Rereviewing Ordinary People 40 Years Later

Forty years ago, this September, when I was a teenaged movie critic for “Kidding Around” on KOLN/KGIN-TV in Lincoln, Nebraska, the movie “Ordinary People” was one of the first movies I reviewed on television — and the experience of that film has stuck with me to this day. I recently re-watched the movie out of an aging curiosity, and residual melancholia, and I am still struck by the raw emotion of its story of human longing and tragedy that is always just boiling below the surfactant tension of an intrinsic “ordinary” family clinging to exceptional issues of survival.

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Why the Academy Awards No Longer Matter

The yearly borefest that has become the Academy Awards droned on and on last night and, as usual, the whole affair was bloated and inconsequential and wholly predictable and not even the pre-show babble could salvage the comedic fratricide:

The awards were presented during last night’s absurdly boring, completely masturbatory ceremony. Before it began, red carpet diva and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest became the butt of Sacha Baron Cohen’s alleged sense of humor, when the actor, dressed as his impossibly stupid new character from The Dictator, pretended to spill Kim Jong-Il’s ashes (actually pancake mix) on Seacrest. I’m not the biggest Seacrest fan, but this wasn’t even remotely comedic, and even made me feel sorry for Seacrest. The moment was made even more insufferable by Seacrest’s constant retelling of the story, and his fellow E! hosts’ excitement that he was “chosen” by Sacha Baron Cohen for his stupidity.

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Censoring The King's Speech

It is never an easy nor a short path from when a film is first conceived and when that same film is being watched — to a big calorie-rich bucket of popcorn in the lap. The idea for the film can come from many a place — in the case of “The King’s Speech,” it came from something that actually happened in history.

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