wry, adventurous, very, very cool? I mean, how could it not? But Lincoln was majestic, a once in a generation movie -- moving, depth-upon-depth, courageous, beautiful text, stunning performances. I absolutely forgot which century I lived in.
I remember how I felt when Out of Africa won over The Color Purple. Out of Africa was a fine movie, but The Color Purple took on such dark concepts: the abuse of women, post-slavery African Americans making their way, generational dysfunction, what freedom feels like when you haven't been free. And it did it brilliantly, by portraying lovely people caught up in bad situations. That movie sticks with me, even now, and Lincoln will too.
Even Spielberg out-Spielbergs Spielberg. ET won over Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Do you remember how they used music to communicate? That left an emotional resonance that stands up now.
So, it turns out that most of my favorite movies don't win Oscars.
So, if I could revamp The Oscars, I'll build some new categories and include a beloved movie or two. Here goes:
Cool, Old Adventure Pics I love King Solomon's Mines, an adventure/quest story filmed in color in an Africa we dreamed about when we were kids. And The Lady Vanishes, a spy film by Hitchcock, filmed in England. It's Hitchcock at his tenderest and wryest.
Wildly Funny Movies about things you wouldn't normally laugh at. Smoke Signals, by Sherman Alexie, is about a funeral and a road trip, Native American kids in a beater. Like every other woman, I loved The Full Monty. The Full Monty is a typically English, quirky term for full frontal nudity and includes a raft of unemployed guys. Wouldn't normally crack me up. This one does. Repeatedly.
Fiction that tells me the truth about something important. Henry Poole Is Here was a quirky movie about healing and grace, even when you deserve neither. I loved last year's The Way, with Martin Sheen. You can walk off your blues.
And lastly, My Favorite Documentaries: Young @ Heart, the stories of old folks, 70s and 80s, singing rock 'n roll. Uproariously. Touchingly. Lost love at 75 is another thing from lost love at 16. And the very odd, Encounters at The End of the World. Werner Herzog, a German writer/director, visits The South Pole. People drawn to such a harsh environment might be a little nuts to begin with.