By (mostly) staying awake through "Michael Clayton" last night, I completed, for the first time in my life, the Oscar Best Picture quintfecta -- seeing all five movies nominated for "Best Picture"
before the Academy Awards
are presented. This gives me the right -- nay, the responsibility
-- to give to you one guy's rankings of the Best Picture nominees.
Note that this list isn't generated from the perspective of an artsy-fartsy person who worries about "nuance" and "exploring themes of identity and alienation from an uncaring society". I don't care that much about a film's politics, unlike those who don't like "Juno"
because the girl in the movie didn't actually get an abortion, thereby trying to foist heteronormative, patriarchal
notions on impressionable teens. I want my movies to entertain me, and if they make me think, that's a bonus.
That being said, here's how I rank this year's nominees:
1) "No Country For Old Men"
: This movie had some of the most suspenseful scenes I've seen in a movie since "Silence of the Lambs". The acting was great, and while the movie never really explained how Tommy Lee Jones' sheriff became such a coward, it had enough character background that I could appreciate everyone else's motivations. Not quite good enough to get 5 Self-Treated Gunshot Wounds out of five, it did get a solid 4.
: A smart, funny film that provides depth for the characters with minimal hand-waving. As such, it'll never win, but it's the only one I'd consider buying on DVD. Gets a solid 4 Overtrained Thinclads out of five.
3) "Michael Clayton"
: Since this is the last of the movies I saw, I was thinking much more about Oscar-worthiness with this one than any of the others. To paraphrase the Princeton recruiter in "Risky Business"
: "Your storyline is respectable, you've got some solid acting, but it's not quite Oscar League, now is it". A decent movie that gets 3 Slimy Lawyers out of five.
The last two movies I'd reviewed previously:
4) "There Will Be Blood"
: Another decent movie that didn't really stick out in my mind. It's one of those where I'm glad I saw it once
, and if I ever see it in the TV listings, I can't imagine I'd want to watch it again.
99 gazillion to the bazillionth power) "Atonement"
: Even thinking about this movie for a short time makes me more and more pissed off
. If film people are trying to be so "Green", they should kick the makers of this travesty out of the business for wasting perfectly good film stock. It sucked that bad. Of course, that mean's it'll probably win.