Patty (woodycakes) wrote,

Movie Raving: 84th Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees

The Nine [WIKI]
Let's pretend I posted this before the Academy Awards were aired this morning when in reality, I was supposed to do this last night but fell asleep after marathoning the four remaining films of the nine nominated this year that I haven't seen. Compared to last year, I wasn't as blown away with this year's crop. And I'm the easiest person to please. I'm really really easy to entertain.

No, they weren't horrible, in fact, I had seen a lot of them already because they were pretty damn good. But they just weren't as 'omg-they're-brilliant' as last year, but they still had their awesome moments. And now as I write this while the I watch the replay, it still feels good to have seen all nine nominated films. 2011 was a pretty good year in film after all.

The Artist

The Good: Adorable. This movie was full of adorable. From Jean Dujardin to Berenice Bejo to the dog and the music and the dancing and the subtitles, it was just too charming. I loved how I was able to feel so much despite hearing so little dialogue. I've never appreciated the score and sounds so much.

The Bad: I can't think of a bad one, really. Sure, I was sleepy when I caught this one lazy Sunday afternoon but it kept me awake despite the fact that I was lying on my side and full from lunch.

The Verdict: It's been winning everything and I wasn't surprised with how it bagged this one. In 2011's slate, it was definitely deserving, but if you let it swim with other movies last year (or next year), I wouldn't be too sure.

The Descendants

The Good: I loved this. I really, really loved this. I loved how daddy-looking (and still hot) George Clooney got; how absolutely girl-crush-worthy Shailene Woodley was and yet how I wanted to smack her character; how Nick Krause had me wondering why I was finding him adorable by the end of it all and how Matthew Lillard really felt like a douche but a likeable one at that. I love how this movie made me want to go to Hawaii and how in the end, I'm glad it ended the way it did.

The Bad: The cheating mom? I get she was the hinge of this entire movie and having it all roll along but I wish she would have either survived or didn't break George's heart, but then there wouldn't be a story.

The Verdict: I think if The Artist wasn't nominated this year (or wasn't silent or black & white) then this would have stood a better chance at winning more awards. In my heart, it wins.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Good: The grandpa and grandma were pretty adorable. And I felt Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock were pretty awesome as the parents too. I mean I know that Thomas Schell isn't going to be there for long so everytime I see him with Oskar on screen, I just feel like tearing up. I love how they showed all the different 'crafts' that Oskar did too. I wish I were that crafty.

The Bad: I don't like how screechy the kid got. In the book, I loved him. But I guess bringing Oskar to life would require so much more, and unfortunately, I don't think the actor was able to do it justice. Also, the lack of grandparent-related back story makes me sad, especially since I liked that part of the book a lot.

The Verdict: It's got Viola in a really small role and two other Oscar winners and still the negative press for this one isn't going to save it. Unfortunately for this one, I don't think it's got the biggest fighting chance.

The Help

The Good: Other than Emma Stone's awesomeness? The obvious brilliant performances by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain were pretty fantastic to watch, if I say so myself. In fact, after reading the book, I was pretty impressed with how they compressed and brought it to life.

The Bad: WHY DID THEY NOT CHANGE THE ENDING? I get they're being faithful to the book and having Skeeter end up with the handsome boy would totally go against everything the book is trying to stand for (in terms of independence for women at that time) but STILL!!! WHY BRING PIZ CHRIS LOWELL IF HE ONLY BREAKS SKEETER'S HEART!? Sorry, obviously this is not the movie's point but it would have won major points with me if it did.

The Verdict: Just because it's been too controversial from the book itself, it's doubtful that the Academy would be swinging that way but the acting nods are in the bag for sure.


The Good: So freaking amazingly visually beautiful. I wish I lived in a Parisian train station. Even if Hugo never changed outfits, he still looked so chic running around the station. And Chloe Moretz was pretty adorable in her beret and stripes. I could literally not listen to things and still find the movie so beautiful.

The Bad: And yes, I like Scorcese, no scratch that, I love him. He always brings the blood and guns and violence that I happen to love so much with him, but in a children's movie? He's not so bad either, just a little out of his element, perhaps? I didn't feel that emotional connection and wish they had used much ore Jude Law, I mean really.

The Verdict: I'm being mean but call this a tribute to Marty. There's always something about his films and I'm glad the Academy decided to honor him. Just probably not the best of the year.

Midnight in Paris

The Good: I saw this movie waaaay before awards season and that's thanks to Rachel McAdams and of course, Woody Allen. I've liked his movies and this is no different. Sure, Gil sounds pretty much like Woody in 1920's Paris and present day Paris, but still, the magic and dialogue and the concept of it all is just too good to pass up.

The Bad: More McAdams. Obviously, this movie needs more of her. And though I get she's totally happy with Michael Sheen, I blame this movie for bringing her together with him and thus farther away from McGosling. I know, silly reasons, but it's still a reason.

The Verdict: Let it take the screenwriting awards, and a nice tribute to Woody as well but definitely not for the win. I loved it though. One of my 2011 favorites for sure.


The Good: I'm not a sports person. I love looking at athletes but I'm not the biggest sports fan -- most especially baseball. So having Brad Pitt in a film was definitely a plus and the way it was written and directed and shot made me appreciate the movie even more. I found it easy to grasp considering I have ZERO baseball knowledge. And Brad Pitt was just too pretty and also daddy-like. I love that he and George now play fathers.

The Bad: THAT SONG THAT SONG THAT SONG. Seriously. I get that the lyrics so freaking fit the plotline or whatever but WE KNOW THIS SONG. Please don't pretend the real world and Lenka don't exist. It's not right.

The Verdict: I loved this one so much. Even with the song mishap, I really enjoyed this one. Call me a mainstream kind of girl, but this and The Descendants and Midnight in Paris kind of own me.

The Tree of Life

The Good: Chastain and Pitt. There are reasons these two are in multiple films that are nominated for Oscars. Because they are that good. Seeing them as a married couple in the 50s both embodying nature and grace (I only know this from reading Wikipedia) felt like a nice little couple who could live next door to the Drapers. I just wanted to be their BFFs in that era -- before the grieving and all.

The Bad: Okay, I know I'm not the smartest tool in the shed but I really tried thinking. Really really tried. But the 15 minute-nature breaks were a little too much for me and I watched Melancholia. These two movies sort of had that same feel for me. And yes, don't ask me to explain everything that happened because I probably won't be able to explain it.

The Verdict: A tribute to Terrence Malick for sure. I should probably brush up on my Malick-filmography given he'll be pretty prolific in 2012 and 2013. Film students, help me understand him more?

War Horse

The Good: I've to give props to that horse. I don't know if it was a lot of CGI but that horse brought it. Ploughing the fields? Outrunning a car (talk about horsepower!)? Fitting in a barn bedroom? Running through barbed wire during a war? This horse is a beast! It will survive anything and I totally look up to it.

The Bad: Well, I'm not the biggest animal-movie person and this one was just a bit much. AND THIS NEEDS MORE CUMBERBATCH. If you're going to put some Sherlock in it, you might as well give me more. Even if he has blonde hair. I'll take it.

The Verdict: This felt like a tribute to Spielberg and I get it's based on some awesome book but I just don't see this getting it. At all. I'm sorry Steven.

So which ones were your favorites? Did your bets take the awards home?

Even More Movie Raving:
Tags: awards shows, emma stone, movies, rachel mcadams
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