During the year my friend Kristie and I try to see the movies that have been nominated for Best Picture of the Academy Awards, as well as other major movies nominated for other awards. Seeing most, if not all, of the major movies gives us a reason to have a little party the night of the Oscar presentations. This year is no exception.
Most years there is at least one, sometimes two, movies that I’d avoid, even if they had been nominated, because they were too bloody or too boring or too arduous. This year the movies in these categories that I didn’t see were Jack Reacher and Les Miserables. I wasn't going to see Django Unchained, the western staring Jamie Foxx, but Kristie talked me into it. I covered my eyes during the gorier parts and wound up loving the flick.
As you can tell from my sparse movie reviews (http://antoniasreviews.blogspot.com/), it was lackluster viewing for most of the year and I had little to rave about. Are we running out of movies to make? Doesn’t it seem the infamous pipeline of what movies get made got a lot narrower in 2012? Or perhaps it was that combined with casting. I mean, if you’ve ever read any Lee Childs’ books on Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise is the antithesis of the Jack Reacher character. Perhaps we tired of Tolstoy’s sweeping Anna Karenina story so that we had to show it in such a distracting stylized way of a movie within a stage play format?
There was, however, one picture that was the BEST film I’ve seen in years. It’s “The Intouchables” but it didn't make the cut for the French entry for the Best Foreign Film category. This wonderful movie depicts a true story of a man confined to a wheelchair and his infamous aide. It is funny, irreverent, touching and the acting is superb. Check out http://antoniasreviews.blogspot.com/2012/11/first-movie-review.html to see the complete review. This movie has left the theaters but be sure to see it when it comes out on video. I’ve seen it four times already.
While I’m not a television producer by any means, I think there should be some changes made in the televised Oscar event. I always cringe when an ensemble are given an award, however, the one person who does the thanking takes precious time to include his dog or to wish his nephew a happy birthday or to remind his children at home to now go to bed. This all the while the other winners don't get to say a peep. How about no one gets to thank anyone when they step up to receive their award? Going up to the stage is, after all, only to let us see what you’re wearing. After the applause dies down and you depart the stage, the winner is guided to a separate set where they can take all the frigging time they want thanking people, including God and their mom and dad, and their third cousin twice removed, etc., who mean nothing to the viewers but fulfills their sense of acknowledging their love and support.
I’m not giving up. I’m holding out that 2013 will bring us even greater movies to see. With new movies such as "Quartet" (http://antoniasreviews.blogspot.com/2013/01/quartet-movie-review.html) that very well be possible. In the meantime, Kristie and I will pick apart the nominees of this year’s Academy Awards and we’ll toast the Oscar recipients with champagne, all the while knowing we’ll “Escape to the Movies” as much as we are able in 2013. Grab your ballots and join us!