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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.

Tuesday, January 26

Room & Oscars

I finally got to see Room and was more impressed with the acting of the young Jacob Tremblay than that of Brie Larson. I can see why Larson is the front runner for best actress, but I still think young Jacob might have easily been nominated for best supporting actor for what he did in this movie. It’s a two-act story, Act I with the two of them in their tiny (11’ x 11’) world. Joy (Brie Larson) has made it as large as she could for her five-year-old son Jack, teaching him about fantasy and reality with the aid of the tiny television set that shows them the world. We see the interior of their room from the boy’s perspective—the stove, the wardrobe where he sleeps, the sink and toilet, chair one and chair two, the small table, and the bed Joy shares with their captor “Old Nick.” What he sees seems to be larger than it actually is. This is the only world he’s ever known. It’s an ironic domestic situation with the man arriving in the evenings with groceries, with Jack spying on them through the slats in his wardrobe door. Joy has been held in this tiny room for seven years since she was taken by the man when she was coming home from her senior year in high school. Instead of going insane at her situation, she has made it a complete world for her son. Act II begins when she finally devises a scheme to gain their freedom and the two of them have to adapt to a world much larger and more complex than the one they leave behind. Jack adapts well; Joy not so well. Lenny Abrahamson directs and is a nominee for best director, but he won’t win despite his admirable telling of the story.
Brie Larson might well win for her performance, but she plays second fiddle to the acting job of her young co-star, Jacob Tremblay.

And speaking of the upcoming Oscars, here are a few of my observations. First, I don’t understand why so many people are praising Steve Jobs, why Michael Fassbender or Kate Winslet should be up for their roles in that movie. It seemed to me to be a series of nearly shouted monologues at each other. I love Matt Damon and The Martian, but neither will win. I love Leonardo DiCaprio and what he’s done with Hugh Glass in The Revenant, and I hope he wins (although I’ll still be rooting for Matt Damon). Then there’s Eddie Redmayne in another really fat role as the transgendering Danish Girl. He might just sneak in there to make it two in a row. I think Spotlight should win for best picture, but it probably won’t, with The Revenant winning and The Martian coming in second. Brie Larson will probably win best actress, but one must always be aware of (and be wary of) Cate Blanchett in the rearview mirror. I love Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight and Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies and hope either of them wins best supporting actor, but the Academy loves surprises and will probably reward Sylvester Stallone for reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed. Alejandro Iñárritu should have a lock for best director. There. Now I’ll probably be wrong on all counts. But who cares? It’s fun to do my own Oscar picks.
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