I don't know if this was a bit tougher for a Monday puzzle or if I can blame it on trying to cook dinner and solve at the same time. I'm generally good at multitasking, but tonight must have been an exception.
So I left the puzzle and tended to dinner. After we'd cleaned up the mess, I sat down and knocked it out in a couple of minutes. The confusion that was the northwest completely disappeared.
The theme is "floral" films, and the three theme answers are:
18A: "Floral" film that was the Best Picture of 1989 (Driving Miss Daisy). Jessica Tandy also won Best Actress--the oldest actress to do so. I'd add it to my Netflix queue, but I just cancelled my subscription. Who has time to watch movies when you're addicted to puzzles and blogs?
34A: "Floral" film of 2006 with Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson (The Black Dahlia). I'm trying to figure out where I was in 2006, because I have no recollection of this one. At all.
57A: "Floral" film of 1986 based on an Emberto Eco novel (The Name of the Rose). I vaguely remember the name. Very vaguely.
My first thought was American Beauty, even though it doesn't specifically name a flower...although it does name a variety. But it only fit in 34-Across, it wasn't in 2006, and it didn't star Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. Other than that, it was perfect. Fortunately, I was able to put the thought aside and carry on.
I don't remember the last time I saw a Monday puzzle with 16-letter answers. For that matter, I don't remember a Monday puzzle with this many words to love...and so few three-letter entries.
5A: Filthy place (pigsty), 16A: Win over (enamor), 26A: "Again!" (encore), 31A: Regional dialect (patois), 43A: Feudal workers (vassals), 55A: System of government (polity), 3D: Easily startled (skittish), 12D: __ d'être (raison), 35D: The Creator, to Hindus (Brahma), 43D: To a huge degree (vastly), 51D: Spritelike (elfin), and 42D: EarthLink alternative (NetZero).
Not to mention the four in a row...5D: Group of five (pentad), 6D: Bar of gold (ingot), 7D: Entire range (gamut) and 8D: Slug, old-style (smite).
The northwest difficulty I mentioned stemmed from a wrong answer at 21A: Ran into. I had hit, rather than the correct met. That made both 1D: ["You'll regret that!"] and 2D: [Written up, as to a superior] very difficult. Once I fixed that mess, I saw bad move and on report. Another good multiword answer at 38D: Noncommittal agreement (I suppose).
13D: State with conviction (assert) made me chuckle. Colorado is a state with conviction...or convictions. I'm guessing that there are forty-nine others.
Not too many abbreviations...just two, and they're related. 10D: 1812, 2001, etc.: Abbr. (yrs) and 58D: Calendar pgs. (mos).
I generally forget what W.B.A. stands for, but I remembered it this time for 33D: W.B.A. decision (TKO).
I enjoyed seeing 36D: Name repeated in "Whatever __ wants, __ gets" (Lola). We saw Damn Yankees when I was in the fifth grade, and it made a big impression on me. I've enjoyed live theatre ever since.
53A: Teacher's favorite (pet) reminded me of a foster child we once had who often referred to (in all seriousness) the teacher's pest.
On that note, I'm gonna scram (54A: "Get lost!"). Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.