Sunday, February 28, 2010

Julie and Julia and Up

In my quest to see all (or as many as possible) nominated films, I've checked two more off the list: "Julie and Julia" and "Up".

As someone who just started blogging (in earnest) I found Julie and Julia... interesting. It inspired to be a bit more creative with blogging (don't expect that here... I'm on a mission just to see this "Oscar" thread through.) I thought La Streep was perfection, as usual. I like Amy Adams, too. Stanley Tucci is much overlooked for his subtle, yet high quality, work. I would liked a bit more around the relationship between Julie and her husband. I might have wanted to know more about Julia's struggle with being childless and less about her interactions with her co-authors. I enjoyed it, nonetheless.

I did not enjoy "Up". It started off with a melancholy tone that I found unique in a mainstream animated film, but it soon just felt maudlin. Come on, Pixar... let's not shoot for cartoons exploring loss and aging... and I wouldn't have minded if a saccharine song, or two, was thrown in the mix. I didn't love it. I'm not sure I get why it's nominated.

And, as La Streep's character in "The Devil Wears Prada" would breathily say, "That's all."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oscar Nominated Movies 2010

I'm on a mission this year. I want to see all the movies nominated for the major awards (film, director, actor, actress, supporting actor/actress, foreign... that might be it).

Just saw Avatar... and it was the second Oscar nominated film I saw in the last two days (the other was District 9), both of which had--as their morality-driven plotlines--subjugation of others. The others in both stories were aliens. Not being an overly sci-fi guy, I wasn't sure I would enjpy them. But I did, in both cases. They weren't obnoxiously preachy but definitely drove home the message that we are too easily motivated to desecrate others' cultures, families, or--in the case of Avatar--spiritual/belief systems so that we can maintain superiority. Both films smacked of what we did to the Native Americans in the 16th century (nod by Avatar) or the Japanese-Americans during World War II (nod by District 9).

At the end of both movies, I didn't feel very good. Avatar--sorry for the spoiler--has a happy ending but, still, I was just left feeling like a big, oppressive white devil. I think that's the point of District 9, but I don't think that's the point of Avatar. I couldn't get past it, in fact, to appreciate the latter for the rest of what it intended to evoke.

Wednesday, I will receive Inglorious Basterds from Netflix. I'm not anticipating that will be particularly uplifting.

So... I'm going to watch Up as soon as I can.