The Oscars Tonight

Today is March 2, and I’ve been contemplating watching the Oscars this year. I haven’t watched the Oscars in eons. But this year, I want 12 Years a Slave to win for Best Picture, and I’m torn about who should win for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

I mean, I’d love for Cate Blanchett to win, but I didn’t care for the movie Blue Jasmine. It was simply one of those films I never want to sit through again. I didn’t think it was Woody Allen’s best, I’ll just put it that way.

Sandra Bullock could certainly win for Gravity, which was a beautifully-filmed movie. I liked all of the artistic in-the-womb montages that riffed on the opening theme: “Life in space is impossible.” I liked how those scenes gave me a deep appreciation, not only for how wonderful earth truly is, but that earth was born in space, in this environment that is so openly hostile to life. I loved Gravity for its thematic elements, though the story itself, I thought, was simple enough that the movie felt weak. Gravity is the story of one woman digging deep to find her survival instinct, that ferocious counter-force to the brutality of outer space, and her life is meant to be a stand-in for all life on earth. I can understand that in a cerebral, I-appreciate-this-movie-way. It just didn’t really flood me with emotion, is all. I wasn’t deeply moved by that picture.

I can also appreciate that Gravity wasn’t trying to force-feed me any treacle sentimentality. So props for that. Unfortunately, the drawback was that I wasn’t really invested in the main character’s life. Watching the film, the protagonist’s life or death felt given, so that either outcome was fine by me– watching her die or watching her live– I wasn’t rooting for her to survive. I was just watching a beautifully-filmed picture with lots of in-the-womb montages that were visually quite stunning. My heartstrings were not being wrenched.

As to the Oscars, Sandra Bullock already won a statue for The Blind Side, which makes me doubt she’ll receive another for Gravity. But if she does, that would be awesome.

The film August: Osage County received such a scathing review from The New York Times that I can’t bring myself to watch that movie. I would be fine with Meryl Streep winning an Oscar for her role in that film, as I adore Meryl Streep (who doesn’t love that woman, seriously?), I just can’t bring myself to watch the film.

My friend Pat loved Philomena but the premise seemed so sad that I pulled my I’m-a-movie-wuss crap and didn’t watch it. (I know, I can watch 12 Years a Slave, but I can’t watch Philomena— understandably bizarre, but so it goes.) And the previews for American Hustle just squicked me out enough that I don’t want to watch that movie either, but for different reasons. Not because the movie will be depressing, which I’m sure it probably is. But because the people will be doing dumb, mean things throughout the whole movie, with nothing to redeem them at the end.

I had my fill of that when I watched The Counselor in the fall, and I don’t want another dose, thanks. I can’t get back those hours of my life, and I don’t need to resent having my time wasted. Better just to pass.

My second-favorite movie on the Best Picture list is Captain Phillips. But I want Captain Phillips to lose to 12 Years a Slave, or else Hollywood will seem to me like its award ceremony fell on its face this year.

As to the other films on the list, I’ll watch Her and Nebraska at some point, when I can rent them for $1.29 at Redbox (such is my self-publishing life, that I have to budget film-watching to this extent). My sister is going to bring over Dallas Buyers’ Club some night, so we can watch that together. And The Wolf of Wall Street is a complete pass– I have no desire, none, to watch that movie.

My friend Hannah shared this gender-swapped trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street yesterday, which you can watch here. What’s really funny is the fact that I would watch this movie, with the reversed-gender roles. That film would be fascinating. The Wolf of Wall Street is just an extravaganza of greed, with a man who takes a big fall for being a selfish dick, and I know it’s based on a true story, that still doesn’t mean I want to watch it. The world is full of dicks who take huge falls– and I don’t need to spend my time with two-bit Wall Street hustlers when movies like The Last King of Scotland show the same type of man on a much larger scale. But to each his own.

I’ve been writing up a storm the past few days, trying to get to the end of my sci-fi novel, so if my muse is calling tonight, I won’t be watching the Oscars. But I am keen to know who wins.

Who will you be rooting for tonight? And which film do you think should go home with Best Picture?

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