I am absolutely terrible at seeing movies in time for awards season. People are always saying, “Oh god, this movie was so good, you should go see it,” and I say, “Great! I will!” And then I just… don’t. It’s not that I don’t have time, and it’s certainly not that I don’t like movies. Yet every year, February rolls around, and I end up making completely random, uninformed guesses on my Oscar ballot. (I’m sure it will not shock you to learn that I have never won. An Oscar pool, that is. It will shock you even less to learn that I have not won an Oscar.)
This year, I’d only seen three of the nominees for best picture: The Help, Midnight in Paris, and Hugo. Here’s a list of the things I knew about the rest of the films before the Oscars and the supplemental information I learned during last night’s (pretty unhelpful) awards show.
What I knew: It’s silent. It’s in black and white. There is an extremely well trained dog who seems to be everyone’s favorite character. Half my friends think it’s the most brilliant movie ever made, and the other half think it’s incredibly boring and stupid (and that the first half of my friends are, by proxy, also stupid.)
What I learned last night: The costumes are really pretty! And there’s dancing! Although some of it looks like tap dancing, which is confusing to me given that it’s a silent film. And there are apparently two words of talking at the end. Thanks for the spoiler, Natalie Portman.
Will I see this film?: Probably, when it comes out on DVD. I mean, I need to know for sure which of my friends are stupid.
What I knew: George Clooney wears flip-flops and runs around a lot after he finds out his dying wife cheated on him. Presumably his wife does actually die at some point during this movie, because I think there’s a scene where her daughter screams and cries underwater a lot. And people keep saying, “Hawaii is the best character.” What does that even mean?
What I learned last night: There are… a lot… of long pauses… in this movie.
Will I see this film?: Ummm, maybe. I’m not dying to. No pun intended.
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
What I knew: It’s 9/11. There’s a dead dad. An extremely precocious child finds a key and goes on a search to find what it opens. My mom absolutely despises precocious children in movies, so when I saw this trailer, the first thing I thought was, “Mom would hate this so much.”
What I learned last night: Oh god, there’s a voicemail recording from the inside of the collapsing towers. I cannot handle those. That period of time when they were playing them all over the news was torturous to me. Aaaaahhhh get away get away!
Will I see this film?: No freaking way. Though to be fair, I did enjoy the book.
What I knew: This has to do with baseball. And Brad Pitt. I think there might be a scene where someone yells and throws a chair? But I might be mixing this up with another sports movie. Or maybe there’s one of those scenes in every sports movie?
What I learned last night: There are scenes in locker rooms. There’s a dorky guy who knows everything, and nobody else knows anything. When you get the answer you want, hang up. And oh! Aaron Sorkin is involved in this movie! How did I not know that?
Will I see this film?: I don’t care about baseball AT ALL. But for Aaron Sorkin? Anything. If I could have three wishes, I might use one of them to have Aaron Sorkin come over and exchange witty banter with me whenever I wanted.
What I knew: There’s a war. There are horses. Some of the horses probably die, and therefore I cannot see this movie. I sobbed my eyes out at Black Beauty.
What I learned last night: Very little. Except apparently when tons of soldiers ride horses through a field of wheat, the wheat does not move.
Will I see this film?: HELL NO. I don’t care how many humans die in a movie, but if cute furry things die/are mistreated, I am OUT.
TREE OF LIFE:
What I knew: I think this movie might be one of those odd performance pieces that’s not actually about anything. A “meditation,” if you will. And there might be a dinosaur in it? Or possibly a Minotaur? That sounds highly improbable, but for some reason it’s in my head. All I know for sure is that I ran into a friend on the street right after he’d seen this movie and he said, “Don’t see that. It was boring and it made no sense.”
What I learned last night: It’s possible this is actually nature documentary. Or maybe a music video.
Will I see this film?: If I ever feel the need to make my life more surreal? Sure. But let’s be honest, I’m the girl who spends her work day taking pictures of severed rubber heads, balls of fire, and people in their underwear. My life is pretty surreal already. So probably not.