In 2010, the Oscars decided to nominate every movie they could think of for picture of the year. They didn’t want anyone to feel left out so everyone got invited. Apparently, the term “quality not quantity” didn’t make much sense to them. As a result, we now have a mixed bag of films to choose from. Considering this has been a bland year for movies, it’s not surprising how many mediocre films are in the race is this year.
Here are the nominees:
I never saw it, but I do I have an opinion. Any time your guy friend, who’s not into movies, meets you to play basketball, and during one of the breaks says: “Dude, you’ve got to see The Help,” and several other guys chime in, it’s time to take notice. Men and women alike have all been impressed. It won’t win picture of the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in the cast is recognized (Viola Davis for best actress.)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
I don’t understand how a movie with extremely mixed reviews and incredibly little fanfare gets nominated for picture of the year. I think a movie should be appreciated by at least 2/3 of the critics before it can make the cut for best movie (it received only 46% positive reviews on rottentomatoes.com.) This film is like that guy that’s not invited to the party but shows up anyway. Why are you even here?
The Tree of Life
This film represents the “I’ve never heard of it, but it’s sophisticated” genre. If nobody has ever heard or seen the film, then why is it even nominated? I’m sure it’s beautiful. I’m sure it’s whimsical. I’m sure it’s boring. Next!
Just because a movie is an epic time-piece about a heroic animal directed by Spielberg, does not mean that it’s an Oscar caliber movie. War Horse—what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. (I’m sure it’s an okay movie, but I wanted to put in the last line because it sounded cool.)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
To my surprise, this was one of the best movies of the year. The action was spectacular, the storytelling touching, and the climax incredible. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great movie.
But wait a second—it was not even nominated. Apparently, it was too fun and too exciting to enter the race. And Andy Serkis’ Oscar bid for digitally playing Caesar disappeared faster than you can say: “Who’s Andy Serkis?”
If it had been set in 19th century England, and Judi Dench played one of the apes, I bet it would’ve been nominated. Consider it retribution for James Franco’s hideous hosting job from last year.
No, this isn’t a movie title, although if it was...
Random Tangent starring Nicolas Cage, directed by John Woo. “This angle can’t miss.” A calculus professor must use mathematic equations and brute force in order to get back his kidnapped daughter.
The random tangent is actually me just venting. How the hell did The King’s Speech win best picture last year? It was a nice story, but The Social Network, Inception, The Fighter (the list goes on) were all better. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.
Just because a movie is British, does not mean that it’s good. Just because it’s a period piece, does not mean that’s it classic. Just because the Weinsteins produced it, does not mean perfection. Their fingerprints were all over The King’s Speech last year. They did it with Shakespeare in Love too. Everyone is afraid of the Weinsteins. They must be a very persuasive family.
Midnight in Paris
It’s no Annie Hall, but it’s nice to see Woody Allen create another great movie and be recognized for his work. If you want some more insight into Woody Allen, check out the latest documentary through American Masters on PBS. It surely deserves some awards for showing the rise and fall and rise of the great comedian and his work.
This movie blows away the competition for most scenes with someone crying. I actually enjoyed the film, but kept waiting for that great scene where you get chills, teary eyed, and feel connected to the characters. Unfortunately, it never happened. It was a pleasant ride that never lives up to its potential. Clooney is charming, but the movie isn’t. Despite all the energy put into it, I felt kind of empty at the end. The Oscars love Alexander Payne (Sideways was recognized, but Election was actually better) and George Clooney (the voters will always be swayed by his dreaminess.) This got them into the big dance, but they definitely don’t deserve to win.
This was one of the most visually stunning movies of the year. Scorcese proved he could actually direct a movie without using the “F” word. But when you take away the visuals, the story is completely scattered. If you disagree, try explaining the plot to a friend:
“Hugo is about a boy who lives in a clock with a robot. He is caught stealing mechanical parts from a local merchant who is old and grumpy. The merchant finds the boy’s book about the robot and goes crazy. The security guard tries to take away the boy to the orphanage. The boy escapes, and befriends the old man’s granddaughter. They break into his house and find out the robot can draw magical pictures. The grandfather freaks out and becomes depressed. Then we learn for an hour that he used to be a great filmmaker. Then they all become friends. The end.”
I don’t want to be a downer, but this is going to win the best picture of the year? It’s a nice homage to filmmaking, but it’s also a mess. Sorry Marty, take away the 3-D glasses, and you have a nice but really sloppy story.
This is a very good movie. For years, I wondered how they were going to take Michael Lewis’ book about stats and numbers and make it into a successful movie. Aaron Sorkin saves the day with yet another incredible script (he also penned The Social Network.) The acting is sound. The story is solid. And there are some awesome feel good scenes.
But if Moneyball was made last year, I don’t think it would have even been nominated. Since the field is so weak, suddenly it’s a contender for picture of the year. I love baseball, and I love the movies, but Moneyball is not an Oscar caliber picture. It’s a good movie that’s been amplified because of Brad Pitt and Aaron Sorkin. Enjoy it, but I’d be shocked if it wins the best picture of the year.
This is why we go to the movies. I was a little hesitant to see The Artist. It was black and white, and IT HAD NO SOUND! Who do these people think they are? What kind of modern day movie is silent?
The result is breathtaking. The Artist takes a simple story and conveys it through images and acting. There is sound by the way. The music sums up feelings and emotions better than most actors with voices.
The Artist reminded me why I go to the movies in the first place: to escape and to dream. I felt transported back into the past when there were no cell phones or internet. The nostalgia hung in the air as I soaked in the love story. The visuals were beautiful and the acting impressive. The actors glow on the screen, and a smile or a wink in the camera seem so intimate and real.
The Artist will win because it’s the best movie. It helps that the Weinstein machine will be backing it. But it’s their first movie in a while that really deserves to win. It’s innovative, gutsy, charming, and beautiful. When it ended, I didn’t yearn for sound or voices. Instead, I simply sat back and reflected how beautiful film can be.