I am not a film critic. I am not going to pretend I am a film critic. I’m going to look at some of the Oscar-nominated movies and actors through a personal lense.
Mad Max & The Martian: I’ll start off by saying this, my brother and I have very different tastes in movies. He likes mindless action flicks (the bloodier the better), gory horror movies, and Will Ferrell-esque comedies. Our interests don’t overlap too often, but it’s nice when we can agree on something to go see together.
We saw both of these movies together. We were entertained at both of them. I really liked Mad Max. (My brother said, “Mad Max was like Waterworld.”) My brother liked The Martian. They were both movies I enjoyed seeing in the theater.
The Revenant: This is another one my brother and I saw together. We both agreed it was long, much too long. The scenery was nice, but I got tired in the middle of it. Does there need to be this much groaning and grunting? Leo will probably win. That’s fine. Whatever. This was one I did not enjoy in the theater. It needed a 10 minute intermission.
Spotlight: This combined three things that I care about: journalism, Boston, and the Catholic Church. It was refreshing to see a journalism pic where the reporter didn’t sleep with the subject. I enjoyed it, not so much for the subject matter, but more for the process. Journalism can be dull sometimes.
It was one of the few movies where I walked out of the theater in silence because of what I had just seen. That doesn’t happen often (Silver Linings Playbook) was the other movie where that happened for me. I was depressed, disgusted, sad, yet hopeful at the end of it. I think good movies will do that for you.
The Big Short: This was a lot of fun. It took an important economic and political issue and made it fun. I gained a lot of respect for Adam McKay, who directed the film. He normally did Will Ferrell comedies, but this one was just a step above.
Inside Out: This one probably tops Up as my favorite Pixar movie of all time. The voices were all spot on. Amy Poehler made one of those rare movies that is fun for adults and kids, like really fun. I’d watch this one multiple times.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: My parents went and saw this movie and they liked it. That’s a rare thing. Wait, they actually saw Bridge of Spies as well (because they had actually been over that bridge on one of their many European vacations) and liked it. I think they’re just going to mark Bridge on everything in their Oscar ballot because it’s the movie they know the best.
That’s all I got on this year. My ballot will probably be awful, but whatever. It’s all about the horse race here. Does anyone really, really care who wins? It’s more about the buzz, the pre-awards talk, the awards talk, and then we move on to summer movie season. Batman vs. Superman can’t come soon enough.