The Oscars are almost here, and I am going to provide a running commentary along with predictions for every Oscar flick I’ve seen so far.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
This movie is not at all what I was expecting—mainly because I underestimated the ferocity of the then five year old, Quvenzhané Wallis. She is an absolute firecracker onscreen and she managed to transform herself into Hushpuppy flawlessly. This film reveals the trials and tribulations of living in the fictional bayou that is faced with eminent extinction. Beasts of the Southern Wild had emotionally engaging interactions, captured by equally beautiful cinematography. Though I personally would give Wallis the golden man for best actress, her chances of getting it are slim to none.
American history was seemingly a theme in the 2012 film industry—Argo being no exception. This story directed by and starring Ben Affleck, was about the American hostage situation in Iran in the 1980s. Compared to the other films up for best picture, I find this one mediocre. That also probably has to do slightly with the fact that all other best picture nominees were just released, and this one came out in the summer.
Never in my life have I seen a movie with so many n-bombs. While there was some controversy over that, I do believe it was pretty true to the time being depicted. I absolutely loved this movie, minus the red block letters for the opening, and it stayed consistently exciting throughout the entirety of its 3-hour screen time. DiCaprio played the perfect asshole, as did Sammy J, and Foxx and Waltz played some of the best bad good guys I’ve ever seen. So my main disappointment is that NONE of the lead actors got nominations. It always flusters me when a film nominated for best picture isn’t recognized for the actors that got it there.
Silver Linings Playbook
Holy cow, this one was a surprise. I reluctantly went to see this film thinking it was just going to be any old rom-com, with added football elements (and I hate football). It is nothing like that. It’s mental illness, mixed with divorce, mixed with sexual tension, and superstition. It was such a pleasant surprise, and I have no qualms about it being nominated for best picture. I don’t think it will take best picture, and I don’t think that Bradley Cooper or Jennifer Lawrence will take home the Oscars, but it is definitely worthy of the nominations.
Zero Dark Thirty
The most interesting aspect of this movie is that it tells history essentially while it is happening. However, it is very likely this element of the film that makes it feel like a long, slightly more entertaining version of a CNN newscast. I was expecting way more action—but that’s probably just because I thought capturing and assassinating Osama Bin Laden would be more exciting than it actually was. Jessica Chastain delivered a convincing performance, and served well as a strong female lead. She may very well be the actress that takes the Oscar for this one.