March 14, 2010

My Oscars part two: A week late and a dollar short

So, I was going to be all super timely with an update after our second round of best picture viewing. Unfortunately, the second round was the day before the Oscar telecast, which was also the day of our SD convention at which we were both delegates. When it rains, it pours.

So, last Saturday G and I headed over to our local AMC for the second five best picture nominees. We dashed into the theater, and into the concessions line for our included popcorns. I looked at the tickets to see we were *supposed* to be in theater nine. A quick look over to theater nine showed that Shutter Island was actually on the screen. While G worked on procuring popcorn and sodas, I darted over to the ticket taker to find out the real theater we were supposed to be in. She told me theater four, which a brief look told me that An Education was on. Now, this was indeed one of the pictures, however the schedule promised a day beginning with Up. So, a sprinted to the customer service counter to find out what the deal was. In fact, theater four was correct. However, they seemed to have no idea at this point why the schedule changed, or what the new showtimes were. Once popcorn was wrangled, we were able to settle in for the rest of the five. After the first flick, we were able to get an updated schedule, and were thankful that we planned on sitting through all five this time. Had it been the previous week, our decision to avoid Avatar could have been disastrous. On the bright side, we were able to make reservations for dinner, so we did get some super delicious Big Bowl. It was a welcome break from junk food, despite my love of salt and carbs.

Here is my rundown:

An Education Sally Sparrow aside, that Carey Mulligan is adorable and charming as ever. The cast in this film is a force to be reckoned with. Peter Saarsgaard as David is able to charm the pants off you with ease, and I found myself falling for him right along side Mulligan's Jenny. It has been a week, and I still find myself thinking about this film, wanting to see it again, and to read the Lynn Barber memoir on which the script is based.

Up Had it not been for this showcase, I would have probably missed out on this gem. Immediately, I was drawn in by the animation with its subtle hints of retro sensibility. The story is sentimental without being overly sweet, humorous and heartfelt. The montage of the lives of Ellie and Carl was so poignant, I wondered if this could really be a Pixar venture. I have to admit that a part of me wants to tie up our house with helium balloons and go on an adventure. A lot of depth for something so seemingly adorable.

The Hurt Locker This film was fine. Just fine. Well crafted, yes, but without the heart of my favorites. I found myself drifting off because I felt so disconnected. I think this subject matter would have made an excellent documentary, and I would have much rather seen that documentary. I can't help but think that people are so impressed because it was directed by a woman. Not just a woman, but the ex of James Cameron. Yeah, she's got balls, but this film needed more.

District 9 I saw this film at a sneak preview, and was completely taken by surprise. Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a dinner coma at this point so I decided to nap so that I would be wide awake for the final feature of the evening. Since I had seen it in the theater, and own the DVD, I thought it was an okay compromise. What I did watch, though, was even better the second time. I saw little tidbits I completely missed the first time, making the film that much more poignant. I was once again bowled over by the talented actors, who I still have a hard time believing could be unknown. I once again thought the effects were amazing. The prawns were seamlessly integrated into our world, and I couldn't help but to be a little smitten by Christopher. When you see this film, pay close attention to the mirror behind Wikus' wife. If your heart doesn't break at least a little, you probably aren't human.

A Serious Man The Coen Brothers' latest. This film still has elements of classic Coen, but is one of their more realist films. I don't think it is their best work, but I still find it a solid film. It is another that I find myself pondering even a week later. Delightful acting, a well written script, and excellent cinematography. If you have spent any amount of time in Minnesota, there is an extra layer of whimsy and hilarity. One of my favorite moments made more surreal by inside knowledge was set inside an Embers. Knowing it was actually Keys, and realizing the set looked eerily like the Chatterbox made my brain spasm for a moment. I highly recommend this flick, even if you are a non-Minnesotan.

If I were filling out my IRV-style ballot for the Oscars, it would look something like this:
1) Inglorious Basterds
2) District 9
3) An Education
4) A Serious Man
5) Up in the Air
6) Up (although, I think it should have only been nominated in one category, and I felt it was better served by the animated film category)
7) The Blind Side
8) The Hurt Locker
9) Precious
10) Avatar (based on the fact that I still find nothing interesting about it, no matter what previews I see nor what anyone tells me)

I will report back tomorrow with my rundown of the Oscars, and with some shots of my incredible Oscar ensemble. Which, I still found was an awesome homage to one of my favorite flicks this year, even though everyone thought it was totally Mad Men

Posted by raven at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)