Tag Archives: Midnight in Paris

Movie Thoughts

I don’t think there’s ever been a year when I’ve seen all of the Best Picture nominations before the Academy Awards.  Until this year!  Chalk it up to living near the best theatre in Rochester, some time on my hands, and a love of movies!  I’ll attempt to give my thoughts about the nominees below.  As I’ve said before, I am not too critical as I love all kinds of movies and the movie-going experience.

2012 Academy Awards Nominees List

Best Picture

This was a great movie and one of my favorites from this list.  It was just beautiful.  The actors were beautiful, the music was beautiful, the silence was beautiful, the story was beautiful.  Big crush on Jean Dujardin, who is nominated for Best Actor for his role in this film.  There was a scene that was very unsettling but the resolution was perfect.  Berenice Bejo was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film and it received many other nominations and is expected to be a big winner. Ah.  I can’t wait to own this one.

George Clooney is nominated for Best Actor in this film, which I also enjoyed immensely.  The plot was unpredictable, which I like, and although it wasn’t a happy story, it was a great story and well-done.  Beautiful scenery, great performances by the kids and the friends and family.  George has been nominated for an Oscar before and won once for “Syriana.”  I’ve never seen it!  Is it worth looking for?

I’ve written before about this book and my love for it, so I knew what to expect going in.  The movie is different than the book (and just not as good, in my mind) but the actor portraying Oskar did a great job.  It’s a fair interpretation of the book and a decent movie.  Max von Sydow is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the silent “renter” who helps Oskar in his quest.

I listened to this book on audio this summer with Gracie and Rees in the car, so I was excited to bring them to the movie this fall.  They both really liked the movie and so did I.  If I were ranking all nine of these films, it may fall #4 (or be in a tie for 3rd with a few others), but it was really good.  The love of movie-making and being transported by film is something I can relate to.  It is very true to the book (which is based on real people) and it is visually stunning to watch.  We didn’t spring for 3D for this movie and I don’t think it lessened our experience.  Martin Scorsese is nominated for Best Director and it received a bunch of other nominations as well, I think ranking up there with “The Artist.”
What a fun movie this is.  I saw this in the theatre last spring and knew that it would be one I would like to own and watch again and again.  I loved the beauty of Paris, the music of Paris, the depiction of the Golden Age in Paris, and I love Owen Wilson.  I bought it before Christmas with birthday money and have watched it a few times.  Good stuff.  It was also nominated for Best Screenplay and Woody Allen was nominated for Best Director.

We read this book for book club in 2010 and a bunch of us were able to see the movie together this summer.  Wow.  It is a great movie if you haven’t read the book but I think that reading the book really added to the depth of the movie experience.  I cried through most of the movie, simply because of how I knew the characters from the book.  Viola Davis (Aibileen) is nominated for Best Actress, and Octavia Spencer (Minny) and Jessica Chastain (Celia)  are nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  Great stuff.

I watched this on DVD in mid-January and it was a great movie!  It was so good that my mom watched it two nights in a row!  It was a long movie but never dull, which you think a movie about numbers and statistics would be.  It was just a good ol’ baseball movie.  Why are movies about baseball often so good?  🙂  Brad Pitt is nominated for Best Actor and Jonah Hill is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for their roles in this film.

This is the last nominee that I saw and I am glad that I saw it in the theatre!  I went to a late show one night with another movie-loving friend.  It’s a long movie and as we were the only people in the theatre that night, we were the last people to leave the building!  Good thing I was the Mayor of the theatre (on foursquare) at the time. 🙂  I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my nightstand in my TBR pile.  The movie was very well done, but I covered my eyes a bit during the war scenes.  Difficult stuff.  But the movie had an epic feel to it, with expansive shots of scenery that reminded me of Gone with the Wind or something.  It is nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography as well.  A great film!

Hmmm.  I got this one on DVD and it was so weird.  First, the DVD instructs you to turn your volume up very loud, as there is constant, subtle new age-y music playing under the dialogue throughout the movie.  The movie lost me when it got all weird so I didn’t truthfully pay much attention after that big weirdness.  I listen to a movie podcast and they had many reviewers on who chose this as their favorite movie of 2011 and I couldn’t tell you why.  I guess they thought it was beautiful and meaningful.  I like all sorts of different movies but this one did nothing for me.  Just too weird.
Other thoughts about Oscar nominees:
  • Rooney Mara is nominated for Best Actress for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which is another movie that I loved!  I didn’t want to, as I loved the Swedish adaptation of the novel but I could not believe how true to the book this movie was.  It was just great.
  • Michelle Williams is nominated for Best Actress for “My Week With Marilyn,” which was just beautiful. She did an amazing portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.  Good stuff.
  • Kenneth Branagh is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his depiction of Sir Laurence Olivier in “My Week with Marilyn.”
  • Nick Nolte is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Warrior,” which was a great movie that really surprised me!  When it came in my Netflix queue I wondered what I was thinking – Mixed Martial Arts aren’t my thing.  But what a great story.  I cried.  Good film.
  • Melissa McCarthy is nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “Bridesmaids.”  A movie that I now own and have watched at least five times – laughing just as hard every single time! What a delight.
  • Only two songs nominated for Best Song and I’ll root for “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppet Movie”!  Loved “The Muppet Movie,” I love Jason Segal, and I love Bret McKenzie (the writer of a lot of the songs from the movie, of Flight of the Condchords fame!).  I think there’s a petition out there to get the two songs performed at the Oscars, because they didn’t plan on that!  Would be fun to see.
  • I watched one of the Best Animated Short Film nominees on YouTube (or somewhere on the internet) a few weeks ago – “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  Quite clever.
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two” got a few nominees for MakeUp and Visual Effects.  Seeing that movie was a big event for me this summer.  I listened to all of the audiobooks and watched all the movies over the spring and summer in preparation and went to a midnight showing on opening night.  Good stuff, Harry.

I think “that is all I have to say about that!”  (Name that movie quote?) Goodness… Hope you stuck with me to the end!  And if you have, let me know what your picks are for the Oscars next Sunday or your plans for watching the big show!  Or let me know your favorite movie of 2011 – on the list or not!

And now… off to read!

Books: Flood and Food

The first book I read in 2012 was one written by and about the Rushford Volunteer Fire Department and their response to the flood of 2007.  Their thoughts were collected by Bonnie Flaig Prinsen and the book was published with help from the Rushford Community Foundation.  It is a great document for posterity and it was good to read it.  I entered the information into Goodreads, which is something I haven’t done before, so I hope it gets other views!

The next book I had was terribly overdue to the library so I did some intense browsing/speed reading so I could return it today.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home CooksView a preview of this book online

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

It was a great book about creating meals from real ingredients.  It is something that I like to do – bake bread, make cakes from scratch – and I thought it was very well-written.  I loved reading about the evolution of cake mixes and how in the 1950s the women could tell the difference and didn’t like that they just had to add water, so they created them so that we could add eggs, oil AND water.  The rest of the ingredients should read flour, sugar, salt, soda, but the ingredient list goes on and on.  Crazy.

It was a great book and would be a great gift for someone who is wanting to change their fast-food ways and to learn how simple it is to really prepare real food.

Next I plan to read my back issues of magazines and dig into the pile of books that are on my nightstand!  They are books I own, books I was given as gifts, and books I borrowed.  And I’ll read the next book for book club – The Center of Everything.  Again, I love the book club in a bag concept!

Cover of "The Sun Also Rises"
Cover of The Sun Also Rises

On a book and movie related note – I mentioned that I read and loved “The Paris Wife” and I’m excited about meeting the author on Sunday!  Tuesday night I watched the movie “Midnight in Paris” (love it! own it!) and watched carefully the scenes featuring Ernest Hemingway and I ordered the movie “The Sun Also Rises,” based on a Hemingway book of the same name.  Very interesting to put it all together – Hemingway living in Paris, with his first wife, drinking in bars and his melancholic diatribes, and the wounded expatriate living in Paris and going to Spain for the bull fights.  I hope to actually READ some Hemingway in 2012 – not just read about him!  I love it when one book leads you to another…

Off to read!