Here are the nine nominees: (Winner in Bold)
My Overall Thoughts:
This is yet another year, where it wasn’t really the right choice to go beyond the normal 5 nominees.
The choice to expand the list in some ways cheapens the list because this way films that shouldn’t get such recognition now can claim to be on the list of the best despite not really deserving to be there.
The ultimate winner this year went to a film that wasn’t (by far) the best of the lot, but it played to Hollywood insider sentiments because it shows the film industry during a transition stage which is always what the voters like to look for.
- 9. – The Tree of Life – Malick does it again, he tries to be so philosophical with his films that he forgets to actually have a coherent story.
- 8. – The Artist – Once again the Academy went with the easy out and chose a film that shows how changes in the world and technology change the way Hollywood is seen. This is a nice film, but still isn’t something really deserving of winning this award IMHO.
- 7. – Moneyball – Film that does a great job of bringing baseball to the forefront and showing the sport as a mental game of trying to win by using your brains
- 6. – War Horse – Spielberg does this film in epic style and shows both the horror of war while at the same time touches the heart with a story of an animal essentially seeking its master through all the chaos
- 5. – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – A film that tells a story of the effects of 9/11. Great cast led by an unknown young actor who gives an amazing lead performance here
- 4. – Midnight in Paris – Such a great concept that is all about living in the present instead of the past. The cast is perfect and Wilson is amazing as an Allen doppelganger. The music is perfectly fitting for this kind of pseudo sci-fi film. Loved the way they chose to utilize the time travel aspect of it all and because it’s done so simply, there is no need whatsoever to try and explain how it works; just that it works. The runtime is perfect at around 90 minutes and doesn’t drag at all or even feel incomplete or rushed. One of Allen’s best films!
- 3. – The Help – Great film that takes us back to a time where life in the south was much different despite the fact that it should have already changed for the better. Great cast and some intelligent and fun characters make this so enjoyable to watch.
- 2. – The Descendents – Payne knows how to write his characters so well and when he gets an amazing cast like this together, magic can happen. This is a great story that shows how a family can cope during hardships as long as they stand together.
- 1. – Hugo – Amazing film that is one of Scorsese’s best films from a storytelling perspective. The way the story flows is amazing and it is a love letter to the origins of film because it uses both new and old techniques in order to tell us such an amazing story about the roots of the film industry. The characters are all great and they all have their own unique personality quirks which endears us to them. The use of Danse Macabre in key points of the story adds so much flavor to the wondrous aspects of this film. Proof that Scorsese is capable of making a non-violent film that can be even more powerful than most of his other work. A much better representation of movie about the movies than any others in the genre.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all. Once again they went with the Hollywood insider film instead of one that touches the heart the most. Hugo was such a warm and endearing film that will be remembered much longer than the Artist.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!