What, no responses yet!? I've seen five of these so far and hope to get around to the others. I really need to see "The Artist" because, as I've mentioned on the Hobbies thread here, I love silent movies. I plan to catch it this weekend. As for the other nominated movie that's about old movies, "Hugo," I found it too hyperactive visually and the performances wooden and uninvolving. Everyone else I know disagrees with me.
My favorite of those I've seen is "The Descendants." I also liked "Midnight in Paris" (Owen Wilson may be the perfect Woody Allen stand-in) and "The Help" (but too much about that pie!). I found "Tree of Life" too pretentious. Jessica Chastain is in the last two, as well as a couple of others this year, and I'm a fan.
I think "The Artist" and "Hugo" have a shot at winning because the voters are movie people and probably like movies about movie people. I'd like to see "The Descendants" win because it's about "real" people with real problems in the present day. (OK, they're also rich, but still!)
It's a shame I've only seen 1 of these so far. I never seem to see any of the Oscar winners until after they come out on disc. I wanted to see The Artist, Hugo The Help & Incredibly... but no one else was interested. *sigh* I did see War Horse which was excellent. After the SCreen Artists awards it looks like The Help may be a runaway fav.
I loved The Descendants too, Gary. I agree, it's a deeply moving story about real people dealing with real sorrows in a believable way. I almost forgot George Clooney's star power, I was so involved with the characters.
I also loved Midnight in Paris -- I'm a devoted Owen Wilson fan. Moneyball was a lot of fun, too.
I have plans to see The Artist on Friday -- and have just found a friend who'll see Hugo with me. Plus I have The Help and Tree of Life scheduled to come on Netflix.
I've heard War Horse is very sad, so I'm hesitant to see it. (I hate when animals die in movies!) But I probably will. OTOH, I doubt I'll see Extremely Loud blah blah blah. Having lived through 9/11 in NYC, I just don't feel ready to see a movie about it, especially not one where a kid's father dies.
Seeing that "The Descendants" is also up for Best Adapted Screenplay reminded me that it's based on a novel, also called "The Descendants," that came out in 2007. It's by Kaui Hart Hemmings and is an expansion of her short story "The Minor Wars." I'm going to look for both at the library. I also learned that Hemmings plays a bit part in the movie, as the Clooney character's secretary.
This time of year I don't mind going to the movies by myself.
Over the weekend my daughter and I watched The Help on DVD. A very enjoyable film, and very historically interesting, although it doesn't break any cinematic ground. The actors were extremely good, though!
Tonight I watched Tree of Life. It's a weird but haunting film, with long dreamy passages of abstract images, and very little dialogue. It's about a boy growing up in a small town in the Midwest/Mid-South in the 1950s. I doubt it will earn many Oscars except maybe for cinematography or musical score -- it's not exactly for mainstream tastes!
Tonight I went to the movies and saw a program of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts. Thank goodness for my town's alternative movie theater! Here's my ranking in order of preference:
"A Morning Stroll" (UK). Based on a very short (six sentences long) story called "The Chicken," which was the very first story in a collection called True Tales of American Life that was edited by the strange and mysterious Paul Auster. The story is about a chicken that was observed walking down a city street, and what it did. The short presents three versions of the story, each in a different style, and it gets pretty wild. I loved it.
"Sunday/Dimanche" (Canada). A little boy finds ways to amuse himself while being taken to church and his grandparents' house. I thought this really got across something of what it felt like to be a kid among adults.
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" (USA). Made by William Joyce, whose picture books you might know: George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob, Rolie Polie Olie. I was delighted that the hero looked like Buster Keaton.
"La Luna" (USA). A new Pixar short, inspired by stories by the strange and mysterious Italo Calvino.
"Wild Life" (Canada). This was the only one that didn't do anything for me.
I've seen other rankings of these shorts that were entirely different, so you'd better see them yourself and make up your own mind. Later this weekend, I'll report on the Oscar-nominated live shorts.
Tonight I saw the Oscar-nominated live action shorts. My favorite was "The Shore," about an Irishman who lets his daughter persuade him to revisit a painful episode in his past. It simply had more strong emotion than any of the others. It was made by Terry George, who made "Hotel Rwanda," and stars Ciarin Hinds, an actor I always enjoy.
Second best was "Raju," a German-India coproduction, and you don't see that every day! A German couple go to Calcultta to adopt a young boy, and the plot turns into something of a thriller.
Two of the shorts were quite short and were more or less just jokes, but good ones. In "Pentecost," also from Ireland, a young boy who helps out at Mass can't help letting his football daydreams interfere with his work. "Time Freak," the only one from the U.S., is pretty funny but would be even funnier if there had never been a "Groundhog Day."
The fifth short is "Tuba Atlantic," a black comedy from Scandinavia about a man who's told he has six days to live. There's always one that doesn't do much for me, and this was it -- though it was my son's favorite!
So there you have it, Oscar fans. See you at the Oscars!