I try to see as many of the Best Picture nominees before the awards ceremony, but I usually only see one or two. This year, I saw four. I wanted to award these four films in my own special way. It may not be an Oscar, but hey, any accolades are nice, right?
The "Hey, I know that guy!" Award
Lincoln gets the award for having the most recognizable actors. My family and I spent the first half of the movie whispering about where we've seen various actors before. Lee Pace, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the list goes on. Also, I liked the movie more than I thought I would. Daniel Day-Lewis truly transformed himself - he's my pick to win the Best Actor award, and well-deserved - and the movie made a legalistic battle as stirring as any war-time battle on a field. I didn't enjoy the ending - it should have ended after the bill was passed, since that was the focus of the film - and some of Spielberg's cinematography choices, but it was an overall solid film.
The "Underwhelmed" Award
I really wanted to like Silver Lining Playbook. I was excited to see it with my mom (though we have a tendency to see movies that turn out to be duds, so I don't know why I get so excited), but we both left feeling "meh". I thought Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both did an excellent job, but the movie felt uneven. Some scenes were powerful, like Cooper/Lawrence's exchanges in the diner and in front of the movie theater, but these good scenes didn't add up to make a full movie. I felt SLP could have made more of a statement, gone deeper and more gritty, than it did.
The "Most Surprising" Award
Unlike Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained blew me away. I don't care for Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction was one of my least favorite movies, and I thought Inglourious Basterds was uneven - but I decided to give Django a shot. I'm so glad I did. Granted, the last third of the movie could have been done better (more about that in a minute), but the first parts were more than enough. Tarantino chose a collection of phenomenal actors to carry the three main roles; the scenes with DiCaprio, Foxx and Waltz were powerful. All three of these men were at the top of their game in this film, but Waltz! My gosh. He was my favorite part of Inglourious, but he was even better here. He is masterful at long stretches of dialog, always performing, never lagging, and he's not even speaking in his first language! I will be rooting for him to win his second Supporting Actor Oscar. The last third of Django petered off into a big "shoot 'em up" kind of spiel, but it didn't bother me too much. I expect such things from Tarantino, and since he was parodying a Western, it made sense to have a stand-off. I didn't care for Samuel L. Jackson's character either. Still, I'd watch it again!
The "Haha!" Award
As much as you tried, Les Misérables, you could not make me cry!
True, I got a lump in my throat during "Little Bit of Rain", but I stayed strong!
Did you see any of the Best Picture nominees?
Who do you think might win?
(I think it's going to be Lincoln, with Zero Dark Thirty as my runner-up choice.)
All pictures come from Wikipedia.