27 Days of Oscar: Day 20, wake up calls
I had been comparing this year's Oscar season and Oscar watching with year's past...as I often do, but this year with the added (dis)pleasure of Facebook Memories.
The past two weeks I have been working hard to finish out the foreign film category (and by finish out, I mean, watch all the nominees if that wasn't obvious) and arrange interviews with the directors (success with "Embrace of the Serpent" and "A War," failure with "Son of Saul," even though I did get a response to my initial reaching out). All of this with the intent of publishing my anual piece for Awards Daily. I began to panic a little when FB showed me that I had published already while still having a film left to watch. And here I thought I was doing pretty good.
Yesterday I got myself up, sat at my desk and worked on the piece. It took me a bit of time because I had decided that the whole thing was going to revolve around a memory I had of watching "Tsotsi" back in 2006...how I almost walked out of the theatre but couldn't because I was trapped in a very small theatre at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I didn't leave...I ended up loving the film. Etc. Etc. This was going to connect with the fact that I assumed "Mustang" was directed by a man because of how the camera initially was observing the young women in the film...but a quick look on IMDB made me realize that my own preconceived notions kept me from seeing what was actually on the screen. Once I opened my eyes the beauty of the film was simply there.
I tried to tie these ideas together for with my interviews with Ciro Guerra (Serpent) and Tobias Lindholm (A War) but I eventually had to scrap the whole thing. Not always an easy thing to do. That being said, it got written and is in the hands of my editors. It should be published on Monday. Just in time for last minute voters to possibly be swayed by my opinions. That's really want the PR folk want when they send me these screeners.
Last night, after falling asleep watching the live action shorts I decided it would be perfectly fine to go to bed. I still have a week...there aren't that many movies to watch, right? Then suddenly I remembered that I hadn't seen "Youth" yet. And then the unfortunate realization that I didn't have a copy of it. I scanned my emails. Did I know who was handling the film? Could I get a copy? Perhaps I would have to buy it. But I honestly don't have the money today to buy films I am only going to watch once. But...of course...for the Oscars I would probably do it anyway. (Luckily, it is available to rent on iTunes on the 23rd!)
I went to bed and started to run through the films I still hadn't seen. I may have to rent "The Hunting Ground" (another instance of getting an initial response and never getting the link. Weinstein Co has been wonderful to me over the past couple of years...so hopefully the link will arrive shortly.) That led me to remember that I hadn't yet finished "Fifty Shades of Grey" (mostly because I thought it was terrible and didn't imagine 6 months ago that it would get nominated for an Oscar and turned it off halfway through!) which again led to more panicking as more and more films popped into my head. How on Earth am I going to get all this done in time!
Then...this morning I calmed down a little.
The FB memory from today reminded me that last year the Oscars were on the 22nd! No wonder I had already published at this point and had seen more of the films. I have a whole other week.
Anyway...today I'm watching "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" as well as "Cinderella" (I think) and the remaining live action shorts and tomorrow I will break down some of the "below the line" nominees. And later in the week I will publish my Top 10, Top Performances, and finalize my predictions. As well as watch the following movies:
Winter on Fire
Straight Outta Compton
The Look of Silence
Boy and the World
The Hunting Ground
Fifty Shades of Grey
It will happen!