Archive for February 24th, 2019

by Sam Juliano

Our annual get-together for The Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 24th at the Tigerhouse Firehouse in Fairview, New Jersey.  Festivities commence at around 6:00 P.M.  This is the thirty-eighth year consecutively and as always it has become a way to meet up with some unseen for the previous calendar year and to converse on so many topics, including the movie scene.  The show and the awards themselves are laughable but as a celebration of at least some of. the year’s cinematic riches it has always been entertaining, if outlandish.  I have some wishes for the results, though I am well aware that none will come to pass.   My deepest hope and wish is to see either NEVER LOOK AWAY or COLD WAR (the former is actually a 2019 film for all our list-making purposes as it is the only film of the five nominees in that category that opened theatrically after the 1st of the year, in mid January) surprise in Best Foreign Film. Capernaum would also make a magnificent choice, though like most I also love Roma and The Shoplifters. In any case I consider Pawlikoswki and Von Donnarsmarck’s films staggering masterpieces. I’d love either the aforementioned Cold War or Never Look Away to surprise for Best Cinematography as well, the latter was lensed by Caleb Deschanel. Though Alfonso Cuaron is a lock for Best Director and is most deserving I am rooting for an uspet by Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War) or Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

In the category of Best Lead Actor, I have no problem at all with the terrific Rami Malek, whose electrifying performance in Bohemian Rhapsody is preferred to Christian Bale’s but my favorite in that category is Willem Dafoe’s as Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate. Though “Shallow” is the lock of the night for A Star is Born.  I can fantasize about the win going to the year’s most beautiful song, “Where the Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns. And then there is Richard Grant, who would delight many if he were prevail for his brilliant work in Can You Forgive Me? though certainly Mahershala Ali, the favorite was deserving as well in Green Book. Glenn Close will almost certainly win, but aside from the career narrative she gave what I think was the best performance of the five nominees or at least as great as the one delivered by Olivia Colman in The Favourite.  I do want Regina King to win (If Beale Street Can Talk) and am pretty sure she will. Finally I am rooting for Minding the Gap (runner up Hale County Before and After) to upset for Best Documentary, which will in the end probably go to Free Solo or RBG.

Lucille and I saw two films theatrically this past week, though one of the two was a second-viewing of the ravishing German masterpiece Never Look Away, which I awarded 5 stars to a few weeks back.  Loved it even more still on second look.

Everybody Knows ****    (Friday night)     Montclair Claridge

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