And the Nominees Are: Round 4

So the official nominee lists are all out! I’m as upset as apparently everyone on the internet about Ben Affleck being snubbed for Best Director by the Academy. (I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet but I’m sure I’ll be upset about Kathryn Bigelow too.) Anyway, I have my official nominee list now – it is very long, we’ll see how many I can actually get to…

To make up for last week’s paltry movie watching, I kicked it into high gear in the past seven days I have seen:

Arbitrage

Did you forget this movie existed that alone got nominated for anything? Well count yourself lucky, this movie is boring and manipulative and never even bothers to explain to the audience what it’s title means. It pains me to be so harsh, because I love Richard Gere, but the only thing I found compelling about this film was Susan Sarandon’s character’s evolution, and even that was ruined by the ridiculous dress they had her in for her climactic scene.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I was initially very surprised to see this movie nominated. It had struck me when it was released as essentially an excuse for a bunch of British actor friends to all take a vacation together to India. Well, it’s a lot better than that, but it really doesn’t rise above the level of pleasant enough fluff. I really did enjoy Judi Dench’s performance, as I tend to think of her as a forbidding force so it was fun to see her in a softer role. Maggie Smith is lovely as a cockney version of Maggie Smith. I’m sad that none of the nominating bodies are singling out Tom Wilkinson though, I found his storyline the most moving. Dev Patel was also charming, and I think that “Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright then it’s not the end” is one of the best quotes of the year.

Political Animals

My first mini-series this year! I really wanted to like Political Animals, I like stories about unapologetically strong women, and soap operas, and Greg Berlanti, and politics. But this jumped all over the place, didn’t keep my attention and unfortunately let the character of Bud into the world. His sneering, condescending, smarminess was so off-putting I stopped watching this halfway through. And I almost never do that.

Skyfall

I have a confession to make. Until last Friday I had never seen a Bond movie all the way through. I grew up with an older brother, so I had seen bits and pieces on TV of a ton of them, but I had never sat down or gone into a theater with the intention of seeing a whole Bond story start to finish. I’m glad in the end that I saw this one, I like retro glamour and Daniel Craig as much as the next girl. And it was fun to juxtapose Judi Dench in this with her performance in Marigold Hotel. At the end of the day though, no matter how entertaining Javier Bardem is, I just really don’t think that I’m a Bond person. I like my spy movies to be about mystery or puzzles (I was a huge fan of Tinker , Tailor, Solider, Spy last year for instance.) and this seemed to be more about guns, which is fine but is not my proverbial cup of tea. I do love this song though…

The Impossible

Hey do you feel like crying so hard that you need to go home and take a nap to recover enough to get through a taxing day of dishes and reading? Do I have the movie for you. Look I knew what I was getting into with a movie about a family with three young boys who survived the tsunami in Thailand. I was prepared for it to be heart wrenching and tough to watch. (I have a friend that cried at the trailer for God’s sake.) But this still hit me so hard. Something about the little angel faces of those little kids who are left to take care of their parents and each other just broke something in me. The performances in this movie are stellar, I’m honestly surprised that only Naomi Watts got nominated for it though. Ewan McGregor’s character might not have had to endure as much physical torture but his emotional breakdown on the phone to his father in law earns him a nomination in my fake awards show anyway.

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