There really are some things that Donald Trump and I agree on. For instance:
1) We both feel Nancy O’Dell is attractive. (Only one of us, I should add hastily, has tried to lure her into breaking her marriage vows);
2) We both feel the Vietnam War was a mistake; and
3) We were both surprised when “Parasite” (shown here) won the Academy Award for best picture.
For the latter two, however, there’s a difference: I formed my opinion from first-hand observation.
My views on Vietnam developed when I was there, in the Army. Trump, by comparison, got what he has described as “a strongly worded” letter from his doctor, saying he shouldn’t serve. The doctor’s daughter has mentioned that her late father often dealt with his landlord, Fred Trump.
And my views on “Parasite” – good movie, fresh, different, well-made, but not quite Oscar-worthy – comes from actually seeing it. His don’t.
“How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” Trump asked a Colorado crowd. “So many great movies (and) the winner is from South Korea!”
The idea, apparently, is that awards should be on the basis of who likes us, sort of like White House jobs. “We’ve got enough problems with South Korea with trade,” Trump said. “And after all that, they give them best movie of the year.”
Trump also said bad things about Brad Pitt, but we can attribute that to jealousy. If he wanted to, Pitt could probably have sex with any porn star, without having to cut a check afterward. He might even get Nancy O’Dell to reconsider those vows.
But the key part involved “Parasite,” which, Trump seemed to admit, he hadn’t actually seen.
I was reluctant to see it at first, because of the misleading title. This sounded like a horror film about a creature. Actually, it’s a comedy-drama about humans who can be parasite-like (a touchy subject for Trump, who employs his children and son-in-law). It’s also about class-structure, with neither side seeming heroic..
The poor people are scheming and sometimes cruel. The rich people are foolish, shallow and easily duped. I’m starting to think Trump would only half-like the movie.
What makes this work is the originality of the script and the visuals – both of which won Oscars for Bong Joon Ho, the director and co-writer. There’s a fresh feel to “Parasite”; this isn’t a great movie, but it’s a consistently interesting one.
And greatness? My favorites were “Little Women,” “Knives Out” and, especially, the wonderful “Yesterday.” But there are several I haven’t seen yet; only a fool would lecture without seeing them.
Trump was correct in saying that there have been great movies in the past. He mentioned “Sunset Boulevard” and “Gone With the Wind,” reflecting a fondness for eras when actresses did the bidding of rich guys and when black people couldn’t vote.
There are plenty of other classics Trump could try. Maybe “All the President’s Men,” in which honest journalists expose a corrupt president. … Or “A Man For All Seasons,” in which a single honest man stands in the way of a corrupt mogul … Or …
Well, maybe he should just watch Fox News instead.