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– Barika Edwards

What Oscar films to see this weekend: 2012 Oscar films for everyone

-Barika Edwrds

It’s obvious that the Academy Members do not have regular everyday movie-goers in mind when the turn in their ballots for films they want read, celebrated in interpretive dance and joked about by the Oscar host, before the presenter says,”And the Oscar goes to….”

If the select Members of the Academy did pick regular films that nearly everyone loved, then Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 would sweep the nominations lists in all categories not just the Make-up and Visual Effects categories, which it hopes to win this Sunday. I suppose they did try keep regular everyday movie-goers in mind. Well perhaps their attempt can be seen by the fact that Harry Potter is out-nominated by Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. Really?

I could go on and on about the Harry Potter snub. But allow me to vent for a second: The Academy Awards is supposed to (according to my 6th grade research paper) “award excellence in the advancement of the art of film making.” Meaning changing the way movies are made. Technologically, the Matrix did this and The Lord of the Rings took it future with the millions of Sim like monsters that had minds of their own, a special effects algorithm with soul or evil in the case of the Orcs.

So, Harry Potter which starred pretty much every English actor* that had been bestowed by the Queen of England “Dame” and “Sir” What about film adaptation folks? Directing? Seriously, how many world-renowned directors took on the book adaptation and didn’t lose focus turning it into a mushy Twilight unrecognizable to the novel series fans while keeping those film first then book audience members on edge? Not to mention, when have we ever seen the genius and blooming of children into acting tour-de-force?

*Yes, I know I exaggerated.

So it is what it is. The Artsy Fartsy Academy Awards. So if you’ve been invited to a dress-up Oscar viewing party and the only film on the nominee list you’ve actually seen is The Help, here is my list of the Artsy Fartsy nominated films you should see this weekend before your shindig.

The Artsy Fartsy Oscar Rector Scale

Artsy Fartsy: These films are tailor made For the purpose of being spoofed on Sunday and hopefully win a golden dude. These films you probably didn’t see…. but should see this weekend.

Artsy: Films that may or may not be tailor made for Oscars and are not overt about it and probably didn’t care. These films are artsy and you should see them.

Oscar Farscar: Forget the Academy Award Nominee list. This film should have been on the list (in my opinion) and are worth seeing this weekend.

** I say “artsy fartsy” endearingly. These are good films that are for everyone; although, they may not translate in box office numbers that their target market reach is much larger.



Artsy Fartsy: Best Picture: The Artist

This film is not overtly an Oscar fab film but you can’t get any “artsy fartsy” than a black and white film The Artist. A lot of everyday people probably thought twice about watching a film in black and white that is silent and on their final decision bought tickets for some other film that was on the marque.  I loved The Artist. It made my Top 10 of 2011 and its not at all unbearable as you may think. It’s a true gem.

Best Film, Best Supporting Actress and Actor: Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Artsy: Best Supporting Actress and Actor: Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo 

These two actors are wonderful in The Artist and made the black and white film colorful.  Not to forget Uggie the Dog, Benji would be proud!

Best Supporting Actor Performance by an animal

Uggie the Dog for Best Supporting Animal Actor in The Artist

Uggie the dog in The Artist would beat out the horses in War Horse hands down.

Oscar Farscar: Best Actor: Dominic Cooper in The Devil’s Double

Best Actor: Dominic Cooper, The Devil's Double

What a snub this was. In The Devil’s DoubleDominic Cooper (The History Boys, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) plays both Saddam Hussien’s insanely childish son, Uday AND his body double, Latif Yahia. Cooper’s performance of these two completely different men is seamlessly and his performance truly leaves a hunting impression.


Artsy Fartsy: Best Director: Terrence Malick, Tree of Life

The aloof director that only turns out masterpieces.See it (The Tree of Life) now because after 2013 you may have to wait 20 years to see the next Terrence Malick film on the silver screen. The Academy should award Malick because when will it have another chance to give an award in the future for a past film?

Best Director and Best Actor: Terrence Malick and Brad Pitt for The Tree of Life

Artsy: Best Actor: Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life

Brad Pitt is an underrated actor. His whole entire career span he has played a variety of characters. Even though he is known for his good sexy looks in the 90’s, the man has always been a character actor. His performance in The Tree of Life is a culmination of his career as the stern, cold father that is torn.

Oscar Farscar: Best Director: Lars Von Trier, Melancholia

Best Director: Lars Von Trier, Melancholia

Maybe it was the media flub that cost this nomination. Melancholia was on it’s way to be on the list with critical and international festival acclaim (27 wins) and then the director, Lars Van Trier said something he shouldn’t. Melancholia is bewitching and beautiful in two acts. It’s themes show us what we really will be feeling if 2012 happens. **The film is not about 2012 but a planetary collision**

SUNDAY MATINEE NIGHT (At least the tickets are cheap)

Artsy Fartsy: Best Picture: Hugo (see it in 3D)

Best Film (in 3D): Hugo

Hugo is delightful film that touches the heart. It’s a film for everyone and still able to be an homage to the artistry of film. In 3D is a must see. If you’ve read my previous posts and reviews on radio broadcasts of The Artsy Fartsy Show, you know if wouldn’t lead you astray especially when that 2D films add a little 3D to pad their pockets. This is completely the opposite, the entire film works in 3D, it magically transports you into the Parisian Train Station.

If you are an artist stuck in a rut- RUN TO SEE HUGO.

Artsy: Best Documentary: Pina (in 3D)

Best Documentary: Pina

Pina is a tribute to the choreographic work of the late dancer Pina Bausch. I havent seen this film but its on my Oscar Scramble List. Pina Bausch revolutionized modern dance in the 70’s. Her dances incorporated elaborate stage sets, props and sound – sounds perfect for film.

Oscar Farscar: Best Original Screenplay 50/50 and Attack the Block

Best Original Screenplay: Joe Cornish for Attack the Block

Ok, maybe Attack the Block is not an Oscar snub, but the script written and directed by Joe Cornish is comedic and social conscious. It falls in the category of advancement of the filmmaking by rethinking race, socialism, sci-fi and comedy a’la Goonies style. Perhaps, I am pushing it, but I loved this film and after watching all those serious Oscar nods you’ll need a little provocative comedy. This film is out on video right now.

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser for 50/50

Speaking of comedies, 50/50 written by Will Reiser is a great original screenplay labor of love. Loosely based on Resier’s own experiences, 50/50 has all those Oscar nugget gems unassuming comedy, drama and meaning. 50/50 is another film to see on video if you have broke the bank with the Oscar cram-scramble. Enjoy your party!