Friday, February 22, 2013

The Boscars! My Quirky Take on the Real Thing

Welcome to the second annual (not necessarily consecutive, as I fudged it last year) Boscars, my take on the past years' movie offerings - whether recognized by The Academy or not.
(Who needs them?!)

First let me put everyone's mind at ease lest you think I am wallowing in self-pity that I am not attending this years' red carpet, full of loud screaming, camera-wielding fans such as myself, due to the last week's turn of events.  I received notice today that I was "unfortunately not selected" to wait for hours on the red carpet for a fleeting view of the "stars" as they sauntered by - so I am somewhat grateful that I don't have to "feel" like I will be missing anything (that I've always dreamed of doing and could have now that I live here, but obviously cannot due to clumsiness and illness - I'm not bitter).

Enough of my shallow dreams, time for this year's Boscars!!!!!

Disclaimer:  I won't be hurt or hold it against you if you scroll through.  This was a wonderful way to keep myself quiet as I recoop and I had fun with my little recap:  Scroll away!

Cue trumpets please!

Everyone's been hearing about the official contenders, and I'll give them some due as well, but I like to also give a nod to some of the movies that people perhaps missed (maybe there was a reason for that, but hey, this is my show).

Movies you probably didn't see but should have, and can (!) on Netflix:

"Jeff Who Lives At Home"
Jason Seigel in a subtle, humorous, sad performance with props to Ed Helms as his brother.

This movie was so enthralling and an unusual turn for Jack Black.  Based on a true story and using some of the real characters from the true life events, this movie was great!

"Safety Not Guaranteed"
Small, small. Did I say "small"? Independent film inspired by a true life personal ad placed in a small newspaper.  Suspension of belief and patience required.

"Dead Dad"
Had to put a plug in for my DIL's first casting credit film.  Another small budget film with a good, relatable storyline.  Way to go Sammy!

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
A quiet little gem starring the beautiful Emily Blunt and handsome Ewan McGregor.  Watch out for a fantastically manic performance by Kristin Scott Thomas.

Most Uncomfortable/Unsettling Film That Went From the Film Festivals Right to Netflix: 

Based on actual events, this was a movie I watched on Netflix that just left me confused, disgusted and outraged.

Prettiest/Most Violent Film, set in 1920s Los Angeles:

"Gangster Squad"
Beautiful people, beautiful clothes, gorgeous sets and locations. Very violent movie about a very bad time in the history of the city of Los Angeles.

The "Other Musical" I quite enjoyed in spite of lots of shots of Tom Cruise's stomach:

"Rock of Ages"
I thought this movie was just fun!  Great songs, caricature performances yes, but totally enjoyable.  And Tom Cruise was great as an aging, over-the-top old school rocker.

The "other" Tom Cruise movie I was surprised I enjoyed this year:

"Jack Reacher"
I'm a big fan of the books and was skeptical that little Tom Cruise could pull off this role.  He made it work and it was an entertaining, yet violent movie.  Most importantly, Tom caught the essence of Jack Reacher's character.

Favorite 007 Actor I will miss in future Bond films, but fortunately shows up in movies when you least expect it:

Dame Judi Densch
Love Her!

Favorite Actor I haven't seen in anything this year:

Colin Firth
Love Him!

Guilty Pleasure "girls night out" that the guys might have enjoyed too:

"Magic Mike"
Yes, it involves male "dancers", but there is a good story in this movie that raises it above the expectations that it would just be a "beefcake" movie.

Movie that made me cry throughout its entirety, but I still can say was excellent because it made me cry throughout: 

The pride and determination of an aging couple to do things on their terms.  Very familiar territory for a lot of people.

(This ties for best Foreign Language Film I saw this year along with):

"The Intouchables"
This was such a delightful, surprising movie about two people from different worlds finding a connection and being the better for it.

Best Richard Gere movie I've seen in a long time:

Richard Gere's character is a ruthless businessman who finds himself in circumstances beyond his usual control.  Susan Sarandon is excellent as his not-so-in-the dark wife.

Quirkiest/Most Original Film with Excellent Cast and Film Technique:

"Moonrise Kingdom"
Unusually quirky and cleverly filmed little gem.  Every last detail is fun to look at and the disjointed cast is delightful.

Favorite Cat in a Film:

Jennifer Lawrence as "Katniss" in "The Hunger Games".
Strong, young female heroine.  Can't wait for the next installment!

Second Favorite:  Anne Hathaway as "Catwoman" in "The Dark Knight Rises
Unrecognizable as our little, fragile "Fantine". Anne Hathaway shows another side in her turn as Catwoman.

Lots of Super Heroes all at once in a non-stop action film:

"The Avengers"
Favorite Avenger?  Robert Downey Junior as "Ironman"

Super Violent Film I was talked into seeing and glad I was:

"Django Unchained"
Different take on the issue of slavery, Tarantino style.  Which means lots of blood, seemingly tasteless humor and a lot of politically incorrect stuff.  Why go see it?  It's originality, fine acting and deeper messages.

Favorite performances in "Django" (the"j" is silent):
Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, two worthy nominees for Best Supporting Actor

Heartbreaking Performance by one of my favorite actors and seat-clenching plane crash scene:

Denzel Washington in "Flight"
Oh my, I'm more used to seeing Denzel as a true hero and he takes a dark turn in this role.  An almost anti-hero. Great story, characters and special effects.

Most Visually Beautiful Movie that left me slack-jawed and wondering "how did they do that?":

"Life of Pi"
Spoiler Alert!  I had a hard time believing what I was seeing wasn't real, but was clever CGI effects.  This movie perfectly represented the images I had running through my head as I read this book several years ago. This was pure genius.

Best Use of Maggie Smith and her "Downton Abbey" "rival",  Mrs. Crowley with an ensemble cast including the kid from "Slumdog Millioniare":

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Fun! Isn't that enough?!

Second Best Maggie Smith/Ensemble film directed by Dustin Hoffman:

Sweet, funny, poignant, beautiful.

Second Guilty Pleasure Chick Flick:

"The Lucky One"
I think the picture speaks for itself!

Best Action Flick with a Message:

Confusing for me at first, but the last half of the movie takes a terrific turn and it all makes sense.

Role in Oscar contender I wish they had cast with someone else:

"Russell Crowe: as Javert in "Les Miserables"
Russell Crowe is such a gifted actor, but singer? Didn't work for me.  I found him distracting in the midst of a beautiful movie.

Fun With Make-up, Costuming and Set-design and excellent casting:

Attention to detail is what makes this movie a fun one. And some insight into what made that man tick.

Two Movies that every parent, educator and student should see:

Documentary showing the heartbreak and tragedy behind bullying.  Let's hope it gets better one day.

"Won't Back Down"
There's a school here in LA that the parents have taken over just as it happened in this movie.  We all can be the change and we all need to be involved in the education of our children.


I'm Sure I've forgotten a lot of contenders along the way, but, whew! Can't list any more working with a one hand handicap!

NOW, as if you hadn't heard me yammer on enough...

And my take on the major category nominees?

If I had my way "Silver Linings Playbook" would sweep all nominated categories, for acting, screenplay, directing, best picture. (And not just because Bradley Cooper is in it, heh, heh) Because it is a departure from the usual nominees by the academy. Humorous, educational, emotional, real people performances, triumph over tragedy.

In my other fantasy Oscar results Ben Affleck's "Argo" will win Best Picture because I like to throw myself behind the underdog, I really liked the movie and although it used "dramatic license" (it's a movie) it effectively showed us a snippet in time during the Iranian Hostage Crisis that we may not all have been aware of.

Since Ben is not nominated for best director (shame), nor Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty" (double shame),  I put my fantasy win in for David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook".  This movie was a personal journey for Mr. Russell and it showed in the careful handling of a difficult subject - one in which  we learn that we can find humor and hope and most importantly, acceptance.

Who I think will win:  Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln" and well deserved.

Fantasy Best Actress:  Jennifer Lawrence/Jessican Chastain - I can't choose!

Jessica Chastain is one of those actresses who transforms with every role she plays.  She is the new Cate Blanchette, in my opinion. A chameleon with great depth and versatility.  Just compare her in this role to her nominated one from last year's"The Help".

Who will probably win:  Jennifer Lawrence. What a character she played in this movie.  So many layers. Just loved her ease living in the skin of her part.

Fantasy Best Actor Choice:  BC, you know. (There he is in picture above with Jennifer Lawrence) I felt that he really showed his full range of abilities as an actor and I appreciate how he is taking his participation in this film out into the world to bring awareness and education regarding mental health issues.

Who will probably win:  Daniel Day Lewis, deservedly so, he WAS Lincoln.

I am in awe of this actor who first captured my heart in "My Left Foot".

Surprise Winner?:  Hugh Jackman in a transformative turn as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables"

Fantasy Best Supporting Actress:  
Jackie Weaver from "Silver Linings"  
Such a kooky, lovely performance and a total departure from her Oscar winning role in "Animal Kingdom"

Who Will Probably Win:  Anne Hathaway. Vulnerable, fragile, yet resilient.    

Surprise winner?:  Sally Field/Kerry Washington

Such a difficult character to bring to life and I like the way she humanized Mrs. Lincoln.

Heartbreaking performance as Broomhilda that brought a touch of humanity to a film displaying such inhumanity. Strong vulnerability.

Fantasy Best Supporting Actor:  Robert De Niro/Christoph Waltz/Samuel L. Jackson - can't choose!

I cried when he cried.

I cheered him and his good intentions on.

He made me despise him.

Who will probably win:  Tommy Lee Jones, I love him, but this performance just did not stand out for me.

Surprise Winner?:  Leonardo Dicaprio . Evil incarnate. A long way from Jack on "Titanic".

Obviously I'm all over the place with the supporting cast nominees.  All gave such outstanding performances, each in their own way.

Well, that's my take in a very large nutshell.  I know this isn't everybody's "thing", but I always have fun with the spectacle, sometimes the debaucle, that is The Academy Awards.

And we haven't even gotten into the hosting, the performances, the speeches.  That will be for another time.

Anyone want to chime in with their guesses/fantasy wins/hopes/opinions?  Please do and have a wonderful weekend.

For those in the path of yet another huge, destructive winter storm, please stay safe, warm and know that lots of people are thinking of you and praying for you.


Chatty Crone said...

Okay you and I will be watching the Oscars come Sunday! You have quite a list there girl.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I loved seeing your take on things, Ann...and thanks for the heads up for the Netflix films, too!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Wow - you have seen a lot of movies! I just heard a great review for Quartet too. Interesting wrap up :-)

Edilma Weissmueller said...

You have done a superb job describing and comenting on all those good movies made last year. A great help for those of us that are not quite up to date on those matters. THANK YOU,

Heather said...

I usually see movies after the fact... a long time after the fact! Great review on these, it could even tempt me to rent a few! Cheers~

Mr. Connor said...

Wow ! Did you ever review a lot of movies. Like your take much better than what I read in newspapers etc. ~ they just don't get it. Hope you have ALL your supplies for the events of tomorrow. Probably should have a box of tissues ? Here is hoping the storms don't get bad ~ what a winter and last fall !

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Maybe next year we can get on that list together and get in! I did enjoy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Rock of Ages was fun! Magic Mike was fun too. Good to know about Arbitrage, it wasn't in our theatres when I heard about it. There are a few I missed from your list but I have them listed on Netflix. That is so cool about your daughters casting. Marigold Hotel was fun too. Great movie review and I think this year has a lot of great movies that are all worth seeing. Enjoy Sunday.

Kit said...

Oh I love it when you do this posting! For I too am a total Oscar Geek! (and a Disney Geek too) I have all the Red Carpet stuff ready to tape and the show itself. I will sit and watch all night long in pure bliss. My hubby will have Daytona all day and I claim the big TV for the Oscars at night....LOL Have a wonderful time! I too, wish I could stand outside the place and wave to the celebrities. I would be in star heaven! LOL Kit

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

You mean to say that you need to apply to just be in the crowd?



Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Ok... I must not be a movie person, I've not seen ANY OF THESE.
Yes...I'm serious.
But having read every word here, there are a hand full I'd want to see now!
Jack Reacher, Amour, and Gangster Squad.

Now. what does "first casting credit film. " , mean?

I don't know...but YAY! Sammy!

enjoyed it, Pat

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks, this was great.You've given me several good ideas for future movie watching on Netflix!
I did love The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
And Colin Firth is almost just about my favourite male actor, in a tie with Tom Hanks. :)
I've hear that Amour is such a wonderful film, but heartbreaking I think?
I just realized that The Hobbit doesn't seem to have received any nominations, is it not this years, or just didn't get good review?
Happy Academy Awards evening t.v. watching!:)

Sandy said...

This was a great post! I'm way behind on watching movies but thankfully, I have a big screen at home and can catch-up. I saw a few that you listed and I loved Silver Linings! It was a great movie about love and acceptance and it made me cry and laugh. I have difficulty these days watching the violent parts of movies so I have to turn away from the really violent scenes. I bought the flight movie. It was a sad but excellent movie. Wow! Denial can run deep and affect everyone in the alcoholics life. I really want to see the Life of Pi. I loved Lincoln. It was a very dark period piece but those were dark times. I think Sally Field did an excellent job in her rold.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

By the way,Ann, I just wanted to remember to comment on baby Panda's photo on your sidebar. It is very sweet.

The Country Mouse said...

I thought of you so often while watching the Oscars! There must be a better host next year, by the way, there just must. But I enjoyed it anyway and will refer back to this post as I pick movies to catch up at home! Thanks for an awesome post!

the cape on the corner said...

i loved this post! i think we have similar movie likes, so i was reading this and adding to my netflix list as i scrolled!

just saw bully, and i wish they could have shown it to students like they initially hoped, it would make a difference and wouldn't be any language they hadn't heard before.

i was super happy searching for sugar man won for best doc! yay! and i was glad argo won, too, i saw that very last minute, and even though you know how it ended, it was still just gripping your seat and rooting for them, you know?

and yay for your daughter, that's amazing, and i hope you are feeling better, too.

whew. that was a long one, lol.

the cape on the corner said...

oh yes, and i loved jeff who lives at home!

and i would recommend your sister's sister, if you've ever heard of that one.