Yesterday, Kyndal and I finished up Day 2 of the Oscar Best Picture Showcase at AMC Theaters. Our third year is officially finished. And I had a blast.
We saw the remaining five movies of the nine nominated:
- Hugo (dir. Martin Scorsese)
- The Help (dir. Tate Taylor)
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (dir. Stephen Daldry )
- The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius)
- Midnight in Paris (dir. Wood Allen)
Hugo is based on Brian Selznick’s The . I haven’t read the book but I have pored over the nearly 200 illustrations that Selznick drew. Director Scorsese seems to have done the same in loving and intricate detail. I didn’t have any expectations or idea what this movie was about and I ended up be pleasantly surprised. What a great movie! It moved slow in some parts of its story (this isn’t a negative in my view, I enjoy a movie that takes its own time and its own paces). I read on Twitter the same comments of how Hugo is a movie that is a love letter to cinema – well said! This movie is full of fantasy, nostalgia, and rediscovering/discovering your purpose. Hugo is an intriguing child – I loved his story and I hope you enjoy it too.
The Help is based on Kathryn Stocket’s bestseller. Only if you’ve been living under a rock have you not heard the greatness and love of this book and now movie. I don’t know if you could qualify this as a feel good movie. but there is something about it that does just entertain and inspire you down to the core. This was my second time to watch this movie and it reminds me of Driving Miss Daisy or Fried-Green Tomatoes. The audience just ate this movie up yesterday afternoon. Your either laughing or crying or upset at the injustice – often a combination of all three. Who hasn’t wanted to punch that picture-perfect face of Hilly Holbrooke? Who hasn’t wanted to say, channeling Minnie, “I said, ‘Eat. My. Shit.’”?
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is also an adaptation of Johnathan Safran Foer’s bestseller. This was a weighty movie. It is the fantastic story of a child in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 trying to maintain a connection with his deceased father. What a story it told. The child is on a quest and on his journey he meets and hears the stories of countless others who are survivors in their own lives. This was a hard movie to watch, but I did like it and am glad I saw it.
The Artist is awesome! How could I not love a movie that is a throwback to the olden days of movies? This black-and-white silent film was delight to watch. It was amazing to see how much can be said with no words. The musical score helped move and tell the story. The actors were simply brilliant. The lit up the screen while their voices were silenced, but their body and face acted loud and clear . The Artist is creative in its endeavors to do something not done in decades – create a silent film that speaks.
Midnight in Paris is my first Woody Allen film. I loved its quirkiness and banter. Then if I couldn’t love it any more the movie slips from present-day to the 1920s and before my eyes were my literary favorites: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. I laughed at the zaniness and uniqueness I was viewing. Hemingway was just plain funny – the way he spoke, the intensity of him. Scott and Zelda were entertaining – the life of the party. Midnight in Paris was overflowing with expatriates of the 1920s – writers and artists. This is a light-hearted comedy that I will watch again and again. (Disclaimer: i don’t think this movie is for everyone – maybe Woody Allen fans or people who like movies like “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “Darjeeling Limited”, etc. will really enjoy it.)
My picks out of all nine for Best Picture are a toss-up between The Descendants and The Artist.
I think War Horse and Moneyball may still stand a chance.
But I’ll be spitting mad if Tree of Life nabs the Oscar. I mean I won’t cry or break stuff or anything, but I will wonder what our world is coming to.