Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oscar Round-Up: Part 1

{Edited to Add: I'm voluntarily relinquishing my Film Snobbery Honor Badge as I stated previous that Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth doesn't exist to me, btw - it can only ever be Mr. Darcy) was nominated for A Serious Man, when he is in fact nominated for A Single Man... although A Serious Man IS nominated for Best Picture.  Note to Film Makers: That's confusing.  How's about more creative names?  Thanks}

Now that we're all agreed that the wife in the Chase Sapphire commercial should be tar and feathered and her Costs-as-Much-as-a-European-Vacay Dress sacrificed to the Gods of Bad Spouses, I'll turn to slightly more important film commentary...

Yes, my lovelies, its Oscar Time... the Grand Daddy of 'Em All... and the final culmination of Awards Season, aka: Nearly The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... making the Academy Awards "My Second Christmas."

Because Hallmark doesn't make Commemorative Oscar Ornaments (which, come on, someone get on that), I've taken it upon myself to Celebrate the Season with a series of posts dedicated to 2010's Best Picture nods... except for you, A Serious Man.**

** Sincerest Apologies, Mr. Darcy, but your film just didn't tickle my fancy this year.  And really, I think 9 out of 10 was a pretty valiant effort on my part.  Side Note: TEN BEST PICTURE NOMINATIONS?  Nonsense.  I'm exhausted just thinking about all the popcorn I consumed in the name of cinematic snobbery.  

So here we go, in groups of three, from my least favorite, to My Oscar Hopeful...

#9: District 9 (see how well that worked out?)

I'll start off by saying (a) I probably would have enjoyed this movie more if I had seen it on a decent sized screen (relatively teeny hotel TV) at a decent angle, and (b) my very favorite movies are ones with fabulous character development.  District 9 did not have great character development... or amazing dialog... or a terribly unique plot.  However, it did present some very compelling social commentary.  As someone whose career is about to take a swan dive into the complicated waters that are immigration in America, I thought District 9 gave its audience a lot to ponder in regards to how we treat illegal immigrants (and those who are different from us in general).  

#8: The Blind Side

Okay.... here's the skinny: I liked this movie.  I really did.  But... it did feel a little ABC Family to me.  Not to mention, a tad high on the WASPy self-congratulation.  I watched a lot of interviews with (the real) Michael Orr and the Tuohys, and, while I thought the real-life relationships were wonderfully portrayed on the screen, there are some factual inaccuracies in the film that serve no purpose but to further elevate the Tuohys.  For example - a biggie: Michael Orr? Knew how to play football before being taken in by the Tuohys.  The true story is entertaining and touching enough without fabricating additional reasons for Orr's success to be dependent on his adoptive family's kindness.  In fact, those little film fibs somewhat cheapened the movie for me.  Though I must admit, Sandra Bullock's performance was stellar... not Best Actress Material, but leaps and bounds above her more recent fare. 

#7: Avatar

I'll basically copy and paste what I wrote a couple of weeks ago in regards to James Cameron's opus... I begrudgingly really, really enjoyed this film.  I would say "love" but... Let's put it this way:  I believe in Global Warming, and Al Gore, and reusable grocery sacks, and national conservation, and organic living, and carbon footprints, and MJ's "Heal the World," and the Sequoias, and the little Keebler Elves that live in the Sequoias.  And because I'm a big, smelly crunchy-granola hippie in yuppie clothing, I'm down with any piece of pop culture that preaches "STOP FUCKING UP OUR PLANET, YOU ASSHOLES" to a mass audience.  Even if that vehicle requires me to wear unbecoming 3D glasses that don't match my outfit.  Example: Captain Planet? Totally my hero 'cause he was going to take pollution down to zero.  Plus, Avatar is a visual stunner - its hard not to get lost in the film - its so beautifully done.  

I do, however, appreciate a modicum of subtly.  And subtly?  'Ain't Jimmy C's strong suit.  My inner-WASP could have done without the extended swaying/chanting-in-tongues portions of the film (which I equate to my yoga instructor practicing audible yogi breathing whilst correcting my Warrior II... too much touching).  

Tune in tomorrow for Films #6, 5, and 4 on our Road to Oscar Round-Up! 


  1. Agreed! I liked the blind side... but Best Picture?!?! Come on. Let's look back in history and see if we REALLY think it deserves a spot. And honestly? I feel that same way about all three of these. Yes, Avatar was visually stunning, so was Titanic. The difference? Titanic had a plot. And decent acting. Can't wait for SUNDAY!

  2. You are so funny.

    PS: I just did a post on a wine region hotel I think you would L-O-V-E... and it's not Napa... you should check it out my wine and cheese loving friend!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I think you are confusing "A Single Man" (w/ Mark Darcy) with "A Serious Man" - Oscar nominee.

    Easy mistake!

  5. This is my worst Oscar year in memory - I haven't seen any of these films. I like to think in our nutty Oscar season, I'm hitting what matters most, though :-). Namely, NOT THESE THREE FILMS.

  6. I adored The Blind Side in the way that only a Southern Junior Leaguer/Obsessive SEC Sports Fan can. R and I were blubbering fools in the theater, and as we left, we told ourselves that we hoped we could do the same thing the Tuohys had done, if the opportunity ever arose (a dear friend's family did so).

    Still, as you say, it felt a little too contrived and Movie of the Week to be an Academy Contender. I don't like Sandy B at all, but she gave the best performance of her career. I'm more than a little conflicted about this one; it's certainly a "buy as soon as the DVD is released" movie, but isn't what I would call a Serious Film, which ostensibly raises the stakes to "Oscar-Worthiness".

  7. Can I just say I am so jealous that you've seen all of the movies! My husband hates to go to the movie theater, so I hardly ever see anything until it comes out on video, unless I feel strngly enough about going that I choose to go alone.

  8. I wasn't crazy about A Serious Man, either. But A Single Man was INCREDIBLE. See it if you can. Tom Ford's {beautiful} directorial debut + impeccable styling by, well, a DESIGNER + Colin Firth/Sir Darcy = win win win.

  9. Love this! Look forward to your thoughts on the others too. My husband and I saw them all as well!

  10. You are hilarious and spot on with your reviews!

    I too loved the Blind Side for the football references (especially Ole Miss, Hotty Toddy!) and Sandy B's wardrobe was stellar. However, not so sure about it being Oscar quality. Also, I agree on the factual inaccuracies. It is a great story on its own and didn't need to be fabricated!

  11. I liked the Blind Side but agree whileheartedly with your assessment. I ahve not seen District 9 because I refuse to see movies with aliens and/or robots.


happy little comments!