So I hung out with my good friend "Marie" last night and we watched the Oscars. Marie and I both love all things related to the movies, and Oscar night is very much a big night for us.
This is the first year I've actually gone to Marie's house on Oscar night and watched with her. Generally we text back and forth, which we both agree is tiresome because neither of us is terribly good with the texting.
It was a rare year for me. I actually saw four of the nominated movies. I used to see all of the movies...but then I had kids and no money, so I had to wait until they came out on video. Now I still have kids and no money, but I'm used to being poor, so I go to a few more movies. I saw "Toy Story 3" "The Social Network" "The Kids are Alright." and "Black Swan." Admittedly, I only saw "Black Swan" in theaters, the other two I own.
If you have older children, watch Toy Story 3. Seriously, it will shatter you.
This year they nominated 10 movies for best picture, which means even though I saw four movies, I was still hopelessly behind.
oh well, I tried. Given the fact that Hollywood likes to now nominate movies no one's seen, A couple of these films haven't even made it to my town for more than a couple nights (127 Hours...was here an gone in under a week. Hubby is NOT amused.)
Having seen four of the ten, I felt I could at least speak to the merits of those four. "Black Swan" was a legitimate candidate. That movie messed up my brain for about two days. "Toy Story 3" also a legitimate candidate because of the emotional impact it had. Of course, it was going to walk away with "Best Animated picture" so no one really thought it would win best picture. "The Kids are Alright" was a good movie. A solid movie. But Oscar worthy? Nah. And most folks agreed with me.
Where I ran into some serious disagreement, however, was with the movie, "The Social Network."
This movie should not have been nominated as best picture and honestly, if Hollywood wasn't trying to boost ticket sales by nominating more films, it wouldn't have been.
It was a very good movie. Do not get me wrong. I own the movie. I loved the movie. It was very interesting. But it was not Oscar worthy.
Let's start with the music. This movie got the Oscar for best musical score.
The music is a sum total of ten notes played over and over and over again. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails just pulled a fast one on the Oscar folks. It took him, I'm guessing, ten minutes to write ten notes and now he has a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Well, the Oscars are trying to scew a bit younger...so I guess we'll just reward this no talent hack for managing to string together ten notes because he appeals to a younger crowd. Bravo.
Next year, the movie that has NO music will win best musical score. Watch, it'll happen!
Now, the movie itself is very interesting, especially if you are devoted to Facebook as I am. It was just that, though. It was interesting. "The Social Network" did not tell a story that wasn't common knowledge. It did not stir anything emotional in the viewer. It was not a story wrestling with some higher level of consciousness or some social question.
"The Social Network" was a well told story about a very spoiled, very socially frozen guy who gets dumped and in turn tries to shame women...and then accidentally creates something we all use now to waste time (My hippy name is "Paisley," I most resemble an egg salad sandwhich, and if I were in Harry Potter movies, I would be Doby the house elf.) and generally irritate each other. ( I'm from Wisconsin...the endless debate about politics has gotten more than ugly on Facebook.)
It's an interesting story well told. But was it Oscar worthy?
I say no.
While I have rarely agreed with Oscar about best pictures...or the best acting awards (Still not over Denzel Washington winning over Russell Crowe's "A Beautiful Mind.") I do have to say, the movies that win often stand the test of time. I have not yet seen "The King's Speach," but I will and I am sure I will find it to be a movie that will stand the test of time, much like "Gone with the Wind" "Chariots of Fire" "Gladiator" "A Beautiful Mind" and "Shakespear in Love." These are movies that move us. I cry every time I see "Titanic." EVERY TIME.
So bravo, and brava, Hollywood! You may have gotten it right this year. Time will tell, of course.