I have been trying to see as many Oscar-nominated films as I can as long as they are readily available. Since several Netflix films have been nominated, it makes things a little easier. A few films were also released early in 2019 which meant they were available on DVD. And then there was the rare occasion when I actually went to the theater to see a movie. That honor went to "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" which I think could win Best Picture. Hollywood loves movies about itself. So what else have I seen?
"Joker" - Of course there has been a lot of buzz about this movie and rightly so. Yes, being a huge fan of "King of Comedy" and "Taxi Driver" I can see the similarities and the borrowing of styles and mood. That's OK. That's why I loved those movies in the first place. And casting De Niro as a supporting actor was brilliant since he was also in the other 2 movies. Joaquin Phoenix will be tough to beat for Best Actor.
"Marriage Story" - I didn't have high hopes for this movie, but it was actually really good. It once again proves that Netflix can produce a high quality movie on its own. It also proved Adam Driver does have range outside of Kylo Ren. Watch out for Scarlett Johansson for Best Actress. There was one scene where she did a 5-minute monologue that was outstanding. The movie itself was kinda "meh." I liked it the first time I saw it back in the 70's when it was called "Kramer vs Kramer." Same basic plot.
"The Two Popes" - Another classic example of some great acting in a mediocre movie. You have Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis. Either could win for acting, but they were much more subtle than a Joker. The problem for Hopkins is that he is in a very talented field.
"The Irishman" - I watched this one over Christmas break. I needed to block off a good chunk of time since the movie is over 3 hours long. Here's where Jonathan Pryce has his competition. I loved Al Pacino in this film and am picking him to win. You also have Joe Pesci thrown in, so the competition will be fierce. The 2 other lightweights in this category is Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt.
"I Lost My Body" - If you were like me you would be going, "What the hell is this movie?!?" It's a French film up for Best Animated Feature. It being a foreign film, it is, of course filled with weirdness. I started calling it "Thing: The Movie" since it involves a severed hand moving through Paris to find its owner. Through its journey you learn the story of its young owner and how they became separated. Yeahhhhh. The animation was nice, but the plot was just a little too "out there" for me. And the underlying love story was just plain stupid.
There's still plenty to watch before the awards show! "How to Train Your Dragon 4" and "Missing Link" are available on DVD in the animated feature category. "Parasite" just came out. There are a couple of documentaries available on Netflix. And Kitty and I will soon be making our annual pilgrimage to see the animated shorts. So stay tuned for more posts.