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Do you especially think I’m not a genius? – A few 2012 Academy Award Nominees

February 26, 2012

Ides of March – Best Screenplay Nominee –  On the surface I thought this was going to bore me.  I am so sick of the GOP Primary coverage.   So, the last thing I wanted to watch was a movie about the Democrat Primary race…  Then I started watching anyway, and was blown away by the subtleties in George Clooney’s direction.  In particular, there is a scene in Stephen Meyer’s, Gosling’s, office, when an intern brings him some papers.  The camera racks focus and pulls back to reveal Paul Zara, Philip Seymore Hoffman, on the phone in his office in the foreground.  It was a simple in camera move, along with the dropping in and out the sound in the two offices, which really conveyed the atmosphere of this hectic office.  The film takes an interesting Hitchcockian turn by not being the typical intern-falls-for-a-politician story.  Clooney’s time in Europe was evident in the last few minutes of the film.  This is not a typical American formulaic film.

A Better Life – Best Actor Nominee – Directed by Chris Weitz, is the story of Carlos, an illegal immigrant played by Demián Bichir and his son Luis, played by José Julián.  Living in constant fear of deportation, Carlos dreams of a better life for his son.  This is a truly touching subject that rarely gets mainstream attention in this way in America.  However, it is so obviously an American film at the same time.  Even as it features immigrants as the main characters, it feels like the audience is kept at a distance from what their lives are really like.  I would have enjoyed delving into who they were, rather than what they need to accomplish.  I liked this film, but wanted more from it.

Hugo – Nominated for Screenplay, Directing, Picture –  Just the other day I was wandering my house ranting to my wife.  I do this a lot. This particular rant was directed at Martin Scorsese.  Why?  Because I think he is especially not a genius.  I said “he hasn’t made anything since 1990 that was worth a damn!” Shudder Island (intentional mistake don’t bother pointing it out to me) was so obvious from the first shot.  The Aviator didn’t get off the ground.  Gangs of New York was a frame away from looking like Newsies, and the Departed fell flat and died right in front of me.  Then I saw Hugo.  I don’t take any of my rant back.  I hated all of those prior films.  The last Scorsese film I liked, just liked, was Casino.  But, Hugo is different.  It flickered Scorsese loves of film history in every frame.  This was a beautiful love letter to all the cinematic pioneers Scorsese never got to meet.  Marty, I forgive your past transgressions.

"Do you especially think I'm not a genius?" "Hmmmmm. Nah..."

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2012 8:00 am

    Everyone is busy with Oscar but me 🙂
    When is the show anyway?

    • February 27, 2012 10:38 am

      It was on yesterday. The only thing worth paying attention to was Sacha Baron Cohen on the Red Carpet. I can’t wait for his new film.

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