Recent Comments


    Oscar Viewing and Dishing Together

    By Jan Wahl–

    It might not sound humble, but watching the Oscar telecast with me is incredibly fun. For my third year in a row, I will go up the red carpet—hopefully with you!—to the gorgeous Art Deco Orinda Theatre, enjoy the non-ending champagne with commemorative glass and gift bag, sit in plush seats, and watch the pre-show and show itself on a fabulous big screen. During the commercials, I will have the microphone asking: “What did you think of that dress?” “He said what?” “That was weird.”

    We will also have Oscar trivia for prizes and surprises for you to win. It will be a blast. Did I mention that there will be a full bar and food? VIP tickets are $100; regular tickets are $60. If you would like to join me, call the theatre at 925-254-9060 or check for updates at

    My colleague and friend Derek Zemrak of the Orinda Theatre also puts on terrific film festivals for the LBGTQ community, as well as holding a variety of fundraisers and featuring foreign films. For Black History Month, the theatre has an event spotlighting the late great Juanita Moore (not to be confused with the still very much thriving Juanita MORE!):

    Another colleague, Ruthe Stein, created the Mostly British Film Festival, which will this year take place February 15–22. Wonderful and innovative films from English-speaking countries worldwide will be unspooled at San Francisco’s Vogue Theatre, 3290 Sacramento Street. The Opening Night will include a showing of How to Have Sex, a film I’ve been curious about!

    For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets:

    Every year there’s at least one movie nominated many times for various film awards that has me scratching my head and saying, “What?!” This year that would be Poor Things, a tale of a young woman brought to life by an unorthodox scientist. As she embarks on whirlwind adventures, there are many surrealistic visuals that I enjoyed, but I found the movie itself to be derivative, pretentious, and exploitive. I am at a loss at how Emma Stone won a Golden Globe for her performance, given that her character seemed like a straight guy’s idea of heaven. Of course, we all know movies are subjective, so you might have loved it.

    I’ll instead root for American Fiction, Barbie, Air, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, The Holdovers, The Zone of Interest, Oppenheimer, Nyad, Boys in the Boat, and Past Lives.

    In addition to the Orinda Theatre event, you can also catch me at The Academy SF on February 29, when I will be previewing the Oscars and will be interviewed by Frameline’s Director of Programming, Allegra Madsen. For more info and to register:

    Jan Wahl is a Hollywood historian and film critic on various broadcast outlets. She has two Emmys and many awards for her longtime work on behalf of film buffs and the LGBTQ community. Contact her at

    Off the Wahl
    Published on February 8, 2024