Been awhile but I’m getting this blog back on line. Just a short blurt on movies and a longer one on animals coming up after I get home from Tahoe.

Finally got the chance to see “Hugo” a few weeks ago and I was more than a little impressed. I would feel sorry for Sorcese not getting the Oscar for this, but he got Best Picture a few years ago for that convoluted “let’s kill everybody” action film with DiCaprio and DeNiro, so it balanced out.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to become disenchanted with the Academy Awards but I was also against the designated hitter: why did I ever take either professional baseball or the Film Academy so seriously?

Major League Baseball and the AMPAS do have one thing in common: they love the past. Baseball has its column after column of records and statistics, and the Oscars worship what’s come before. No wonder “The Artist” won Best Picture, a movie in love with old movies. Black and White, virtually silent, starring stars(both would-be and established), and about producing movies and stars, “The Artist” begged the members of the Motion Picture Academy to “Love me, I’m all about us!”

On the other hand, (small spoiler alert) even though “Hugo” ended up to be partly about movie making in the past, its rendition was totally now — good acting and great special effects, art, lighting, cinematography and direction: everything a Best Picture should have. It’s going to be easy to skip the Academy Award Show from now on, no way I could ever take it seriously again.

Coincidentally I came across the book from which “Hugo” was taken just a few days after I saw the movie. “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick is a children’s book, but it has lots of adult fans. Selznick is primarily an artist, and the book has about as many illustrations as pages of prose. The writing is pretty rudimentary but the plot is imaginative and coupled with the drawings the story drives convincingly to its conclusion. It was really a perfect vehicle for a movie, where prose is the least important ingredient.     

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