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The Righteous Prick 2012 Oscar Breakdown

The 2012 Oscar Nominations were announced for what I believe was the worst year in movies since 2005 (Crash beat Brokeback Mountain while Munich, my favorite movie of that year, never had a shot despite being nominated).  Well this year has been the movie of the overrated and the boring.  I have some positive things to say about some of this year’s nominees, but that wouldn’t be as much fun so I will try to keep the positivity to a minimum.  For reference here is my recap of 2011 films (before I saw the excellent We Need To Talk About Kevin):

https://jlcauvin.com/?p=3180

BEST PICTURE

In my movie wrap up of 2011 I rated Hugo as the most overrated film of the year and The Tree of Life in the top 5 most overrated films of the year, as well as the most pretentious film of all time.  Both nominated for best picture.  Awful.  And Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is nominated.  It is the only film of the ten nominated that I have not seen.  And I have no intention of seeing it.  Not because of any 9/11 movie fear or discomfort (United 93 is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, but the academy only had the courage to nominate it for Best Director back in 2006, not best picture), but because I find the child actor so irritating in the commercials and previews that I am glad he lost his fictional father.  That is how annoying I find him.

Wake me up when this horsesh*t is over.

I have no problem with the other nominees and generally found the films to range from adequate to enjoyable.  However here are the movies I think are clear snubs: The Ides of March, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 50/50, We Need To Talk About Kevin and my long shot, but personal favorite Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The fact that WNTTAK and 50/50 were completely shut out is a travesty.

We Need To Talk About Kevin was original, thought provoking and incredibly creepy. And snubbed.

But thank goodness Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive were not nominated for Best Picture.

BEST ACTOR

When is Joseph Gordon-Levitt going to get some goddamn respect?!  500 Days of Summer shut out in 2009 and then 50/50 shut out this year.  It makes me like JGL more to think that he is being stiffed by the industry because he does not play politics.

The nominees are fine I guess with that one omission.  And I am surprised Michael Fassbender did not get nominated for Shame. Or that his penis was not nominated for best supporting actor.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jonah Hill gets nominated for playing a fat quiet guy.  The fu*k out of here!

Kenneth Branagh should win this, but Christopher Plummer has earned it (and his performance as Mike Wallace in The Insider was not nominated at all in 1999 – my top snub I can remember)

BEST ACTRESS

To quote Bill Burr, “Rooney Mara had to be fu*king Daniel Craig and if she wasn’t she deserves an award for best pantomiming of fu*king a guy.”  Agreed.  She looked great, she was great. I think she should win.  Normally I bet Meryl Streep against the field because she is better than everyone, but The Iron Lady was not good.  Like not good enough to tear her chances down.

She should win. Sorry Meryl, I have rooted for you in every other race.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain was in 147 movies this year so she deserves this. And she was great in The Help. And I think it would be funny if the only award for the The Help went to a white woman.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

They all sucked this year.  Seriously, every animated movie I saw this year sucked. What a disappointment. Shame on you Pixar and shame on you Kung Fu Panda 2. I expect better from you guys.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Rise of the Planet of The Apes – it needs to win something dammit!

Caesar is home and his ass should get an effects Oscar.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Really good category except Tinker Tailor is nominated.  Really – a good adaptation? Was the book long, boring and dreary also or was that the gift of the screenwriter?  Hugo can go fu*k itself.  I think Moneyball wins simply because it was a great book about statistics that was made into a solid (but not great in my opinion) film.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Bridesmaids got nominated for best original screenplay?  So I guess making a slightly less funny Old School/Hangover (I, not the lazy II) is now original!  I’d like to see The Artist win because it would be weird to have a film with 10 words of dialogue win a screenwriting award.

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Movie of the Week: Take Shelter

I remember seeing a preview for the psychological (or supernatural) thriller that is this week’s movie of the week and thinking two things:

1) That looks cool and interesting and

2) Hey that was Kenny Powers’ girlfriend in the preview!

The  movie actually boasts several people from HBO shows – most notably its star Michael Shannon, who plays a hard charging federal agent on Boardwalk Empire.  He is one of the most unique looking people on screens today because his face is a mash-up of strong-jawed handsome and cousin-marrying creepy.   He looks like the James Bond villain Jaws had a kid with a handsome person.  He is married in the film to Jessica Chastain’s character, who based on how many movies she has been in this year she may actually have as much quality time with me as my girlfriend. Seriously, here are the tallies right now for most overused things in Hollywood in 2011:

“How You Like Me Now” by The Heavy – 377 movies, previews and commercials

“Raise your Glass” by Pink – 362 movies, previews and commercials

Jessica Chastain – 1,988 movies

Possibly setting a record for most movies in a single year.

The movie is about Curtis, who is having increasingly frightening dreams of a storm of near apocalyptic dimensions.  He has a wife (played by Chastain) of incredible patience and a deaf daughter who requires a costly surgery.  The movie moves along at a slow, but steady pace as the dreams get more drastic and the Curtis’ actions begin to appear less and less rational.  The dilemmas for Curtis are two-fold. One is that he is a working stiff in America and throughout the film health insurance, bank loans and his employment all become issues that put his family into crisis mode.  The second is that he is increasingly convinced of his dreams as prophecy, despite his knowledge that mental illness runs in his family.

Jaw of a movie star, eyes of a molester - Michael Shannon everyone!

Almost all of the film is centered on the family unit and the acting is excellent.  At times Curtis’ wife seems to have too much patience, but when you realize she knew that she was marrying a semi- scary looking man with mental illness in his family she probably expected things to get bumpy.  Shannon is especially good as Curtis becomes increasingly erratic and volatile because his brain is telling him he is mentally ill, but his soul is telling him something catastrophic is coming.

The end of the film is excellent.  And I will leave it at that.  The movie builds something very interesting as it progresses, but it does build a little too slowly for my taste.  Like my complaint with Moneyball and ESPECIALLY Drive, there was a little bit too much director self-pleasure with lingering shots and other indulgent, artistic superfluities, mostly in the first 2/3 of the film.  Other than that, no complaints.

Final Grade – A-/B+