Friday, February 22, 2013

The Academy Awards

I interrupt my life's story with the overblown, corrupt, decadent, and I-wouldn't-miss-it-for-the-world-Academy Awards.  Sunday night is the night.  If I were an extrovert, I'd throw a party, but I'm not, so maybe I'll buy a silver fedora for Tom and a boa for myself, and the two of us can snark our heads off for four hours.

Movies are an art form, and like books, range from the cheap and tawdry to the elegant and sublime.  For that matter, trailers are an art form.  What I've learned after a life-time of movie watching is that often the trailer is better than the movie.

I give you THE IMPOSSIBLE.  The trailer shows the best scene in the movie and that is when a wall of ocean comes rushing over a resort in Thailand during the tsunami of 2004(?).  It's a terrifying scene.  It splits up a family and the rest of the movie is about their reunion.  Lots of reasons to cry and grow anxious except the whole time you already know the ending. The movie plays to your emotions. Naomi Watts is up for best supporting actress.  She won't get it.

AMOUR is a subtle and carefully crafted French movie about love and dying.  Emmanuella Riva, 85 years old, is up for best actress, a deserving nominee, who I doubt will win, because Hollywood hates old people and dying.  It will win best foreign film instead.  A wrenching film.

ARGO is one of the most entertaining films of the year.  A good story, good directing, good writing and acting--an absolutely must see.  It's just a fabulous night at the movies.  Maybe Alan Arkin should win best supporting actor.  He should win it every day of his life.  It's a great movie, but BEST movie? I don't think so.

LES MISERABLES the movie was more interesting to me than the play, which I never fully understood.  I liked the way the movie opened up the action, especially that opening scene where the prisoners are hauling in the ship (and singing their exhausted hearts out).  Critics didn't like the sniveling close-ups, but I thought they were well done, and Anne Hathaway deserves the nomination for best supporting actress and will probably win it.  It bothered me that they pulled her teeth in one scene, but when she sings her big song, her teeth look Hollywood beautiful.

LIFE OF PI:  a wonderful movie, well worth seeing, but it's not going to win a major award, except  for special effects, which were amazing.

LINCOLN:  Daniel Day Lewis was phenomenal.  He WAS Lincoln.  The most arresting performance, and he will, and should win, for best actor.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK was stunning.  I think it's important to know that this is romantic comedy, because that is not at all clear during the first half of the movie, which could have turned into ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST.  It chronicles the life of bi-polar, Pat, after he's released from eight months in a mental hospital.  Bradley Cooper is in top form as Pat, and Jennifer Lawrence may win best actress for her role as the troubled, but enlightened Tiffany.  Robert de Niro as the obsessive compulsive father is outstanding.  It's a painful, funny, quirky movie with an implausible and feel-good happy ending.  Don't miss it.

I NEVER cry in movies.  I come to them with a critical mind, and I have a high radar for being manipulated.  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK made me cry, because the underlying question for me was who is crazy?  The answer in this movie is everyone.  If you're not broken,  you are breaking someone else through manipulation.  Watch the nasty secondary characters do their work.  Then watch people forgive each other.

That's it.  I haven't seen the others.  We're hoping to get in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD before Sunday.


  1. You're a great movie reviewer. You should do it more often.

  2. My daughter saw both Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook and loved them both. My other daughter loved Life of Pi, so it looks like their parents have a few more movies to take in. We all loved Les Miserable and The Hobbit. I will definitely check out Amour and go with my hubby to Argo since that is the one he has really wanted to see. We try to go on cheap Tuesdays since they charge $12.50 - $15.95 a person where I live. Highway robbery I tell you.

  3. Did you see Les Intoucables? Not even a nod. But it was the best movie last year. I liked The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel too. These

  4. Good stuff, Louise. Thanks. I think I may live blog the Oscars again this year, although I'm not kidding when I say I really dislike Seth Macfarlane and worry he could ruin the evening. But then! There will be dresses!

  5. Oh, dear. I have not seen any of these movies. But your reviews have made me take note of AMOUR and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. In addition to absolutely enjoying your family recollections (and learning!), I adore your movie reviews. You are so multifaceted in the realm of words. Don't ever stop blogging.