MCC Live-Tweeting: Oscars 2017

Jimmy Kimmel!

“You want one of these so bad? Go make a movie that doesn’t suck, you lazy bum.”

The 89th Academy Awards began in style with Justin Timberlake singing or possibly lip-syncing his big Trolls single “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, but ended with all the feelings at cross-purposes when final presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty — reunited fifty years after Bonnie & Clyde lost to In the Heat of the Night — made Oscar telecast history by inadvertently announcing La La Land as the winner when in fact the name printed on their card was Moonlight. La La producer Justin Horowitz broke the news when, after their speech time had already begun, he approached the mic and tried to re-announce the award. At first the audience thought he was just being humble and demurring. Then everyone realized he was serious and extremely classy as he held the card up for the cameras to see. Much confusion and Twitter quips about “fake news” ensued till things were confirmed and the Moonlight team tentatively took the stage and took their turn at thank-yous.

Between those memorable moments, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted in an effort to drum up business for his own show by bringing in his own bits such as “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”, practical jokes, his Matt Damon feud, and I couldn’t tell you what else because I’ve never watched his show unless tonight’s Oscars telecast counted as an episode of it.

Right this way for the list of winners and a running commentary!

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Crunching Numbers, “Hidden Figures”

Hidden Figures!

In the 1960s, the Academy Awards were a very different experience down in the “Colored Audience” section of the Kodak Theatre.

Remember yesteryear when the media and movie fans complained that the Academy Awards nominees were distressingly monochromatic? What a difference a year makes, when studios choose to give leeway to filmmakers willing to bring something different to the table. Of course it helps when the “different” films are also really good films. Hidden Figures isn’t the only Best Picture nominee to figure that last part out, and I’m betting it won’t be the last.

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MCC Home Video Scorecard #10: Oscar Catch-Up Time

Hacksaw Ridge!

“Lord, let me please have just one more Oscar nom. Just one more…”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the recurring feature that’s me jotting down capsule-sized notes about Stuff I Recently Watched at home. In this batch: we prepare for Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony starring ABC’s Best Pal Jimmy Kimmel, with brief notes on two Best Picture nominees and one nominee in another category for value-added variety.

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“Manchester by the Sea” by the Wayside

Manchester by the Sea!

“C’maaahn, kid. This movie’s a bummer. Let’s get outta here and get you signed up for a Mighty Ducks reboot instead.”

Have you ever walked out of a movie feeling lost and grumpy like Grandpa Simpson? It’s just me, isn’t it?

After all the critical fuss over the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea, I expected to walk out of the theater with my heart ripped to pieces and/or some tears shed, as befitting a film about the grieving process. Maybe it’ll hit me years later, like when I saw Ghost for my second time and had a weirdly intense reaction. I put off this entry for a few weeks to allow time for a surprise epiphany to hit me and upend my interpretation. So far, nada.

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The MCC 2016 Oscar-Nominated Short Film Revue

Piper!

Many of you may recognize one of the nominees from last summer…

Each year since 2009 my wife and I have paid a visit to Keystone Art Cinema, the only dedicated art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen release of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but we appreciate this opportunity to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether we agree with their collective opinions or not. We like to do both sets as a one-day double-feature date, which gives us time between showings to look around the fashion mall connected to the theater and gawk at clothing and cookware with triple-digit prices we could never conscionably pay.

First up: my rankings of this year’s five Animated Short Film nominees, from not-bad to peachiest. They’re probably available on iTunes or other streaming services, but I honestly haven’t checked. Links are provided to official sites where available if you’re interested in more info. Enjoy where possible!

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Yes, There’s a Moment After the “Lion” End Credits

Lion!

“Hey, mister! I’ll trade you this fresh fruit for an Oscar!”

My wife and I first heard of Lion when we attended last fall’s Heartland Film Festival preview night here in Indianapolis. I’m sorry we missed its festival screening, but now that it’s been nominated for Best Picture, once again the film and I crossed paths as part of my annual Oscar quest.

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