For some strange reason I love the Oscars. Well, not love but I highly enjoy them. When I was a kid my mom and I would watch the Oscars almost ever year, even when I was too young to watch pretty much all of the movies they mentioned. After I moved out there were several years I couldn’t afford to stay up to date on current media. Hell I couldn’t afford food a lot of the time so my media consumption was the least of my problems.
Now I can somewhat afford to go back to my sad little passion of watching the contenders for best picture and making my irrational and thoroughly amateur instant judgments on what should win and what will probably win. I try to watch all of them but usually miss at least a couple. Especially since they have increased the number of best pics to be 10! This was a bad move in my opinion as there are rarely 10 films that come out in a year that could actually compete. Not that there aren’t 10 amazing movies that come out every year, but only 10 mainstream movies that fit the narrow definition of best picture material. This year is a stellar example of why 10 is far too many. I haven’t seen any of the nominees but will hopefully be able to find a way to see the ones I am actually interested in before the big night.
Best Picture nominees are as follows, with my personal impressions based on the trailers.
The Artist – this actually looks quite good. Unique style and interesting material with what appears to be consummate acting. Silent films are not easy and require an expressive body and especially face. I love old films and am looking forward to watching this one.
The Descendants – I’m marginally interested in this. The concept seems like it could be engrossing but it will all depend on the script. It is a perfect George Clooney vehicle, it’s got his kind of feel to it, the sarcastic-but-good-hearted-fellow-just-trying-to-get-by-in-the-world.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I assume this will be a tearjerker. Movies with kids trying to find themselves after the death of their parents always tear me up inside. The author of this book wrote Everything is Illuminated, which they also made into a wonderful movie. I will see this one but I fear it is a feel good flick as opposed to the more transformative (for the characters) journey that was Everything is Illuminated.
Hugo – In my humble opinion this got a nod because, well, Martin Scorsese. I will probably watch it with the Kid, I’m anticipating it to be fantastical and entertaining but not worth a best picture.
Midnight in Paris – This is another movie where the concept seems interesting but I’m not sure I want to see it. I am decidedly NOT a fan of Owen Wilson and that will possibly make it nigh on unwatchable for me. This one got the nod also because of the director I am sure.
Moneyball – The obligatory sports movie. Definitely a miss. I’ve seen enough sports movies to see how this will go. Brad Pitt just can’t seem to win, gets quirky Jonah Hill to help him make a system. The team sucks for a bit – queue Brad Pitt/coachman feeling doubt – then comes back and does Ah-May-ZING! They make it to championship thingy and it’s a great but very close game that comes down to the last few plays. They will probably win but they might lose, doesn’t really matter because the point can be made either way that it’s trying hard and believing in yourself that really matters. Credits roll. yawn.
Tree of Life – I am intrigued by this, non linear film about growing up, the start of the universe and how life came to be? As Spock would say, ‘fascinating’. Definitely a watch, provided I can get the Fiance to sit through a movie with Sean Penn in it.
War Horse – A horse and war movie rolled into one! Just what children everywhere dream about? No, not interested. Why exactly was this nominated?
Some of these look great! Some of them made me wonder WTF is going on here? Since when do movies about horses make it as Oscar contenders? If they can’t actually see them winning best picture against the other nominees, it’s probably best not to have them as part of the line up. But then that’s just me.
Once I’ve actually seen the few of these I’m going to watch I will give further impressions. Let’s hope at least one of them is worth a win?