Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Oscar the grouch

I've seen four and a bit of a fifth of the movies nominated in this year's Academy Awards, which is more than average for me. I saw Tár because I was curious to see a movie about a symphony conductor. I found it intriguing but baffling. I saw Everything Everywhere All At Once because it was highly praised in circles I frequent. I found it clotted and unnecessarily incoherent: it tried but failed to make its messiness a delight. I saw Turning Red because it was supposed to be a good animation about a girl on the fringe of adolescence: not bad, but a sad runner-up in a world with Encanto in it. I saw Top Gun: Maverick for the heck of it, because I'd enjoyed other recent Tom Cruise blockbusters: also not bad, and far more watchable than its predecessor, but the plot was naked button-pushing that broke the implausibility meter. Other action movies go over the top with glee and gusto; this one just went. And I started Glass Onion, because it also has been highly praised in circles I frequent, and the opening scenes were impressively imaginative, but it soon settled down to being a country-house murder mystery, a genre I have no interest in, so I turned it off. And Daniel Craig was hideously miscast. To think he used to play James Bond, yeesh.

There's not much else on the nomination list I want to see. I might see The Fabelmans mostly because I'm curious about an autobiographical film by someone who used to live in my neck of the woods. I don't want to see Avatar: The Way of Water because one of those was enough. I don't want to see The Banshees of Inisherin because I don't want to see a movie about friends having a gruesome argument. I don't want to see Living because I don't want to see a depressing story that's merely a showcase for great acting. And I don't want to see Women Talking because I already know that men are scum, I don't need it pounded in.

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