This post may contain a few, but not big, spoilers!
I began writing this post yesterday, just after I got up after completing my ‘preparation’ for the Academy Awards ’12. But by now, the awards have already been announced! Still, here’s a gist of my preparation and a wee bit more.
I had decided some time ago that I would watch all the movies that had been nominated for the Oscars this year- that is when I began my so-called preparation! As with college semester examinations, I could not complete the entire syllabus; rather I am contented with what I could finish. Below is the list of the movies I managed to watch:
The Artist (9/10): This is a black and white silent movie based on Hollywood in 1927. If you liked older silent movies by Charlie Chaplin, such as City Lights and Gold Rush, you will love this one too. The Artist won many awards at BAFTA and I wasn’t very surprised when it continued its winning streak at the Oscars (it won five awards, which include the ones for best film, acting and directing, there). The story is simple but then the presentation of the story is very powerful making it a must watch among all the nominated movies.
The Descendants (8/10): is a simple drama, only made very interesting by the beautiful lead performance by Clooney. I never was a big fan of Clooney before and I felt a little disappointed about this after I saw his acting in The Descendants.
War Horse (7/10): War Horse is a story told from the perspective of a horse. The movie is interesting, but at some points (such as the one when two soldiers from different warring armies come together to save the horse from a barbed wire, in spite of all the dangers) one could ask who really cares for a horse so much when the lives of so many other people are at stake? But then, at other points, one is amazed by how Spielberg manages to get even a horse to act so well!
The Help (8/10): is based on racism prevalent in the 1960’s. The film appears a little boring in the beginning but becomes very interesting after a while. Also, Jessica Chastain, who plays the role of Foote, reminded me of Patricia Arquette in True Romance.
Hugo (8/10): Hugo is a good movie by Scorsese, though not as good as the gangster movies that he makes. The movie has brilliant visual effects and the story is good. It has a few very humorous scenes too which help to maintain the viewer’s interest in the movie.
Midnight in Paris (8/10): I loved this film. When I first watched a Woody Allen movie, which was Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I couldn’t really understand what the movie was all about. But then Midnight in Paris has a fresh concept and Allen makes it look so believable.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (8/10): Gary Oldman does a great job in the lead role. Moreover, the director manages to keep the suspense strong throughout the film.
Tree of Life (2/10): is the worst movie I have seen till date- maybe, it is even worse than Kal ho na ho! One of the user reviews on IMDb aptly calls it ‘mental masturbation’! I have watched some seriously shitty movies in my life, but even after racking my brain to the fullest, I couldn’t come up with a single reason behind the film getting nominated for Oscars or having a 7.0 rating on IMDb. Please do NOT watch this one!
Moneyball (8/10): is a very engrossing movie with Brad Pitt in the lead. It tells the story of a baseball coach who tries an entirely new concept of team selection and in the process, goes against all the veterans of the game. He does not know whether what he is doing is right and goes forward simply on faith. I really disagreed with a colleague in office who said that Moneyball lacked passion for the game, which is highly significant in sports movies such as this. I think that Moneyball was not about how the coach wins against the odds, but it was rather about how he stood for what he thought was right- even though he didn’t quite believe in it completely.
The Iron Lady (7/10): I did not know about Margaret Thatcher (the first and, till date, the only lady Prime Minister of Great Britain) before I watched this film. The movie is not that good as it loses pace often but Ms Oscar Meryl Streep has given a great performance in the lead role. It is not surprising that she won her third Oscar, for best actress, for The Iron Lady. She acts so brilliantly in the movie that you will be led to believe that it is Thatcher playing herself on screen.
The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (8/10): was the one of the first movies I watched as part of my preparation, mainly because this was directed by David Fincher, and I wasn’t disappointed. One of the most memorable scenes of the film was the one in which the heroine gets back to the fellow who raped her. The story is a little complicated but then, it’s a Fincher movie after all!
The Ides of March (7/10): is a usual film telling the story of a person who is trying to win a Governor an election. The movie is good but there is nothing special about it.
Drive (6/10): is an almost useless movie starring Ryan Gosling. For some reasons alien to me, it has an 8.0 rating on IMDb and when I began watching Drive, I was wondering if it was a better version of the Transporter series. But then, the story was boring and the film had a few gore scenes which I felt were very out-of-place.
There were some other films, such as Transformers-3 and Harry Potter-7.2, among the ones nominated which I saw long ago. I don’t really remember a lot about them and so didn’t feel like writing about them. All in all, watching all these movies was a time well spent. Now I can get back, with a free mind, to doing other important things in life!