Sunday, March 9, 2014
The nominations are in. The excitement is palpable of course, because those scary cliff-hanging elections are over and all the truly important life changing things in the world are all too big to get our heads around. Of course there is nothing any of us can do to affect the outcome of the Oscars or the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, People's Choice or the American Legion pic for best war movie, but somehow we all feel that if we close our eyes on Oscar night, clap our hands and click our sparkly red heels together, our favorite people will win.
It's been a great year for motion pictures and I'm pleased to say that, yes, some movies are better than ever and some are worse. And it's always fun to watch all the awards. Maybe one can glean some clue from all of those to determine who will really win the big one. Not.
Here on this page, I confess, I cannot. But I want to play anyway.
"Argo:" A swell action thriller with a tidal wave of enthusiasm and early awards behind it. It has all the ingredients, good acting, handsome people (but for the fact the real hero that Affleck plays looked more like Cheech). Still, I enjoyed it. The Golden Globe was generous, SAG audience stood up and cheered. They will cheer at the Oscars as well, but in my opinion, it won't win.
"Lincoln:" Calm down and ask Nate Silver. The odds are large for this one and my Hollywood insiders tell me that Lincoln will probably sweep at least eight statues and will probably take it. WILL WIN
"Beasts of the Southern Wild:" The most interesting of the list with a devastating performance by the child, but too dreary, murky, plus it played mostly art theaters and almost nobody saw it. But I love the idea of that little girl sitting on the aisle.
"Silver Linings Playbook:" The best feel-good movie on the list with a room full of stellar performances, and my favorite of the year. It has a glowing stellar cast who all blend together like the ingredients in a perfect lasagna. SLP is like something out of the great studio days of the 30s when we needed something like this. Are times better today? With older members of the Academy, that ain't bad medicine. SHOULD WIN
"Life of Pi:" Gorgeous, mesmerizing and enchanting, a real children's story with no blow ups, gunfire or car chases. But it's overlong and at times you just wanna get off that boat. Not a real contender.
"Zero Dark Thirty:" Another action adventure. Great cast and magnificent direction. Katherine Bigelow is snubbed. Women can now fight in combat, but not get an award for filming it? It's a big screen adventure and I loved it, but no director? Not a good feeling here.
Haven't seen Tarantino's blood fest racial shoot 'em up "Django Unchained" and have no intention of doing so. It won't win because an overwhelming wave of the Hollywood chattering class are down on it and Tarantino's bad public face in interviews, and at the Globe's end of show party were embarrassing.
"Les Miserables:" I know it's not professional for a film critic not to cover everything, but even critics have sensitive stomachs, and after viewing a trillion ads for it, I decided to opt out. At any rate, this list is about best pic, and "LINCOLN" has its foot on the other pictures necks.
"Amour:" We were all warned about this dark horse and here it is threatening to rise up and take the prize. It's powerful and depressing and sprinkled with brilliant moments of direction and acting.
(Continued on page 2)