The Oscar nominations are out! What film made your year?
Vote for your favourite movies thanks to the New York Time's Oscar ballot feature!
Now you can be the judge!
Alas, I have seen but three of the oscar-nominated batch of movies (Django, here I come!)
but I have not at all been disappointed.
Ben Affleck's Argo is a superb foray into semi-biographical filmmaking, as he directs his ficticious take on the Iran hostage crisis of the late 70's. The décor, the costumes, the moustaches! I recently listened to the team at NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and they made a good point about Affleck's successful use of suspense; the fact that the audience theoretically knows the upshot of events that indeed marked Jimmy Carter's presidency and yet will grip the armpads of theatre seats on command (guilty as charged!)
In the end though, I wouldn't give Argo the Best Film gong. Its us-against-them jingoistic overtones, though diplomatically deliberate, places this film in the realm of (admittedly witty) standard recherché-Hollywood fare, in my book. That said, Alan Arkin in his snarky Hollywood exec role definitely deserves Best Supporting Actor. It's a highly entertaining film, at any rate!
Were I to decide Best Director, though I love Haneke, I would give it to Ang Lee in a heartbeat. Upon seeing the trailer for his Life of Pi, I was cagey about seeing the film, brashly assuming all the magical 3D effects were just window-dressing for something empty. This especially being the case as I had received the original book version as a gift from a friend!
I think the trailer was indeed a blessing in disguise. The 3D version is the epitome of beautiful film-making. The 3D images don't aggresively jump out at you like in other more WHAM-BAM-THANK YOU MAM movies, but rather complement the beautiful colours that grace the screen. Accompanied by the enchanting musical score by Mychael Danna (in the Tamil language, no less), this film is entirely endearing and be you spiritual or otherwise, is a beautiful and funny exploration of humanity.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is gruelling yet innocent - much like Quvenzhané Wallis' Hushpuppy in the lead role. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child, (I loved how the camera follows her at her height), the beguiling childishness of Hushpuppy belies a sassy girl who can take on the world. I really don't think it is too naive to award Wallis the Best Actress Oscar. She would be the youngest ever recipient since the likes of Anna Paquin - should she win - but has an acting prowess beyond her years. It's not just the childish cutes that spar with the drama of the film, Wallis shows us adults how to come back down to childland again.
What do you think?