Tuesday, December 11, 2012
My Thoughts on the Critics Choice Movie Awards Nominees
Earlier today I posted the nominees for the Critics Choice Movie Awards selected by myself and the other 270-ish members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. But, as you know, I am critical in my reviews and now it's time for me to criticize my fellow critics (with all due respect to them, of course).
The nominees that were selected, by and large, were exactly what I expected. That is to say, they are the most buzzed about films of the year. They are also the same films that are being selected by other regional film critics' organizations, and are undoubtedly the same films that will be selected for all the award shows to come in January and February. Frankly, if you want to score well on your office pools, just pick the nominees and winners from the Critics Choice. But, let's be honest. While many of these are very good films (although some are not), most of them aren't the best of the year in my opinion, and certainly everyone shouldn't have the same opinions. If they do, it just means they're hopping on the band wagon. 'Lincoln' is a good film. But that's all. For it to receive the most nominations of any film is kind of outrageous. But it seems my fellow critics have drunk the 'Lincoln' cool-aid. But that's just my opinion. And I assure you that when I publish my 'Best' lists later this month, they will be quite different than you see from any other lists, not because I'm trying to be an individual, but because I always keep it real here on Flieder on Film. And with that said, here's a quick reminder of my opinion on the 10 films selected by my fellow Critics:
The Master - A Like most of director Paul Thomas Anderson's work, it's a true 'master'-piece with 'master'-ful performances across the board. I felt like I was hit by a truck afterwards, and I mean that in a very powerful way. I totally agree this deserves a nomination.
Argo - A Ben Affleck has matured from a movie star to a great actor and director, and this is a well made suspenseful thriller based on a hard-to-believe true story.
Silver Linings Playbook - A- I love dysfunctional dramedies and this one has more than its share of dysfunction, comedy, and drama. It's a crowd pleaser for sure. But I'm a bit surprised at all the critical hype.
Lincoln - B+ 'Lincoln' is a good film headed by, debatably, our greatest actor, Daniel Day-Lewis. But it's just not great. It's slow, it's quiet, and it's dry. C'mon people, let's not drink the 'Lincoln' cool-aid.
Life of Pi - B While I freely admit the second half of this film is much better than the first, building to an exciting adventure at sea, with a poignant ending, I can't fully forgive the painful beginning.
Beasts of the Southern Wild - C Every year we need a dark horse contender, starring and made by complete unknowns on a shoestring budget, and this year 'Beasts' is it. Though I've never really understood the love for it. It's alright, I guess. Though I do think the score is exceptional, and makes the film seem better than it is. And yet my fellow critics didn't nominate the score! Go figure.
Moonrise Kingdom - D+ Someone needs to explain this one to me. I just don't get Wes Anderson films. And I don't get the widespread love for them. It's a mystery to me. I stand by my original quote: No one wastes talent like Wes Anderson. There, I said it.
And since it is prior to release date, I am not allowed to offer my thoughts on the remaining three, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty, and Django Unchained at this time. But I have strong feelings about all of them, I assure you. So c'mon back.