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Semaphore on the 2014 Oscar Nominations

The Dresser wants to go on the record about the 2014 Oscar nominations by saying first that this was an outstanding year for film. Kudos to the industry for such memorable great work!

Of the list nominated for Best Picture:

◦ American Hustle
◦ Captain Phillips
◦ Dallas Buyers Club
◦ Gravity
◦ Her
◦ Nebraska
◦ Philomena
◦ 12 Years a Slave
◦ The Wolf of Wall Street

the Dresser has seen 6 out the 9, choosing not to see Gravity or The Wolf of Wall Street but looking forward to seeing Nebraska. She believes the best picture was August, Osage County because of Meryl Streep's over-the-top performance of a highly dysfunctional matriarch. She believes Streep should get Best Actress but she realizes that the Academy might pass her by because Streep has gotten "enough" awards.

Of the list nominated for Best Picture, the Dresser's picks American Hustle for its ability to deliver poignant comedy in the face of serious subject matter and for Jennifer Lawrence's outstanding ability to take the dumb blond stereotype to a new level of wonder.

Pick number 2 from The List is Dallas Buyers Club for the story that transforms a man with decided hatreds into a mensch with a social justice conscience.

While the Dresser loved Her and Nebraska and liked Captain Phillips very much, she thinks none of these should beat American Hustle or Dallas Buyers Club.

About 12 Years a Slave, she is flabbergasted that the film had no redeeming qualities to offer, leaving the main character a broken man who regained his freedom and the audience with an unclear message about what happened to this unfortunate human being.

In the cacophonous world of the 21st century, Stephanie Strickland's poem "Her tidings cascades of lightning deathpools and lace," firmly rooted in the contemporary literary tradition that plays with language, conjures up the past such is seen in 12 Years a Slave where a black man might be wearing lace as was his right as a free man and then chains as a kidnapped man dragged into slavery. Strickland's poem also provides commentary on how difficult the process of human communication that is seen throughout the films nominated for this year's Oscars. For example "semaphore dysphorias continuance creation" brings to the Dresser's mind Dallas Buyers Club where a party animal thinks the doctor has his diagnosis all wrong and certainly this man, full of bravado, will beat death like a ride on a bull. And how about the line "her choices sequences many languageless intuited" pointing to Samantha, the computer operating system (spoken by Scarlett Johansonn) in the film Her?

The final line "continual ..... contingent ..... her continuo," a kind of "veni, vidi, vici," glances off August, Osage County's Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) who persists and holds her ground in spite of her cancer, her alcoholism, her large family who would put her away. She'll live to turn on that Victrola and dance yet again.

Her tidings cascades of lightning deathpools and lace
semaphore dysphorias continuance creation
although some attempt to construct by closing in on

staking names ever narrower names ever newly discrepant

her choices sequences many languageless intuited
before offered up to loquacity and simbiltons

continual ..... contingent ..... her continuo

by Stephanie Strickland
from Dragon Logic

Copyright © 2013 Stephanie Strickland


Comments (1)

Grace Cavalieri:

This is one article I will read again because I think I agree with almost all of it but STREEP... marvelous acting...but the use of alcohol etc to create character is a strategy as far back as ALBEE's " WHO's Afraid of Virginia W"
I don't find it is a fair shot. letting booze do all the work for complexity-- It is a tactic in writing and a cliché on stage. But I admit she did it to perfection

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