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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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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“Fences”: Living On After the Dreams Have Died

Fences!

My annual Oscar-quest begins anew! Every year since 1997 I’ve endeavored to see every film nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards race, even if its place in the running can be attributed to blatant studio machinations, even when I know a film and I will be at odds with each other the entire running time. Fences, on the other hand, met my high expectations and then some. The only real issue I had wasn’t the film’s fault. I misread the theater seating chart, bought the wrong assigned seat, and got myself stuck in the second row from where the the cast all looked like towering monster heads.

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MCC Home Video Scorecard #7: Oscar Prep Time

Bridge of Spies!

Oscar champ Tom Hanks weaves through an argumentative viewing public with past nominees Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) and Alan Alda (The Aviator) in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.

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 Chris Rock and a crowd of soon-to-be-flabbergasted white folks with brief notes on the final Best Picture nominee, one nominee in other categories, and one tiny overlooked film that would make a great double feature with one of the other Best Picture nominees.

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