Wednesday, February 9, 2011

oscar reviews; or: i'm so cultured...see??

i'm almost finished checking off my movie list for the films nominated for best picture. i love...LOVE...this time of year. it wasn't really until i graduated from college that i got into movies or awards season in general, but there is a direct correlation between my interest increasing and beginning my relationship with netflix. so here are my thoughts on this year, in no particular order:

1. Black Swan: I watched this film on the very front row of the theater after sitting at happy hour drinking margaritas, so while my neck and eyeballs were strained, i didn't notice it as much because everything was slightly funny. I thought the movie itself was great - which is hard for me to say, because when i describe a movie as "great" i want it to mean that i was inspired, my heart was warmed, and i felt a connection to the cast in some way. this is not the case for Black Swan - most of the characters pissed me off, ballerinas are kooky, and i left the theater thoroughly disturbed. BUT in a make-you-think sort of way that was very fantastical and raw and captivating. four stars.

2. The Fighter: overall, the movie wasn't a new idea to me. it was an "against all odds", "fight for your dreams", "i found love in the midst of said dreams which multiplied the sexual chemistry between us", inspirational sports movie. but wow...Christian Bale blew me away. he and Melissa Leo were unbelievable and Amy Adams' little bah-ston tough cookie accent was 50% endearing and 50% you-are-annoying - which is what the director was aiming at for her character, i think - so mad props, people! oh, and Marky Mark...thanks for being hot 'n sexy. four stars.

3. Inception: uh...awesome. i was completely captivated by this movie in every single way possible: cast, dialogue, action, plot, the whole bit. Leonardo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt frickin' tore it up. crazy creative.... five stars.

4. The King's Speech: slap me in the face and call me the joker if this wasn't one of the most heart warming stories i've ever seen on the silver screen. i absolutely loved it. Colin Firth, what a performance. Helena Bonham Carter, magical. I typically don't get into period pieces on royal monarchies, but everything about this movie made me happy. maybe it was the acting ensemble, maybe it was the incredible husband/wife partnership, maybe it was the unique "against all odds" scenario, or maybe it's because half the time i tell stories, my friends probably feel like they're having to sit through The King's Speech - i don't know, but i related, i relished, and i revered this m-m-movie. five extra twinkly stars.

5. The Social Network: well of course i'm biased, but this movie will serve as the definitive benchmark of the 2000's. few people on this planet are unable to tell you A) what the internet is B) what facebook is, or C) that life as we know it is forever changed by the developments of the former points. it was an excellent portrayal of young, naive, developing intellectuals who are tired of being treated like kids and don't just want to be "the next (fill in the blank pioneer person)", but to be the person that people aspire to be the next of. five stars because i felt like i was part of this story.

6. Toy Story 3: the fact that the third installment of a series is this critically acclaimed is accomplishment alone. with the exception of epic trilogies (Star Wars, LOTR, Godfather, etc), sequels usually suck. the cast changes, the plot is super far fetched, and people have lost interest. but not TS3 - any children's movie that is equally captivating to a child and an adult at any life stage is a succes. the pixar geniuses strike again. four stars.

7. True Grit: i'm going to be honest. i liked it, i did, but the horse was what took this movie from good to great for me. yeah yeah, TYPICAL LAURA, i know. but the more i think about that damn horse and what he meant to that girl - AHH, i get chills. for me, everything goes back to that horse - he was with her through the whole journey, he was there when she felt abandoned, he was there to make her feel like she was in control of something, he died for her and saved her. that horse had frickin' True Grit, just like the rest of the cast (which was extremely enjoyable to watch, might i add). four stars plus one horseshoe.

8. Winter's Bone: (crickets...crickets)...well, i'm not sure how to explain this: i had no clue what was going on until the credits were rolling. true story. it is one of the slowest movies i have ever seen, and i would say that 80% of the "action" in the film occurred in my own brain when i was analyzing bits and pieces of the plot. i was so-so about it during the movie, but driving home from it, i thoroughly enjoyed thinking it through and realizing the unseen details of the story. i will confess however, that i feel this spot on the ballot should have gone to The Town (to which i would give five stars). four stars.

the two remaining nominated films i hope to watch in the next week. i just received "The Kids Are Alright" in the mail today and i'm still mentally preparing myself for "127 Hours"...wish me luck.



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