Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Oscars

This is the first time in many years that my wife and I have seen the entire group of movies nominated for best picture. They are an interesting group - different but each with a right to be there. Here is my take on the big 5 and one that is not there.

The one that is not there is the Passion of the Christ - which like Michael Moore's trash was not included. In a sense the decision seems right. I thought the Passion was a wonderful movie - intense and important - but not entertaining. The five that are on the list were all in one sense entertaining. The Passion was something different. In the week that we saw the Passion we also met Bishop Tutu - it was during Holy Week and was a wonderful yin and yang of faith.

#1 - The Aviator - what a lousy movie. DiCaprio has few abilities as an actor. Kate Blanchett is pretty good as Hepburn. But the story is poorly tied together. Costumes are wonderful - that might be the niche for this. One might call this Titanic for Entrepreneurs.
#2 - Sideways - We really enjoyed this. It has a quirky cinematic style but one that fits the story. The key actors are wonderful and they work well together.
#3 - Finding Neverland - We really liked this one too - although there are some historical inaccuracies about the story of Barrie. The costumes here are good. So is the interaction of the characters.
#4 - Ray - Jamie Fox should actually get the Oscar for best actor. He became Ray Charles. In several instances, I thought how did they do this? Ray died before the movie was finished.
#5 - Million Dollar Baby - Michael Medved has criticized this too much. Indeed the advertising is a bit deceptive - this is not a fight film. But the character development between Eastwood, Freeman, Swank and the Priest and the PWT family of swank are each developed well. Their interaction is also wonderful. Sure, Eastwood euthanizes Swank - but the story is bigger than that.

So how does one vote - I would vote for Million Dollar Baby - it clearly was the best movie of the year. The other three (I would leave out Aviator) are all great - and for a year which started out with a lot of disappointing movies turned out to be one where there were some interesting movies in the end.

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