Yesterday was the Academy Awards, and I have to say that even though I love movies we saw only one of the films nominated for the major awards and that was The Social Network. Today, after it was shut-out of the major awards, although it was considered to be a serious contender, people are wondering why. I can give you a simple reason. It wasn’t all that great of a movie. Was it good? Yes, but I my opinion it was not Oscar worthy. In fact, after the movie was over I turned to my wife and said “If that’s one of the best movies of the year, it was not a good year for movies.”
But, to show you how far behind I am, we just watched The Dark Knight for the first time a couple of weeks ago, which won Heath Ledger the Academy Award, and I honestly didn’t see what was so great about his performance. I want to be blown away by the performers who win. I want it to be like Charlize Theron in Monster or Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball or even Kathy Bates in Misery. (I know it seems like there is a pattern there, but there isn't. These were just three that I can name off the top of my head.) I want to walk out of the theater, or turn off the DVD which is more likely now, and say “that was incredible. That should win an Academy Award.” Am I alone in that?
I want my movies to wow me, and often the best I can now exclaim at the end of a film, even ones that are heralded, is “well at least we only paid a dollar for that.” I know great films are out there, they are still being made, I suspect that even some that were nominated this year are absolutely fantastic, but I want the smaller films that are incredible lifted up as well. Films like The Station Agent or The Sweet Hereafter, two small independent films that are extraordinary. I would much rather watch films like these than most of the big blockbusters any time I am given the choice.
(I’m not including animation as one of the major categories, but I have seen Toy Story 3 numerous times, and why wasn’t it nominated for best picture?)