Divorce: The 1980 Oscars

Historian Elaine Tyler May has argued that preoccupation with the family--political cries for family values and the like--is usually a response to political changes, rather than demographic ones. Panic about the family is often a conservative response to perceived threats to the American nation. In the U.S., you see focus on the family particularly in the 1950s … Continue reading Divorce: The 1980 Oscars

Bad Choices and Women’s Sexual Agency: The 1989 Oscars

As we've seen already, the 80s were not a time when the Academy rewarded movies for visual artistry or innovative storytelling. Many of the movies nominated were not great. Yet a subset of these nominees (if not winners) had some interesting things to say about women's sexuality, and the way white women have used it in … Continue reading Bad Choices and Women’s Sexual Agency: The 1989 Oscars

Love Triangles and Change Over Time

∆ Delta. Change. Math. I got halfway through my binge of season one of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend before I realized that it has the same love triangle as Broadcast News. They both feature an intelligent female protagonist who is great at her job but also high-strung. She is torn between a sarcastic, smart guy who is into her but also … Continue reading Love Triangles and Change Over Time

Reboots and Reconsiderations

Delayed take: I kinda hated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Mild spoilers to follow. I went in with an open mind. I've read plays before, and I was willing to give it a pass on some things. But it was bad. There were some bad plot points and some horrible dialogue. Maybe with some talented actors … Continue reading Reboots and Reconsiderations

Highs and Lows: the 1979 Oscars

As we've seen, some Oscar years are very serious. Others are not. This one is a grab bag. We have two serious films about Vietnam, The Deer Hunter and Coming Home, a "prison drama" in Midnight Express, a PG romp in Heaven Can Wait, and a comedic examination of single womanhood in An Unmarried Woman. It's a strange combo.   I imagine most of the … Continue reading Highs and Lows: the 1979 Oscars

Variations on a Theme: The Intervention and other Emotional Weekend Movies

This weekend I spent too much money renting The Intervention, a 2016 movie written and directed by Clea DuVall about a group of friends who decide to stage an intervention for a friend's marriage. I didn't hesitate to spend the $6.99 on it because A. I have no self control and B. it is my favorite … Continue reading Variations on a Theme: The Intervention and other Emotional Weekend Movies

Watergate Does Not Bother Me: the 1977 Oscars

When I started this post I thought it was going to be about journalism and Watergate. But it turns out these movies have a lot more to do with anger, resentment, and masculinity--by 1976 (the year the movies came out), this was how political weariness manifested. In all the movies I saw, the city streets … Continue reading Watergate Does Not Bother Me: the 1977 Oscars