Hansen:Reviewing the Oscar’s Best Picture nominees

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Steve Hansen

Former QCS Managing Editor

It’s Sunday, Feb. 28.

I’m not watching the Academy Awards this evening, because the column I’m writing instead is overdue. And because I haven’t seen any of the movies.

That won’t stop me from commenting a little about the Best Picture nominees.

One of the nominees is called “The Revenant.” I looked it up. A revenant is a person who was believed to be dead.

This movie was filmed over nine months in Arctic cold, which would be enough to make most people wish they were dead.

I’d give its star, Leonardo DiCaprio, the Oscar just for endurance, but I would also give special Oscars to the people who kept the camera and sound equipment working in the cold and stood still in the deep freeze while actors cavorted in front of them.

I may never see this one unless it gets to Netflix.

The one I want to see is “The Big Short.” It’s about the crash of 2008, which has fascinated me since I escaped from the California county that got hit the hardest close to the top of the slide.

This movie, I understand, is “black humor,” a genre I’ve loved since “Catch-22,” Joseph Heller’s murderously funny World War II novel.  Black humor is usually about things that aren’t funny, like wars and recessions.

“The Martian” with Matt Damon is a movie I may watch once, just because the idea of being stuck on Mars with no way home is just too unpleasant to ponder more than one time through.

“Brooklyn” seems to be a love story with foreign accents, and I’ve never heard of Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson or Emory Cohen, the stars.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” continues the dystopian Mad Max series of the 1970s. If the early Mad Max series didn’t get past three efforts, there was probably a reason.

Why revive it 40 years later? My guess is the recent emergence of “steam punk,” a convergence of science fiction and ramshackle trappings, which was the Mad Max hallmark.

So there you have it, my reviews without the benefit of watching the movies.

Maybe I should watch the Oscar show, but that’s like watching the Super Bowl when it’s the only football you see all season.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:


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