Best Picture Nominees

It’s zero hour and I just finished watching the last film nominated for Best Picture. Here are some quick thoughts on the nominees.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Insists of barraging you with a million different subjects, developing none of them, and then tying a nice little bow on the end to make you feel nice. Tripe.

The Help – Disney has a knack for turning ugly racial history into compelling family drama. Despite being too long and predictably melodramatic, it succeeds in making you warm and fuzzy despite troubling historical realities.

War Horse – Spielberg does a horse movie. Another solidly-made and ultimately forgettable film.

The Artist – Watching a silent film reflect upon itself as an art form was quite a thing to experience in a movie theater. Simple, lovely, and superbly acted. Succeeds with perfection.

The Descendants – Manages to work through an extremely delicate plot line with incredible grace and honesty. So much could have gone wrong with this picture, and nothing did. Clooney shines in this poignant film.

The Tree of Life – This was meant to be seen on the big screen because it’s captivating to the point of transcendence. The only other movie that left me feeling so intensely alive afterwards was Kubrick’s 2001. We are fortunate to have this.

Hugo – I don’t have much to say about this one. It’s a good movie. The use of 3D is especially good (if you can stomach 3D in the first place). A safe success for Scorcese. 

Midnight in Paris – Owen Wilson goes back in time as Woody Allen and meets famous expats. Light-hearted, excitable fun…and not much else.

Moneyball – A sports movie that avoids bogging itself down with sentimental horse shit is worthy of praise. Throw in fantastic performances by Pitt and Hill and you’re left with a movie that is surprisingly excellent. Restrained and powerful.

And that’s a wrap, folks.

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