Which films will I root for Sunday? Only two
Last updated 4/21/2021 at 4:02pm | View PDF
I don't remember the last movie I saw in a theater. Do you?
Ooh, wait - I do. I saw "Frozen 2" on March 8 of last year - the day after I was out much too late at the cast party for "Hinsdolopy," the 2020 Community Revue. (I discovered after the previous revue that watching a movie in a reclined seat with some snacks helps with post-show/post-party recovery.)
Since then, I've seen "Troop Zero," "Onward" and "Soul" from the comfort of my family room, where the seats don't recline and the popcorn, unfortunately, is not drenched in butter.
So I wasn't surprised to find I am not familiar with most of the films nominated for an Oscar this year.
Best picture? I've seen zero out of eight nominees.
Best director? Zero out of five.
Best actor? Zero out of five.
Notice a pattern here?
I am happy to report the two films I have seen since my last trip to the theater have been nominated for best animated feature. So that's something.
But I didn't even know that "Hillbilly Elegy" had been made into a movie starring Glenn Close. And I had completely forgotten yet another film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel "Emma" had been released.
I would like to blame my lack of familiarity with Oscar-nominated films on the pandemic, but that would be dishonest. I simply am not an avid movie-watcher, despite the fact that I really enjoy watching movies.
Out of the last 10 best picture winners, I've seen only two - "Spotlight" and "The King's Speech." If I go back 20 years, I fare a little better, adding five movies to the list and boosting my average from 20 percent to 35 percent.
The '80s were apparently my best decade for movie-watching, as I saw eight out 10 best picture winners.
In reviewing the list of Best Picture winners, I noticed another pattern. I am a latecomer to many films. I saw the first two "The Godfather" movies - which were released in 1973 and 1975 - at least 20 years later, when my husband insisted that I watch them. He is right. They are great (especially during a weekend marathon with homemade osso buco on the menu).
Similarly, I didn't see 1979's best picture, "The Deer Hunter," until almost 10 years later when I was in a college class called America in Vietnam.
I've never seen "Gone with the Wind," although now it's probably fallen off most "must watch" lists. "Casablanca," which also dates back to the 1940s, is another classic I have yet to view.
Even more horrifying to our associate editor, Ken, is my lack of urgency in viewing the most iconic American comedies.
"National Lampoon's Animal House."
"National Lampoon's Vacation."
Haven't seen a one.
You would think the pandemic would have provided ample opportunity to catch up on these and other worthy films, but that has not been the case. I blame this on the fact that we do not have Netflix. (Nor have we finished clearing out our basement, as we swore we would do before life was "back to normal," and I have no excuse for that.)
I suppose more opportunities for movie viewing will present themselves when my daughter is in high school and her father and I are waiting up for her to come home. If only we are able to stay awake - and have decided to get a Netflix subscription.
- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].