87th Annual Academy Awards

Introduction

It’s that time again. In this post I will be live-blogging my random thoughts on the ceremony. A good way to kick -off such a post is to include a hilarious parody I just saw today from Dan Schneider writer/producer of several Nickelodeon shows including Henry Danger, which provides the world and actors (Cooper Barnes and Jace Norman) for this parody. Enjoy!

Also, here are some of my pre-Red Carpet tweets in anticipation.

Red Carpet

Tuned in way late. I guess the annoying half-hour preshow that’s mandatory attendance has forced arrivals to start earlier.

I wish Josh had shaved, but oh well. Shall I do the whole couture angle?

Didn’t recognize either Faith Hill or Tim McGraw.

Benjamin Button isn’t the one that doesn’t age, that’s Dorian Gray.

I wonder if kids watching this now are having a “Who’s that?” moment seeing Melanie Griffith with Dakota Johnson, as many likely had when Tippi Hedren attended with Melanie?

“I’m Brigitta, she’s Louisa. She’s thirteen years old, and you’re smart! I’m ten, and I think your dress is the ugliest one I ever saw!” -Lady GaGa in The Sound of Music tribute.

I think I like that jacket Ansel. Always in favor of something a little different for men as we have less options.

Brilliantly articulated thoughts by Miles Teller. Great stuff. Fan now!

So is that William Moseley from Narnia in that new E! show that looks questionable?

Rosamund Pike is red that works, unlike some others on this broadcast.

Time for the time-wasting show.

Finally seeing more outfits now. Yellow and Gold making statements with Stone and Moretz.

Great to see Robin Roberts working the show.

Yay, the countdown is teasing us.

Ceremony

OK, have been absent due to guests and a problem-child dog.

Very cool that there was a Devo theme to some costumes in “Everything is Awesome” considering Mothersbaugh started there.

Niel Patrick Harris is having some great moments, not just the song but the obligatory “movies are great” speech also.

Unsurprising that Ida and J.K. Simmons won, but their speeches made up for the lack of surprise in who was awarded.

Lots of good selections to choose from in the Live Action shorts. I wish Boogaloo and Graham had gotten it though.

Awesome dedication to crisis center workers.

Didn’t get to see the Short Subject docs.

So all the Lifetime Awards were moved to the Governors Awards. Sad.

My post where many of those winners are listed.

So no Interstellar sound awards. So I got that portion right.

Patricia Arquette: great speech! We always need a statement.

So this is the year Disney gets Best Animated Short? Really?

YAY, for not How to Train Your Dragon 2. I do love Big Hero 6 though.

Good to see Octavia Spencer and Charlie Rowe at the Oscars. Cancellations happen to good actors too and I hope to see them in something again real soon.

“In A Million Ways to Die in the West I pooped in a hat.”

Birdman getting Cinematography is not surprise and well-earned. I just wish Black & White hasn’t had such a long drought.

Can the awkwardness Terence Howard had to offer be topped?

Predicting an Oscar moment is never a way to do things.

In case I’ve not stated it:

I LOVE THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

The Sound of Music (1965, 20th Century Fox)

Is wanting Desplat to have won for something else, too gripey? LOL.

Now it’s time to play “How late are they going to run, anyway?”

Birdman!

OK, I am extraordinarily pleased with this year’s screenwriting winners!

Graham Moore has the most emotional speech so far.

Was predicting a split between Boyhood and Birdman but maybe I had it the wrong way around?

Interesting that they bumped Best Director up in the order.

Amen, to Alejandro’s sentiments on art, competition and time.

Only recently discovered what two Academy Award nominated films (Mr. Turner and Still Alice) are about. Hope to see both soon.

Best Picture presenter is always a bit of a curveball.

Great closing quotes from Keaton and Iñárritu.

Goodnight  everybody!

Batman (1989, Warner Bros.)

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Review – Life According to Nino

The synopsis provided for Life According to Nino is as follows:

Life is good for Nino van Doorn (8). He has a terrific brother Lucas (14), wise father Bruno and an angel of a mother, Marla. When Marla dies, Bruno can’t cope with her death. Also the values like order, responsibility, love and care they represented. The two brothers create their own world. But soon the anarchistic world is threatened by the outside world. The two brothers are prepared to fool the system but what happens is that they really become a family again.

Life According to Nino takes a potentially dour story and infuses it with some humor, vitality and quite a bit of heart to make it a fully satisfying and not at all run-of-the-mill family story.

Recently Paddington got some much deserved praise for many things but especially for underplaying the talking bear angle. In this film Nino, after a year has passed since his mother’s death, starts to hear what animals are sating, especially his rabbit Bobby. Hearing animals is not the largest focal point of this film, indicative of handling of family films overseas, especially in Benelux. What this allows is the film to keep its focus where it most needs to be (reunification of the family) and allows that aspect of the film play out naturally; for a child’s imagination is fertile and talking to friends real or imagined will happen.

This aspect of the film is buoyed by the fact that the dialogue and and voice talent assembled to voice the animals is great. It keeps that aspect of the film as light as it should be and allows it to balance the more serious moments the film has to offer.

Another interesting aspect of the film is that in social services getting involved at the insistence of some helicopter parent neighbors the trio start become very self-conscious as part of their examination involves the installation of surveillance cameras in their house. They act the part of a proper family and feel extraordinarily awkward. Hilarity ensues but then they eventually do figure out how to function again and it is useful in two ways.

Koen De Graeve is an actor who I’ve recently become quite familiar with after not having consciously seen him prior. With a breakout Best Actor nomination for Time of My Life in 2013, then that was followed up with a film in a similar vain in In the Heart. Here he completes a kind of “Death Trilogy” with his oddest character yet. It’s a very funny portrayal yet accurately depressed an disengaged yet also believable when he switches back on.

Most of the film does rest with a young actor virtually debuting, Rohan Timmermans. The only credit to his name prior to this is as a stand-in, but you’d never know it. He very naturally carries himself, and takes on scenes where he’s talking to animals and not getting anything back, and also readily delivers realistic dialogue.

Arend Bouwmeester not only conveys well a lost youth prone to bouts of hooliganism but also manages to flip the switch and be a caring, sensitive brother. He also partakes in an interesting rather visual subplot that does factor in well.

Life According to Nino is a brisk, enjoyable funny film that manages to smoothly balance elements and tones that would seem too disparate when enumerated in a list, but blend well together. It’s enjoyable and funny and refuses to be overly conformist. Two production companies that have made very enjoyable family fare (Family Affair and Waterland) produced the film and Attraction Distribution handles it in North America, if you get a chance to see it you definitely should.

7/10