Oscar Movie Marathon: Year 3*

*technically this is my 4th year of doing the movies, but the 3rd year there have been more than 5 and I’ve blogged about it

If you were paying any attention to the world a few weeks ago, you probably knew the Academy Awards happened.  My family continued our tradition of participating in AMC Theaters’ Best Picture Movie Marathon.  This year we had an even bigger group (11!) of family and friends who traveled from out of town or cleared their weekend to watch 9 movies back to back in a 24 hour period.  The marathon started on the Saturday before the Oscars at 11:00 am and ended on Sunday morning around 8:30.  Overall, the 9 movies were great.  I liked them as a whole better than the 10 from the last two years.  Last year wasn’t bad, but I was excited to see more of these movies.

The movies (in the order I saw them) with my thoughts:

Hugo (in 3D)

I enjoyed Hugo but definitely not as much as everyone else.  It’s a good, interesting story, and from what I can remember it was true to the book.  But I just didn’t LOVE it.  I think I had a problem with some of the acting.  There would be some pauses before dialogue or I didn’t understand why Hugo did some of the things he did.  A lot of us picked it for Best Picture though, so if you haven’t seen it, go and make your own decisions.  I give it a 3/5.

The Tree of Life

You guys, I did NOT get this movie at all.  I knew going into it that it was going to be a very unique way to tell a story, but even that didn’t help.  Some of my family had already seen it, and they all really liked it, so they were excited to see it again.  They did say that when they saw it the first time, they discussed it for about 2 hours afterward – which is one of the big problems with doing a movie marathon – no time to digest a film.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I had been able to really talk about it with someone afterward.  I can see why it was nominated.  The three little boys are really great in it too, but I just didn’t get it.  Rating: 1/5

The Help

I really enjoyed this book, but I was really unsure how the movie was going to be, especially after seeing some of the trailers.  It was better than I had expected.  The acting was good, but I’m not sure I was really WOW-ed.  Jessica Chastain was great as Celia Foote though.  It was quite a switch from her role in The Tree of Life but she was great in both.  Not really much to say beyond that; I don’t think it had a shot at winning Best Picture.  Rating: 3/5

The Artist

This movie was great!  I kind of knew I would end up liking it though because I love old black-and-white movies, and this really feels like one of those old classics.  I don’t think I’ve seen a true silent film though, and this was so much fun!  The music is wonderful, the acting is excellent.  (Jean Dujardin is so good!)  I highly recommend seeing it.  Maybe you’ll discover you like the feel of older films.  It’s just a good refreshing alternative to today’s modern films.  I’m really glad it won Best Picture.  5/5!

The Descendants

This film felt similar to last year’s The Kids Are Alright with the family issues.  I liked it a lot, but I didn’t feel it was worthy of the best pick.  It’s set in Hawaii, which was interesting.  The acting was good – especially the girls who played George Clooney’s daughters.  I’m always impressed with child actors – when they’re good.  Consider yourself warned that George Clooney looks much older than you’ve ever seen him.  Movie rating; 4/5.

Midnight in Paris

This is the only film I had seen before we started.  I enjoyed it just as much, probably a little more, than the first time.  It’s a great throwback to the people, culture, life of Paris in the ’20s.  I won’t tell you much more, and I don’t suggest looking into the film much before you see it.  And you should see it.  It’s a wonderfully fun, kind of quirky film. Rating: 5/5

War Horse

I have to admit that this was probably the film I was least interested in seeing.  I’m not really a big animal movie fan, and I don’t know much about or am really interested in horses.  That said, it was better than I expected.  A little long at times, but it’s covering World War I, so there’s a little bit of an epic feel.  See it if you’re interested in horses, WWI, or need to see all of Spielberg’s films.  FYI: I think this was one of the films where afterward we played “Did you spot the Harry Potter actor/actress?”  Rating: 2/5


Besides animal movies, I’m not much of a sports movies fan.  However, it did hold my interest most of the time – toward the end, they show a lot of clips of a game, and I may have started to doze a little bit.  Of course, this one started at 4 am, so that probably had more to do with it.  It probably held my interest so much because Aaron Sorkin was one of the screenwriters, and I love the way he writes.  The acting is pretty good – both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are good, but I didn’t expect either to win.  The best part of the movie may have been the girl who plays Brad Pitt’s daughter who plays guitar and sings Lenka’s “The Show” a few times.  She is SO GOOD!  Oh and Chris Pratt shows up in this movie.  It’s kind of weird to see him play a real adult when you’re used to Andy Dwyer, but he was great too.  Rating: 3/5

 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Since I absolutely LOVE this book, this movie was one I was most interested (and scared) to see.  I didn’t expect much going in, since I’d read some less-than-great reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised.  There are several things different, but I think I can live with it for the movie.  I know a lot of people didn’t like the movie, but I think it’s because they haven’t read the book.  It’s hard to get the full picture when you’re missing the other peoples’ stories that help tell the complete story.  Still, the movie hits pretty close to the tone and emotions for Oscar’s story in the book.  Thomas Horn who plays Oscar is phenomenal.  I wish he had earned some kind of recognition for his acting.  Fun fact: He won the Kids’ Jeopardy tournament.  🙂  Rating: 4/5.

Has anyone seen any of these yet?  What did you think?

– Jill


4 Responses to “Oscar Movie Marathon: Year 3*”

  1. 1 ashrules24 March 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Reblogged this on Ash's Blog and commented:
    Loved it.

  2. 2 ngtjennifer March 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I am always so impressed that you and your family can sit through all of these movies at once!!!

    I saw Midnight in Paris in the theater a long time ago and loved it! I have never seen a Woody Allen movie (because I never wanted to) and don’t really like Owen Wilson, but this film won me over in the first few minutes. I recommend it to everyone at the library 🙂

    I loved The Help a lot. I’d read the book too and I thought the movie did a good job of covering the basics without leaving too many things out. I adored Minnie and Celia in the movie, but my favorite thing was Skeeter’s mom’s scene at the end with Hilly. Priceless!

    I have no desire to see Tree of Life or War Horse. Someone even told me not to bother buying Tree of Life for the library because it is, and I quote “a piece of crap.” Since it is only available on bu-ray from our supplier, I might just skip it.

    I really want to see The Artist, mainly because every time I see a clip from it, I think of Singing in the Rain. I’m not sure why…..maybe because the main guy looks a little like Gene Kelly??? Who knows?

    Anyway, I have several of the other movies on hold at the library and will hopefully be seeing them soon.

  3. 3 ngtjennifer March 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I am trying to watch Hugo right now, but I think I am going to stop. It is so freaking boring! And the special effects are so cheesy. That shot in the beginning looked like something out of Titanic, which came out 15 years ago. Ugh. *eject*

  4. 4 Amber March 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    So funny because I was visiting Sheila that weekend, and she has just recently gotten back into foursquare so she was checking it nonstop. I had told her about your movie marathon so when we were eating breakfast on Saturday morning she exclaimed “Jill just checked into the theater!” 🙂

    I also loved Midnight in Paris! I actually just watched it with my mom this weekend, right before I first read this post! The Fitzgeralds were adorable (except, you know, the sad Zelda scene). I have a feeling that that movie could almost reach the rewatchable level of Penelope (hahahaha that is impossible.)

    I also really liked The Artist. and I’m glad it won. but I’m not sure it has much rewatchable ability. Gotta say, love the dresses in both the Artist and Midnight in Paris! Wowza!

    I am the library’s reserve list for Hugo right now–I’m totally surprised y’all are so lukewarm about it. All my coworkers loved it (and I don’t think any of them had read the book…hmmm maybe that is why they loved it….)

    And I really adored the Help, although i never read the book. I was totally supposed to for bookclub…but I think I chose to read a Meg Cabot book instead…I was kinda rooting for it to win the Oscar just for Girl Power reasons (woman writer, all woman cast, underdogs, etc)

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