Sunday, March 07, 2010

Best Picture Nominees

Dan and I always try to see all of the Oscar-nominated films before the Oscar telecast. Imagine our delight when AMC started offering a Best Picture Showcase package a few years ago! We were able to see all 5 Best Picture Nominees in one day for a reduced price, plus unlimited popcorn. It was perfect for us!

This year, however, a wrench was thrown into our plans. They decided to nominated 10 pictures this year to help boost the ratings. This is sooooo stupid on so many levels, but I won't get into that here.
The major problem for us personally, was that the Best Picture Showcase would be split between 2 Saturdays. That meant that we would need to get babysitters for 2 whole weekend days. That's a lot to ask.
Fortunately, my mom and step-father were more than happy to watch Eva for the first Saturday (and even watched her overnight - yay!) and my dad and step-mother were glad to watch Eva on the second Saturday (we didn't need them to watch her overnight, but I'm sure they would have.) We are so lucky to have them!!! Thanks Dad, Rose, Mom and Shelly!

The first Saturday, the lineup was:
  • Avatar
  • Up In The Air (which we had already seen, so we went for lunch and to see Eva during this one.)
  • Precious
  • The Blind Side
  • Inglourious Basterds (Dan had already seen this one, so he skipped it.)
Here is the lineup for the second Saturday:
  • Up (which we had already seen, so we skipped it)
  • A Serious Man
  • The Hurt Locker
  • An Education
  • District 9 (we saw this one, too, so we were able to skip it.)
So, without further ado, and if you even care, here are my reviews of the Best Picture nominees. Ranked from 10 down to 1 - - #1 is the film I felt was most Oscar-worthy.

10 - The Blind Side: I’m not really sure what this movie is doing as a Best Picture nominee. It definitely wouldn’t have made it if there were only 5 nominees. It’s a good movie. I love true stories and this is at least an uplifting one. And Sandra Bullock is deserving of her Oscar nomination. But, a Best Picture nominee? No. Just, no. Outside of the Oscar Race (OOR) I would give this film a B-.

9 - District 9: I have no idea what this one is doing on the list, either. No idea. I mean, yes. It is a good movie. It was non-formulaic (always a plus in my book.) It was an escape. But… it’s sci-fi. I love a good sci-fi movie, and yes, Avatar could be considered sci-fi as well (but more sci-fi for the masses), however District 9 is not Oscar worthy. OOR Grade= B+

8 - Avatar: pretty awesome movie (especially in 3D) up until the last half hour, where it became absolutely predictable and cliché. But for whatever reason, the Academy loves pictures like this, and I'm guessing this one will win. OOR Grade= C

7 - The Hurt Locker: I do appreciate a realistic look into the war in Iraq. There isn’t much of a story here, though. That’s what is disappointing. The acting is great, the subject matter is interesting, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of story. Which is too bad. OOR Grade=C+

6 - Up In The Air: this movie would be nothing without George Clooney. I would have been thoroughly depressed and disappointed in this film if it weren’t for the charm of George. Not to say that the other actors weren’t any good. The two female leads are certainly worthy of their Oscar nominations and it’s always good to see J.K. Simmons in anything, but the movie would have been a complete downer without George. George. Oh, George. You’re just adorable. But still, OOR Grade=A. George Clooney is that good.

5 - Up: This is your typical Disney/Pixar film, and while I really did love it for what it is, it seems to be out of place in this Best Picture line up. If they had made a full movie about the first 20 minutes (the love story between Carl and Ellie) it would have been amazing. Of course, the whole theater would be sobbing like little babies, but it would be Oscar worthy and completely out of the box for Disney/Pixar. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy Kevin, Dug and Russell, but movies like this are becoming a dime a dozen anymore. OOR Grade=A-

4 - Precious: Wow. This movie was tough. Tough to watch. Tough to digest. Tough to critique. This movie is dirty and gritty. It makes you angry. It makes you sad. It gives you small glimpses of hope and happiness, only to take them away almost immediately. It’s so far into realism that one gets incredibly uncomfortable. I can’t decide if this is the mark of an Oscar winning film, or if they’ve gone too far beyond what a movie should be. I have a feeling that this is a new era of realism in film. The Hurt Locker is part of this as well – and maybe even Up in the Air. I’m just not sure if I want that much realism in my movies. I use movies as entertainment. An escape from my own reality.
That being said, the actors in this movie are AMAZING. Even Mariah Carey. I can’t believe I said that.
And, if you’re a fan of Lenny Kravitz (or just like looking at him) he’s in it, too. OOR Grade = B+

3 - A Serious Man: The Coen Brothers have done it again: they’ve made a highly entertaining movie with a really great story, which ends abruptly with no conclusion. At least I didn’t leave the theater with the anger I had after No Country for Old Men. Maybe I’ve come to accept their style of movie making. At least it’s not predictable. Yet. OOR Grade=A-

2 - An Education: I fell in love with Peter Saarsgard and the girl who played Jenny almost instantly, and got swept up in their love story just like Jenny. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a cross between Audrey Tautou and a young pre-Scientology Katie Holmes – clever and cute and maybe a little precocious. You want to be her. I really enjoyed this movie (and enjoyed seeing many of my favorite British actors from all the Jane Austen movies that I watch repeatedly) and would rate it as one of my faves, but I’m just not sure it’s the winner for me. OOR Grade=A+

1 - Inglourious Basterds: Let me start by saying that I am a Quentin Tarantino fan from way back. I apparently have some screws loose and am a girl who not only loves Jane Austen, but also loves excessive violence, Tarantino-style. Now that I think about it, I don’t really like excessive violence in other movies. Just Tarantino movies. He does it in a funny way. Yep, I have some screws loose.
Anyway, back to the movie. This movie is awesome. I can’t even describe it. You just have to go see it. If you see any movie on this list, this should be the one. Does that mean it’s Oscar worthy? I would say it is. But I doubt that the Academy will tonight… :( OOR Grade: A+

I’d put money down on Avatar winning Best Picture. And I’d bet a little money on the side for Precious, because I like to gamble.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I really enjoyed reading your comments regarding the movies!! I can't wait to watch An Education. and I ADORE Audrey Toutou. kudos! Keep writing!!!