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We Appreciate Our Readers' Views!

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Ty Burr said of the Oscar Show: A largely scandal-free event that was just classy enough to avoid being embarrassing and just tacky enough to avoid being boring? Starting the Oscars an hour earlier? Brilliant – do it again next year. What did you think?


Mike B., AZ



Martha C-B. AZ

We watched Dog a while ago and liked it a lot. Channing Tatum is good, as always, and liked how the story unfolded between him and the dog. It was fairly predictable but we enjoyed it and it brought a tear at the end for me too.


Denny G., FL

        There were two movies I thought I'd look into:  Anatomy of a Fall and Zone of Interest, but after reading your latest issue (your comments on one, and Art's on the other) I decided that perhaps time would be better spent watching something else, haha. Looking forward to the (predictable) Oscars Sunday night, and who knows?  Maybe there will be some surprises.  I do miss the days when the ceremony was more fun though (I'm sure you know what I mean).

        Re: Oscars--I had no interest in Poor Things, but now I'm curious.  Loved the "I'm Just Ken" segment, and there were some interesting new takes/spins. (Read our review in this issue.)

        Hope I'll be able to contribute next time.  Wow - no movies rated an "A"  - that was a surprise!  As always, your reviews are my "Go to!"


Holly V., IL

On your recommendation I watched The Elephant Queen.  What a remarkable movie.  Thank you.


Ginger H., IN

I absolutely love reading your reviews! Nothing has changed as far as my contact information


Dolly G., AZ

I appreciate your reviews.  Am curious your feelings about  Zone of Interest about the Nazi family living the ideal life on the other side of the wall of a concentration camp starring the same actress from Anatomy of a Fall.


Edith K., IL

Enjoy the show (Oscars). I have so many fond memories of your wonderful parties.


Lee M., AZ

Thank you for all the great info regarding movies.


Lorel A., IL

I look forward to the April Movie Views!

Judy J. CA

       I just saw I Am Women, a biopic about Helen Reddy. I enjoyed it, but did not remember her.

       Last night’s film was an 2004 Icelandic film The Sea Gulls Are Laughing.  It had subtitles, which I find hard to read in Merrill Gardens “theater.” Most of our foreign firms are in English, It was set in the post WWII era in Iceland.  Like the Norwegians, they drink a lot of coffee.


Art S., IN

I always enjoy your movie reviews, even when the films don't rate a high grade.

      I'll be watching the presentation of the Academy Awards on Sunday night, as I have every year since forever. Really, we used to gather around the old Phico radio and listen long before they were ever on TV. I haven't seen as many movies as I did before the pandemic, but here are my predictions for 21 of the top 23 awards:

Actor in a Leading Role Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Actor in a Supporting Role Robert Downey, Jr. in Oppenheimer

Actress in a Leading Role Lily Gladstone in Killers/Flower Moon

Actress in a Supp. Role Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Holdovers

Cinematography Hoyte van Hoytema, Oppenheimer

Director Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer

Costume Design Jacqueline Durran, Barbie

Best Animated Feature Film The Boy and the Heron

Best Documentary  20 Days in Mariupol

Film Editing Jennifer Lame, Oppenheimer

Best International Feature Film The Zone of Interest

Makeup and Hairstyling Maestro

Music--Original Score Oppenheimer

Music--Original Song What Was I Made For? Barbie (Billie Eilish)

Production Design Barbie

Adapted Screenplay Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach Barbie

O:riginal Screenplay Celine Strong, Past Lives

Best Motion Picture of the Year Oppenheimer

Sound Oppenheimer

Best Live Action Short Film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Best Animated Short Film War is Over

Visual Effects No Idea!

Best Documentary Short Film No Idea!

(Barb’s Note: He got 14 right! That’s Outstanding!)


Art S., IN –Reviews

            Went to see the new movie, Perfect Days, one of the Academy Award nominees for Best International Feature Film of the Year. It is Japan's entry, but was a Japan/Germany production. It was directed by Wim Wenders who also co-wrote the script. He's won numerous awards thru the years as director, writer, documentary filmmaker, etc. The lead actor in this film is also an acclaimed Japanese actor who won a Best Actor award at the latest Cannes Film Festival for this role. There is almost no dialogue for the first half of the film. We observe the very strict routine of the main character, Hirayama. Compulsiveness and simplicity and subtlety are the keywords here. Hirayama gets up precisely at dawn each day and gets ready for his job as a municipal toilet cleaner in Tokyo. It sounds worse that it really is, as all the government public facilities have been architecturally designed to complement their surroundings and look almost sparkling clean even when he begins to clean them. He takes his time doing a perfect job, even using a small mirror to look under parts of the toilets that one can't see. He takes a break for lunch, going to a park and observing the sunlight thru the trees and taking photographs of the tree branches and digging up small tree growths and taking them home to care for. He also listens to music on cassettes in his van, even though it is current times. After work he goes to the public baths to get clean each day. He reads every night when he goes to bed and the kinds of books he reads will surprise you. You see this routine for quite a few days in a row, so you know what to expect and what will be shown on the screen in the scenes that follow. He also does his laundry once a week on his day off, visits the same restaurant, goes to the same book store, picks up his latest photographs from being developed, bikes around to the river--nothing much ever changes. Then his niece shows up, having run away from home and from her mother, who later appears to get her and take her home. The mother, Hirayama's estranged sister, appears to be quite wealthy and shows up in a chauffeur-driven limo and who also tells her brother that he should visit their father, who is now in a home but probably won't recognize him. Up to this point, not much has actually been said, although there are a lot of head shakes and eye movements. There is a little more conversation in the second half of the movie, and you get the distinct impression that Hirayama has had some tragic things happen to him in the past and maybe that is why he is so stoic and reticent and leads such a simple, repetitive life now. There are a few other characters with interesting stories of their own, like the woman who owns the restaurant and her ex-husband. It ends on a somewhat happy note, with his welcoming the new day with a smile, which he always does when he first opens the front door of his apartment to leave for work, but one gets the feeling that maybe it's a new beginning, as his smile spreads out across his face, interlaced with tears in his eyes. There's a lot you never learn and a lot you do learn about life.

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