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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oscars 2012 - 'Best Picture' Nominations Review

  • The Artist

        Movies about silent era are always charming. This movie oozed honesty and did justice to the thought that the script dealt with. Very well directed and acted, this movie captured everyone's attention on its festival screenings and wider release.

        Did you know : Some theaters, including one in Liverpool, England, issued refunds to moviegoers who were unaware that this was a silent film, and walked out early in the picture.
        Total nominations received : 10
        Our prediction :  Front runner and facing stiff competition from 'The Descendants'

  • The Descendants 
       One of best works by the director Alexander Payne and by George Clooney. It stands tall among the movies that come out in 2011. It dealt with emotions and comedy like not many other movies have ever done. Read the detailed review here.

       Did you know : Near the beginning of the film, Clooney's character says "I don't want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father: you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing". This is actually a paraphrase from one of the world's wealthiest men, and the richest person in the world in 2008, Warren Buffett. In reference to how much money he would bequeath to his children, Buffett replied: "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing." 
 Total nominations received : 
         Total nominations received : 5
         Our prediction : Looked set to win it but 'The Artist' may take the award away.

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


        Panned universally by every major critic, this movie was a surprise nominee. It deals with the aftermath of 9/11 and focuses on a kid who has lost his father in that horrible event. Unable to live harmoniously with his mother, the kid sets out on the streets of New York chasing something in an unpractical quest of his own.    

       Did you know : Director Stephen Daldry hoped the film would be completed for the fall of 2011 so that it coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. 
      Total nominations received : 2
      Our prediction : Not even a remote chance

  • The Help

Based on a novel, the movie dealt with the horror that the Afro-American community went through in the 1960s. A brave and aspiring author decides to document all the troubles that the community was going through. A gritty movie that was very well directed and acted. It was certain to be nominated for the major categories and the academy duly honoured it.

        Did you know : Kathryn Stockett's book on which this film is based was rejected 60 times before it was eventually published.
       Total nominations received : 4
       Our prediction : May come out as a surprise winner but the chances are slim

  • Hugo 
        Whatever Marty does, there is a master touch to that. Scorsese's first 3D film had surely raised everyone's expectations. The movie didn't disappoint. It was delightful and touching tale of a kid trying to understand his late father's mechanical creation wandering around the train station in Paris. 3D was used like never before and it pleased the audiences everywhere. A deserving nomination!

      Did you know : After a screening that James Cameron attended, he called the film a "masterpiece" and told Martin Scorsese it was the best use of 3D he had seen, including his own films. 
      Total nominations received : 11
      Our prediction : Has garnered a lot of praise from the academy but chances are not great

  • Midnight in Paris  

        Woody Allen and the city of Paris. Had to be something different. It indeed turned out to be so. Helped by the brilliant screenplay, the movie is so well made that its tough not to enjoy every minute of the movie. Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard give great performances that seem so natural.

       Did you know : Woody Allen's first film to gross over $100 million worldwide. 
       Total nominations received : 4
       Our prediction : Woody Allen is pretty certain to win the award for the 'Best original screenplay' but this one doesn't seem too probable.

  • Moneyball

        Sports and movies are an explosive combination. A movie made on one of the most popular sport was well received thanks to its underdog to achiever theme. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give towering performances in this movie based on real life of Billy Beane. Read the full review here.

       Did you know : Billy Beane is portrayed as a lonely divorcée in the film, though in real life he had actually remarried. Scenes were actually shot with Kathryn Morris as his second wife, Tara, that didn't make the final cut. However, Brad Pitt's character still wears a wedding ring throughout the film. 
       Total nominations received : 6
       Our prediction : Unlikely

  • The Tree of Life

Was it philosophical ? Was it a documentary ? Was it entertainment ? People around the world were puzzled but this piece of genius by Terrence Malick had all the movie aficionados drooling. This movie must be watched for its visuals alone and then must be given another watch to understand the story. Such movies are an event of rarity these days but must be appreciated and honoured whenever one gets to see one of these.

       Did you know : Some American theaters set up signs - warning moviegoers about the enigmatic and non-linear narrative of the movie - following some confused walkouts and refund demands in the opening weeks. 
       Total nominations received : 3
       Our prediction : Too strong for the academy!

  • War Horse
        This movie saw mixed reactions from the critics and audiences. Some labelled it as sugar-coated boring drama and at the same time the movie was lauded for its amazing portrayal of bonding between a young boy and his horse through wars and across geographical boundaries. Spielberg knows the craft and is too smart to get nothing right. War horse struck the right chords at many places and earned a nomination.

        Did you know : Fourteen horses played Joey during the movie. The "main" acting horse in the film, Finder, also portrayed Seabiscuit in the movie about the famous racehorse. 
       Total nominations received : 6
       Our prediction : Chances are next to none.

BOTTOM LINES : This list seems incomplete without movies like 50/50, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Margin Call and Drive. The academy got it wrong there but these 9 were the movies that got the final nod. Academy can do something right now and not spring another surprise by awarding an undeserving movie.
Courtesy : Youtube and IMDB


  1. The Descendants, Our prediction : Looked set to win it but 'The Artist' may take the award away?? Really? is it that good?? it felt fairly mediocre to me. George clooney was top class but still... movie could ve had much more ...

    on another note, u guys see every movie? how do u find so much time? n not just that, u even write so much abt em. top-notch! lovely well analysed reviews.. makes deciding job whether to watch a movie or not much easier....bravo!!
    -- Siddu Wali

  2. So, as we predicted,'The Artist' did take the award away. The best thing about Descendants was that it under played the emotions. Nothing seemed too dramatic and I felt like I was watching something about a family that I closely knew. Its so easy to go over the top in driving home the point but this movie held itself back and did not take the easier route.

    And about watching these many movies, this is what we do :-) Eat,sleep,work,watch movies!! I'm glad you think that these reviews are worth reading and can help someone to decide if a movie is worth watching or not.


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