I love the movies


By Marilyn Delk


The re-opening of the Wayne Theatre in downtown Greenville is a happening to celebrate for many reasons, including the fact that it provides entertainment that does not require more than a 20-minute drive from almost anywhere in Darke County. The grand opening, with klieg lights glowing outside the theater and a red carpet leading into the restored building, provided a festive return to the practices of my youth, first as a little farm girl spending Saturday afternoon watching cartoons and cowboy movies while my parents did their weekly shopping, then as a teen-ager on a date intensely watching the drama unfolding before my eyes, and then as a parent making sure my kids got to see The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, as well as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in spite of the fact that they were not old enough to get into the PG-rated movie by themselves.

As a movie fan, I eagerly look forward to Oscar night where awards are given for excellence in movie-making. The show itself was pretty entertaining, and came in under its announced airing time, a remarkable feat in itself. Although I don’t believe any of the honorees played at the Wayne Theatre (it didn’t open until mid-November, long after the winners were released and about a week following the end of an actors’ strike that had closed down production), we had seen almost all of the nominees with the exception of most of the foreign films (reading subtitles as the moving pictures run on the screen makes me seasick). And I had my favorites—most of which prevailed.

From my perspective, the highlight of the show was Ryan Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken,” which was over-the-top spectacular fun. (Of course, Ryan Gosling just standing there smiling would have been a highlight for most females.) The song was not the winner; that honor went to another one from the Barbie movie, “What Was I Made For,” sung by Billie Eilish who also co-wrote the tune.

The initial Oscar of the night for Best Supporting Actress was given to Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who played the role of a grieving cafeteria manager struggling to move on in her life as she deals with the death of her son in The Holdovers; the film also won best screenplay. This was an extremely competitive field, as each of the nominees had given memorable performances; the actor’s emotional acceptance speech was moving and appropriate, setting the tone for subsequent winners to follow.

Oppenheimer dominated the Awards, winning Best Picture as well as Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy in the lead role, and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey, Jr., who did not look at all like Iron Man as he wore a business suit to play a vengeful bureaucrat in the riveting movie. This movie definitely needed to be viewed on the big screen, as is true of most of the nominees; the power and scope of an intimate look at the development of the atomic bomb cannot be fully captured and relayed to an audience comfortably ensconced in their living rooms.

Although I found Poor Things to be a strange movie, I had no doubt that Emma Stone earned an Academy Award playing a woman who moves from a child-like state to wisdom in this exotic steam-punk take on a Frankenstein theme. Her major competition for the prize, Lily Gladstone, was totally convincing in the Martin Scorcese-directed Killers of the Flower Moon, but it seemed to me that it was a lot easier for a contemporary Native American to be convincing as an historic Native American than for Emma Stone to grow from toddler-like behavior to responsible adulthood in the strange world created for her in this film.

During his acceptance speech, Best Director Christopher Nolan reminded his audience that movies are just a little over one hundred years old, and that we don’t really know where the incredible journey of this young art form will go. Well, I know that movies have returned to Greenville, and I am grateful for that!

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