Oscars Best Picture

We came so close to our goal.  NavyGuy saw 7 of 9, and I saw 8 of 9.  This expanded nominee field thing is really killing us.  As is living two hours from a major city.  Anyway, my thoughts on almost all of the nominees this year.  Call it a primer for those of you with kids or jobs who can’t go to multiple movies every weekend.

Amour
The one we missed.  Of all of them, it is actually the one I least wanted to see.  It sounds supremely depressing.  From what I’ve read, it’s about an old couple, and the wife has a stroke.  The husband watches her decline.  It is also up for Best Foreign Film (which I’d bet it will win).  I’m sure it’s well done, and meets all the criteria that film critics are looking for in “good movies,” but I’m not sure we’ll even bother renting it after the fact.

Argo
This is the most “normal” accessible movie of the bunch.  Exciting plot, funny, good dialogue, and fast paced throughout.  Since watching it, NavyGuy and I learned that they took many liberties with the plot; most of the exciting suspenseful parts of the last half an hour did not actually happen.  But I don’t really care.  It highlights an important historical event, and I’d watch the movie again (which I can’t say for many of the other nominees).

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Booooooo.  This stunk.  NavyGuy and I took film studies courses in college, and enjoy our fair share of “indie” flicks or “thinkers” but this one was not good.  The little six-year old girl in the movie is a nice actress and put in a good performance, but the film itself is trying too hard.  I guess it’s supposed to be commentary on post-Katrina or race or the government or poverty, but it’s too muddled to make a real point.  Boo.

Django Unchained
Very entertaining, but very violent and bloody (not surprising coming from Tarantino, but this one is bloody enough that I probably won’t rewatch it).  Christoph Waltz, Jamie Fox, and Leonardo DiCaprio are all great, and I always forget how funny Tarantino movies are.  Absolutely no chance of winning.

Les Miserables
About 20 minutes too long, but otherwise very good.  Anne Hathaway does deserve an Oscar for her performance.  Russell Crowe’s singing did not bother me nearly as much as it seemed to bother everyone else.  More annoying was Amanda Seyfried.  Hugh Jackman might have had a chance at Best Actor this year, if not for Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln.  Sorry Hugh.

Life of Pi
Go read the book 😉  No, I kid.  It was a great book, and a better than expected movie.  Disclosure – we did not see it in 3-D because  it makes me nauseated.  However, you don’t get ill from watching 3-D on the big screen, this movie is probably one of the few that would be worth it.  I expect it’s going to win some of the cinematography / visual effects awards.  Again, probably no chance of winning Best Pic, but worth seeing.

Lincoln
A history teacher’s dream.  Another really long film (seems like most of the nominees were either 90 minutes, or over 2.5 hours).  Not a war movie; it’s set during the Civil War, but focuses entirely on the legislative process to get the 13th Amendment passed in Congress.  Daniel Day Lewis will win Best Actor.  History teachers will show this in their classes for years to come.  If you liked West Wing, you’ll like this.

Silver Linings Playbook
By the end, I really like it.  But for the first hour, I was very skeptical.  It takes a long time to feel like you understand the characters, or to even like them at all.  Jennifer Lawrence has a long career ahead of her.  Bradley Cooper breakthrough role – he was great.

Zero Dark Thirty
Ugh.  Very hard to decide on this one.  Like Titanic, you know the ship sinks, but it’s how it sinks that’s interesting.  Unfortunately, I don’t think we really know yet, how the ship sunk… okay, time to drop the metaphor and just say, I’m not sure we really know the story on how Bin Laden was found and killed, nor am I certain we as the general public should know this whole story yet.  A good first draft of history.  Jessica Chastain was okay, but I wasn’t wow’ed by her performance.

So, what do I think is going to happen on Oscar night?  I’d put my money on either Argo or Lincoln.  I actually don’t know yet who I’m voting for.  NavyGuy, Andrea, and Ben and I do a ballot contest and see who can get the most correct categories.  As the reigning champion, I have the mini Oscar statue on the piano, and I’d desperately like to two-peat.

 

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