Movie Reviews: Lady Bird and Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri @JennyHatch

UPDATE:

I lasted about thirty minutes. This diss of Mike Pence was totally uncalled for.

Original Post:

So, I don’t usually watch the Academy Awards.  I almost never watch live television.  The day after I go looking for the highlight clips of the various awards shows and watch for a few minutes. Despite being in the entertainment industry, I don’t feel like I have the luxury to keep up with all of it.  I love it all.  Music, Dance, Theatre, Movies, and Musical Theatre is my favorite and I follow that world closely on Twitter.

When I heard that Keala was going to perform This is Me, I decided it was time to watch a live academy award show. I have seen the Grestest Showman in the theater three times, including on my 50th birthday last month with my whole family.  I have bought the album on iTunes, listened to the album so many times I can sing along comfortably.  I cannot wait to play a part in the show some day, or direct it for community theatre and I think it is the most wonderful addition to the canon since Hamilton.

So out of respect for Keala, who attended SUU while I was working as a cashier in the food court at Chick Fil A and used to come in with a group of musical theatre kids for lunch all the time, her talent, her ties to my favorite University, her passion for this song, my passion for this song, and just the great good I believe that movie is accomplishing in our world during a time of great discord and division, I was planning to watch the Oscars on Sunday.

I rarely go to movies in the theater. I generally wait until they show up for free on Netflix or Amazon and then watch them on my tablet a couple years after they are released.

I do follow Broadway closely and generally watch all of the new shows online production content and purchase albums from the best musicals so I can get to know them. My favorites from the past few years have been Something Rotten and Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. I love the music from these shows. And listen to them often when I am out driving for Uber.

I decided yesterday that if I was going to watch the Oscars I may as well watch a couple of the movies that most think are going to win the top prize for best movie.

So yesterday I spent ten bucks and watched Three Billboards and Lady Bird on Amazon.

I was deeply moved by the story lines in both and laughed out loud at various and sundry hilarious scenes. I empathized with all of the characters and feel any awards given for best actors, actresses, and picture will be deserved.

I cannot encourage in good conscience anyone I know to watch either of these movies. It saddens me to say that because I love movies and I love the process of movie and musical making so much that I wish I could comfortably say, “Yes, go see it, best movie ever!”

I have done that with The Greatest Showman. Hugh Jackman said he wanted to create a movie that he could see with his children, who are both young teens.

I wish we could take a five or ten year break from the slasher, sexy, violent, cannibalistic, pedophilia, war, and horror genres of movie making which demoralize our young people and glorify darkness, and just have some good, upbeat family films for a couple of years.

Funny, inspirational, where children love their parents, parents love each other, and families stay intact.

I believe depicting these types of stories will help families heal and move towards a brighter future.

Three Billboards was so filled with profanity I could not encourage anyone I know to watch it, they would accuse me of turning my back on my Mormon values. The violence was also extreme and when they showed the photos of the girl who had been murdered, I thought, “you don’t need to show us a photo of her burned corpse”. I understand the desire the directors have for authenticity, they want to depict the horror of rape, suicide, and murder with the tools of their trade.

But I would be totally embarrassed to bring my 15 year old son to either of these movies and sit comfortably in a movie theater with him.

When I sat next to Ben while we watched Greatest Showman, he was just rocking out to the music and loving every minute of the story. The movie was family friendly short and so fun, we all came out of the theater feeling good and happy.

As I watched Lady Bird I kept thinking, “you don’t have to show that.” Her first sexual encounter, her purchase of a porno magazine, her exploration of her boundaries and all of the many choices she had to make as a 17 year old COULD have been depicted without showing the porn, the sex scene, and angry interactions with her Mom.

I loved that the movie ended with her going to church, dumping the socialist hipster not interested in a meaningful relationship, and reconciling with her best friend. It was powerful messaging to show her regret losing her virginity. And I loved how her mom was depicted as a tiger mother, who would do anything to help her daughter to succeed. The dad in the film was also completely believable and sympathetic to her woes.

I was surprised that her adoptive brother was accused by Lady Bird of being able to go to Berkeley because of affirmative action. I thought Hollywood did not acknowledge such things. But was grateful for the honesty and clarity of what that reality means as schools are applied to and universities make offers of acceptance.

This was a good experiment, but I believe I will go back to my old standard of waiting for multiple trusted sources to encourage me to see a film before I spend any money, and if I determine that it is something I want to see, I will wait a few years to watch it for free on Netflix. Hollywood is going to have to reform itself to an unbelievable degree before I am willing to risk watching new movies without a ton of research.

As for the academy award show?

If one person dumps on President Trump or those of us who voted for him, I will turn it off and never come back.

I can wait twelve hours to watch Keala sing This is Me on You Tube.

Jenny Hatch
http://www.JennyHatch.com

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