Saturday, April 4, 2009

What makes a movie Academy Award worthy?

I can read a novel that has violence in it, and if it is important to the story, I am ok with it. Take the same story, adapt it for a movie and I have trouble watching the violence. Is it a female thing? Is it because I grew up with movies that only hinted at violence? Or is it because the older I get, the more I wish people would be kinder to each other?

One of my sons is a huge movie fan and I try to watch some movies that interest him even though I am pretty sure they aren't movies I would choose. Sometimes I am surprised. The movie Milk was a surprise to me. I remember when Harvey Milk was killed and the ugliness of gay bashing that surrounded his story and still exists in some circles today. While I can't say that Milk would ever be a favorite movie of mine, I was impressed with Sean Penn's performance.

Yesterday I watched Slumdog Millionaire. This movie had 10 Academy Award nominations and won eight of them. Not being a student of film, I can't begin to guess what earns a nomination in the technical catergories. How does one film win for best editing? Do the voters see the rough cut of the movie and then the final cut and compare the editing job?I didn't hate Slumdog Millionaire, but I sure don't understand all the rave reviews and awards. I am looking forward to discussing it with my son. Our brief phone conversation only went as far as him telling me he loved it, that it was a happy movie. Happy? Happy??? I think both the world around us and the entertainment world, including video games, has made many of the 35 and under age group see things much differently than those of us gently over 50. Or over 55. Or digging in our heels in to prevent the slide towards whatever birthday is next approaching. Seriously though, "happy" is just not a word I would use to describe that movie. I won't say more in case someone hasn't seen it yet and plans to watch it.

This morning I watched Marley and Me. I had read the book and laughed and cried. The movie does a good job of adhering to the book's storyline. I laughed hard and cried harder. I cried until I got blotchy and needed to blow my nose. I had to wait to go to the store because my face looked like I had been the recipient of horrible news. But you know what? I really liked the movie. My family has loved and been loved by Labrador Retrievers. I would watch this movie again and enjoy both the movie and the memories of our own dogs.
Both movies are about love, but only one made me cry and yet Marley and Me is a happier movie for me.

What makes a movie good for you?


Smilingsal said...

Hollywood wants more than a moving story; they want to politically influence the viewer. Therefore, we think differently because when I go to the movies, I want to be entertained. I can figure out my moral and political viewpoints without Hollywood's help.

Sweetie said...

I like the older romantic movies - movies that tell a story and are full of romance and intrigue. I don't like the "throw morals away" movies of today. There are a some good movies but they are few and far between.

andrea said...

i love a movie that can make me cry...especially if it's a good love story - and not the "too good to be true" kind of love that you could actually believe could happen. i also like a good drama - where at the end the plot turns just so...and leaves me saying "i never saw that coming".