Desperately Seeking Diversity

Movies help us remember that, despite our differences, we are all human.

| Spring 2019

Photo courtesy Netflix.

It’s done. I’ve cut the cord and am now strictly streaming. I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around the possibilities. As I cruise through some of the apps, I am amazed at the number of shows available! I’m exploring, and I’m looking to change my way of watching, particularly network series, which will necessitate either letting go of some of those shows or figuring out a better schedule for my binge watching.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with streaming movies and television shows, either through free apps or through subscription services. What are your favorites? Pros or cons to any of them? Drop me a line at or 645 New Hampshire, PO Box 888, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Diversity on Display

The nominations are out, and it appears that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ move to diversify its membership (in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite movement following the 2015 list of nominees) has borne fruit. In a case of good news/bad news, Black Panther is among eight nominees for Best Picture (it garnered a total of seven nominations); unfortunately, there was no love for director Ryan Coogler or for any of the actors. Black Panther is the first superhero movie to break into the Academy’s top race.

Another Best Picture nominee, Roma, has also been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category. This black-and-white portrayal of the life of a Mexican housekeeper received 10 nominations, and is generally regarded as the front-runner for the top Oscar. Director Alfonso Cuarón is among the five nominees for Best Director.

Green Book is based on the true story of an Italian-American club bouncer who is hired to drive for a well-known African-American pianist on a tour of the Deep South. Set in the early 1960s, the film examines the friendship (which in real life lasted 50 years!) that results as these two very different men begin to share and communicate their very different world experiences. The ending is quite poignant and heart-warming. Both lead actors are up for Oscars: Viggo Mortensen, who portrays bouncer Tony Vallelonga, is in the leading actor category and Mahershala Ali, who portrays pianist Dr. Don Shirley, is up for a supporting role. This is Mortensen’s third nomination, and Ali won in 2017 for his role in Moonlight. By the way, Vallelonga’s son Nick was a writer and producer for the project.

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