GOULDTHORPE | My Thoughts on Coco’s wins at the Oscars

What an absolute shock that Pixar won Best Animated Feature. Okay, so sarcasm doesn’t translate well into text. It was practically certain that Pixar’s Coco would end up with the coveted Oscar. Of course, when half of its competition is Ferdinand and The Boss Baby, it had a relatively easy path forward. Now there has been plenty of discourse about how the animation nominations are selected, and plenty of discourse over whether it’s proper for Disney to win the award so often.


GUEST ROOM | Has Chance the Rapper’s Chance Passed?

Not only was Acid Rap one of the best hip-hop albums of the decade, but it was a million times better than Coloring Book. For pre-Coloring Book era fans of Chance the Rapper, what I just said comes as no surprise, so allow me to be a little more radical. Coloring Book, quite frankly, fell short. Considering it is one of the most discussed pieces of music in recent years, one would expect something that sounds better. But upon further investigation, it becomes apparent what made Coloring Book so successful: Chance’s accomplishments as a humanitarian, its cost (zero), and the albums all-star cast.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Red Sparrow’s Promise Goes Unfulfilled

I had high hopes for Red Sparrow when I saw the trailer. It looked stylish and sharp, and I’m a sucker for a good thriller. At the same time, I had some reservations. A spy using their sexuality as a weapon to seduce targets is a tired trope that never clicked with me in the first place. Nonetheless, I went in with some strong expectations.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

GUEST ROOM | Which 2017 Movie Would Win A Hypothetical Oscar For Best Scene?

When you consider what the Oscars are about — ranking our favorite movies of the year — they should really be a lot more fun. So let’s drop some boring categories (I’m sure everyone would be absolutely devastated if we got rid of Best Song and Best Makeup and Hairstyling) and add some fun ones, like Best Practical Effects, Best Ensemble Cast and Is Your Picture A Wildly Entertaining Horror/Thriller/Comedy That Doubles As A Nuanced, Thought-Provoking Metaphor For The Hardships Faced By Minorities In America? Another such fun award would be Best Scene. It’s the perfect way to both reflect on the standout sequences from some of the Best Picture front-runners as well as reward moments of brilliance in flawed films that would otherwise go unacknowledged at the Oscars. For reference, here are the scenes I would have picked each year for the past decade:

2016 – Moonlight – “What’s a Faggot?”
2015 – Furious 7 – Double Skyscraper Jump
2014 – Whiplash – Final Concert
2013 – Gravity – Opening Debris Sequence
2012 – Django Unchained – Dinner Monologue
2011 – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Tom Cruise Scales the Burj Khalifa
2010 – Inception – Rotating Hallway Fight
2009 – Up – Married Life Montage
2008 – The Dark Knight – Literally Any Scene
2007 – No Country For Old Men – Coin Toss

We’re looking for instantly memorable scenes that are essential to their film’s success and have the chance to become iconic years down the road.

A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold

Books You Should Read in March

1. A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy  

Author: Sue Klebold

Genre: Nonfiction

By Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold, perpetrator of the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, this moving memoir details how she came to terms with her son’s horrific actions, which have haunted her for the past eighteen years. Following the tragedy, Klebold continuously reexamined her role as a mother, her faith, and the possible causes and warning signs of her son’s behavior. In light of the recent school shooting in Florida, this book further highlights the urgent need for reevaluating mental health care and gun laws in this country.  



The Sun’s Oscar Predictions

Here are the Sun’s predictions for the 2018 Academy Awards. Best Picture:

Should Win — Get Out

Unless we want another Crash over Brokeback Mountain situation, Get Out should win Best Picture this year. It captures the zeitgeist of 2017 in a way that something like The Shape of Water simply doesn’t. Jordan Peele, in his directorial debut, accomplished the rare feat of creating a movie that is entertaining as hell and a layered onion to peel far after you leave the theater. At nearly every juncture, Peele’s script goes somewhere smart and unexpected, with plenty of clever foreshadowings along the way.


GUEST ROOM | Lady Bird: A Story of Love and Attention

The number of movies, TV shows and books that attempt to show the transition from high school to college is too large to count. It is always the same story, with most depictions relying on one-dimensional or thematically exhausted protagonists. Then Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig, came out of nowhere and reminded me of the power of authentic characters. Gerwig’s characters stepped outside of stereotypes, not fitting into villain or hero because in actuality, people don’t fit into those roles so easily. It felt different as soon as the movie opened with a Joan Didion quote about California.