Make that four of the movies nominated for best picture for the 2018 Academy Awards...aka the Oscar.
Last time I wrote about "the movies" I had only seen Dunkirk.
Well, with the televised Oscars tonight (March 4, 2018)--we suddenly got busy. And over the space of two days, we saw three movies.
First we watched (via satellite) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing. Wonderfully acted.
The story line is coherent--you understand what is happening, and as the movie goes along--why.
Frances McDormand is utterly believable as a mother consumed with rage and grief after her daughter has been killed, and the crime not yet solved. It's no secret to tell you that she expresses this rage by having three billboards that stand just outside of town covered with a sequence of signs challenging the town police chief for his failure.
Woody Harrelson is the police chief. He is flummoxed, at first seems ineffective, and nasty. But you soon learn he has his own troubles--which play a significant part in the story.
Finally, there is Sam Rockwell who is a dumb-ass policeman--at least that's how he starts out. And then...
Nope, not gonna tell you. Go see the movie!
It's a tour de force of good acting, compelling story, and deeply felt human emotion.
Next we went to the movie theater--you know, that old fashioned place where you pay exorbitant prices to be overwhelmed with a popcorn smell for which you pay prices WAY too high, and then get to sit in comfy seats, watch 15 minutes of commercials, a few previews of movies you wouldn't want to see--and THEN the feature.
This one was The Post.
This movie is SO topical, even though it is about the publishing of the Pentagon papers during the Vietnam war. That was in 1971, so that was 47 years ago! And the events may likely not even be known about by Gen X or Millenials. But those of us who lived through the years of Vietnam, and were part of the Baby Boomers certainly remember.
What is at stake in the movie is not only abrogation of power in the most arrogant and tragic ways, but also what it means to have a First Amendment, and what it takes to preserve freedom of speech.
It is impossible to cover everything the movie covers--but with two sterling actors--Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks heading up an equally sterling cast--the movie is a sheer joy to watch. And at the same time a cautionary tale. Timely, eh?
Finally, last evening we watched (via a download on to a computer) Call Me By Your Name.
I have had some friends tell me how much they loved this movie--how beautiful a movie it is.
And it is.
The scenery alone is worth watching. Northern Italy--charming towns, lovely countryside, breathtaking mountains. But the scenery is only a backdrop to an achingly wonderful story of a young man's coming of age.
The young man is played by Timothée Hal Chalamet. His performance as Elio is so perfect. At times awkward, at times obnoxious, at times deeply enamored, and at times fully sexual.
The other lead part of a young university intern, Oliver, is played by Armie Hammer.
The plot--well, a few words summarize it...the two of them have a summer affair--but that is NOT nearly adequate as a description of this complex, multi-layered, singular story.
My advice--go see it. Go see all of these.
Now, on to more viewing...