Tomorrow is Oscar night, and I’m back to my annual tradition of listing the Oscar Best Picture nominees, ranked in order of how much I liked or didn’t like them — not predictions of winners. I did see all ten nominated films. Ten was too many! In my opinion, most of this year’s nominated films aren’t special enough to be considered for Best Picture of the year. But hey, that’s just me. Maybe the film industry has just left me behind.
So here we go…
1. CODA. Fir those of you who don’t know, CODA stands for Child Of Deaf Parents. Considering that three of the four main characters are deaf, this is a beautiful amazing script. A warm and gripping family story. Highly recommended for everyone!
2. WEST SIDE STORY. Considering how much I love “West Side Story”, on stage and on film, it was hard for me to not pick this Number 1, but hey! This musical won Best Picture in 1961, and I’m not sure that it needed to be done again,but Spielberg did a great job, and this re-make in many ways is better than the first one.
3. LICORICE PIZZA. This is a hard-to-describe movie, but I liked it. Picture it: 1973, Southern California, high school kids coming of age — but somehow it all works. And Bradley Cooper makes an appearance, which is always a plus.
4. BELFAST. I had trouble with the Northern Ireland accents, but the other people in the audience seemed to get it, so maybe my brain just doesn’t move fast enough. But it was definitely an interesting and disturbing time in that country’s history, and the film is worth watching to get a feel of the troubles.
5. DRIVE MT CAR. Fortunately, I saw this in a theater — a captive audience with a big screen. On my TV at home, I never would have made it through the three hours . It’s tedious and complex and actually quite impressive. In Japanese with subtitles. Lots of Chekhov references. Definitely not for everyone.
6. KING RICHARD. There is no question that the story of Venus and Serena Williams is cool, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a cool film. At times it felt like watching a tennis match for two hours and 21 minutes. Will Smith may win an Oscar.
7. NIGHTMARE ALLEY. It’s brutal and dark, but Bradley Cooper makes it worthwhile.
8. THE POWER OF THE DOG. I liked parts of it but didn’t really get it. This film received the most Oscar nominations and should win for cinematic achievements. Beautifully filmed.
9. DON’t LOOK UP. It’s just too un-special to be a Best Picture nominee. It would have made a final made-for-TV Movie of the Week.
10. DUNE. Who-cares? dialogue leading to the next round of special effects and violence. Maybe I would have cared more if I had seen it in a theater instead of HBO Max. Or if I had read the book. But life is too short.
That’s all I got, kids! Get out of your recliner and go see a movie. And watch the Oscars, so that we all have something to complain about.the next day.