The Oscars are Sunday night, and my plan right now is a Bad Idea Live Blog, following in the mediocre tradition of 2008 and 2009. This year's Oscars seem to be the most predictable in recent memory, so enjoy the hours of interminable waiting that leads up to inevitable wins for Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, Jeff Bridges, and Sandra Bullock! But at least we can watch ex-spouses fight over Best Picture.
If there were any question that I was unemployed for the latter half of 2009, the fact that I've seen all 10 Best Picture nominees would erase all doubts. My two favorite films of '09 were Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man, and while both are nominated here, both will lose. However, I also loved The Cove, and it has a great shot at winning the documentary category. There's been a rash in recent years of documentaries about Iraq/Global Warming/Corporate corruption/etc. And while I have no problem with those topics, those docs are usually ridiculously boring, as if I'm watching a visual representation of a good magazine article. On the flipside, The Cove is ENTHRALLING, and I love any excuse to openly wonder "What the fuck is wrong with Japan?" The trailer will hook you:
I'll likely elaborate on various throughts throughout the live blog, but here are my mini, twitter-sized reviews of each of the 10 best picture nominees. Spoiler alert: I REALLY hated one of these 10 movies. See if you can guess which one!
AVATAR: Classic conundrum. Amazing visuals like you've never seen before, combined with the worst dialogue since my 3rd grade play. Gets worse the more I think about it.
THE BLIND SIDE: Loved the book. Expected to hate the movie but surprisingly did not, aside from a few scenes. Also: college coaches "acting" as themselves!
DISTRICT 9: Great first hour: Innovative and awesome. Terrible final 40 mins: I thought perhaps the final reel was replaced with TRANSFORMERS 2 .
AN EDUCATION: In every one of his movies, Peter Sarsgaard is driven to kiss you, kill you, or break your heart. Stop toying with my confused feelings sir!
THE HURT LOCKER: Decent script, but the movie would be ordinary with a standard director. The framing/distance of each sequence are the magic of why it works.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Opening scene is 20 mins of point-perfect dialogue, tone, & tension. Gets even more fun from there. Ballsiest final line in recent memory.
PRECIOUS: Lee Daniels made you feel like shit with MONSTERS BALL and does it again here! Best date movie since DANCER IN THE DARK! Also, Lenny Kravitz.
A SERIOUS MAN: Might be funniest Coen bros movie ever. Increased my knowledge of Yiddish exponentially. Will only enhance your love of Jefferson Airplane.
UP: AMAZING first 10 minutes and enjoyable ending cover up a by-the-numbers middle 60 mins. MR FOX is the more consistent animation of '09.
UP IN THE AIR: Every aspect of it is a mess. Clooney is miscast. Script makes no sense. Character development is one 180° turn after another. Just brutal.