Quick disclaimer: I’ve done an awful job seeing movies this year because of the move across the country, but here are a few thoughts. I’m going to mention some minor plot related things I don’t think count as spoilers, but if you don’t want any part of the experience spoiled skip this.
Wolf of Wall Street: An absolutely incredible film and my favorite movie I saw this year. DiCaprio plays the lead so well that I think the moment he hits his wife was thrown in there because otherwise he would have sold the audience that his character was in the right. The speeches he gives to the office are the stuff monologue wet dreams are made of(I’m not the only one who has those right?) The way his narration changes throughout the movie to reflect his mental state at the time is masterful. When he is in total control he can just change reality by speaking a different color for his car, and as he switches to denial he starts narrating incorrectly. Scorsesee is incredible and can tell epics in a way no one else in hollywood can. If for nothing else, the last shot of the movie will ensure this film stays with me for a long time.
Gravity: I can’t remember a non Vikings collapse related that has caused me to forget to breathe more times in a two hour stretch. Sandra Bullock is so strong you forget to look at the visual space porn in the back of nearly every shot in this movie. A ton of credit has to go to Cuaron for being able to use green screen and 3D to such an extent and still make a character movie.
That sums up my thoughts on all the best picture nominees I’ve seen. I told you I hadn’t seen many this year.
I would like to point out two painful snubs though.
The Best Animated Film is really going to come down to Frozen(I’ve heard nothing but good things) vs. The Wind Rises(It’s a Miyazaki so I’m going to assume nothing but good things), but to nominate The Croods and leave out Monsters U is still going to irritate me. I’ve written plenty about what I didn’t like about Pacific Rim. That being said, the fighting robot fest was gorgeous, and to see The Lone Ranger in place of it in the Visual Effects category is as baffling.
For the record the three biggest crimes the Oscars have committed since I started caring are(in no particular order):
1. Russel Crowe as Best Actor for Gladiator over Tom Hanks in Cast Away(my mother has tried to convene a war crimes tribunal for this one)
2. Wall-E not being nominated for Best Picture. It had six oscar nominations in total and had the metallic nuts to go 39 minutes before resorting to dialogue to tell its story.
3. Black Swan not being nominated for Original Score for being too close to the original. The subtle manipulation of the original as the movie went on was the whole point. The music transformed with the lead. This isn’t advanced level film degree analysis. If the score is that beautiful and is part of the story telling, it does more than most scores do as far as advancing the medium of film.
I’m still working on the conspiracy theory post I promised someone I’d do next, but with the nominations coming out today I wanted to put something up, especially because I’m behind my resolution goal. As always, questions, comments, and concerns are welcome.
Answers are guaranteed.