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I blog about my Catholic faith, my prayer life, good books and good movies.

The Oscars: Reflections from a Moviegoer

Abigail Benjamin

The Oscars make me realize how rare it is for people to actually talk about the content of movies. Normal Oscar chatter tends to be about the dresses actresses wear, or what someone says in an acceptance speech. The core value is the recognition of great talent that we have in film making today. 

Brie Larson won Best Support Actress for Room. Honestly, as a Mom to 4 daughters, I'm not sure if I'm ever going to have the guts to sit through this movie.  I recently watched Larson in Short Term 12, which is a film on Netflix. Larson is an incredible force in this film as a caring supervisor to at risk teens in a long term foster care setting. This is a film which every parent should see because it talks about the power of "presence" even when a young person faces severe challenges in life. If you have any reservations about seeing Room, go check out Larson's work in Short Term 12.  Let's hope this brilliant actress gets lots of good roles in the future.

Leonardo DiCaprio won for Best Actor in The Revenant, which is honestly another movie I will probably not see. Yet I'm happy Leo got recognized for his talent. An interesting backstory that's being talked about in Washington, D.C. is that the original novelist, who created this entire concept in 2002, wrote this book in his spare time while working as a lawyer. Michael Punke came early to work to type his novel in a quiet law office.  He quit his legal job, took a job as a professor in Missolu, Montana. He planned to spend the rest of his life writing, teaching and fishing. Then he was offered a "dream job" as a deputy U.S. Trade representative and ambassador to the World Trade Organization. Due to Federal Ethics regulations, he can't participate in any of the hype surrounding the movie. It's commonly accepted around town, "Oh, that's ironic! But he made the better deal by working for the WTO."  I'd just like to say, I wish the guy had written more stories!  Even if frontier survivor stories aren't my genre, the guy has talent. I think DC has a lot of people who can talk wonk policy on the WTO, but there are not a lot of writers who could help get DiCaprio his first Oscar.

A movie that I want to see is the short film Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness by fellow Smith graduate, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. This film will premier on Monday, March 7 at 9:00 on HBO. (I don't have HBO. Does anyone one to tape it for me?) This film is about honor killings in Pakistan. Over 1,000 women are murdered each year. This documentary film traces the life of one of the few survivors.

What are the films that you want to see after watching the Oscar results last night?