For something to do and also because I just sort of felt like it, this year I decided to watch as many oscar-nominated movies as I could before the Oscars. I’ve gotten through most of the biggest ones by now (with a tightly scheduled 4 days remaining) and am full of OPINIONS, which is what blogs are for! SO. HERE ARE MY OPINIONS ABOUT OSCAR-NOMINATED MOVIES.
Silver Linings Playbook
This was a really good movie. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence worked really, really well together and put so much care into their roles. As a Person With Mental Illnesses I really, really appreciated it. That said, I think it’s a really easy movie to like and it didn’t make me THINK. As a movie itself, I absolutely LOVED it and I think it’s a movie I’d recommend to almost anyone and would want to watch again years later. But as an academy-award nominated movie I think it maybe isn’t as deserving of some of the awards as other films, I don’t think it did as innovative things as some of the others.
Life of Pi
Okay, so. So. I haven’t actually seen the ENTIRETY of this movie, because Trigger Warning, I can’t do animals in pain and struggling and dying. I didn’t look up anything about this film in advance and Spoiler Warning Spoiler Warning SPOILER okay when the storm happened I lost my SHIT. I TOTALLY didn’t see it coming or expect it at all and I sort of freaked out and couldn’t handle the animal stuff. I read a plot synopsis and strategically skipped those parts. I had to take an ativan after the initial shipwreck scene and came back to the rest of the movie the next day. THAT BEING SAID. Maybe it’s because I have so many FEELINGS ABOUT ANIMALS, but this movie AFFECTED ME. The relationship with the Tiger and the religious allegories and everything woven together so well and so nicely brought to the point at the end – And so it goes with God. I’ve heard people talking about how the whole point of the movie is to say “Lie to yourself! It’s Great!” but I think that COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT. I’m not going to start talking about religion and faith on my blog because I don’t hate myself that much but I loved what this movie had to say about faith and I loved how it was depicted and I loved how the relationship between the boy and the tiger is depicted and framed and I felt so much for those two characters and their relationship on a small, personal level and then on a big think-about-your-faith sermony level. This movie was a big deal for me, personally, and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the most important movies I’ve ever seen. Oh, also it’s fucking beautiful and worth it to see if just for how pretty it is.
Zero Dark Thirty
I did not expect to like this movie. I figured I was going to watch an AMERICA FUCK YEAH movie about killing terrorists. Instead I watched a bleak, careful movie about torture and the price of getting what you want. Jessica Chastain’s performance as Maya was, I think, my favorite I’ve seen this year. I loved her character so much and I thought she did a PHENOMENAL JOB with it. Just. The scene at the end, you guys. That scene. I don’t think this is a movie for everyone but I think it’s a really GOOD movie and I was really impressed with it. I hope it sticks around because it deserves to. (Oh also it’s a war-ish movie with a female protagonist that passes the bechdel test!!)
This is sort of the same movie as Zero Dark Thirty. It’s more hollywood and more accessible, I guess. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a more enjoyable watch than Zero Dark Thirty. But it’s also sort of sillier and stupid-actiony in pointless ways. I’ll stop comparing now. I thought it was kind of beautiful to watch, in a visual way, way more so than I expected. I enjoyed Ben Affleck’s performance a lot more than I thought I would. It was pretty excellently paced and edited, and I thought it was really smart. It is a good, solid film that I think most people liked. I liked it!
I REALLY DISLIKED THIS MOVIE. I just. I don’t go in for aww-yeah-killing-people-is-awesome movies, and also don’t really go in for revenge fantasies. And mostly I thought a spaghetti western about slavery was in really poor taste. I had a pretty poor taste in my mouth for basically this entire movie. That being said, this had a lot of REALLY GOOD performances. Christopher Waltz was just so enjoyable to watch and impossible to dislike, which is saying something because I REALLY TRIED TO DISLIKE HIM. I just couldn’t. Leonardo DiCaprio is at what is possibly his best, and should be a lesson to us all on How To Use Your DiCaprio Properly. Samuel L. Jackson’s character was VERY WELL ACTED and totally deserved a nomination and was INCREDIBLY INTERESTING and it’s a shame such a good character is in such a crap movie.
Alright, guys. I’m going to be clear- I am firmly in the I LOVE LES MISERABLES boat. I always have. My high school did it my sophomore year and I was Set Director and I fell in love with the Whole Damn Thing. I know a lot of people HATE Les Miz and their reasons for this are TOTALLY VALID and they aren’t wrong at all. That being said, I love Les Miz. Anyway. This movie was sort of just okay. I really disliked Hugh Jackman’s Valjean, despite how hard he was trying. I thought the movie did a good job of showing just how not-film-friendly Les Miserables is. I thought Anne Hathaway’s performance was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen and felt like it was an end-of-act-2 piece from a different movie in which she was the main character. I would rather have seen that movie.
This was really FUCK-YEAH, WE FIXED RACISM despite how much it totally didn’t fix racism. Also the first half was stupendously boring and could have been half as long. PAST THAT it was, of course, excellently done and incredibly on point and surprisingly likable and moving and I don’t think I’m even going to be upset when it wins All Of The Awards. I feel like most people have already given their opinions about this movie so I don’t have a lot left to say. I thought it was good, way better than I expected! I don’t think it’s quite as good as the academy thinks it is, but we can agree to disagree.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why some people don’t like this movie. I totally get it. However, whimsical-gritty-kid-fantasies are sort of my THING. Everybody has their thing, you know? Some people really, really like satisfying action movies and some people melt for period pieces and some people can’t help but love cute romantic movies. Everybody has their thing. My thing is whimsy. So I loved it. I loved the world through the eyes of a little girl, I loved how it showed the best and worst of their community, I loved the beasts. I think if you liked this movie you understand why I liked it and if this movie isn’t your thing then it doesn’t matter what I say, it just isn’t your thing. And that is fine, and I understand, but it is MY thing and I LOVED IT.
Oh man. Come at me, guys, but I thought this was really mediocre. I thought it was stealing from whatever it could get it’s hands on. It’s just the premise of Toy Story with the plot of a dreamworks film. I thought it was really easy and uninspired and I felt a lot like it was TRYING to tug at my feelings of nostalgia and empathy and stuff. Also the premise was WAY flimsier than Toy Story. It doesn’t even work even MIDLY when you think about it.
How to Survive a Plague
This is a documentary! Ben and I love documentaries, and we’re working on watching all the nominated ones. It was SUPERBLY edited and REALLY, REALLY educational and did a really good job teaching about activism and what works, AIDS, this period of history, FDA and drug approval, and pretty much everything involved in the whole premise. I learned SO MUCH from this and REALLY enjoyed watching it and it was just so good at educating me purely through editing and home video clips from the time.
THIS WAS KIND OF A BAD MOVIE. Why are there sexy dwarves? Someone almost falls off a cliff about a thousand times in this movie. The eagles are used as a useless and completely unnecessary deus ex machina. This really didn’t need to be 3 movies. The parts I liked were me really enjoying Martin Freeman because he’s just spectacular, and getting a huge Tolkien-Boner for all of the backstory and middle-earth politics they put in. But seriously? UGH. Also I hated the framerate it made the whole movie blurry.
I saw this BEFORE I saw all the tie-in movies. I’ve now seen all the tie-in movies so I feel like I need to see this again, but either way I thought it was silly and poorly paced and had a lot of unnecessary shit and not nearly enough fuck-yeah. That said, the fuck-yeah there was was great and it was sort of enjoyable to see the cast together and stuff. Also ScarJo. Also this movie loved butts.
I just. I wanted this to be an okay movie but it was just stupid and bad and not funny at all. The song is okay. But seriously. Uck.
Well. This movie was completely rewritten after half the animation was done and you can sort of tell. It’s okay. It’s also BEAUTIFUL and I love the damn accents and I enjoyed the hell out of watching it despite the fact that it was actually just okay. WHATEVER MAN.
5 Broken Cameras
The second of the documentary features we saw! I. Hm. This was really, really excellent. Also really good at educating and very well edited and put together and scripted. I think the people involved utilized all of Emad’s film in literally the best way it was possible to, and the result is an extremely powerful and personal documentary that does a really, really good job showing a very personal, small piece of the Israel/Palestine THING. It made me reconsider my position on the whole thing.
WOO THAT WAS FUN. I want to get through a LOT more films than I actually will before the oscars, here is my list:
The remaining 3 nominated documentaries (Invisible war, Gatekeepers, Sugar Man)
I’d also love to watch Amour but I can’t find a version with subs and probably can’t pay for going to a showing.
If anyone is interested in my ballot, here is what it looks like right now:
Best Picture: Lincoln (want Life of Pi)
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, of course.
Best Actress: expect Jennifer Lawrence. Personally want Jessica Chastain. Would love love love to see Quvenzhane Wallis to get it.
Supporting Actor: I haven’t seen The Master yet and I suspect I’m going to want Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Supporting Actress: Annie!
Animated Feature: I’ve only seen 2/5. I don’t know, but I’d say I wouldn’t be surprised by Brave or Wreck-It Ralph but I suspect Frankenweenie deserves it.
Cinematography: Movies other than Life of Pi had really good cinematography but I want Life of Pi and I’m deaf to other options.
Costume Design: I haven’t seen Anna Karenina but it’s apparently the favorite.
Directing: I know Ang Lee is the dark horse and everybody thinks Spielberg but I’m putting my hope in there for Ang Lee. I’d also love to see Benh Zeitlin get it.
Documentary Feature: I’m still missing 3/5 but the big favorite is Sugar Man.
Documentary Short: I really care about these but I’m hoping to just watch all of the shorts sunday before the oscars.
Film Editing: I WANT to see it go to Zero Dark Thirty.
Foreign Language Film: I don’t have time to see all of these even though I’d love to. Amour is clearly going to win.
Makeup and Hairstyling: I suspect The Hobbit will get this.
Music/Score: I’m a Life of Pi fangirl. It won’t win. It’ll probably go to John Williams with Skyfall as the dark horse.
Music/Song: Everybody wants this to go to Adele.
Production Design: THIS CATEGORY IS MY BABY. Of course I want Life of Pi, and out of the films I’ve seen (everything but Anna Karenina) I think it deserves it.
Short film/Animated: SUNDAY. I’LL SEE THEM SUNDAY.
Short film/Live Action: SUNDAAAY.
Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Visual Effects: If Life of Pi doesn’t get this I’m going to throw a fit
Writing/Adapted: It’s probably going to Lincoln, but I want it to go to anything but Lincoln or Argo because I HAVE FEELINGS. I’ll probably say fuck everyone and put Silver Linings Playbook on my official ballot, even though my WANT/DESERVE opinion goes to Beasts of the Southern Wild. Feelings, man.
Writing/Original: I think everybody hopes this will go to Moonrise Kingdom but I’d love a big fuck-you to the completely stupid “controversy” and see it go to Zero Dark Thirty. As long as it doesn’t go to Django I won’t be upset.
OKAY IT’S GOOD THIS BLOG POST IS A REASONABLE LENGTH BYE GUYS.