Oscar Takes

I was excited to watch the 95th Academy Awards show last night. I’ve always been a movie buff and as many of you know, I had an almost-20-year run of Oscar celebrations with a childhood friend. We had many fun and wonderful traditions with our Academy Awards adventures but, alas, it came to an end several years ago. Since then I’ve kept some of the traditions such as some of the food. I usually make a mussels or shrimp dish as we did and I always have white wine on hand. An upside of our tradition ending is that I don’t have to adhere to our self-made rules of seeing every film nominated in the top categories. Now I just see the ones that look good to me which is still, maybe not surprisingly, most of the ones nominated in the top categories. Like everyone else, when Covid hit and we could no longer go to theaters, I didn’t see as many movies, only ones that were playing on my streaming services. Last year I was in Italy during the the Academy Awards show and had little interest in seeing it. Even the news of “the slap” only somewhat intrigued me. Then last summer we were told that the movie Top Gun was good and best seen on the big screen so off we went. It was our first time back to a theater without wearing masks and it was fun! And the movie really was good! We started regularly going out to movies again. I didn’t realize until later that we were not the only ones. I’ve heard that Top Gun: Maverick has been credited for saving the movie industry! So, this year I saw many (maybe most) of the films nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress in a Leading and Supporting Role categories, and I was ready to watch the Awards show. This year I thought it would be fun to weigh-in with some of my opinions about the movies of 2022 and the Awards show. Here are my Oscar takes…

First of all, I think Jimmy Kimmel did a really good job of hosting the show this year. It’s not an easy task as we’ve seen over the years. I think Jimmy was funny and not too intrusive. I think he handled the infamous “slap” of last year very well. He brought it up more than once but never stayed on it too long. I thought he told many laugh-out-loud jokes…my favorite one being when he talked about Tom Cruise’s ripped body in the volleyball beach scene in Top Gun and said, “L. Ron Hubba Hubba.”

The carpet was champagne-colored this year, apparently for aesthetic reasons; they thought the color would look better with all the sweeping red curtains. Like the carpet, many actresses wore white/ivory or champagne-colored dresses. A designer on one of the red carpet pre-shows called it an “ethereal and dreamy” trend. One of my favorites was Emily Blunt’s simple white, elegant gown. The earrings she wore with it, killed it. There were also many brightly colored dresses like Angela Basset’s purple choice. In the brightly colored category, a favorite of mine was Cara Delevigne’s daring red dress. Her dress featured a thigh-high slit which I loved. There were several thigh-high slit dresses worn last night and I loved all of them. Halle Bailey’s (not Berry) dress was quite beautiful too. Initially I was just enamored with the design and less so the color. But the color grew on me. It seemed especially fitting when I learned of her upcoming role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. My top male pick: Dwayne Johnson. He wore a ballet pink tuxedo and rocked it!

There were a lot of good movies this year. My three favorites were: Banshees of Inisherin, Women Talking, and RRR. I liked Banshees for many reasons. The cinematography was beautiful, the story while dark, seemed more symbolic to me than literal and so easier to accept the violence. The humor helped with that too. I loved the animals and their co-mingling inside the house. The cast was fabulous: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, and someone new to me, Barry Keoghan. They were each nominated for an Oscar but nobody took him home. I mentioned the symbolism although I’m not sure I completely understood the significance until later. I knew there was a war going on because you heard gun shots in the background and there were references made to it. Brad caught the year on a calendar in one scene so we knew the timing was during the Irish Civil War. However, it wasn’t until after the movie when I heard friends talk about it that I further understood the symbolism to represent conflict, in general, and male conflict, in particular.

Women Talking was based on a book written by a Canadian Mennonite, Miriam Toews, who wrote the story based on actual horrific events that took place in a nearby community. One of my biggest pet peeves since moving back here to “Amish Country” is the lack of talking about important things that are happening around you. There are many elephants in many living rooms, so to speak. There seems to be an unspoken rule not to talk about deep or uncomfortable things. And so to have a group of strict Mennonite women actually talking honestly and allowing all emotions to flow was refreshing to me … even somewhat healing, I would say. It showed it can be done. This movie was well done and the dialogue was smart.

My sweetest surprise movie this year was RRR. Winning a Golden Globe a month or so ago was how I was introduced to it. Then when I saw Netflix was showing it, we decided to watch it. It’s hard to pin it down in terms of a category or genre. It was a colorful, lyrical, musical with a strong plot that included a love story and war story and was set in pre-independence India. It reminded me of Bollywood meets Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Its song “Naatu Naatu” won the Oscar last night for Best Song. Just look that up and you’ll get a sense of the movie. Cinematic brilliance.

There were a couple of disappointing snubs this year. We saw Woman King at the theatre and loved it! I cannot believe it did not receive a single nomination. Viola Davis was fabulous as was Thuso Mbedu, who was new to me. Honestly, most of the women in this film were Oscar nomination-worthy. The director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, should’ve been nominated too. Another major snub was Danielle Deadwyler who played Mamie Till in the movie Till. I thought her acting superb.

Lastly, I made up a new category: “The Female and Male Stars You Most Want to Have A Drink With.” My winners are Kerry Condon (I loved her yellow dress too -by the way) and Colin Farrell. I suppose it’s no surprise that they’re both from Ireland. They seem like they would be so much fun to hang out with! Together or separately. I imagine we’d meet in a pub in Ireland. I hope it’s okay if I have scotch instead of beer.

So, those are some of my takes on the Oscars this year. I would love to hear some of yours!

4 responses to “Oscar Takes”

  1. I was annoyed “Woman King” didn’t receive any nominations as well. And for your category, I would pick Pedro Pascal. I would love to have a drink with him since he seems so fun and he’s a fantastic actor.


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