Thursday, February 07, 2008

Oscar Time is Coming!

I just finished a four hour lunch lady shift and my feet are killing me! Lunch ladies work hard for the money...they work hard for the money...they work hard for the money so you better treat them right! Did you hear a song in that?

But my screaming soles have nothing to do with today's blog. It is all about the movies! I love to go to the movies and with that hobby of mine, I have been watching the Academy Award show for years. For many of those shows, my friends Susy, Stacey, Robin and I threw Oscar parties. Our biggest had our home filled with 75 people and three TVs. Each party involved a ballot for each guest, silly prizes and lots of food. Some of the dishes were homages to the films nominated that year. Good times!

My parties have gotten much smaller throughout the years and now a days I usually just watch the show with John, at least until he goes to bed or decides to do something he really wants to do. But he understands Academy Award Day is like a holiday to me. I always go and get a pedicure or treat myself to a new book or something to just celebrate. I think the reason I like this show so much is that the essence of it all is encouragement. It is a night of a glamorous "You did a good job." I like seeing what everyone is wearing, too. Most Oscar nights I will be on the phone with my friend Susy, who now lives in Chicago, and we will "dish" about outfits and banter about the silliness and fun of it all.

Some of the movies are horrid. I know this. But I still like the idea of the dream of Hollywood. So clearly I remember my first trip to Tinsel Town and the utter disappointment at how dirty downtown Hollywood is. But the idea, the Jimmy Stewart and Barbara Stanwick version of life on the screen, is still appealing to me.

So, I make it a point to see at least MOST of the movies nominated for Best Picture. I don't always do this, especially if one of the nominees is appalling to me. But this year, I found a $5 theatre and went to all five films up for Best Picture. Here is my 2 cents worth:

1) JUNO - LOVED IT! Very quirky, very well written. A young sassy teenager gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Her journey is filled with characters that you end up really liking. Her parents are delightful. In one scene, Juno is asking her dad if there is a way to know what your purpose on earth is. She wonders outloud if anyone really knows what they are on earth for. Without hesitation, her dad says he does. "Heating and Airconditioning!" Juno does not present the Christian world view of premarital sex, but it does put a very positive spin on adoption! If you are like me, and some of you, whether you admit it or not ARE like me, you will leave the theatre grinning and going over the great writing in your head. One flash of almost sex, lots of inuendos, some cussing. See it with some girlfriends!

2) MICHAEL CLAYTON - LOVED IT! This is one of those fabulous adult movies where you have to be smarter than a fifth grader to figure out what is going on. I love a good movie that makes you think and follow and devise your own plot points. I love it even more when what I predicted would happen, doesn't. George Clooney is Geoge Clooney, smirky or sincere, depending on the scene. The star here is the PLOT. I really enjoyed the ride. But CUDOS to the supporting actress and supporting actor - of course I don't know their names - but they were great. She played a CEO who is very stressed out and he a smart lawyer who is going insane. No sex, not a lot of cussing. Take your husband - this would be a great date movie!

3) ATONEMENT - IT WAS OKAY. I am so over Kiera whatshername. I liked her in the soccer movie and the Pirate movies, but it seems she keeps playing the same part. The guy who was the Faun in Narnia plays her love interest and the plot between them is sorta interesting but gets REALLY BELABORED. The way this was directed was the most enjoyable part for me. This little girl witnesses something, she thinks, and that is the crux of the movie. How the director shows us her point of view was fascinating to me. And she likes to write and becomes a writer. So, the director uses the sound effect of a typewriter's keys as she walks. I loved that. But overall, it wasn't something I would recommend and I love British accent movies. One really needlessly graphic sex scene, lots of cussing, some violence. Skip it, but if you HAVE to see it, wait for video.

4) THERE WILL BE BLOOD - UCK. I am biased, first of all, because I can't stand Daniel Day Lewis. He is SO strained. In the movie My Left Foot, he was SO strained. In the Last Mohican, he was SO strained. In this movie, guess what? He is SO strained. How can you relax and enjoy a movie while watching someone who seems like any minute they will have a heart attack or finally be cured of chronic constipation?
As for the plot, it is all about power! Lewis is an oil man who belives in hard work. But his hard work and success turns into a need for power over those around him. His "foil" is a young preacher who believes in faith and church, but his success in preaching turns into a need for power over those around him. Needless to say, they butt heads. I didn't like the ending. But to be honest, by that time, I felt so STRAINED, I just wanted it to end. Please, just SKIP THIS. Lots of blood and violence, lots of cussing.

5) NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - Are YOU KIDDING ME? THIS WAS NOMINATED?????? So my nephew Justin, a movie aficianado as myself, warned me. He told me this was just a hopeless movie. He was right. Serial killer who has absolutely no redeeming value is after Josh Brolin's character, who has just a tad bit of redeeming value. Tommy Lee Jones, the sheriff trying to figure out everything, but who is always one step behind, is the ONLY interesting thing in this movie. The Cohen brothers wrote and directed and I guess they are trying to show us deeper levels of existential violence and crime. To me, it was like walking into one of those art galleries with a big black dot on the wall and being asked what did I get out of it. Nothing. It is a big, black dot. And this movie was a big, black hopeless dot. There is a chase involved and that always adds some thrill, but not much. I hope this doesn't win. I really hope this doesn't win! See this only if you want to take a shower of hopelessness.

February 24th, I think, is the big day! I can't wait! It is just silly fun!


Kay said...

I haven't seen any of these. But I've wanted to see Juno.
And now I'd like to see Michael Clayton, (which I never heard of).
I hope Johnny wins for best actor. Not that I've seen Sweeny, but I just think he is a very good actor. And I'm sure he's excellent in it.

Robbie Iobst said...

Kay, I love talking movies! I didn't see Sweeney Todd because I don't like the plot or Tim Burton.

Jan Parrish said...

Juno is the only movie I've seen on the list and it's a great one. I'm going to pass on the others. :) I was really surprised a movie as good as Juno was nominated because most of the Oscar movies are artsy and therefore, not my deal. But I liked this one enough to blog about.

MondaythroughSunday said...

well..feeling like I need to go to the theater now!!

Robbie Iobst said...

Thanks Jan and Melanie for your comments! BY THE WAY a great place I go to for reviews to see exactly how many cuss words, if there is any nudity and just how violent a movie is IS Dove movie reviews. I always google Dove foundation and just go to the reviews.

Danica/Dream said...

Robbie, I haven't seen any of them, sad to say. I'm such a chick flick addict that I'm clueless about the rest. Thanks for sharing! I may check Juno out on DVD.

MondaythroughSunday said...

Saw Juno ~ It was ok.

cj marley said...

I don't like Tim Burton either. Must be a gene thing. :)