Tuesday, November 30, 2010




Tomorrow, I will resume my exploration of King George, and Colin Firth.  For tonight, a few unrelated short takes: everything from a nice shelter adoption, to a birthday commemoration, to the passage of a law, to this year's film awards calendar.

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Lulu Found a Home! 

One of my favorite new arrivals at the Buddy Foundation has found a home. This adoption was meant to be.  The five-month old beagle was chosen by an older, widowed gentleman.  The man is retired and will be able to spend lots of time with Lulu.  He's had beagles his whole life.  When it came time to pay for the adoption, he took out his credit card....and on it was a picture of a beagle!  

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A Special Birthday Commemoration

Sam, my maternal grandfather, would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday, November 29.  (My grandmother Lucy commemorated her 100th on May 6th this year.)  Faithful visitors here recall that their centennial was my inspiration to study Italian.  Seems like they are still with us, in some way.  I can still hear their laughter, and good-natured teasing and banter. I can still taste the pizza, and the sauce.  This is their wedding picture, taken in August of 1928.

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Illinois House Passes Civil Unions Bill, Senate Expected to Pass, Quinn To Sign

Illinois took a step in a "good" direction today by passing a same-sex civil unions bill in the House.  The bill goes to the Senate and on to the governor for signature, if all goes as expected.  Chicago Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico organized supporters to urge their representatives in the Illinois congress to pass the bill.  I admire Mr. Chico for his support of equal rights for all citizens.  And yet, I bristle when I am told that "we must not let perfect be the enemy of good".  Good thing the architects of this bill are not designing our buildings and bridges.  Because what I hear is "good enough", and a silent order to take what we're given and stay in our place. 

To be sure, civil unions will provide some rights to same-sex couples that now are only available through costly estate planning.  But they do not provide all of the rights of marriage.  Separate but equal?  Not even equal.  Go to the back of the bus and enjoy the ride.  Throw a few rights to the gays and they will calm down..they may not even continue to fight for actual marriage.

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"All they do is give out awards!" (Woody Allen, "Annie Hall", 1977)

Movie fans still take great interest in the outcome of the Academy Awards, which will be handed out on February 27, about three months from now.  In the meantime, a different industry or critic's group will be announcing their award nominees or winners evey few days for three months.  Take a look at the following list and you will understand why, by the time the Big Night arrives, I'm practically wrung out by predictions. It's anticlimactic, and I feel sort of numb by Oscar night, as though I have consumed too much junk food for weeks.

And we miss the forest for the trees; we look at all the new films in terms of how they will be positioned for awards, rather than for the pure artistry or entertainment each work provides.

I wonder how possible it would be to avoid the outcomes of the interminable list of minor awards, and bring back the suspense and fun of the Academy Awards?

Well, anyway, here's the Awards calendar for those who follow all of it, on our way to spending Oscar Night with our talented and charismatic hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco:

Nov. 30 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations announced

Dec. 2 National Board of Review announces winners
Dec. 3 British Independent Film Awards
Dec. 3 International Documentary Association Awards
Dec. 11 Boston Film Critics announces winners
Dec. 12 AFI honorees announced
Dec. 12 Los Angeles Film Critics Association announces winners
Dec. 13 New York Film Critics Circle announces winners
Dec. 13 Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations announced
Dec. 14 Golden Globe nominations announced
Dec. 14 San Diego Critics Association announces winners
Dec. 15 Toronto Critics Association announces winners
Dec. 16 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations announced
Dec. 18 Houston Critics Association winners announced
Dec. 19 Satellite Awards
Dec. 20 Chicago Critics Association winners announced

Jan. 3 Online Film Critics Society winners announced
Jan. 4 Producers Guild of America nominations
Jan. 4 Writers Guild of America nominations
Jan. 8 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Jan. 10 Directors Guild of America nominations announced
Jan. 11 National Board of Review ceremony
Jan. 14 BFCA Critics’ Choice Awards winners announced
Jan. 14 AFI Awards
Jan. 15 L.A. Film Critics Association Awards ceremony
Jan. 16 Golden Globe Awards
Jan. 18 BAFTA nominations announced
Jan. 22 Producers Guild Awards
Jan. 25 Oscar nominations announced
Jan. 27 Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Jan. 28 Visual Effects Society Awards
Jan. 29 Directors Guild of America Awards
Jan. 30 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Feb. 2 Costume Designers Guild Awards
Feb. 5 Writers Guild Awards
Feb. 5 Art Directors Guild Awards
Feb. 5 Annie Awards
Feb. 12 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation
Feb. 13 BAFTAs
Feb. 26 Independent Spirit Awards
Feb. 26 NAACP Image Awards
Feb. 27 Academy Awards

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