Academy Awards 2012: Albert Nobbs

Well this movie received three nominations; Best Actress (Glenn Close), Best Supporting Actress (Janet McTeer), and Best Achievement in Makeup.

I have to share that I pushed back when I learned from Deana that we were going to see this movie last night.  I mean, on our official Academy Award Need to See list, this ranked much lower than others.  It wasn’t even a Best Picture contender!  So I was not overly thrilled.  That sentiment went well into the credits leading up to the main show.  And I will admit that I held onto my stubbornness well into it.

The summary of this movie is “Glenn Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men’s clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making.”

This movie had a compelling story and the acting from Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were very good.  I had to relent to these facts as the movie continued, and the reality of the storyline and conflicts of real life that were portrayed were very moving.  I would recommend you seeing this film, especially if you’re interested in historical social issues and the lengths humans will go to survive.

BUT, I am nowhere close to saying either will walk away with an Oscar.  I was not moved hugely by this film, and though it was thought provoking, it didn’t invade my brain like the others have.  I do rate it higher than Money Ball at this point, but that’s about it.

I know it’s early in the process, and perhaps my stubbornness is still there, but we shall see once I see more movies.

Academay Awards 2012: Extremely Loud & Moneyball

Okay, true to form, Deana and I have furiously started (as always, a bit late) our Academy Award viewing.  I may have mentioned this last year, but finding some movies is a bit more difficult in Dallas than it was in California, but we remain hopeful!

Plan of attack this year is similar to previous years – Best Pictures for sure, as many documentaries and foreign films as possible, and throw in some awesome actors and actresses.  Let the games begin!

Today, we went to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  This film is up for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Max Von Sydow).  It also gets, if you follow the news, the biggest gasp as it has been thoroughly thrown out by critics in general.  All I really knew about this movie before heading to the theater (and really, I thought we were going to see The Artist, so there you go…..) was that Deana had mistakingly told me she wanted to see the “movie that Robin Williams is in”.  (Note:  she didn’t think he was in it, she just said the wrong name.  :))  So, I went in pretty open minded.

129 minutes later, and probably 14 napkins worth of nose blowing, I was in shock.  I expected SOME sadness, as I should have admitted I knew 9/11 was involved, but I SOBBED through this movie!  And it was not so much the story that got me there, but it was the amazing acting, especially of Thomas Horn as the 9-year-old trying to make sense of things and Max Von Sydow.  Incidentally, Max doesn’t say ONE WORD in this film, and yet he communicated SO much!

This is a heavy film for sure.  Since it involves “the worst day” of 9/11, emotions (at least for me) were easy to feel.  If you are having a bad day or need a pick-me-up, this is NOT the movie for you!  But if you’re interested in real emotions, real confusion, and if it’s okay that you won’t have all the answers……coupled with some amazing acting, see this moving!

Moneyball was viewed in the comfort of our home thanks to the amazing Verizon Fios technology we possess.  This movie has more nominations; Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), and Best Adapted Screenplay.  This was a moving story based on real events related to the Oakland A’s and GM Billy Beane.  It was realistic and I do have to say Jonah did a great job (and kudos to him today for losing so much weight!).  But I tell ya, I spent more time googling Billy on my iPhone to read his biography because, well…..I was kind of bored.  I mean, the movie seemed disjointed in a few places, Brad Pitt (who still looks pretty good, btw) seemed like……well…….Brad Pitt and not Billy, and I don’t know.  Baseball?  I’d rather remember the Titans.  But to be fair, having just seen Extremely Loud and having such a strong emotional reaction, I may be reacting a bit hard on Moneyball.

For new readers to my recaps, I will share my “votes” once I’ve seen everything.  But as of right now, Extremely Loud has taken the lead.


The 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Wow, I can’t believe this night is really here!  I LOVE this time of year!  I wish I was able to have a more formal affair tonight, but as I am in the middle of ANOTHER move (the last for AT LEAST a year, thank you very much!), I am just thankful that I have a warm room, cable TV, and this laptop to enjoy this year’s festive event!  Bring on the awards!

So I have to admit a few things……I am not passionately rooting for too many winners as I have in previous years.  Last year I was CERTAIN that Kate Winslet was to win, and was SO SO excited when she did!  I jumped up and it was cool becasue Deana and I were at an Academy Award party too!  Whoot!  The other big confession is that I did NOT see Avatar.  Sigh.  I just couldn’t do it but will once it’s on DVD…..sorry for those of you who think I’m just horrible!

But, I DO have a couple nominees I AM rooting for……..I think Mo’nique deserves the award for Best Supporting Actress.  Her performance in Precious was amazing, really.  I forgot who she was.  She gets my knod.  And for Best Actress, I fully admit that she probably won’t win, but I really wish Carey Mulligan (from An Education) wins.  She was convincing to me and didn’t seem to be acting at all.  However, if Sandra Bullock wins, I would be pleased, too.

I think George Clooney will get best actor, Christoph W. best supporting actor, Precious for pic, Kathryn R for best director, James Cameron for best director, and Up for best animated film.  Saw no docs or foreign films, so can’t go there.

We shall see how it goes!

Academy Award – Warm Fuzzies

So today we saw The Blind Side.  I fully admit it was a heartwarming story, especially since it is based on a true story.  I may even have to start paying attention to the Ravens now that Michael Oher is on their team.  Sandra Bullock did an excellent job as Michael’s adoptive mother, and the story overall was a great one that leaves you with a sense of triumph for those who work hard and are loyal to those they love – despite where they may have come from.  However, I just can get a sense of OSCAR from this film.  It WAS very good, VERY touching, and well acted.  I just can’t get the OSCAR feel for it.  ……..Best Picture?  I don’t think so.  Best Actress?  Probably not.  Hmmmmm……we shall see.

More Academy Award Reviews

So a free Netflix membership allowed me to see two other films that have several nomations.  Here are my reviews of them!

The Hurt Locker (best film, best screenplay, best actor, best director, and more) – I began watching this firm knowing nothing about it except several film critics praising it as “the one” to take the statues.  I didn’t know it covered American soldiers in Bagdad and the danger they faced, AFTER the Iraqi war had ended.  I didn’t know the actors or the history of it. And it proved to be a thought provoking piece that definitely made me realize just how hard it is even today for our young men and women serving in the middle east.  I can see why  Jeremy Renner was nominated for best actor – he did a good job.  And, truth be known, I was shocked that a woman was the director – Kathryn Bigelow.  Even still, I almost felt gipped when the movie was over.  Yes, I have discussed some of the subtle messages within the film, but overall was not overwhelmed with admiration.

A Serious Man (Best film, best screenplay) – I think this film would have been amazingly relevant and funny if I were Jewish.  The story, a black comedy, revolves around a Jewish family and is loosely based on the story of Job.  This was very well written and the acting was also good……but I was like “did I just spend two hours watching that?”  Maybe I AM a snob……

And that’s it.

More Academy Award Viewing

Let me just say that Deana found an AMAZING theater in Plano that is situated in what we like to call “very Los Angeles-ish” setting.  The theater itself was smaller, was showing mosting movies that have been nominated for an Academy Award or “artsy” in nature, and was very…….let’s see…….NOT commercial.  There was a coffee bar and…..well, we loved it.  And to add more bennies, we needed to watch two movies, so we stopped at a little french cafe across the street that was AWESOME!

Our luck was also on our side because yesterday Sophia decided to gash her head open.  She was spending the night at her counsin, Kaylie’s house.  They have a HUGE walk in shower there, in which Sophia decided to run.  Yep, you pictured it – she fell backwards and gashed the back of her head open.  But, as fortune would have it, this happened RIGHT when the second movie was over!  So we met Aunt Julie at the hospital and went from there.  Sophia was a huge trooper – ended up getting 4 staples in her head WITHOUT a shot (her choice) and she pulled through with only a few tears.  Deana practically RAN out of the area because she was so scared!  LOL  But Soph is fine and has huge bragging rights because her brothers have never had staples.  GIRLS RULE!  🙂

Anyway, here are my critiques of the movies:

An Education – the was a lovely British film talking about a young girl (she turns 17 during the story) in the early 1960’s and the exposure to various aspects – besides her drive to attend Oxford – to life’s education.  I walked in knowing NOTHING about this film other than it had been nominated.  The story was REAL, filled with profound subtleties, and the acting was superb.  The title role, played by Carey Mulligan, was quite good actually!  And as a picture, I think it is a strong contender for an oscar.  The story touches, ever so lightly, on controversies such as anti-semitism, views of blacks in the early 60’s, women’s role in society and their reliance on men, and the typical coming of age concept of fun verses hard work.  Even with such standard fair, it never seemed preachy or made me feel like there was an agenda that the powers that be wanted to push.  I loved this movie.  I am holding back tagging this for sure,  either for Carey as best actress of the movie for best picture, but they are high on my list.

Up in the Air – this was another movie I really didn’t know much about, other than George Clooney was in the movie.  I assumed that he was nominated for Best Actor, and I was right.  I was excited to that Anna Kendrick, of Twilight fame, was in the film and even nominated for Best Supporting Actress!  Also nominated for best supporting actress is Vera Farmiga – both did a fantastic job in this movie.  As did George, really.  And the movie WAS entertaining, it DID have a message (or several) and also offered enough pain points that aren’t resolved to say to me “hey, this is typical Oscar”.  I think it was worth the $7.50 I paid.  But I am NOT feeling the immense, “oh my word that was AMAZING” feeling that I think a Best Picture should do.  Of the two we saw, I vote this second.  Is it worth your time?  Absolutely.  And I will probably be eating my words when George wins (or either lady), but I just don’t feel it.

Will probably not have time for any more movies today – it’s Super Bowl Sunday!  While I am intriqued by the historic fact of the NO Saints being there, I am still bitter that they beat my Vikings.  Hence, GO COLTS!

Gina OUT!

Academy Award Update

Okay, here are my updates so far:

Inglourious Basterds – I knew that with Quentin Tarantino involved, the story would have amazing layers and that “weird factor”.  That became even more evident when I learned he worked on the screenplay for ten years!  And it WAS an amazing story with swists and turns and people doing things to the bad guys that we always hoped would happen.  One thing that suprised me a bit was the humor that popped up here and there, beautifully really, in places that were so horrible or tragic.  I understand that takes genius – not only at the screenplay level, not only at the director level – but for actors to pull it off without looking like they’re pulling it off is commendable.  HOWEVER, maybe I am slowly becoming an Oscar Snob, but I just didn’t see this as a Best Picture.  Maybe Quentin deserves one – I am not rooting for him to win though, and probably I will eat my words when Christoph Waltz wins Supporting Actor.

Precious – many that I’ve discussed this movie with are suprised when I tell them I found Inglourious Basterds much more disturbing than Precious.  This IS a heavy movie for sure – but perhaps that is what I really tend to expect from a movie that has been nominated.  The story was amazingly real – devastatingly real – filled with moments of “life sucks” that appeared relevent and real.  It broke my heart is was so real.  But hidden in this devastation were even more powerful moments of triumph – even if ever-so-small – that would sneak in and at times subconsciously smack my psyche so that I felt HOPEFUL.  I actually asked myself at one point – why are you HAPPY for her, her life SUCKS?  THAT is amazing.  And impossible to produce had it not been for an amazing screenplay, an awesome director, and acting beyond belief.  It’s early in my AA Viewing process, but my favorite thus far for Best Supporting Actress in Mo’Nique.  She WAS the character!  And, I am not sure how she did it, but I had hints of feeling sorry for this pathetic mother!  THAT is talent!  I think Gabourey Sidibe as Best Actress may be a favorite, but I am not 100% there yet…….although she did an amazing job.  Director Lee Daniels did an amazing job as well and I have great respect for him.  I am still not sure if I am tagging him at this point though.  Let me get further in the process and I will let you know.

In plans for viewing this weekend:

Up in the Air – Best Picture, Best Actor, Director, Supporting Actress (2 nominations!)

An Education – Best Picture, Best Actress

Netflicks DVD’s on order:

The Hurt Locker – Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Director

A Serious Man – Best Picture, Best Screenplay

Still trying to see who is screening foreign films and documentaries in Dallas!  DOH!  Fingers crossed!