Monday, March 01, 2010

Getting Ready for Oscar

This is becoming something of an annual tradition--as the Academy Awards annual bash approaches, my husband and I suddenly realize how few movies we have seen through the year. So we get ready for the biggest entertainment show of the year by madly dashing around to see as many of the nominated films as we can.

We had begun our quest inadvertently about six months ago. While strolling through Costco (a favorite shopping haunt) we saw the DVD for Up. I had heard and read good things about this animated film, so we picked it up. And then watched it. And fell in love with the sweet story. I made brief mention of the movie before, noting:

"Up is a sheer delight of a story--with many sweet messages. But one message is certain--sometimes we hold on to memories for so long that they might keep us from grasping new experiences."

We began our movie rush in earnest this week. Thus far, we have seen Crazy Heart and An Education. With the Oscar best movie list expanded to 10 this year, for the first time, it makes our quest so much more challenging.

Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges who has also been nominated as best actor, is a touching story. Bridges plays "Bad" Blake, a country singer at the end of his career, but he still desperately wants to stay in the music scene. He sings "I used to be somebody, but now I am somebody else." Oh my--practically the anthem for someone who feels that time has passed you by. Bridges wears his age on his world-weary face. His body practically creaks as he struggles through this time in his life. Watching this story is rather like peeling an onion--a layer at a time removed, as more nuances and complications unfold. One of the complications is Jean, a young reporter played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who draws out some of Bad's life story.

An Education is a coming of age story, set in London of the 1960s. Carrie Mulligan, a relative newcomer, is nominated for her role as Jenny, a 16 year old preparing to enter Oxford, if she can get accepted. Along comes an older man, David, played by Peter Sarsgaard, to provide her with "an education." That education introduces Jenny to a world far more exciting than her parents' stodgy middle-class life.

Well, mad rush movie time continues. I will write more mini-reviews as we see films--all to get ready for "the big show."

Seen any good movies lately?


Dog_geek said...

We finally watched Up - we both loved it. I heard that Ian Dunbar consulted on the dog parts, which I thought were fabulous! Other than that, we haven't watched many movies this year either.

Anvilcloud said...

I was wondering if you would do this again this year. Glad you are.

amarkonmywall said...

Ooo- I want to see An Education. I heard an interview with the author on NPR and it sounded good. Crazy Heart is on the docket for this week but An Education requires a trip to Tampa and that's like a foreign country. We both liked It's Complicated even though Rich went whining about chick flicks- but he owed me after I whined my way to Avatar. In the end we each thought both were great.

KGMom said...

I don't know if you all are fans of ROTTEN TOMATOES, but here's the rundown for the movies we are seeing--as well as ones we aren't.

Rank order
The Hurt Locker--97%
An Education--95%
Crazy Heart--92%
Up in the Air--90%
A Serious Man--87%
The Blind Side--69%

Ones we have decided not to see--for various reasons--Precious--91%; Avatar--82%; and District 9--90%

Why not seeing Avatar--you might ask--I don't know. 3-D makes me a tad nauseous; James Cameron makes me a tad nauseous.
District 9--90%--sounds too sci-fi, even though I understand it is a metaphor.

I am sure there are others I have forgotten to check.

It's Complicated--hugely popular this year--was a 57% (to give you a sense of how RT works).

We plan to see The Last Station, in which both Helen Mirren & Christopher Plummer star and have been nominated--that's at a 69%.

Check out Rotten Tomatoes, if you haven't. It's a fun site.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What you wrote about UP caused me to wince. It could be said of me.
I think. Maybe I am about to let that change.

I have few opportunities to see movies, one of the disadvantages of where I live. I often see them years after they are popular.