Friday, February 24, 2012

And the Best Picture goes to...

I have been working really hard over the past few weeks to make sure I saw all nine of the nominees for Best Picture this year.  I may have done this before, but it's been quite some time since I can remember seeing them all prior to the Oscars.  I am quite proud of this accomplishment!  Here are my thoughts...

Ticket Price - $13
Viewing Details - 7:40pm show on 2/10/12 in NYC at Paris Theatre by myself
Synopsis - This is a silent film that follows the journey of a leading star of the silent film industry as the movie business transitioned out of the silent film business.  There is a bit of love story intertwined throughout as well.
Thoughts - Highly recommend this movie to anyone.  It was very clever.  I was a little surprised to find myself laughing (out loud) several times throughout the film.  I truly enjoyed this one.

Ticket Price - $10.50
Viewing Details - 10:10pm show on 1/28/12 in Indianapolis at Circle Centre Mall by myself
Synopsis - George Clooney’s character is a workaholic lawyer that suddenly finds his wife not only in an unconscious coma, but also in an affair.  He struggles with the predicament of knowing she’s only a few weeks from death, but also knowing that he’ll never get the answers he desperately seeks regarding the affair.  His two daughters make the situation even more complicated.
Thoughts - While this wasn’t what I’d call your feel good story of the year, it was a very interesting story.  The main plot line was quite serious, but the movie had just the right amount of humor in various scenes throughout.  George Clooney was terrific, but looked much older than normal.

Ticket Price - $7.50 (thanks to Emily's vouchers!)
Viewing Details - 6:55pm on 2/16/12 in NYC at Empire 25 Theater with Emily
Synopsis - The movie details a young boy’s journey all over New York City in the aftermath of losing his father in the 9/11 tragedy.  He is in search of the lock for a key he comes across in his father’s closet.  His journey is one of healing, but it is a difficult one for the child.
Thoughts - If your emotions aren’t stirred while watching this one, you are one tough cookie.  The performance by the young boy was impressive.  Certain scenes are difficult to watch because he does such a phenomenal job.  I wouldn’t say the film is uplifting (the theater was dead silent when it was over), but it does leave you with a feeling of hope.     

Ticket Price - $13
Viewing Details - 9:05pm on 8/8/11 in NYC at Empire 25 Theater with my roommate and her friend
Synopsis - Taking place in Mississippi during the 1960’s, this movie is a story about black maids and their relationship (or lack thereof in some cases) with the rich, white housewives and children where they work.  One bold, young, budding writer makes friends with a couple of the most outspoken maids and then begins chronicling their stories for a book she eventually publishes.
Thoughts - Amazing story! The actresses are wonderful and very moving.  The ones playing the evil housewives were just as good as the ones playing the maids because they made you hate them.  I read the book prior to seeing the movie.  Even though I usually go away thinking that the movie isn't as good as the book, this movie came pretty close.  I would recommend that anyone and everyone see the movie.  Many lessons can be learned about how to treat ALL people with dignity and respect.

Ticket Price - $17
Viewing Details - 6:45pm on 1/26/12 in NYC at Empire 25 Theater by myself
Synopsis - A young orphan boy finds himself managing all the clocks at a Paris train station.  As a part of this task, he often watches all the happenings of the station.  He steals food, little gadgets for a project he is working on, and really anything else he needs.  When he is caught by one of the shop keepers, he begins to integrate himself into this man’s family through a relationship with his granddaughter.  The two young spirits, through a series of very interesting adventures, eventually awaken the spirits of the old, bitter shop keeper and his wife as well.
Thoughts - Simply fantastic movie.  I saw it in 3D, which I typically don't like, but you couldn't even tell during this movie.  The story was great and very touching in a way that is sort of hard to put your finger on. I enjoyed every minute of the adventure.  Recommend it for anyone. 

Ticket Price - $2.18
Viewing Details - rented from Blockbuster Express on 2/7/12
Synopsis - Newly engaged, a couple heads to Paris for a mini-vacation with the bride-to-be’s parents.  They meet up with a couple friend of the bride’s, which the groom-to-be is none too excited about spending time with for the weekend.  The couple goes separate ways one evening and the groom-to-be finds himself in a parallel universe with the likes of Hemingway and Picasso.  He is transported to this world multiple nights at the stroke of midnight.  Many lessons are learned via these journeys.
Thoughts - I had the chance to see this movie during my flight to Europe this fall, but passed it up because Dad didn't give it overwhelmingly glowing reviews.  However, when I finally did watch it, I enjoyed it.  It was an interesting concept and I liked the idea, but the movie itself moved a bit slow.  Nonetheless, it was a movie worth renting, especially if you enjoy history.
Ticket Price - $9 (Groupon deal - 2 tickets and popcorn)
Viewing Details - 5:45pm show on 11/26/11 at Cinemart Cinemas in Queens with Christopher
SynopsisBrad Pitt’s character essentially turns around the Oakland A’s by using an unorthodox method of signing players in free agency.  He elicits the help of a young intern he snatches from the Cleveland Indians. 
Thoughts - Chris indicated that the movie strayed a bit from the book particularly in the way it portrayed Brad Pitt's character.  Not having read the book, I thought it was interesting.  It is definitely not your typical Best Picture nominee, but I liked Jonah Hill in it.  The dry humor in the film was great, but again not sure it really fits in with the rest of the movies on this list.

Ticket Price - $1.31
Viewing Details - rented from Redbox on 2/9/12
*Synopsis – This movie is the story of a family in the 1950’s in Texas.  The father is a source of much tension in the family.  The movie mostly shows various scenes from the perspective of the oldest child.
Thoughts - It was an assortment of various moments in the life of this family, but the scenes weren’t really connected in any other way.  Then there were completely random scenes with dinosaurs and scientific images.  I didn’t really enjoy it, and don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone, but I am glad that I stuck with it for the entire length of the movie.  The second half was a bit more comprehensible than the first half.

*Disclaimer – Wasn’t totally tracking during various parts of the movie. 

Ticket Price - $6.50
Viewing Details - 4:20pm show on 12/27/11 in Owensboro, KY at Malco Theater with Mom and Dad
Synopsis - The movie follows two characters that have been separated during WWI - a teenager and his horse.  The young man is devastated when his horse is sold for the war efforts.  Even though he isn't of age to join the military, he eventually weasels his way into the ranks in search of his horse.  The majority of the movie follows the horse's journey - it is quite a wild one.
Thoughts - I really enjoyed this one.  Definitely the type of movie that is synonymous with the Oscars.  It's also on Broadway right now.  I've heard it's phenomenal.  I'd be interested to see how they compared, but we'll see if I get around to it or not.   It was a very neat story that really comes full circle.  Would recommend it to anyone, but particularly history buffs and anyone that has owned or spent time with horses.
Stubs for the movies I saw in the theater...
My pick for Best Picture is HUGO!!  
What is yours??
Andrea :)

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