My Seven Best Picture Winners of May
Well, I managed to finish the 5 movies assigned to me by Elizabeth before the month ran out, so I had an extra week to watch two more! Go me. These are seven Best Picture winners I hadn’t seen before this month, in the order that I watched them in. Enjoy!
P.S. I have semi-spoilers for Birdman, King’s Speech and Cuckoo’s Nest. Just… don’t read these if you haven’t seen the movies. Thanks!
I don’t know much about Mozart, but I thought the movie was fascinating. It was uncomfortable in parts, what with, you know, the devious plotting and psychological tormenting, and neither main character was a great person, but I loved the way it looked at the music, and it was a great story with interesting people even if they weren’t nice. Definitely a good movie, and though not something I would necessarily want to repeat much, I can see why it won the Oscar.
I’m not sure what I thought of this movie. It was definitely interesting; but this one was also very uncomfortable in parts (though of course it was supposed to be) and it was a very angry movie. It felt like every single scene was trying to make a specific point about race and being too prejudiced and not paying enough attention to everyone else’s prejudice, and I had a hard time understanding what some of the points were, and so I couldn’t quite get the movie as a whole. Most of the people I thought maybe I would like turned out to be confusing and just as bad as the rest. Which might have been the point of the movie, that everyone is a jerk and a nice guy. (My favorite character was the locksmith, who was not a jerk.) But despite the fact that I didn’t particularly enjoy the watch, I recognized a lot of people, I’m sure it was meaningful and deep, and I can see why it won the Oscar.
THE KING’S SPEECH
Definitely the lightest of the movies this month, and I really enjoyed this one. Colin Firth was awesome in his role, as were the other two, and it was a great story. I thought that his speech improvement would be quicker and that he would be “cured” by the end and showing off his speech, but it wasn’t nearly as cut and dry, and the ending speech was so much more moving when you know that it’s still a struggle but that he’s learned how to overcome it and keep going. The friendship between him and Rush was also really cool. I can definitely see why it won an Oscar.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
This one was also an odd one. The second time seeing Jack Nicholson, first time seeing him young. He was very good, and it was an interesting story… but I’m still trying to process how I thought about it. I think my issue with it is that it didn’t have any strong, emotional impact on me, which was what I was expecting. I thought moments of it were very sweet and happy. I loved the way he connected to Chief, and how his personality made for great days of fun and joy for the men around him; the “baseball game”, the fishing day, and the party. I felt like his presence really brought something fresh to their lives. And even the ending showed that, when in the last few moments something so sad could push someone to freedom. I did have a hard time along the way trying to decide if this was a conspiratory asylum, or just people with strict rules. And I don’t think I ever decided. But it was definitely interesting, and I can see why it won an Oscar.
This one was really interesting. First off, the cinematography was fascinating, and it made the movie move at a different, surreal pace, which added to the aura and feel of the story. I thought everyone was great, and it was a unique story with characters who grew on me even though so many of them had issues. However, the ending really confused me at first. It clearly wasn’t sad, but then it couldn’t have been literal, because that doesn’t fit the movie at all. Hannah’s conclusion was that it was metaphorical, and I think that’s a good explanation that satisfies my confusion. Overall, it ended better than I thought it would, it was very interesting along the way, and I can see why it won an Oscar.
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
The second movie with Jack Nicholson! This helped close the gap in age between Cuckoo’s Nest and How Do You Know, the only movies I’ve seen him in. Also, my second Jeff Daniels movie! Anyway, it was fine. It wasn’t a bad movie, but I didn’t love any of the characters, and I just had a hard time figuring out who I was supposed to root for. It had sweet moments, and I guess as a movie following people who try to work out their imperfect love as imperfect people, it was kind of cool. But it definitely wasn’t one of my favorites. Good acting jobs, though. I think the ending is the only reason it won the Oscar.
Trying desperately to watch two extra on my list before the end of the month, I chose a 3 hour movie! But it was definitely a good one. Ben Kingsley did an excellent job. I did NOT realize that Ghandi lived that recently! I always thought he was, like, 1700-1800s! Shows you what I know about anything. Anyway, it was a fascinating biography. I was very intrigued by how determined he was to be nonviolent, and amazed by everyone’s devotion and willingness to follow him. In a way it was kind of eerie to see how devotedly he was followed and the power he had over them. But you could tell he was really a good guy, and if you’re gonna follow someone political, he’s a good choice. Anyway, it was educational, it was well-done, and it clearly deserved to win its Oscar.
My Bottom Two: Crash, Terms of Endearment (I have to like the characters, and I didn’t much in these)
My Middle Two: Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (very well-done and admirable, but both I was ambivalent about emotionally)
My Top Three: Ghandi, Birdman, Kings Speech (Likeable characters, drew me in, kept my interest all the way through, satisfying endings after they sunk in)
Next month: Clint Eastwood movies picked out by my Dad!