This always happens: it gets to awards season and I go look up a list of the films/shows that have been nominated for the Globes or the Oscars. Discovering how few of those I have actually seen causes me a small amount of angst about my general lack of cool-factor / culture. I decide it’s not that big a deal, that life is too busy and short to be watching stuff all the time, add a few things to my ‘see these ones eventually’ list, and move on.
Nothing has changed this year. I have seen just two of the ‘top’ 20 films (in four categories: drama, comedy/musical, animated, foreign language) nominated to receive Golden Globes- though I will blame at least part of that on delayed releases of US films in the UK (Lincoln and Django Unchanged aren’t in cinemas here yet, for example). And though I will happily and pointlessly quibble about the superiority of the two films I have seen, Moonrise Kingdom and Brave, in their respective categories, I would rather give my completely ignorant synopses of all the nominees because hey, that’s just more fun. So, by category…
1. Best film – Drama
Argo is a film about the founder of that treasured/loathed lowest common denominator of the UK consumer experience, Argos. Young Argo is a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young entrepreneur who overcomes significant obstacles by throwing heavy catalogues at them several times a year.
Django Unchained Leo DiCaprio tries not to die.*
Life of Pi Young Asian male, fit, clever, facing spiritual/existential drama on the open sea. 50 Shades of Hemingway.
Lincoln I need to see this film like I need a bullet in the back of my head.**
Zero Dark Thirty Also nominated for the ‘what I would say if I were trying to tell the time whilst drunk’ category, and the ‘incredibly questionable depiction of torture’ category.
2. Best film – Comedy or Musical (* why only one category?)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel That kid from Slumdog, still scheming, only this time it’s conning every British film star over a certain age out of their money at an ‘exotic’ ‘hotel’ in ‘India.’ And not this hotel in ‘India’.
Les Miserables Can you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men? It is the music of a people who’ll be happy never to hear this music again…
Moonrise Kingdom Benjamin Britten, adolescent infatuation, a flood of Noadic proportions, Jason Schwartzman with possibly his least ethical character. Oh, and Edward Norton. Yum.
Silver Linings Playbook Jennifer Lawrence’s other film of 2012. She’s the girl NO LONGER ON FIRE, THANK HEAVENS, SOMEONE BROUGHT A FIRE EXTINGUISHER ALONG.
3. Best film – foreign language
Amour How has this seriously never been a title of a film before? Anyhow I think it’s mostly about death.
A Royal Affair Sequel to 2011’s ‘Royal Wedding’. To follow in 2013, ‘Royal Baby.’
The Untouchables Daring new documentary focusing on a group of college boys in the suburban midwest, in which the filmmaker actually spent four weeks in a dormitory. Harrowing stuff.
Kon-Tiki Voyage of Norwegian explorer (non-Viking) whose name (too legit to crit) was Thor Heyerdahl. HE IS NO MERE MORTAL.
Rust and Bone The trailer goes like this; ‘In a world where tetanus vaccines had never been invented…(quick shot of a bloody scrape on someone’s leg / a hospital room with a gloved hand holding an empty syringe)…there lived a girl who couldn’t keep away from adventure…(girl getting mauled by the mountain/sea/plains animal of choice)…now the only way to save herself…(chaos in cabin in the woods where girl has crawled, probs some scary-looking hillbillies)…is to remove a limb before they do…(close up of scary-looking tools, definitely non-surgical, definitely scary-looking hillbillies)…this time, it’s for real.
4. Best film – animated
Rise of the Guardians Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny join forces to defeat the bogeyman. I’m not even kidding.
Brave What Braveheart wanted to be. Also, takes ‘going all mama-bear’ to a whole new level.
Frankenweenie, n. Definition: The ill-advised cultural practice of hooking up with someone at/after a Halloween party.
Hotel Transylvania Alternate Universe Fan Fiction for Stoker’s Dracula. Vlad has gotten tired of having nobody but three undead vampire-chicks for company, so he decides to open up a hotel, complete with a pub on the ground floor called Impaler’s Arms.***
Wreck-it Ralph Couldn’t care less about this one. Title’s fun to say 15 times fast, though.
So there you have it. See these films (with the exception, of course, of the two that I can vouch for) at your peril. And enjoy the ludicrous acceptance speeches. ‘Tis the season.
* He dies in EVERY EFFING FILM. See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJJwtIFyG5g. I dare you not to cry at Romeo + Juliet, or laugh at the LeoPopsicle of Titanic.
** Cred to Michael Scott for that one.
*** He has come a long way since 1979.