Saturday, January 12, 2013

Awards Season

It's that time of year again. I need to publish this blog before the Globes tomorrow night, but I had to see Zero Dark Thirty last night, so you get this now. This year I have a lot of questions; some answers. 

So, with out further adieu... in alphabetical order... the Best Picture Nominees followed by the Best Opinions, presented by me. 

Amour- Haven't watched it yet. Also, don't think it should be nominated in this category. It is a foreign film and was nominated in that category. What is it doing here? 

Argo-  The plot was gripping. The actors did well. It drew you in. It was timely and historic. Overall, this is a winner.  It should win. That is what I am saying, this one should win. 

Beasts of the Southern Wild- I challenge anyone who claims they think this a good movie. There are good elements. The little girl is cute. The frames were individually beautiful. Even the points of the movie which were horrific, they were artistic. Now, on to everything else: this movie is so full of itself it is beyond repair. Those people who just "get it" transcend movie basic understandings. (They actually don't)Beasts tries so hard to be a metonym, metaphysical, metaphoric, metathetic story and ends up a just a mess. Oh, I didn't use those words correctly? I just did it to sound cool but in reality they aren't backed by anything? Huh. 

Django Unchained- Won't see. I just can't digest gore/violence. But, ask my friends from the early 2000's. I have been saying that Leo was more than just a pretty face since then. I hear this movie confirms that.

Les Miserables- This was a good movie. Did you catch that? It was a movie. On film. Was it a good stage production that was regurgitated on the screen? Not really. It shouldn't have been either. People had wild expectations that were improbable to meet. This was a movie, based on musical, based on a book. It was good. The story is epic. The filming was nice. The music delivery could have been better. I appreciated that they did sing live and actually acted through it. There were some scenes that I wish would have set the bar for the rest of the movie. The scene where they are escorting the Thenardiers out of the wedding. That was brilliant The part when Fantine sells herself. Those moments made it special... but it was hurried, or just not brilliant enough to be carried through out the entire movie. I don't know. 

Life of Pi- Didn't see. Seems boring. 

Lincoln- Saw it. Was actually too boring. Except for that amazingly horrible Disney-esq intro scene with the soldiers approaching the President. What was that scene doing? I am glad it was first, so after four hours of the movie you forgot how bad that was. Was the movie well acted? Yes. Was the plot interesting? Yes. As a viewer did you learn and progress? Yes. Did it feature a scene right out of the 1995 Rom-Com "The American President"? Yes.

Bonus: This clip also foreshadows our current actual political crisis starting at 2:15

My criticism of Lincoln is that it is nothing new. It was not only stale, but it was also not THAT much better then similar movies from the recent past. Like the film Amazing Grace, or the completely underrated The Conspirator. Lincoln might win. Ugh. 

Silver Linings Playbook- This was a basic exploration of mental health. The movie Flight was a basic exploration of mental health and addiction and that movie did it better. Silver Linings was also a little heavy handed on exploiting the viewers emotions, having a complete identity crisis at the end. Is the movie a drama, a sports flick, a chick flick? That is also what made it great. It was a little bit of everything else, but mostly a drama. 

Zero Dark Thirty- I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It was less controversial then I feared; less torturous to watch the torture scenes then I had feared. It was the story of a woman devoting her life to something. The set backs and the ultimate triumph. God Bless America. I was pleased that it was directed by a woman, since it is telling the story of a woman in a mans world. Though that was never really presented as a theme in the movie, it is hard to not notice. It did a good job telling a story that is important for people to understand. The integrity of the story is what is in question. Is it accurate? Is it Hollywood's place to tell it? Is it propaganda? Is it too much of a political statement? I didn't think so. There wasn't much wrong with it. 

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