March 7th, 2006

little review

Poem for Tuesday

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Nothing really exciting today, as I spent all morning writing up the Oscars for TrekToday (our lovely readers' commentary being not indigation that James Doohan was blown off in the memorial segment but indignation that we pointed out that Marina Sirtis was in Crash -- who's the bigger loser, suckers, the person reporting on it or the people hanging out at the TrekBBS insisting that Trek sucks) and then writing up the interview with Alice Krige to post Tuesday to coincide with the Borg Collective DVD set (what, you're not buying it? Me neither, I'm getting Goblet of Fire). Watched Rent on DVD, most of it with the kids...the usual truism that a movie is not a stage musical remains valid, but it was actually lots better than I was anticipating based on reviews I'd heard from friends, so like Phantom of the Opera I have to say that although it will not replace its original, I was very pleasantly surprised.

While I am extremely sorry that Brokeback Mountain did not win Best Picture, I have no real opinion on whether it was robbed, as many people on my friends list claim. I did not see Crash, so I have no way to assess the relative value of the movie, either in a vacuum or compared to other movies this year. But I will say that I do not believe Brokeback was "robbed" any more than at least twenty better movies I can think of that did not win Best Picture and in some cases were not nominated. Brokeback won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, which is one more major award than Kiss of the Spider Woman got in 1986 when Spielberg's watered-down but still well-worth-seeing The Color Purple didn't even get a director nomination, and the very mediocre Out of Africa took the top prize while Ran got the director nod but not Best Picture, plus Meryl Streep -- the only really good thing in Out of Africa -- didn't win for it.

Bottom line: I think Brokeback Mountain is an excellent film, and I really wanted it to win so that it would appear in all the Oscar's Greatest anthologies and the like -- it's a kind of legitimacy to win no matter how stupid the award system itself is. But I do not understand how people have the energy to rant and rant about a mass entertainment award when there is so much serious shit going on in the world. The movie lost, bummer, but I would so much rather rant about the way actual gay people are treated than the fact that self-absorbed L.A. beautiful people voted for a self-absorbed L.A. movie.

I just had to look up 1986 Oscars because I couldn't remember to whom Streep lost (Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful, one of those "Lifetime Achievement" Best Actress winners). What a year! Spider Woman, Ran, Color Purple, Witness, Brazil, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Prizzi's Honor, Agnes of God, Runaway Train, The Official Story, Jagged Edge, Murphy's Romance, Twice in a Lifetime, Mask...and even the "lighter" fare, Ladyhawke, Silverado, Cocoon, Back to the's not like Out of Africa sucked, just that, in a year with so much gold, it didn't particularly shine. 2006 faced a similar problem I think. To me Brokeback's loss wasn't like when Shakespeare in Love wound up on top of a mediocre crop in 1999 (I was rooting for Elizabeth, but it was Cate Blanchett who was robbed, not the film). I see typical Academy stupidity but I just don't see a big homophobic conspiracy in a year where Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Huffman were nominated, Hoffman won, Lee won, McMurtry and Osanna won and Capote and Brokeback were both nominated for the top award. And as with so many things, I get so sick of people attacking people who are basically on their side, just not as far to that side as one might wish, rather than attacking the things that are really messed up.

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Croydon Creek Nature Center on Sunday in the Rockville Civic Center Park. Though the discovery room activities were really geared for younger children than ours, the kids are always happy to be in a place with snakes, frogs and a variety of turtles, as well as Cosmo the screech owl.

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They also have trails through the woods behind Glenview Mansion so we hiked down to the creek -- a rather steep dropoff -- and along the water. I needed a walk in the woods today but as younger son had Mad Science and older son had fencing, I didn't get one. Tomorrow!