Here are the nine nominees: (Winner in Bold)
My Overall Thoughts:
It’s always unfortunate when a film is elevated to a higher praise due to the politics around it than because of the story itself. Argo is a very good film, but it really isn’t the best of the lot this year.
The backlash against the voters for excluding “one of their own” as Best Director really caused more trouble than needed. Yes, Affleck did a great job with the film, and there will always be snubs, but I think the voters went the wrong way here.
Unfortunately, the rest of the films are mostly great, but not one’s I would consider to be BP winner worthy.
- 9. – Beasts of the Southern Wild – Extremely boring film that tells a completely uninteresting tale and just doesn’t know how to present it. Wallis is ok as the narrator, but it’s hard to believe that a 6 year old is really so intelligent about how things work. I wanted to like this more but I just couldn’t connect with this story or characters at all and only made it through this film since I don’t allow myself to turn a bad film off once I start it. Perhaps, I just don’t understand what they were trying to say here.
- 8. – Zero Dark Thirty – Such a timely film at the time because it deals with very recent events that changed the world. The ensemble cast is quite good, but it is far from being perfect.
- 7. – Life of Pi – Story isn’t as powerful enough, but from a technical aspect this film is amazingly shot. That’s obviously the main reason Lee got his second Oscar as Best Director when Affleck was snubbed.
- 6. – Silver Lining Playbook – Great characters make this so much fun to watch. It’s a bit on the strange side, but comes off as quite believable.
- 5. – Lincoln – Story is a bit weak, but Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th President is spectacular and once again shows how amazing a thespian he truly is.
- 4. – Django Unchained – Another great film by Tarantino. He once again is able to prove how amazing a storyteller he is. He is the master of mixing genres and the ability to combine both a blacksploitation film and a Western is pure genius. The cast is superbly chosen and Foxx does a wonderful job as the lead but Waltz uses his uncanny ability to steal every scene he is in. He truly deserved his second Oscar for this role. Tarantino once again keeps us interested the entire time and the spoken dialogue of the characters is perfectly written. The music chosen for the soundtrack is great and helps move along the story at a really nice pace. Despite this being a strange kind of revenge film, it works in just about every aspect even better than anyone could have hoped.
- 3. – Amour – Amazing way to tell such a powerful story. The claustrophobic way that this is shot makes us feel as if we too are trapped in their small apartment watching things slowly spiral downward. The love between the two characters is so effective on screen and we truly believe that they have been together for so long and are willing to do anything for one another. This film deals with the idea that as we all get older, the end is inevitable but the question is how and when we will get there and what happens to our closest companions as this happens. Riva and Trintignant are both superb here because they make it all seem and feel so real.
- 2. – Argo – Fun film that is the kind Hollywood loves because it both parodies and edified the Hollywood community at the same time. Great film, but not the best of the year
- 1. – Les Misérables – Amazing stage adaptation that is spectacularly done. the play is superb and the added advantages of having it done on film make some of the scenes truly breathtaking
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not really. I admit that Argo is a fun and thrilling movie, but it won because of politics and not because it’s the best film of the year. Les Mis is one of the best stage adaptations to screen IMHO and the story is spectacularly done here.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!