The Oscars (Guest Post – Mary Aagard)

My amazingly bright wife, Mary Aagard, wrote a piece on the Oscars.

After all this broo-ha-ha about the 2015 Oscar nominations — I’ve been thinking about my own favorite movies. Those nominations has even spurred quite a fiery conversation with the purveyor of this here website/blog.

You see, I’m a film school graduate — or rather, a film school lite graduate — not that the school was bad, just the my own choices inside the major were scattered, they didn’t form a coherent base of knowledge and skills. At the end of my college career, I had started working in the university library as a student employee and I saw a future for me there, where I didn’t in filmmaking — hmmm, a library full of women, or Hollywood, full of men. It’s kind of funny to look back now, I could not have chosen two more opposite professions in terms of ratios of men and women in the field.

family watching movie on lawn
Sadly, not us.

I was going to write screenplays, with my incredible wit and conscience and biting dialogue — now that biting dialogue is used in working with student employees and telling patrons that yes, libraries are no longer silent spaces, but playing your guitar in the middle of the book stacks isn’t okay.

Also, I am a full-time employed mother of three small children. Movie going is kind of a pipe dream at this point. Is it sad or hopeful that I keep track of time by what movies are coming out, and then I never see them in the theater?

So back to favorite movies, yeah— I give myself cred for My Brilliant Career being my favorite movie — and it is truly my favorite — watch it, you’ll cry, you’ll feel for Sybylla and her struggle, the choice she chooses to make — it’s marvelous and horrible at the same time. I love Gillian Armstrong and love her movies but if I think of my favorite films, she is the only woman director in that list. I want to see more women represented in the Academy nominations — but I guess I need to do my part and watch movies by female directors (and screenwriters, producers, cinematographers…).

So what do award nominations and winners mean for any of us — for most of us, media is a hobby, a diversion, a moment of pleasure, a way to track time. Most of us aren’t industry insiders that will get better jobs, more prestigious scripts, better parts if films we work on are nominated for awards. This is just a spectator sport for the majority of us.

Besides the issues for diversity in filmmaking, let me see if I’ve seen any movies that have come out this past year are worth mentioning —

And of the nominees, as of this writing I’ve only seen:

  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Wild
  • Into the Woods
  • How to Train your Dragon 2
  • Maleficent
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lego Movie
  • Begin Again
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Nightcrawler
  • Imitation Game

Other movies this year that I loved:

  • Belle
  • Chef
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • What If
  • Frank

I have only seen 2 of the best picture nominees — as much as I’d like to have a definitive opinion about movies that came out this year — I don’t. Every year I think I will have more time for going to the cinema and every year I don’t get to see everything I’d like to see. Soon enough my daughter will be old enough to accompany me on my cinema adventures and movie time can turn into bonding time. Will we still be complaining about the lack of diversity in award nominations?

3 thoughts on “The Oscars (Guest Post – Mary Aagard)

  1. Since I wrote this post – I’ve seen a few more movies, Boyhood and Imitation Game. Still not a ton to have a “legitimate” opinion. Maybe I’ll submit a post about my feelings about Boyhood.

  2. Fish and I loved Chef, but it caused Fish to have a somewhat come apart. He doesn’t love being a lawyer, but he loves to cook. So he had a good month there where he was contemplating starting a food truck and quitting his job. Thoughts of dad and the family moving into the car lot. Question: can a family live in a food truck?

    1. Cindy, we will have to ponder that question on our girl’s trip. Also, depends on the size of the food truck. If you get a camper type, and only stay where it is warm year round – you can camp.

      I had similar feelings to Fish while watching Chef. Can you make doing what you love work? I don’t know and it seems so risky. A food truck takes less capital than a movie theater, but hey, you could probably live in a movie theater.

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