The Top Ten Oscar Nominated Movies: Which would you choose?
Blog Posted:2/15/2013 6:34:00 PM
Calling all movie buffs!!! Oscar time is right around the corner. In a week from Sunday, there will be a new BEST PICTURE. Every year I make it my goal to see all the nominated films and today I fulfilled my goal by finally seeing Amour when it was shown again in my favorite Salt Lake Theater, the one place where Utahans are able to view foreign and independent movies on a regular basis.
Many of the Oscar nominated movies are now returning to movie houses for those who missed them the first time around, so if you didn't see any of these ten movies, I hope you get a chance this weekend before they disappear again from the theaters. They are all marvelous shows! I will give a quick rundown of each movie and then ask you for your opinions on them:
Beasts of the Southern Wild: This movie is very artsy. It's about a small group of people down in the bayou, living in extreme poverty, but very independent and unwilling to give up their little niche in the bayou. When a catastrophic storm comes along, in the midst of it all is a little black girl with a very big imagination and a hope to keep her friends and her struggling father alive. The “beasts” are a symbolic part of the surreal world she is has created inside her mind as her strength of endurance is tested. This movie is stunning, but I highly doubt it has a chance for a win. Hardly anybody I know has even seen it!
Zero Dark Thirty: This is the story of the how they caught Bin Laden. It was very interesting for me to watch the drama unfold through cinema. I'd had no idea that it was a woman who had led the investigation into his whereabouts. Also the movie was directed by a woman. Women are capable of amazing things and this movie is proof of that. I heard there was some hope for this one to win an Oscar for best picture, but the torture scenes were supposedly going to hold it back. I disagree that the torture scenes should make any difference. If anything, the torture scenes were mild compared to what I would expect had actually been happening!
Silver Linings Playbook: This is the only funny and very romantic one in the group of nominees. A man just out of a mental hospital falls for a woman who seems nearly as crazy as he is! They hook up and begin practicing for a ballroom dance show so that they can win the huge cash prize. I loved seeing this movie. It was one of my favorite feel good movies of 2012.
Lincoln: I am sure this is one of the ten movies most seen by people of the United States. I went to it when it opened thanksgiving day, and I remember a few people standing up at the end of it to applaud. Though it is a very well crafted movie (I would not expect less from Spielberg) and it shows the political process of Lincoln's times not so different from our own today, I would not put it at the top of my list. Action enthusiasts will find it a bit dry. However, as a vehicle for showing how cleverly Lincoln was able to get some members of Congress to come around to “his side,” at a time when so many were against him, this movie is masterful. Daniel Day Lewis should easily get best actor for his portrayal of the greatest American president to ever live. Now I just want Spielberg to make a movie of Abe's whole life story. Now THAT would be MY kind of movie.
Les Miserables: I think this one may have been viewed even more times than the movie Lincoln. It was the much awaited movie event of the Christmas season and I remember a lot of Broadway musical fans and some movie critics were highly critical of the way the songs in the movie were recorded; however, I believe that for those of us who are not aware of “all things musical,” the movie was a real treat!! Filled with pathos, emotion,excitement, and even some humor, Les Mis was one of my favorite movies of the year. Yes, Russel Crowe's character was not the greatest singer, but I say cut him some slack. The movie was awesome!
Life of Pi: This is a motion picture that celebrates BEAUTY. A boy on a ship with his family and their zoo animals ends up lost and alone on the ocean trying to share a small life boat with a tiger!! In addition to the beauty of the filming (by famed Ang Lee), the movie is a feast of symbolism and deep meaning. For me, this is a poet's movie, and I wish it well in the Oscars.
Django Unchained: ok, this is an over the top spaghetti western, and in some circles it could be called a guilty pleasure, but dang it, I LOVED this one. Gritty, violent, dark. What else would you expect from Tarantino? A freed slave teams up with the bounty hunter who has set him free and together they undertake the struggle of rescuing Django's enslaved wife from the hands of the evil plantation owner (played to the hilt by Leonordo di Caprio). If you loved Inglorious Bastards, this one is for you!
Argo: This one I am sure has many exaggerations in it. The long time untold story of how six Americans diplomats escaped capture in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis is a very exciting and well acted movie directed by none other than Ben Affleck, who also stars in the movie as the CIA agent who put his own life on the line by pretending to make a movie in Iraq in order to get the six diplomats past the airport security in Tehran. This movie is full of drama and political intrigue. I think it is very deserving of an Oscar as well as some of the other above movies mentioned. (by the way, Argo won Golden Globes but that does not necessarily mean it will get the Oscar)
Amour: the French movie I finally saw today is about an elderly couple who is coping with the fast failing health of the wife. This movie really makes us live the sorrow of the couple and the turmoil they must be feeling to see their life deteriorating so miserably before their eyes. This is the one movie on the list that asks the most difficult question. Just when is enough enough? And when is it ok to say, hey, Dr. Kevorkian might have good reason for what he was doing? This movie is a bit slow paced, deep and gloomy. I liked it, but it would not be as high on my list as some of the others. I am glad that I saw it though!
AND NOW FOR MY FAVORITE..... Um, I don't really have one this year. In the past, I have had clear favorites, and I am able to predict the winner each year without fail. However, this year I am stymied. Too many good ones!!! Too many genres. I loved them all. However, I suppose Argo has one of the best chances! LIncoln too! And I would not mind seeing Les Miserables take the prize, because Les Mis had a little of everything: drama, humor, emotion, music, historical significance. Anyway, I would be happy to see almost any of the movies win! WHICH HAVE YOU SEEN AND WHICH DO YOU HOPE WINS???