I'm not someone who particularly likes prequels, but this previous week was the start of much-anticipated shows of two epic fictional realms of Westeros and Middle earth. House of Dragon streams on HBO (but for residents of Lebanon that won't be able to have an HBO account there are many alternatives for free streaming). Now House of Dragon takes us back to a period where the realm of Westeros was in prosperity yet same time of uncertainty. I will not go further in the storyline not to spoil especially for people that never Ice and Fire book or any of Martin books.
I have to say the long awaited series as far as the first two episodes did not disappoint from visual and acting point of view. For many who watched the full eight seasons of Game of thrones could not wait for latest HBO especially that final season of GOT had disappointing ending.
As for Rings of Power ( streams on Amazon Prime) which takes us thousands of years further even before the hobbits. Yet with so much potential to have a memorable show the first two episodes did not provide the effect I had with House of Dragon. But still I will continue with both shows to see where they go.
When you consider an award show the most admirable thing usually is getting surprising results.In the last ten or so years it's been more like a campaign race and most of the time the powerful producers play a significant role. This year Oscar nominations feature one of the best movies there denies no. But some deserve more than others to win, one of those definitely Christopher Nolan. He's been denied many times the coveted award of "Best Director" and if he gets it'll be a refreshing and long due. I'll be giving my own predictions and which movies I think should win.
The most important award to be given at the night is without a doubt best picture award. Nine movies have been nominated for this award and only one will have it. The movies are:
Call Me By Your Name: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. ( IMDB 2017)
Darkest Hour: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or fight on against incredible odds. ( IMDB 2017)
Dunkirk: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. ( IMDB 2017)
Get Out: It's time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambiance will give way to a nightmare. ( IMDB 2017)
Lady Bird: In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
Phantom Thread: Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover. ( IMDB 2017)
The Post: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. ( IMDB 2017)
The Shape of Water: At a top secret research facility in the 1950s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. ( IMDB 2017)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit. ( IMDB 2017)
The nine chosen movies talk about sexual orientation, stories in war era, racial discrimination, women empowerment, love stories, politics, & weird relationships. From what I've perceived in recent years and how this business is shifting towards support of women. I would say the forerunners for this award are Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri & Lady Bird. Although I predict that the former will bring in the award.
As for the rest of the awards, I think it's up for grabs for any of the nominees. But the leaders in each of the important categories will be like this.For the "Best Director", it's difficult choice especially having two big names with Guillermo del Toro — The Shape of Water & Christopher Nolan -- Dunkirk. I wish Nolan wins but I think it's going to be Del Toro. For "Best Actress" I can't see beyond Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri especially after winning the Saga. For the "Best Actor", it's a headache for all involved but I predict Gary Oldman for his role in Darkest Hour.
Promptly my favorite category this year is undeniably the best foreign film that features The insult by Ziad Doueiri. Whatever any of the Lebanese that Doueiri guts would say about him but he's talented and proven. His film West Beirut is one of my favorite movies of all time.His last movie The insult seized much attention at first in the opposite direction and almost banned. The reason is Doueiri spent around eleven months in Israel, the sworn enemy of Lebanon. Nevertheless, I expect this movie going to win. All I hope that at the time of the speech only greeting notes would be mentioned. But I fear it will turn to political one that half of the Lebanese will hate.
I've been browsing some of the backlashes on the movie Beirut starring Mad Men Jon Hamm & Gone Girl Rosamund Pike.There are two blogs that basically summed up the reaction in Lebanon.Blog Baladi demonstrated the reaction of the majority and its concern that the movie is conveying the flawed idea of Beirut. Another website Plus961 are taking a stand of the indifferent although making known that the movie transmitting an inaccurate picture of Beirut.For me whatever is the reaction of the Lebanese people the damage is done. I agree with Plus961 blog and think we should move on.It's not going be the last time that anyone would make a film about Beirut City or even Lebanon and show a different reality. This is all that was needed for the Lebanese in 2018, some rather "setback" to blame the west for our misfortunes. Now if the tourism industry suffers a plunge, we will blame the movie.
Films can definitely be powerful at tapping into human sensations, so it's no surprise they can be very inspiring. Told well, a simple story of humanity triumphing over harsh indifference will speak to all of us, and maybe even making a difference to our lives. Here's five movies that are not only inspiring but really good movies.