Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Take on All the Oscar Nominated Films

UPDATE 3/7/10

A Serious Man - Nearly made my Top Ten of 2009. Great film from the Coen Brothers. Both hilarious and sad at times. Should have been nominated for more than Best Picture and Screenplay.

A Single Man - Haven't seen it.

An Education - Another that nearly made my Top Ten. Wonderful story of a high school girl falling in love with an older man. Star-making performance from nominee Carey Mulligan.

Avatar - #10 of my Top Ten of 2009. A movie experience like no other to date. Fails in all of the usual areas that Cameron films are weak, but a film that is a must see in 3-D. In 2-D, everything that's wrong with the film would be that much more obvious.

Bright Star - Surprisingly effective romance from Jane Campion.

Burma VJ - Haven't seen it.

Coco before Chanel - In my NetFlix queue.

Coraline - One of those films that some people rave about and I just don't understand why. Rather macabre animated feature that just felt redundant.

Crazy Heart - Haven't watched it yet. Screener is sitting next to me.

District 9 - Clever, inventive sci-fi film that just felt like it was missing something. The weakest of the Best Picture nominees, in my opinion.

Fantastic Mr. Fox - One of the most fun films of the year. Sly and subversive. Makes you wish George Clooney and Meryl Streep would do a live action movie together.

Food, Inc. - If this film doesn't make you want to become a vegetarian, nothing will. Definitely makes you think twice about the food you're eating.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Terrific chapter in the series. Like most of the series, repeat viewings makes you realize what all they left out from the book.

Il Divo - Had never heard of it. Only nominated for Makeup. Probably won't ever see it.

In the Loop - #9 film of the year for me. Outside of The Hangover, the funniest film of 2009. The British and American casts are terrific and play well off of each other.

Inglourious Basterds - #2 of the year for me. Only gets better on repeat viewings. Quentin Tarantino's most mature film to date.

Invictus - Inspiring, highly detailed film about the first days of Nelson Mandela's presidency. Amazing performance by nominee Morgan Freeman. Hit or miss, "keeps losing the accent" turn by Matt Damon.

Julie & Julia - Entertaining, if a tad long, story of Julia Child and a woman inspired by her. Meryl Streep as Julia is good at times, but wasn't really Oscar-worthy in my opinion. Felt more like an imitation, rather than a performance.

Nine - I made it about 5 minutes into this film and turned it off. Found those 5 minutes to rival any 5 minute span of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as far as irritation. Will try to push through another time.

Paris 36 - Had never heard of it. Only nominated for song. Probably won't ever see it.

Precious - Absolutely heartbreaking film. Just when you think things are going to be better, they get worse. And the main character perseveres anyway. #4 in my Top Ten of 2009.

Sherlock Holmes - Haven't seen it yet. Saw the first 10 minutes or so and it seemed pretty fun.

Star Trek - Does for the Star Trek series what Batman Begins did for Batman. May annoy some purists who aren't paying attention to why this Star Trek universe is different.

The Blind Side - Uplifting film, but pretty "by the numbers" overall. Sandra Bullock makes this film better than it should have been.

The Cove - #7 of 2009. Probably the most exciting documentary you will ever see. Could not have been better if it were scripted.

The Hurt Locker - #1. Hands down. Amazing film. Subtle in every place where other war films, like Saving Private Ryan, punched you right in the face.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Haven't watched it yet. Have screener and will hopefully get to it before Oscar night.

The Last Station - Haven't seen it.

The Lovely Bones - Keep meaning to read the book. Have a screener copy. Haven't gotten around to either.

The Messenger - Came very close to being in my Top 10. One of my favorite kinds of film. The kind that show you the life of someone who has a very important job, but one you just don't think about very often. In this case, military personnel who tells families their loved one died in the War of Terror.

The Most Dangerous Man in America - Another documentary I haven't seen.

The Princess and the Frog - The best Disney traditionally animated film in a long time. If not for Up, this could have been a serious contender for the Best Animated Feature category.

The Secret of Kells - Had never even heard of it. Still haven't seen it.

The White Ribbon - Hope to see it soon.

The Young Victoria - Ditto.

Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen - One of only 3 movies I actually gave F's to last year. (The other two: G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) I guess if you want to win with me, don't have a colon in your title.

Up - #6 film of 2009. Pixar can seem to do no wrong. At times, both their silliest and most adult film to date. I can't imagine why anyone WOULDN'T love this movie.

Up in the Air - Another near miss for the Top Ten. Funny at times, romantic at times, sad at other times. A mirror to our society at this moment in time.

Which Way Home - Haven't seen it. Way behind (as always) on my documentaries.


#3 Where the Wild Things Are - Costumes, anyone? Turning a book that only had something like 72 words in total into a brilliant 90 minute film? This film has moments of such pure joy that it's amazing it didn't get a single nomination.

#5 The Hangover - The number one R-rated comedy of all time and not even a nod for screenplay. My God, they nominate Beverly Hills Cop, but not The Hangover. This was a travesty.

#8 (500) Days of Summer - Just one of those movies that is VERY good in every aspect, but only outstanding as a whole. Wasn't surprised that it missed out for anything except screenplay.

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