A Boomer's Blog

Notes for the Boomer Generation

Archive for the category “Movies”

Oscars

It’s Oscar time again!  On March 2, Ellen DeGeneres will host the 86th Oscars.  Of the past 85 Best Pictures, I have seen 61 of them.   I saw some of them, of course, many years after their release, on TV.  Here’s a list of all Best Pictures since the first ceremony was held in Hollywood in May 1929.

http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/legacy/best-pictures.html

My all time favorite from this list — Shakespeare in Love, 1998.  How many of them have you seen?  The winner the first year, 1929, was Wings, the only silent film to win Best Picture until The Artist came along in 2011 (although, technically, there was that one scene at the very end with a few sentences).

The first movie I ever saw was April Love with Pat Boone and Shirley Jones, in 1957.  I had just turned eight and saw it with an older girlfriend, my neighbor Peggy, who was ten.  I don’t remember a thing about that movie except that Peggy and I sang Pat’s hit song, April Love, all the way home.  I’ve been a movie geek ever since.  For years, my son was a movie projectionist, and I was able to get a fabulous Mom Discount, Free Admission.  I saw everything!  I no longer have a free ride, but one benefit of time passing by (so fast!  so fast!) is the Senior Discount.

My worst movie experience ever was attending the Twilight marathon at Scappoose Cinemas last year.  My friend Bobbi wanted to go, and I wanted to see her.  It sounded like a great adventure, FOUR TWILIGHT MOVIES IN A ROW!  Well, I had never seen them, and it’s a testament to my love of film (and my desire to spend time with a friend) that I was able to spend twelve hours watching these movies.  I rate this as my worst experience for two reasons, neither of which is about the movies themselves.  The movies were very entertaining!  In the Worst Ever category of Comfort, I was nearly unable to walk the next couple of days, due to spending twelve hours sitting in a movie theater seat.  This may have something to do with the aforementioned Senior Citizen status, but I’ll never do another marathon movie event again, because I believe it will kill me.  The second Worst Ever category is AudienceAt one point towards the end of the second movie, two women in their forties stood up and began screaming obscenities at each other because one woman accused the other of ‘talking’.  So they were shrieking SHUT UP, NO YOU SHUT UP, BITCH, and I missed some crucial lovey-poo dialogue at that moment.

Of this year’s nine nominees, I’ve seen them all.  I have my favorite movie and actors all picked out.  Did you love or hate any of these films?  Don’t you think that Christian Bale was so great in his role in American Hustle, that it took the first fifteen minutes of the movie to figure out that the character you were watching was him?  Here are the nine nominees for best picture this year:   American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Philomena, Her, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street. 

I’ll be hosting an Oscar Party in my small living room with the big TV, Sunday March 2.  You’re all invited, spaghetti dinner provided.

 

 

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Meryl and Tommy Lee Give Hope

My sister made a special trip, 30 miles one way to visit me, so that we could see “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.  She loves Meryl, her favorite actress.  I have always found Tommy Lee, with his gruff, no-nonsense screen persona, combined with brains (I know he was Al Gore’s roommate at Harvard) to be an irresistible combination.

My first reaction? Boy, have they gotten older along with the rest of us!   Then I admired these actors, Meryl and Jean Smart and Tommy Lee, for not having the plastic surgery like so many other celebrities do, trying to keep their 35-year-old faces.  They all looked like people in their sixties, and they are.  I really liked that.

The theater was full of other boomers like my sister and I, even at 2:30 on a sunny Saturday afternoon.  There were a lot of laughs, especially for Tommy Lee who played an unbearably pessimistic and complaining husband.  His character got a lot of laughs every time he complained, but I thought there was only a little exaggeration of this personality.  I’ve met, and married, a person like this character.

I’ve been on my own for many years and think that there is not a lot I could put up with from a partner or a boyfriend or a date.  I don’t give many second or third chances to correct a bad impression.  I have a tendency to walk off if confronted with bad behavior.  But I have not invested thirty years in a relationship.  It was hard for me to leave my marriage of only eight years, and I was suffering emotionally for most of it.  But I can understand Meryl’s character in the movie, wanting to work at a solution.  She wouldn’t walk away from her 30 year marriage and her emotional suffering was obvious.  They were living separate lives.  They had separate bedrooms and minimal, businesslike conversations.  He falls asleep in his chair every evening.  His wife decides to fight against the rut.  She wants her original husband to come back to her.

I have had this marriage.  My parents had this marriage.  I know several women of my age who have had or currently have this awful excuse for a marriage.  This movie addresses a problem that is widespread, if my anecdotal evidence can be trusted.  The saving grace of the marriage in the film was this:  they did still care deeply for each other.  Tommy Lee’s character, keeping his own counsel, gruff and uncommunicative, still respected and loved his wife.  This is what allowed them to bring the joyful aspects of their marriage back to life.

There was sex in the sixties in this movie.  No, not the Sex in The Sixties that some of us recklessly indulged in, but sex by people in their sixties.  No nude scenes!  But, be warned, pretty realistic.  These two veteran actors have my lifelong admiration for putting themselves out there in this performance.

‘Hope Springs’ is a hopeful movie.  But if a stagnant marriage includes drugs or alcohol dependence, mental cruelty, physical abuse, chronic infidelity……….  Steve Carrell’s counselor won’t be able to help.

Yay for writer Vanessa Taylor for providing a good script and a movie for the boomer demographic.  Ms. Taylor, I have learned, is unmarried, in her thirties, and is a writer for “Game of Thrones” on HBO.  Who’da thunk it?

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