I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since Gene and I attended AMC’s Best Picture Showcase. I think this is the fourth year that we’ve attended. Midway through the second Saturday of the showcase, I realized that nine movies is a ridiculous number of Best Picture nominees and that the Academy should really stop nominating third rate films for the award. We watched nine movies and I’m pretty sure that if anyone had asked me I could have cut it down to 5. Or even 4.
That said, here are my nominees:
1) Les Miz – the Academy looooves their gigantic big spectacular musicals.
2) Lincoln – ditto gigantic big historical epics.
3) Argo – and who doesn’t love a pro-America heist film? Not the Academy! (Plus hilarious 1970s haircuts). USA! USA! USA!
4) Zero Dark Thirty – ditto pro-America war film? USA! USA! USA!
That even leaves a spot for a fifth nominee, which I think is really the minimum for the category. You can have your kooky dramedy (Silver Linings Playbook), your 3D eye-popping spectacle (Life of Pi), or the hyperviolent reimagined Western (Django Unchained). My vote – Silver Linings Playbook, which was interesting, well performed yet a little uncomfortable for various reasons.
And then there are the remainders, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour. Amour is the movie that kicked off the showcase this year and it was touching, shocking, depressing, about 44 hours long (no really, more like 90 minutes) and subtitled. Did I mention it was depressing? It’s the story of an elderly couple and their life together as the wife’s health declines. I don’t really need to think about how the last 10 years of my life will go (hint: I’m childless so it’s bound to go badly) so except for that one twist near the end Amour was just not for me.
Beasts of the Southern Wild was again, about 44 hours long (or maybe 90 minutes). The little girl was adorable but the movie was just unwatchable. Surely the only reason to watch this movie is to feel good about having watched it? I really can’t put into words here how gross I felt when it ended, so instead I will link to the Wikipedia article on Othering, my absolute favorite philosophical concept. (Hint: Bring on ye white man’s burden and rent this on Blu-Ray!)