With the exception of an absolutely wonderful day of worship with my church family on Sunday, the Greenbeans spent most of the weekend trying to watch as many of the best picture nominees as possible.  Here are my impressions so far; in the order we have seen them.

The Help–Okay, we saw this film about two months ago before we knew it would be nominated for best picture.  I think Kim liked it more than I did; but I have to say it was a very good movie.  I have heard some chatter from some corners that it is not very historically accurate, be that as it may, it was a very good movie.  The acting was spectacular and, as a man who spent his childhood in a racist, bigoted culture, I can tell you it did capture the ugly essence of racism.
 
Midnight in Paris–This was the first of three movies on Friday.  Kim and I purchased it on demand while the kids were at school.  I loved this movie.  It has all of the strengths of the classic Woody Allen movies without the weaknesses (an unending narcissism, fatalism, and self importance).  As a writer and reader who loves T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway I find the premise absolutely engrossing.  I was hooked.  This movie has the added benefit of staring the greatest living actor of our time:  Owen Wilson.
 
The Tree of Life–Two hours, which regretfully, I will never get back.  I hated this movie.  I understand the metaphor and the images and the ‘put everything into perspective’ aspect but give me a break.  I need something linear.  Is clear exposition too much to ask for?  The only saving grace is that the acting is really good.  Too bad the actors are so rarely on screen or ever saying anything.  My 17 year old daughter saw this one with us (again, on demand in the basement) and kept saying, “make it stop!”
 
War Horse–We saw this film Friday evening (finishing the triple feature Friday) with our youngest daughter (12) at the historic Dragonfly Cinema in Port Orchard.  I liked this movie even though it featured an animal as the lead; and usually I do not like animal oriented movies.  I think what I liked most was the portrayal of the global impact of war on all the earth; man, land, and beast.  By like, I don’t mean that I enjoyed it, I mean it was moving.  It made me think of Isaiah’s prophecy of of the wolf lying down with the lamb as the context for universal peace.
 
Moneyball–Again, we purchased this on demand on Saturday evening.  I’m not a very big fan of Brad Pitt (I can’t forgive him for ruining Achilles in Troy) so two Pitt movies in two days was pushing it.  The film was good but the cast was what made it.  Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and all the character actors did a fantastic job.  On the negative side, the story is nice but it is not that compelling.  The movie has hard work to do–it is trying to make us feel sorry for million dollar athletes and professional sports clubs.  As a man who lives in a community that pulls for our miserable Mariners every year, it is hard to root for the A’s.  A few reviews say that it is to baseball what “The Social Network” was for Facebook.  I’m sorry, but no.  “The Social Network” was a far better film.

Okay, those are the ones we’ve seen.  I’ll update you later when I’ve finished the rest and will hopefully have a blog predicting the winner, as well as a pick or two in the other categories before the Academy Awards.

FINALLY FINISHING BEST PICTURE NOMINEES

BEST PICTURE OSCAR ROUNDUP 2012

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