Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Oscar Films So Far...

As most know, I tend to write on this blog when something just needs to be said, or I want to pass on my thoughts. Both count and in this post, the opinions are mine and mine alone.

To understand the following comments, some background. Over the last six or so years a film friend and I make a point to see the best picture nominations. This was fairly simple when there were only five, now with nine or more ridiculously difficult to do. Still we do make the effort, but at the cost of tickets and the quality, well, I wonder should we continue.

There were great hopes for this years crop of nominees, but alas so far that hope has been dashed on the ragged edge of reality. For the most part, the films are not engaging. I have seen five and will give a brief statement about each and why I don't think it was that good.

HER: Creative for the sake of creativity.  Not Oscar worthy for just that reason. No real story and for me the best performance was Scarlett Johansson as the voice. She was almost worth the price of admission.

NEBRASKA: Bruce Dern was pretty good. The choice to film in black and white probably did the best favor for this film. Otherwise it really didn't engage me. A few good scenes but not enough to carry a film.

AMERICAN HUSTLE: The performances were amazing. The story was horrible. No continuity, and there was no one, I mean no one of the major characters I really gave a hoot about. One minor character I cheered for. Otherwise what a wash. As a friend said when walking out...what was that all about?

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE: It could have been a powerful story, but how many times can you stand to see the sky scanned for two minutes and not see anything else. You could leave the film for ten to fifteen minutes and not miss a thing important. Poorly executed story and editing. Re-edit and take out about forty five or so minutes and making it tighter would have served this film well.

GRAVITY: A good film, nicely told story and they stopped it at the right time. Is it an Oscar film? Not really but so far it is the best of the lot. The story here also failed with over long shots, but not as bad as the above film.

So there you have it. What I thought might be a good year for films so far is not. When film makers get back to telling a story and forget about all the bells and whistles we could have a good year. Take a bit of reality, add some myth and characters you care about and then we will talk. Seems reality TV has made its mark on film and that is not a good thing. Movie makers, please stop thinking we don't care about people and spend your and our time with being clever. Just tell a damn good story in a way that we can care about.

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