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The Oscars, and The Father

Yes, I watched the Oscars, sort of, while also reading, flipping to other channels, and finally with relief turning to “Couples Therapy” which provided more drama. I understand trying to keep the magic alive, creating an intimate space in a train station, but those enormous gowns looked absurd in a small space. Though Chloe Zhao and Frances McDormand paid no attention to the dress code, no breasts toppling out or un-walkable shoes for them. 

I’d seen a mere two of the nominated movies – “Soul” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” – both terrific. Tried briefly but abandoned “Mank” and “Ma Rainey.” I’d also seen two of the prize-winning documentaries: “My Octopus Teacher,” which I loved, and the short “Colette,” about an elderly Frenchwoman honouring her brother, who was in the resistance and died in a concentration camp – very moving. 

People have complained bitterly in past years about the lack of diversity of the Oscars. This year, they were as satisfyingly diverse as could be, both in presenters and winners; many of the speeches were about racial justice. So afterwards, people complained about the venue and the ending. I guess we just like to complain. Well, I can’t talk, after my bitchfest.

Have to say, Brad Pitt is still one of the best-looking men on earth, even with a silly little ponytail. 

Last night, I watched two other winners: the best animated short, “If something happens I love you” and “The Father.” Devastating, both of them, and brilliant, one about the aftermath of gun violence and the other about losing your mind to Alzheimers. Anthony Hopkins deserved that Oscar; he gives a master class in acting with truth and courage, showing what it’s like not to understand what’s happening around you, absolutely stunning, but then they all are, every actor, the whole movie. Florian Zeller, the very young, very handsome Frenchman who wrote and produced it as a play first and now this haunting film – what a blazing talent.

I read a funny article in the paper – there’s a Frenchman in space, at the space station, so they had to create gourmet freeze-dried food for him, including boeuf bourguignon and lobster. Mais bien sûr

Yesterday I was on a Zoom call with neighbours I’ve known for over 30 years. Duncan Fremlin is creating a video memory of the Cabbagetown baseball league, which ran in the Sprucecourt school playing field every spring through the nineties. I told them it was heaven, going across the street twice a week to stand with other parents watching our kids play in a field ringed by forsythia in full bloom. How lucky we are still to be here, still to be friends. One of the father coaches – one of the best things about the league was the involvement of many fathers – said he had fond memories of “Beth’s daughter Anna, so very outspoken.” Anna had told me that though the fee to join was very low – $12, I think – some of her friends from Regent Park couldn’t afford it, so she simply snuck them onto the teams, “got them jerseys and everything.” 

Atsa my girl, the same at twelve as at … nearly forty. On Monday my outspoken daughter will be forty. How is it possible that girl hitting a home run on a mild spring evening against a bank of forsythia is now 40, watching her own children play? And I am 70. 70. 

Luckily, so far I think my aging brain is still in play. More or less.

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2 Responses to “The Oscars, and The Father”

  1. Theresa says:

    They go on, those children in the spring fields, and we go on with them. I loved reading this.

  2. beth says:

    Aren't we lucky, Theresa?! What a blessing – spring, and children, and grandchildren, on and on. Spring this year is more beautiful than I ever remember. And you have a greenhouse to help with what's next.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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