It’s time for the Oscars again! And wow, is it a weird race this year. On the one hand, we have a genre movie like Black Panther, which is more than deserving but would never have gotten nominated a few years ago, and Roma, an arthouse darling by an auteur director that would be a lock for Best Picture/Director if the movie industry weren’t so angry at Netflix. And then we have the old standbys–a retrograde racial reconciliation fantasy, a couple of mediocre biopics, and the requisite movie-about-show-business that the Academy historically loves. So who knows?
We got every major category correct last year, but it was also a much more standard and predictable race. So here are our predictions–and our choices–but honestly, it’s anyone’s game at this point.
PSA: Similar to last year—when I watched all the nominees except Dunkirk—I have not watched Vice. I hold a real grudge against Adam Mckay after the Margot Robbie bathtub scene in The Big Short, and I am not overly impressed by prosthetic makeup, so I don’t think it would change anything. Continue reading →
[Spoilers abound for Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before below. But if you haven’t watched both of these already… get thee to your preferred digital video provider and fix that!]
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Previously on Riverdale: The grownups met to discuss a Pact they had regarding the Gargoyle King and a mysterious Night on which something bad happened; Ethel had a seizure after mentioning the Gargoyle King to Betty and Jughead; Ben killed himself to be with the Gargoyle King; Edgar’s creepy daughter Evelyn introduced herself to Betty; and Archie had a fight in the prison yard and was “tapped” by the warden to be the “new Mad Dog.”
The lights come up on Archie, who’s in some kind of isolation torture cell. The sadistic Warden comes to check on him and, when he’s still intransigent, leaves him there for another week.
Meanwhile, FP and Alice are totally post-coitally snuggling in bed! Whoa. Actually I kind of like it. FP says he’s happy that the farm convinced Alice to make out with him. Alice, in return, softly says that it’s been three weeks with no mysterious blue-lip murder. Not so good at the pillow talk is she?
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Cultural criticism is great, isn’t it? There are so many really smart pieces of longform writing floating around that present nuanced, enlightening discussions of our response to successful female businesswomen, the nature of celebrity, white feminine victimhood, the commercialization of feminism, the line between country and pop music, the role of authorial intent in interpreting art, the reasons why the colonialist fantasy of Africa as a giant theme park empty of humans still persists so strongly in the American imagination, and many other interesting issues as they relate to Taylor Swift.
WAIT JUST KIDDING. Some days it seems like the entire Internet is actually a Dumpster full of faux-intellectual schlock that stakes out a narrow yet vehement, take-no-prisoners position on Taylor Swift because somebody had a deadline that day and, well, Taylor was there. Here’s a tour of the trash heap.
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We link to Roxane Gay a lot… but that’s because she says such interesting stuff! This week, read her editorial on why she’s not going to bother watching a show about an alternate universe where slavery still exists. (Not that it’s the same thing AT ALL but her sentiments seem to be very similar to how I feel about movies with female sex robots.) (via New York Times)
Rebecca West was a brilliant modernist novelist, but she also apparently wrote a travel book about Yugoslavia that has fallen out of the fame it once held. I personally had never heard of it; it’s going on my to-read list after reading this passionate essay by James Thomas Snyder. (via LA Review of Books)
Sigourney Weaver said at Comic-Con that she based her villainous Defenders character on rich Trump supporters she knew in New York. She described these men in great detail, including the delightful quote: “Your objections to what they’re doing because of the planet makes them giggle secretly inside. They’re just like, ‘Oh yes, pish posh.’”
Do you know about the creepy surrealist Youtube star Poppy? This article about her is fascinating, but what really fascinated me was just watching her “I’m Poppy” video. (via Wired)
After some anxious sponsors backed away from the notorious Trumpian production of Julius Caesar, Alexandra Petri for the Washington Post cheekily identified reasons why pretty much no plays should be acceptable to sponsors. For example, in As You Like It, “Woman wandering in the woods to get away from the current regime is portrayed as some sort of hero.” VERY inappropriate.
Rebecca Solnit argues in Harper’s that the mythical Cassandra is the feminine inverse of The Boy Who Cried Wolf: from Anita Hill to Cosby’s victims to Trump’s accusers and in countless other examples, men can lie over and over again and be believed, while women can tell the truth time and time again and be dismissed.
A poet who wasn’t getting any traction on Instagram conducted a social experiment in which he posted the most banal, non-sensical lines he could think of–and he immediately got thousands and likes and followers, many of whom were not in on the joke.
The New Yorker‘s Doreen St. Felix walks us through Bill Maher’s awkward, graceless apology–and why we probably shouldn’t accept it.