Oscar Watch: Is 2017 the Year of Sex for the Academy Awards?

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Editor's Note:

What better way to kick off awards season chatter than with sex? This and more – including the next project from the mind behind ‘The Lobster’ – in today’s Daily Blunt.

While it’s a bit early to take bets on which pictures will be blessed with Oscar nominations, trends are emerging among the frontronners, and one of the early factors seems to be sex – lots of it. For example, “Call Me By Your Name” makes last year’s “Moonlight” seem especially chaste in comparison, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” takes a distinctly sex-positive angle on the material documented in Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, and Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” imparts a unique perspective on adult sexuality via Sally Hawkins’s relationship with an amphibious humanoid. If that gets Academy members voters to actually watch the films in their entirety before making up their minds, all the better!

If you wondered where Yorgos Lanthimos could possibly take us after the strange journey of “The Lobster” – in which humans unable to find love are transformed into the animal of their choice – well, now we know. According to reviews from Cannes, the Greek filmmaker’s latest project, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” turns out to be a riff on the ancient myth of Iphigenia, in which Agamemnon is ultimately convinced to sacrifice his beloved daughter as penance for killing a deer in a grove sacred to Artemis. “In keeping with Greek tradition … Lanthimos takes the elements of the myth and remixes them once again,” this critic reports, “telling a story of might and sacrifice that collapses some characters into each other, while moving around a few other pieces to tell a new version of the story.”

The biggest Sherlock Holmes fan you know couldn’t hold a candle to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who takes the famous detective’s older brother on steampunk adventures in a new graphic novel, Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook. This interview with the basketball legend reveals that Holmes served as an inspiration even back in his NBA days, and serves as an opportunity to speculate on what kind of stories we’ll be telling about him in the twenty-second century. “The idea of a character who is the epitome of rational thinking with an insatiable hunger for knowledge, but who needs a friendship in order not to lose his humanity will always be around,” observes Abdul-Jabbar. “It doesn’t matter what race, gender, or nationality the new Sherlocks are. Perhaps the next one will be transgender or an alien or an android. It doesn’t matter as long as we don’t lose the essence of what Holmes represents.”

With the recent abundance of Stephen King adaptations comes a renewed appraisal of the author’s life and literary legacy, and The Guardian is here to supplement these with a tour of King’s particular version of Maine, profiling locations that loom large in his personal history as a lifelong Mainer, some of which have ended up being immortalized in books and movies.  They also show how all this fandom has affected the landscape by showcasing locations like Bangor’s Gerald Winters and Son bookshop, which specializes in King titles and memorabilia. Consider this a handy supplement for your next East Coast road trip!