I don’t have a great track record of watching all the Oscar nominated films in a year. I have friends who make it a mission to see every nominated film, but I usually only manage to see a couple here and there. For reference, I’ve seen six of last year’s 10 Best Picture nominees (and Nightmare Alley I only saw recently, rather than when it was in its nomination period), three of 2020’s seven, six of nine in 2019, and five of 2018’s eight (six if you count half-watching Green Book on someone else’s screen on a flight, which is probably the maximum amount of attention you really need to pay to Green Book). The most recent year for which I’ve seen all the Best Picture nominees was 2008 (which is also the year before they expanded the maximum from five to 10).
But this year, when I realized that just in the course of general moviegoing, I had seen six of the 10 Best Picture nominees, I decided to try and watch the whole slate. As of last night I’ve seen all 10 nominees, and although I won’t be watching the ceremony tonight (because staying up until four a.m. for what will inevitably be many cringeworthy jokes about The SlapTM isn’t my idea of a good time), here is my ranking and thoughts on the list:
Continue reading “Best Picture 2023: My Oscar Thoughts & Ranking” →
Long before I ever stepped foot in Ireland, I’ve loved Irish literature. When I was a kid, I had an audiobook on cassette tape with a number of classic ghost stories, including Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Canterville Ghost’, which I listened to incessantly. In college, I found a love for Irish plays as well, reading several (including Translations by Brian Friel, which became an all-time favourite) in a historically-focused theatre course. Naturally, this played into my motivations for applying to an MA in Literature & Publishing in Galway, and once I moved over I discovered so many wonderful contemporary Irish authors from Donal Ryan to, of course, Sally Rooney.
Ireland has an outsized cultural influence, with an incredible amount of internationally-acclaimed art in every medium considering the relatively small size of the country. Some of the world’s best poets, musicians, and more hail from the Emerald Isle. And as I’ve lived here I’ve gotten to know a lot of work by artists of different types.
But one medium that I feel has passed me personally by a bit for the most part is Irish cinema. I’ve seen a few of the most well-known Irish films across a number of genres — The Commitments, Once, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, The Quiet Man — but there are far more iconic Irish films that have passed me by. On this list, for example, I’ve only seen six.
Continue reading “Scannáin na hÉireann” →