After a bit-too-long intermission, Two Guys, A Girl and a Movie are back with their thoughts on eight of the ten movies nominated for Best Picture. An Education and Precious have yet to be screened (o.k. we ran out of time).
A Serious Man:
E: A true Coen brothers flick – great writing, dark humor, and memorable characters wrapped around a morality play. Similar to No Country for Old Men (case of money) and Burn After Reading (top secret files), A Serious Man forces the main character to look at the tangles of his life when he receives a bribe to change a student’s grade. Not for all movie fans, don’t see it taking a statue, but entertaining.
S: I thought it was very American Beauty-esque…a movie I liked, not loved. I thought the story unfolded well but took a while.
K: A mild surprise to see this sci-fi nominated film over the higher grossing Star Trek. Neill Blomkamp brought fresh eyes to the genre that looked more impressive than many higher budget action/fantasy movies.
E: You’re right on the ‘fresh eyes’ comment (which, considering what takes place in the movie may be a bit of a pun, K?). Still, it has what OSCAR voters look for in Best Pics: social commentary, great cinematography and a good story. Won’t win, but still recommended for most (if you hate sci-fi, probably not for you).
S: Scary movie does not equal S seeing to it. Glad you both enjoyed it.
S: The first 20 mintues of the movie, I kept thinking, “Why is this marketed to young kids?” Rough subject matter for a Disney/Pixar creation. But after, WOW what a fun ride (pun intended). My favorite part was Doug the Dog. I know it won’t win but I’d say it was my second favorite Oscar nominee! See it if you haven’t already!
K: Disney’s (Pixar’s) track record of quality movies in recent years is outstanding. The first 20 minutes of Up provides all you need to see just how deserving this Oscar nomination is. The rest of the movie is pretty entertaining too.
Up in the Air:
K: George Clooney, Vera Vermiga, & Anna Kendrick nominations were well deserved. May very well win an OSCAR for Adapted Screenplay. Jason Reitman deserves kudos for his direction. I had a good time seeing it but I can’t bring myself to see it win Best Picture.
Our Final Four for Best Picture
The Blind Side:
K: Mix in Sandra Bullock’s commanding performance with football and elements of tone Crash and what do you have? An outperforming smash hit appealing to many in middle America-shocking many in Hollywood. An uplifting feel good movie that felt very Lifetime-like in overall film quality.
S: I’m not sure I agree with a Lifetime movie feel…I’ve never watched a full Lifetime movie and the only reason I’ve ever watched Lifetime is for Project Runway! However, I will watch a football movie anytime, anywhere, any way I can! I LOVED THIS MOVIE! Can’t say enough how worth the time it was to see. I will be Sandra Bullock’s character Leigh Ann Tuohy when I grow up. No nonsense but with compassion to spare! Not sure if you can see this was my favorite of the nominees or not.
K: This writer/director came back with a vengence this year! Simply put the most divisive Best Picture nominee in this group. People really love it or really are put off by Tarantino’s over the top pushing the envelope style of film making. I understand both sides of this argument. The opening scene & the bar basement scene are classic Tarantino. Expect a wild OSCAR acceptance speech should this movie win. Christoph Waltz’s electric performance dominates when he’s on screen. He’s a probable shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor.
E: When S and I were getting popcorn before the 2D showing, we overheard the cashier saying the movie was “life changing.” We had to chuckle. Life changing – no. Very, very good – yes. Great story, easy to follow, amazing effects, it’s what a movie is supposed to be.
K: Who knew that when I attended the midnight show before its opening day in December that it would become the all time highest grossing worldwide and domestic? Simply put the greatest 3-D movie on the “environment” ever made (with my apologies to Al Gore). Even with James Cameron’s track record there were many a doubter saying this movie would flop on its face. No movie has made more haters eat crow than on this one. This film will win many or sweep the technical Oscars. I thought the screenplay was average but Cameron more than made up for it in his outstanding direction. Special mention to Stephen Lang and Zoe Saldena for their outstanding performances. The favorite to win Best Picture in my opinion.
The Hurt Locker:
E: This had OSCAR buzz from the minute it was released. If you haven’t seen it, check your cable or satellite PPV – it should be there.
S: We PPV’d it and was just as moving as seeing it in the theatre I’d expect.
K: The “David” of the Best Picture nominees. Got a heck of a slingshot’s chance to win, however. Director Kathryn Bigelow sets a new standard for action directing, so much so she’s the favorite to win Best Director according to her ex husband James Cameron. Kudos to Jeremy Renner for his Best Actor nomination. (S: Did you know he’s in a band and write music for keyboards and sings. Ladies, he’s supposedly single! Do you have your plane ticket to LA?) No movie moved me in profound ways this year that this one. In many ways the best Hollywood made on the Iraq war and the least preachy politically. I’ll be smiling if this one were to win Best Picture.
In the end, all are worth seeing but see these top 4 if you haven’t already! It’s worth it to be ready for your local Oscar party!