Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let’s Talk About The Oscars!

The Wife: The 85th Academy Awards will take place this evening. The Academy Awards, commonly referred to as “The Oscars,” serve as the most prestigious event of the film industry. Some may see award shows as a chance to just promote Hollywood snobbery, but I disagree. The Oscars are a time where art is celebrated. The event also showcases films that may not necessarily be “mainstream,” and with the Academy publicity more people can enjoy these great movies. If not for Academy buzz, I don’t think I would have even known that last year’s Best Picture winner, The Artist, existed, and The Artist has become one of my favorite movies! Click here to read our Best Picture Project review of The Artist.

As a movie buff, I absolutely love watching The Oscars. I enjoy seeing some of my favorite films of the year be recognized. It’s also nice to see the behind the scenes work that goes into the film industry be praised. The pageantry of the event is also captivating. I admit that my TV will be glued to E! most of the day to watch the live red carpet interviews and to see what everyone is wearing!

So, let’s get right down to it. I won’t share my entire Oscar ballot with you, but I can discuss the coveted award for this evening, Best Picture! Below, I will list all nominees, my take on each film, who I want to win and finally, which movie I think will capture the Academy Award! Be sure to check here later this week for a blog on the actual winners and the best/worst dressed of the evening!

The Nominees:

Amour: Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to view this film, pre-Oscars. So, sadly, I have no commentary to offer. It is on my list to watch at some point. Unless we are in for a surprise, I don’t think Amour will win Best Picture.

Argo: Talk about INTENSE! I felt completely un-relaxed while watching Argo, which is a film based on the rescue of six US hostages from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. Directed by the oh so hot and talented, Ben Affleck, who also played the lead character, CIA operative Tony Mendez, Argo really delivered in terms of entertainment and intensity. From my understanding, Argo did take many liberties of the actual events of the rescue, such as the dramatic airport scene, but hey, it’s a movie. I don’t go to the movies for a full on history lesson. For a film that I knew the outcome of, I still found myself nervous and completely on the edge of my seat while watching Argo. I was uneasy and very much invested in the story. It’s hard to make a movie suspenseful when we already know the outcome. Affleck may not be the best actor I’ve ever seen, but he is a great director, and Argo proved that. I can’t believe the Academy snubbed him by not giving him a nomination in the Best Director category. In conclusion, Argo was a well-done movie. Like I said, it was intense. I feel like I actually sweat during the movie since it was so nerve-racking at points! For a movie to get me that emotionally involved is the mark of a good film. Personally, Argo was not my favorite of this year’s Best Picture nominees, but I think in comparison with the way previous award shows have gone and due to buzz, Argo will be this year’s Best Picture Winner! It will be a deserved victory as well. Side note: If Argo wins tonight I believe this will be the first time a film has won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination since Driving Miss Daisy!

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Another movie that is on my list that I have not yet scene. This is currently waiting in my Netflix mail-in queue. I just have to hurry up and mail in a movie I’ve held on to for far too long. Oops. Unless we are in for an upset, I do not think this film will win Best Picture.

Django Unchained: Do you ever go to movie not expecting much but then finding yourself completely blown away by how good it was? Well, that describes my Django Unchained experience! I am a fan of some of Tarantino’s work, especially Pulp Fiction. I was expecting to be semi-entertained by Django, and honestly I found myself questioning why this movie was even nominated for Best Picture. However, I ended up absolutely loving Django Unchained. It was a great story, very entertaining, well acted, and the musical score was incredible! It did have that Tarantino touch to it, and if you aren’t familiar with Tarantino’s work you really should check out some of his older movies like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Django Unchained was quite funny as well. I didn’t expect to laugh that much before seeing the movie. Throughout the funny and bizarre moments, the movie does have an underlining serious tone that is harshly evident in many scenes. Just because it had some funny lines and the “Tarantino touch,” doesn’t mean that the viewer wasn’t left reeling from the horribleness that was the slave trade. Overall, I think Django Unchained really deserved its nomination. Christoph Waltz was fantastic in Django Unchained and deserved his Supporting Actor nomination as well. While I think Tommy Lee Jones could take that one for his work in Lincoln, I would cheer if Waltz ended up winning. I don’t think Django Unchained will win Best Picture, but it’s easily one of my favorites from this year’s nominees!

Les Miserables: As I type this blog post, I am currently listening to Anne Hathaway’s amazing rendition of the iconic song, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables! As a lover of musical theatre, I was blown away by Les Miserables. I was familiar with both the story and songs before seeing Les Mis, but had never had a chance to see the live stage performance. Musicals can be hard to bring to the big screen, but Les Miserables delivered. It was powerful, beautifully acted and I really FELT for the characters. The singing was not perfect. I’ve heard far better musical scores from Les Mis, but the imperfections made the film all the more powerful. Through the slight imperfections, you really could feel the characters’ emotions in each scene. The story, which really touches on the human condition, really moved me. Redemption, love, sadness, happiness, peace…I got all of that from Les Miserables. All of the actors did a fantastic job. I was skeptical at first when I saw that Anne Hathaway was portraying Fantine, but she BLEW ME AWAY. She was incredible and I have to say if she doesn’t win her Supporting Actress award tonight, I will be a bit peeved. Hugh Jackman was amazing as well. Unfortunately he picked a bad year to give the performance of his life because I just don’t see him beating out Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) for Best Actor. Personally, Les Miserables is my pick for movie of the year. I would vote it as my Best Picture, but like I’ve said for other films, it will take an upset for this one to win. I do look for it to pick up other awards tonight though!

Life of Pi: Sadly this was on my list of movies to see this fall, but the holidays are so busy that I didn’t make it to the theatre for Life of Pi. I’ve heard it was a great movie from many people. As soon as it comes out on Blu-Ray, I intend to watch it. I did unfortunately get the ending spoiled for me thanks to someone on Facebook. Oops. However, I am still intrigued. As I’ve said several times, it’s going to take an upset to beat Argo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Life of Pi does from all the positive reviews surrounding this movie

Lincoln: If you know me, you know I am huge history buff. Heck I even have a history degree to coincide with my communications and English degrees. (Ok, so I am a nerd and enjoyed school…don’t judge!) So naturally, I was super excited to see Lincoln. I have been fascinated by Lincoln’s presidency since I did my award winning social studies fair project on The Gettysburg Address in fourth grade. Like Argo, Lincoln does take liberties with the historical content. And like Argo, Lincoln is still a MOVIE, so if you want a pure history lesson read a book. Spielberg once again delivered with Lincoln. For a movie about the voting of an amendment, which many people would see as “boring,” Lincoln was really anything but. At times, I did find the movie to be a bit slow-paced, but that didn’t deter my enjoyment. Daniel Day Lewis was incredible as Lincoln. He looked the part and while I’ve obviously never seen honest Abe in real life, Lewis made me felt like he WAS Lincoln. His performance of Lincoln almost looked too easy, which is the mark of a good actor. However, it was Tommy Lee Jones that stole the show for me in this movie! Jones was fantastic and I’d be happy if he won Best Supporting Actor. With Lincoln, I think Lewis will pick up his third award for Best Actor. I also believe that if Argo doesn’t win that Lincoln has the best chance to pull the upset and win Best Picture.

Silver Linings Playbook: After several failed attempts to see this movie, I finally got to see Silver Linings Playbook last month and loved it! It was funny, emotional and just an overall great movie experience. Hollywood usually never “gets it right” when they touch on the issue of mental illness, but Silver Linings Playbook really captured the essence and rawness of the disease. Most people think someone mentally ill is just “crazy” thanks to past Hollywood stereotypes, but Silver Linings Playbook proved this incorrect. Bradley Cooper, who I’ve really only seen in comedies like The Hangover, was great. Unfortunately like Hugh Jackman, he picked the wrong year to have the performance of his life since I don’t see him winning Best Actor over Lewis. Jennifer Lawrence, on the other hand, looks to be the favorite to win Best Actress, and it will be a well-deserved victory if she captures the award! Lawrence was absolutely fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook. She was so good and so natural in her character that she almost stole the show for me. I love Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I am thrilled she took on the Silver Linings Playbook role to really showcase her acting chops and prove that she’s just not a bland, “teeny bopper” actress. In conclusion, Silver Linings Playbook is one of my favorite films from this list. I’d love it to win the big Best Picture award. While it most likely won’t, it should pick up other prizes tonight!

Zero Dark Thirty: Like Argo, Zero Dark Thirty was very intense. It didn’t have me on edge like Argo, but that’s because the pacing of Zero Dark Thirty was very different. It was slower paced, but the film’s conclusion really delivered and hit me emotionally. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that Zero Dark Thirty is a story of the post-911 search and capture of Osama Bin Laden. I was a junior in high school when the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks took place, so watching Zero Dark Thirty made me realize how much I had grown up and changed during the long time period that it took us to capture Bin Laden. I had never really thought of it like that before. It was almost as if I was reliving the past ten years. Watching the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty was very very VERY hard for me. I personally don’t agree with torture, so it was upsetting to watch. However, the torture scenes were necessary for the rawness and realness that Zero Dark Thirty delivered. Like with both Argo and Lincoln, of course this movie wasn’t totally historically accurate, but it was still a good movie. Jessica Chastain did a phenomenal job and her last scene (after they got Bin Laden) was extremely powerful for me. It was exactly how I felt when I saw that he was dead. It wasn’t celebratory. It was a sad, emotional moment. It reminded me of everything that was lost (deaths, etc.) to catch this one man. Chastain nailed that scene and I could see her challenging Jennifer Lawrence for the Best Actress award. While I give the edge to Argo in terms of my personal preference, Zero Dark Thirty hit me more emotionally. I believe that’s because the events it was based on effected me more since it took place during my lifetime. If not for the torture scenes (which seems like many Hollywood insiders aren’t pleased with), I could see Zero Dark Thirty being the dark horse to win Best Picture. It still has a chance to pull an upset, but I think Argo has it beat.

So there you have it, this year’s Oscar nominees! Be sure to check the blog this week for a post-Oscars report on the winners, fashion and any surprises the event might deliver! Hobo Dan and I also will have a full review on this year’s Best Picture Winner as soon as possible!

1 comment:

  1. I will be live tweeting the Red Carpet show discussing all the fashion! Follow me on Twitter @lilrunner!