A movie I actually liked won Best Picture and Best Director at last night's Oscars. That hasn't happened in ten years. So congratulations to Guillermo del Toro, a very fine director and an incredibly nice guy. As is often the case, the Oscar seems more an award for a career than for the specific film: The Shape of Water is a really good movie but I thought Crimson Peak was even better and of course Devil's Backbone is a classic. The first Hellboy remains one of my favourite comic book movies. I'm glad to think this'll help make it easier for Del Toro to get decent budgets for his weirdest ideas.
As usual, I didn't watch the ceremony. I'm not a big fan of awards ceremonies in general--I tend to agree with Major Briggs on Twin Peaks: "Achievement is its own reward. Pride obscures it." The Academy Awards in particular have long been especially difficult to watch for me though maybe artists in the film industry who plumb the depths of their rawest emotions and routinely bare them for take after take need this kind of thing for catharsis. If I get some decent movies out of it I don't mind. I was happy to see Roger Deakins' work for Blade Runner 2049 was recognised--again, likely an acknowledgement of a career, though Blade Runner 2049 is last year's most under-appreciated film.
I didn't see most of the Best Picture nominees this year. I saw Shape of Water, Dunkirk, and Get Out. Certainly I think Shape of Water is the best of those three--the other two I thought were both good but overrated. I'm not sure I feel like seeing Lady Bird--I wasn't really impressed by Frances Ha, a film Greta Gerwig co-wrote and starred in, and I tend to feel like she's one of those people promoted by the Castigliane Brothers from Mulholland Drive. I thought the trailers for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri looked horrible with kind of a cheaply smug political attitude but some of the reviews I've seen make it sound like the film's pushed some real buttons so I might check it out.
Jimmy Kimmel seems to be a really popular host. I haven't had much exposure to him, I've never watched his show and I haven't thought he was particularly funny whenever he was on Howard Stern. I hated The Man Show though I thought this article in The Atlantic, which rehashed some of the worst moments of The Man Show a few days before the Oscars, was unintentionally hilarious. "Forgiving Jimmy Kimmel" it's called. Like families across the country sat down at the kitchen table and carefully weighed the moral implications of accepting Jimmy Kimmel onto our television sets.
Twitter Sonnet #1090
A zoom reshapes a plushy hat to big.
Forgotten rows of fabric eyes decide.
In judgement like a dusty station rig.
The pocket watch ordains the countryside.
Arranged in jelly rows was harvest dough.
In blinking lights the phone at last amends.
A single colour shook the light to go.
On purple webs the passenger depends.
Hotels with secret monocles adorned.
A house with confidential glasses graced.
An inn with rubber goggles slyly worn.
Motels at night with shades upon their face.
Linoleum's a darkened space enclosed.
To bring the lives of silver fish to close.