Avatar. I am not kidding. With my goal to see all of the Best Picture Oscar winners, this might be where I have to draw the line. If Avatar wins, I just might not be able to complete my goal. My FIL went to see it last weekend, and when I asked him how it was he said, to quote “Oh it was awesome! Really terrific. Well it didn’t really have a plot. But it was great!”
‘Scuse me, sorry, back up there. Didn’t have a plot?! A movie without a plot should not even be NOMINATED for Best Picture, let alone WIN! But, I digress. The winner hasn’t been announced yet. James Cameron and his iceberg sized ego have not sunk my goals. Yet.
The past couple of years DH and I have made a point to see as many of the Best Picture nominees as we can before the Oscars actually aired. Clearly the Academy is trying to foil our plans this year by nominating twice as many films. Though based on my stubborn refusal to spend $10 for two hours of fancy animation, I would only have to see nine. And, I have seen a few already. So let’s see where we stand.
You already read my not so high opinion of Avatar, so moving on. I have already seen District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Up, and Up in the Air. I enjoyed all of them, but the one I think is most deserving of the Oscar is Inglourious Basterds. I admit I generally find Quentin‘s movies a little weird, and this one was no exception, but it worked really, really well. The acting (particularly Christoph Waltz, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor) was superb. While the film showed quite a bit of violence, I didn’t feel it was gratuitous, rather I thought the way it was just oh-so-slightly over the top added to the absurdity of the whole plot. I didn’t get bored at any point in the movie, it was very entertaining, and I felt satisfied at the end.
As far as the other three movies I’ve seen, I thought Up was very cute, and had some great animation and great writing. It should definitely win Best Animated Movie. I was completely underwhelmed by Up in the Air, and I’m a George Clooney and Jason Reitman fan. It was okay, but I didn’t think it was Oscar quality. It wasn’t my favorite effort by either of them. I do love the single from it, “Help Yourself”, by Sad Brad Smith. (Go download it!) Lastly, I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi/alien movies, but I enjoyed District 9 more than I expected, because it’s a morality tale as opposed to being just being another creepy alien flick. Again, not Best Picture material, but worth a watch.
Since I haven’t seen the other five movies, I am not prepared to unequivocally assert that Inglourious Basterds deserves the win. We rented The Hurt Locker from RedBox and plan to watch it tonight. It is rumored to be a favorite for Best Picture and Best Director along with Avatar. I am looking forward to seeing it, especially since it’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, is only the third woman nominated for Best Director, and would be the first woman to win it if she did. Plus, she and James Cameron used to be married, and I love a bit of real life drama at the Oscars. I’d like to see Precious, even if the full name of the movie is a bit pretentious, I’ve been hearing good things about it before it was even released. DH loves the Coen Brothers, so I’m sure we’ll see A Serious Man when it comes out on DVD next week. I wouldn’t mind seeing The Blind Side, but neither football movies nor Sandra Bullock tend to whet my cinematic whistle, so I don’t know that I’ll seek it out. And before the nominations came out, I had never even HEARD of An Education, though I have heard some good things about it now. I don’t think it can hold up to the hype around these other movies though.
There are a few other movies with nominations, though not in the Best Picture category, that I would like to see. Topping that list is Crazy Heart, with Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhal, both of whom are nominated for acting Oscars. Others are Invictus, The Last Station (I adore Helen Mirren), The Messenger, and The Lovely Bones (Stanley Tucci is so great as a creepy bad guy!).
What do you think? Am I being too stubborn about Avatar? Have you seen any of the movies I haven’t? What is your pick for Best Picture?