who wants to challenge a flippable seat in Texas once held by George Bush I — a Sanders Democrat who founded Daily Action, an SMS service for activists that suggests a meaningful way to resist Trumpism to 300,000 subscribers every day. Instead of Moser, the DCCC is backing corporate lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher whose most notable achievement is security a $5.3M judgment against the SEIU over their Justice for Janitors campaign. Fletcher is opposed by the AFL-CIO, who described her as “undermining the rights and efforts of predominantly immigrant janitorial workers.”

    Cory Doctorow

    But isn’t Our Revolution supporting Dennis (Mr. Fox News) Kucinich?

  5. 5
    Bruuuuce says:

    I’ll probably not watch the Oscars though the better half might, but she and I will probably spend a while running through the red carpet galleries and snarking or appreciating the outfits. I might take the time to catch up on some deserving movies, starting with Coco, though.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    Fun fact: Robert Benchley hosted the Oscars. I think it was in 1939.

  7. 7

    @germy:

    the kinds of Democrats who stand up for working people, universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, investment in renewables and curbs on the finance industry.

    So, 95% of them.

    an SMS service for activists that suggests a meaningful way to resist Trumpism to 300,000 subscribers every day.

    Red flag goes up right there. What exactly is this meaningful way?

  8. 8

    I wonder how many responses you have to scroll through on that tweet before there’s a lefty yelling about “superpredators.”

    @germy: Doctorow is a crank.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    As we get closer to the Oscars, I’ve tried to catch up with some of the top nominated films.

    Finally saw The Shape of Water. I didn’t care for it, but I can see why it has been widely praised. Although I liked the “beauty and the beast” fairy tale at the heart of the film, some of the whimsy seemed forced, tiresome and excessive, and the movie started to feel like a mashup of “La La Land Meets the Creature From the Black Lagoon.” And the villains, especially Michael Shannon, are so detestable that they become cartoons. Also, after seeing well-rounded black characters in movies like Moonlight and Hidden Figures, I was dismayed to see this film fall back on the stale trope of noble but downtrodden black domestics.

    But the acting, particularly by Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and previously mentioned Shannon, is outstanding. The direction is masterful and the screenplay is well crafted, even if too heavy handed.

    And a special nod has to go to actor Doug Jones, who plays The Creature. In a recent interview, Jones says that the director told him to carry himself with masculine grace, like a bullfighter, and you can really see it and marvel at how well it works in the movie.

    I’ve talked to people who absolutely love this film. I was not nearly as impressed, but I think Guillermo del Toro Gómez will win the Best Director Oscar, and the movie has a shot at winning Best Picture.

    ETA. I’d give Best Director to Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk.

    ETA Mild Spoiler for The Shape of Water.

    My alternate title for this film would be, Jesus Christ, Albacore.

  10. 10
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Bruuuuce: Watch Coco, an excellent movie. One of Pixar’s best IMHO. I hope Remember Me will best song.

  11. 11

    @Brachiator:

    Jesus Christ, Albacore

    I see what you did there.

  12. 12
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I would like to find where I can watch Dear Basketball, an nominee for best Animation/Short Film, by Kobe Bryant

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    I hope Hillary and Bill stayed for the after-credits scene.

    That’s funny! It’s interesting to see that The Black Panther is still doing huge box office business, with an estimated $65 million. The movie earned more on Sunday than Number 2 movie “Red Sparrow” has earned since it opened this week, $19 million vs $17 million.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Baud says:

    None of the good movies have come out on streaming yet, so I haven’t seen them, so I’m not going to watch the Oscars. Probably.

  16. 16
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: I wonder how Black Panther is doing in China?

    It’s a big film market for action films, but in the past industry “experts” have argued a Black superhero wouldn’t be popular there.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:
    Whomever dropped the dime on Moser-thank you

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:
    It hasn’t opened in China yet

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    an SMS service for activists that suggests a meaningful way to resist Trumpism to 300,000 subscribers every day.

    Red flag goes up right there. What exactly is this meaningful way?

    And who uses SMS anymore?

  20. 20
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Thanks. Looking forward to it.

    @Brachiator: The same Doug Jones plays Saru in Star Trek:Discovery, and is pretty much the brightest light in the series. There are other things that get good, but they’re all uneven. He, on the other hand, starts okay and continually improves to terrific

  21. 21
    Starfish says:

    @germy: Our Revolution is the organization for Bernie Bros. If you are a Bernie Bro, this organization is for you.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I liked The Shape of Water, but I share Del Toro’s affection for The Creature from the Black Lagoon and agree with him that the poor guy got a raw deal. And I slightly disagree with you about Spencer’s character since the point was that all of the outcasts band together against the bad guy. Michael Shannon was over-the-top, but that didn’t bother me since it’s already a movie about a godlike man-fish.

    Del Toro is just as much of a mash-up artist as Tarantino, but IMO he usually comes up with something deeper and richer than Tarantino does.

  23. 23

    @Starfish: and yes, they endorsed Kucinich.

  24. 24
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @germy: Just saw it, an excellent short, I hope he wins it.

  25. 25
    Starfish says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: A lot of better armchair activism is going on right now. Some people keep their stuff online so you can call people for a candidate through their online platform. You can also text to remind people to vote or support candidates.

    Other things that people can do is make their weekly phone calls and send Valentine’s Day cards to their Republican Senator and tell them he is stupid.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    Jones is the Andy Serkis of acting in full costume. I honestly don’t think there’s anyone else who’s better at it. His body language conveys so much.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    When was it released? The year of eligibility for this year’s Oscars ran from Boxing Day 2016 to Christmas Day 2017.

  28. 28
    lamh36 says:

    Wait…so E!’s solution to just NOT having Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet for the Oscars is so they gon keep him…but have a tape delay like some Superbowl nip-slip thing…smh

    E! ness is TRASH! I’m glad I dont’ watch that network….more folks shouldn’t

    https://twitter.com/THR/status/970395749430255616

  29. 29
    germy says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: There’s a small theater a few blocks from our house that used to show oscar nominated shorts every year – live action on one night, and animated the next night. I never missed the animated night; some amazing work.

    The theater is on hiatus now; trying to figure out how to raise money to continue.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    It’s not “by” Kobe Bryant. It’s by Glen Keane, one of the Disney Renaissance animators who left when everything went to CGI. Bryant is the star and narrator, but he ain’t the artist.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    I wonder how Black Panther is doing in China?

    Black Panther opened in Japan on March 1, but doesn’t open in China until March 9.

    The movie is closing in on $800 million global box office, so China earnings will be a nice topping on an already massive hit.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    @lamh36: I thought most actresses have vowed not to speak to Seacrest on the red carpet. Maybe he can talk to himself.

  33. 33
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes. I haven’t seen The Shape of Water, but the emotion he conveys in ST:DIS, even in the Saru makeup, is astounding. I hope he goes up for an Emmy for it.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: I think the war rhinos in Black Panther deserve a special award.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I suspect it will do better than expected in China because people will be curious to see such a huge hit, but it probably won’t break records like it has here.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    The same Doug Jones plays Saru in Star Trek:Discovery, and is pretty much the brightest light in the series.

    I agree and after seeing him in The Shape of Water, I can appreciate how differently he carries himself as Saru, and really enjoy his take on the character.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    No particular interest in watching the glitzfest.

    More silicon in the room than on the average sandbar.

    @Baud

    Whole bunch of ’em in nomination (I count 27 titles) streaming on Amazon – for a (ahem) slight extra charge.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    I usually watch the Oscars but I’m kind of behind on current movies. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve been to a movie theater. I don’t know if I’ll bother watching. I’m also tired and have to go work on some stuff outside before the weather turns again tomorrow.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: I’ve never used Amazon for streaming. I’ll check it out.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    I love movies but I’m not particularly fascinated by awards shows.

    I’d probably fall asleep if I tried to watch.

    I learned this morning that all nominees receive a gift bag worth $100,000

  41. 41

    @Mnemosyne:

    I share Del Toro’s affection for The Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Bwahahahaha. I got to attend the first West Coast showing, not realizing that’s what I’d been invited to. There was a Q&A with Del Toro afterwards. Yes, he definitely has affection for the Creature From the Black Lagoon. He was hilariously straightforward that this film is the fulfillment of his life’s dream to have the Creature and the woman it was swimming underneath boink. He has wanted to make a movie on that premise since he was six.

    IMO he usually comes up with something deeper and richer than Tarantino does.

    As much as I find his motivation hilarious, he also deeply cares about art. The way he explained the way he designed the movie thematically reminded me of how I plan stories to make them satisfying. And he went to great lengths to try and make everything just right, especially the acting. It’s pornography AND art.

  42. 42
    Bruuuuce says:

    @germy:

    I learned this morning that all nominees receive a gift bag worth $100,000

    Including, IIRC, pepper spray, this year, in honor of #MeToo and #NoMore

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Entire channel there named “2018 Oscar Nominees” (should you be having trouble finding the movies). I *think* it’s a temporary arrangement and the titles will be disappearing after a short time.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: reminds me of the interview with Kim Hunter who said Roddy McDowall showed thm all how to make the ape makeup work in Planet of the Apes. Exaggerated facial movements made their ape expressions look more lifelike.

  45. 45

    @Baud: sometimes we get a few friends together and rent one from it. Tadaa, $1 movie night.

  46. 46
    jacy says:

    @Brachiator:

    I would disagree a bit — it’s not Beauty and the Beast, but Cinderella. (all the shoe imagery and the scullery maid meeting her prince)… I think that makes it feel different. I loved it intensely, but I accept the fact that I’m an unrepentant Guillermo del Toro fangirl. (His best movie, IMO is still The Devil’s Backbone.)

    I’ll be happy if he wins, but I can’t lie — I’m rooting for Jordan Peele. I thought Get Out was the best movie of the year for a number of reasons.

  47. 47
    cosima says:

    @germy: Democrats Abroad UK was promoting the fact that BS will be ‘speaking’ at blah blah blah… they lost me at BS. I pointed out to them that he isn’t a Dem and is supporting Kucinich. I got crickets back.

  48. 48
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    And a special nod has to go to actor Doug Jones, who plays The Creature. In a recent interview, Jones says that the director told him to carry himself with masculine grace, like a bullfighter, and you can really see it and marvel at how well it works in the movie.

    Damn! That guy gets around. How does he juggle that with posting on an almost-top-10,000 blog, and being a Senator? Count me impressed. I don’t think Serkis does that much.

  49. 49

    @germy: I sorta checked out of the oscars when I realized it was a trade show.

  50. 50
    lamh36 says:

    @germy: maybe the “big” names, but the young starving newbies will likely not…any exposure is good for a newbie I guess

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I liked The Shape of Water, but I share Del Toro’s affection for The Creature from the Black Lagoon and agree with him that the poor guy got a raw deal.

    Mild Spoilers…

    I loved the Creature and understand del Toro’s affection. Also, when we were teens, we speculated about the sex lives of monsters. I liked most of the fable aspect of the movie.

    And I slightly disagree with you about Spencer’s character since the point was that all of the outcasts band together against the bad guy.

    I get tired of seeing black people depicted as outcasts. Here, the screenwriters fell back on easy stereotypes. I half expected to see the actor who played Spencer’s husband to shuffle and say “Yassir, Mr Bossman.”

    And they can’t blame this on the time period in which the movie is set.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    As this is movie related, gonna repeat from earlier today.

    May have been because was primed and in the mood for something silly but had an unexpectedly enjoyable time with an unpretentious little German movie found on Amazon Prime, A Raven Called Poe. Slightly darkish comedy involving the Mafia.

    Not an E-ticket attraction as these things go, still and all a fun ride. The two leads are both quite endearing. Would link to the trailer except that it gives away too many key scenes.

    More than humorous enough to serve as a respite and provide decompression from the agita induced by goings-on in the political sphere.

  53. 53
    cosima says:

    Little C went to see Black Panther with her friend-who-is-a-boy (not a boyfriend) today. I cannot stand to sit in a theatre for 2+ hours to see a movie, so I will wait until it is on DVD to watch it. After the movie we took the kids out for pizza and I ask them if they thought the movie had made a political statement. Little C gave a very thoughtful response (in the affirmative), while friend-boy looked confused.

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I will be able to watch the Oscars, yes, because I got mah power back! Yes indeedy. Will not be freezing one more night.

  55. 55
    WereBear says:

    @Gin & Tonic: so glad. Lack of civilization is a wearing thing.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    Do I have to say spoilers here? I won’t fully wreck anything, but there are a few.

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I wouldn’t say it’s porn. It’s definitely bodice-ripping romance, complete with a happy ending. Her pantomimed explanation of how the body mechanics work would have made me spit out my drink if I’d had one.

    @Brachiator:

    And they can’t blame this on the time period in which the movie is set.

    It was set in segregated 1962 Baltimore. So, yeah, she’s not going to be fully free to act. Her character, like Richard Jenkins’s character, has to decide if she’s going to stay in “her place” or take action to help her friend, and once she decides, she’s all in.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: I always thought he was gay. Am I thinking of somebody else?

  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WereBear: I could have lived without the TV, but no heat and no running water make things a little uncomfortable.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    All award shows are trade shows. They exist to promote “the best” of that specific trade, but that’s what they are.

  60. 60

    @Mnemosyne: and as this was the only awards show I watched, once I realized it was a trade show too, I stopped watching it, too.

  61. 61
    HeleninEire says:

    I won’t watch cuz it comes on live here at, like 1am. I haven’t really watched for years. Don’t really care. Tomorrow I will find a web site showing me all the gowns. I do wanna see the gowns. The only dog in I have in this fight is I really want Allison Janney to win for I Tonya. I thought the film was just OK, but she was fabulous.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jacy:

    My prediction for Peele is Best Original Screenplay. That’s actually a pretty prestigious one, because that’s how they reward young up-and-coming writer/directors. Quentin Tarantino and Sofia Coppola both won that.

    I think Del Toro will win Best Director because he’s paid his dues and will get rewarded both for this film and for his previous body of work. The Academy loves to do that.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Granted that Prime membership doesn’t come cheap (around $100 per year), however there are a huge number of titles to stream for free that come along with it, and the savings on regular Amazon shipping help offset the initial outlay.

    Just getting into the Russian series Sophia on Amazon Prime, about the wife and the times of Ivan III. Big budget historical costume drama, so far mostly absent the potboiler soap operatics so often troweled on top of similar Western productions. Locations, sets and costumes are splendiferous. teaser

  64. 64
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Excellent. Being cold, and without electrons flowing in the wires, sucks.

    Enjoy your evening, and welcome back to civilization!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: I don’t have prime. All the best movies there are still “buy only” anyway.

  66. 66
    geg6 says:

    Definitely watching. A welcome distraction.

    Believe it or not, I have never made fried chicken. So I’m giving it a halfway whirl tonight with an Ina Garten recipe that’s cooking it half of the time fried, the other half finished in the oven. Coleslaw (I am the queen of coleslaw) and cheesy potatoes for sides. We’ll see how it goes.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jacy:

    Also, you are totally right about which fairy tale it is. I knew it wasn’t B&B, but I didn’t make the shoe connection until you said it.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    Sigh. I used to watch every year, and had seen all the major nominees and most of the shorts. I’m juggling Challenges these days and live in a much tinier town. And my bedtime is a lot earlier :)

    Everyone enjoy!

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It’s my industry’s trade show, so I watch. It has better gowns than Silicon Valley’s trade shows.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It was set in segregated 1962 Baltimore. So, yeah, she’s not going to be fully free to act.

    There were a variety of black people in 1962 Baltimore. I understand del Toro’s decisions here. They left me cold.

    One of the things that I liked about Black Panther was not just the diversity and representation, but that the entire story, from the narrative of hero to that of the villain to the supporting characters was told from a black perspective. There was even attention paid to the different ways that Africans and African Americans view the world. The richness of the story and the absence of a “white gaze” was refreshing.

    Again, I understand what del Toro was doing. It did not work for me.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    I will give one small warning about The Shape of Water — a cat comes to a bad end (though it’s mostly conveyed through sound). I’m still a little annoyed about it.

  72. 72

    @geg6: I’m making oven roasted chicken shwarma. It smells terrific.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @jacy:

    I’ll be happy if he wins, but I can’t lie — I’m rooting for Jordan Peele. I thought Get Out was the best movie of the year for a number of reasons.

    I think that Get Out may win Best Screenplay, but if it pulled an upset and won Best Picture … wow!

    It’s not rational, not based on which films I liked, but I wouldn’t mind if a movie still playing in the theaters won.

    ETA. Originally, I was going to describe The Shape of Water as “Amélie meets the Creature from the Black Lagoon,” but I wasn’t sure how many remembered that delightful film.

  75. 75
    germy says:

    Then I eliminated Get Out. It’s a good B-movie and I enjoyed it, but what bothered me afterwards was that instead of focusing on the fact that this was an entertaining little horror movie that made quite a bit of money, they started trying to suggest it had deeper meaning than it does, and, as far as I’m concerned, they played the race card, and that really turned me off. In fact, at one of the luncheons, the lead actor [Daniel Kaluuya], who is not from the United States [he’s British], was giving us a lecture on racism in America and how black lives matter, and I thought, “What does this have to do with Get Out? They’re trying to make me think that if I don’t vote for this movie, I’m a racist.” I was really offended. That sealed it for me.

    (interview with an Oscar voter)

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    Movie humor moment. Old joke.

    Seen on a theater marquee:

    THEY DIED WITH
    THEIR BOOTS ON
    AND SELECTED SHORTS

  77. 77
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    Probably not watching the Oscars tonight. This has been a career-low year for me seeing movies in the theater, plus you know every winner is going to want to make an impassioned political speech, which most of them will not be able to carry off. Ugh.

    Plus I have a long-standing phobia about joint winners where one of them hogs all of the talk time. With my nerves rubbed raw in the age of Trump, I don’t think I could stand it.

    And I’m so out of it I don’t even know what Ryan Seacrest did. I presume it’s the usual sexual harassment. If it’s more than that, can somebody give me the thumbnail version?

    And I think they should have rehabilitated Kathy Griffin for the red-carpet stuff. That severed Trump head is not looking so out there now, is it?

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    If Del Toro told the story he wanted to tell rather than the one you envisioned, then I have only one response for you: write the version you would have preferred. Seriously. Del Toro didnt like the way a movie turned out, so he re-wrote it to what he wanted to see. Ryan Coogler (co-) wrote the superhero movie he dreamed of seeing as a kid. Do the same, or go home.

    And if you want to see an entertaining movie musical about desegregation in 1962 Baltimore, rent John Waters’ Hairspray (not the remake with John Travolta).

  79. 79
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Another Scott: It was a lot of work to restore it, for which I am grateful. There’s an area along the road into town here that’s very, very open to the elements from the north. Somewhere around mid-day Friday, strong wind brought down a stretch of seven poles. So to restore power, they needed to install seven new poles and restring the wires along that whole stretch. I took a walk down there this morning, and counted seven bucket trucks actively working, along with a bunch of other trucks and probably 50-60 linemen and supervisors. Crews were mostly from Kentucky and Tennessee. I bet they had them driving up here well before the storm hit.

  80. 80
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Mnemosyne: Shape of Water is a fairy tale, so some of the characters are actually types. I think that’s acceptable, especially since del Toro has done it before.

  81. 81
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Mnemosyne: Shape of Water is a fairy tale, so some of the characters are actually types. I think that’s acceptable, especially since del Toro has done it before.

  82. 82
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: thanks. You are right, that would get to me too.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    Meh. Stupidly racist Oscar voters are always happy to talk to the Hollywood Reporter. They’ve been doing it every year for at least 10 years.

    If Jordan Peele doesn’t win, it will have a lot more to do with him being a first-time writer/director than it does with racism. And, as I’ve said before, I’m very uncomfortable with people saying that the only reason a Mexican immigrant who’s been a top director for 20+ years is being rewarded is because of anti-Black racism. That’s not fair to either Peele or Del Toro, and it needs to stop.

  84. 84
    lamh36 says:

    So E! basically doing video of arrivals…Seacrest on a tape delay with folks likely contractually obligated to speak to him…and Rancic in some pool area talking to no celebrities?

    smh…pathetic…

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Apocalipstick:

    It’s a lesser theme, but I think Del Toro is also commenting on machismo/masculinity and how it cuts across race and even sexuality (as with the Richard Jenkins character’s work struggles). Jenkins’ character is not sure he wants to give up his small amount of male privilege. Spencer’s character’s husband is part of the comment on machismo/masculinity.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    How many extra checkers will PwC have backstage this year to make sure the correct envelope is the one brought onstage?

    :)

  87. 87
    lamh36 says:

    @tomandlorenzo
    I’ve been live-tweeting awards show red carpets for almost ten years and I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without making a decent joke. This one’s GRIM.
    #Oscars #Oscars90

    @tomandlorenzo
    5m5 minutes ago
    More
    George on the ABC #Oscars red carpet is flustered because everyone’s skipping the #ERedCarpet to get to him.

    @StyleWriterNYC
    Follow Follow @StyleWriterNYC
    More
    [Frantic phone call] “Um, Kelly, can you go downstairs and talk to Ryan? Yeah. Yeah. We know. Just go downstairs and talk to him. Thanks so much.” #ERedCarpet #Oscars

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    It didn’t ruin the movie for me, and it wasn’t particularly gratuitous, but it annoyed me. I think you would still like the movie, but I didn’t want you to go in unprepared.

    (And it’s not a spoiler to say that, once it happens, you can relax — only humans get hurt after that.)

  89. 89
    HeleninEire says:

    @NotMax: Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that. LOL. And are they really still using PWC? I’d have fired their asses.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    Poor George Penacchio is just a local TV guy who gets a once-a-year national spotlight because he’s on the right affiliate station. He gets flustered easily.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Seriously. Del Toro didnt like the way a movie turned out, so he re-wrote it to what he wanted to see.

    Ultimately, he didn’t make the movie that I liked. And that’s what matters. I tried to be honest about what I thought was great about the movie, and also about what did not work for me. I thought another movie he really wanted to make, Pacific Rim, would have been great when I was 14, but needed much more to appeal to my adult self.

    And I was clear that I thought that del Toro deserved to win Best Director. And I will not drown myself in a bathtub if it wins Best Picture.

    And if you want to see an entertaining movie musical about desegregation in 1962 Baltimore, rent John Waters’ Hairspray </blockquote. Nope. And nothing against John Waters.

  92. 92
    lamh36 says:

    Cool seeing Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino on the red carpet…feels like we haven’t seen them in years, and now we ALL know why we didn’t…betting they won’t be talking to Seacrest…and E! had the nerve to cut to video of them arriving and talking about the #MeToo movement…smh

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  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    Another pre-Oscar review, this time on “The Post.”

    For me, two of the best movies about reporters doing their jobs is “All the President’s Men” and the more recent “Spotlight.” Spielberg’s “The Post” lacks the sense of urgency and drama of those two films, but finally won me over as a fine character study of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, and for its reminder of the historical importance of the Pentagon Papers revelations.

    At this stage of his career, Spielberg is such an assured craftsman that some are taking his film making skill for granted, and some hipsters are starting to mock him as old fashioned, especially when he makes films about Important Historical Topics. I read one critic sniffily describe “The Post” as a movie you take your parents to see.

    Too bad, since Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are all at the top of their game, and although a long time admirer of Meryl Streep might catch bits of technique and acting choices, you never feel that she or Hanks is just phoning in their performances.

    All this set-up and little about what the movie is about? OK.

    Streep’s Graham has inherited the Post upon the death of her husband and is trying to maintain the paper’s financial footing by taking the Washington Post Company public. Hanks, as Post editor Ben Bradlee is trying to make the newspaper into something other than a Beltway joke. Meanwhile, the story of the century drops into their lap and hilarity ensues.

    I cannot emphasize enough how masterful Spielberg and Streep come together to give the viewer a sense of how Graham dealt with the sexism that she had to overcome to become the first woman publisher of a major newspaper. She had been passed over by her father, who had made her husband publisher. But you are shown that although she may lack confidence in her own abilities, she is clearly competent. But it is also clear that the men around her are not content to advise her, but assume that they have the right and obligation to make sure that she does the “prudent” thing, that is, she is supposed to do what she is told by men, because they are men.

    The movie deftly balances this story with a depiction of how the Post defied the Nixon administration in publishing the Pentagon papers.

    What prevents the movie from being a masterpiece is how Spielberg barely touches on, but cannot quite handle, how the Post, the New York Times, and other media companies clearly had become too cozy with those in power and had become complicit in downplaying the lies that every administration, from Eisenhower to Nixon had fed to the public about Vietnam.

    So, “The Post” is not quite Best Picture caliber. Still a good movie, and at the end, if you know your movies and history, you might ask why the hell was Graham not depicted in “All the President’s Men.”

    ETA: Tom Hanks is very good in “The Post,” but Jason Robards Jr is still the definitive Ben Bradlee, for his Oscar winning performance in “All the President’s Men.”

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Comparing The Shape of Water to Black Panther is unfair to both filmmakers, especially since they’re not in direct competition. As I said, if you see a story that has an element that bugs you, write your own version.

  96. 96
    Hungry Joe says:

    I haven’t watch the Oscars since the three years I had to cover them in person. The press is kept backstage, crammed into a (relatively) small room. There are TVs with the sound turned low so we can semi-follow the goings-on as, after receiving awards, winners go backstage to answer questions we’d shout at them. Most of the time we’d miss the subsequent award, and start looking each other and saying, “What award was that? What happened?” We also had impossibly early deadlines; I had to file before the thing was even over. Didn’t have time to do much more than string a bunch of quotes together for a sidebar — the main story, written by our movie critic who was in the newsroom back home, watching the whole thing comfortably on TV.

    Even though no one ever saw us, men had to wear tuxes and women evening gowns. One year I couldn’t find the Press entrance and walked around the corner and into a group of fans who were out star-hunting. They went, “Ohhhhhh!” as they spotted me — a man in a tuxedo. Then, two seconds of squinting: “Let’s see — who is he?” Finally, a collective falling of faces as they turned away as one, having gotten their answer: “Nobody.”

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Mnemosyne: It is an animation of a poem which is, in fact, by Kobe Bryant. So he gets at least a piece of the writing credit.

    https://www.theplayerstribune.com/dear-basketball/

  98. 98
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I have an immense ammount of respect for DelToro.
    What solidified my respect for him was, in the credit roll for “Pacific Rim”, was a dedication to Ray Harryhausen and Ishiro Honda.
    Guillermo honors those who inspired him. He is a class act.

  99. 99
    Peale says:

    @NotMax: as an employee of one of their competitors, I’m hoping someone spiked the punch bowl backstage again.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a writer myself. I’m not trying to say that Bryant is not a co-creator of it … but he’s the co-creator, not the animator. Without Keane’s work, that poem would still be just a poem on paper.

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Brachiator: He’s also Abe Sapiens in the Hellboy movies. And Fauno (I believe that’s the guy with the eyes in his hands on the poster) in Pan’s Labyrinth, but I remember very little about that movie or the character.

    As for how the black characters behave in 1962: I often find myself puzzling these days, when a screenwriter chooses to set a story in the past, why they choose the year they do. I haven’t figured that out with Shape of Water, but the era did add an extra tension to the interactions between law enforcement and the African-American characters. Even though nobody tossed around any racial slurs, that tension was there in the atmosphere.

    Have you ever read any Walter Mosley? Mosley’s Easy Rawlins, like Olivia Spencer here, manages to maintain a certain level of defiance and dignity, but he also gets the crap beat out of him by the cops, and expects to.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Comparing The Shape of Water to Black Panther is unfair to both filmmakers, especially since they’re not in direct competition.

    To the contrary, to ignore how both films depict black characters or deal with race would be intellectually dishonest.

    As I said, if you see a story that has an element that bugs you, write your own version.

    I prefer to write a critique. It’s not illegal yet.

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    joel hanes says:

    Wow.

    I read the first twenty responses to Sec. Clinton’s tweet.
    Note to self: never get out of the boat..

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    So Del Toro needs to be held to a standard of racial representation that didn’t exist when he made his film last year?

  106. 106
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Oh, good! I hate having no power.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    People who are afraid of writing their own stories write critiques of other people’s stories. And I say this as someone who has an actual degree in Critical Studies.

    Come on in, the water’s fine.

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    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mnemosyne: Off topic but did you see that Weird Al has a new song based on Hamilton?

    Much of it was lost on me, sadly.

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Mnemosyne: Speaking of humans getting hurt, I have a major spoiler I’d love to discuss about the ending. But I’ll restrain myself.

    As for the cat incident, what bugged me more was the owner’s reaction.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    He’s also Abe Sapiens in the Hellboy movies. And Fauno (I believe that’s the guy with the eyes in his hands on the poster) in Pan’s Labyrinth, but I remember very little about that movie or the character.

    You’re right about Jones in Hellboy. I never saw Pan’s Labyrinth, but know people who think its del Toro’s best work. It’s on my must-see list.

    I’ve read all the Mosley novels. I love Mouse, especially how Don Cheadle played the character in the movie.

    This should have been a compelling movie franchise. It would be interesting to see Netflix or Amazon do the novels as a series.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    “Plus I have a long-standing phobia about joint winners where one of them hogs all of the talk time. With my nerves rubbed raw in the age of Trump, I don’t think I could stand it.” I hate that too!

    Seacrest said something to somebody he worked with that she didn’t like. He’s history’s greatest monster.

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    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: LOL. I so get that.

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    I am currently more into Indian cinema, which I had pretty much ignored from the late nineties to the mid teens.Last Hollywood movie I really liked was Spotlight.
    I will watch Oscars mostly for the clothes, and to find out the movies well regarded by the industry that makes them.

  114. 114
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It’s brilliant! He takes the whole musical and shows that all the music can be set to an oom-pah-pah polka beat. The greatest thing is to hear tubas backing up Hamilton songs. And Weird Al does a fantastic job with the Lafayette rap.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    SPOILER ALERT
    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I was talking to a friend of mine and saying my reaction would have been more like, “Look, I know you love your new boyfriend and all, but dude’s gotta move out. Now.” 😂

  116. 116
    germy says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Seacrest said something to somebody he worked with that she didn’t like. He’s history’s greatest monster.

    the accuser, Suzie Hardy, outlines years of sexual abuse and harassment committed by Seacrest starting in 2007, including alleged incidents where he “grinded his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear,” groped her vagina twice on set, requested she nap with him, and once slapped her so hard on her butt that it bruised.

  117. 117
    zhena gogolia says:

    Viola Davis looks fantastic. I love her husband.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    People who are afraid of writing their own stories write critiques of other people’s stories. And I say this as someone who has an actual degree in Critical Studies.

    Arts criticism is its own thing. And I say that as someone with similar credentials, not that they are necessary.

    I’ve said many times that art is an ongoing conversation between critics, artists and audiences.

    It is interesting, for example, to see some in the current generation, dismiss Spielberg as old fashioned. I’ve been around long enough to remember when people would rush out to see what this brash young filmmaker was up to. Maybe he will be rediscovered by film school students years from now. But this is all part of that conversation.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    del Toro on the red carpet

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    Woodrow/Asim says:

    @Brachiator:

    I’ve said many times that art is an ongoing conversation between critics, artists and audiences

    AMEN. To demand that criticism of art come with your own creative output is as silly a concept as demanding that any criticism of a political concept come with your own run for office.

    I’ll confess that, based on feedback and not seeing it, I have some similar concerns about SHAPE/WATER. Nothing I’ve heard about it, including this Awards season run, has shaken those concerns. And they are valid as hell, because Del Toro can (unlike some filmmakers) do better, but likely won’t until he hears the critiques and understands they come from (in most cases I’ve seen) a place of love of his work, and a desire to consume more of his work in ways that broaden his audience.

    As someone who’s done creative work (the “Asim” in my name here is from decades of raqs sharqui, aka “belly dance”; I also costume, code, and write), I would never demand that someone “do what I do!” to have a place to critique my artistic intent, or for me to learn other ways to create. Indeed, some of the most powerful changes to my art have come from critical engagement outside of that artistic sphere.

    How shallow a world we’d have, if we had to go “create something better” as the only way to improve our arts.

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    Ohio Mom says:

    @zhena gogolia: I know it has to be brilliant, it’s Weird Al and he is a genius. I certainly get the polka joke (my son has every Weird Al CD).

    But I don’t know enough about Hamilton to truly appreciate it. I guess I will have to make an effort to see it.

  122. 122
    glory b says:

    @lamh36: I don’t know. I have something of a problem with assuming every accusation is true. E! said it hired an outside firm to investigate and it wasn’t able to verify the complaint.

    Too much Scottsboro boys, Emmitt Till ,etc. in my memory for that.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Oh, yes, that would help!

  124. 124
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I haven’t seen it, I’ve just memorized the CD

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    Elizabelle says:

    Let me know if an Oscars thread eventually goes up.

    Haven’t seen any of the movies this year, but it seems there are quite a few good ones.

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    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: Fortunately, I was spoiled about the cat before I had a chance to see the movie. So I have not seen it and will not see it. There is no way I could ever view it as remotely romantic after that.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Woodrow/Asim:

    To demand that criticism of art come with your own creative output is as silly a concept as demanding that any criticism of a political concept come with your own run for office.

    Not all criticism of a piece of art requires a response in the form of another piece of art. But when the criticism is, You should have made a completely different movie from the point of view of new characters then, yes, you do need to tell that new story rather than demanding that someone else do the work for you.

    Guillermo Del Toro is not your bitch. You can say that you don’t like X or Y in his story, but you can’t say that he should have made a completely different movie with different characters based on your specifications.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Honestly, it’s not so bad that it ruined the whole movie, and it’s not nearly as graphic as what happens to the humans. It was just kind of a cheap joke that annoyed me because it didn’t fit with the rest of the story.

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    Jay Noble says:

    @germy: Agrreed! Go Rhinos!

  130. 130
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: Doesn’t matter. I simply wouldn’t be able to see him as a romantic lead after that.

  131. 131
    Elizabelle says:

    I wanted Christopher Plummer, but yea for Sam Rockwell.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I wanted Richard Jenkins. Oh well.

  133. 133
    Tenar Arha says:

    Annihilation. Not Oscar related per se, though it might get nominated for effects next year. I don’t understand why this isn’t getting more play. It’s a solid SFF/Horror movie. (With 5 women playing the central roles by themselves for large chunks of time!) I saw it tonight & I’m gonna be masticating it for ages.

    I thought it was super creepy & fascinating, and I can’t believe Tessa Thompson was same actress who played Valkyrie & the character of physicist Jessie Radek. Gina Rodriguez had this one scene, oof. & Portman & Lee’s intensity are more than a little terrifying, which ups the suspense.

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    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne: Saw Richard Jenkins in “Berlin Station.” I think it was him. Very good, although I didn’t stick with the series.

    And now, Eva Marie Saint.

  135. 135

    Black Panther was excellent. Highly recommended. Stay for the credits.

  136. 136
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Taraji B. Henson is a cruel, but fair mistress.

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