Monday, February 25, 2019

Things That Are Making Me Happy

Went to see the Oscar nominated short live action films and animation. Boy, those live action films were horrifying in different ways. Film 1- MADRE-a  Spanish mother gets a call from her six-year old son that he is alone on the beach and a man is coming toward him. 2-FAUVE-two boys get outmaneuvred by mother nature 3-MARGUERITE-an elderly woman and her nurse bond over an unexpressed sexuality 4-DETAINMENT-A reenactment of the Jamie Bulger murder 5) SKIN- a skinhead's hatred of black-skinned people gets turned against him. Wow.
If I were to choose a winner it would be the Bulger murder which used the real interviews and elicited sensational performances by its two stars. The animation nominees were fairly weak except for the gorgeously done WEEKENDS.
Trying to get into BILLIONS on Showtime, but boy, any mention of money and I fade away.
We always treat ourselves to a dessert during the Oscars. I am looking forward to that more than the show. 
What about you?


Anonymous said...

Some of those films really are potent, aren't they, Patti? And I'm glad you enjoyed your special Oscar dessert.

George said...

I was surprised Olivia Colman won BEST ACTRESS. Glenn Close has been nominated seven times...and came away empty each time!

High winds (some 70 mph gusts!) buffeted Western NY all day yesterday and all last night. Schools are closed because of all the damage: downed trees, power outages, etc. We're okay, but Diane's best friend's family sat in their cold house for hours until power was restored.

Glad GREEN BOOK won Best Movie!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am too because that was the movie that seemed to touch people most.

Jeff Meyerson said...

SKIN won the Oscar. Haven't seen any of them, of course. We did watch several things this week:

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? I know everyone raved and complained that it wasn't nominated for an Oscar, but...I expected more. Clearly, he was a special guy, but we never watched Mr. Rogers. Frankly, I preferred RBG.

LONDON RIVER (2009). First of two Brenda Blethyn movies we watched on Amazon Prime. She lives on a farm on Guernsey in the Channel Islands. After the bombings of 7/7/2005 in London, she can't get in contact with her daughter who lives there, so goes herself. She is surprised the daughter lives in a Muslim area and is shocked to find her boyfriend was a black Muslim from Africa. What made the movie for me was the wonderful performance of the late Burkinabe actor Sotigui Kouyate as Mr. Ousmane, the boy's father. He is very tall and very thin. He is stoic, sad, and very affecting. They communicate in French (very easy French, for the most part, as I didn't need the subtitles for most of it) as they track through hospitals and morgues and mosques in a desperate attempt to find if their children are dead or alive and where they might be.

BELONGING (2004). Here Blethyn is suddenly deserted by her husband (Lewis star Kevin Whately) for a younger woman with two children, leaving her in their house with his mother and aunt, who she takes care of. The movie (made for British television, I think) shows her finally come out of being a total doormat. Good performances also by Rosemary Harris as his awful mother and the late Anna Massey as his aunt.

There is quite a difference in Blethyn's appearance, I must say, between the relatively glamorous look of this one, the down to earth farmer of LONDON RIVER. And that doesn't even bring in her current look (that hat!) on VERA.

Lastly, we watched Joaquin Phoenix and a slimmed down bearded Jonah Hill in Gus Van Sant's DON'T WORRY, HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT, the adaptation of late Portland cartoonist John Callahan's book, which I read years ago and liked a lot. Callahan becomes a quadriplegic when a friend drives into a pole at 90 mph. Well done, but the book was better.

Gerard Saylor said...

Boy #2 received high marks at his parent=teacher conferences on Thursday evening and my wife and I went out for a beer afterwards.

Both of my children competed in the Solo and Ensemble event over the weekend. They both play tuba and upright bass. Both did quite well and this was our first time hearing most of Boy #1's performance because most of his practice has been at school. My wife and I are very happy the local school has such a strong music program.

I've gone into my winter blah period where I'm getting worn down and not getting as much exercise as I should. Over the weekend I made myself get on the treadmill and watched UMBRELLA ACADEMY on my tablet. The show is not great but I've been enjoying it a fair amount.
I have several older-ish films lined up on Amazon Prime. I saw 1975's RUSSIAN ROULETTE with George Segal last week and it was pretty good. Segal is a RCMP cop in Vancouver on suspension. He's asked to kidnap and hold a Soviet dissident when the Soviet Premier is visiting Vancouver. Trouble ensues.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I really appreciate the TV/Movie recs. We are watching a lot right now.
Kevin plays the guitar, which is not considered an orchestra instrument so he does choir at school. I have never heard him sing!
I think you have to have gone through Mr. Rogers with your kids to appreciate it. There was a time when he mesmerized them-about age 4, I think.

Rick Robinson said...

I'm flabbergasted at how much Jeff reads and also watches. He must have a special 30 hour-day. Seems he watched half a dozen movies and read as many books in a week. I'm lucky to watch PBS Newshour and read a third of a book in that time.

We had snow for the second day, so the steep hill we live on is slick, and we may not get trash or mail service today. Maybe by this afternoon it will be up to 35 and the road will improve. Meanwhile, with Barbara on crutches, I'm doing all those little house things that keep me busy but I'm going to bake cookies this afternoon, and that will be nice.

I've not been reading much, just haven't found a book to connect to. I'm reading a fantasy novel now, and will get to the new Bill Crider after that. When is MONKEY JUSTICE available?

Jerry House said...

Our new grand-dog Happy is settling in nicely with Christina and her family. She's a border collie, very affectionate and very personable. Happy seems to be integrating into their menagerie very nicely. In the meantime Sprout, their rescued black kitten, is completely recovered from his hernia surgery and is eating everything in sight. He loves everyone and everyone loves him but he has a special bond with Mark and is happiest when Mark is home from school.

Speaking of Mark, Christina got a text from him Saturday night, saying he has decided to explore a more personal relationship with Jesus. And, by the way, he's getting baptized
Sunday afternoon at four, if she wants to be there. Mark is a very sincere and very quiet guy. He has made a number of good friends at the Baptist Center at his college. As always with Mark, we never had to worry about him falling in with "bad" kids; he has always gravitated to decent kids and this appears to be the case here. So he has not been indoctrinated into a cult nor has been railroaded or pressured into making this choice. So Christina, Jessie, Kitty and myself, along with the kids, showed up for his baptism. It was February (why couldn't he have picked July?) on the Gulf Coast and about forty of his friends also showed up for his full immersion baptism in the Gulf of Mexico. The whole thing was short and sweet. Mark ended up wet and shivering. As he explained to everyone there, he had finally come to the conclusion that faith and science could be compatible. We wish him the best as he explores this new part of his life.

Meanwhile, Erin's high school Winter Guard entered another competition on Saturday and took first place -- for the third time in a row -- in her category. Teams from western Florida, Alabama, and (I think) Mississippi. competed. We had to admire the determination, athleticism, and grace each of these young people showed.

Jessie's hair has grown enough to be curly. She's doing well and things look good.

I'm happy that I have found a workaround for my computer problems over the past two weeks.

A doctor's appointment this morning shows that I am healthy. Good to know.

Wishing you and Phil,the very best for the coming week. (And beyond.)

James Reasoner said...

When our youngest daughter was little, we would record the episode of Mr. Rogers that ran in the morning and then she would watch it six or seven more times during the day, absolutely fascinated by it. I enjoyed the documentary about him a lot. I don't recall, did it mention that one of his first jobs in TV was working on THE GABBY HAYES SHOW? I like that little tidbit of information. (For what it's worth, our daughter, now in her 30s, still watches TV shows she likes over and over again, easier now with DVDs.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Parents today worry about their kids on screens but our kids were on screens too. I guess we knew they watched too much TV but weren't as worried as parents today.
MONKEY JUSTICE is due out in the middle of March. Thanks for asking.
I know a few people that are able to reconcile religion and humane politics and science. Religion should go hand and hand with liberal sentiments but it doesn't often seem to. Thanks, all.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Patti – For once I thought the Oscars got it just about right – Olivia Colman being the big surprise. Her film is not my kind of movie, but Colman has been so great in other things – like the British crime series BROADCHURCH – that awarding her was OK. But what really made my happy was the shorter than usual running time. Now, if they can just get it down to three hours without cutting out any more awards and putting a few back in. I like seeing the old timers getting honorary awards. How about cutting the un-funny presenter stuff and just getting on with the show? And since my comment has run long, one last thought. A part of me hoped ROMA would win not only best foreign film, but also best film, too – if only to teach the academy a lesson not to place one film in both categories.

Jeff Meyerson said...

No, it did not mention the Gabby Hayes show, dad gum it. I loved Gabby when I was a kid. Still do, actually.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Rick, this week was better, but two books a week is more like it. The short stories make it seem like more, and the weeks I finish books that I have been reading for a while make it seem like I'm reading more than I am.

Now George is the one who reads a lot.

James Reasoner said...

Jeff, these young whippersnappers don't know what they're missing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Speaking of westerns, has anyone caught THE SISTERS BROTHERS. It never came to my hood as far as I know.
Yes, I thought it was the best Oscars in years and I liked most of the winners. Even though ROMA was my first choice, I can see why THE GREEN BOOK was a popular choice. Everyone I know who saw it was moved by it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Except Spike Lee.

Jackie likes BILLIONS but I agree with you. I like the actors but not the show.

pattinase (abbott) said...

He has to look at their intention. Their intention was good, I think. Maybe they painted the picture too simplistically but that is where most of us are.

Todd Mason said...

Perhaps out of the spirt of the enterprise, but I will second Jeff's assessment of BILLIONS. It a series, like Gillian Flynn's works, where every adult is an arrested development case at about the emotional age of twelve, fifteen at the outside.

Perhaps accurate in this regard, but hard to take, and I suspect less accurate than the producers would halve you believe.

Todd Mason said...

The producers being Solomonic thus.