Lincoln

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I had a hunch this would be a slow movie, but never did I imagine it would be so extremely dull. I can say, without a doubt, that Lincoln is the most boring movie I have ever watched.

I thought we would be seeing a biography, which excited me, because I know very little of this intriguing figure. Instead, it was like watching people read lines from a (dubiously accurate) history book. Can I get a yawn?

Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start commenting on this film. The entire premise of the movie revolves around Lincoln’s push for abolition of slavery. But there’s no enthusiasm, no interesting subplots. It’s just Congressmen arguing each other in fancy talk for 2.5 hours. The characters are completely void of personality, especially Lincoln himself. Such a terrible disappointment. What exactly did Spielberg want to achieve with this movie is completely beyond me. I’m surprised the actors themselves, the film crew, the camerapeople, the editors and the producers were all able to stay awake while making this monotonous, lifeless picture.

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Django Unchained

This year there is a pattern among the nominees. There are three distinctly political films, and the rest are structured around profound personal struggle. Django Unchained, however, stands out from the bunch.

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While it definitely revolves around severe pain and injustice, it doesn’t go deep into the psychology of the suffering characters. It is everything you’d expect from a Tarantino movie – it’s violent, gory, overly dramatic, clever and entertaining; and its perfect musical score will once again make for a must-have soundtrack.

Django doesn’t seek to make a statement. It’s made purely for entertainment purposes, and splendidly so. Does it deserve to be in the Best Picture group? Absolutely! Will it win? Not a chance.

However, I suspect that Christoph Waltz will pick up the Oscar for Best supporting actor.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I thought long and hard about why this movie filled with my heart with tremendous love. The answer is quite simple really: the lead actress, the 9 year old Quvenzhane Wallis. The kid is absolutely mesmerizing, and if she is not rewarded with and Oscar for her performance, it will be a grave injustice.

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The story itself requires patience and an open mind, and is not to be taken too literally.  It is a depiction of life through the eyes of a child called Hushpuppy whose world starts falling apart when her father and sole guardian becomes ill. The point that brave people don’t run, but stay to face their difficulties, is delivered in an unconventional, almost surrealistic manner. Confusing at the beginning, it is made so simple in the end that I couldn’t not feel an incredible sense of amazement and empowerment, after witnessing the world through Hushpuppy’s eyes. I hope that this newly acquired bring it on mentality never wears off for me.

Now tell me, did Beasts of the Southern Wild have the same impact on you?

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Zero Dark Thirty

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I couldn’t watch this movie. It opens with a dark screen and actual 911 recordings from 9/11, both from the planes and from the WTC. Then it cuts to a torture camp set up somewhere in the desert, depicting the infamous water boarding. I don’t respond well to torture scenes. Instantly I got a headache and was nauseous. I really did try to watch the movie, but I could see that those two and a half hours were going to be extremely antagonizing for me. I think it’s too soon in the history for a movie of this sort. They should’ve waited at least a couple of decades.

With this said, I would love hear the opinion of those who actually DID see the movie to the end. Is it Oscar worthy? From what I’ve read, majority of the people are dumbfounded by the fact that the movie made it to this category.

Also, what is up with Kathryn Bigelow and war movies?

Argo

Argo totally lived up to my expectations. I anticipated an intelligent screenplay brought to life via a very 1970s  cinematography with plenty aerial views, street scenes and closeups.

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Ben Affleck did an incredible job. As a director he managed to deliver a very sensitive story without making any accusations or stirring the pot. I especially liked the comparison between movie scenes and actual photographs at the end. I believe he wanted to assert the point that he was not exaggerating, merely jotting things down for history. I knew this story, because I had seen a documentary years ago on National Geographic Channel. However, even though I was familiar with the ending, I spent the last half an hour sitting at the edge of my seat. The suspense was really built up to the extreme and I would love to hear how those of you who didn’t know the story reacted during the incredibly tense scenes at airport.

His acting was characteristically well, even if his character reminded me quite a bit of of George Clooney in Syriana. This is especially interesting in lieu of the fact that Affleck and Clooney are producers of Argo.

It surprised me, though that Ben Affleck’s name isn’t on the Best Directing list, especially because David O. Russell’s name (director of Silver Linings Playbook) is up in that category. Usually Hollywood loves to honour actors turned directors, so what do you think happened this time?

When Silver Lining Fails

I’ve decided to see all 10 Oscar nominees, and last night on the menu was Silver Linings Playbook. 

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It started out really well. It was surprisingly funny and entertaining, but after the first 45 minutes or so, it began to drag. I found myself glancing at the clock, wondering how much more I’ve got left to see. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I fast forwarded the scenes that bored me, straight to the last 20 minutes.

I have to admit that I don’t get why this movie found its way to the Best Picture category. Basically it’s a story we heard before, told in a way we heard before. The movie doesn’t flow well, either. Events seem like they’re randomly strung together. It’s like it tries too hard to be quirky and interesting, but it falls short. Probably because the characters aren’t believable. Bradley Cooper gives a surprisingly convincing performance as a bipolar, but Jennifer Lawrence’s acting seems too forced. There is absolutely no consistency to her character. I can understand that she is angry, bitter, sarcastic, but then all of a sudden she is obsessed with dancing and is some kind of football genius?!? Like I said before, it just seems like the person writing the story thought “Oh, it would be cool if I suddenly made this character do this or do that.” Perhaps someone who has read the book can clarify things for me. However, I must say that the film as such, completely fails to deliver.

Also, Robert De Niro has really aged, and he’s lost a lot of weight.

Think the previous statement is random? That’s because it is. Hopefully now you understand exactly how I felt for the last hour and a half of that awful movie.

Thoughts?