Last Saturday and yesterday a couple friends and I attended AMC movie theater’s Best Picture Showcase. This is an event where the movie theater shows all the nominees for Academy Award for Best Picture. I first attended back when there were only 5 movies. Over the past few years there have been as many as 10. This year there were nine: Amour, Les Miserable, Argo, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Lining’s Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.
I’d call this year of the memorable slap. Almost all of these have a scene where a character looking the other in the eye slaps the other. It is like it is a theme for the year.
One of the reasons I like attending this event is the entire slate of movies are overall quality movies. Though, I did enjoy some far more than others.
Amour: Hard to watch as the story of an elderly woman having strokes and falling apart is way too familiar to me. I do have to say the portrayal was pretty accurate.
Les Miserable: I have never seen the play. I think if I had, then I would find it more entertaining. Instead, the constant singing was more annoying.
Argo: One of the two I saw prior. Just as entertaining the second time through. It mixes danger and humor well. Probably should hate it because it took too many liberties with the history, but I don’t? My #1 pick for best picture.
Django Unchained: As to be expected, this was Inglorious Bastards with a different bad part of history and to out do the over the top violence.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: The Life-Sucks-But-We-Will-Overcome nominee, it felt preachy. Most damning were the aurochs. They felt completely off putting.
Life of Pi: The tiger at times looked like Puss In Boots from Shrek. So adorable. Visually amazing through over a dozen scenes. The story was pretty weak and dumbed down.
Lincoln: The second of the two I saw prior. The makeup and casting were amazing. Some strangely supernatural lighting as in one case Robert Lincoln’s face is well lit under his hat so we can see his expression while the Sun is in the background. I happen to enjoy political speeches, but this was even boring to me.
Silver Lining’s Playbook: Love is the best mental health medicine? True love. Not “I want to be in love with her” stalker infatuation.
Zero Dark Thirty: Any movie that upsets Congressmen enough to want hearings is a keeper. Okay, it is not a sequel to the Hurt Locker, but both movies use an emotionless tone. I think it is Biegelow’s point that war’s greatest atrocity is sapping those involved of their emotional humanity. Gun fire and explosions sound more real in this movie than most movies. My #2 pick, I think.