Oscar 2012 Showcase, Part 1

I really will get back to writing actual blogs, but I guess February is my fluff month. Full of movies and lists. I assure you I will get back to quote unquote real writing for March.

I’ve enjoyed the Oscars since forever. I remember in 1998 I spent the evening at my sister Kyndal‘s house.Titanic was the movie up for everything. I spent the evening acting like most do at a sporting event. I shouted. I moaned in agony. I argued with the commentators. I watched avidly.  I stood. I jumped. I slumped. Dang. That was a great year.

I don’t watch every year. In fact there were many years, I couldn’t tell you what or who won and in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter.

But I still like it.

Since 2010, Kyndal and I participate in AMC Theatres Best Picture Showcase. We marathon movies for two weekends. It’s a bit insane, but I love it. The only thing that would make the two weekends better would be if our other sister lived near enough to go with us. Sigh.

This past Saturday, we watched four of the nine Oscar-nominated best picture films.

  1. War Horse (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  2. Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller)
  3. Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick)
  4. The Descendants (dir. Alexander Payne)

War Horse: A sweeping, beautiful epic of unwavering love. An incredible, gut-wrenching story. Kyndal said it is the horse version of Forrest Gump. I quite agree. (Spoiler alert: This is NOT Old Yeller. Thank God for that grace. I could not have handled another ending like that.)

Moneyball: This movie held me captive. A behind-the-scenes story of how baseball changed. I did not expect being so enthralled with the story. What a strong character Billy Beane is in real life. Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt changed the way I will forever view them. They both are rock solid.

Tree of Life: The tweet I sent out after this movie read:

“Tree of Life” pretentious existentialism. #amcbps #oscars #oscarmarathon #myheadisswimming

I wanted this to be my movie. Artsy. über creative. BUT it lost me within minutes. I kept wondering why the movie billed actors Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. There were voice-overs. There was constant fluid film movement – causing my head to swim (see aforementioned tweet). There was an insurmountable abundance of images – beginnings to endings. I’m still wondering what the hell it was all about. It was some kind of beautiful and I can’t stop thinking about it, but what the hell.

The Descendants: This movie rocks my face off. George Clooney hasn’t ever been a favorite of mine, but he had me within the first few seconds of his opening. It has all the elements essential for story. I loved every moment – the funny, the sad, the moving, the awkward. Now this is my second time to see this movie. The first time my mom CC went – she was not impressed with the language or with the story. Midway through she leaned over to wear I was sitting and flashed her fingers – displaying the number of curse words that had let fly since the movie began. But me. Bring it on. Show me how real to life you can make a movie. When the credits rolled. I loved this movie even more the second time.

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Next weekend, we will see the final five. I’ll review  them too. I know you can’t wait for the next installment. Out of the four I have seen my choice for best picture are from best to maybe:

  1. The Descendants
  2. Moneyball
  3. War Horse
  4. Tree of Life


  1. Loved “War Horse” (Though there were some tough scenes, it was an overall beautiful movie and I totally agree with your spoiler coment!).

    Looking forward to seeing “The Descendants.”

    Went to sleep during my viewing of “Moneyball” at home – when I did wake up, it was to find that the A’s didn’t reach the heights they were aiming for, but that Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill’s characters’ formula/method that they have pushed so hard for is then used by another team and that team does fully succeed – and that’s supposed to be uplifting?

    Three words for “Tree of Life” – WASTE OF TIME!

    1. I feel a bit of cynicism toward the ending of Moneyball??? : ) I thought it was uplifting he changed baseball…just not how we expected or with the outcome we think it should be.

      You need to blog! (I mean separate from your workplace – and do quick reviews of movies you are watching – you are so good at it!)

      1. Me – cynical – never! Ha ha! Your perspective is better on this one 🙂

        Thanks for your suggestion and compliment (though I just realized I had a typo on “comment” in my previous reply – crap!)

        I’m going to go ahead and use your blog as a forum, if I may for a moment, to formally bemoan the fact that Ryan Gosling is not nominated for an Oscar for any of the three excellent performances he gave this year, and that “Drive” also wasn’t nominated for best picture – AARRRGGHHHH!

  2. Tree of LIfe…I still don’t know what happened in that movie. I still maintain that I could’ve acted a part in that movie. Put on a sundress, swirl around barefoot looking at trees or water. If you’re a guy, put on a suit and look at glass architecture. BIZZARO!

    I agree…The Descendants is the best so far, but Moneyball and War Horse are both really good, too.

    Can’t wait til next weekend.

    If only I had a potful of money, I’d fly Sis up here for the weekend!

    1. I love it! I’m making you reenact the entire movie on Sunday!

      Let’s find a leprechaun and then we can get Sis here!

      3 out of 4 movies is pretty dang good. I am gonna be UPSET if “The Help” wins….I’m just saying.

  3. Hey, that was the day I “got” you back with h the fingers counting cuss words… I laughed and laughed and if I remember correctly, so did your sister:) At any rate I did say that the story
    was true to life at least for some people….some of which I have actually lived. It was a touching movie and helps people understand what might be going on under such tragic circumstances.
    Have to say I don’t agree with Mr. Clooney’s politics> However he does a good job of acting and
    I’ve always loved his mother< Rosemary. I wonder if he can sing? 🙂 Love, Mom

  4. PS. I vote for War Horse. Also, “Red Tail”s should be up there. If nothing but for the historic
    honor the “Red Tails” have long deserved. I hope they at least get some mention.
    Love truth in some fiction. Mom

  5. I didn’t see any of these movies you mention except War Horse and that was really a very good movie. I probably would have liked The Descendents also.. (Soooooo, CC was giving you the fingers count again?)

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