The first thing we need to talk about is the Oscars. They are in a few short weeks (Feb. 27th, ABC)... I love the movies. I like all art really, but the movies are near the top of my list. Non-purposefully, I have seen all of the nominations for Best Film, albeit one (Black Swan, and I have no desire to see it, so probably won't). Not only have I seen most of the nominated films, but I am also quite opinionated.
So which is my pick for best pic? I have reasons... I have opinions... Lets go through each of the Nominations for Best Picture...
The crowd favorite is The Kings Speech. Which, granted is first-rate. It has a strong cast, an excellent triumph, and a lot of feel good fluff. This movie is that of summer-lit. Escapism. But of course to the pretentious audience doesn't feel that way, because after all it is a) European and b) historic. Don't get me wrong. I liked the movie. A lot. But it falls a little short. It stands on it's emotions a little bit too much. It doesn't go deep enough.
The other favorite is Inception, but for other reasons. It wasn't as acclaimed by the critics, but the movie-goers ate this movie up. It got everyone talking about it, something the rest of the movies failed to do. It was universally loved because it was good. It had all the elements we want and everything was done exceptionally well, except for the plot. It was complex, and filled with holes. I won't get into all of it (I could write a whole post about this. I won't.) I can not write this article in good faith with out asking you a few questions... Why does Fischer end up in Cobb's limbo? Cobb wasn't the architect or the host of the dream. Doesn't make sense. Also, if it really is Cobb who is in a dream and not awake (like Mal claims), then why is he using Mal's totem- which they explicitly tell us can only be calibrated to the owner. So her spinning top wouldn't really help Cobb. None of this movie makes any sense unless we are to believe that it's all in Mal's dream and they are trying to incept her (theoretically to wake up). But, they never do that in the movie. They do though try to incept Cobb to wake up though, multiple times. Ugh. Doesn't. Make. Sense. Should. Not. Win. That said, I really did like it and did think it was one of the best movies of the year, just not the best.
The Fighter might win. The Academy loves to award people who do physical transformations. If the actor can trick you into forgetting who they are in real life, The Academy thinks they have done a good job. (See: Charlize Theron in Monster). And the entire cast of The Fighter really did transform. Christian Bale over acted though. I don't care how much he was spot-on to the guy he plays in the movie. He over did it. If that man is really that annoying in real life, then they should have toned it down for the movie. The mom, played by Melissa Leo does deserve to win the Best Supporting Actress.
The Kids are All Right was all wrong. It was edgy, but it was also stupid. SPOILER ALERT: I don't know any adult who would act as selfishly as Julianne Moore did in this movie and have all the blame go to someone else; poor Mark Ruffulo. This movie shouldn't have even been nominated.
True Grit: I liked you, but I have a problem with a remake being nominated. You are a copy. You have been done. You have had your time in the sun. You were great the second go round. You were redone really well, but you can't win. You aren't new.
Social Network: The only reason it won the Golden Globe is because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members are old and thought they were hip with the times exposing the Facebook guy. Anyone who grew up with technology gets it- no big deal here.
Toy Story 3: I wish this movie weren't a cartoon and I wish it wasn't part of a trilogy of cartoons. The story was brilliant. It was even angst-y enough that it had a shot at greatness. Whoever wrote this script should have put it in a different context.
Now, the movie that should win is Winters Bone. This movie had it all. A superb plot. Great cinematography. Impeccable acting. It was gripping. It exposed something that deserves our attention. It was real. It was not pretensions in any way. It was a good story told really well. It had the depth and the breadth that a winning movie should have. (If you don't know, it is about a teen girl who is tracking down her drug-dealing father through the Ozark mountains). It was a better movie than any of the other nominees. Nearly flawless.
My second favorite movie of the lot was 127 Hours. It was genius. I still can't wrap my mind around the story, and it was based off a true story. Gah. HE CUTS HIS OWN ARM OFF. I don't want to find out, but I'd like to think I am bad-ass enough to do that. But the fact that I really can't even fathom it, means I probably wouldn't be. It also made movie strides. It did what Cast Away couldn't do. It was a solo-performance that captivated me. It also was filmed in a limited amount of space and wasn't stifling at all. The director of this movie deserves a win, but he wasn't even nominated. James Franco was, and he deserves the win for Best Actor. He took this movie to a whole new level. I think this movie is a bit before it's time unfortunately. This movie will be used to teach film students for years though. Years, I tell you.
That's a wrap.