Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oscar Round-Up: Part 2

{Read my thoughts on District 9, The Blind Side, and Avatar here}

Diving back in... (please note: there are some slightly spoilers in this post!)

#6: Up in the Air

I saw this with a slew of family members (aging 15 to 87) on Christmas Day, and I'm pretty sure I was the only one who really liked the film.   I was also the only one who'd recently been laid off, so perhaps I was feeling some sort of kinship with all the terminated employees left in George Clooney's wake.  {This movie also made me wish I'd had a more, shall we say, "animated" reaction to the news of my position's demise.  Blinking, blankly and frog-like, during and after the axe was lowered might have fallen under the category of "Mostly Professional Reaction," but it was neither cool nor fodder for a really good cocktail-party-story.  Bummer.}  

Anyhoo, enough about me (for a second or two, at least)... this film as splendidly cast (its Clooney playing Clooney, which, yes, isn't a stretch for him, but you have to admit its magnificent to watch!) and the characters made the film for me.  Anna Kendrick: You were a delight, and nailed the quintessential "Millennial Child" which, as a Sociology Nerd and a card-carrying-member of the Trophy Kid Generation (begrudgingly so, but you can't fight birth dates), I'm always fascinated to watch.   I'm so sorry that you have tethered yourself to the Twilight Bandwagon, thus highly underestimating your potential, but anyone could make that mistake.  Just don't start taking acting tips (or hair tips, for godsake) from Kristen Stewart, and I think you'll come out of that mess just fine.  And Vera Farmiga: you were nearly magical, event though I knew from the beginning that you were an adulterous 'ho - well done!  

#5: UP

Aside from the fact that I don't think this film has "Highest Cinematic Award Nominee" written all over it (Coraline would be my pick for an animated flick to be included in the Best Picture Category), I love, love, love Up!  I love crotchety, old Carl; I love pudgy, adorable Russell; and I especially love those damn dogs!  We're still yelling SQUIRREL! on a weekly basis in our house!  The general plotline is so wonderfully whimsical - wouldn't we all like to escape via an airy gaggle of brightly colored balloons? - but the interior storylines have real depth: death, greed, absent-parenting, disposability of the elderly... It does make for a movie that's so much more than a children's film that adults may happen to enjoy.  

Prediction: UP will take Best Animated Feature... if only because it eked its way into Best Picture. {If not for the politics, I'd go with Coraline or Fantastic Mr. Fox.}

#4: An Education

This movie is a stunner... I wanted to jump onto the screen and into a fur shrug and circle-skirted cocktail dress and smoke French cigarettes and drink bubbly out of gilded champagne saucers.  Overall, I would have come away absolutely adoring this film were it not for two pesky thoughts that kept popping into my head the entire time:  

(a) Oooooo look at Michelle Williams romping around with Ewan McGregor!  Who would have ever thought she'd amount to anything from her incessantly annoying performances on Dawson's Creek... Oh fuck.  That's not Michelle Williams...  Oh well, that's a good thing since I still can barely stand her (except in The Yellow Dress).  This Carey Mulligan gal is much more bearable... if only she didn't look so much like Michelle Williams!  Oh, and that's not Ewan McGregor either.  Pity on that one... I love Ewan McGregor.  Although Ewan McGregor would never be a spineless near-pedofile, so I suppose its best to leave this one to this Peter Sarsgaard chap.  But he does look an awful lot like Ewan McGregor... 

(b) Is no one else totally bothered that this chick is supposed to be SIXTEEN and sleeping with a 35-40 year old?  Huh, no one else appears to be bothered... Does this mean I'm becoming terribly old and uncool?  Have I morphed into an uptight asshole?  To borrow era-appropriate language... Am I a Bourgeois Fuckwit?  BALLS!

Advice: Try and get past the actors looking like other actors + your own State of Uncoolness and this movie will be a winner.

Man Note by Evs: This movie is a Chick Flick.  But a decent one.  You won't want to smother yourself in a box of popcorn if your significant other sweet-talks you into seeing it.  Plus, you can walk around afterwards saying things like "I'd like to give you an education"... which is totally funny for everyone. 

Top Three Favorites tomorrow!  


  1. You are absolutely a riot! I am loving every post more and more and am so happy to be a new follower!! Love your Oscar round up series, your reviews are exactly my thoughts :)

  2. Love it - we still yell "Squirrel" on a pretty regular basis, too.

  3. i loved UP. ing basterds was my fave. hubby and i used to go to the Oscar Showcase on Northpark (all 5 movies in one Saturday). we couldn't do it this year though since they split the 10 films over 2 Saturdays.

  4. Actually haven't seen these yet, but that would never stop me from bloviating. Not for one earthly second.

    George is a local boy; Lexington claims him, and he's from a dear friend's hometown. I love him, even when he gets unbearably pretentious. We've been holding off on Up in the Air for the same reason you describe. It's not exactly "enjoyable" to address the layoff situation at our house. Really looking forward to seeing this one, just not now.

    Quite interested to see An Education; your celeb-alike analysis is spot on. I totally agree re: Michelle Williams, btw.

  5. Thank you, thank you for your point about how creepy An Education was. I agree, it was was a totally brilliant movie and I think Rosamund Pike was amazing as the space cadette friend, but it was nearly impossible for me to get past what was ACTUALLY happening! I was uncomfortable for most of the movie knowing how she was being taken advantage of, and how INAPPROPRIATE it was.
    So, I don't think you are a prude, I think you're just seeing things clearly :)

  6. just have to say...I love your take on these films. It's refreshing and interesting to see your "reviews"


  7. I don't even know what An Education is really about, but I can say that there are other movies very near pedophilia that society didn't seem to really take notice about. Time Traveler's Wife, anyone? I enjoyed the book, but watching the movie was just creeeepy. My husband was SO uncomfortable in the theater, bless his heart that he was even there. He leaned over and whispered, "I'd kill our (non-existent) daughter if she didn't turn and run from a naked stranger in a field." Lol. "If the stranger didn't kill her first." Not so lol. Oh, movies!

  8. Because I'm old, lazy and cheap I have onyl seen a few of the nominated movies, but, I loved, loved, loved, UP! I really didn't want to see it, just didn't care. Then the husband watched it with MY family over Christmas (not sure where I was) and couldn't shut up about it--so, we bought it a few weeks ago and I love it. You hit the nail on the head with your summary--it's not only a sweet movie, but, it has depth as well. I really loved the storyline and the music. And of course--SQUIRREL!

  9. I loved UP!, but don't know if I could watch it again. There was some ugly crying going on when I watched it the first time. Such a wonderful movie, though.

    I am also thrilled to see that you left Crazy Heart for your top 3! Can't wait for your next Oscars post!

  10. Love your commentary, glad you got a lady lawyer job and all, but honey you missed your calling.
    I want to see Education but the whole pedo thing sorta rubbed me the wrong way too!
    That Pink and Preppy Girl, Trish is now a first responder on your blog.......She is a product of my suggestion here at EA, you are gonna love her Kate! PS I'm really glad to know she isn't insulted with a "fuck" every now and again!

  11. I LOVED UP...loved the dogs (the scary dog with the funny voice) and loved your analysis. Such a good movie! I also really enjoyed the short film they showed at the beginning of the movie. I didn't realize this, but I've read some blogs by women with fertility problems and it was very traumatic for them to sit through the short film and then the scene in UP where they aren't able to have a baby. Never even crossed my mind...

    I also LOVED An Education. The acting was so great...and I really liked the development of the story. For some reason, I was totally buying the girl's argument against her teachers why she wasn't throwing her life away on this man...only to realize that I'm a total idiot.

    I didn't care much for Up in the Air, but I liked your analysis and can appreciate why it's nominated. It's VERY relevant to our times...each character, their jobs, their relationships, etc.

    I am really looking forward to your top 3 picks! My faves for Best Picture are: An Education, UP, Inglorious Bastards and Crazy Heart.

  12. Could you make movie reviews a regular feature of your blog?
    Please and thank you.


    PS. I was the only person I know of IRL that liked "Up in the Air".

  13. Hahahahaha "I'd like to give YOU an education!" Hilarious. Going to see it tomorrow night! I also am constantly hounded by the bf shouting "Squirrel!" and nuzzling up to me saying, "I hid under the porch because I loooove you."

  14. I am loving your movie reviews! So far I am pretty much in agreement with you on the ones I've seen, except that I (begrudgingly) liked Avatar even more than you did. Might have to go see An Education. Thanks for the roundup!

  15. You know, I liked Up In The Air when I left the theater. But as I started to think about it more and more, I decided I didn't. It was too....into itself. It caught the Clooney.

  16. So jealous you've seen all these, you are my film viewing idol. So who goes with you to these? Your husband? Your lady friends. I had to negotiate going to Avatar to get my hubs to see the Blind Side and I'm all out of trading chips for the rest of the nominees and he refuses to see Crazy Heart! Ack! What to do!

  17. Well, now I really want to see An Education, as I want to wear fur shrugs, circle skirted cocktail dress, smoke french cigarettes and drink bubbly all the time without seeing the movie- viewing it could be dangerous to my health and bank account.

    I loved Up- after watching it Hubs started calling me Ellie, sniffle.

  18. it is so nice to hear that some one else thinks that Kristen Stewart's acting ability (and that god awful hair) leave something to be desired. I love your pics and can't wait to see how it all unfolds!


happy little comments!