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.
With a week to go till the Academy Awards, I’ve seen all eight Best Picture nominees as part of my annual Oscar Quest. I’ve only written about five of them so far and have some catch-up to do. Usually the AMPAS voters love at least one film I’d rather not see, but I’m relieved to report the 2015 lineup gave me the best Oscar Quest I’ve had in over a decade. Early on, I’d gotten the impression that if any nominee would annoy me more than the rest, it would be Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film stunt The Revenant. I decided to see it anyway and form my own opinions, whether justified or flawed.
This weekend, thousands of theater screens across America are showing a limited selection of films because a certain unstoppable juggernaut has overtaken the American consciousness and demanded everyone’s full attention now now NOW. It leaves scraps of ticket dollars lying behind in the wreckage for all the other, smaller, less beloved films to fight over — third-rate kiddie films, R-rated write-offs, leftover blockbusters from previous months that everyone’s already seen, and tiny, obscure, dramatic productions forgotten in the pandemonium, wishing for awards or at least someone’s attention. That last category will never sell toys, inspire spinoffs, or have viewers fighting over spoilers, but that’s not their audience or their intent. Sometimes it’s like they live and express themselves in a different world of their own, one where we’re free to visit if we don’t mind that the furniture’s not so polished.
Welcome to Brooklyn.