Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about Hollywood’s Oscars ceremony being televised on ABC on Sunday, March 4.
MOM CULTURE: The Oscars are on Sunday, Pop.
POP CULTURE: The what?
MOM: Oscars. You know, the Hollywood Academy Awards. That little man on a pedestal. He’s 90 this year!
POP: Remind me to miss it. If I want to watch a nonagenarian, I’ll look in the mirror, thank you.
MOM: But we love going to the movies, dear.
POP: I love the popcorn. You love the movies, dearest.
MOM: A lot of Oscar watchers think best picture will go to “The Shape of Water.”
POP: See, that’s what I’m talking about.
POP: Hollywood and the mainstream media lying to us once again!
MOM: Lying about what, Father?
POP: Water ain’t got no shape, for goodness’ sake.
MOM: The title is a metaphor, dear.
POP: A meta for what?
MOM: For nothing…
POP: Are any James Bond movies nominated for best picture?
MOM: I don’t believe so. None came out last year.
POP: Figures. Instead of shaping water, they should be showing our young people upstanding role models like the heroic 007.
MOM: Sure. A womanizing, boozing, violence-prone fantasy figure. Just what we need more of.
POP: Glad you agree. Instead, they give us inexplicable movie titles that sound like they were spit out by a GPS.
MOM: What on earth are you talking about?
POP: You know, like the GPS voice that says, “In one mile, bear right at three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
MOM: Actually, that movie is one of the favorites to win best picture.
POP: Get out!
MOM: Not so fast. Most people don’t think the Jordan Peele movie will win best picture, even though it was a breakout hit that addresses racial stereotypes provocatively yet entertainingly.
POP: Has the president weighed in yet on which actors and pictures he thinks will win?
MOM: If he has, I haven’t seen the post on Twitter yet.
POP: Yeah, and I’m sure he hasn’t seen “The Post” at all yet—and doesn’t plan to.
MOM: I adore Meryl Streep, but I kinda hope she doesn’t win yet again. She’s been nominated 20 times and has won it three times. Give someone else a chance, like the wonderful Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards...”
POP: That Communist creep Streep! What does she know anyhow about running a fake news newspaper? You know I read online that she and that other guy…
MOM: Tom Hanks?
POP: … yeah, the other Commie rat fink… in that movie both of them were not who they made believe they were. They’re actually actors who were paid to say those things. Not only that. They even had to have someone else write what they said. Fake news!
MOM: I had no idea! Where’d you read that?
POP: A news site called “Assault and Pepper Spray Truth Tellers.”
MOM: Never heard of it.
POP: Of course not. The leastest media doesn’t want you to know the truth.
MOM: Leastest media?
POP: You know. Snobs. Out of touch.
MOM: I think you may mean elitist media, honey.
POP: That’s what I said.
MOM: Well, even our president attended an elitist Ivy League university, you know.
POP: That’s OK. He’s different.
MOM: I’ll say.
POP: I will tell you, however, that as a self-taught expert on military history, I hope “Dunkirk” brings home the bacon.
MOM: Don’t count on it. The smart money says “Dunkirk” is done for, awards-wise.
POP: I’m also pulling for the old man who played Churchill in “The Darkest Hour.”
MOM: Yes, that Oldman, Gary, is expected to win best actor for a totally transformative and riveting performance. Speaking of age, at 88, Christopher Plummer is the oldest actor ever to be nominated, for playing J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World.”
POP: Impressive. That plumber guy has come a long way from tapping his pipes to sing in “The Sound of Music,” eh?
MOM: At the other end of the lifecycle, 22-year-old Timothee Chalamet from “Call Me By Your Name” is the youngest nominee for best actor since Mickey Rooney 73 years ago.
POP: One of my boyhood’s three great Mickeys, along with Mantle and Mouse.
MOM: That reminds me: Walt Disney holds the record for most Oscar nominations, with 59.
POP: They should build Oscarland as a tribute.
MOM: And composer John Williams—he of the majestic “Star Wars” and “Superman” and Spielberg movie theme music—has the most nominations of any living person: 51.
POP: You forgot that he also composed the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics theme music that’s still used.
MOM: Here’s an amazing factoid: Someone who’s not even known for being an actress is nominated in two different categories.
POP: How’s that?
MOM: The singer Mary J. Blige is up for best song and also for best supporting actress in “Mudbound,” which happens to be the first Netflix movie ever to receive Oscar nominations.
POP: Mudbound for glory maybe?
MOM: Not likely. But “Lady Bird” might be. It’s sort of a dark horse as a surprise best picture winner.
POP: They made a whole movie about that first lady… LBJ’s wife?
MOM: Not exactly, darling. I’ll explain it another time.
POP: Now, you’ve got me curious. OK, maybe I’ll watch some of the Oscars with you.
MOM: Thank you, my trophy hubby.
POP: But if it runs as interminably long as it usually does, don’t be surprised if I doze off to la-la-land.
MOM: If the show drones on for four hours like last year, I might be counting sheep in the moonlight myself before it’s over.
POP: Well, before it gets to that point, I hope that someone will have the good sense to get up there and say, “Time’s up!”
MOM: Me, too.