Oscar Town!

I married a creative, dynamic man with systematic tendencies. These are not a negative, per se, but they sometimes catch me off guard. The over-used example is that we need to watch the Olympics, without commercials, on the DVR…even if it’s a day after the particular competitions have aired. So, just figure out how to get through Thursday without someone telling you who won the gold in pairs figure skating. I guess in some circles that wouldn’t be a huge problem…

Anyway, one especially fun systematic initiative is the husband-driven quest to see all movies nominated for Best Picture before the Oscars air. Here are just a few of my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.


Note: By virtue of the fact that they are nominated, I’m probably a lot harder on them than if I were to just discover them instant on Netflix.

War Horse: Yeah. Right. I’m not seeing this movie. At 30, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s going to make me miserable, and this movie has all the right ingredients. A horse on the battlefield? I can’t watch ANY historical war movie without getting totally preoccupied with the tertiary horse characters’ well being. Ryan saw this one solo.

The Artist: OK. Yeah, OK. It’s very beautiful and the female lead reminds me, charmingly, of a latter-day Shelly Duvall**. Emotionally, I got nothing from this piece and found the whole light-hearted suicide business to be kind of jarring and weird.

Midnight in Paris: Again, a very pretty movie. Also this time, a great story too! Beautiful setting, engaging story…really terrible dialogue. I submit that maybe I am missing something. Is this Woody Allen’s thing? At one point the purposefully one-dimensional character played by Rachel McAdams says to her fiance, “cease with the idle chatter.” That’s in the course of a casual hotel room conversation in 2010. I get the character sketches of the historical figures, but the present day characters never had a human conversation. Which is odd. Is it on purpose? If someone could explain this to me I’d love that. Special note: Adrian Brody was FAR and away the best thing about this movie. His performance was the one truly spectacular thing I picked up on.

Hugo: Love. I mean, taking into account my tastes and who I am, this is no surprise. But how lovely. This is one of the two nominated movies that made me feel something.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: I read this book and loved the language and style, but I won’t see the movie. I don’t want to feel PAIN! This was another Ryan-solo trip.

Moneyball: Oh, Brad, you’re aging! But still so cool. This was enjoyable and tight and engaged me in a topic that I usually find mind-numbingly boring. All of the performances were very good. This movie was very good. According to me.

The Help: I didn’t want to see this movie, but I did. I heard some media criticism at some point about this being the story of a white girl sweeping in to save the down-trodden, black, female population of a southern town. That gave me a funny feeling so I didn’t want to watch. However, it’s good. Very good. I got invested in the characters who were all gorgeously played, and I got all riled up at the injustice even though it’s a story that’s been told in many many different ways over the past few decades. It still felt fresh. That’s quite a feat. Weirdly, this movie almost lost me in the victory laps. The point is made, the battle fought,and then the film runs around the track a few too many times screaming “I’m going to Disney World!” I just wish they’d quit while ahead.

The last two I have yet to see:

The Tree of Life: I saw the last five minutes of this and that was all. Some of my arty-smartest friends loved this movie, so I’m not going to pass judgement till I see the whole thing. I just hope all those nice people get off the beach and aren’t eaten by a smoke monster.

The Descendents: Scheduled for this weekend. Clooney, don’t let me down…

**OMG you guys, Faerie Tale Theater is on Hulu! I can’t express to you how much more exciting this is to me than the Academy Awards. I just found out when I googled Shelly Duvall. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!


3 thoughts on “Oscar Town!

  1. Hey friend, I’ve been creeping on your blog lately. You’re welcome? Anyways – we are on the same EXACT page(s) with War Horse (not gonna do it), Midnight in Paris (what? you ran into your genius-friend randomly in a restaurant that your parents took you to when they were paying for your 5 star vacation in PARIS? Oh, that’s totally in my realm of realism, let’s continue on with the story… oops, your husband wandered away again.) and The Help which I watched the same night as Midnight in Paris before the Academy Awards. I expected to play on Facebook and Tweet through The Help and say I watched it, but I was completely enthralled.

  2. Thanks for creepin’!

    I heard that Young Adult was awesome and should have been nominated, so I’m going to plan to see that one. Remember that year when Kate Winslet was nominated in like seven films? The good old days…

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