The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards are on Sunday, and Ross and I have seen only two of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture — “Dunkirk” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Now it’s not necessarily my goal to see all the nominees before the awards show, but it is interesting to see what critics and the Academy’s voting members think is worthy of a nod.

And there are times when I wonder “why did that movie get nominated in the first place?”

After seeing “Three Billboards” this past Saturday, I can see why it was nominated and has already won four Golden Globes and a handful of other awards. The movie’s storyline is a mother (Frances McDormand) wanting answers to her daughter’s brutal rape and murder. So she challenges local law authority by taking a roll of cash to the local advertising agency and renting three billboards. These billboards hadn’t been used in years and were located on a road that people don’t go down very often.

Woody Harrelson plays Police Chief Bill Willoughby, who is named in one of the billboards. Sam Rockwell is Officer Jason Dixon, who is portrayed as a racist cop. Dixon sees the billboards being put up and quickly informs Willoughby, and the billboards quickly get recognition.

The movie is billed as a dark comedy/drama. Normally that’s not my cup of tea. The actors did play the heck out of their characters, but there were some parts of the movie/storyline that made me cringe. It also has a haunting soundtrack that I recently checked out through the Hoopla library website. It’s definitely a movie that makes you think.

On the lighter side, we went to see the movie “Jumanji” the week prior. I hadn’t seen the original with Robin Williams, so I really don’t know what the story is all about. But that didn’t really matter.

The updated version made Jumanji a video game, and four teens from different walks of life are placed in detention when they come across the game. Soon the four find themselves as characters in the game — the ones they chose. The nerdy boy becomes the character portrayed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and one of the character’s strengths is “smolder.” The football player becomes Kevin Hart’s character, and the self-absorbed girl becomes Jack Black’s character. Together, the team must try and win the game so they can go home.

Now “Jumanji” may not be Oscar contender material, but it was entertaining and actually did quite well. I just have to look up the original someday; I love Robin Williams’ work.

The other movies up for Best Picture include “Call Me By Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” and “The Shape of Water.” Who will win? Will it be an upset like last year? We’ll find out on Sunday night.