IF YOU can't judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a Netflix Original film by its title either.
When My Octopus Teacher washed to the top of the Netflix suggested viewing pile last year, it didn't really float my boat straight away.
I ignored it at first but it kept resurfacing.
When I dived into it more thoroughly ie. watched the trailer, it seemed to be promising-enough, family-friendly viewing.
My Octopus Teacher is a 2020 Netflix Original film that documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest.
The film shows Foster's growing intimate relationship with the octopus as he follows her around for almost a year.
She has to defend herself against pyjama sharks.
In one attack, the octopus loses an arm (or is it a leg?!), and retreats to her den to recover, slowly regenerating the arm over three months. In a later shark attack, she shows an incredibly improved creativity to survive, including sticking on the shark's back.
Later, after mating with a bigger octopus and producing a large number of eggs, the star of the show dies naturally while tending to her eggs and then a shark takes her body away.
If you need to have a good cry with your whole clan, this is the film for you!
I never knew octopuses had such short life cycles compared to other creatures of the deep; some live for as few as six months.
What's even worse, according to Google, octopus reproductive organs mature due to the hormonal influence of the optic gland but result in the inactivation of their digestive glands, typically causing the octopus to die from starvation.
That's a sorry way to go out!
The film was 10 years in the making and was the first South African nature documentary to be on Netflix Original.
Anyhow, like all good viewing it was equal-parts informative, intriguing and original.
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What's even worse, according to Google, octopus reproductive organs mature due to the hormonal influence of the optic gland but result in the inactivation of their digestive glands, typically causing the octopus to die from starvation. That's a sorry way to go out!
Not even a one in 100-year global pandemic could stop the Academy Awards in their tracks this year, or even last year, for that matter.
The show must go on!
However, Monday's awards in Los Angeles was the first in-person red carpet since the pandemic.
Attendees didn't have to wear masks because interviewers and interviewees were socially distanced and roped off from mingling too closely.
But there was no host, none of the usual clips and the night finished with the best actor category instead of best picture, leading everyone to expect that it was going to go with a posthumous tribute to Chadwick Boseman for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Instead it went to Anthony Hopkins for his portrayal of a man with dementia in The Father. But Sir Anthony was not present this year.
Frances McDormand won the Oscar for best actress, and Nomadland triumphed in three of the top categories, including best picture and best director.
But it was the eight-limbed mollusc heroine that stole the spotlight in my favourite category.
My Octopus Teacher won the Oscar for best documentary at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Plenty of celebrities have endorsed the sweet story on social media too: "I really recommend this movie," Amy Schumer wrote Instagram.
Brittany Snow chimed in on Schumer's post that she's "never cried more," and Justin Theroux added, "Concur. Had me in tears. Bye calamari."
Also, Regent Cinemas Albury-Wodonga is now showing Nomadland.
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