Thoughts on Oscar

It's Oscar weekend!!! I've mentioned before that the Oscars are one of my favorite nights of the year. I love it all... the dresses, the glamour, the cheesy jokes and heartfelt speeches. My husband has the Super Bowl, I have the Oscars. And I'm so excited that this year we were able to see all but one of the Best Picture nominees. It's so much more fun watching when you know what the heck everyone's talking about! I'll post a recap next week about all the Oscar themed food we make, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on each of the BP nominees...

Argo: This is my favorite kind of movie... smart, thought provoking, dramatic with just the right amount of humor. It was easily one of my favorite movies of the year, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it wins. I do think that Ben Affleck got robbed on the Director nod. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to both act in and direct a movie. The boy's come a long way since Voyage of the Mimi! (Anyone else have to watch that in elementary school??)

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Holy water works, batman. This movie was so beautiful, so heartbreaking. I really can't believe that an 8 year old was capable of that kind of performance, just incredible. I'm a mess just thinking about this movie.

Django Unchained: This was a flat out fantastic movie. Yes it was hard to watch at times, yes I had to cover both my eyes and ears during certain parts, no it wasn't supposed to be 100% factual... but it made me think about race and slavery in a way only Tarantino could. This is a must-see, in my opinion.

Les Miserables: I'll start by saying that I've never seen the stage performance of Les Mis, but I've been obsessed with the soundtrack since I was a little girl so the music is very close to my heart. I thought this film was so gorgeous, complete visual eye candy, and the performances by Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were flawless. The only thing I didn't like about this version was Russell Crowe - he was a strange casting choice, and his singing left a lot to be desired. Otherwise, I really loved this film.

Life of Pi: I had no idea what to expect of this movie as I hadn't read the book and wasn't familiar with the story, so I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Ang Lee can do no wrong, and this movie was no exception. His visual execution really captured the emotion and intensity and magic of the story. Another favorite of movie of the year for me.

Lincoln: If Daniel Day Lewis doesn't win the Oscar for his performance in the movie it will be an outrage. It was a master class in acting, and I truly can't imagine anyone else having even come close to the caliber of his performance. As far as historical biopics, this was about what you'd expect from Spielberg, and I don't mean that in a bad way - just that it's great but predictable. I don't know if it should win Best Picture, but it's definitely worth seeing.

Silver Linings Playbook: I'll be honest, I don't know why this movie was nominated. It's a good movie, don't get me wrong, but I watched it after the nominations were announced and my expectations were pretty high. I actually think I would have liked this movie a lot more if it hadn't been nominated, if that makes sense. I applaud the academy for trying to acknowledge a less traditional film, but I'm just not sure what all the hype is about with this one. Sorry.

Zero Dark Thirty: I loved this movie right up until they brought in the Navy Seals. I have no idea what the actual Seal team was like that carried out this mission, but I have a hard time buying that they were all a bunch of stereotypical meatheads ready to shoot 'em up fer America. Other than that, I thought this was a very well told and important movie, and I think Jessica Chastain's performance was fantastic. She's quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses.

Amore: Didn't see this one. Sorry!

So that's that! I'm pulling for Argo to take home the big one. Who do you think will be the big winners?

PS... I'm a big fan of these Oscar bingo cards. They help you stay interested during the more boring award categories. Seriously, though, why do those guys always have the longest speeches?

movie madness

Jared and I watched My Week With Marilyn this weekend (just okay, though Michelle Williams was flawless), after which he confessed that he'd never seen a Marilyn Monroe movie. We then got to chatting about classic films and basically concluded that there are a ton of great movies neither of us has ever seen. So, on a whim, we decided to challenge ourselves to watch all 100 of AFI's Top 100 films. Of this list, we've each seen 49 (though not all the same). Not bad between us, but there are a lot we don't really remember, and it's always different watching a movie later in life that you were forced to watch in school.

We decided we should probably start at the bottom of the list and work our way up to #1 (Citizen Kane), so that we don't lose steam as we get to the "less good" most amazing films of all time. It's going to take us a while. (Like multiple years.) But we're nerdily excited.

Things I'm looking forward to:

  • Cary. Grant.
  • "Well, he should have armed himself if he's going to decorate his saloon with my friend."
  • Vivien Leigh's untouchable performance in Streetcar
  • Finally being able to say that I've seen Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. (I know, I know.)
  • Witnessing the genius that was Charlie Chaplin (I've only ever seen clips, never a whole movie.)
  • Paul Newman and Robert Redford in their prime

Things I'm not looking forward to:

  • Titanic and The Sixth Sense... I wholeheartedly object to these movies making the list. Mostly because I have a not fully justifiable intense dislike of both James Cameron and M. Knight Shyamalan.
  • There's only 1 Paul Newman film (aside from my husband, there's no man that can hold a candle to Paul Newman in my book.) This seems far too few for such a great actor.
  • Having to watch A Clockwork Orange again. I didn't like it the first time, and doubt I'll like it this time around.
  • Sophie's Choice... One Sunday night a few weeks ago I gave Jared the option of washing bottles or putting the sheets on the bed (I would do the other) and he replied, "Uggghhh. Sophie's choice!" Neither of us knew what it meant, but we knew his use of it was likely ridiculous. Then we looked it up. I wanted to crawl into a corner and cry for hours just after reading the Wikipedia entry. I can't imagine how depressing the movie is going to be, but I'm certain it's going to scar me for life.

We're planning to start this weekend (with #100, Ben Hur). Not the most fun start, but the list is the list.

How many of these have you seen? Do you have a favorite? (I think my favorite on the list is The Philadelphia Story. I have a thing for Cary Grant, especially when paired with the always fantastic Katherine Hepburn.)

PS... I've added this little challenge to my life list!