I watched the Academy Awards Show recently. I still enjoy going to the movies. I don’t go every week like I used to in my younger years but I regularly look at the movie listings in the paper and when a new show comes along that interests me I’ll go see it.
My regular movies partner is my son Jim who is a movies fan. Sometimes we will be joined by his wife, Anne, and my granddaughter, Isabelle. Sometimes I go alone or with a fellow senior citizen. Every year I look at the Academy Award nominees to see how my movie viewing compares with the academy “experts.” I was surprised this year to see several of the nominees were films that I had seen in 2019. So I was looking forward to this year’s show. By the end of the televised show I was disappointed once again.
First off, it was too darn long. There were 24 categories this year and that’s about 18 categories too many for me. I wanted to see who won the Best Picture Award. Other categories that I was interested in seeing the winners were: Directing, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, and Actor in a Supporting Role. Television producers could add presentations of the Original Songs from the previous year and film clips of all those nominated in these top six categories and this would make for a nice one to two hour show — not over three hours long like it was this year. Winners of the other 18 categories could be listed in the credits at the end of the show. Acceptance speeches should be strictly limited to one minute with no political commentary. This is an entertainment show. If I want political commentary, I’ll tune to CNN or Fox News.
The big winner this year was a Korean picture called “Parasite.” It captured the Best Picture of the Year Award plus Oscars for Directing, Original Screenplay, and International Feature Film. I never heard of the film until the Oscar nominees were announced. I didn’t think it was ever released in Madison although my son Jim thought it could have played briefly in a few small theaters in downtown Madison or the campus area. It mainly played in theaters that tended to show foreign films with English subtitles. It received much critical acclaim although many moviegoers did not even know of the film outside of movie audiences on the west coast and east coast. I read about the film on the internet the day after the Oscars show. I’d like to see this dark thriller. It’s now playing at four theaters in the Madison area including the Marcus Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie.
I had planned to see the movie “Judy” a few months ago. The movie was about Judy Garland’s last years. It played for only a short time at local theaters and I missed it. Renee Zellweger, who played Judy, won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Looks like I’ll have to rent this one.
I did see “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Brad Pitt got the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in that movie.
I also enjoyed “1917” just a few weeks ago in the theatre and the movie won three technical awards. This is a movie you have to see in the theatre to experience the full effect of this film.
“The Irishman” didn’t win any major awards on Oscar night but it was a nominee in seven different categories including Best Picture, and Actor in a Supporting Role (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci). I would to see this if I can still see it in the theatre. One big problem... run time of the movie is three and a half hours long. Maybe this would be be better to watch at home where the bathroom is nearby and I could hit the pause button for a short break.
Dick Emerson is the former publisher of the DeForest Times-Tribune.