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It’s that time of year again: Oscar Blitz!

As I wrote last year, even if I haven’t gotten out to see many films in the theaters, I never miss the Oscars.

And the nominations for Best Picture are…

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

You can see a full ballot list for printing at Oscar.com.



I’ve gotten a bit of a head start on my blitz, having seen The Artist a couple of weeks ago with La Javanaise, and having just Netflixed The Help and Midnight in Paris, with Moneyball in the DVR right now and The Tree of Life at the top of my queue.

In my mind, The Artist leads the pack. It was great fun, with plenty of nods to cinéphiles throughout. As a film historian, I’m happy for the success of any movie that gets people to see a black and white picture, nevermind a virtually silent one at that. Plus, you know I have to root for the French one.

That’s not to say I didn’t like The Help. I thought it was a very strong adaptation of a good book. And certainly its acting nominations are well deserved.

As for Midnight in Paris, let’s just say I have no idea why people like this movie. Sure, Paris looks gorgeous in the opening montage, but other than that I felt it was complete fluff. And not the good kind that goes with peanut butter. The kind that meanders with no real point. Yes, Paris in the rain does beat any other city in the rain, but it’s still rain.

Of course, I have yet to see Hugo, which I could root for based on the subject matter alone. I thought the book was just okay, but I can see where it would make a gorgeous film. And if there is anyone who can pay proper tribute to the genius that was Georges Méliès, it’s Scorsese. Silent films and film history are really front and center this year, aren’t they?



Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is this year’s 127 Hours as it would have to be Citizen Kane before I’d pay to see a film about that day, especially one with Tom Hanks. And I really have no interest in War Horse, but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise if people think it’s good; I haven’t heard much about it.

Films that received multiple nominations but didn’t get a Best Picture nod include Albert Nobbs, Bridesmaids (which I actually saw in the theater), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the last Harry Potter (which I recently Netflixed), The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn, A Separation, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Transformers. I’m not particularly interested in any of them except for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but I’ll probably try to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Separation as well. I will not see Transformers.

One-offs include Drive, The Ides of March, Jane Eyre, Margin Call, Rise of Planet of the Apes, and W.E. I can recommend both Jane Eyre and Margin Call and will probably Netflix at least the first two, both of which I meant to see in theaters. As I have done previously, I will see both short programs (assuming they once again play in a local theater).

In the meantime, any Oscar contenders you recommend? What are you going to see between now and February 26th?

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