I love movies. Every single kind of movie there is. I like the old ones, the silent ones, the art house ones, the blockbusters, the foreign language ones, yes even the romantic ones – to an extend. So for me the Oscars is a celebration of love. My love of movies.
This is the first year I’ve attempted to watch all the movies in certain categories – with the exception of the ones that are quite literally impossible to find when you live in Denmark – I might succeed. I say might because I’m still actively watching The Broken Circle Breakdown as I write this at my parents’ place. I’ll be watching shots while I’m in the car to the train station. Then I’ll finish The Broken Circle Breakdown when I get on the train and continue with the shorts when I get off the train and onto the bus. I’ll let Diana do the preparations for the evening while I continue with the two animation shots I still need to see. And once Peter and Gro show up I’ll eat dinner with all of them and then see if I can be excused to squeeze the remaining shorts in while we wait for the Oscars to begin.
Site note: Watching a Belgian movie while writing in English is a little distracting, so I’m sorry for any spelling and or typing mistakes. And now on to the movies!
– The Disappointments –
I have a confession to make. It seems that both Gro and Diana really hated The Great Beauty while I didn’t, but maybe that is down to them making me fear the absolute worst. Yes, it was very long, but so was American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, so it does not make my list of disappointments. But I have seen a whole lot of foreign language movies, so maybe my tolerance is higher.
But American Hustle does. Like the others I had quite high expectations considering the cast and crew behind this movie and they were not even close to being met. Don’t get me wrong they are all great in the movie, but maybe not Oscar material great. I’ve seen all of them give better performances that they did in American Hustle. Mostly I was disappointed in the story. I don’t really understand what is is trying to say. It baffles me that it is nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It is the single most mindbogglingly nomination for me.
I’m sure Diana will sucker punch me when I get home, but I was a little disappointed in Frozen. Wait, before you throw tomatoes at me, let me explain. It is not a bad movie. It deserves the nomination and I will not be rioting if it wins or anything. But the hype surrounding it made me think it would be the second coming of Christ. It was great and fits perfectly with what Disney has been doing in their last few movies, but on some level I expected more. It is hard to explain, and it is not like I was extremely disappointed or anything, I just wanted it to be more than it was.
– The pleasant surprises –
I will admit that there were a lot of pleasant surprises this year, as I really didn’t read up on a lot of the movies before sitting down at watching them, so in general my expectations were easily met.
One of the movies that surprised me the most was without a doubt Her. How that movies doesn’t have more nominations is beyond me. I would rather Amy Adams was nominated for a Supporting Role in Her than for her performance in American Hustle. I also desperately wanted Scarlett Johansson to be nominated because her voice acting as Samantha was superb. She shined, as did Joaquin Phoenix. I how all the technology was seamlessly integrated. I didn’t need an explanation for anything. It made sense – an issues I often have with science fiction movies is the lack of reasonable continuation of how technology works today. I plain and simple loved it. It was very compelling and understated. I hope it wins something tonight because it deserves it.
Nebraska also surprised me quite a bit. I knew it was black and white and that it had enough nominations for people to talk about it, but oddly enough I haven’t really heard anyone talk about. It might not surprise anyone that I liked it. It has an edge and it has fantastic performances from the entire ensemble. I loved the old school transitions in between scenes and the way it depicted family dynamics. Also, it has an old lady flashing a gravestone and using the word “fuck” a surprising amount of times.
Seeing as I am a Dane you would think that I watch Danish movies, or at least enjoy them from time to time, but I really don’t. I’d much rather watch a German or French movie than a Danish movies. So I was very much surprised to find myself linking The Hunt. It stars Mads Mikkelsen, whom I think is overrated – he is a good actor, but so many other Danish actors deserves the hype he gets – and yet I still liked it very much. Maybe it is because of the topic, this dark view of the world and how once we are branded something it is almost impossible to get rid of the burn. The whole ambiguity of the ending spoke to me.
I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by The Square, but I already picked my three pleasant surprises and I feel very much the same way as Diana, so go read her post. And while you are at it I mirror her feelings on Philomena and Gro’s on Ernest et Celestine.
– Expectations met (and somewhat exceeded) –
12 Years a Slave was a wonderful and horrendous experience. I knew it would be wondeful just by looking at the cast and I knew it would be horrendous just looking at the subject matter. I always found Chiwetel Ejiofor to be a wonderful actor and I have several movies with him in my DVD collection, but I was blown away by Michael Fassbender, he is just great as this loathsome, horrible excuse of a human being. And don’t get me started on the way it was filmed, the long lingering shots where it didn’t cut until after the awkwardness set in, all the beautiful – I do feel bad about using the adjective beautiful about these scenes, but they were – angles used in the abuse scenes were just breathtaking. In both ways. I just generally love this movies and think it deserves most of its nominations.
I did not know an awful lot about Dallas Buyers Club, but I did know that both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were supposed to be fantastic, and they sure as hell were. I was sucked into this movies and all the struggles of Ron like I haven’t been in a while. Leto was transformed for his usual persona and I believed him to be this character as opposed to be just playing it. I do so hope that he wins, because I was even more impressed by him than by Fassbender. The journeys these characters go through felt so real and Ron transformation did not feel forces at all, like it could have in the hands of lesser people, but McConaughey and the writers really pull through.
Lastly we have a documentary. I heard a review of The Act of Killing almost a year ago – for once a movie premièred earlier in Denmark than in the US, which makes sense when it is Danish produced – and I instantly wanted to see it. Both for the subject matter which is horrible, but needed light shed upon, but also for the innovative way it came to exist. I’m very interested in storytelling and the different ways we tell stories. And the idea of letting these people who committed genocide in the most horrible ways show their side of the story to say. It is a brilliant way of circumventing the fact that no one was present to record these horrible events when they happened. The result makes me feel awful and in the need of a pick me up movies, but I still needed to see that movie and feel that awful.
And this is the end of my post. It might have gotten a little bit rambling at some point, but this is it. It was mostly written on the train with the second half of The Broken Circle Breakdown without subtitles was playing along side it. It has been an adventure watching all of these movies and I look forward to trying again next year, because I really do love movies. Of all kinds. Even the romantic ones.