Brem already covered a few contenders in her first post about Oscar nominated movies and as I read her blog I realized how few of the movies that were nominated I had seen. I was ashamed. I mean, you’re talking to the girl who used to proclaim the Academy Awards show as her “Superbowl” (not ashamed) and filled out ballots online in hopes of predicting all categories correctly (slightly ashamed). I needed to remedy my lack of Oscar knowledge this year as soon as possible in case a Japanese person ever asked me what my take was on the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty or if I thought JLaw had any chance of beating Jessica Chastain in the best actress race (I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for those questions). Since last week I’ve seen Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables (or if you’re Brem – Les Mis -er-gargle-balls), Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, and Argo. I’m still hoping to watch Life of Pi in 3D in the theater and plan on catching Amour and Lincoln this week if time permits. So without further explanation – a brief take on each of these movies.
Silver Linings Playbook
Not sure how I am supposed to categorize this movie. A dramatic comedy (dramedy)? A semi-romantic film about crazy people? A humorous family drama wrapped up in sports gambling, the Philadelphia Eagles, ballroom dancing and mental disorders? I can’t define it but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing it. Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence all turn in fine performances but it’s Lawrence who stands out (and not just because I have a mega lady crush on her). The movie was honestly a little slow for me at first but once Lawrence enters the fray she brings out the best in all of the other actors — particularly B. Coop. Her turn as Tiffany is equal parts hilarious, vulnerable, sexy, and maddening. She’s a little nuts but completely owns it.
The dance sequence at the end is full of joy and is so great I watched it twice. I really liked (but didn’t LOVE) this movie and it’s nice to see a funny, dramatic, romantic little indie movie get nominated for so many Academy Awards. I definitely recommend it and would not be pissed at all if JLaw took home the Oscar for her great turn (you know her speech would be amazing). Also Bradley Cooper — thanks for making crazy look really sexy — even if you are wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey (gross).
Beasts of the Southern Wild – I now kind of want to name a child Hushpuppy. This movie was beautifully done and the little girl who stars is a revelation. I could watch a movie of just her facial reactions ( I guess I sort of did). The story was unique and interesting – mixing the fantastic in with the mundane and the score to the film was just lovely. The actors playing the father and daughter whom the movie centers on are both non-professional but you couldn’t tell at all — they were stunning and worked beautifully together. The scene where Hushpuppy confronts her ailing father about dying? Damn it. Let’s just say I was a lil’ emotional and leave it at that.
Argo – Ben Affleck’s beard is hot. I had to get that out of my system — I’ve really been feeling beards lately. Outside of Ben looking super sexy I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this little historical pot boiler. I particularly enjoyed the little touches in the movie – the hairstyles and clothing, the opening sequence that told a brief history of Iran using cartoon like storyboards (like they do for films), the way that Affleck didn’t really cast any major names as the hostages so they could feel more real to you (unless you consider Tate Donavan a hot commodity — and I haven’t since the OC).
I am told the film stays mostly historically accurate with the exception of the last 20 minutes which turns up the film’s Hitchcokian suspense levels perhaps a bit too much. The dramatics at the end didn’t piss me off because after all — this is a Hollywood movie – what the fuck do you expect? Definitely worth seeing. Well done Ben Affleck — the beard, the directing, the acting, your shirt being off just long enough to show us you are still fine — thank you for all of it. Also, Alan Arkin — you are the fucking man and I wish you popped up in every movie calling for a hilariously cantankerous old man.
Django Unchained – I have an inappropriate crush on Christoph Waltz – just needed to share that. The dialogue was crackling (as per usual with a Tarantino movie), the costumes, the score, and cinematography were great too. Brem pretty much covered this one already but I must add that it was totally 45 minutes too long (as is prone to happen with QT’s movies). Also – Quentin – stop trying to act — stick to screenwriting and directing because you are awful. As Tina Fey said “Quentin Tarantino – the star of my sexual nightmares”. Truth.
Les Miserables – Again this was one covered by Brem. My two cents – too many close-ups, Russell Crowe should never sing and should also lose 40 pounds (those high waisted coats aren’t fooling anyone Russ), Hugh Jackman is amazing and so is his ginormous and manly chest, Anne Hathaway was good but annoys the hell out of me and I thought the girl playing Eponine was actually way more heartbreaking, that little boy playing Gavroche made me melt, Helena Bonham Carter and Sascha Baron Cohen were hilarious and I now have a crush on Eddie Redmayne.
This movie was also 45 minutes too long and in the words of Randy “Dawg” Jackson – it was only okay for me. The best part about seeing it was that afterwards all of my friends and I sang everything we were saying for the rest of the night. Example “Tonighhhhhhhht when I go to beddd – I’ll set the alarm before I lay down my headddd! And then in the toilet I will peeeeee – because peeing on the futon is not an option for meeeeeeeeeeeee! (sang in my best Jean Val Jean voice)
Alright, thanks for reading. Check back in a day or two when I put up my recap for last night’s episode of Girls!