Well, it's Oscar weekend and everyone is talking about who's up for what award, and which movie will win Best Picture. For some reason, this year they've decided to put 10 movies in the top category, rather than the usual five; here's a theory as to why the Academy made that decision. And, here are the contenders:
The Blind Side*
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air*
The three asterisks are movies I saw this year. Actually not bad (for me), considering some years I haven't seen any, or maybe just one or two--it really depends on the films and the year... I swear I go to the movies, but apparently not to the Oscar-contending ones! How very low-brow of me. I would like to see A Serious Man and An Education (not even sure they've made it to Walla Walla!); the rest? Maybe, but not really compelled. I know, I know. Avatar will change my life. Whatever.
Word on the street is that Avatar will indeed win best picture, but The Hurt Locker will win Kathryn Bigelow a Best Director award. That should be interesting to see! And there are all kinds of great actors and actresses up for awards too; I am hopeful for Meryl Streep in her Julie & Julie role! Regardless, I'll find my way through the event with my happy dvr remote; I don't need to listen to droning acceptance speeches and can focus on what really matters: who is wearing what and does it work on them? This is what the Oscars are REALLY about! (That and who wins, of course.)
But this whole Oscar lead-in is only a tease for me to share MY favorite movie of 2009: (500) Days of Summer. I am a fan, start to finish; it was one of those rare movies that lived up to my expectations, and then some. I have a mad crush on Zooey Deschannel (of the "we'd be buds" variety of crushes, really) and love her singing (check out She&Him for a wonderful album she made with M. Ward in 2008--this is some of my favorite lawn-mowing music! Volume 2 of their music is due out very soon. Excitement!).
Here's the trailer for (500) Days of Summer:
And a great dance sequence from the movie:
Here are the two stars in their own music video, featuring She&Him's song, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
I was happily gratified to see that (500) Days of Summer won for best screenplay at the Spirit Awards today! Maybe not as "mainstream" as the Oscars, but still...
The fan base for (500) Days of Summer is quite large--can we say cult following?--and there are many fan pages on Facebook devoted to talking about how wonderful the movie is and how sad that it was shut out from the Oscars. And, here's a wedding proposal tribute in the style of Tom's dance routine above. If you have to propose in a mall setting, I suppose this is a clever way to do it.
I hope my ardent love for this movie at least prompts you to see it, if you haven't already. No huge blue aliens or IEDs exploding, no Colin Firth or George Clooney... but some great storytelling. Maybe not a love story, but definitely a story about love.