's birthday earlier this month, I got her tickets to the marathon version of AMC's Best Picture Showcase (they run all nine Best Picture nominees inside of twenty-four hours), which was this weekend. Because we are old--and because Iulia is never, ever, ever allowed to see War Horse
and we'd already seen Moneyball
and weren't about to skip two movies and somehow still stay up until six AM to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
--we merely watched six movies in a row yesterday and called it a night.
Personal highlight: there was trivia between movies, and I managed to win a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
knit hat for knowing who Alan Smithee is. \o/ I'm pretty sure I owe my ability to pop that answer out on command entirely to recently watching a lot of QI
, so. Thanks, Stephen Fry.
Things learned for next time:
1) Get there early. Really early. The fourth row is not where you want to be stuck all day, and you will in fact be staying in the same seats pretty much all day. Although after the first two movies were over we got kind of Stockholmed into thinking those seats were just fine.
2) Maybe bring like a pillow and/or an eyemask to help you with any decisions to give up on a movie and go to sleep. Tree of Life
, I'm looking at you. Trying not to, but looking at you anyway. Dammit.
3) Smuggle in some kind of snacks that are not movie theater food. Possibly because we are too old for this shit, after about ten or twelve hours of nothing but movie theater food we were both feeling pretty ill and longing for fruit like sailors coming down with scurvy.
4) You can in fact have faith in your fellow moviegoers. There's a very communal atmosphere to the whole thing: you're all in it together for the entire today. No one poached a seat that was marked with so much as a drink left in the cupholder, and it was a lot of fun discussing movies with random people around me. (Or bitching about them. Still looking at you, Tree of Life
Thoughts about movies, in the order we saw them:
. Awww, Hugo
. ♥ We'd seen the movie before and I liked it but was by no means eager to see it again ASAP, so I was kind of expecting to be bored. But in fact it was still lovely and charming and enchanting and totally drew me in. 3D effects are way more "whoa that's going to hit me" from the fourth row, but I also got shadows/halos/doubling in a lot of places, so: those seats were not optimal.
2. Tree of Life
. I did not enjoy this movie. ( But I feel compelled to say stuff about it. Possibly a lot of stuff. )
Also also, I'm trying to remember if I have seen something with whispered voiceover that wasn't maddeningly twee. I feel like I have, but I can't place it. Thoughts?
3. The Help
. Partly I loved this because, hey, steady camera shots and a linear narrative! It was a massive relief fifteen minutes after Tree of Life
. But it was also an interesting story, and a lot more nuanced than I expected from the pithy criticisms I had heard of it and of the book. Still not at all sure I want to read the book, but I really liked the movie and I'm rooting like hell for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.
4. The Artist
. I made a lot of heart-hands at the screen. I don't know whether I love Uggie or Jean Dujardin more, but it was fantastic and a really fun/heart-clenchy throwback. In a lot of ways it's kind of a grownup Hugo
, a similar kind of homage to the early days of moviemaking and just gorgeously done.
5. The Descendants
. I am kind of embarrassed by the extent to which my baseline knowledge of Hawaii is based on the five episodes of H50 I've seen and the significantly-more-than-five-episodes'-
worth of fic I've read, but there you have it: this movie dealt with the sociopolitics of Hawaii in a way that, based on what I know from H50 fandom, felt really thoughtful and well-done. (Which is to say that my favorite line in the movie is Clooney's character, one of several cousins who have mutually inherited land through a great-great-grandmother who was a Hawaiian princess, saying, "We're haole as shit.")
Anyway: this was the first movie all day to make me cry, because I am a sucker for dads and daughters. It was a lot less goofy than the one promo I had seen led me to believe, but still definitely had its moments of loopy comedy, in a way that felt very real to the situation.
6. Midnight in Paris
. I had never seen a Woody Allen movie before, and I feel like I picked the right one for me to start with. Also, I knew nothing about the premise, which made for a really fun surprise. ( Cutting for anyone else who doesn't know what it's about and might have the chance to be surprised )
So: I kind of have a movie-watching hangover, or possibly just the tireds from not getting in until 2:30 last night, but I am looking forward to the Oscars more than I can ever remember doing. I'm invested! I have opinions about stuff! It is totally possible that I will fall asleep at nine o'clock and miss a lot of it!
And despite my determination to critique thoughtfully, I am still
going to be irritated if Tree of Life
wins, even for Cinematography, because that was seriously a lot of time spent wanting to escape the theater and I will hold a grudge if I want to.