“Stuff is getting better, stuff is getting better everyday.”
Kevin Costner as the “The Postman” says that for Richard Starkey, the President of the Restored United States, in the 1997 film about a future gone haywire with a wanderer spouting Shakespeare for a bowl of soup and a bunch of kids delivering the mail to set things right. It is a good film.
“Stuff is getting better.”
Christmas was a blur, January was Israel and Jordan, and February was the flu.
Back in 1976, they had a show that gonged acts when they were really bad. The flu felt like The Gong Show that wouldn’t stop gonging.
But, “Stuff is getting better.”
With Holidays, travel and flu, only two Best Picture showings survived the hiatus.
“Term of Endearment” won the Oscar for Best Picture among the films released in 1983. Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson are an unlikely duo, but somehow they work well together. Shirley received the Best Actress award; and Jack, despite or perhaps because of his devilish behavior, took the Best Supporting Actor trophy.
The film is set in my former hometown, Houston, Texas, but without the humidity. You can do that at the movies.
At the movies, our EthnoFamilyMovieOgraphy audience had this to say about the show:
A funny, entertaining, well-acted, sad show about a aging widow, a dying daughter, the daughter’s loser husband and the mother’s ridiculous astronaut next door; the morality is lousy, the timing superb, the interactions farsical, the acting excellent, and the outcomes somehow unsettlingly inevitable; with an average EthnoFamiyMovieOgraphy audience rating of 8.38, the film ranks at #19 of the first 56 Best Pictures viewed to date, defying all odds, obstacles and outcomes to end quite nicely — as only the movies can.
Yes, Jack Nicholson plays a retired astronaut. You gotta see it to believe it.
With that, the single word for the film is: Inevitable.
I guess it is, as only the movies can be.
That was the single show that snuck under the door for January.
In February, only one has crept in — so far. “Like an old gray cat in winter, keeping’ close to the wall.” As Jerry Jeff Walker sings so well in the 1972 tune “That Old Time Felling,” you never know what will happen next.
Salieri didn’t. Antonio Salieri is the Court Composer to the Emperor in Vienna when a giggling Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart romps under the table as his, Mozart’s, music plays divinely in the other room. Salieri, played by F. Murray Abraham, spends the rest of the movie plotting the early demise of the naive and unsuspecting “Wolfy” so that he, Salieri, might acquire fame and fortune for himself. Which he does not. Mozart dies a sad and untimely early death but his music lives on and on and on, while Salieri ages badly and wheels madly into oblivion, his wooden tunes to be lost forever if it were not for this movie.
As course and odd as it sounds, this movie is — but so well played . . . and so very sad. Despite the quirkiness of its actors’ portrayals, “Amadeus” was acknowledged to be the Best Picture of the shows of 1984, and Mr. Abraham received the Best Actor nod for a very deserving performance by an actor of a very undeserving character.
What more can be said?
The EthnoFamilyMovieOgraphy audience had this to say:
For the movie “Amadeus,” three words predominate: music, acting and sad; Mozart’s music is grandly presented, but the excellently acted portrayals of his life are so sad — to the point of being depressing; the aging child prodigy is destroyed by the callous abuses and petty jealousies of those surrounding and stifling his genius; the film, despite the exuberances of its score, is difficult to watch, ending prematurely in a pauper’s grave, as a gravely unhappy, if appreciative, audience skulks back in the rain, sighing a 7.86 rating and leaving the show at #35 of the first 57 Best Pictures — the movie and the artist deserve more.
And, the one word for the show: Jealousy
Which sounds like a Grade B show.
Perhaps that is why the show did not perform so well. I don’t know. I do know there is more to the movies than meets the eye.
Until the next show, “Stuff is getting better.”
Thank you for reading,