My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, January 22

Academy Awards 2014

Another Oscar night on the horizon. It seems like they appear more often than once a year. Or maybe it’s because we have so many award shows leading up to the Academy Awards: The People’s Choice, The Golden Globes, and the SAG Awards. And all of them give us a feel for where the voting is going. This year’s crop of films seems more bountiful than in recent years, and, I’m happy to say, I’ve seen all of the nine nominated for best picture. It looks like American Hustle will win it, even though I don’t think it’s the best of the year. My alternate pick is Gravity, but too many voters will think the story was too thin to win. I loved Her, but even Scarlet can't make it a winner. A lot of the votes will go to 12 Years a Slave, partly because it was a very good film, partly because a bunch of the voters (mostly white) will feel guilt over the awfulness of the slavery issue depicted in it, and will vote for it out of shame. Maybe I’m wrong on that, but it seems we still can’t, as a nation, free ourselves from that awful time in our past. Even though we get closer and closer to a total acceptance of all people regardless of the color of their skin, we still have a black/white issue. And that issue will show its ugly head in the voting for this year’s best film, maybe even extending to the voting for best actors and supporting actors. My dark horse pick is Dallas Buyers Club, but that one shows us a time in our past that a lot of us would rather forget, the HIV and Aids epidemic in the Eighties that took so many lives. But damn, did McConaughey and Leto ever carry that picture, which is why I think Matthew McConaughey will win best actor and Jared Leto will win best supporting actor. The best actor category has five people, any of whom could win and no one would think it was an upset: Christian Bale is great in Hustle; Chiwetel Ejiofor is great in 12 Years a Slave; Leonardo DiCaprio is great in Wolf of Wallstreet (Leo the actor is great, the character he portrays is disgusting); and Bruce Dern is great in Nebraska. So, who’s going to win? The odds still favor McConaughey. The five women up for best actress are equally excellent, but of the five, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine should win in a walk. But then, there’s always Meryl Streep in the rearview mirror. Best supporting actress is a little more confusing. Julia Roberts in August: Osage County will probably win just because she’s Julia, but Sally Hawkins from Blue Jasmine might sneak in there. That leaves best director. David O. Russell will probably win for American Hustle, but I think Steve McQueen will win it for 12 Years a Slave. I don’t have a clue about all those other categories. We’ll see on March 2.
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