Here's my 1-100 (100 being the best) ratings of the movies nominated for Best Picture and some commentary on the Academy's mostly lousy choices.
Artist - 96/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: Best movie of the year and first time I've rooted for the front-runner in a long time. Too bad it all goes downhill from here. Damn you, Academy and your infernal need to irritate the shit out of those of us with taste!
The Descendents - 61/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: The movie was overrated and sort of like a soap opera shot on film instead of whatever they shoot soap operas on that make them look so bright and ugly like an old video tape that Ted Turner colorized while in a drunken rage related to being a billionaire in need of colorizing everything ever created. George Clooney plays himself. Hooray! Accolades are in order!
The Help - 59/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: Lacked punch. Or balls. Or conviction. Or believability. It showed the "horrors" of Jim Crow in a way that would be palatable for those who didn't find Jim Crow laws all that horrible. The sort of folks currently supporting Newt Gingrich or that other pro-rape Republican dude whose last name means, "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." Like a homosexual's reaction to a Rick Santorum hate speech; The Help sort of left me feeling offended. Like Song of the South for a new generation. In the Jim Crow days black ladies didn't shit in chocolate cakes and serve them to white racists like some bad episode of Sex and the City. Black ladies were lynched and raped by white racists just because. The movie had some great acting, though.
Hugo - 76/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: While Hugo tells us why preserving old film and remembering the silent days of cinema is important, The Artist shows us. That said, the film is entertaining in its own way and sort of looks and feels like a Tim Burton movie would if a Tim Burton movie was directed by someone more competent than Tim Burton. If you can get past the fact it's boring, you may end up enjoying the damn thing. I'm halfway through my review of the movie as I type this. But I've been halfway through my review of the movie for a month now, so that doesn't mean much. Sort of like the overblown film preservation lecture in Hugo.
Midnight in Paris - 83/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: A slight little truffle of a film -- whatever the hell that means. But it was airy and pleasant and a great little 90 minute "what if" piece. As in, "What if Woody Allen could still write and direct an entertaining movie?" I've been a fan of Woody's movies since seeing Husbands and Wives at a dollar theater way back when admission to dollar theaters was still an actual single dollar. This is the first movie he's done in a while that I've really enjoyed. It's even more enjoyable if you watch it while high on marijuana.
Moneyball - 52/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: I have absolutely no interest in team sports. Maybe it's because I keep having to pay for the stadiums the billion dollar "welfare teams" (like "welfare queens," only these assholes are actually a bane on society) play their team sports in, through outrageous sales tax increases. Despite being told this film's writing was SO powerful it wouldn't matter, I think it did matter a little bit. I was intrigued throughout the first half (if for no reason other than the shameless amount of product placements stuffed into a single fucking movie), but was bored out of my mind during the baseball-heavy second half. Plus, even without knowing where the story was going, I had a very easy time knowing exactly where the story was going. Aaron Sorkin's sort of turned into a hack.
The Tree of Life - 65/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: I couldn't give this one below a 60 due to the cinematography alone. The movie is beautiful. It looks stunning. The plot -- what little there is -- could use some work and it could have easily been 39 minutes shorter without losing a thing -- other than 39 minutes. Yet, I find myself wanting to watch it a second time. That must mean something. It's sort of like the original Fantasia, except about a dead kid.
War Horse - 74/100
Totally Juicy Verdict: Unbelievably cheesy story where the main character is a horse and every secondary character knows he's the horse they're looking for just by hearing he's a miracle horse or a special horse. But the movie rarely tells us what's so miraculous about this horse. Or special. Or even really anything more than, "That's one hell of a horse." The horse plowed a field once. When it was raining. Wow. Still, this is Spielberg's first full-fledged tribute to his hero, John Ford. And the movie looks and feels like a John Ford film. See it on the big screen and you'll be swept away by the sweeping panoramic shots and beauty of the whole thing. Almost as much as you'll be distracted by the ridiculous script. There were times I thought the horse was going to speak, like Mr. Ed. The amazing Mr. Ed. Now there was an amazing horse. He sat in a stable and said stuff!
I have yet to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I wish it wasn't nominated, because I don't want to see it. I think it was nominated because the Academy has its head so far up its fucking ass its small intestine thinks it's the place where faces breathe. Instead of mediocre monstrosities like The Help, The Descendents and Money Ball, why didn't we get solid Best Picture nominees such as, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Drive? I'm guessing it's due to the day when the Academy (rightfully) nominated Brokeback Mountain and saw their ratings fall by like 30%, the Academy has played it VERY safe (they started playing it safe that very night by giving some piece of shit the Best Picture award -- I forget which piece of shit it was). Outside of NY and LA, the show basically gets all its ratings from soccer moms living in flyover states. Middle-American soccer moms have been the audience the Academy caters toward. I expect an Adam Sandler movie to be nominated next. Or maybe just a 30 second fart joke as Best Short Film. Either that, or some guy hitting himself in the nuts. Middle-America loves that shit.
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©2012 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this without my permission and I'll be so grouchy I'll eat your genitals, shit them out and sell them as truffles!