Well, this year's Oscar nominations are in the books. There are a lot of people happily surprised by a few nominations and a lot of people angrily surprised at others. I am pretty happy with things and, as always, look forward to getting my hands on the awards show when it comes out.
I really like movies. This year I seem to have watched hundreds of them. I took a film school and they gave us a list of about 120 to watch before we arrived, so that's a bunch right there.
The funny thing is that before I learned about film and how it all works I was very picky in my tastes. There would be certain types of movies that I would never watch, much like my taste in music, I just couldn't listen/watch anything. I was picky.
So, when I went to do the school I thought that things would get even worse. I wondered, "Will I like watching movies after these next few months?", and the truth is that I do. In fact, I like all kinds of movies now and I'll pretty much watch anything. Maybe its just because I am getting older so my taste is changing. A dirty little secret is that I am starting to like listening to Rush. The truth is that Rush had been one of my least favorite bands for quite a long time. What is happening to me?!!!
Okay, so lets get down to it. I wanted to share with you my favorite movies of the year. Some of them are nominated and some are not. I'm not a critic. I just want to share with you some of the movies I've seen this year that I think you would enjoy, if not ecstatically, then at least in some small way. Here we go, in a kind of particular order but not really*:
Black Swan* (Natalie Portman) - A very tense/beautiful movie about ballet. I like looking into topics that I know nothing about. Ballet is one of them. Natalie Portman and the guy that plays the director are very good in this.
Inception (Leo) - Everyone has seen this. Almost everyone has seen in 3 or 4 times. I've seen it twice, and read the screenplay. Though there seem to be a lot of holes in the plot, the story is very compelling and thought provoking.
127 Hours (Danny Boyle) - The director of Transpotting, 28 Days Later, and Slumdog Millionaire writes for the first time with this story. This could have been pretty boring. It turned out to be quite interesting. I am really starting to like Danny Boyle's style.
Never Let Me Go (Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield) - A Sci-Fi movie without any Sci-Fi effects in it. The future? The past? The acting and the settings in this movie are very pleasing to watch.
The Book of Eli (The Book) - Without spoiling things, regardless of what Eli is trying to accomplish, it is cool to see that he is doing more than just trying to survive.
Shutter Island (Leo) - Kind of a "He's either dead or He's dreaming or that guy's not real" kind of movie. Even though a combination of those conclusions is just about on the mark, its still interesting to watch, and the conclusion is open for debate, much like Inception.
The Other Guys (Will Ferrell) - I watched this on the plane. I can't remember too much about it but I was pleasantly surprised by the on screen chemistry of Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. I laughed out loud quite a bit, and isn't that something we can all enjoy?
The Town (Ben Affleck) - This handsome fellow is 2 for 2 in my books. Gone Baby Gone and this one are two very interesting movies. I really like his brother as an actor as well.
The Social Network (The story) - As a friend pointed out, this movie just keeps moving. Every scene has something happening. Part of it might be the "Oh look, they are creating Facebook now" aspect, but in general I think that this is a very interesting story full of relationship flaws. Kids with money? Check. Justin Timberlake? Check. Rowing? Check.
Red (Everyone shoots people) - This one was fun to watch because it wasn't serious at all. Bruce Willis is still sexy. Helen Mirren shooting a machine gun is something you don't see every day.
True Grit (The girl and Mr. Bridges) - This one is funny, beautiful, tense, raw and a bunch of other things. I have a special little couch in my heart for Westerns to stretch out on. I love Westerns! I want to make a Western. The Coen brothers have yet to disappoint this little buckeroo.
The conclusion? I seem to like dramas. I knew this all along, without knowing it, you know? I made 2 short films this year and they both tried to be funny. I'll try to get things going in the drama department.
That's about it for me. I must add that I have also enjoyed watching plenty of classic French and Italian movies this year. I talk about it here.
So, what should you do? Watch these movies. The * means that some of these movies are not for everyone. I am not recommending that you gather the family around the TV to watch Black Swan, but in general, the others are pretty okay, 127 Hours might make some people a little squeamish.