Five years ago, my grandson, Timmy, was born during Holy Week. When he turned 3, his birthday fell on Easter Sunday. I’m guessing that will happen a lot throughout his life.
Three years ago, my granddaughter Laney was born in the month of November. Her most recent birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day. I’m guessing that will happen a lot throughout her life.
Last year, my youngest grandchild, Amelia, was born in March — just in time for the annual Academy Awards broadcast.
What better way for this little one to celebrate her 1st birthday than with an Oscar-themed party? Especially since my daughter, Lindsay Tyson, the mother of all these precious children, is an Academy Awards enthusiast.
Lindsay has the red carpet and the giant Oscar statuette, the clapboard, movie posters, trivia games and Academy Award photo booth. All that’s left is to dress the birthday girl in a black “evening gown,” add pearls, a tiara and voila! We have a miniature Audrey Hepburn ready for her breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Once all the presents have been opened and the smash cake has been thoroughly smashed, the focus will turn to Hollywood as the movie-loving adults anxiously await tonight’s opening of the envelopes.
In preparation for this annual awards show, Lindsay sets a goal of seeing every nominated movie. Not just those up for Best Actor or Best Director, but EVERY nominated film: sound, screenplay, foreign, short, animated and so on. (She has yet to pull it off.)
Focusing only on the nine that are nominated for 2018 Best Picture, Lindsay shared her opinion of each one:
“Call Me By Your Name:” I was troubled by the age difference (17 and 35) of the two main characters as their relationship developed. It left me feeling uneasy, with a sense of sadness. My favorite character was the boy’s father. He set an example of how a supportive parent should be.
“Darkest Hour:” I went into this thinking I wouldn’t like it, that it’d be dry and boring. But I was captivated the whole time and drawn into the story. Gary Oldman was perfect as Winston Churchill.
“Dunkirk:” This story about British troops, surrounded by Nazis, was presented as a series of sub-stories that intertwined. Some of those stories were more tedious than interesting. I think this rescue mission deserved to be told better.
“Get Out:” This was a suspenseful movie with surprising twists that I didn’t expect. There were plenty of moments when I was holding my breath and my heart was racing. It’s not going to win, but it might take Best Screenplay. It was certainly a clever plot.
“Lady Bird:” This was my favorite of all the nominees. Like Lady Bird, I also went to Catholic school and could relate to her teenage angst, as well as the relationships between friends and, more specifically, her mother. Most any mom and daughter could relate to this movie. I want to see it again.
“Phantom Thread:” This movie, about a dressmaker who hides messages in the clothes he designs, was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. He has a reputation for telling a story s-l-o-w-l-y. This movie was long and yes, slow. (I may, or may not, have nodded off a couple of times.) It took me a few days to process it, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
“The Post:” This was the story of the Washington Post debating whether to publish a top-secret Pentagon study about Vietnam. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. With Steven Spielberg directing and Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks starring, it was a first-class production, but overall, I felt like it was too drawn-out.
“The Shape of Water:” Some may think this was just a story about a monster in the water, but I looked at it as a love story between two outcasts of society. Neither of them could speak, but they knew how to communicate with each other. I call it a modern-day fairy tale.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri:” I really enjoyed this movie. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell were perfect in their roles as cops, and Lucas Hedges as the son was outstanding. That kid’s going places. It was Frances McDormand who stole the show, though. She played a mother who wanted answers about her daughter’s murder. She was strong and not intimidated by anyone. I bet she’s going to win Best Actress (although I’m personally rooting for Lady Bird’s Saoirse Ronan).
Donna Barton’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.