Tuesday, January 24, 2012

84th Annual Academy Award Nominations

Entertainment


Well, the 84th Annual Academy Awards nominations have been announced.

Once again, I'm completely out of step with the Academy in their nominations for 2011.  The full list is available here.

BEST PICTURE nominations go to "The Artist," "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "The Help," "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life," and "War Horse."

Of all of these, all I've even seen is "The Help."  That's my usual pattern with the nominations for Best Picture for a number of years now -- I've usually seen one of them by the time the nominations have been announced.  Last year was an anomaly where I had actually already seen 6 of them.  Very unusual.

Without taking the time to look up information and just reacting from my gut, this is my take on the nominations in the order listed above.


THE ARTIST
I don't know what this is.  Never heard of it. No clue who or what it's about.  Don't know who's in it.  So, the marketing of this has been a disaster as far as I'm concerned.  Therefore, I have no interest.


THE DESCENDANTS
I don't know what this is.  I saw some trailer for this one and I know it stars George Clooney (which probably means I'd like it to some extent), but I have no knowledge of the plot or anything else. At this point, however, I don't have any interest in it.


EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
I at least have a clue about this one, but I can't muster any interest in seeing it.  Other than requiring every American to see Peter Greenaway's UNITED 93 (2006), I don't really have any interest yet in exploring 9/11 in my movies.  Not interested.



THE HELP
I have seen this one.  It's good -- instant "classic" even.  But there's a bit too much in the way of heavy-handedness to the directing.  It was more of a very, very, good TV movie to me.  I've watched it twice, though.  It holds up.  But was it really the best movie of 2011?  Not to me.

HUGO
This I have not seen but really want to see.  I suspect that, of the nominees, I will probably agree with this one as Best Picture.  Everything I have seen of it speaks to me, I just haven't had the opportunity to see it yet.  Maybe when it hits the discount theater.


MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Woody Allen.  'Nuff said.  Not interested.  He stopped making anything that spoke to me since RADIO DAYS and when he started banging his wife's daughter.


MONEYBALL
Sometimes a sports movie looks interesting to me.  This is not one of those times.  Zero x zero interest.  I will never see this.


THE TREE OF LIFE
I thought the trailer looked interesting.  But it came and went in the theaters too fast and I wasn't able to see it.  Since then, I've sort of had my interest drained.  I'll probably see it when it comes up on Netflix streaming.



WAR HORSE
Ugh.  Look...I went to see SECRETARIOT.  It was  schlocky little melodrama, but I enjoyed it and all.  But I just plain can not muster any interest in another melodrama about horses -- even if the hook here is to care about horses in WW2.  I know it's supposed to be really, really good.  But that has no bearing on whether I care at all about the premise enough to want to take the time to watch it.  Spielberg never makes a "bad" movie.  However, his degree of sentimentality and overly familiar flourishes often tarnish my interest at this point in his career.  At least the horse doesn't talk.


In the ANIMATED category, the nominees are "A Cat in Paris" (never heard of it), "Chico & Rita" (never heard of it), "Kung Fu Panda 2" (great), "Puss In Boots" (seriously?), and "Rango" (horrible).  The fact that the Academy did not include "Rio" and "Megamind" as nominees is a travesty.


In my opinion, the best movie of 2011 was RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.  That movie was smart, engaging, exciting, moving, and made me care emotionally about humans and apes.  It was brilliant from start to finish with beautiful cinematography and a score that gives me chill bumps at times.



I would also throw MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL and CAPTAIN AMERICA into the mix and add THOR and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES to the Best Score category.

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