Thoughts on Best Picture nominees

I was very behind in the movie watching department and until a week ago I’d seen only one of the films (Arrival) nominated for Best Picture. This week I watched three more, so I’m feeling more informed.

Here are my thoughts:

Arrival: Lovely, mediative science fiction—which is a rare beast. I also really appreciated the emphasis on linguistics, highlighting the critical importance of understanding the nuances of a language. I’m very glad that it was nominated, although I don’t know if I think it should win.

Hidden Figures: Really well done, great acting, and a story that we need in so many different ways right now. I really liked it, not sure if I loved it.

Moonlight: This was the heartbreaker and real surprise for me. It was one of those films that I went into a little apprehensive because I’d heard that it was extremely good but I hadn’t really heard what it was about, and since I tend to be very plot oriented I get suspicious when reviews are vague about what happens. But it was beautiful and, to me at least, a love story. I am a sucker for a good love story, especially if it is also really sad.

La La Land: I think this one suffered a bit under all the hype for me. I liked it, but I don’t know if it was special enough for me. And the Ryan Gosling character really rubbed me the wrong way, especially in contrast with the effervescent Emma Stone character. I do have a soft spot for movies about LA though, and this definitely hit the spot there.

Writing: January was all the writing, all of the time. I am now temporarily, nervously, paused.

Reading: I recently finished Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. I lived in Washington state from sixth grade until a few years after college, and while I was a bit on the young side for most of the events that she covers, I definitely had friends who were into Sleater-Kinney and it was interesting to read about the band, and Carrie Brownstein’s experiences with it. I am not a huge music person so I appreciated getting this glimpse into what it means to  care about trying to achieve a unique sound. The writing was beautiful as well. I am now just a few pages into The Association of Small Bombs—so far it is really good, but I’m in a highly distractible mood right now so I’m finding it hard to sit down and settle into it.


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