Sunday, February 15, 2009

So many films, so little time

I have to confront the fact that I will not see all of the Oscar nominated movies. I have seen just about all of those nominated in the major categories, with one glaring exception, and today I'm throwing in the towel, because I just can't sit through it. I am referring to, of course, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" which suffers in my view from being both 1)excruciatingly tedious-looking and 2) two hours and 48 minutes long. You see, I could possibly cajole myself into going if it were only 90 minutes of my life, maybe even 115. But, no.

(Still have a week so my plans might change, but for now, that's it.)

Instead today I will go see "Waltz with Bashir."

I have not been dumping on you here with my movie thoughts in awhile, but not sure it's in anyone's best interests to spend too much time catching up. My fingers are tired and I've likely lost any slim audience I had. But some quick hits:

Frost/Nixon: Much better than I'd anticipated, with just as much suspense built around whether Frost will get funding for his "project" and whether he was killing his career than whether he can get Nixon to say something important. There were even parts were I laughed out loud. Frank Langella is fantastic.

The Class: My friend and I both walked out shaking our heads. Note that it's a really good film, just not, in either of our estimation, the best film of the year (which various critics have deemed it.) A case of too much hype? Possibly.

The Reader
: This fell on the "better than I thought" side, although I struggled with loving Kate Winslet's performance because of the bad makeup they put her in for the elderly scenes. She's good though, and her scenes with the actor playing the young Ralph Fiennes are very good. (Side note: Am I the only one who wants to write "Rafe"?)

: Felt very much like a staged play, with long location-constrained scenes, which most people balk at in movies, but I like. The storyline is less interesting than the acting (almost all of the key action happens off-stage, er, off-screen, but you get to see and hear the characters' reaction to it.) I have a long-standing, extremely petty issue with Phillip Seymour Hoffman which I can't go into here, but I don't think he did anything better than he did in "The Savages" last year and leave it at that. Meryl Streep, though, can do almost ("Mama Mia") no wrong.

The Wrestler: Wow, I really am behind in writing about films. Anyhow, this was a so-so movie buoyed by a strong performance. Marisa Tomei rules! Ha, no, of course, I mean buoyed by two strong performances. (Yes, two. Sorry, Evan Rachel Wood.) We'll see if Mickey Rourke's comeback is real when he plays someone not so close to himself. (And I'll never pick up a staple gun again.)

Revolutionary Road
: This film had the feeling of a staged play, but not to its advantage. Too much talk and confrontation, which dragged the film down, even lower than its hopeless depressing tone. I liked Kate Winslet, though I'd agree with the Academy and reward her for "The Reader" over this.

I think there might have been some movies I saw in December I haven't included, but that will have to be it, as this is long and you're bored, and I'm not dragging out my 2008 calendar to see what I saw when.

Now I have to go chase the moaning pigeons off my windowsill and weigh myself with Wii Fit.


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