I watched (parts of) two incredibly long events over the weekend -- the Australian Open men's tennis final and the movie “Hugo,” one of the Academy Awards’ best picture nominees. Here’s my short review of each, and a link to a related piece on each.
* Tennis. I woke up Sunday morning to a text message from my son in Boston. “The match is still on. Started at 3:30. ESPN2.” At 8:40 a.m., Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were early in the fifth set. The match would go on for another hour, one breathtaking point after another. I was riveted, but also very glad that I came in as late as I did in this nearly six-hour match. Finally, Djokovic squeaked out a victory, and tore his shirt off, roaring like a lion at the fans in the stands. In all, one of the most memorable hours of tennis I've ever seen.
Here’s Jason Gay’s commentary from the Wall Street Journal on why men’s tennis is the best thing going on in sports right now.
* Movie. Each year at this time, I’m in a mad rush to see all the Oscar-nominated films before Academy Awards night, which this year is Feb. 26. My quest was easier when there were only five films nominated instead of up to 10 (nine this year), but nevertheless I’m well on my way, having just seen “The Ides of March” via Netflix, with “Moneyball” on its way, and most of the others under my belt.
So, Sunday afternoon, I saw (most of) Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” at the Elmwood Regal. It’s beautiful to watch in 3-D, and the shots of Paris are astonishing. I loved the children -- especially the bookish Isabelle with her wonderful vocabulary. (She had me at “reprobate.”) But 128 minutes of life inside a clock is just too much. I’m not one to leave movies early, but after nearly two hours -- maybe I was especially conscious of time -- I just couldn’t take one more precious minute.
Here’s the Daily Beast’s list of “snubs and surprises” from the Oscar nominations.