Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Picks 2009

For the second year in a row, I spent the day before the Oscars watching all five best picture nominees. Last year, I blogged about it, and I figured, I should blog about it again!

Last year, the commonality between the five films was the fact that each movie didn't end in a perfect way. There was no real story book ending.

This year, the commonality was much more concrete. All five were told in flashback form. I was surprised! I was expecting to have to think about the commonality. In the middle of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I realized that the prior 2 had used the same storytelling technique. Then, when Slumdog Millionaire started, I noticed the same thing. I expected Frost/Nixon to not use that technique...I was wrong.

I was hoping/wishing for something more profound, but I really think that's it.

Milk was the story of Harvey Milk, the gay rights activist, and first openly gay politician.
The Reader was the story of a relationship, post WWII. (As a friend of mine said, the movie is better the less you know about it. She was correct.)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the story of Benjamin, who was born as an old man, and lived his life backwards.
Slumdog Millionaire was the story of Jamal, who grew up an orphan in the slums of Mumbai.
Frost/Nixon was the story of David Frost, who wanted to interview Nixon, and got him to admit some of his involvement in Watergate.

I've been debating another commonality....acceptance. Harvey Milk was looking for acceptance for himself and for the people of the Castro District. Both main characters found a level of acceptance within each other in The Reader. In Benjamin Button, he was seeking out acceptance, and accepted all those who he met without question. Slumdog Millionaire? Jamal, Salim and Latitka were all orphaned, and were seeking out those family-like relationships that we all want and need. Frost/Nixon? David Frost wanted to be accepted by more folks as a talk-show host/entertainer, and Nixon wanted to go back to DC.

As for who I think will win? All five of them could win! Honestly, whichever one wins, I will be happy. All five were great films.

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