A bit of a slow start to the ol’ blogging year from the “Mountains Beyond Mountains” gang. We had some technical difficulties right from the “get go” so we stumbled a bit, and then David Bowie up and died on us, and we felt like we should write something about that, and we did. And then, before the ink was dry on the galleys (we do things the artisanal way here at the MBM HQ), Alan Rickman had to follow suit. We were just about to write a loving tribute to Alan Rickman and all the times we’ve enjoyed him in movies when the worst blow of all came. Yes, that’s right. Rene Angelil, the husband and manager of Quebecois chanteuse Celine Dion finally succumbed to the cancer he was telling everyone about for almost 20 years.
Well, you can imagine the mood around the lighthouse when that third and final bit of celebrity death news was delivered to us by passenger pigeon. As an editorial team, we decided to burn the Alan Rickman galleys outside in a bonfire, and we fired up our CD player with all the Celine Dion music we had laying around. You may think that Rene Angelil would be an easy target for us to lampoon here at MBM, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Sure, he was like in his 30’s when he first met Celine Dion, and Celine Dion was 12 or something. And sure, he looked creepy. And yes, there were all those UNPROVEN allegations that the guy was a grade-A perv, especially if you had the misfortune of taking an elevator ride alone with him. And yet, he must have been doing something right. He seemed to have a successful and happy marriage to Celine Dion, something that I would imagine would be nightmarish to most.
Ah well, the end was that no one around here really felt like writing for a while, and so we didn’t. Amidst that week of triple death, the Oscar Nominations had the stupid luck of being announced, and no sooner had people realized that happened that people were complaining that for two years now all the acting categories were filled with WHITES, and this was frustrating and dumb to many people of colour, and I would imagine many people of non-colour. Albinos, if you will. I heard the albino community was just as upset at the Academy’s lack of diversity. It’s as if they hired Chris Rock as the host and then said, “Well, that takes care of THAT,” and got onto other business. Remember when Paul Bettany played that evil albino guy in “The Da Vinci Code” and everyone was like ‘That’s terrible. Albinos are people too!” Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw an honest to goodness albino out walking around in the streets? It’s been awhile. I just watched “Selma” on the weekend, and I remember that movie made some waves last year, but was shut out of the major awards, taking just “original song” by John Legend and Common. Common, as it turns out, has a role in “Selma” as “one of the guys that hangs out with Dr. King”. You know what? I don’t know a thing about Common, but I like what I see. I think a friend of mine said something similar around awards season when he would pop up, accept an award, make a thoughtful and passionate speech, and then was gone. I think that’s his way. He’s like an oral Lone Ranger, (I welcome your emails), who stays out of the limelight but then is RIGHT THERE (Boom!) just when you need him.
Where am I going with all this? Oh yes, it’s been an annual tradition around here since we started this blog ALMOST FIVE YEARS AGO, to write up a little “Oscar” preview, and the joke always was that I had never seen any of the best picture movies so I would say silly things about each one and we all had a bit of a laugh and moved on. And sure enough, out of the 8 nominated this year, I’ve only seen 3 this year too. “The Martian”, “Bridge of Spies” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”. It just FEELS like I’ve seen 4, from everything I’ve heard about “Brooklyn”, so you know what? Screw it. I’m counting “Brooklyn” as one of the movies I’ve seen. I hear it was beautifully shot. I MEAN “It was beautifully shot!” and the lady from Educating Rita is really great as the boarding house matron. Her scenes were some of my favourite. So that means I just need to see “The Revenant”, which I sort of want to see. I mean, it looks harrowing, but I am a sucker for the steadicam tracking shots and I hear this movie has a bunch. For those that saw “Birdman” last year, (same director. A chap from MEXICO. Does that count as a person of colour? He certainly is swarthy), that whole damn movie was one shot. (Or at least it was edited together to look like it was. I’m sure they filmed it over a couple of days or something. It’s not like the “you are a tourist” video from Death Cab for Cutie, or “Sweetest Thing” vid from U2. Those are the real deal. What’s next? “Spotlight”? I overheard that it is a “renter”, and so it shall be. Then what? “The Big Short”? No thanks. It looks like “The Wolf of Wall Street” but less interesting (and I HATED The Wolf of Wall Street). and that just leaves room for, um “Room”. The book club ladies at my library read this one in September and all seemed to enjoy it, but from what I’ve heard it’s like “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” but with less jokes. I’ll only see it if I am guaranteed a remix of “Pinot Noir” over the end credits.
If I had to choose a winner out of all of these choices, I am guessing “The Revenant” will win, but out of the 3 (4!) that I’ve seen, I enjoyed “Mad Max: Fury Road” the most. (But “Brooklyn” was a close second! You have to see it, guys!)