I almost didn’t have anything to review today. For some reason, I never got around to watching a film this weekend. I guess I just spent too long trying to get through that bloody Murder, She Wrote book. I didn’t realise until Monday that I’d forgotten. So, I had the choice to write something else for today or watch something and review it in the same night. I had thought about weighing in on the Johnny Depp/Fantastic Beasts news but I didn’t know if that would go against my ban of the writer who must not be named. In the end, I picked the quickest new release on Netflix that I could find. I didn’t know anything about it but someone I follow on Instagram had watched it recently. What did I have to lose?
I was drawn into Such a Fun Age as soon as I read the concept. Emira Tucker works as a babysitter for a rich white family. Her employees are Peter and Alix Chamberlain. He is a local news anchor in Philadelphia and she is a lifestyle blogger who writes letters. One evening, Emira is asked to take their three-year-old daughter Briar out. While at a nearby grocery store, the babysitter is stopped and accused of kidnapping her young charge. I thought I knew where this novel was going but it kind of pulled the rug out from under me. We’ve seen this kind of thing going viral. With police officers or authority figures unnecessarily stopping young black people for crimes they didn’t commit. This novel could easily have drawn on those viral videos but it went deeper than that.
After last week’s disappointing Bohemian Rhapsody, I was ready for a better Best Picture nominee to review. So, I went for one that I’ve been looking forward for ages. Any story that sounds so insane yet is based on a real-life event is something you just have to watch, right? Plus, and without wanting to prove just how superficial I really am, Adam Driver is looking good in that trailer. I admit that I kind of lost interest thanks to his nipple-height trousers from that scene in The Last Jedi but the minute I saw him in a plaid shirt I was back. And it’s great that he’s been given a nomination for his role here. Hell, it’s great that this film got a Best Picture nomination. Not only because I get an excuse to watch it but also because of the lack of recognition for If Only Beale Street Could Talk. Barry Jenkins obviously killed with Moonlight but the Academy have done the least possible for his latest film. Neither the director or the film are being recognised. I know I haven’t seen it yet but everything I’ve seen leads me to believe it deserves a place. Especially now I’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody. But we can’t have everything.
You find me feeling really annoyed today. As you know, I had intended to finish watching all of the films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award before the Oscars. I managed it but failed to get down my predictions for the awards. To be honest, I was so tired after work on Sunday that I fell asleep. It’s a problem I often have. What can I say? I love to nap. If I had published my predictions I would have been pretty much 100% accurate. The only one I refused to call was Best Support Actress because it was a tough call. Every other main category, I got right. Of course, saying this without proof is meaningless. However, I was one of the few people who correctly saw that Three Billboards wouldn’t win Best Picture. Not that it was a terrible film; it just isn’t an Oscars film. The Shape of Water was the obvious winner. It was beautifully made and beautifully performed. It was an all-rounder. The only one that might have beaten it? Lady Bird. Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman were, basically, unstoppable. And Sam Rockwell. Sorry to anybody else in that category but he was the star. My only upset at the awards was the lack of award for Greta Gerwig. I knew Guillermo Del Toro would win but it would have been a great move for the Academy to give the female director her due. It just goes to show, no matter how well #Timesup and #Metoo are doing, there is still a long way to go for gender equality. And let’s not even get started on racial equality. Hollywood may be improving but it’s still a man’s world.