Last Thoughts on a First Season


The focus was intense in the months leading up to the 87th Academy Awards.Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The Hollywood Reporter just published a list of films that could prove Oscar worthy or baity in the coming year, but the Bagger can’t bring herself to read it. After three months of increasingly fevered speculation over who might win best picture, director and actor; of controversies over campaign tactics and stories told; of exhaustive poring over the tics and proclivities of 6,000 anonymous members of what remains an old boys’ club, it’s fair to say that anyone who pays much attention to this stuff, let alone covers it, deserves a break.

Some say the season has been a ho-hum one, with no big wow-factor film riding to the fore. Others say any season wherein indie gems like “Boyhood,” “Birdman” and “Whiplash” are competing for best picture should hearten us all. (Though, with the Indie Spirit Awards deeming “indie” as anything made for $20 million or less, it’s easy to raise an eyebrow; in fact that should be encouraged.) The Bagger falls in the second camp: love ’em or hate ’em, those three films, along with a few others in the race this year, felt like labors of love, sweat and tears, regardless of whether the Academy’s vote was a reflection or distortion of movie audiences and its own oft-criticized self.


Peace out: Julianne Moore post-Oscar win.Credit Valerie Macon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As for the season itself, the Bagger was rightly forewarned by her predecessors that it was a long slog, though she has yet to form the opinion proffered by the dearly missed David Carr that postseason, the propagandists all seemed, in his words, like “monsters.”

In looking back, the brightest spots included tea with Tilda Swinton, who’s all limbs, elegance and gregarious, gangly energy; Julianne Moore’s enthusiastic and disarming “Thanks, guys, for coming!” directed to her tablemates at a…

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