Sunday, December 13, 2009

Critics are a-Pickin'

Today was a big day in Awards Season news. (Um - you know. If you're into that kind of thing. Ahem.) The Boston Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, and the AFI all announced their picks for the best films of the year. There weren't all that many surprises, in my opinion, despite all the complaints I've read that Avatar was left off of the AFI's list of the ten outstanding films of the year. My response was, "oh well." Then again, The Hangover made the AFI list, so maybe the Avatar devotees have a point.

As for the critics' lists, there was a lot of love for The Hurt Locker. Both cities' critics gave it Best Pic and Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow, plus a few other awards. Tomorrow we'll see if the New York critics agree. Boston and L.A. also made the same choices for supporting acting: Mo'Nique in Precious and Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds. I haven't seen Precious yet, although it is on this week's agenda, so no comment there. But Christoph Waltz is fabulous! I personally loved Inglourious Basterds but if for some reason you were thinking of not seeing it, his performance alone is worth it.

The other thing making me really happy is that the Los Angeles critics gave a couple of runner-up shout-outs to In the Loop, which also totally cleaned up at the British Independent Film awards a week or so ago. In the Loop is, so far, my favorite film of the year. It is monstrously funny, razor sharp, and dead-on about how screwed up our politicians are, although the public they serve is certainly no better. I can't tell you how refreshing and mind-blowing and wonderful it was. It is fast paced with a kind of observant handheld camera feel going on, sort of like The Office, but with the dialogue flying at you and just never letting up as it absolutely rips apart the hypocrisy and nonsense that goes on in government. It goes back and forth between England and the U.S. as officials try to prevent/not prevent a war, mostly for their own selfish reasons. Oh, I adore this film. I cannot even tell you how much I adore it.

Tomorrow, we shall discuss the SSS Men and clear up that confusion.

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