A Plot and Theme Play-by-Play at the 90th Oscars

As promised, here is a quick, play-by-play style recap of last night’s 90th Oscars (AKA: 90 Scars). I’ll comment throughout now that it is the next morning, and I will finish it all up with a neat and tidy summary so that we can all move along with our lives in a timely fashion.

I started a stopwatch so I wouldn’t have to keep looking at the clock, plus I don’t really understand time zones too well. So, these are the things that happened and the way I felt about them . . .

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Oscar Night Beckons – Predictions, Thoughts, and Jokes in Poor Taste

The Oscars turn 90 later today (AKA: 90 Scars), and I’ve finally seen every single film nominated in the Best Picture category.  So, it is time to reveal the Oscar plans over here at Plot and Theme.  Overall, I think this (read: 2017) was a strong year for film, and I am excited to start unraveling everything.  So, let’s start by discussing what you’ll be seeing on Plot and Theme with regards to the Oscars, Best of Lists, and the like.

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Twelve Cool Films from the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is in the books, and there are some cool things that happened at the 70th iteration of this super-prestigious festival.  This will be a causal post where I touch on a few of the things that interest me and therefore should interest you (because I am very often right).  Obviously, I haven’t seen any of these films, so my excitement is completely based on word-of-mouth from the festival and other murmurs.  I’ll recount the winners of the awards, then mention the other flicks that have me excited at the very end.

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State of the Blog – January 2017

We’re just into 2017, and the time-honored tradition of celebrating a new year by accidentally writing down its predecessor first continues unabated.  Though the early months of the year often struggle movie-wise, there are interesting things going on.  These include a few intriguing films, the meaningless over-evaluation of Awards Season (and the vitriol it inspires), and even the beginning of the festival season.  Here at Plot and Theme, I’ll reflect backwards a bit, mention some cool things I’m looking forward to, and then set some goals for the year.

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State of the Blog – December 2016

In the Northern Hemisphere, darkness insists upon our waking hours earlier each day.  The country is full of crybabies and fascists, and nothing in between.  It’s cold.  But at least there’s a new Star Wars movie to over-appreciate.

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Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” Seeks a Spiritual Deliverance from Racial Injustice

Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation is a remarkable piece of cinema, especially from a first-timer.  Parker controls this entire endeavor as writer, director, producer, and also stars as the slave Nat Turner.  This is a powerful but sad film, though there is a kernel of hope at its center that Parker tries to work from.  Based on a the real-life slave revolt led by Nat Turner in the early 1830s, the film offers incredible acting, but suffers slightly from narrative issues and some muddled thematic material.  Of course, Parker takes some poetic license with the actual history, and while some of these help the story, others are more egregious and unnecessary.  The most definitive aspect of the film is its profound spirituality, which Parker leans heavily on for dramatic justification of Turner’s rebellion, and also as the source of his leadership.  Indeed, this is a film about not only racial injustice, but spiritual deliverance.  Parker is sometimes lost with exactly where to focus the rebellious spirit, but these small mistakes cannot mar the overall poignancy of his message.

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