Oscar Stats 2014

I love Oscar Stats.

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  • Meryl Streep breaking her own record for nominations with 18.
  • That we might have to utter the words “Oscar Winner” and add “The Lone Ranger” after it.
  • 49th (!) Oscar nomination for John Williams (Soundtrack to The Book Thief) and he is still 10 shy of Walt Disney.
  • Cinematographer Roger Deakins looking to avoid going 0 for 11.
  • Jennifer Lawrence has her 3rd nomination at age 23 – the youngest to do so. (Teresa Wright was 24).
  • Gravity is only the 5th film to be nominated for all 7 technical awards. Titanic swept all 7. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldHugo, and Life of Pi did not.

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#BlogElul via the Movies 20 – Messing Up the End

Sometimes you just can’t end it. Or when you do you end something you do it poorly. Do you recognize these behaviors as exemplified by movies?

NEVER QUITE FIND THE ENDING – It is hard to find the right way to say goodbye. Sometimes you try them all. How many times did people in the theater think The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had too many endings?

CAN’T QUITE LET GO – It’s time to leave it alone already, but you keep finding ways to make it a bigger deal than it really needs to. Maybe it’s a Peter Jackson thing, but he has decided to stretch the slim tale in The Hobbit into three books. Sounds like two books too many.

PLEASE STOP. REALLY STOP. – That couple that keeps breaking up and getting back together. Just end it! Sequels to movies that didn’t deserve them are now so ubiquitous it is hard to pick just one. Horror movies are too obvious. Let’s go with American Pie. The first one was funny. The 3 Hollywood sequels were fair at best. The “side” sequels wear abysmal. I’m sorry Eugene Levy has such big mortgage payments to need to be in all of them.

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#BlogElul via the Movies 18 – True Love

Love…exciting and new. Come aboard.  We’re expecting you…

Unlike The Love Boat on Saturday nights when I was a kid, love doesn’t really come up on the High Holy Days. Love of God is a consistently used phrase – just look to the V’ahavta, You shall LOVE Adonai Your God. But we don’t talk about it much. And certainly romantic love is a rare topic on these days.

Love is reserved for people. And in the movies it is idolized: Love conquers all. In the brilliant recent Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, love between two young teenagers who barely know each other overcomes all difficulties – and the movie is full of wonderful and absurd challenges – to find an ongoing passion. In The Princess Bride, “true love” is enough to bring Wesley back from the dead (thanks to Miracle Max). Or as Wesley himself says, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”

Do movie romances last beyond the closing credits? Depends if there is a sequel and the actors sign on for it. An article in Cracked.com argues against some romances surviving. And sometimes they don’t. Poor King Kong died over his unrequited love for Fay Wray. In the wonderful (500) Days of Summer, true love exists, just not between the protaganists. In Titanic, Kate Winslet apparently didn’t understand how to share her life raft with her true love. There was PLENTY of room for both. And then she tossed away an expensive necklace for no reason either. And the love between Ariel and Eric where she gives up everything for him (and she’s a rich princess, so it isn’t money or power) is somewhat disturbing.

But as unrealistic as movie love is, it gives us hope. Perhaps unrealistic hopes of “meet cute” and “love is blind,” but still hope. For those searching for love in this new year, we can still find it the movies tell us. For those in a relationship, go see Hope Springs and find new life in that love. Love is a vital part of our healthy soul. This year, find a way to increase the true love in your life. Doubt it? Just hit the multiplex.

#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.