I saw a movie last night that was nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards. It was fine.
And by being fine, it was, arguably, at a complete extreme from awesome.
What was wrong with it? Basically, there was nothing wrong with it, apart from a slightly strange overreliance on dutch angles. But in some ways, that was the most interesting thing about it - an unconventional choice, albeit a misguided one, that indicates some measure of directorial personality.
Everything else was, well, fine. Ten years ago, I would have raved about the performances (Oscar-nominated, and sure, they probably deserve it). I would have thought one of the plot choices was particularly brave. I would have applauded the fact that it takes on a big ethical question, avoids easy resolution.
But I've mostly already forgotten it. I expect in a year, I'll have a hard time remembering that I saw it.
And that's the difference between something fine - something good, even - and something awesome.
The awesome lingers, often in strange and unexpected ways. Whereas the good is a closed system, to be admired, nodded at, then walked away from.
One might choose a brief excursis on "fine" art here. I won't, but I will note that if you ask someone how they are, and they say "fine", they are usually lying. I know it's my default answer when I don't feel like discussing how I am, and I usually don't discuss how I am at times when things are Not Awesome.
I don't know how to end this, other than to note my resolve to try to avoid experiences this year that will end with me saying: "That was fine."
Like the sheep race I saw on Sunday. But that's another post.