Oscars Death Race: Raging Depression Edition

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

Pro tip, kids: Do your research. Last weekend, I thought I was pairing a quirky comedy with an intense drama. You know, for balance. However.

Barney’s Version: I have to say it:  Miriam is too perfect. I mean this in a bad way. The character has no flaws. Stop it, writers.

The story spends most of its time asking us to forgive the main character for the many ways he’s managed to ruin his life — then gets all sentimental at the end, with an end-scene reveal that the writers clearly see as monumental and clarifying, but which struck me as kind of … trivial, overall? The makeup for which it’s nominated, however, is really fantastic. Paul Giamatti might not need much help transforming into an old man, but Rosamund Pike’s transformation into an old woman is another story. I mean, have you seen what she actually looks like?

Biutiful: From one story of a guy ruining his life to another. At least you’re rooting for Uxbal, who’s trying to do the right thing in an increasingly morbid situation. I didn’t love this movie, but I don’t think you’re supposed to; most of it is incredibly difficult to watch. But it was in service of a story (ahem, 127 Hours), which resolves itself with lovely and simple symmetry. Walking out of the theater, I felt like I had made it to the other side of something.

Death Race Tally: 23 seen*, 33 to go.
Remaining films:

Another Year
Blue Valentine
The Confession
Country Strong
The Crush
Day & Night*
God of Love
The Gruffalo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I
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
The Warriors of Qiugang
Waste Land
The Way Back
Winter’s Bone
Wish 143


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