Those of you not keeping up with all the jokes/allusions/sardonic wit in the previous paragraph, this one's for you: behold, my first crop of 2010 Award Nominee movie recommendations. I will now share my opinion about the Golden Globe-nominated films I have seen thus far.
MUST SEE MUST SEE MUST SEE
- 127 Hours: This movie was better than I thought it was going to be. And I wasn't expecting anything too shabby. This movie worked on so many different levels. This movie was about so much more than That Scene - you know the one, the one everyone is writing about and clearly I'm guilty now, too. But here's the thing: after all the build up for That Scene it actually went by so fast I was like, "Oh, is that all?" Which is not to say James Franco was not all kinds of awesome in every second of the film, including That Scene. Anyway, the canyonlands are beautiful, life is beautiful, humans are capable of amazing things, humans connect in amazing ways, Jesus Lord & Savior had nothing to do with it, and Danny Boyle sure knows how to make a film that says all that. And you should all run right out and see it.
- Inception It's between this and 127 Hours for my favorite 2010 flick so far. Inception was intelligent and gorgeous and intriguing and riveting and I was so spectacularly impressed at how well it pulled off everything it did. I was breathless and I could barely move while sitting in the theater watching it. We all overuse "riveting" but this one really was.
- The Social Network: I don't have much to add beyond what anyone else has said - yes it was great and witty, yes Justin Timberlake is really an actor, yes all but, like, two of the females were depicted as stupid/sluts/stupid sluts, but the larger point there is that the World of Big Business still functions that way and that's part of the deathly competitive b.s. problem, you see, of all the male venture capitalists who think everything and everyone is their property... I will add that Andrew Garfield is quickly becoming one of my new favorites. Between this and Never Let Me Go he blew me away this year. I had thought no one was paying enough attention to him, but now I see that the drunk Hollywood Foreign Press has been paying attention to him, so good for them!
- Winter's Bone - This movie just kind of quietly sits there, and then certain piercing moments reach up and grab you and shake you up a little bit, and then you mellow out again but you're a tiny bit on edge, now, and wary of everyone around you, and you contemplate loyalty and fierceness and survival, but it's still all so understated, which I really like. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is great. I don't think she'll win an Oscar or anything, but I like the way everyone in this movie really comes across as how people really are. Which includes, for many of us, messed up but struggling along the best we can.
- Animal Kingdom - I hadn't really thought about these two having anything in common, but now that I think about it both Winter's Bone and Animal Kingdom explore the concepts of family, survival, and family survival all intertwined with family loyalty. Good stuff. Good performances, nothing particularly mind-blowing about the story, but well crafted and holds your interest and builds the drama and all that. I liked it. You really feel the tension at certain points and want so desperately for the characters who have had the misfortune to stumble across this creepy world of crime to get out alive.
(which does not mean the same thing as "I didn't like it")
- The Kids Are All Right The singing Joni Mitchell dinner scene? Stunning. I liked many things about it, but I was actually weirded out by how people were falling all over themselves to praise it the most. It was like they were really proud of themselves for loving it, which is really ironically funny in light of the magnificent scene in the film in which Annette Bening's character takes overly-proud-of-themselves-organic-farmers'-market-shoppers to task. I loved her character. Julianne Moore's character was a flighty bitch who I daresay does not deserve the forgiveness she asks for. Good flick. Just everyone try not to pat yourselves on the back quite so much when you walk out of the theater after seeing it.
- The Town So like, I wanted to love this, but I did not love it. The main plot, the thrust of the drama, the I'm-not-spoiling-anything-because-this-is-the-entire-premise, that these two characters fall in love is - um - why? Why are they in love again? We have no idea. They have no idea, and we have no idea, and it really kind of ruins what otherwise might be a great movie. Jeremy Renner is wild. Lots and lots of guns, especially at the end there - hoo boy! I enjoyed knowing from personal experience exactly where in Boston they were pretty much every scene.
- The Tourist Oh, Angelina and Johnny, you barely held my interest. At least you had sweeping vista-like shots of Venice to help take our breath away. It's hard to say which is the crazier move on the part of the Golden Globes, nominating this for Best Picture or putting it in the Comedy category.
- Red Also inexplicably nominated, also inexplicably in the Comedy/Musical category. I'm not even sure that Helen-Mirren-holding-a-gun is enough for me here, as it apparently is for many, but she does do that, if that's enough for you. I kind of wanted this to be better, like I wanted it to be even more fun-better. It held my interest better than The Tourist, though, I'll give it that.
I love awards season!