I had a really good movie week and I want to tell you about it.
I adore movies, but surprisingly I don’t always watch them. Living with my parents, I have glorious access to all kinds of premium channel movies (and time on my hands) but still probably just watch one a week. The movies I watch these days can be classified into three distinct categories:
1. Ones My Dad and I Agree On - Recent Example: Bruno (unfortunately)
2. Ones Usually on Cable Sudie and I Watch On The Weekends While Doing Stuff Around the House
Recent Example: Legally Blonde (It’s on a. lot.)
3. Ones I Watch By Myself That Wouldn’t Interest Bill or Sue- Recent Example: Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. (Admittedly, I fell asleep. Sorry, Heath)
A fourth category has been included these past couple of weeks…. Oscar Noms At the Theatres!
My love for the Academy Awards and the aforementioned time on my hands have worked well together this year. I’ve seen two Best Picture nominees this week, bringing my total up to 6 (of the 10.)
It’s no secret that the following descriptive words are the ones you want describing your film if you want to win an Oscar: 1. Weird 2. Obscure 3. Serious 4. British 5. Biopic 6. Not Many People Have Seen
Ok, so that last one is not a descriptive word nor is it always true. But ever since my vivid childhood memory of The English Patient winning in 1996, this movie fan knew that movies audiences know and love aren’t the ones that win. The following year Titanic won and left everyone feeling warm and fuzzy and satisfied with the Oscars again, thus disproving point #6.
Furthermore, I really don’t like this whole 10 nominees business. It was so much simpler with 5. 5 left the Best Picture nominees feeling more distinguished and important. 5 felt like a manageable multiple choice question. 10 feels like they let anyone in these days. You’re in luck readers, because I’ve seen 6 of the 10, 2 of which appear to be the ones battling for the top prize. Read on if you want my lovely reviews! (In my own predictive order)
1. The Kings Speech
When I saw it: This past $5 Mondays at a theatre in Cranberry with Kris Rogers, who shares my affinity for good movies and the British.
Why I Want It To Win: Let it be know that I RARELY root for the “shoo-in”. It checks 3 of my 6 criteria up top and it clearly is the type of film that is often recognized. But I am all in when it comes to this movie. This is one of those films throughout that you think, “I am watching an incredible movie right now.” Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush depicted such a heartfelt and endearing relationship, not to mention that Geoffrey Rush’s character was so adorably wonderful. Technically, the cinematography was so simple and effective. It captivated a gal who doesn’t always find British historical dramas captivating. Go see it if you haven’t. I mean it.
2. The Social Network
When I Saw It : This fall by myself. So much for being social.
Why I Don’t Want It To Win: It was a great movie, don’t get me wrong. It just wasn’t the best. I agree with the many critics that say it is an important portrait of my generation. I just wasn’t blown away. True, things may have been different had I viewed in through an “Oscar lens” (Like, “Hey! Lets go see this Oscar nominated movie everyone’s talking about!”) Still, I didn’t leave the theatre in October thinking it was gonna be showered with Oscar praise. You gotta have amazing acting in a Best Picture in my opinion. As much as I’m warming up to him, I don’t think Jesse Eisenberg’s performance was all that noteworthy. I’m also bitter that he was nominated for Best Actor over my beloved Ryan Gosling, but more on him later.
3. The Fighter
When I Saw It: A couple of weeks ago with Sudie!
What I Think: Loved it! Recommend it! I believe Christian Bale and Melissa Leo will both deservedly win for their awesome supporting characters. I wasn’t initially intrigued, but it’s a story about interpersonal relationships, which I’m always down for. It’s a boxing movie, but not a movie about boxing. Did I mention Christian Bale and Melissa Leo were brilliant in it? Marky Mark, sorry you didn’t get the Best Actor nod…..you can go beat up Jesse Eisenberg if you want.
4. True Grit
The only kinda-contender I haven’t seen… still on my list. I love me some Matt Damon and have heard young Hailee Steinfeld’s performance was awesome.
5. Black Swan
When I Saw It: Caught a Friday matinee last week with my dear fellow Marta PGH YAGM, Marta Spangler.
What I Think: Well, it tackled #1 and #3 pretty head on… Weird and Serious. Mostly weird. And creepy. Horror films are like country music for me. I respect the roots and importance of the genre, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Aside from a few exceptions, being scared is not entertaining for me. I blame Edward Scissorhands. Black Swan wasn’t scary, so I was entertained. It just usually isn’t my style. But I am glad I saw it. And Natalie Portman will win and will get up and make a “pretty and dorky” speech and I will be happy for her….so long as she doesn’t scratch and mess with her hands/back/skin. That creeped me out.
And there should have ended the 5 Best Picture Nominees- buttttt no- everyone can come and play these days. Really, none of the rest of them have a snowball’s chance in hell at winning- but I will give a resounding “Rock on!” to Toy Story 3 and Inception. Glad they were invited to the party. I think Inception got snubbed in the Acting categories. Someday, Leo. Someday.
And last but not least—my final addition to the “I’m Having a Great Movie Week!” notion:
Yesterday I needed a Ryan Gosling fix. I’ve wanted to see Blue Valentine since freakin’ December but it isn’t at my local theatre. I settled for Lars and the Real Girl (2007), one of many in the Gosling Indie genre that I’d always been curious about. It. was. fantastic. And hard to explain- except that Ryan Gosling plays a socially inept dude whose girlfriend is an anatomically correct doll. It was so weird and wonderful. It impressed me as The King’s Speech did the day before. It was just so delightful. Ryan is the one of the finest actors of our generation. He will also never be able to weird it up enough for me not to be attracted to him. Socially backwards guy who falls in love with a sex doll? In the words of Wayne and Garth….. schwing!!!!!
Until next time….