Quickie -- we have spent the day in Virginia with Cheryl, starting at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, where we saw the last day of the costume and the cinema exhibit, which had fabric swatches for viewers to touch to stop us from groping the costumes themselves, which included Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow costume, Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes costume, Keira Knightley's The Duchess costumes, and a bunch of Phantom of the Opera costumes. We also visited the portrait collection, the miniature houses, and the history of the Shenandoah region. Then we drove to Skyline Drive, where we walked around the first visitor center and watched the sun drop low over the mountains from several of the overlooks.
Kate Winslet's costume from Sense and Sensibility
Waterfall on Skyline Drive
We got home just in time for the Academy Awards red carpet show, then the Oscars, which I really enjoyed this year, mostly because I'd seen almost all of the movies and no one I felt was undeserving had been winning at the previous events.
The only winners I really cared about were the writing awards, which turned out to be the first two presented -- much to my delight, by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, apparently in character from their upcoming movie The Nice Guys. Both adapted and original screenplay trophies went the way I thought they should, to Spotlight and The Big Short. I love Kate Winslet (see costume above) and if she'd never won before, I'd be aggravated she didn't tonight, but Alicia Vikander has had an incredible year -- I'd have nominated her for Ex Machina and The Danish Girl both, and she was also great in The Man From UNCLE and Testament of Youth which I just saw a few months ago. (I thought Tom Hardy should have won similarly for being extraordinary in so many movies in one year, but I think Mark Rylance is always great, so no complaints about supporting actor either.)
Mad Max winning costume, hair/makeup, set design, film editing, sound editing and mixing...YES YES YES! I'd have been thrilled if it won Best Picture as well, but I thought Spotlight was very well done if fairly traditional storytelling for a journalists-as-heroes film. I still think The Big Short was in many ways the most creative film of the year. Birdman deserved two cinematography Oscars and two Best Director awards, so I guess I can't complain if the same guys won for The Revenant, though I am very relieved that did not win Best Picture as I have no desire ever to see it. (Also, I'm not sorry Mad Max didn't win visual effects, because Ex Machina is an amazing film that more people should see and argue about.) I'm okay with Larsen and DiCaprio winning, but I didn't see either of their movies -- the former just looks so upsetting and there is nothing at all in the latter I want to see, not even Leo's performance. In Memoriam...weird song choice, thank you for letting Alan speak, thank you for ending with Nimoy. I didn't have strong opinions about the best song nominees other than that "Writing's on the Wall" is no "Skyfall," but I thought Lady Gaga should win an Oscar just for her performance at the Oscars.