I am not one of the many critics and bloggers that get to see early screenings. I am pretty much on my own and have to take the word of others until I am able to see the contenders. Here are the potential award winning films I have seen so far:
MARGIN CALL-Good solid movie. Great cast with Kevin Spacey, Stanely Tucci and Jeremy Irons. The film follows an investment bank during the first 24 hours of a financial collapse. It can be a little slow at time, but this movie is all about great acting. With the exception of Demi Moore. The other actors are so great that Demi’s poor performance really stands out. MY GRADE: B+
MELANCHOLIA-So far my favorite movie of the year. You can see my entire review in an earlier post. It has had a few critics award nominations. MY GRADE: A-
LIKE CRAZY-This movie is the apitame of “independent” movies. It is pretty impressive fo a movie that was made for $250,000 and filmed on a digital camera. The story is somewhat flawed, but Felicity Jones is pretty impressive. MY GRADE: B-
THE DESCENDANTS-Great movie with a great performance from George Clooney. He will most likely get a Best Actor nomination. Shailene Woodley plays Clooney’s oldest daughter and deserves a Best Supporting Actress nomination, but the competition in that category may be too much for her to get in. What I love about this movie is the unpredictability in every scene. Much like Alexander Payne’s other films; Sideways and About Schmidt you never really know what is going to come next. This is very refreshing considering the predictability of so many movies. The Sid character was a bit silly and over the top, but there is a scene with him and Clooney that makes Sid more like able towards the end. For most of the year I have predicted THE DESCENDANTS to win Best Picture. I am sad to say that it seems to be losing it’s momentum as the critics awards are being handed out. THE ARTIST now is the front runner, but so was THE SOCIAL NETWORK last year at this time. MY GRADE: A
TYRANNOSAUR-This little film is not for everyone. It is also not being seen by anyone. Jeff Wells of Hollywood-elsewhere.com had so much faith in this movie that he raised $2000 on his own to organize a screening. Not many showed up and the movie has only grossed $15,000 in the US. It is “the story of Joseph a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph’s life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating results on both of their lives.” Great performance by Olivia Colman as Hannah. The end is underwhelming and I would have preferred a bigger payoff. MY GRADE: B-
WAR HORSE-I was able to attend an early screening in November. While some parts are flawed, as a whole it is a very good film. WAR HORSE is a Spielberg epic and will get a Best Picture nomination.
MY GRADE: A-
DRIVE-This movie is in the top 5 of movies I have seen this year. “A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.” Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks are fantastic. Carey Mulligan is miss cast in her role. The scene in the elevator is one of the most suspenseful scenes in a movie I have ever seen. At this point the rest of the completely changes into a violent free for all. MY GRADE: A
MONEYBALL-Seems to have the momentum to make it to a Best Picture nomination. Brad Pitt is definitely going to get a Best Actor nomination and Jonah Hill will get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Many say that it is not a baseball movie…ummmm it’s a baseball movie!! Brilliantly written, bit I was a little disappointed in the ending. MY GRADE: B+
THE HELP-The sleeper hit of the Summer. Came out of nowhere. Great performances with many acting nominations to come. It continues to win critic awards and is showing up on many top 10 lists of the year. The momentum has weakened some, but depending on how many Best Picture nominees there will be, it still has a chance. MY GRADE: A-
BRIDESMAIDS-By far the best comedy of the year. Unfortunately The Academy is too highbrow to nominate it for Best Picture. It could get a screenplay nomination, but that is unlikely. Melissa McCarthy deserves a Best Supporting Actress nomination, but I don’t know if having diarrhea in a bathroom sink is really Oscar material.
More to come….