Jeff and Sasha‘s latest Oscar Poker (recorded two days ago) is up and running. For love, for formula, for comfort and for the joyful shirking of 2022 Best Picture nominees that many respect but nobody really loves…be honest. It was another weakish year, and the only film that really bull’s-eyed according to its own self-=imposed terms was Top Gun: Maverick. Stop arguing! Within the prison cell of general Academy preferences TG:M is the only hot mama that truly sings.

If you want 2022’s actual best films, I posted them on 12.30.22: 1. Empire of Light, 2. Close, 3. Happening, 4. Vengeance, 5. She Said, 6. Emily The Criminal, 7. Christian Mungiu‘s R.M.N., 8. Top Gun: Maverick; 9. Avatar: The Way of Water; 10. Tar (despite the many irritations). But we’re playing an Academy game now.

Posted on 1.21.23: “Sasha Stone and I just finished an hour-long chat about Tuesday morning’s (1.24) announcement of the ’23 Oscar nominations, and the obvious fact that Top Gun: Maverick, which will certainly be among the chosen few, is the only prospective nominee that feels truly commanding. Authoritatively, I mean.

“Despite the familiarity and the formulaic strategy, TG:M is the only finalist that feels homerunnish…not to mention the achievement of having joined forces with Avatar: The Way of Avatar to save and even restore a classic, life-giving Hollywood dynamic (thrills, popcorn, warm seats) to exhibition itself…there’s no ignoring the metaphor.”

Again, the latest Substack link.