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?

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I had seen Paperman, but I forgot the name of it...if I had realized that it was what it was, I would have voted that one as the win instead of the Maggie Simpson one. D'oh!

I loved Paperman. It was sweet and creative. Very romantic.

I definitely put all my eggs in one basket with Lincoln...I guess that was a bad idea! Lincoln mostly got snubbed!

Johanna said...

I hitched my star to the Lincoln wagon and got burned, too.

I loved seeing the shorts. I plan to search them out next year as it was quite an enjoyable night! A whole new art form telling a story in such a concise way. I cried during Curfew and that's amazing that you can care about characters like that in just a few minutes. Henry was beautiful. Perhaps it was too similar to Amore to win?

Loved the Vulture website pie charts. Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha. Yep, worth checking out.

Emily said...

It was nice that the Oscar love was spread pretty evenly this year. Life of Pi had the most wins with 4.

Howard said...

I saw Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables, and, seriously, all but Les Miz are BP caliber, in their own way. And I enjoyed Les Miz, too. As far as on the edge of your seat action goes, Zero Dark Thrity was my fav, but I'm happy for Afleck's sake that Argo won.

Jessica Chastain was really good in ZDT, too. I plan to see Silver Linings Playbook with my wife when it comes out on DVD, then I'll be able to judge Lawrence's performance.

Daniel Day-Lewis was a shoo-in for Best Actor, But in another year, Denzel Washington's performance in Flight might have taken the statue.

Howard said...

Emily, there is a movie I saw recently that I haven't seen you review (admittedly, I'm too lazy to search your blog for it). Did you see The Words?

This movie had some of the best acting I've seen in a long time, and the story was gripping...until the end. I watched the end 3 times, and I'm still not sure I have anything figured out. I'd be interested in your thoughts if you've seen it. If you haven't, please do and explain it to me. :)

Emily said...

I did see it, but I don't believe I ever wrote about it. I liked it! The negative reviews were a bit puzzling to me. I mean it wasn't perfect by any means...but I agree it was quite gripping. Jeremy Irons was definitely the best part... I'm not sure I was sold on Olivia Wilde or Dennis Quaid. I didn't hate what their story added...but it could and should have been a little more concise.