‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Is Big Winner at the Oscars – The New York Times

“In the late 1960s, young cineastes shook up a moribund film industry by delivering idiosyncratic, startlingly original work. The moment became known as New Hollywood.

When film historians look back at the 95th Academy Awards, they may mark it as the start of a new New Hollywood. Voters honored A24’s head-twisting, sex toy-brandishing, TikTok-era “Everything Everywhere All at Once” with the Oscar for best picture — along with six other awards — while naming Netflix’s German-language war epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” the winner in four categories, including best international film.

The Daniels, the young filmmaking duo behind the racially diverse “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” won Oscars for their original screenplay and directing. (The Daniels is an oh-so-cool sobriquet for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. They are both 35.) The film, which received a field-leading 11 nominations, also won Oscars for film editing, best actress and best supporting actor and actress, with Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis honored for their performances.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT  NYT Comment:

I enjoyed the Oscars, and especially the work of the MC, Jimmy Kimmel, but went to bed at about the half-time, im honor of morning tennis. I will watch the rest very soon. I’m happy for Michelle Yeoh, she was my first choice for best actress, but then, I only saw five of the 10 movies nominated for best picture. Everything Everywhere, all at once was shockingly funny and entertaining, and yet, with plenty of pathos, and brilliant comedic martial arts. It could have been called, A Satire on Everything, including Jackie Chan Chinese Martial Arts comedies.

I saw Avatar, the way of water, Everything Everywhere, all at once, The Fabelmans, Elvis and Top Gun Maverick. I offer two of my own Oscars, I give an Oscar to Avatar, the way of water, for being the most environmentally concious movie of the year. It remains my favorite of the five I saw. I give an oscar to the most deserving film that was overlooked, to Talking Women. Everyone should see both of these films. They are both important on different but major topics. My Lady and I predict that Talking Women will grow in fame with the passing of time for its timeless discussion of women’s rights and responsibilites. The only oscar recipients who can receive full credit from me, an A+, besides for not being boring, must acknowledge that all the other contenders in their category were also worthy of recognition, so the real honor is to be in their company. It is important to remind the audience that many movies are so unique, it is a stretch to compare them to another which is of another type. David blogs at InconvenientNews.net

Mick LaSalle Review: Michelle Yeoh beats Marvel in the multiverse game in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ | Datebook

Mick LaSalle 

“. . . .  Without question, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a remarkable piece of work, one of the most original and creative films of the past couple of years. It’s so much its own thing that it’s hard to imagine how it was ever put together — how it was conceived, written, filmed and edited. Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known collectively as Daniels) had nothing to fall back on, no genre conventions, no established patterns. They made this one up on their own.

If the movie has one weakness, it’s that it’s not nearly as enjoyable as it is brilliant. A movie like this is a full meal, and after two hours and 12 minutes, viewers may start to feel as force-fed as a goose on a French farm. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” never slows down and never wastes the audience’s time, and yet it’s safe to say that no one will walk out of the theater wishing it were 10 minutes longer.

It stars Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, a harried middle-aged woman trying to run a struggling laundry business. Her tax returns are being audited, and she feels that she’s not getting enough help from her sweet-natured husband (Ke Huy Quan). She tends to take her frustrations out on her lesbian daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), whom she can’t stop criticizing for everything, including her weight.

In the early minutes, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” could be a Chinese film. It’s almost entirely subtitled, and it has the frenetic pace of a Chinese comedy. As it goes on, it never quite loses that feeling, but it broadens. On the elevator, heading to the IRS office, Evelyn is told by a messenger from another universe that she is the only person with the power to save all the millions of universes from chaos and destruction.

This notion of a multiverse is getting a lot of traction in recent movies, but “Everything Everywhere All at Once” does it more and does it better — way better than the Marvel movies. The idea here is that the various Evelyns collectively have all the talents and capabilities that this Evelyn needs to possess in order to fight a war single-handedly. She just has to get more adept at establishing a mental connection with each Evelyn as required.”

Source: Review: Michelle Yeoh beats Marvel in the multiverse game in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ | Datebook

‘80 for Brady’ Review: Remember These Titans – The New York Times


80 for Brady
Directed by Kyle Marvin
Comedy, Drama, Sport
1h 38m

“Tom Brady, the oldest starting quarterback in N.F.L. history, has said he is retiring “for good” at the age of 45. But at a combined age of 335, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Rita Moreno muscle “80 for Brady,” a comedy about a fan club’s frenetic Super Bowl weekend, over the goal line. The setup is that Lou (Tomlin), who is living with cancer, is adamant that she and her besties will attend a Super Bowl before she returns an urgent message from her oncologist. Betty (Field), a math professor, calculates that they have a .0013% chance of winning a call-in contest to see the 2017 showdown between Brady’s New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. But wish fulfillment is in their favor, as is the director Kyle Marvin’s choice to treat obstacles like breakaway paper banners to be torn through by its winning team.”

Gina Lollobrigida, Italian Movie Legend, Is Dead at 95 – The New York Times


“Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian movie actress who became one of the post-World War II era’s first major European sex symbols, has died. She was 95.

Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italy’s culture minister, confirmed Ms. Lollobrigida’s death on social media.

Ms. Lollobrigida had already appeared in more than two dozen European films when she made her first English-language movie: John Huston’s 1953 camp drama, “Beat the Devil,” in which she played Humphrey Bogart’s wife and partner in crime. That film, and the attention she garnered in “Fanfan la Tulipe,” an Italian-French period comedy released in the United States the same year, were enough to put her on the cover of Time magazine in 1954.

She went on to unqualified American movie stardom, exuding a wholesome lustiness in a handful of high-profile films. She starred in “Trapeze” (1956) with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis; “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1956), as Esmeralda, Quasimodo’s beloved Gypsy beauty (Anthony Quinn played Quasimodo); “Solomon and Sheba” (1959), a biblical epic with Yul Brynner; “Come September” (1961), a romantic comedy with Rock Hudson; and “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell” (1968), a comedy about an unwed mother.

Throughout her career, however, she continued to make many more European films than American ones. She starred with the continent’s leading men, including Jean-Paul Belmondo, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Yves Montand.”

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Review: Big Blue Marvel – The New York Times

“Way back in 2009, “Avatar” arrived on screens as a plausible and exciting vision of the movie future. Thirteen years later, “Avatar: The Way of Water” — the first of several long-awaited sequels directed by James Cameron — brings with it a ripple of nostalgia.

The throwback sensation may hit you even before the picture starts, as you unfold your 3-D glasses. When was the last time you put on a pair of those? Even the anticipation of seeing something genuinely new at the multiplex feels like an artifact of an earlier time, before streaming and the Marvel Universe took over.

The first “Avatar” fused Cameron’s faith in technological progress with his commitments to the primal pleasures of old-fashioned storytelling and the visceral delights of big-screen action. The 3-D effects and intricately rendered digital landscapes — the trees and flowers of the moon Pandora and the way creatures and machines swooped and barreled through them — felt like the beginning of something, the opening of a fresh horizon of imaginative possibility.”

David Lindsay: I took my family to Avatar, the way of water, on Christmas day in the afternoon. Kathleen and I loved this film, as we did the first Avatar. My son and daughter both liked it very much, but thought it was too long, or way too long.

I liked it way more that AO Scott, who gives it something like a 7, I give it a 9/10. I would have given it a 10, if it had only had an intermission, since it runs 3 hours and 12 minutes, with over 25 minutes? of previews.

I want my tennis buddy from Exxon Mobil to see Avatar 1, followed by this sequel, #2, to learn a little of the religious philosohy called deep ecolgy. Deep ecologist, like the aliens on the magical moon-planet, in this movie, do not see themselves as more spiritual than other species, but equals to all ofther forms of life, in an intricate web of sustainable, and not polluting, existence in harmony with nature. Both films are many things: including good stories, and a call to a return to a sustainable way of life, that would protect our wonderful life and delicate ecology from dying.

Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, and starring Bruce WillisEdward NortonBill MurrayFrances McDormandTilda SwintonJason SchwartzmanBob Balaban, and introducing Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Largely set on the fictional island of New Penzance somewhere off the coast of New England, it tells the story of an orphan boy (Gilman) who escapes from a scouting camp to unite with his pen pal and love interest, a girl with aggressive tendencies (Hayward). Feeling alienated from their guardians and shunned by their peers, the lovers abscond to an isolated beach. Meanwhile, the island’s police captain (Willis) organizes a search party of scouts and family members to locate the runaways.

In crafting their screenplay, Anderson and Coppola drew from personal experiences and memories of childhood fantasies as well as films including Melody (1971) and The 400 Blows (1959). Auditions for child actors took eight months, and filming took place in Rhode Island over three months in 2011.

Moonrise Kingdom premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim, with its themes of young love, child sexuality, juvenile mental health, and the Genesis flood narrative being praised. Critics cited the film’s color palette and use of visual symmetry as well as the use of original composition by Alexandre Desplat to supplement existing music by Benjamin Britten. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. In 2016, the BBC included the film in its list of greatest films of the twenty-first century.

Source: Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

David Lindsay: What a wonderful movie, Moonrise Kingdom, recommended by Cynthia Whear, after we discussed our appreciation for art works and musicals that reference Noah’s Flood.

Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due – David Priest – CNET

David Priest headshot
David Priest

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and … it gets everywhere.” It’s one of the most painful lines in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and it’s only made worse by Anakin’s halting delivery and awkward hand-stroking of Padmé.

Sure, the prequels brought us Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. But George Lucas made so many terrible creative decisions in that prequel trilogy that fans were excited when Disney tapped the rock-steady J.J. Abrams to lead a new series of Star Wars movies in 2015. Unlike George Lucas, Abrams can write dialogue that isn’t excruciating, and more importantly, he’s proved himself a gifted guide for large franchises with untapped potential (Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and Cloverfield). And yet…

When the new Disney Star Wars trilogy drew to a close with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, I found myself genuinely longing for the days of the prequels. What I’m feeling isn’t nostalgia. And it isn’t ironic “love” for schlocky cinema that animates prequel-memeing Redditors, either.”

Source: Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due

‘CODA’ Triumphs at the Oscars, but Onstage Slap Takes Center Stage – The New York Times

“LOS ANGELES — In an Academy Awards ceremony where an onstage altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock overshadowed the honors, “CODA” from Apple TV+ won the Oscar for best picture, becoming the first film from a streaming service to be welcomed into that rarefied Hollywood club.

The 94th Academy Awards on Sunday had a freewheeling, irreverent tone from their start, with ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences laboring to prove that the Oscars could be lively and culturally relevant. By the ceremony’s end, it was certainly a night for the Hollywood ages.

An emotional Will Smith won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard” as the fiery, flawed coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Moments earlier, the ceremony had been derailed when Smith strode onstage from his seat and — in what at first seemed like it could be a preplanned bit — slapped Rock, who had just cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wa Rhiit,” Rock said, a reference to her shaved head. She revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018. Demi Moore famously shaved her head to star in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” “

David Lindsay:  Thank you Brooks Barnes and  for an excellent review of last night’s 94th Oscars, 2022, about 2021. I was delighted that CODA won, and I was one of the 6 percent of viewer s who lasted all the way through The Power of the Dog, which my partner loved.

This year was a record breaker for me. 40 years ago I used to not see any new movies until I watched the Oscars, during which, I would choose the three movies of the year I would see. This year I had actually seen six of the nominees for best picture, Dune, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, CODA, Macbeth, and The Power of the Dog. CODA was the clear winner in my heart, because it was delightful, surprising, funny, exciting, and you could recommend it to your Aunt Mildred and Uncle Joe in the mid west, to watch with their teen age children, and it wouldn’t scar the younger children either. Dune was extraordinary.

I was infuriated repeatedly by the Oscars show last night, and they need a new director, and a return to the good old days, when they showed extensive clips of the best film nominees,and of the other nominees, so the audience can learn about the movies, most of which, we haven’t seen, and don’t know anything about. Making the show an insiders game for those who have already seen all the movies, is a recipe for a bad show that deserves its declining ratings. Bringing back the host, or hosts, was a move in the right direction, but adding an extra 30 minutes of advertising to an already ad laden event was pathetic.

Of the films I saw, I also recommend Don’t Look Up, because it was hilarious satire, about the danger of ignoring the science of the impending climate crisis, by way of ignoring an asteroid headed toward earth. We both loved King Richard, and thought Will Smith was worthy of an Oscar, which is a low bar. Probably all the nominees deserved an Oscar, one shouldn’t take the winners too seriously. That is why the Oscar show has an artistic and moral requirement, to showcase and introduce all the nominees in all the categories, and reduce the speeches thanking my mother, my father, my children, and our pet dog and cat. The recipients should be required to spend part of their speech explaining to people what the movie was about, and why we should take the time to see it. Some of the presenters could talk about the shows, instead of their constant preening.

Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook SF Chronicle

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in “Don’t Look Up.”Photo: Niko Tavernise / Netflix

“Don’t Look Up” might be the funniest movie of 2021. It’s the most depressing too, and that odd combination makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. Writer-director Adam McKay gives you over two hours of laughs while convincing you that the world is coming to an end.

The movie is a satire that targets anti-science, anti-intellectual and anti-logic Americans who are gullible in the extreme and brainwashed by social media. McKay’s humor is so pointed and dead-on here that it’s bracing. You almost feel like this is a movie that might change things! People might see this and realize … but no. As McKay knows, he’s lampooning a segment of the public that is beyond the reach of satire.

The story is remarkably prescient, in that it plays like a parable about the pandemic, even though the concept was announced in the media well ahead of COVID-19 and was originally scheduled to go before the cameras in April 2020. Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play a pair of astronomers who discover that a huge comet is going to crash into the Earth in six months, wiping out all forms of life on the planet. They assume that that scientific certainty will rouse the government and the people into emergency action. They assume wrong.;

Source: Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook

My household really liked this movie. It is very funny, and very depressing. My only quibble with this excellent review by Mick LaSalle, is that it is not about Covid, which had not occurred yet when it was written. It is most likely a broadside against the anti-science forces denying climate change and the sixth great extinction of species. It is brilliant, biting satire, and might become as famous as Dr. Strangelove, by Stanley Kubrick.

Paul Krugman | What ‘Dune’ Gets Right that ‘Foundation’ Doesn’t – The New York Times

“The blogger John Rogers once noted that there are two novels that can shape the lives of bookish 14-year-olds: “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Lord of the Rings.” One of these novels, he asserted, is a childish fantasy that can leave you emotionally stunted; the other involves orcs.

Well, I was a bookish 14-year-old, but my touchstones were two different novels: Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” and Frank Herbert’s “Dune.”

Many social scientists, it turns out, are science fiction readers. For example, quite a few experts on international relations who I know are fanatics about the TV version of “The Expanse.” I think it’s because good science fiction involves building imaginary worlds that are different from the world we know, but in interesting ways that relate to the attempt to understand why society is the way it is.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for devoting today’s newsletter not to the latest scary developments in politics and economics but to a much happier event: the U.S. release of a wonderful, satisfying film version of “Dune” — the first movie I’ve seen in a theater since the pandemic began.”