Monday, February 28, 2011

Friendly Persuasion

I can't help but feel this tiny pang of disappointment in the wake of last night's Oscar ceremony, as my favorite movies of the year went home empty handed and the two major pictures "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech" proceeded to soak up nearly every award available. Every one of my predictions for the awards came true- except, oddly enough, my Best Picture pick. Although I knew that Speech was the front-runner from the get-go, I figured that the Academy would ultimately side with the jazzy modern flick rather than the archetypal Oscar bait, as it has appeared to be going younger for the past two consecutive years with its "The Hurt Locker" and "Slumdog Millionaire" picks...but again, I was just putting too much faith in the organization. Academy, I'm really starting to doubt your wisdom. Not to say that Speech wasn't any good though- it certainly deserves some accolades. Just maybe not all the accolades.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway did a tremendous job hosting the ceremony. I thought it was a particularly good one, definitely aimed at the younger demographic this year. This is their charmingly funny opening movie montage:

As for the BPC, I know that the show must go on. I have to wait another year before the Oscars come around again (which is pretty that grey-cloud feeling a little kid gets the day after Christmas), so I should really get cracking on those movies again before the next time they light up that Kodak theater. I jumped back into it tonight, though tired and strapped down with homework, by conquering A Man For All Seasons (1966).
Usually these old, bare historical pictures tug at my eyelids, but not this one. I found Seasons to be a rich, brilliantly acted, even suspenseful tale to remind us of the good old days of Hollywood. It was interesting to watch a regal Best Picture winner so soon after rolling my eyes at this year's British royalty victor...perhaps it's to these simpler cinematic times that the Academy was hearkening back when it selected Speech.
Anyway, I quite enjoyed this film (I imagined myself saying that sentence in a British accent in my head). Sir Thomas More astonishes us with his moral fortitude and unwavering piety, played to perfection by Paul Scofield, who undeniably deserves the Best Actor Oscar he received for this work. I also found Robert Shaw's bombastic King Henry VIII to be a real scene-stealer and I wonder why he lost out on the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in this year (though I haven't yet seen any of the other nominees' performances, so I guess I really can't judge).

A quick tally of my list tonight told me that, to date, I've watched 68 of the films on my long queue, leaving 417 movies to be watched in the 305 remaining days of the year. Much of that time must be taken out, too, considering that in the fall I will be headed to college and therefore unable to sit for hours on end and watch any movie I want. Thus, it appears that I need to step up my game pretty intensely if I want to finish up by the end of the year. Or perhaps I can use some friendly persuasion on my parents so they will allow me to drop out of school and take up movie-watching as my fulltime occupation. I guess we'll see what happens...

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