Oscar 2011 Wrap Up

E: Gee, it’s kind boring being right.  I like it a little better when I get surprised.  BUT.  I liked every single one of the winners, and though they were all deserving (even if they weren’t all my favorites), and that does not happen all that often, and so I’m really pretty darn pleased.  Also, I got unwind at a lovely little party thrown by my friend R.  Huzzah for girls night and The King’s Speech!

Who wants to talk about the winners, the speeches and the hosts?  I do!

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Oscar 2011: Who Will Win?

E: This is the power of the Academy Awards.  Every person who is nominated tonight will have this thing written in their obituary: Oscar Nominee,  ____, died today.  Their lives – wrongly or not – will be distilled into this one achievement, this shorthand for excellence.  If Hailee Steinfeld lives to be one hundred, if she lives to see the next century, if she never acts in another movie, as long as there are obituaries, hers will tell of the events of this Oscar night.  There may not even be newspapers to run the obituaries, but as long as we don’t slide into some sort of apocalyptic distopia, those will be the words they use.  Long after anyone cares whether Anne Hathaway and James Franco are entertaining (and that they’re going to care about for a long time – ask David Letterman) people will know what this means.

And yeah, okay, that’s a little more pretentious than my usual blatherings about the glitz and the glamor of the speeches.  But occasionally, it’s worth remembering.  This is fun, sure, but it’s also a pretty big deal.

Let’s get right to it, then, shall we?  Here’s my take on who’s going to win the most important categories and why:

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The Good Wife: Silver Bullet

E: I don’t think this show has every made me laugh so much. And when I say laugh, I mean belly laugh, I mean Diane Lockhart, deep, rich, rolling around it in, knowing laughter.

The much vaunted ‘amazing guest star’ episode brings us not 3 but 4 recognizable actors.  America Ferrera!  Jerry Stiller!  Gary Cole!  Sure, I didn’t know your name, but I know your face, Dennis Boutsikaris.   I was happy to see you, anyway.  You were sparky and self-righteous.  I liked it.  This much is good.  After last week’s intensity, Silver Bullet seems a bit light and fluffy, but maybe that’s okay, because what they did was just plain entertaining.  I can’t think when this show has sped by so quickly before.   I adored the snappy word play, the West Wing-like repetition of phrases, the joviality.   I liked everyone trying to be a good mood.

And only The Good Wife can seem light and fluffy while dealing with police malfeasance, the race card, the First Amendment, teenage rebellion, religion and illegal immigration. It’s just your average day at the offices of Lockhart/Gardner & Bond.

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Top Chef All Stars: Lock Down

M: We’re a full week behind, but here’s our take on “Lock Down”, the episode in which the Muppets visit and then the chefs go to Target.

E: Was this a crazy episode or what?  I loved the quickfire maybe more than I’ve ever loved a quickfire, but the elimination challenge was totally brutal.  Also, one of our favorites dodged a huge bullet, and I am so relieved. Continue reading

Oscar Talk: Animal Kingdom

E: If you listen to the narrator, and consider the title, it’ll give you all the information necessary about the Aussie crime family flick Animal Kingdom.  Down deep, criminals are always scared, because they know it’s just a matter of time before they get caught.  The law is always coming. Or to look at it in terms of the animal kingdom, there’s always a predator who’s bigger than you, somewhere, out there. No matter how smart or how strong you think you are, it can never be enough.

Animal Kingdom is a story of cascading horrors.  It begins with two people watching a hideous, screechy game show, a sleeping middle aged woman and an impassive teen age boy.  It’s only when the EMTs arrive that we come to understand that the woman has overdosed and died.  Confused and alone, the boy Jay calls his estranged grandmother, and she arrives, a tiny blond bundle of love and warmth, to bring him back to the fold his mother had fled.

The fold, that is, of drug dealing bank robbers.

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Oscar Talk: The Town

E: Some time in the 90s, I got lost driving out of Boston late at night, and ended up in Charlestown.  “You wanna get outa heyah right away” the cop I asked for directions told me.  Charlestown in the 90s wasn’t really a place where you wanted to ask someone who wasn’t a cop for directions.  This guy actually got back into his cruiser and made me follow him to the highway – that’s how eager he was to get a single girl out of the town.

And, as the clever heist flick The Town tells us, that’s the time that Charlestown was the bank robbery capital of the U.S.  Haven’t seen The Town?  Well, my friends, you’re in luck.  It’s on dvd, and it is a nice little piece of work.

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