The only way to find the best actor would be to let everybody play Hamlet and let the best man win.

First of all thank you to Gro for making an excellent post as a guest blogger. After the great presentation Rikke and I have decided to copy the style and make our own lists of ups and downs of the Oscars. Here I need to point out that I am not yet done with the watching of all the movies so some might think that what I choose to pint out is not what they would. To those people I say there are two possible reasons, either I have not watched the movie in question or we simply disagree – most likely the latter is the case.

As the headline indicates, with a quote by Humphrey Bogart (1951 Academy Awards), I find the Oscars one of the most individual assessments. How can we even really begin to hand out prices with people enacting such different roles and with movies expressing such different emotions and stories. Still we do so every year, we each have our favourites and we each root for one or more movies, actors or even characters that touched us in the last year. And so this year is no different. Without further ado I present to you my very personal recommendations and warnings. Hope you enjoy it.

– What I really didn’t want to watch, but ended up surprising me so much –

The Square

The Square In general I am not a documentary kind of person, so this category in a whole I’ve sort of been postponing for quite some time. Normally I don’t even watch any of the nominations, but since this year a Danish documentary is nominated I broke the pattern. I am so so glad I did. The Square is undoubtedly my favourite – though I do not believe it will win, but I hope so – all of the documentaries have surprised me. Most of all though, The Square. I think this is a masterpiece portraying someone’s truth in a way where I believe it is also my truth, and to me that is what a documentary is meant to do. It is meant to make me question my perspective on a reality I surround myself with, even if it is not part of my everyday life. The square was not only well made but also had people in it that I believed in, whether they were on one side or the other. It was a portrayal of events that no one should ever go through but now that they have it is a story that should be told. I fell in love in those minutes these images were on my TV screen. With people not just letting things stand as were.

Philomena

PhilomenaI would have never in a million years have gone to watch Philomena had Rikke and I not agreed on watching as many of the nominations as we could in the cinema. I had no real expectations for it and actually didn’t know anything else besides it starring Dame Judi Dench. So how can something that I had no expectations for surprise me, well it did because not only was the story heartbreaking but the acting felt real and empathetic. It found a way to display religion from both sides and any religious person would still believe after watching, me as a not so much believer still had the same view of (especially) the catholic church as I did before. This is a special magic, to make a movie about such cruelty without tearing down the people, religion or place where such things took place. Naturally the acting was perfection and I do really believe this is a gem that was dug out by the nomination this year. As bonus information I would just like to add that I find Dame Judi Dench one of the most amazing people walking this earth – eyesight or no eyesight.

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers ClubTo anyone who knows me it comes as no surprise at all that Matthew McConaughey is far from my favourite actor, even as a person off screen he seems to have personal traits that falls from what I believe people should be. But that does not mean that he is not what makes this movie so surprising for me. I was ready to hate it, so ready. It was slightly long, but I did actually find myself rooting for this person who somehow managed to overcome not only everyone else’s homophobic thoughts but also his own. McConaughey just does it for me in this movie, he stimulates me mentally and keeps me wrapped in this local community that has so much to learn. I believed in it; the story and the setting. So if you haven’t yet, go watch it – even if you don’t like McConaughey.

– Movies that I expected to like and found myself in love with –

Frozen

FrozenI have a thing for Disney. They can hardly do anything wrong. Though with the drawing being history some of the magic has been lost. I find though that movies like Frozen (and 2010’s Tangled) manages to bring back that good old Disney magic, which is just all the fuzz. The old Hans Christian Andersen story is slightly difficult to recognise in this tale, but that is okay, because the snow queen is a sad sad piece of his. Frozen is impeccable songs by artists that can make the tiniest hairs rise on my arms. What Disney do best is the sidekicks and this one is no exception. The form is slightly different than normal but I am as in love with Olaf as I were Timon and Pumba in The Lion King. Even the trolls played a part in the story, which made perfect sense. But back to Olaf because he is the reason why I walked out the cinema with a giant smile on my face. With quotes like: “Hi, I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs” and “Some people are worth melting for”, how can one not be crazy about this character? Well point is, if you love Disney go watch it straight away, and if you don’t this might be what turns you.

12 Years a Slave

12 years a slaveI had heard quite a bit about this nominee, since I’ve only just watched it after it came to Danish cinemas. Fassbender and Ejiofor are fantastic as is the cutting of this masterpiece. Though most of my experience was me feeling very small in my seat at the cinema it was only from cringing when the whip made blood and flesh fly of the screen or when the silences turned awkward and I almost felt ashamed for eating sweets while watching something that actually happened to people once, not nearly long enough ago. The only down point for me was Nyong’o – I realise this will make people not understand me. I think she was okay, but I also think she had a very forgiving role, she didn’t do it for me compared to the others in this movie. She didn’t ruin it for me either, but I just don’t think it is an Oscar worthy (though I do not believe her alleged closest competition Lawrence should get it either). The rest of the movie should win everything they are nominated for though because I felt this movie, like physically felt it throughout my body during the entire time. Also this is the only one of the nominees that actually made me shed a tear.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall StreetAs already mentioned I really don’t like McConaughey and once upon a time I felt the exact same way about Leonardo DiCaprio. Oh my did he bug me. Until 2010, when I, while living in Vienna, went to see Shutter Island. I had avoided every movie starring DiCaprio until then and that evening all of that changed. So I was excited about The Wolf of Wall Street, and I was not let down! DiCaprio and Hill takes the viewer on a journey that just sucked me in and kept me there for the entire movie, despite it being rather long. The story was there and I knew exactly why I was supposed to watch it. Even though it is entertainment I like to know why I should watch it. Unfortunately I don’t think this year will be the year DiCaprio finally gets his Oscar because he is up against other brilliant actors. But that does not take away from the journey that is The Wolf of Wall Street. The comedic moments followed by tragedy and then meddled together makes for many moments where I did not know if I should laugh or cry, mostly I went with laughing and I felt great after watching this.

– Don’t go there, just don’t
(I know these are the same as Gro’s picks, but that just proves a point really)

American Hustle

American Hustle CastLet’s take a look at this cast and then agree that this should be an amazing movie, sad thing is that it really really isn’t. The individual performances are great if you (as Gro pointed out) look at what they had to work with. The fault in this is that the story just isn’t there, it is a whole lot of nothingness, which I am normally a big fan of, but they are trying so hard to be something and that makes it all fall apart. Amy Adams is (once again as Gro has already mentioned) bland and in my opinion no where near the other performances in category she is nominated in. Such a shame it is, such a shame. I left the cinema 138 minute (excluding previews and advertisement time) poorer and not a lot of emotion or experience richer. Such a shame, such a shame.

Gravity

GravityI normally like Sandra Bullock but oh my God was I bored from beginning to end of this movie. First of all, how does anyone experience every imaginable space catastrophe in such a short time? Everything goes wrong. Stone is the stupidest character in a long time, and here I’m including cartoons. I watched it because everyone was all amazed with it, but I wish I hadn’t. Another 91 minutes I will never get back – and honestly it felt like much more. On the plus side George Clooney was good. And even after he died (ups, spoiler alert?), his voice was still featured and damn that is one sexy voice. I have nothing more to say, except stay away from this.

The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty

I have very little to say about this. I watched it while writing this blog (yes it took that long to write this), and I didn’t expect anything but even though it disappointed. I am not generally a fan of movies in other languages than English, but this is just terrible. It is weird (giraffes, flamingos and religious people all over). It is an absolute no go. I got through the two hours though and now I am pleased that I will never again have to sit through that. Oh my I hated this. Pure hatred.

That was it for me. But remember to return on Oscar night, when I will be live blogging all night with all of our commentary from red carpet to last award of the night.

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