Who Loves Movies?

I love movies.

I love their ability to make me forget my feet are sticking to the floor and I’m not quite tall enough for a theater seat to be comfortable. I love being caught up in a good story and disappearing into someone else’s vision of the world … or a world that doesn’t exist outside of the filmmakers’ imagination and the audience’s suspension of disbelief.

I love the feeling after a good movie ends. The lights come up in the theater and you blink as your eyes adjust. Are they adjusting the change in lighting levels or the switch from living in the world on the screen to the physical one around you? 

I love movies, sometimes without discrimination. I love popcorn movies that have no hope of making the world a better place, that just take me on a great ride. I love movies that make me think, that inspire me. I’ve laughed so hard at movies that I had to hit pause on the DVD player so I didn’t miss something. I’ve also had to hit pause because I was crying too hard. I’ve walked out of theaters capable only of saying “wow.”

This is not to say that I haven’t wanted to walk out of theaters before a movie ends. I’ve even done that once. I don’t love all movies. Some aren’t good. Some are just downright bad and become the movies against which I measure other movies’ lack of quality. Is it Reindeer-Games bad? Is it Cloverfield bad?*

My love of movies extends to some awards shows. I pay attention to what and who are nominated. I root for my favorites, which typically don’t have a chance at taking home the statue. I try to see as many of the nominated films as I can.**

This morning, I watched the Oscar nominations. I haven’t seen most of the movies this year (it was a year for Redbox, Netflix and Showtime at my house), but will not let that stop me from making some early judgments and predictions. The list of nominees in major categories is after the jump, along with what/who I think will and should win. My impression of “should win” is based on absolutely nothing related to the art of filmmaking.

This year’s Oscar poster.***


Nominees (italics = who I think should win; bold = who I think will win)

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhall – Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
Mo’Nique – Precious

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds

Best Leading Actress
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
Meryl Streep – Julie and Julia

Best Leading Actor
Jeff Bridge – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up in the Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker

Best Director
James Cameron – Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarentino – Inglorious Basterds
Lee Daniels – Precious
Jason Reitman – Up in the Air

Original Screenplay
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Adapted Screenplay
District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Precious
Up in the Air

Best Animated Feature
Coraline
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

Best Picture (caps = my guess at nominees if there were only 5)
AVATAR
THE BLIND SIDE
District 9
An Education
THE HURT LOCKER
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
UP IN THE AIR

*The idea of Cloverfield was good. As was the Internet marketing/backstory. I didn’t like the execution of the movie. The handheld camera made me nauseous, and I’m tired of that technique now. I thought the characters were unlikeable and had no investment in what happened to them. Cloverfield-bad means a good idea started the process but never came to fruition. Reindeer-Games-bad means it’s just a gawdawful movie I should have walked out of. Go back.

**Thanks AMPAS for nominating 10 movies this year to increase your ratings. I rarely make it to all of the Best Picture nominees. This year, I don’t stand a chance. Go back.

***One of the more unexciting posters AMPAS has produced. It’s much more of an ad than the 2008 poster and much less interesting that Alex Ross’ 2002 poster. Go back.

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