Two out of three ain’t bad.
Here are three movies, each having received at least one Oscar nomination:
All Quiet on the Western Front — here is a remake of the 1930s classic, and I was prepared to have this be the same old trench warfare, with all the accompanying platitudes. Instead, I was surprised. This was well done, with decent acting, and a few hand-to-hand combat sequences unlike anything I have previously seen, some truly touching. It is a German production, but all in English. Although it’s on the long side, I think it is worthwhile.
Everything Everywhere All at Once — starring Michelle Yeoh, and receiving 11 Oscar nominations is alternatively amusing, excessively noisy, clever, confusing, and lacking boundaries. It is without a raison d’être, as with other movies during this awards season, notably The Banshees of Isherin and Tár. Everything Everywhere is getting rave reviews, but I say “skip it.” As one reviewer put it, the plot seems to suggest “that what makes life meaningful is the recognition that because there is no inherent meaning, all things and moments are equally meaningful.” Oh, sure thing….
Aftersun — a subtle but touching recollection of a 30-year old woman, when she was on a long vacation with her divorced father, 20 years earlier, before the new school year starts. Not much happens, yet we are drawn to this twosome, and the screenplay and the director skillfully lead us to an articulated but implied conclusion. Newcomer Paul Mescal, as the father, received an Oscar nomination and (Miss) Frankie Corio, as the 10-year old daughter, is equally good. Aftersun is not for the masses, but I found it to be worthwhile.