Whittling down the Oscar to-do list

On Jan 24, I created a list of movies I wanted to see before the Oscars on March 2.  I've made pretty good progress over the last couple of weeks;

  • Captain Phillips
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Blue Jasmine
  • August: Osage County
  • Before Midnight
Yesterday I also saw Inside Llewyn Davis -- it's nominated for Cinematography and Sound Mixing.  I kind of regret that I wasted my time on that one--I didn't really care for it.  Somehow I completely missed that it was a Coen Brothers movie--I didn't know it until the ending credits rolled.  Had I known, I would've been prepared for the weirdness.  Instead, I was left scratching my head.  The movie was only 1:44 long, but it felt much longer than that because it just wasn't enjoyable.

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton (LOVE!)

Humans of New YorkHumans of New York by Brandon Stanton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a big fan of the HONY blog and Facebook page. Reading through the book reminded me of my first visit to NYC when I was 10. We just came out of the Holland Tunnel and my younger sister said, "why does that man have a shoe on his head?" A few blocks later, "why is that man doing karate with a telephone pole?" Nobody was paying any attention to this and I fell in love with NYC immediately. HONY captures that wonder I felt so long ago. It's full of beautiful photos of beautiful people from all walks of life. It can make me smile, and it can bring a tear..sometimes on the same photo. It's not about whether Brandon Stanton is a good photographer...it's about the connection to people.

Here's Brandon in his own words (video).

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Book review: Want Not by Jonathan Miles

Want NotWant Not by Jonathan Miles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wouldn't have picked this book up based on the plot summary, but I decided to read it based on the rave reviews. I have mixed feelings about it. I think there's a good message in this book about all the waste society produces and it is thought provoking. The book started strong and I was drawn to the three stories being told: a "freegan" couple, living off the grid and sustaining themselves from what they find in the trash; the divorced linguistics professor selected to work on a project to warn future generations to stay away from a toxic waste dump; and the guy who works in collections and his wife and stepdaughter; but about 2/3 of the way through, the stories started to meander, and I found myself skimming. It was interesting to learn how the three stories intersected, but I think one of the twists was too convenient. I don't know that I'd recommend this to anyone else. It would depend on their level of interest in the subject of waste, I guess.

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