Just a thought… I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have. [Coleman Cox]
Welcome to Friday and, for many of us, it’s an exciting weekend because the Oscars telecast is this Sunday. Over the past year, we’ve come to love Jimmy Kimmel and look forward to him returning as host. This year we’ve really leaned into the Best Picture race, having seen all but one of the nominees. Nine out of ten! (The one standout, Call Me By Your Name, had come and gone from Victoria by the time we got around to seeing it. So we’ll catch it at home on demand.)
My Best Picture winner would be The Shape of Water because it’s so unusual and like nothing we’d ever experienced: a film where almost every character is looking for a heart-to-heart connection. Was it for everyone? Oh, heck, no…but neither is my #2 pick, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. My favourites are the films that I haven’t stopped thinking about since seeing them. Which puts Get Out right up there, too.
We saw another contender, the Daniel Day-Lewis movie Phantom Thread,this week. It, too, had already left the city, but a local theatre in tiny Sidney was showing it, so we got one last chance before Sunday’s awards.
I don’t know when I’ve been to a film where so very little happened over the course of 2 hours and 10 minutes. I mean, Phantom Thread – about a high-strung dressmaker in the 1950s – got a most respectable 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and I didn’t go in expecting a laugh or a car chase or an explosion (the latter two don’t make movies for me, but the first never hurts) but oh, my…it was ponderous.
It doesn’t help that none of the characters is particularly relatable or likeable. Yes, there are some great acting performances (it’s Daniel Day-Lewis – what do you expect?) but I just can’t say I loved or even particularly liked this film. Shows what I know, right? Audience reviews were 70% positive, but I have to say I relate to this review from Matthew Lickona of the San Diego Reader:
Phantom Thread is an unforgiving dress. It presents an ideal and even inspires wonder, but it does make breathing difficult, and heaven help you if all you want is to have a good time.
I’ll close today with a note I got from a journal visitor a few weeks back when I wrote about The Shape of Water. And I wanted to share it with you so that if you don’t give a fig about any of the films going into this weekend, Sharon’s note might just give you the nudge you’re looking for!
Thank you so much for recommending the Oscar nominated Shape of Water in Today’s journal. I, too, would not have ventured out to see this film, as it is not my usual “cup of tea” movie. However, I work here at Deluxe Postproduction Toronto, where Guillermo Del Toro spent hours and hours, as our Colourist and OUR own Oscar nominated Deluxe Toronto Sound Mixers worked endlessly on this emotional and beautiful movie. We are SO proud of our guys, and to tell you they are just “gob-smacked” to be recognized in this way (as they also were while attending the Oscar Nominee Photo Shoot & Luncheon, in LA) is an understatement. I just wish the Canadian Media would give them all the kudos due, instead of continually focusing on the A-list Actor nominees.
Thank you again and, as you watch the Oscars on March 4th, please pay particular attention to the Sound Mixer category & root for Christian Cooke and Brad Zoern, and the Sound Design category for Nelson Ferreira and Nathan Robitaille. We will certainly be cheering loud & strong here in TO!!!! Have a wonderful weekend Erin 🙂
Thanks, Sharon – and you can bet a brow full of botox that we’ll be waving the maple leaf and crossing our fingers for The Shape of Water to make Canada proud once again! Have a terrific weekend and we’ll be back with you here on Monday.