The Academy Awards are this weekend so I thought I would do a series on The Oscars.
Linda and I do an OscarFest every year. We make a concerted effort to see all the Best Picture nominees. But we also work to see all the Best actor/actress categories, all the Best Director movies and, especially for me, all the Best Screenplay movies. We don’t always get to them all, but we try and it is a fun winter time activity for us to do as a couple.
This year we were able to see all 9 of the Best Picture nominations. We don’t always agree, but this year we pretty much had the same top 3. They are:
- The Descendants
- Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close
Hugo is my personal choice because of the complexity of the story, the beautiful and innovative visual style, the acting and the script.
The Descendants definitely has my vote for Best Screenplay. The script was realistic and moving. I wouldn’t be upset at it winning best film but I liked Hugo better.
Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close was MUCH better than I was expecting. The story, script and visuals were compelling and moving. I loved it.
From there we parted ways a bit. Movies in the list I did not think were at the top were:
- The Artist
- The Tree of Life
- Midnight in Paris
- The Help
- War Horse
The Artist was fantastic. But the storyline wasn’t all that original. It basically was a remake of ‘A Star is Born’. I love the movie however and I would not think it a gross injustice if it won. If you haven’t seen it, you should.
The Tree of Life was immense, poetic, visually staggering, symbolic and powerful. Shouldn’t that make my list as a result? Well, it almost did but really, the story is just not that compelling. A kid grows up in the 50s, loves life, hates life, is confused about life. Fast forward to his adulthood and he loves life, hates life, is confused about life. Intersperse with symbolic images of the cosmos and the confusion one sees there and we get a beautiful visual treat, but not nearly good enough to warrant Best Picture in my book.
Midnight in Paris only had one problem – Woody Allen played the main character (disguised as Owen Wilson). I have been a fan of Allen’s ever since Annie Hall, which is still on my top ten list of best movies of all time. But, I like his movies that do not have a Woody Allen character in them. This one had a whiny and stuttering Owen Wilson. He tried to crack jokes that were ‘Woody’ jokes. He tried to hem and haw and communicate terribly like ‘Woody’ would. I just cannot stand that character any longer.
The Help was good but it was so predictable and the visual style was so uninspiring that I just couldn’t see it winning on anything other than story line and that is never enough for me.
War Horse was way too schmaltzy and overly stylized to manipulate the emotions. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it was just too much.
Moneyball wasn’t nearly a dynamic enough story to make it to the top. The visuals were mundane and the acting just wasn’t that moving to me. And this is coming from a baseball fan!
What is your opinion of the Best Picture nominees?