For a number of personal reasons I lost my love of the movies for a few years. Except for the Harry Potter flicks I didn’t even venture into a theater, and rarely watched a movie on my TV. For a lifelong movie lover this was pretty drastic.
But a few years ago my love of movies came back in a major way. Sure, I can still go for months — particularly the summer months — without watching a movie in a theater. But I’ll still watch a lot of older movies on my TV. But then November rolls around and the “good” movie season begins for me. Finally, we’re through with all the silly summer flicks and the “grown-up”/Oscar contender movies seem to hit town.
During my movie hiatus, I completely ignored the Academy Awards. I didn’t watch them on TV. I didn’t make any effort to see any of the nominees. But when my love of movies returned, my love of the Oscars returned as well. So once again this year, I’ve done a lot of targeted movie viewing to get ready for watching the Academy Awards tomorrow night.
In about September I began looking for sites that made odds on the early Oscar favorites, and made a list of the movies I hoped to see from among the top contenders. Some held no interest for me — mostly being outside of my tolerance for violence — so were automatically crossed off my list. But anything that seemed to suit my taste went on the list of movies to catch. In that process I saw a number of movies that eventually received no Academy Award nominations, but that I truly enjoyed, such as Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
When the final Oscar nominees were announced, I made a list of the nominees in all the categories, crossed off the movies I’d already seen, and then began considering the remainder in earnest.
As always, by focusing on the nominees for Best Movie, I can cross off nominees in many other categories. Unlike some of my friends who are true fanatics, I never see all of the Best Movie nominees. I didn’t do too badly this year and ended up seeing five of the nine Best Movie nominees listed below.
- Django Unchained
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
Among the movies I saw, Lincoln is far and away my favorite for Best Movie. But I enjoyed Argo and Silver Linings Playbook so much that I wouldn’t be disappointed if either of them took the top prize. I expected to love Les Miserables and Beasts of the Southern Wild, but just didn’t. They each had some interesting moments, but failed to hold my interest.
I’ve also managed to see three of the five Animated Feature Film nominees, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, and Brave. I liked all three of them, but have a particular fondness for Brave.
I’d hoped to catch a couple more movies before tomorrow night, in particular Zero Dark Thirty, but just ran out of time. So what I’ve seen will have to do. Tomorrow night I’ll be watching the Academy Awards with some friends. We have very disparate tastes in movies, so while some of us will hope for a Lincoln win others will be rooting for Django Unchained.
What about you? Will you be watching the Academy Awards tomorrow night? Have you seen many of the nominees, and if so, what are your favorites?