Academy Award nominations came out today, Enthusiasts, and I thought I’d give you a rundown of the Best Picture nominees, though loyal readers will recall that TotD only likes moronic action movies. I have, however, seen two films starring Ryan Gosling this year, so I feel like I’m qualified to discuss the state of Hollywood.
As always, we will be abiding by the tenets of Without Research.
Fences This used to be a play; I vaguely recall commercials in my youth advertising James Earl Jones in the lead role as Angry Dad. Baseball is involved: the outfield fences are also the fences between us, or some symbolic crap like that. (Plays generally are symbolic. The Crucible? Not about the thing it’s about AT ALL.) I am 99% sure that Denzel Washington was in this.
Manchester By The Sea If the Academy doesn’t nominate a film full of blue-collar Bostonians mumbling and wearing Red Sox hats at each other every year, then Los Angeles gets swallowed up by Moirthrongh, who is a giant monster. (You should have been able to infer that from the context clues, quite honestly. Sometimes I feel like I’m holding your hand and walking you through all this Please keep up.)
Hacksaw Ridge Spider-Man’s in this. Not the new one, or the old old one; the old one. Andrew Garfield; he has a head like a lollipop. Mel Gibson directed it and fuck Mel Gibson forever.
Moonlight Musical with black people. That is the extent of my knowledge about Moonlight and I may be wrong about it being a musical. I will feel more guilt for never seeing this than I will for never seeing Hacksaw Ridge, but still not enough to make me see it.
Hidden Figures This one’s an interesting story about the black women that worked at NASA during the Space Race. Shockingly enough, they were treated poorly. It also stars Janelle Monae, who is one of the best human beings. I will also not see this, but would like very much to read the book it was based on, if it was based on a book.
Hell Or High Water I have never heard of this movie.
Lion I have never heard of this movie, but I am familiar with the animal.
Arrival Many people whose opinions I respect have told me this is a good film; I will cut off my own head with a meat cleaver before I look at Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner for two hours. I do not like their faces.
La La Land Musical with white people. Enthusiasts, I saw this film. On my Christmas trip to Brooklyn, my family went to one of those drafthouse places that serves tapas to your seat and threatens you in a nasty tone before the show about not using your phone. I was excited to see La La Land right up until the second it started. Ever get that pit in your stomach from the first shot of a movie?
It didn’t work as a romantic comedy–it was too cartoony and generic–and it didn’t work as a musical for several reasons:
- Neither lead could sing.
- The music, all original, was forgettable and banal.
- The last half of the film isn’t a musical. Ryan Gosling plays jazz piano a few times, but the characters don’t sing. That’s what a musical is: the plot is advanced through song.
And it was too long. And the ending was bullshit. And Ryan Gosling’s eyes are too close together. And J.K. Simmons was in it as a guy who owns a bar. J.K. Simmons isn’t the guy who owns the bar, he’s the Nazi gang leader or the psychopathic drum teacher or J. Jonah Jameson. You have J.K. Simmons on your set and you waste him as “guy who owns bar?” Kiss my ass, La La Land.
It’ll probably win.