So, I have been slowly making my way through this year's Oscar nominees.
Here are a few I have seen so far. I find it hard to talk about the best picture nominees sometimes because they are often all so good in so many ways and generally tend to click on all levels. Warning: most of the movies are in the two hour range, so be warned.
The Wrestler: Can be a bit slow at times but this movie is all about the things left unsaid and the small details. Mickey is great in a role that was pretty much made for him but he really takes the character on. The action is fierce and hard to watch. Evan Rachel Wood is only in three scenes but really delivers, and is really cute. This movie is a must for any wrestling fan, or former wrestling fan but I think the story would appeal to anyone who has had their ups and down.
Revolutionary Road: Saw this one last night. The definition of a movie that is a slow burn. Since watching Mad Men, I have come to see the time between 1955 (when this movie is set) and the early 1960s as a really interesting time when society was changing in many profound ways. Technology was really starting to play into everyones lives (TV, Computers, etc) and class/sex barriers were starting to weaken. This makes for an incredible dramatic backdrop in a movie that is as much about what is NOT said as what is. Revolutionary Road is really about what goes on inside someone's head that they don't talk about. The last half hour is incredible and Leo and Kate both deliver what I would consider some of the best performances I have ever seen. Plus, the supporting cast delivers great performances from top to bottom. Not sure what it will win but look for some acting awards out of it. Maybe director... but really this movie will probably fly under the radar.
Slumdog Millionaire: I have to admit that I didn't understand this movie before I saw it.... "what, some guy wins a quiz show" but once I realized it was a story told THROUGH the questions in the game show I was totally hooked. Oddly enough it has many themes in common with Revolutionary Road in the sense that class/sex barriers are all over the place but a great story told in a unique way and definently a must watch. This will win awards, probably best picture or director... maybe screenplay.
I have seen some of the other movies nominated in other categories but soon I'm going to check out The Reader and I might see Benjamin Button but honestly, I'm not dying to see BP in another movie... I love(d) Forrest Gump and I'm not sure I'm ready for another tale that spans a lifetime....