LESSON #1: THERE ARE LIKELY MORE SKELETONS IN MORE CLOSETS THAN WE WILL EVER KNOW— Last year, it was the allegations surrounding Casey Affleck. Last week was the culmination of old indiscretions from Ain’t It Cool News and Alamo Drafthouse. This week, it’s the unearthed disgusting behavior from mega-producer Harvey Weinstein. I wish this story would be the last on the topic of unchecked sexual harassment, but I think any law of averages from any statistical measure will tell us this is the tip of an iceberg and not the finale. I’ll repeat my plea from last week to remove the silence and dish out the overdue consequences.
LESSON #2: HARRY DEAN STANTON DESERVES TO WIN THE THIRD POSTHUMOUS ACTING OSCAR EVER AWARDED— You can call Lucky a capstone, a eulogy, or whatever you want, but the late Harry Dean Stanton deserved serious Oscar consideration for Best Actor even before his death. His legend will only grow with the public seeing the film. Starkly present in both the character and the actor himself, every wrinkle hides a layer, a story to be told, or a touchstone to an unseen memory. You cannot stare deep enough into his sullen eyes without being captivated by his plight.
LESSON #3: THE MONEY PEOPLE EARN MAKING A MOVIE— Mark me down as a guy who never knew how much the folks you see listed in the end credits of a film got paid. We hear about the big paychecks of actors and directors, but rarely the “little people.” Check out this article from TIME magazine. File this under the “You Learn Something Every Day” department.
LESSON #4: IS THE THEATRICAL PRODUCT GETTING SLOPPY?— I recently enjoyed the perspective written up by Sonny Bunch in The Washington Post. I found the technical details behind projection, sound, and lights to be fascinating. The more I think about my theatrical experiences every week, the more I see what Bunch is referring to. Calling it a “scapegoat” to attendance I think is a little too strong, but discerning fans are right to expect and want better from their premium ticket prices.
LESSON #5: GEORGE CLOONEY IS TOO YOUNG TO BE GETTING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS— The American Film Institute announced that George Clooney will be receiving their 46th Lifetime Achievement Award next June. Mr. Clooney is only 56-years-old. I don’t want to turn into Don “TMasterpiece” Shanahan, but George’s career is far from full or even complete. Let’s put the “lifetime” in lifetime achievement awards. The guy could work at the top of his game for another quarter-century. Come back when the guy is 76 instead of 56. Next thing you know, Jennifer Lawrence is going to win the thing before she turns 30. Jeez!
DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. He is also one of the founders and the current directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle. As an elementary educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends. Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Creators Media.