Sundays are becoming more and more important to Hollywood. The Super Bowl, Grammies, and the Sabbath, (now with the Pope stepping down-he is a celebrity of sorts.) We now have another to add to the list- The Oscars! The Oscars will be held on Sunday February 24th and what a competition it will be!
It is not every year that there are 9 must-see movies in theaters in a matter of the same month. It seems just a few weeks ago there was a whirlwind of moviegoers buzzing about venturing out into the cold weather to see these select few films.
The tough competition starts at Best Picture, and trickles down into Best Actor categories and into Best Supporting Actor categories. There is some major talent among all the nominees and though the SAG and Globes are important awards as well, there is nothing like winning at the Academies! I will take you movie by movie in this Oscar anticipation.
Argo stole the Golden Globes last month for Best Drama Picture. The big question this year seems to be whether Ben Affleck’s directed/acted/produced film will take a best picture Oscar too. Argo follows the story of Tony Mendez and his CIA operation to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979. It’s own Alan Arkin is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. I did not have a chance to see Argo but it was at the top of my movie list.
One movie I did have the chance to see was Lincoln. If there is any competition with Argo for best picture, Lincoln is it. Directed by Steven Spielberg (AKA King Midas), this film gracefully transports the audience back to 1865 when the Civil war was at its most intense stage. Daniel Day Lewis gave breath to Abe Lincoln with his perfect portrayal of the 16th president. He showed us the knowledge he held, the passion he had for storytelling and his ability to turn heads just by being in the room-in my case on the screen. This film is not only a back-door, fly-on-the-wall biography of a crucial pat of Abe’s personal life and presidency, but a history lesson as well. Usually it takes a certain type of person to remain at attention during 3 hour long recalls of history, but Lincoln is apparently the exception. It must have been Daniel Day Lewis’s attention commanding charisma and towering height as Abe that kept every eye in the room on him at all times, and wet when he eventually was assassinated heartwrenchingly.
Abe’s story itself is a heroic one. For one man to singlehandedly talk the rest of Congress and half of a different political party into passing a law to abolish slavery in its time-now that is amazing. Lincoln never gave up on his beliefs in free citizens. He was a remarkable man and the movie was just so. Lewis is up for Best Actor as well as Sally Field for Best Supporting Actress who played Mary Lincoln, Abe’s wife. I predict Lincoln taking home several Oscars.
Silver Linings Playbook is also in the running for Best Picture. I also got a chance to see this film and was pleasantly suprised by the performance of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper who are both up for Best Actor/Actress respectively. I have a good friend who is in college for Human Development Family Studies and Psychology who said this movie has everything a Psych major/football fan would want. It revolves around a Pat who has a mental OCD passed down from his father. His father’s disorder prevents him from leaving the same chair during football games and keeps him betting money on games. Pat meets a sort of crazy girl who convinces him after a long haul to forget about his ex-wife who cheated on him and has moved on with her life since he was at institute. It is different from any movie I have ever seen and swept the Globes and SAGs. It has lots of Oscar potential.
Les Mis is the only movie musical up for the big award. It was well done and followed well to the musical set-up. It has huge performances from Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway who are both up for Oscars. Hathaway blew audiences away with her performance. Also up for Best picture are Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Amour, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. All movies had rave reviews and powerful performances from their actors as well. Leonardo Dicaprio lost out of the Globes and SAGs so fans are curious to see if he will walk out with an award for Django Unchained.
As far as animated films go, Pixar’s Brave is predicted to take home the award.
Three mentions of honor in my blog today would have to be Naomi Watts, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Emmanuelle Riva. Wallis is the youngest ever to be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars at the ripe age of 9. She is nominated for Beasts of the Southern Wild. On the other end of the spectrum, for Amour, Riva is the oldest ever Actress nominated. She is 85 years old.
Naomi Watts played María Belón in The Impossible, whose family was struck by the 2004 Tsunami while vacationing in Thailand. They miraculously find their way back to each other. Watt’s portrayel of this real woman during this real horrific event is amazing and utterly terrifying. She is also up for Best Actress at the Oscars.
I can almost smell the competition.
Football: it’s not for everyone. Those of us who don’t care about the Super Bowl still have to fill our Sundays with something. Don’t say Puppy Bowl like that’s a thing to “do”. Are there people who watch the Puppy Bowl for more than 5 minutes? Or use it as something other than adorable background noise to accompany some other, more substantial activity?
What happened today is just unthinkable. It is the most infuriating thing in the world and there are questions to be answered and action to be taken, but Connecticut will come together now and for a long time to come and allow these families and this community to cope. Send all prayers to Newtown. So many angels were gained in heaven today. I bet they are having their own special Christmas.