I like to think of myself as a cinematically literate man. I go to the movies a lot, while still finding time to watch nearly 100 old movies this year. And many of them were in black and white! But during this rather lackluster movie year, I find myself shocked to discover that I’ve seen only three of the nine Oscar nominated movies for Best Picture. I won’t shoulder the whole blame, myself. As I said, the year has been bad. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, for example, was an excellent novel that remains in my Top Five favorites of all time, and I fully intended to see it when it opened on Christmas Day, yet the tepid and mediocre reviews scared me away.
Similarly, Woody Allen pumps out one piece of crap after another almost every year. How was I to know there was a diamond in the rough out there? Money Ball just looked boring, The Help looked preachy, War Horse looked sappy, and when I saw Malick’s The Thin Red Line in theatres 14 years ago, parts of my body fell into a sleep so deep they had to be amputated. I mean I seriously fucking hate that dude. Okay, to be fair, I should just say I hate his movies. I don’t know the man personally. No scratch that, I hate him personally.
So I can’t speak with any authority on who should win the coveted awards. Yet. I’ve got a lot of watching to do in the next month. I will say that of the three I’ve seen (The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo) that The Descendants has an edge. Though we’re a long ways off from Payne’s trio of nearly perfect films—Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt—there’s still quite a bit of fun to be had from Payne’s latest. I didn’t hate The Artist or Hugo, but I found them mostly pretty boring and stagnant.
Were I to pick my own nominees, they would be Bridesmaids, Hanna, The Muppets, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Weekend, and Win Win.
But we’ll have to see if any of the actual nominated films would knock any of those off. So for now, I’ve got to take a mulligan, and come back later with in a more official and informed opinion of the acting and picture nominees. And I’ll be seeing you…at the movies.
(I can say that, right? It’s not taken?)
Ryan Roach lives in Studio City and suffers through traffic indignities on a daily basis. He also has a cool movie blog: http://afistop100moviesreviewed.blogspot.com/