The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and although I do not get too caught up in who wins or loses (it is too much about hype and money and timing, in my opinion), I DO quite enjoy the show. And this year, I quite enjoyed a good number of the movies getting Oscar attention. Here is a quick look at some of the films I saw this year that made me smile or cry or swoon or whatever. :)
What style! This movie was like a date with a super sexy, kind of European guy who buys you strong drinks and everything he says seems like the most epic thing ever. (Note: I have never been on a date like this. But I have an imagination, ok?) Anyways, I have always found dreams fascinating, and I was worried this plot would be too sci-fi and not enough about what makes dreams fascinating in the first place. But I was not disappointed. It was smart, tight, and clever. Leo was devastatingly handsome and sufficiently angsty. Marion Cotillard was haunting and lovely. Ellen Page was a cute little thing. Oh, and JGL's suits? Yum. All in all, a great time.
2. Black Swan
Of course I loved this movie. Smallest surprise of the century. I have loved Natalie Portman for ages, and I love psych-thrillers, and I love ballet. I loved that it was so heavy-handed. I love that they didn't back down from the symbolism. Subtlety would not have suited this movie. I think that movies these days, and art in general, suffer from an obsession with subtlety. Subtle can be lovely, but come on, it's ART! Go for it! Balls out! Yes, put Nina in white and Lily in black! Yes, let's see her literally sprout wings and grow webs between her toes! Make our skin crawl and our hearts race. Some of the imagery reminded me of fairy tales, for some reason. After I see a movie like this, I feel so over realism. And Natalie Portman? I wish it were possible for her to have my babies. (However, I am super glad she is preggers with that ballet man's baby, because she really needed some drastic weight-gaining action after that movie).
3. The Kids Are All Right
Can I just say, Julianne Moore was f-ing hilarious in this movie? And yes, Annette Benning and Mark Ruffalo were also great. But Moore was Great. I also really liked Mia Wasikowski (and holy cow, I cannot wait for her to play Jane Eyre). This film overall didn't blow me away, but it was honest and funny and refreshing. I think they did a nice job of balancing between "OMG this movie is about LESBIANS, aren't we edgy and boundary-breaking?" and "yes, this is about lesbians, but we are going to practically ignore that and pretend like it isn't a big deal." Because it IS a big deal. It's who they are. But they are also so much like every other family in America.
4. Winter's Bone
My heart was breaking throughout pretty much this entire movie. But it was so breathtaking, I could not look away. How did they make simple shots of bare, late-autumn trees under overcast skies look like gorgeous, sweeping landscapes? Why was I moved by a bunch of dirty cows being herded through gates? (I'm from the midwest, this is not a foreign image). Dirty houses full of meth-addled Ozarkians seemed somehow majestic... or something. I can't seem to articulate my feelings about this movie as well as I wish I could. Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role was incredible. She played this part as if it were a legendary heroine of Ozark lore. Maybe it is.
Have fun on Sunday, no matter what you do!
P.S. I am watching the movie Suspiria on TV right now, and it is freaking my shit out!