breakin’ down the oscar movies.

Full disclosure: I did not see War Horse. That being said, I don’t think it’ll win any of the major categories. But I did see the remaining eight Best Picture nominees as well as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

I’ll break down the eight nominees from least favorite to most favorite:

8. Tree Of Life.
Hated it. Art dorks love it, I’m sure. It was a hackish attempt to conjure Stanley Kubrick. It failed. Visually, some fairly awesome stuff. But overall, a disjointed mess.
* Star

7. The Descendants.
I love George Clooney and really enjoyed this film. But it’s up against some pretty stiff competition. Nevertheless, a pretty good movie; just not an Oscar movie, if you ask me.
*** Stars

6. The Help.
I can certainly see why people love this movie. And I can see why people hate this movie. I enjoyed it, especially Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Bryce Dallas Howard was a bit too cartoonish for me. But Allison Janney was excellent.
***1/2 Stars

5. The Artist.
Great movie. Fun movie. The performances were rich and vibrant in a black-and-white-and-silent world. It’s an Oscar favorite, but not mine. It was great, though. Really.
***1/2 Stars

4. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
An emotional, emotional movie. What was great about it, though, is the emotion was authentic. They didn’t exploit 9/11 and told a fantastic story. Max von Sydow was fantastic. Simply fantastic.
***1/2 Stars

3. Midnight in Paris.
The “present” drove me nuts, but Woody Allen more than made up for it in the “past.” Really entertaining and vintage Woody Allen. You either love that or hate that. I loved it.
**** Stars

2. Moneyball.
I’m a huge baseball fan, so I fell in love with this movie right away. But this is not a “baseball” movie. It’s a story about trying to beat the system. Brad Pitt was outstanding. Jonah Hill’s nomination surprises me, but he was solid in a dramatic role.
**** Stars

1. Hugo.
This was the movie I wanted to see the least. And it’s the movie I love the most. Martin Scorsese’s love letter to filmmaking was breathtaking on every level. I hope it wins.
****1/2 Stars

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