Been watching some of the Oscar nominees for best picture--three, so far.
1) Get Out. Although this is a horror film, the main point here is race, and the movie does a good job of describing the issues at the most essential level, and is bound to be troubling to a certain number of white people--but of course, those would be unlikely to watch the movie anyway. It is unusual for a horror film to be up for an Oscar, and there's probably a good reason for this--for whatever else a horror film tries to be, it still gets stuck in the domain of its genre. Nonetheless, it is a worthy film for the value of its message. Additionally, there is one scene featuring a minor character (the black woman playing the housemaid) that is worth watching the entire film to see. How this actress managed to weep while at the same time maintaining a stoic, dispassionate expression, I do not know. Amazing!
2) Lady Bird. I like this one a lot! A girl's 'coming of age' story that paints a perfect picture of that general disaster in life otherwise known as 'the teenage years'. Funny, blunt, heartwarming, heartrending--one feels himself grow along with the protagonist. Really very well done, I thought.
3) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I found this one pretentious, shallow, fake. In a way, this movie is about everything that is wrong with America, though it certainly does not intend to be. It takes itself very seriously indeed, straining till it's red in the face to be super-duper realistic and profound, even as it takes contemporary Hollywood platitudes about gender, social injustice, race, and religion and inserts them as crassly as possible into the mouths of actors trying, with a really heroic sort of ineptitude, to portray Missouri hicks. Irritating. I was just barely able to watch all the way through.
That's all, folks!