Tonight’s Oscar show may be the most exciting in years, exciting in that so many of the films are all so good and the race for best actor/actress and supporting actor/actress are all so close. Let’s just say that all of them deserve to win. The buzz in the news seems to suggest that 12 Years a Slave will clean up in most of the categories. I hope not. 12 Years was a powerful examination of our nation’s most disgraceful chapter, our willing enslavement of other human beings. It needed to be said, and it was said powerfully, graphically, painfully. But was it the best film of 2013? I don’t think so. I’ll say gravely that Gravity should win it. I’m also looking forward to seeing Ellen as host. This isn’t her first time hosting the show, and she’ll certainly be better than the forgetable host a year ago, Seth MacFarlane, or three years ago with James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Now, there was a double stinker. Or maybe in the future they should just go with a proven winner as host, Billy Crystal, who has run the show eight times and made us laugh every time.
Quick note about a reasonably good film that should have been better, The Monuments Men, with a great cast that got misused—George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, and Jean Dujardin. This film was based on a true story about a small squad of older men who tried to save the art stolen by Hitler during WWII. Clooney directed, and he went wrong by using a humorous tone, especially at the beginning, when a humorous tone wasn’t needed or necessary or effective. Great actor and director that Clooney is, I’d have thought he’d know better.