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During the Pandemic Plague filmic buffs have had to improvise in their investment and outlook as to viewing options: gone is the sanctity of the silenced, darkened, behemoth movie house, programed timing between features, bathroom and refueling stations; most missed, is the intimacy of the experience: “date nights”, secretive squeezes, muffled comments, irritated shushes; welcome laceration, cauterization, from monotonous minutiae of daily regimens, in other words the prestige, eminence, partnership with the theatre is erased. No longer lusting, anticipating Friday openings, we stream, at our convenience, oftentimes alone, the most recent favored features. 

On the plus side, movie mavens have been treated to most of the Academy Award nominations; viewed without expectation or fanfare, seeing the majority; inflamed despondency informed most of the choices for Best Picture; cutting to the chase (doubtfully will garnish the almighty Oscar) my selection is “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (besting “Nomadland”) solely because of the potency of the real story and the acting prowess exhibited by the inimitable cast. Director David Fincher will lose Best Director to Chloe Zhao (“The Rider”) for “Nomadland”; it is depressingly profound.

Best Actor will and should go to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”; never being a fan of posthumous awards (Heath Ledger); with the exception of Anthony Hopkins “The Father” (second choice), Boseman’s performance was one the finest I have ever witnessed. Best supporting, and there’s a plethora of terrific roles, but by far the most intelligently mesmerizing was Leslie Odom Jr. in “One Night in Miami”.

Women depictions were fabulously stunning; Subscribers to Peneflix know I choose the one who should vs the one who will win; my choice for the female Best Actor is Andra Day, “The United States Vs Billie Holiday”; brilliantly spellbinding. Best Supporting female actor prize should be granted to Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”, a must-see exquisite immigrant tale. As a caveat I did not care for “Mank” or “Promising Young Woman”.

“Collective” nominated in two categories: Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary is my choice for a dual win; admittedly, I have not seen them all, but “Collective” has left an indelible mark on my scale of inpeccability.

Venturing into today’s unpopulated theatres is more melancholic than the subject matter depicted on the screen; time has altered how we embrace entertainment; time will also welcome a return to a normalcy required for those who respect and demand it.


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