And the Academy Award goes to …

This evening I will be going to see ‘Spotlight’ in the cinema. My 2nd cinema trip in a week. Since I’ve come home I have been a far more avid cinema attendee than in previous years. Now it’s not that Amsterdam lacks choice in English language cinema – unlike some of its larger neighbours like France or Germany, English language films are not dubbed into Dutch. With the exception of children’s films they are screened in the original language and subtitled. And there are plenty of English language films on offer. Perhaps it was the subtitling that put me off from going to the movies. Although it hardly seems like an adequate reason. It’s slightly distracting sure, but hardly a dealbreaker.  And being able to buy a beer to watch with the film was an appealing bonus.

I guess maybe the choice of films is better here.  I have never been a blockbuster fan, and I think I am one of the few people on the planet to never have seen a full Harry Potter film. I am not snobbish about blockbusters – they are a perfectly enjoyable way of spending a few hours. But special effects don’t thrill me. I prefer those painted backdrops from technicolor films from the 1950s. That is true glamour and sophistication. The thought of going to see Star Wars gives me a breakout of hives. Because Dutch cinema screens Dutch language films and far more German, Spanish, French etc cinema there is more of a tendency to show effect-heavy blockbusters. Not really my cup of Barry’s. In any case I suspect I am over-analysing. Who really cares about the whys and whereforths of my cinema attendance.

This evening’s Oscar-baity film is ‘Spotlight’ – the kind of film that seems to have been created to win Oscars. Fair enough it is not a costume drama, or a film about the evils of the Third Reich, and it is not a tale of triumph over some deadly disease or physical or mental disability. But it is Oscar-baity nonetheless. It is an ‘issue’ film – an account of a newspaper investigation into the catholic church’s cover up of decades of clerical abuse of children.

The reviews are good, the cast is talented. By all accounts this is a good film. I’m in Ireland though – we’ve got a headstart on films like these – the harrowing tales of the Magdalene Laundries and Philomena have been released to wide acclaim. Let’s see the American take on the subject.

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