Considering the price of a movie theater ticket these days, I very rarely see a new film. Instead, I’ll wait until a movie is available on Netflix (or in the old days, on the shelves at Blockbuster).
But I caught the list for Oscar nominations a few days ago and was actually quite surprised by how many movies I had seen this year.
Maybe the talent – from the actors to screen writers — was a lot better than in previous years.
Or maybe I was just really bored and had more time on my hands this past year. (And I’ve also been using my old college ID for student-discounted movie tickets. Shhh.)
Regardless, I decided to share some of my thoughts on tonight’s show.
Winner: “The Artist”?
Without a question, my favorite 2011 film was “The Help.” I would like nothing more than to see the film that portrays a young journalist wanting to tell the side of black female maids in 1960s’ Mississippi bring home the Oscar. The cast was amazing — from Emma Stone (Yes, the girl who starred in teen flicks such as “Easy A.”) to Viola Davis’ quiet but strong portrayal of Aibileen.
But is the film really “Best Picture” worthy compared to its competition? That I’m not so sure about. I also did enjoy “Midnight in Paris” and “The Descendants.” And “Moneyball” was actually enjoyable for the most part.
The picture that seems to have critics’ attention is “The Artist,” a French film that is mostly silent. Though I haven’t seen it (is it even playing in cities other than New York and LA?), I do have to admire its originality.
Winner: George Clooney, “The Descendants”
I really didn’t want to see “The Descendants.” My mother (a woman who used to send her children to bed early on the nights ER was on) dragged me to the film. But not only was I pleasantly surprised by the film but also by Clooney’s performance of a man forced into becoming a family man.
But by peering at the list of nominees, I’d say Clooney’s biggest competition is Jean Dujardin from “The Artist,” considering all the hoopla the film has been receiving.
Winner: Viola Davis, “The Help”
In the most subtle of ways, Viola Davis had the ability to steal the screen in “The Help.” But she’s done that before. In 2008’s “Doubt,” she was only in the film a few minutes, portraying a mother who is being told that her child might have been abused. She was nominated for an Oscar then, but this time, it’s really Davis’ turn to shine.
Best Supporting Actor:
Winner: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
OK, I struggled a bit in this category. “Moneyball” was the only movie I had seen, and while I thought Jonah Hill did an alright job, I have trouble seeing him in any other movie besides “Superbad” (“And you landed on McLovin’…” …anyone remember that favorite line of mine?)
So, I’m going to go with my old childhood favorite, Christopher Plummer, for his role in “Beginners.” That man has always had a soft spot in my heart ever since I first watched “The Sound of Music” at 5 years old. So, here’s hoping that the 82-year-old brings home his first Oscar tonight.
Best Supporting Actress:
Winner: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
Don’t get me wrong. I liked Melissa McCarthy as the obnoxious, funny sister-in-law in “Bridesmaid” as much as the next girl did. But wouldn’t it be a bit like if Zach Galifianakis was nominated for his role in “The Hangover”?
Now, Octavia Spencer deserved her nominations – and win, when she receives it Sunday night. Her portrayal of feisty maid Minny Jackson provided more of the laughs in “The Help,” but it was just as honest and real as Davis’.
And as for my final prediction: Billy Crystal will be a better host than last year’s Anne Hathaway and James Franco. But you were thinking the same, weren’t you?