Oscars Death Race: I Am Love

Inspired by Tomato Nation and my own inner stupid overachieving pop culture glutton, I’m once again attempting to see all 2011 Oscar nominated films before the ceremony. Here’s how it’s going so far.

True story: There has not been a single day since the AFC championship game that I have not worn a Pittsburgh-related t-shirt. I’m about to leave for a long weekend in Washington, DC, and I will be packing myTerrible Towel, my Hines Ward jersey and at least four Steelers shirts with me. I have ordered two dozen black and gold Smiley Cookies from Eat ‘N Park for our Super Bowl party. And the most romantic thing my husband has done for me lately is making homemade Primanti’s sandwiches.

But the weird thing is this: Growing up, I hated football. Loathed it. Bored to tears whenever my dad insisted on watching it. I didn’t even begin to learn the rules of the game until high school, and then it was only because I was in the marching band [insert nerd joke here] and forced to attend my school’s games. I couldn’t wait to get out of Western Pennsylvania as a kid. Then I went to college in Boston, and discovered that I actually kinda missed home. Now that I live in Miami, which might as well be on another planet from Pittsburgh, I miss it more with each year. And during the fall and winter, I channel that feeling into rabid Steelers fandom.

…which is a lengthy way of saying that yeah, I very much identified with Emma, Tilda Swinton’s character in I Am Love — a Russian woman who left her home and her identity behind to marry an Italian and live in Milan. And I think that’s what kept the film on the positive side for me. There are plenty of cliches throughout: long, dramatic stares; even more dramatic music; obvious, simplistic imagery; and a lengthy, largely unnecessary sex scene involving insects, somehow. (Your guess is as good as mine.) But Swinton is absolutely heartbreaking, both in her acting and her physical transformation from Italian to Russian and back again. The scene that stands out the most to me is the one in which Emma teaches a man a traditional Russian recipe in his kitchen, with her hair up in a scarf, looking like a contented peasant. For some of us, it’s soup; for others, it’s the Steelers.

Death Race Tally: 12 seen, 44 to go.
Remaining films:

127 Hours
Alice in Wonderland
Animal Kingdom
Another Year
Barney’s Version
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
The Confession
Country Strong
The Crush
Day & Night
God of Love
The Gruffalo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I
How To Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
In A Better World
Inside Job
Killing In The Name
Let’s Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, a Journey Diary
Na Wewe
Outside The Law
Poster Girl
Rabbit Hole
The Social Network
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Tempest
Toy Story 3
True Grit
The Warriors of Qiugang
Waste Land
The Way Back
Winter’s Bone
Wish 143


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