With 10 Best Pictures to watch I was cutting it close this year, but did manage to cross the bulk of nominees off my list. I love the challenge and like it even more when I'm surprised by movies that I might not have watched otherwise. Here's my two cents about the 2011 Best Picture nominees.
The King's Speech
This felt the most like an Oscar movie. A period biopic, with a handicap to overcome that's based on a true story, starring a prolific and experienced actor in the leading role. I'm a sucker for British history, and technically speaking this flick checked all the boxes.
The Kids Are All Right
Modern, fresh, and compelling, it was cool to see a movie that featured a same-sex couple without the plot being dictated by social causes. It just goes to show how complicated 'normal' is for everyone. Big thumbs up!
I only wish that more studios would push for the originality showcased in Inception. I'm still in need of a second viewing to fully appreciate it I think, but this was a fun surprise with some incredible imagery and effects to boot.
Another sports biopic about an underdog may not be reinventing the wheel, but I thought this was brilliant. I seem to be attracted to anything with Amy Adams in it to be honest, but the picture features some really compelling performances throughout.
If more thrillers were like this I wouldn't despise so many of them. Portman is incredible and the story is fused with the perfect amount of mystery and suspense. Who knew ballerinas were so dark?
One of my favorite nominees, Danny Boyles film is an editing smorgasbord of jump cut flashbacks and daydreaming. I loved the structure of the movie and the euphoria created by merging memories and digital clips with the reality of willing yourself to survive.
The Social Network
It's a powerful story considering the context that it has defined about how we communicate, but I found it hard to care about anyone in this movie. To be honest, I think I would've been more compelled to watch a documentary feature about the reality of 'the social network' instead of seeing it be so overly dramatized. Still, check it out.
Toy Story 3
This is about as close to a universally heart-warming and dare I say 'perfect' movie as you can probably get.
Do yourself a favor and watch the 1969 original with John Wayne and then ask yourself why this needed to be remade. The Coen brothers are great, but this certainly isn't their best.
Of all the nominees this was the only one that I actually strongly disliked. It was so dry and country-bumpkin infused that it seemed like a joke to say this was the modern day. I have trouble watching flicks that don't seem very redeeming, and after it was over all I thought was I could've done without it. To each their own.