March 20th, 2023

The Quiet Girl: At a time when a number of the Oscar nominees were depressing and down, like The Whale or EO, along comes this Oscar nominated entry from Ireland for Best International Picture. It is mostly in Gaelic with subtitles. It is based upon the book named “Foster” from Claire Keegan who is also a writer in the film.

Cait, is a young girl who lives in a family of modest to poor means in the early 1980s. As the movie begins, Cait is hiding from the family in the field as they search for her. You soon learn to know why. Young Mom is pregnant again, although there are already plenty of mouths to feed in the house. Dad is not exactly father of the year nor husband of the year material, if you know what I mean. Cait doesn’t say much and her actions reveal the inner turmoil that she is experiencing at home and in school. Cait’s Dad and Mom decide to send her off to spend some extended time with Mom’s cousin, who has presently no children of her own. The cousin and her husband run a dairy farm a lengthy drive away. Cait arrives and there is an awkward first meeting as she seemingly hasn’t been told what is happening. Dad absentmindedly even drives away with her suitcase. The young girl settles in and the rest of the movie is about her and her relationship with this couple.

As the title implies, much in this movie goes unsaid. Not just from the girl, but from the adults too. Everyone, as in life, has their issues to get over. Some have just had those issues longer to address. Silence can mean acceptance, but it can also be someone deep in thought or even processing how they feel at the moment. Actions say a great deal. Caring isn’t always isn’t about words, but the small acts of life. From a cookie left on a kitchen table to signify being sorry and seeking apology, to changing bedsheets or sweeping out a barn. Together it means connection. Despite what others might say or think, kindness is offering your home, your skills and resources to a virtual complete stranger, knowing that it likely won’t be welcome. I really liked this. It is a simple story well told. The ending I think is right. In a year where Best International Film is pretty much sewn up with All Quiet on the Western Front, this nevertheless is an effective story and entertaining revealing the story of this quiet, brown-haired girl.

The Last of UsSeason 1 round up: Welcome to HBO’s response to the completion of Game of Thrones with all those viewers and also those from House of the Dragon. Without repeating my introduction to the series, and how I was very reluctant to watch a series with zombies, I continue to be impressed how they overcome the zombie aspects. They are there of course, but much more of it is about human interaction, rather than humans and zombies. Our two heroes, Ellie and Joel are on a quest to find people who can help with trying to find a cure for this fungus-pandemic. What I can say is that this series builds and builds. Knowing that there will be more seasons to come, I had to wonder how they would address it.

People and their motivations stand in the way of the heroes meeting their goals. The series has nine episodes with the last one released last Sunday.

Those of you who haven’t watched so far, I would NOT recommend that you click on this back story for episode 8. I hadn’t seen these before, but I like the explanations for the episode. I have to keep reminding myself that this series is a video game with a story and scenes unto itself. Some of these are in this show, but others are not and others still are changed. In short, you don’t know what you are going to get! I am going in blind, with fresh eyes on every episode. It’s fun to watch and see where it turns. To say that the Final Episode was a surprise is an understatement. I won’t get into details here, except to say that it puts the overall story arc of being re-written or at least re-directed. I welcome it, because it means that there are many possibilities. With this series ending for a break, it is just in time for Succession to begin the last season. Kudos to HBO for keeping us entertained with good quality series back to back.

Oscars Recap: First of all, kudos for the second consecutive year for my brother to win the Oscar pool. This year he won by 1 point over Alison. Well done and really good picking. I came fourth. I think that he should be betting on his ability to predict the winners. Obviously my skills are lacking.

It wasn’t inaccurate of me to state that I felt Everything, Everywhere All At Once would have a good night at the Oscars. I just didn’t expect it to be as good as night as what eventually transpired. I had predicted Best Picture, Director and Best Supporting Actor. I called Best Supporting Actor one of the easiest calls of the night, along with All Quiet as Best International Film. I hadn’t expected Best Supporting Actress for surprised Jame Lee Curtis. Incidentally, both Best Supporting Actors gave heartfelt speeches.

There were some great outfits from people like Salma Hayek, Cara Delevigne, Jessica Chastain or Emily Blunt.

The musical performances were good generally, I missed the earlier performances by Lady Gaga gave a good live performance. She has so much talent, and dressed down decidedly for the time on stage (torn jeans and comfy top).

All Quiet on the Western Front also did very well at the Oscars. I think that the two directors from Everything, Everywhere would be fun to work with. For those of you who have actually seen the movie, we’ll see if you think it is Best Picture worthy. As I said earlier, time in my view will move on from this Best Picture which was an extravaganza for the senses, on multiple plains but hard to follow if you didn’t pay attention, and certainly not for all viewers. There were some laughs, but it is difficult to compare this type of film to others. Time will tell. I think that Jimmy Kimmel did a decent job. I always like the Matt Damon jokes.


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