I’m actually going to watch the Academy Awards Sunday night; something I haven’t done in several years mainly because I rarely have seen many of the movies nominated; mostly due to my aversion to movie theaters. Don’t worry, this isn’t another rant complaining about the high price of admittance and popcorn or the deaf-inducing volume or even the noisy inconsiderate clods sharing the theater experience with me who feel duty bound to provide a running audible commentary during the entire show. I generally wait until the films come out On Demand and watch in the comfort of my own big chair surrounded by snacks and beverages provided at no charge; at least not at a thousand percent mark-up.
But this year, I couldn’t wait that long to see “Lincoln” so Linda and I went. It was very good, although as I mentioned here before, I was sort of expecting director Steven Spielberg to provide a couple Civil War battle scenes as only he could..but instead got a lot of long speeches in dark rooms.
I also went to see the nominated “Zero Dark Thirty.” It too was interesting and well acted. It also lived up to the title since the half hour scene at the end.. of the Seals going after bin Laden.. was shot so dark you wished they would have passed out night vision goggles in the lobby before the show so we could see it on screen.
My cousin wanted to see “Django Unchained” so we checked it out a couple weeks ago. For some reason, Hollywood is in love with Quentin Tarantino who writes and directs these shockingly violent blood splattered masterpieces like “Pulp Fiction” “Inglorious Basterds” and this silly spin-off, which amounts to a cross between old spaghetti westerns and a Sam Pekenpaw production in which bags of blood explode and spray after every impact of lead on human flesh..and there are hundreds if not thousands of them in “Django.” The movie is also peppered with expletives in which the “F” word flies as often as the bullets and in such a variety of usages be they adjectives, verbs or nouns. Worst of the abusers is Samuel L. Jackson who plays the “Uncle Tom” character as longtime head of Leonardo De Caprio’s family plantation. He plays fast and free with the “N” word to the point where it would make an Alabama audience squirm. Anyway, I thought it was just a goofy movie and felt a bit guilty liking it.
The highly touted Ben Affleck film, “Argo” was On Demand so Linda and I watched it at home and enjoyed it very much. The cast is really good and the plot (even though we know how it ends) is sufficiently tense and exciting but It just didn’t leave me awed like it has some who believe Affleck’s being snubbed for best director is tantamount to treason.
Last but not least, I took Linda to see “Silver Linings Playbook” Thursday..and, unlike any of the other best picture nominees, it has really stayed in my head for some reason. Again, I don’t know why these movies feel compelled to throw the f-bomb in every other word of the script, especially when it really doesn’t add a thing to the story and will take forever for editors to bleep it all out for TV. Anyway, it’s what I’d call a serious romantic comedy that had me hooked from the start. The performances by Bradly Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence truly capture the fine line between crazy and normal. Robert Di Nero’s character (his best work in years) also treds on a balance beam between nice and nuts.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is my favorite of the bunch but it really doesn’t stand much of a chance in any of the nominated categories..except maybe for Di Nero as best supporting actor.
Oh, I know, there were NINE movies nominated for best picture this year which, in my opinion, is four too many. Nominations are getting to the point that they’re handed like gold stars in grade school. Give ’em to everybody so there are no hurt feelings.
I just couldn’t get myself into the mood to see “Les Miserables.” The clip of Russell Crow singing or Anne Hathaway’s clip of being clipped are bad enough but sitting through three hours of this tired old French fable that even has the word miserable in it..is too much to bear..or pay for; at least until it comes out on my home TV and I need something really sad and depressing to get out of my happy mood.
I’m also not big on anything by director, Ang Lee. Lots of people (including the critics) liked that crouching tiger hidden dragon thing he directed a few years ago featuring gravity defying Asian people running through trees. It was 2 ½ hours of my life I’ll never get back and wasn’t about to invest in his latest fantasy flick, “Life of Pi.”
The film “Amour” is up for an Oscar. It’s about a French couple coping with the complexities of getting old and losing one’s marbles. I don’t think “Amour” which is sub-titled, has even been shown here yet. I can wait to see it.
The other nominee, “Beasts of the southern wild” is now available to watch at home but I haven’t yet although I’m anxious to see the performance by that 9 year old girl with the funny name; maybe i’ll shell out the five bucks to watch it this evening after I CLEAN THE SNOW OFF MY SIDEWALKS.
I picked up some popcorn at the store just in case