Author: Michael Lovito

Reel Life Oscar Challenge Episode 10: 2003

Michael, Lars, and Kathleen discuss the Best Picture nominees of 2003. Is it the best Oscars year since 1994? They think it might be, and at the very least it was good enough to inspire some bad Boston accents and horse jokes. The films discussed are:

-The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (1:27)

-Lost in Translation (12:14)

-Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (22:17)

-Mystic River (30:51)

-Seabiscuit (42:24)

Jenny Lewis’s On the Line Satisfies Even When It Stretches

It’s probably not fair to think of Jenny Lewis as a “child star turned musician” anymore. After all, she made that pivot over twenty years ago when she formed Rilo Kiley, a perennially underrated indie band responsible for one of my favorite songs of all time, and proved she had real staying power as she transitioned gracefully into one-shot duo Jenny and Johnny with then-beau Johnathan Rice (a pairing that penned one of the best songs about the recession) and eventually her own well-regarded solo career. And yet, I couldn’t help but think of her thespian past, and how it must inform a lot of the artistic choices on her new album On the Line.

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Reel Life Oscar Challenge: 2002

Michael, Lars, and Kathleen discuss merry murderesses, harried hobbits, worried women, incensed Irishmen and dance around the awkwardness of having to watch a Roman Polanski movie as they discuss the Best Picture nominees from 2002. The films discussed are:

-Chicago (1:21)

-Gangs of New York (18:21)

-The Hours (32:28)

-The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (44:15)

-The Pianist (57:09)

Sherrod Brown Could’ve Been the Perfect Democrat for 2020, But He Waited Too Long to Make a Move

(Photo Credit: Tony Dejak / AP)

Sherrod Brown will not be running for president. The Ohio Senator announced yesterday through surrogates that he was content with his role in the Senate and lacks the “consuming drive” to seek the highest office in the land. This announcement came as a shock on a number of levels. Brown hadn’t formally launched an exploratory committee, but he was engaged on a listening tour that took him through the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, where he extolled his trademark “dignity of work” concept, a New Deal-esque mantra that sounds more like a slogan that would be taped to the side of Woody Guthrie’s guitar than headlining the campaign of a legislator with over forty years of government experience. But Brown was considered a serious 2020 contender even before he embarked on this journey, and many observers viewed his status as a Midwestern Democrat with labor union bona fides as the perfect antidote to Donald Trump’s populist appeal.

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Reel Life Oscar Challenge: 2001

Michael, Lars, and Kathleen watch the Best Picture nominees of 2001 and discuss Russell Crowe’s hallucinations, Baz Luhrmann’s glitter fetish, the beauty of Middle-Earth, and William Mapother’s sweet bleached hair. The films discussed are:

-A Beautiful Mind (2:06)
-Gosford Park (17:02)
-In the Bedroom (26:59)
-The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (41:07)
-Moulin Rouge! (51:37)

Reel Life Oscar Challenge: 2000

Despite the best efforts of a pesky cat, Michael, Lars and Kathleen ring in the second season of the Reel Life Oscar Challenge by talking the Best Picture nominees of 2000. The films discussed are:

-Chocolat (2:27)
-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (12:56)
-Erin Brockovich (22:57)
-Gladiator (30:43)
-Traffic (43:33)

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