Thanks to D., I’ve already watched most of what’s nominated for the Oscars this year, and, although there was plenty to like (and dislike), I was very curious what stuck with me. So, writing down the first five things that came to my mind, I got this little list:
- Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
- “Django Unchained“
- Quvenzhané Wallis
- The imagery of “The Life of Pi”
Of all these five favorites, “Amour” is probably the only one likely to win an Oscar, but let’s talk a bit about each one of them.
1. Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
Joaquin Phoenix is nominated in the same category as two other favorites of mine this year, Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) – neither on my general list of preferences, but both excellent in the roles that brought them the nominations. “Lincoln” was too dull for my taste, despite its overall greatness, including Daniel Day Lewis’ performance. However, back to Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”.
He was fantastic – in general and in detail. He created a credible character, and it was astonishing to see the efficiency of all the subtleties he introduced in his interpretation, as they can make a profoundly dramatic impression upon the viewer. His character, Freddie Quell is not likable, and it somewhat reminded me of Alex, the main character from “A Clockwork Orange” – an unlikable guy who suddenly becomes a victim, and you have a hard time sympathizing with. Freddie is not THAT unlikable – it’s easier to feel sorry for him when the “good” people become more unlikable than him. Funny thing, by the end of the movie, you still don’t like him.
2. “Django Unchained“
I liked this movie for many reasons. One reason was Christophe Waltz in his character. Another, DiCaprio playing a despicable guy. But, what I liked most about it was the fact that there were moments when it didn’t seem like a Tarantino movie, and then, you would get a generous splash of fake blood to remind you who’s the filmmaker. Memorable 🙂
First off, I am touched by most things related to strokes – personal reasons. I’m also touched by old-age love. I know how challenging cohabitation can be sometimes, and I look up to people who have overcome those challenges and lasted together until death. “Amour” is a combination of all these things – sad, rather somber, honest.
4. Quvenzhané Wallis
She played the role of Hushpuppy in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (impressive movie, by the way), and now she’s nominated for an Oscar. She’s not even 10! However, she did a tremendous job embodying 6-year-old Hushpuppy, making a strong and unforgettable main character. Her intelligent eyes, her air of seriousness, that wild head of hair – she’s almost the whole movie. And Hushpuppy is a special and difficult character, a kid of such inner strength that would put many adults to shame. I love children, and, of course, as usual, I wanted to take care of Hushpuppy all throughout the movie, and when she was yelling for her mother, I wept and felt heartbroken. Quvenzhané Wallis made me believe I was watching the life of a real girl from the bayous of Louisiana. That’s what great actresses (even in miniature sizes) do!
5. The imagery of “The Life of Pi”
This movie has the quiet kind of power that doesn’t resonate well with the Oscars or Hollywood. It’s a beautiful film, with spectacular visuals, poetry, and sparks for thought.
To wrap this up, I must say that “Argo” fits the standards for the big Oscar, but we’ll see about that on Monday morning. Yes, Monday – I’m not particularly interested in award shows 🙂