By Scott Pukos
The Oscars are almost here! Before you finalize your Oscar brackets and bake your movie-themed snacks (The Big Shortcake?), head to The Little for a special Sunday concert. The Rochester Ukulele Orchestra (RUO) will be at the café from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 playing classic cinematic tunes like Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend In Me."
RUO played this past Saturday at our Little book fair at Pittsford's Barnes & Noble to great acclaim from guests who swung by our table. If you missed it, or want to practice your air ukulele, now is the time.
Now, I've decided to do something fun. For my pre-Oscars podcast, I chatted with a few guests, including Adam Lubitow of CITY Newspaper. Each year, Adam issues fun awards in categories that definitely aren't part of the Oscar broadcast. I thought it'd be fun to do the same.
Funniest film: World of Tomorrow
I've long been an advocate that the Academy should award films for making people laugh. After all, comedy is a very difficult thing. A best animated film category was added in 2011, so this "best comedy" award wouldn't be unprecedented.
This category certainly would inspire debate. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, Grandma, The Night Before and Trainwreck all have laugh-out-loud moments, but are they all considered comedies? That's tricky, and maybe they wouldn't be in the strictest sense, but for this fictional award, I say yes. Those were among my favorites for the funniest Oscar (What We Do in the Shadows, Inside Out, and People Places Things deserve love too).
But for the winner, I'm deviating from traditional formatting, and picking Don Hertzfeldt's clever Academy Award nominated short, World of Tomorrow. It's quite possibly my favorite 17 minutes in a theater this year. It's biting, smart, and of course, it delivers some belly laughs (plus lots of guffaws). If you also loved this when you saw it at The Little, you can watch World of Tomorrow again on Netflix.
Cult classic watch: Ex Machina
It makes sense that sci-fi films that trade explosions for brain power have longer lasting power. A movie that makes you think, and inspires conversation long after the credits have flowed is certainly a candidate to develop a devout following. Will Ex Machina reach that stage? Well, I don't know. But I'm certainly recommending it to everyone. It's smart, surprising, well-acted, and includes a scene that's guaranteed to make you smile. Speaking of that...
Oscar Isaac Dance Machine Award: Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina
This is just so glorious. Really fantastic (small warning: some NSFW language in the clip).
Best script: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
If a work of creativity inspires me to write, I know it's great. The wit, A+ dialogue and creativity of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl did just that. Discovering awesome gems like this (at The Little!) is what I love about movies.
Worst date movie: Goodnight Mommy
Here are a few more awards. I'd love to hear about your favorites too. Send me an email, and feel free to include your Oscar picks!
Adult Goosebumps: It Follows
Movie that is most like a giant Odyssey of the Mind skit - Inside Out (PS stole that description from my sister - thanks Emily!)
White knuckle suspense award: Sicario
Wildest ride: The Hateful Eight
Unexpectedly great ride: In Transit (Yep, all aboard on that train pun)
Young star who won't stop crushing it: Jacob Tremblay