2.25.2013

Oscar!

Well Hollywood's big night is over (and apparently Washington's too? Ugh.) I managed to correctly predict 16 out of the 24 nominated categories...and although I only got to see six out of the nine films nominated for best picture, I felt very educated this year. I'll recap my thoughts on those nominated films, and then give a few of my opinions on some of the winners of the other categories! So let's start with the night's big winner and then go alphabetically.

ARGO - I finally got to watch this one on Saturday night, and I really enjoyed it! It was a very solid, well-made and tense film! But.....I'm not so sure it was THE best picture of the year. If it deserved to win in a big category...it was for the director, not the best picture. I'm not outraged by its win because I thought it was quite a good movie...but it definitely proves the Academy are pretty much sheep who just follow the momentum of other awards ceremonies (like the J-Law win.) You can't tell me they believed it to be the best picture when the nominations were announced... Argo is probably on par with The Town, but neither film tops the brilliance of his directing debut Gone Baby Gone. Argo is a very good film....but I think there was better this year.

AMOUR - I just saw this one on Friday...and boy do I have a lot of feelings about it. First and foremost, the performances were OUTSTANDING. But I definitely didn't really um....care for the ending. In fact, it made me quite mad to see the turn that this gritty heartbreaking portrayal of a strained relationship (due to physical ailments) took. But I definitely admit that it made the movie more memorable, debatable and interesting....even if it's something I very much disapprove of. Oh...and the movie was loooooooong.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.....Well....I kind of just barely covered this one. So you can read my first thoughts HERE I did watch this movie, and yet I didn't watch this movie. I'm pretty sure both times I tried to watch it my soul drifted away from my being, and my vacant body was left to stare blankly at the screen absorbing nothing. I don't get the hype. I simply don't. But maybe I'm just missing something. All I can say is it failed to captivate me.

DJANGO UNCHAINED - The few Quentin Tarantino films I have seen, I have found to be wildly entertaining. But I have not seen this one yet and won't until it makes its way to DVD. Can't wait to see Leo chew up the scenery though!

LES MISERABLES - Original review found HERE. I enjoyed Les Mis. I feel like it was very unfairly criticized by many people...but I don't see it as one of the strongest contenders in this category either. I think definitely there were things that could have made it a tighter and stronger film that regrettably didn't happen, but still you have to love this wonderful story and its fantastic songs. Plus it has some really great performances too. Oddly though I felt like both Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried sounded better last night than they did in the movie...

LIFE OF PI - Original review HERE. This movie is hauntingly beautiful. The imagery stays with you, and the story poses a plethora of both intellectual and spiritual questions. This is without a doubt one of my favorites from 2012 (haha yeah... I still won't be finalizing that list AT LEAST  for a month or two...) It's a shame it couldn't have somehow nabbed best picture (...or The Impossible....though I've already mentioned that snub enough on this site), but I'm glad Ang Lee was recognized (even though Spielberg was deserving too.)

LINCOLN - Original review HERE. This was a very solid film....but I think for me it's better at showcasing  performances than being a very strong film on its own. When it comes down to it, I'll remember the fine acting chops far more than the story...even if it was a good one. There was a lot going on that I feel like could have been tightened up here, but still this was a very well done film....and the best thing Steven Spielberg has done in quite some time!

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - I'm dying to see this one...but as of yet I have not. Expect a review when it comes out on DVD April 30th (ugh so far away!)

ZERO DARK THIRTY - I haven't seen this one either...but again once it's on DVD I'll be all over that! I've heard many good things about it, so I'm really excited to see both this and Silver Linings.


Well, that's it for the BP noms! But if you can't get enough, you should check out this hilarious feature that vulture made that broke down all the films into what their content really consists of via pie chart. Check it out HEREThe Life of Pi one and Amour were particularly accurate!

As for the OTHER categories... So this was the first year I went to the trouble of seeing both the entire animated shorts, as well as the live action shorts....and let me just say I loved them all! Well...mostly. I would have much preferred Cat and Eve to Adam and Dog. Fresh Guacamole, Head Over Heels, and the Maggie Simpson one were all quite good....but my favorite was without a doubt Paperman. I'm glad the voters agreed with me! I was also delighted that Curfew won! I thought Death of a Shadow had the coolest concept, but Curfew had the most heart. Asad had me in stitches and Henry was incredibly powerful (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Alzheimers!) Buzkashi Boys was good too...but ran a bit long for my tastes and was kind of depressing.



In other technical categories, I'm glad Argo grabbed the editing award....the movie was very nice, concise and well paced; the film truly owed a lot to its editor. Also, very happy Life of Pi seemed to nab a lot of technical awards including cinematography, score, and visual effects. It was a well made film all around, but in those categories specifically it really shined through.

As for the performances....it was just no contest that Daniel Day Lewis win best actor once more for his work in Lincoln. He truly became the character on screen and it was utterly captivating to watch. It's too bad Sally Field hadn't been nominated in the lead actress category, because she might have had more of a chance too. I can't comment on Jennifer Lawrence's performance...but she beat out some REALLY good competition. Even from the clip alone that they played during the show I almost teared up at Naomi Watts in The Impossible....she was THAT good. Emmanuelle Riva in Amour was honestly jaw dropping too. I find Jennifer Lawrence to be an extremely likable actress and I have no doubt she turned in a fine performance in Silver Linings Playbook, but I have a hard time thinking she could top those. And I hadn't seen Jessica Chastain either, but it looks like she was incredible in Zero Dark Thirty too. Christoph Waltz nabbing supporting actor again caught me by surprise, but Anne Hathaway winning her first Oscar was totally expected. I didn't really feel too strongly about either of their categories though to be honest...so congrats to them!

Well....I guess that's all the thoughts I really have on this year's Academy Awards. Which films and performances did you think were the most deserving and what did you think of the show?

2.22.2013

I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazy Pills!

I have been very behind with this year's lot of best picture noms...so I've been feverishly trying to catch up with as many as I can before Sunday. The other day I put on Beasts of the Southern Wild in the background while I was working on a project....and what can I tell you about it? Hardly a single dang thing. So then I thought...okay I really don't get the hype for this film, but maybe I should give it another go when I have more time to pay attention to it. So I did. And what can I tell you about it? Hardly a single dang thing. My goodness this film was so slow and boring. Many years ago on my very first day of my first film class at BYU, my teacher showed us an animated short designed to encourage us to discover the beauty of watching something as an active viewer....how things become more rewarding when you have to actively search for meaning. And guess what? I HATED that short film....absolutely hated it. Here's the thing: I heartily believe that the audience should be involved in watching a film. A good film is not a passive experience. But...as the viewer you also should not have to do all the work yourself. A good film shouldn't just sit there and pose questions...it needs to be engaging. It needs to make you care about the characters so that you actually want to hear the things it has to say. A film should not be tedious. I get that spoon feeding is bad...but there has to be a happy medium between doing too much and doing nothing.


I didn't care for Beasts of the Southern Wild at all either time I attempted watching it. Yes I watched it all the way through both times but I think midway through the second time my brain just decided to make a new, more entertaining movie in my head. Yet somehow this film is adored and nominated for best picture!? I could not tell you why. Sure it had a pretty score and some good performances. But even the performance of the young star Quvenzhan√© Wallis I feel is overrated. I mean she does well...but she is called upon to hold the entire movie on her shoulders and I just don't think she is up to the task. She has a unique presence and a very nice ability to scream and also stare blankly into the camera...but I believe I have seen better child performances. Maybe I'm wrong...but I watched it twice without it captivating me once so I doubt my opinion would be swayed by a third viewing. Who knows...maybe I had to see it in a theater free of distractions to pick up on its subtle beauty...because at home I wanted nothing else but to distract myself from the boredom this movie brought on. This is not the first time I have not been able to see what others adored in a best picture nominee. I debated doing a list of things I'd rather do than watch Beasts of the Southern Wild again...but instead came up with this list of equally head scratching, unworthy best picture nominees. Sometimes films I hate (Emperor's New Clothes syndrome..) and some that were merely popcorn movies mistaken for art. But here's the list of ten Oscar noms I just don't understand the love for.

Avatar - Really? Pocahontas: Alien Edition gets a BP nod? Really!? I don't know why I'm surprised...the Academy is a sucker for overhyping James Cameron as evidenced by the slew of nominations Titanic got. That film was also no more than popcorn fodder...but at least it didn't have the horrific dialogue found in this film (but I guess that's debatable.) This story was so ridiculously re-hashed from everything else ever made and I can't understand the love for it. Beautiful special effects and a cool world does not a movie make. If there's one thing I hate it's when people blindly love something that's mediocre and refuse to admit its flaws. Avatar is not anywhere near a great, let alone perfect movie. Just admit you got swept up in the spectacle Academy...because actually considering this a BP contender is insulting.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Oh boy...if there's something I hate as much, if not more than Avatar its this. This film and it's ridiculous 13 nominations has me convinced that the Academy are full of far too many people that get distracted by shiny objects. It's true that this was, technically speaking, a well made and beautiful film. The sets, costumes, special effects are all top notch. But the story and anything resembling depth or significance in anything the characters did? Not so much. Again...just because a movie is pretty, doesn't mean it is good. This had to be one of the most manipulative movies I've ever seen....it takes the audiences through the motions and then at the end jerks your emotions around, so that when it's over you think "Why... that movie made me feel something, it must be intelligent!: No....it's just stupid. This over any other item on the list had me feeling like Elaine after seeing The English Patient. Everyone loved it...but I stood alone.

The Kids Are All Right - I'm not really sure how this lifetime movie equivalent got an Oscar nod. Because really...this movie is nothing more than a glorified soap opera. Sure it poses an interesting social situation, but like I said earlier....I'm not a fan of movies just posing ideas and concepts and hoping that's enough. Don't just try to suggest things to say for art's sake....say them. It was an interesting film....but hardly memorable. The performances were all good, but not oscar worthy either.

Winter's Bone - This is probably the strongest film on the list, but in keeping with the theme of Beasts of the Southern Wild, boy howdy this movie moves slower than molasses. This was a film far more noteworthy for performances than the actual substance of the film. I definitely didn't hate this movie...nor would I say it's bad. There were a few very chilling scenes, but this shouldn't have been nominated over Blue Valentine.

Babe - This one is on Avatar & Benjamin Button level of hate. I also had to watch this one for school (after already hating it years earlier) and later was forced to write a B.S. paper on its strengths...when really it killed me to write every word. I hate hate hate hate HATE this movie. Haha! Why? Because I don't get how it's revered, loved and held in the esteem it is. It's a movie about a talking stupid pig. It is so unbelievably average. It's not charming. It's not clever. It might be cute and have a simplistic nicety to it....but that does NOT make it a masterpiece or good enough to be a BP nom. The only comfort I can get from this film is hoping that one day Babe will become some tasty bacon. My level of hate is probably unjustified....I mean Babe's existence never hurt anyone right? True, but like I said...if there's something I can't stand it's overhyping something average.

mmmm Bacon!


The Aviator - I don't deny that there are some great aspects to this film. The central performances are good....but my GOODNESS I wanted to die a little inside when I was watching this movie. This is one of those where I was seriously counting ceiling tiles or imagining myself in the theater of another movie to pass the time. The pacing of this film was awful and it just felt so long.... If the point was to make you descend into madness at the same time as Howard Hughes I guess the mission was accomplished...

Mary Poppins - So....I have a confession to make. I don't think Mary Poppins is the lovable saint she's portrayed to be. In fact, she's kind of a bayntch. Seriously though. I've never found her likable....even if she's played by the incredibly likable Julie Andrews. Sure it's a charming Disney classic...but it isn't a masterpiece, and her performance wasn't worthy of the Oscar she did win. Kind of ridiculous in fact.

Her? What is she funny or something?


Working Girl - A pleasant chick flick that isn't BP material. 'Nuff said.

Ghost - A silly romance that isn't BP material. I mean really....it's got Ghosties in it! GHOSTIES!!!! But Whoopie is hilarious in it. It's a fun movie....but not a best picture. 'Nuff said.

Jerry Maguire - A sports related rom-com that isn't BP material. Yes I'm getting lazy with these last three....but summing them up is just as simple as that. None of these movies were great art...they were pleasant popcorn people pleasers. Some quotable lines and memorable moments....but a BP should be so much more than that. Does "You complete me" stand the test of time? Well it's certainly mocked a lot and will never be forgotten....but I don't know if it's quite as grand anymore as they once hoped it would be.

So yeah...sometimes I just don't get what people see in some of the best pic nominees. So far of 2013 I've only seen half...but I'll let you know what I think of the rest when I see them! Any BP noms you remember going "what were they thinking!?" Let me know in the comments below!

2.20.2013

Best of the Non-Best Pics

Oscar Sunday is almost upon us. I've still got a LOT of catching up to do before the big awards ceremony, but I must admit I'm pretty bummed that The Impossible didn't nab more nods...However, sometimes it's best to keep it in perspective that occasionally the Academy gets things wrong. So in honor of those times, I felt it was only right to spotlight some of those films that really should have taken home the top honor their year... We'll start with the most recent.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK- I still think it was a huge mistake for this film not to be dubbed the best picture of 2010. The King's Speech was admittedly a solid and good film...but there's just something far more special and unique about The Social Network. The story is far more fascinating than it should be and the pacing always keeps things exciting. Plus I'm sorry but there'a not another film so grounded in its time; so purely representative of a generation...and I don't care if anyone protests to the contrary. I think years from now this will definitely be the more memorable film.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - Up next are two films that lost to Shakespeare in Love. Don't get me wrong...I really do love Shakespeare in Love, but I can admit it's hardly more than a chick period piece. It is a well-made film with great performances...but to beat Saving Private Ryan and Life is Beautiful is a real tragedy. Saving Private Ryan absolutely had many things in its favor, which should have allowed for its win. For one thing, its realness and grit had never been paralleled before or since. The story was wonderful and the performances all very good. It's hard to justify a run of the mill story about a writer's muse beating out an important story of a band of soldiers risking their lives to bring one man back home to his mother...so that at least one of her sons will have survived the war.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL - This World War II tale is equally touching about a man who will go to any length necessary to preserve his son's childhood instead of exposing him to the ugliness of war. The first half of the film sets up a sweet love story with his wife, while the second shows the depths of a father's love for his son....all while adding the war on top of it. Seeing which emotions would prevail with this family was incredible. This was a powerful story on par with Saving Private Ryan and definitely better than Shakespeare in Love.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION - Currently rated as IMDb's #1 highly rated film of all time, The Shawshank Redemption lost to the maudlin, manipulative Forest Gump. Sure that movie is memorable....but Shawshank is remarkable! I don't know that I've met a single person who doesn't like this story of an innocent man serving time for the murder of his wife and her lover. Andy's story is inspirational because you see the strength that he has in this situation, but how he influences the people around him. At times, this movie can be pretty tough to watch, but it is incredibly rewarding...and pretty iconic on its own, even if it DOESN'T have a box of chocolates in it.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Okay this one is more of a toughie. This film lost to Lawrence of Arabia....which was played once in my junior high school Geography class. I never once paid attention to it but was glad it was so long so that it took up quite a few class periods. So I can't really say if it was the better film...but it's certainly an unforgettable masterpiece in its own right. This film has everything going for it: fantastic performances, a haunting score, powerful story and a lot of important things to say. And it's one of the few films that really captures the essence of childhood. I really should watch Lawrence of Arabia again for a final judgment.

PSYCHO - Okay I've probably written about this film too many times to even count. But it is perfection. The most insulting thing of all....this film wasn't even nominated for best picture so it had no chance of even competing against The Apartment (tough call though if it had...) It definitely deserved a place in the nominees for Best Picture, and it was arguably the best film of the year. Why? Well just go search Psycho in the blog and you can read it all....but in short Psycho did so much for its genre and the world of film in general. It is iconic and its influence is everlasting. 

THE SEARCHERS - This film was completely snubbed by the Academy in 1957! It wasn't nominated for a single thing (and particularly in the category of cinematography this is a REAL outrage.) Instead Around the World in 80 Days took home the top prize over this far more interesting (okay...I can really only assume that because I've never seen Around the World...but come on...) story of a morally gray cowboy in search of his niece that was kidnapped years ago by Indians.....and REVENGE. Haha sorry, I just had to put that in there. The movie isn't as cheesy as that...it's very well made and probably the best performance of John Wayne's career (a variation of the old standby...but a wider variation at least.) 

HIGH NOON - The next two films both lost out to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth...a film far more popcorn than art. High Noon's story was far more powerful than showy about a man who has to stick to his guns (pun intended :) ) even though no one will support him in doing the right thing. This film's integrity and moral convictions were powerful and inspiring....and once again the performances were top notch. I've seen The Greatest Show on Earth and I barely remember a thing about it or its performances so  it's really hard to understand why it topped this American classic. 

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN - Or this one. I feel like this has been a film that has become more and more appreciated over time....so when the Academy saw one like unto it (The Artist) they immediately rewarded it to make up for slighting the other decades ago. After all this film, like The Searchers and Psycho though beloved, wasn't even nominated for best picture. It had a lot more interesting things to say about the entertainment business than The Greatest Show on Earth...so its snub is quite puzzling. Especially when the Academy hasn't shied away from nominating musicals.

CITIZEN KANE - Well this has to be the one of the craziest. Sure this is a film that definitely took time for people to realize it's greatness...so realistically it was probably a triumph just to be nominated as many times as it was. Still...when it did win for its screenplay, you'd thiiiiink that the Academy was able to see that all around as a whole this movie was groundbreaking. Now it's true...I haven't seen How Green Was My Valley, and while I'm sure it's good I doubt it is as often assigned in Universities as required viewing. Everything about Citizen Kane is good....honestly it probably could have won every single category that exists at the Academy Awards. It's not one of my all-time favorites....but I must say that it is definitely one of the best and strongest films ever to be made.

The moral of the story? I guess if Citizen Kane can be snubbed anything can be snubbed. And that's just in terms of films! There have been just as many fine performances to be passed over as well...and really any other category too. No one is perfect...and clearly the Academy isn't either. Hopefully Sunday they can make the right choices....even if I'm not entirely sure what I think that choices should even be! 2012 was a strong year for film and the competition is pretty tough. I can only hope this year will be the same.

2.15.2013

I've made a HUGE mistake!

So now that Valentine's Day is over, let's get real and talk about the couples who probably WON'T be celebrating a 50th Anniversary....to be honest, I don't know if I even give one of these couples ONE year! Included are one or two movie characters that DEFINITELY chose the wrong option when they had a perfectly good backup waiting for them (AKA pretty much any movie James Marsden has ever appeared in as said backup...) or all around just decided to be with the wrong person in a very unrealistic relationship. My friend Kent did one awhile back that you can find HERE. I'll admit a few of his picks were too good not to use, so they're about to make a re-appearance (minus Star Wars...shame on you!) Cracked also did one you can read HERE. Though seriously what's with all the Han/Leia hate!? But anyway...on to the couples that really aren't gonna make it.


KNOCKED-UP - Forget everyone thinking she's way out of his league. What really matters is what THEY think of EACH OTHER. The real reason this won't work is that she believes she's too good for him too! She demeans him at every turn...and we are supposed to believe they'll be able to raise this baby together?? If she always thinks she is better than him there's gonna be problems....couples should realistically feel like they're both on the same playing ground. Maybe she is more of a catch than he is...but that is kind of an unhealthy relationship to be in then if you think you are world's above your significant other! The only thing keeping them together is the baby who they will both someday hate for trapping them into a forced, loveless relationship.


THE LITTLE MERMAID - I already dedicated a whole blog to ranting about Beauty and the Beast HERE, but let's be honest...Eric & Ariel doesn't have much of a shot either. Let's go with the obvious first....they haven't even shared a single real conversation! Their interaction is the equivalent of a game of charades. When she gets her voice back I'm pretty sure the only thing she says to him is "Eric I tried to tell you!!" But somehow they wind up instantly engaged once she has her legs back? Sorry guys...but you're just asking for it. PLUS that's not even mentioning the fact that Ariel is SIXTEEN YEARS OLD!!! (Sorry hun....you ARE still a child.) She's never before been independent in her life and suddenly we're supposed to believe she's going to make a marriage work with almost a complete stranger....oh and she'll pretty much never be able to go "home" again....unless she travels to the future and picks up some scuba gear....Yeah, that's a recipe for disaster.

THE PROPOSAL - 
How is this for a romantic ending: Ryan Reynolds proposes to witchy Sandra Bullock because he feels guilty about her deportation. "Marry me...because I'd like to date you." Nice try...but if you get married the pressure will ALWAYS be there on your relationship. Plus I'm sorry...but she's a B. Oh but but but...she just needed to meet his family to become a nicer person...nah not buying it. That witch will return you can count on it. These two had a far better friendship chemistry to me...I did not buy a romantic love between them at all...and neither will their characters in the long run. She'll become insecure about why he married her...and he'll long for his younger, sweeter ex-girlfriend who he should have picked in the first place.

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE - Can we just talk about the fact that Meg Ryan's character is a stalker...and that these two have no idea whether or not they would ACTUALLY be mfeo (made for each other) All their relationship is based on is that she thinks he sounds like a nice guy from what she's heard on the radio. They've never really talked! She flew halfway across the country to try and bump into him!! The guy should be getting a restraining order! But somehow this is some classic rom com...(probably because Meg Ryan just looks so pretty in this movie that no one wants to label her for what she is.) Their romance has about as much basis as me and JGL. Too bad he doesn't have some precocious kid that thinks WE are destined to be together....

THE GRADUATE -  This movie really does have one of the best endings of all time. After the huge romantic gesture of interrupting a wedding and whisking away, the bride on a bus....these two are sure to last right? Well, not really. The answer is right there plain on their faces...the "what now?" of it all. Plenty of cause for that expression since the decision was based far more on rebellious impulse than the actual desire to be with each other. They had one date for crying out loud!!! And an awful date I might add. I think both of them just like the idea of each other when it comes down to it...(His idea of her is she is a younger, baggage-less model of Mrs. Robinson...and she'll actually hold a conversation with him.) Oh and did I mention it might be awkward with her family since he kind of had a months-long affair with her mother??? She's not gonna abandon her family forever...and neither one of her parents will ever be warming to the idea of heir daughter with Benjamin...

LITTLE WOMEN - This has to be the worst offender on this list of someone who had the perfect match in front of them...but wasn't satisfied with the idea of being married to someone who also happens to be their best friend. Laurie is far ahead of the professor in every way. But noooo Jo was too snobby and felt she needed to hold out for someone intellectually superior to Laurie. One day she'll learn how valuable friendship is in a marriage...and also how important it is to laugh. The professor won't ever be able to accomplish that...let's be honest. Also by refusing Laurie, Jo sets up another doomed relationship besides her own... because Laurie's rebound with Amy is almost even more troubling. His basis for marriage is because he wanted to become a member of the family...but let's be honest...his real intention is just to keep Jo close. Curse the day when Amy finally figures that one out...

PRETTY WOMAN -  Once again I think it is pertinent to bring up the duration of this relationship between an incredibly wealthy man and...his hooker. One week. ONE WEEK from the time he meets her, until she tells him that she is in love with him and that she hopes for a fairy tale ending and bla bla bla. Sorry but it's way too soon! Moving her across the country to be with you is just going to put tons if pressure on this relationship. She will have no life outside of him...and they will both feel the strain. Yes I can make all the obvious observations about her being a prostitute but can we talk about him for a second?! His character never really gets the depth that is teased the whole film...but really is a guy who is willing to spend $4,000 for a week with a prostitite really such a catch? Clearly he's got just as many issues as her and I wouldn't want to touch either of them with a ten foot pole (and hopefully the pole would be immune to all the STD's...)


PRETTY IN PINK - Stuck up rich guy, cowardly rich guy or flamboyant best friend...what's a gal to choose? Apparently the coward I guess. I know Ducky is kind of weird...but that's because he is so desperate to get out of the friend zone he will do anything just to be noticed! It makes zero sense for Andie to get back together with Blane in this film...he is weak and does whatever he is influenced to do. This problem isn't going to go away just because for some reason liked the fugly dress you wore to prom. If anyone else suggested to him how ugly that dress was you can be sure he wouldn't have been seen with her. Ducky on the other hand loved Andie for Andie...but he probably had some issues too. Realistically none of them would probably work out since they're all in high school....but Ducky probably has more of a desire to be with her and make it work.

AVATAR - Does it really take that much convincing with this one?? They're different species for goodness sake!!! There was no connection! Sam Worthington's character was probably just super horny from being away from normal women for so long (Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez don't count obviously as normal...) Their connection is not much more than two hippies bonding over saving the earth. Go back to earth dude and find someone of your own species!!

ENCHANTED -  The longer Gisele stays in the land of New York, the more grounded and down to earth she will become. Once her IQ gets a bit bigger she might regret settling down with the first guy she dated...a guy with a bit too much baggage. Plus Patrick Dempsey's character is a total stiff. For a girl who lived in a magical fairy tale world...his average earthly charms will wear off as she realizes she married the most boring guy she could have picked. Besides...I had to choose at least one James Marsden role! She might not have known Prince Edward very well either..but hey the guy is funny! He could have made her laugh for the rest of her life! And I'm positive they had much more in common. Once monotony sets in...she's gonna be sorry.

And that concludes the Valentine's posts! Now it's time to focus our attentions back on the upcoming Academy Awards. Let me know which of the V-Day posts were your favorite, as well as what you thought of this list!

2.14.2013

Love Lessons From Cinema

Happy Valentines Day readers! I saved my ABSOLUTE favorite list of relationship films for today so I hope you really enjoy them. Let me clarify exactly what I mean before we begin. So far, the previous Valentine's lists have focused on the really idealized version of love, or in yesterday's case how much it can kind of suck. These films are the ones that I think are somewhere more in the realistic middle. From each of these films, I've learned a little about life, love and relationships. In short, there are some real and valuable insights to be found in watching these films. So with no further delay, I present to you my favorite films about relationships. We'll start with the one you already knew was going to be on this list...


(500) Days of Summer - 

Okay. Big surprise. We all knew this would be on here...but really this is the film that inspired the entire list....so I'm not making any apologies. This is the film that personifies love and relationships to me and I learn something new every time I watch it. There is something so comforting about seeing a movie where someone has been through exactly what you have experienced. They get it. And best of all they were able to get through it...even if they weren't quite unscathed. There's always a new beginning at the end of a dark day...there's always hope amid pain. This film simultaneously destroys love and yet makes me believe in it at the same time. I adore this movie and I admire everyone involved for making it so refreshingly real. I could go on and on and on....but since I already have countless times before on this blog, we'll move along :)

Breakfast at Tiffany's -


As I mentioned in the kiss blog, the scene in the cab is just incredible. Paul's speech just stays with you because there is so much truth to it in how a person can keep themselves from happiness by not loving another person. If you are too scared to hurt yourself...life will always stay the same and you'll never let anyone in. If you never take risks you can't expect to gain a reward can you? I love this movie because neither character is perfect...in fact they're both highly flawed imperfect people. But somehow loving each other can make them whole...and with a certain orange cat they have the perfect little family right there!


Annie Hall - 

Woody Allen seems to really get the messiness of relationships...and that was before all that adopted step-daughter mess even! Haha. But really, this is one of the best films about relationships there is out there. It's funny, whimsical, real and sad. Truth be told, I think (500) Days of Summer really took a lot from this movie and made it contemporary. Woody Allen's inner monologues in this movie never fail to make me laugh, and then every now and then they have a real wisdom to them. Sometimes two people can have a connection, but not everything is there....and no matter how much they love each other...it just wasn't meant to work. Not all love stories have a happy ending, plenty do...but they're not the only ones worth telling.



Before Sunrise/Before Sunset - 

I'm still not completely sure about if I love the third one as much as the first two....so I'll ponder that more at another time. For now, I want to focus on how much I love these two movies. The characters are so real and the plots so simple. Both films are simply just one long conversation surrounded by beautiful imagery with characters that ooze chemistry with each other. Their connection feels so genuine that you feel that these two HAVE to be together. But life isn't so easy...and that's part of the beauty of these two films. I love how they're almost set in real time, and that the 9-year gap between the two films is real. With all three films it becomes a love story that we saw established in the first film but becomes more and more lived in as the series goes by. The first one is so idealized, whereas the second feels so much more consequential. These films are just wonderful....a great modern romance with a lot of truths to tell about the messiness of relationships.
 
When Harry Met Sally -

Okay, I mentioned this one in the evolution of the rom-com....but I really have a soft spot for this film. Like every other film on this list...it doesn't need to resort to an overly gimmicky premise of mistaken identities or fake marriages or WHATEVER. It's just the story of two best friends who took a long time to realize they had feelings for each other. I definitely appreciate it's straightforwardness....but that isn't the only thing this movie has going for it. It hugely benefits in one of the most romantic speeches I can remember in film history as Harry finally realizes on New Year's Eve that Sally is the only woman he could ever be with: "And it's not because I'm lonely...it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!" Pretty sure no girl could say no to that....


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -

Okay, it's pretty obvious from this film's numerous appearances on my lists that I'm a huge fan of this movie. But really it is such a great film that like (500) Days of Summer gives a complete picture of every phase of a relationship. But unlike 5DOS, this movie tackles the idea of what it would be like to LOSE these memories of a relationship. I love the theme of how our experiences and our memories of those experiences make us who we are....we'd be lost without them. As painful as heartbreak can be, we wouldn't learn anything without it...we'd never change and likely we'd even make the same mistakes again if we couldn't remember the outcome of the choices we previously made.

Ruby Sparks - 

So this movie is a bit of a newcomer, but when I watched it, I instantly knew it would be up there with some of my favorites because of the themes it explored. No one can be your dream person....no one can be exactly what you picture them. People are human. They have flaws. They're real and they have their own desires. Good relationships are between two whole people. Two REAL people. Two INDEPENDENT people who can then become dependent on each other....but yet still be their own person. You can't change someone to fit you, you have to love them for who they are, and vice versa.


Amelie -

This isn't solely a relationship film, but while eager to help everyone else be happy...Amelie must learn a few lessons about love herself. Amelie prefers the beauty that an imaginary world has to offer her, instead of making connections with real people. It's the only way to keep herself protected and unharmed to when lief tries to knock her down. As scared as she is to take a chance, she knows she can't let the opportunity to go by to be happy and to love another person. This is a movie about taking risks for love, and it's told very beautifully.



happythankyoumoreplease -

So I actually just barellllly watched this movie and while it's kind of uneven at times....it makes this list purely for one speech given by Buster Bluth. Well...the actor who plays him anyway. In a Seinfeld-esque moment, a bald girl keeps trying to reject him but he will have NONE of it. He tells her that she is worthy of love and who knew it.....but the man was actually convincing as a romantic lead. Trust me I never would have believed it either. But his scenes kind of made the whole movie. His influence totally rubs off on baldie and she gives a similar speech to Ted Mosby Sam. A very worthwhile message he gives indeed. People are flawed, no one is perfect....but that doesn't mean we can't find someone who loves us for all who we are. Who can adore us. We're worthy of adoration...and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.


TiMER -

I'll admit that my two honorable mentions are probably more well-made than this film (it's pretty low budget..), but I just love the premise so much and the things it has to say. It WOULD be so much easier if we just knew who we were supposed to be with and when. But it would also completely change how we lived our lives. As said in the film, life is about the detours....it's about the mistakes. Every choice we make shapes us...and if we had the plan right in front of us....how often would we choose to let the pain actually shape us? As hard as it is not to know the future, it's the only way we can become the people we're meant to be....and be the people that will be right for the one we end up with.

HONORABLE MENTIONS : Like Crazy and Garden State. Both are great films with a lot to say and equally worthy of this list...I do have a lot to say about both of them, but ultimately I'm tired of writing and I just wanted to keep it to ten. :) Well that's it! But don't worry I will have a bonus list for tomorrow. The couples who WON'T make it. Until then...have a Happy Valentine's Day!!