I know, I know: We’re told we can’t trust the media and we should only trust the White House even as scientific facts are erased from all official documents. We’re being told that some of the poorest but hardest working people of our Nation are evil and are trying to undermine American Life. We’re being told that the left-wing is a bunch of violent terrorists who must be stopped to regain order in the universe.
It’s real easy to feel like we’re only being controlled by the whims of mad billionaires, but don’t worry there’s a silver lining: THE OSCARS! With this singular event, everything will fix itself and Donald Trump will take off a mask and reveal that he’s Bernie Sanders! He wanted a Best Costuming Oscar, and he won it! WAY TO GO, BERNIE!
As always, so we can prepare for the new golden age as dictated by Hollywood Elite, I present to you a brief summary of the only three Oscar categories that matter: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing. Like I said, the Oscars will make everything better.
La La Land (Nominated for all three! There’s to the ones that dream!)
Mia and Sebastian are two attractive people who love to dance! Things turn out to be not all they seem, though, as late one night when Mia goes to Seastian’s club with her anonymous husband and comes to a terrifying realization: THIS IS NOT HER LIFE. What follows is a musical journey through a war between two universes: The City of Stars and the Days of Sun- as well as a quick trip through a pocket universe of flying telescopes. In the end, Mia and Sebastian have to decide which universe to save and which to let crumble into the sea of the cosmos.
Arrival (Nominated for all three! I guess this movies truly “Arrived”!)
When Alien Pod lands on Earth, everyone panics. “Oh No, This is going to be like Alien Movies and the Aliens are going to attack us and eat our skin because they are Aliens and they are different and they are Scary!” Says the Military headed by the Human Scowl Jeremy Renner. But then Earth’s savior comes in the form of Language Woman! Language Woman- played with aplomb by Amy Adams- draws pictures and makes language with the aliens. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker frown at each other from across the Military Table “I don’t know, I think we should shoot guns at it” says Renner. “Well I think we should shoot bombs at it” says Whitaker. “No! I have the answer!”, Amy Adams breaks through a wall waving her Language around, “We should shoot words at it!”. Everyone claps, including the Aliens who have four hands to clap with. Thank you Amy Adams for telling us what to shoot. Don’t worry, the aliens still rip a giant space hole in the sky and there’s still a massive CGI battle against alien invaders. I mean, otherwise this wouldn’t be a Science Fiction movie right?
Moonlight (Nominated for all three! I guess they should have called this movie “The Professional Circuit”!)
Taking place over three different time periods, Moonlight follows Chiron, a black man growing up on the mean streets of Miami. Chiron grows up being bullied because of his reserved nature and small stature and he only has one friend: Kevin. Chiron’ Mother gives him little help as he navigates life- she is addicted to crack- and he gets what guidance he can from local drug dealer Juan. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when it turns out that Kevin is a vampire! Kevin turns Chiron into a vampire too, and the two of them become Private investigators. This doesn’t sit well with Juan, who wanted Chiron to grow up and take over the Drug Business. So Juan sends out his vampire thugs to hunt down Chiron and Kevin and turn them to dust, then collect this dust and put it into gel tablets which Juan can then sell as a party drug (SPOILER ALERT, the drug is called “Moonlight”). Flash forward ten years, Kevin and Chiron have moved to the streets of Los Angeles where the two of them have a run down detective agency called “City Angels”. Unfortunately things take another bad turn when the Agency’s owner, Maudie Hayes (played by a young Cybill Shepherd) wants to sell the agency. Instead she joins the Vampire Detectives on the streets and soon Chiron starts to develop romantic feelings for her. That’s when Juan catches up to the two with a terrifying secret: He’s also a vampire now! A deadly game of cat and mouse follows, and by the end only two people will walk out of that detective agency alive (And the detective agency was renamed “Blue Moon”. Also, Juan’s still selling Moonlight and Maddie’s younger sister is addicted to it and may be becoming a vampire herself because of it).
Hacksaw Ridge (Nominated for all three! That may just be a ridge too far!)
Desmond T. Doss is a World War II Army Medic in the battle of Okinawa. He becomes the first person to win the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot, as he thinks that enough people are trying to destroy the world and he wanted to put it back together. Along the way he bonds with his army corporals and sergeants and teaches them important lessons on nonviolence. He also finds an attractive army nurse who he falls in love with and marries. The movie is narrated by an older Desmond Doss, and ends with the Elder Doss saying “In the end, I suppose I learnt everything I needed to on Hacksaw Ridge. And I can still see that sunset in my dreams”.
Hell or High Water (Nominated for Best Editing and Best Picture. They almost made it to all three, but then came Hell or High- well you get it)
Cowboys! In 1888 the chilly Colorado River was rising, threatening to drown the low-down cattle town of Diablo. A shady developer rolls into town and tells the folks “Ya know, yer town ain’t gonna see the light fer much longer. I could build a levee round here, but it’ll cost ya'”. The Developer- Chris Pine in a career-defining performance as Toby Howard- makes more and more insidious demands on the townsfolk and bleeds them of all their money. That’s when Diablo decides to take justice into their own hands, and hire a Cowboy! Morally-questionable antihero Cowboy Tanner Howard is hired to ride into town and have a shootout with Toby Howard who (surprise!) is his brother. “Pow! Pow! Pow!” Go the guns. “Die! Die! Die!” Go the Cowfolk. “Neigh! Neigh! Neigh!” Go the horses. In the end, someone will die… come Hell or High Water.
Manchester by the Sea (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. It should have been Manchester by the Supreme Disappointment)
In the sleepy Massachusetts hamlet Manchester-by-the-sea is a lighthouse that the locals have blocked off. Then, one day a child walks into town and up to the lighthouse. The child, Young Patrick, knocks on the door and the haggard, forgotten Affleck brother Casey opens the door. “Hello this isn’t Boston”, says Casey. “I know and I’m also your son” says Young Patrick. Casey does a spit take, and then walks around in circles saying “Oh my I can’t be a father I’m not the Affleck playing Batman!”. In the end, Young Patrick learns about Lighthouses and Casey learns that you don’t have to be Oscar-winning writer and director to be an Oscar-winning father (although Ben Affleck is up for the “Best Father” Oscar this year while Casey was snubbed. Poor poor Casey).
Hidden Figures (Only Best Picture? It’s like this movie wasn’t even trying!)
Taking place from 1991 to 1993 and following an group of publishers, computer scientists, and magicians as they work to create Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru Magic Eye – the very first Magic Eye book to receive widespread popularity. From there we continue to follow this ragtag team of misfits to their next big milestone in 1993: The release of Magic Eye: A New Way of Looking at the World, the very first Magic Eye book to be published in North America. Drama happens, some of the computer scientists blame the magicians for forgetting what Magic Eye was really about, and the whole Magic Eye team looks like it will fall apart giving the world no more books of random points that people can lie about seeing a unicorn in. Then, as if by magic, all conflicts are resolved and the team realizes that the only real magic is the magic of friendship.
Fences (Only Nominated for Best Picture. The other two categories already had plenty of fences)
Based off of the award-winning play by August Wilson, Fences is a tale about race, class, and the barriers between the two. Since it was first performed at the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center it has, unfortunately, remained chillingly relevant and has caused some controversy because of it. Most notably (and this is a fault also shared by the film, making it’s nomination for Best Picture surprising) there is only one fence in the entire piece. It isn’t even there for most of the piece. Also, adding to this upheaval of title conventions, the characters are not professional fencers (both in terms of people who install fences, but also in terms of not being professional sword fighters). Had this been changed for the film adaptation, and Fences be about a group of sword fighters traveling around Pittsburgh and building as many fences as they can, Denzel Washington may have also been nominated for Best Director making the 89th Academy Awards Ceremony the first ever to have two black men nominated for Best Director.
Lion (Only Best Picture. I’d be “Lion” if I said this was an accomplishment)
One of the big questions surrounding Cartoon Network’s hit animated series Steven Universe is who and what exactly Lion is. Is Lion pink diamond? Rose Quartz? Was that indeed an early form of Lion that we saw in the episode “Buddy’s Book”? All of these questions and more are answered in the feature-length film Lion. Taking place during the time that Steven and the Crystal gems are saving Greg from Blue Diamond and the Human Zoo and Connie and the Crystal Temps are running/ruining the car wash, the film follows the exploits of Lion who uses this time to reflect on his long and storied life. For the sake of keeping this spoiler free I won’t go on, but let’s just say: Pink Diamond willingly shattered herself as Yellow Diamond had found out that Pink had been funding the Crystal Gem rebellion; Pink trusted Rose to use her healing powers to bring her back once the Diamond Authority thought she was dead, but Rose’s powers could only go so far. In the end, Rose was able to transfer some of Pink Diamond’s essence into Lion, though to say that Lion is Pink diamond is like saying Steven is Rose Quartz. It may take a few months for the events of this feature length film to be proved canonical, but this is as true as the Uncle Grandpa crossover episode.