The Oscars, and Hollywood for that matter, are in pretty good shape.
“The Shape of Water,” that is.
But enough philosophizing, no shoulda, woulda, coulda from yours truly. Here are my picks for the 2018 Academy Awards in the categories of the annual Lehigh Valley Press Focus section “Readers Pick the Oscar Winners” contest.
Picture: “The Shape Of Water”
“Black Panther” has everything: great cast, fantastic computer-generated imagery, and distinctive and impressive production design.
“Black Panther” has everything, except one thing: a solid screenplay.
While the film has been hailed as the first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) feature film directed by an African-American and with an African-American cast in lead roles, “Black Panther” is just another comic-book, violence-laden, science fiction superhero action film. “Black Panther” is no marvel.
“The Greatest Showman” puts on quite a show. It’s a movie made for Broadway.
While not billed as a movie musical per se, that’s indeed what “The Greatest Showman” is, thanks to the Oscar-winning (“City Of Stars”) song-lyricist team of “La La Land” (six Oscars, 2016) Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are Oscar-nominated, original song, “This Is Me,” from “The Greatest Showman,” among their 10 outstanding original songs in the movie.
From its opening scenes, “The Greatest Showman” is a nearly all-singing, all-dancing, old-fashioned movie musical.
It helps to know your history to appreciate “I, Tonya,” a brutal and apparently uncomfortably honest biopic about disgraced Olympic ice-skating athlete Tonya Harding.
The Lehigh Valley is “Getting Grace.”
“Getting Grace,” written, directed and produced by and starring Bethlehem native Daniel Roebuck, will have its Lehigh Valley debut March 3 at three venues in a benefit for several area nonprofits.
Roebuck made the announcement at a Jan. 30 press conference, punctuated by his trademark Roebuckian wit, at Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, Bethlehem, where he was joined by some of the film’s actors, producers and crew, as well as Lehigh Valley tourism and business officials.
“Phantom Thread” is a creepy romance about “the mangled tebs we weave” (“the tangled webs we weave”). It’s Masterpiece Theatre meets Alfred Hitchcock.
Director John Paul Anderson’s screenplay is about a 1950s’ fictional London couturier, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lews), who treats people like so many manequins upon which to drape his designs.
“Let’s take her for a walk,” Woodcock says to his new muse in town, Alma (wonderfully chimerical Vicky Krieps), referring not to the model, but rather to how the garment is carried by the model.
“The Shape Of Water” is a fantastic work of cinema.
Director Guillermo del Toro has created a colossal work of imagination that pushes the boundaries of creativity and, no doubt, will push buttons and sound some alarms.
December house sales in the Lehigh Valley concluded on a down note as 2017 see-sawed from month-to-month ups and downs.
In 2017 in the Valley, there were five months of increased sales (November, August, July, May, March) and seven months of decreased sales (December, October, September, June, April, February, January).
Closed sales for December 2017 were down 3.6 percent to 612 houses sold, compared to 635 houses sold in December 2016, according to the December report of the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).
For ink-stained wretches like yours truly (in my 50th year of journalism), “The Post” is a nostalgia trip, set in 1971 when budding young journalists emerged from the then Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University and other institutions of higher-learning fueled by what was going on at The Washington Post and the New York Times.
Disney, ice-skating and a great storyline combine for a spectacular “Disney On Ice Presents ‘Frozen,” through Jan. 21, PPL Center, Allentown.
The scene inside PPL Center opening night, Jan. 17, when the approximate 1 hour, 40-minute (including a 15-minute intermission) “Frozen” ice show was seen for this review, was symbolic of the scene outside with a snowfall and freezing temperatures. A “heat wave” of daytime temperatures to the 40s degrees fahrenheit is predicted for the Lehigh Valley through the Feld Entertainment show run.