Picking Winners for Worthless Awards

Ginny says my posts are gibberish, so here’s a more straightforward one: my picks (not predictions) for the 2010 Oscar winners.

Best picture: A Serious Man

Best actress: Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia

Best supporting actress: Mo’Nique for Precious

Best actor: n/a

Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

Best animated feature: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Best cinematography: Das Weisse Band

Best director: Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds

Best documentary: The Cove

Best foreign film: Un Prophete

No one cares about the rest. I don’t watch many movies so I can’t comment on many of those that were nominated. Also, I’ve decided that Up is not just “overrated,” it’s downright mediocre. This was reinforced when I re-watched a bit of Wall-E again. Oh, and I went to Boston’s MFA yesterday and sadly discovered that I had missed their one & only screening of I Killed My Mother by just 20 hours.

Quirk & idiosyncracy

Referring to Wes Anderson’s new movie The Darjeeling Limited, the NYT refers to this NY Mag piece as a defense of Anderson, and this Atlantic Monthly essay as the prosecution. They’re both worth reading, particularly the latter since its review of Darjeeling Limited is part of a large piece on “quirk,” a notion that really fascinates me (though I disagree with Hirschorn’s take on it). I’m reminded of three things:

  • A review I plan to write of John Vanderslice’s Emerald City by way of responding to the Pitchfork review in which Vanderslice is, like Anderson, essentially faulted for having a certain aesthetic, certain idiosyncrasies or private obsessions. Later I intend to give a full defense of Emerald City since I consider it one of the top 5 albums of 2007.
  • A famous(ish) essay by Rorty entitled Trotsky and the Wild Orchids, an autobiographical piece I alluded to in my last post. Rorty also wrestles with the question of our idiosyncrasies and personal eccentricities.
  • I have an essay, which I may or may not post later, that I wrote on Britney Spears and postmodernism. The concept of cultural identity (in which “quirk” definitely relates) is very intriguing to me and I told Heath yesterday that I see a way to weave together various threads in philosophy, art, music, and film into a coherent whole. This is obviously a large project, but feasible, and one in which Britney Spears actually serves as a fantastic introduction.Also at Atlantic Monthly:
  • About Facebook. Their entire current issue looks great, but little of it is fully available online.Speaking of bogus theories that I’ve fabricated: I also have a theory about swearing and the real issue involved in objections to swearing – ask me in person if you’re interested.
  • Movie Rundown

    Ok I’m tentatively blogging again…maybe. Has it really been a month? The new Blogger.com re-design sucks though, almost enough to keep me away. But I’ll admit it, finding out that Andy Kauffman is alive and blogging has given me renewed energy. Plus I’ve just seen way too many movies to not talk about them on here.

    I bought a spatula the other day. That was right before I hit the median and my tire popped and I had to change it in the pouring rain. It’s a pretty spatula though. So I’m living on my own finally in the worst house in Cedarville, cooking tasteless burgers on my George Foreman and sleeping on two stacked mattresses. Ah and for those who don’t know, I’m no longer a student at Cedarville University. I have a job interview on Monday at which I’m sure to be hired…except it’s as a car salesman and it’s 40 minutes away. So I’m still debating whether or not to accept if they do offer the job. Otherwise I spend my time browsing Monster.com or fooling around on Kingdom of Loathing or more commonly, watching movies. Let’s run through the list one by one (btw fwiw fyi, some on here were seen before school was out, some have been seen multiple times), use it as a rent guide at Blockbuster or to just fight with me over; see also my YMDB Top 20 Movies List.

  • Panic – premise is a little “too clever” or hokey but otherwise was nearly flawless. Plus I just love William H. Macy and the kid, David Dorfman, was amazing. Makes #20 favorite movie.
  • Ash Wednesday – awful. Elijah Wood is amazingly bad in this, shut it off 40mins into it.
  • The Big Lebowski – very, very funny. Reminded me of Royal Tenenbaums but without heart and with a lot more swearing. Does contain some of the most under-rated actors around – John Turturro and Steve Buscemi, etc…
  • The Insider – long but never boring. Russell Crowe may be a jerk but he can certainly act. Surprisingly moving and of course, “based on a true story” is always good in my book.
  • Insomnia – Like the above, also as Al Pacino. Overrated – reminded me of a more mediocre Se7en in some ways. More “slightly above average action movie” than “tense psychological thriller.” Disappointing coming from Memento‘s Christopher Nolan.
  • Roger and Me and Waco: Rules of Engagement – good documentaries, what can I say. Michael Moore is his even uglier days. And it turns out the Feds botched Waco badly. Rent Waco first, Roger and Me if you have time.
  • Taxi Driver – a classic that somehow didn’t connect enough with me to make Top 20. Excellent all around though, but probably would’ve meant more had I seen it in the 70’s or lived anywhere near that decade. The parallels with Doestoevsky’s Underground Man did leave me a lot to think about at least.
  • Being John Malkovich – a must-see, highly original and very funny. Would probably rank 21 or 22 on my favorites. Too many “huh what?” moments to make the list.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Jack Nicholson before he sold out. What can I say? It’s a wicked good movie, go see it. Made #16 on my list.
  • One Hour Photo – say what you will about the guy, but Robin Williams can definately act. But…the movie just isn’t scary. Doesn’t mess with your mind. Doesn’t make you think. Certainly not a boring movie but nothing to get excited about.
  • In the Bedroom – Stop putting off seeing this movie. Go rent it now. Just superb. By contrast shows everything that’s wrong with Jerry Bruckheimer movies. Made #8 on my list.
  • The Believer – American History X + religion. AHX hits your heart, The Believer hits your mind. Definately not “another neo-nazi movie” – made #17 on my list.
  • Fargo – still think it’s a tad over-rated but enjoyed it more than previously. Coen Brothers rock, as do Macy and the ever-wonderful Frances McDormand, but still…
  • Run Lola Run – another original film you must-see even if you end up hating it. May take a little while to warm up to the style but after a bit you just sit there smiling. Made #14 on my list.

    That was long. My apologies. Again, my movie list is here.