Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Not so easy choosing a movie

dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 17, 2014 

When the Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning, I did what I always do this time of year: I vowed to see as many of the Best Picture nominees as possible.

That's easier said than done.

You know, because I have a family.

My wife likes musicals (none nominated), my boys like action flicks (none nominated), and my daughter likes art house films (what's an art house film?).

And me?

It doesn't matter what I like.

This became apparent when Bess and I were in college in the late '80s. On our second date, I took her to a midnight showing of "Raising Arizona," one of my favorites, and she disliked it so much that I had no choice but to take her to see "Driving Miss Daisy" the next day.

Eventually we got married and started trying to change each other.

I thought I could teach her the high points of "Aliens," like when Sigourney Weaver climbs into the Caterpillar Power Loader J-5000 to fight an evil space creature.

Bess thought she could show me the joys of "1776," a musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, like when John Hancock sings about putting his John Hancock on stuff.

No can do.

Then we had children and it didn't matter anymore, because every movie we watched was either animated or about animals -- or about animated animals.

I guess I appreciate that the folks at Disney and Pixar try to include the occasional adult reference, but it just reminds me even more that I'm watching a kid's movie and would really rather not be.

But now our four kids are older, which is scary because half of them are driving but also kind of nice because they can usually watch the movies we like to watch.

For example, my wife and daughter recently saw "Saving Mr. Banks," while my sons and I enjoyed "Lone Survivor."

None of those movies, by the way, were nominated for Best Picture, though "Lone Survivor" did receive nods in the prestigious categories of Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. You know, because it's pretty tricky editing and mixing the sound of machine gun fire.

Of course, Bess and I enjoy the occasional date night.

The other day she asked me which Best Picture nominee I wanted to strike from the list first.

(Our whole family has already seen "Captain Phillips," which had something for everybody, including fine acting, dramatic pacing, oceanic scenery, gun violence, salty language and scenes of peril.)

"I hear 'Wolf of Wall Street' is pretty good," I said.

"What's that about?" Bess asked.

"Well, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a hot-shot stockbroker who snorts cocaine off a…"

Um, no. "What else?"

"There's 'Her,'" I said, "about a guy who falls in love with the operating system on his cell phone."

"You're kidding me!"

Not kidding.

We'll plan to see the historical drama "12 Years a Slave" and the dysfunctional family flick "August: Osage County."

The latter didn't receive a Best Picture nomination but did get nods for best actress (Meryl Streep) and best supporting actress (Julia Roberts).

I hear Roberts drops this line during an on-screen argument with Streep, who plays her mother:

"Don't get all Carson McCullers on me."

Around here, we know what that means.

Anyway, have fun watching the Oscar nominees, if you're into that sort of thing.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com.

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