Come on Academy Awards. You can’t expect me to see 10 movies by show-time tonight. Especially considering the fact that I’m at the hospital. I had a hard enough time seeing the top 5 in years past, and 10 is just out of the question.
Earlier this week I invited some folk over and we watched The King’s Speech, seeing as it had such Oscar buzz around it. For months, every single person I’ve talked to about it has had nothing but praise. And honestly, I don’t have anything very critical to say about it. Other than there are 4 movies, only counting the ones that were nominated, that I think are more deserving of being named the best picture of the year.
Black Swan was simultaneously beautiful and horrifying. It kept you guessing and thoroughly invested for the entire time. It had great acting all around. It was filmed in a great claustrophobic, surreal style. It was a much much more interesting movie than The King’s Speech.
The Social Network was an incredibly clever movie. I didn’t get around to seeing 127 Hours (again, 10 movies?) and I hear Boyle does a great job of keeping you glued to a guy that’s glued in one place. But The Social Network does a great job of keeping you riveted by facebook. It’s a commentary of life now. My roommate thinks this movie won’t matter in ten years, but if that’s your argument, The King’s Speech doesn’t matter either. The movie is ostensibly about facebook, but the plot isn’t really what it’s about. It’s about geniuses and narcissists and loneliness and greed and those things aren’t going anywhere. The writing and acting were excellent as well.
The King’s Speech was a great feel-good movie. Do you know what was a better one? The Fighter. I don’t care about boxing, I don’t care about Lowell , I don’t care about crack. But I cared about the characters in this movie because they were so well realized. And it’s predictable, but who cares? It makes you feel good.
True Grit was one of the most fun movie experiences I’ve had this year. It’s hilarious. Much funnier than most comedies I’ve seen this year, or any other. Add to that the Coen’s attention to detail, the terrific acting and the strong character studies, and it’s just a gem all around.
It’s not that The King’s Speech was bad. It was in fact very very good. I’d love to see Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth win some awards. But I just can’t say it’s the best from the list of movies, and I didn’t even see Toy Story, Winter’s Bone or the Kids Are Alright. And if you think Inception is the best movie of the year, well, you’re wrong. It was an interesting concept, admirably translated into a competent blockbuster, but it’s not a great work of film. In any case, I wouldn’t pick The King’s Speech. I’d have a hard time choosing, but for me it would come down to Black Swan and The Social Network. Emotion and art or intellect and import? It’s hard to pick, but sadly The Academy didn’t ask me to.
Post script Post
Movies that are excellent that didn’t get best pictures nominations:
Never Let Me Go
Let Me In
And of course, Burlesque