I’ve been having a bit of a movie fest this last week or so, catching up with the Oscar winners in between painting, gardening and job-hunting. I’ve watched I, Tonya, The Shape of Water and Ladybird and if I had to give marks out of ten for them, it would be 8.5 for I,Tonya, 7.5 for Ladybird and 6 for The Shape of Water.
For me, I, Tonya was the best of them. Very funny and also remarkable in that even if only ¾ of it is true, it’s amazing that Tonya Harding ever amounted to anything with what can only be described as a poisonous old hag for a mother, not to mention Dumb, who she married, and Dumber, his friend. We’re all aware of some of this story but I would highly recommend seeing it to fill in some of the blanks. I won’t say anything about it other than I hope Tonya gets a happy ending.
Ladybird was enjoyable if a bit of a cliché; teenager doesn’t get along with peers, school and mother but it all comes right in the end. While watching it, I did wonder if it was sponsored by the Catholic Church, it was very pro-church in a sentimental sort of way, but worth a look anyway if you had nothing else to do.
The Shape of Water, nothing very original in this and again a bit of a cliché. The story line has been done before, most notably in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Only instead of an alien we have an extra from Stingray! Usual story, strange creature with healing powers (ET), held by nasty government official and helped to escape by girl (Starman) who in this instance, can’t speak. I’m not really sure what Guillermo was aiming for but I think this was over-rated, to be honest, and really not worthy of Best Picture Oscar. Maybe it was a homage to those old B-movie monster flicks from back in the day, or a statement on judging those who are different or on the Cold War, which the West seems to be doing their best to start again. Who knows? It even had a spy from Russia who after helping in the escape is killed by his paymasters. A bit of a coincidence or a nice little piece of propaganda - considering current events? I wonder who financed the movie?
I’ve watched Century of the Self and I’m very cynical now, I don’t know who poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, but I don’t believe anything the government tells me about it. The anti-Putin rhetoric has been doing the rounds for some time now and since the chances of a war with North Korea are disappearing, the military-industrial complex need a villain and a war to make some money, so back we go to Putin. And, of course, another chance for the right-wing media, and the Blairites, to have a go at Jeremy, too.
It just all seems too convenient, I mean, why would Putin do this now when he’s in the middle of an election he’s going to win anyway? He is popular in Russia which is a source of continuing irritation to the West and a thorn in their side as he’s keeping them out of the oil and gas fields in Crimea.
But however it all turns out surely the most embarrassing moment in the whole media-driven hysteria had to be Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s remarks that ‘Russia should just shut -up and go away’. Like some naff teacher’s pet, trying to take on the school bully, this was cringe-inducing! I’m sure Vladimir is quaking in his boots at the thought of gimpy old Gavin, NOT!