January 25th, 2012 | Ruth Brown Movies & Television |

Movies the Oscars Loved That We Hated

(And a few we didn't)

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Ho hum, the 2012 Academy Award nominations are out for another year. What did we think? Here's a quick recap:

War Horse. Nominated for Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography
What we said: "War Horse, has the exact same plot as a children’s film: 1945’s Son of Lassie. In both pictures, a British Isles pet—substitute plow horse for collie—is dropped behind German enemy lines, and has encounters with innocents who promptly die." Read the full review.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow)
What we said: "There’s a five-second montage with a beatific gay man, as if to signal that Daldry has lost interest in exploiting queer masochism. Now, apparently, he exploits intellectual masochism. It’s painful to watch." Read the full review.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Nominated for Best Actor (Gary Oldman)
What we said: "We are being sold some combination of nostalgia and cynicism. Think of the movie’s poster as a spy’s cover that’s already been blown. No intelligence here." Read the full review.

The Iron Lady. Nominated for Best Actress (Meryl Streep)
What we said: "The Iron Lady is that most condescending of objects: the “sympathetic” biopic of a conservative directed by a liberal, reducing all ideologies to personal hang-ups." Read the full review.

My Week With Marilyn. Nominated for Best Actress (Michelle Williams), Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh)
What we said: "a typical Weinstein Company property in the wake of The King's Speech: light, British and shapeless." Read the full review.


In fairness, our tastes did match up with those of the Academy in a few cases. Full credit for these:

Hugo. Nominated for Best Picture, Directing, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design
What we said: "Scorsese’s strongest non-documentary work since Casino." Read the full review.

The Tree of Life. Nominated for Best Picture, Directing, Cinematography
What we said: "What is so piercing about The Tree of Life is not that it knows life’s answers, but that it knows how the questions feel." Read the full review.

Moneyball.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Film Editing
What we said: "There is heart in Moneyball, but it’s the part of the heart that swells at the sight of numbers on the back of a Topps card and breaks beneath tacky banners commemorating past championships." Read the full review.
 
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