Saturday, February 23, 2013

On why I'm excited for the Oscars...

I can't help but be a little excited for the Oscars tomorrow. I'm not sure how much I'll actually watch. However, I made a concerted effort to see several of the noms in January, and they each impacted me in such a positive way that I can't help but be excited for them.

Of the films that made the cut, I've seen Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. I really enjoyed Silver Linings and found Somebody That I Used to Know streaming in my subconscious as I watched Bradley Cooper portray someone with bipolar disorder. Still, it's been the other three movies that have stuck with me, leading to the most introspection.

I know others who have been bored by parts, but I sat riveted through each of these movies. I left with THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and plans to write nuanced pieces about each one. Well, life gets in the way, so I'm going to follow last week's rapid-fire book review format and tell you a bit about why I love each.

Argo - This movie really showcases Ben Affleck's talent in the director's chair. We all know how the story ends. They make it out, and yet, I was still a bundle of nerves waiting to see what could go wrong. He masters creating tension. Also notable are the outfits and two of my '90s obsessions, Victor Garber and Clea Duvall.

Zero Dark Thirty - I was skeptical of this movie going in. I was not someone who cheered in the streets when Osama was killed or yelled 'fuck yeah, America'. I understand why it had to happen, but I found/find the whole state of affairs we're in incredibly sad. This movie didn't change that. I don't even know where to begin. So much has been written about this movie, and I've tried to avoid most of it. Kathryn Bigelow does a phenomenal job at manipulating audience emotion and playing both arguments regarding torture against each other. I went through several stages of grief while I sat, glued to the chair. If this weren't a quickie review, I'd cram pages of thought in your face. In the end, I don't know if so many women or children were present when he died, but that also really got me. I couldn't help but leave thinking that the cycle will certainly continue.

Lincoln - This movie played to my love of history and rekindled some of my passion for politics (all three of these movies did). It's fun to watch political drama play out in hindsight rather than listen to the painful bloviations of today, wondering what dark road they'll take us down. Excellent acting, plenty of opportunities to laugh, and much respect for Lincoln's rhetoric.

Aren't you glad I didn't give you the long version? ;-)

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