I’ve only got 2 movies to go (Amour, Django Unchained) and I’ll have watched all ten films nominated for Best Picture. Many of them have something special going that makes them stand out. See below for my reviews of the eight I’ve watched to date:
Argo: Good movie – I see what all the fuss is all about. I liked that it was based on true events and enjoyed everyone’s performance. Although there were no standouts for me, the story itself was a great one worth telling.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: I admit to tuning in and out of this one – it just didn’t keep my attention. I was actually surprised that this got a nom for Best Picture but now that they have 10 spots to fill, I guess this will more and more likely.
Les Miserables: Once I got past all the singing (by people we don’t expect to be singing in a movie), I did enjoy all the storylines and the relationships between the characters. After all the hype about the emotion of the movie, I was left with a “meh” feeling. I’m not sure why – I just got the sense that many parts of the story were purposely setup to be tragic and heartbreaking the same wa that sci-fi movies always result in “something going terribly wrong”. But, that’s the book’s fault and not the movie.
Life of Pi: I liked this one a lot. The imagery, special effects, the story, the score, the characters – everything worked. The narrator (the man telling the story) was fantastic and a joy to watch/listen to. For a story that was considered “unfilmable”, Ang Lee did an amazing job. Highly recommend.
Lincoln: Here’s another that’s got a lot of hype surrounding it. Daniel Day-Lewis was great in the role. But again with this one, I struggled with staying 100% focused on the movie. I did enjoy the storytelling and the politics of the time. If nothing else, I learned something about that period in history.
Silver Linings Playbook: This quirky movie was hilarious, in a “I shouldn’t be laughing at this but I can’t help it” sort of way. Starring two of the most popular stars in recent months (Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper), they did a fabulous job of convincing us that dysfunctional people are more common than we think. Robert DeNiro was a scene-stealer throughout and the showdown between him and Lawrence near the end was classic. Highly recommend.
Zero Dark Thirty: This one was my favourite. It’s the story of the investigation that led to the discovery of Bin Laden’s whereabouts after 9/11. Jessica Chastain played the role of the agent responsible for finding him incredibly well – her persistence and conviction throughout the movie were very powerful. Highly recommend.
In terms of my predictions, the only one I keep wavering on is Best Actress between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. It’ll be one of them for sure, but I just can’t choose!
Best Picture: Lincoln (although I’d much rather see Argo, Zero Dark Thirty or Silver Linings Playbook win)
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) or Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Directing: I think Spielberg will win for Lincoln but Ang Lee did an admirable job with the “unfilmable” Life of Pi
Production Design: Anna Karenina
Documentary feature: Searching for Sugar Man
Animated short film: Paperman
Documentary short: Open Heart
Live Action short film: Curfew
Film Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Foreign Language film: Amour
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Animated feature: Brave
Makeup and hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Original Score: Life of Pi
Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Original Song: Skyfall
Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty
We’ll see how I do! 🙂