The Oscars are as good a reason as any to dust off mbpalaver after several months of absence. Red carpet coverage starts at 7 pm ET on ABC; the award show itself doesn't start until 8:30. You can find a printable ballot here. "Lincoln" and "Argo" were my two favorites. Here are some quick thoughts on all the best picture nominees:
Amour: I decided to skip this one. Here's part of what Mick LaSalle of the
SF Chronicle said: "'Amour' is an extraordinary experience and some
variety of good movie, but no one should see it without a few words of
warning. It is cinematic boot camp. It is not enjoyable and only
sporadically entertaining. When director Michael Haneke isn't boring the
audience, he is torturing it. The film is bleak and hopeless, and to
call it 'depressing' would be to make it sound like a peppy, MGM musical
compared with the misery of what is onscreen. Yet "Amour" is also
unforgettable and one of a kind, two hours of torment that, in the end,
you will probably not regret." I will take his word for it.
- Argo: It's not just due to my outstanding ability to forget historical events that I was on the edge of my seat.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Amazing movie. Available on DVD. Rent it.
- Django Unchained: I'd almost steeled myself to see this, but then a friend told me about a scene I wish I hadn't even heard described. Maybe I'll rent the DVD and make ample use of the FF button.
- Les Miserables: Looooooooong into the movie I checked the time to see if it was almost over. There was still an hour and a half to go. I was despondent. (On a tangential note, my favorite "Les Miserables" association is that my high school French teacher, Mrs. Wainwright, called in to a TV station in PIttsburgh to complain that Rege Cordic, the host of the Sunday Afternoon Movie, mispronounced the title (he said "less miserables"). The next week he said on the air that "an irate French teacher" called in to correct his pronunciation. We were impressed at Mrs. Wainwright's power.)
- Life of Pi: I couldn't bring myself to go see this. It looked like one big special effect. Did I miss out?
- Lincoln: Wonderful movie, and Lincoln was great in it.
- Silver Linings Playbook: Am I the only one who didn't love this movie? Question two: Can Bradley Cooper play someone likable? (If you found him likable in this, please refer back to question one.)
- Zero Dark Thirty: I found the ending, in particular, riveting, but am troubled by reports of its playing fast and loose with vitally important facts. (On a more mundane note, I spent the first hour trying to figure out who was playing Jessica (one of the CIA agents), until it hit me: Jennifer Ehle in American accent!)