What did you think of the Oscar nominations?
25 things coming back in 2009 are familiar to baby boomers

Academy Award nominated movies often offer violence and sadness, occasionally inspiration

Since I wrote my last post on the Academy Awards’ nominations, I’ve seen six more of the nominated movies. One of the movies is about getting older, “The Wrestler,” but I wouldn’t recommend it for baby boomers.

“Slumdog Millionaire”

The story for “Slumdog Millionaire” is good, but the movie is pretty violent. I didn’t appreciate the torture scene. I don’t think it merits a nomination for best picture.

“Frost/Nixon"

I really liked “Frost/Nixon.” I haven’t been interested in seeing the movie. I’ve never been a big Richard Nixon fan. I knew he was lying when he gave a speech from the Oval Office on television firing his top assistants John Erlichman and H.R. Haldeman. The movie was interesting, thought-provoking, and brought back memories of a president who broke the law and thought anything the president does is legal. I’m rooting for “Frost/Nixon” for best picture.

“The Wrestler”

I don’t think “The Wrestler” has much going for it. Who’s the audience? Young men who like wrestling? Why would a young audience be interesting in an aging wrestler? For baby boomers who are getting older, it may offer some messages. I don’t see how “The Wrestler” received two Academy Award nominations.

“Rachel Getting Married”

“Rachel Getting Married” is an interesting movie about a young women getting out of a rehabilitation facility to attend her sister’s wedding. Some of the monologues of the troubled characters are so long, you can hardly wait until they’re over. The writing isn’t the usual short, fast-moving bits of dialogue that you usually see in movies. Anne Hathaway gives a good performance and deserves a nomination.

“Revolutionary Road”

“Revolutionary Road” is a disappointment. In the two classes I took in scriptwriting, we were told to tell our stories “over the top.” While this movie, about the disappointments of living in the suburbs and not achieving your dreams, is over the top, it’s way, way, way too over the top. I lived in the suburbs and raised children. In addition to being a mom, which is one of my life’s greatest joys, I discovered many things to do to be engaged and make a contribution. I did volunteer work, worked on political campaigns, and ran for a city commission position.

“The Dark Knight”

I don’t like violent movies, but I went to see “The Dark Knight” because my daughter told me to. Unfortunately, the only place the movie is showing in Olympia is in an IMAX theater. I sat in the back to be further back from the violence and motion on the screen. The story was O.K., typical for an action thrilled. Much has been made of Heath Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker. While he did a good job, I think our culture has better things to do than to focus on these violent movie characters.

For me, the sound for “The Dark Knight” is a real problem. The background sound was too loud throughout. At the end, one character was talking about Batman’s role in the future. The background music was so loud, you couldn’t understand his words. It’s incredible that “The Dark Knight” won nominations for sound mixing and sound editing. The people who did the sound for the movie should be fired.

“Gran Torino"

I also saw “Gran Torino,” about a man’s man from another era, a widow, who must deal with immigrants moving into his neighborhood and life. I misplaced my list as I was seeing four movies in one day. The movie attendant at the theater said it had been nominated. It wasn’t. “Gran Torino” is a good story, and the actors played their parts well. The Clint Eastwood character is certainly over the top, but as a grouch, he is a lot like my dad, also from that era, was.

Comments

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Beverly Mahone

I don't follow the Academy Awards much anymore. The movies and actors I like never seem to get chosen so it's not worth my time to sit and watch awards given to actors and movies I never saw.

Rita

Hi Beverly,

Yes, movies these days leave much to be desired. It's a shame! Movies are such a powerful communication device, but the movie industry is driven by profits rather than producing top-notch movies that mean something.

I took classes in screenwriting and wrote two screenplays and 10 shorts because I thought I could do better. I haven't been able to get any of them made. However, a friend in my classes was successful in having two of her shorts produced by classes at The Evergreen Sate College here in Olympia, Wash.

Rita

P.S. Since I've seen about a dozen of the movies, I think I'll invite some people to watch the awards with me.

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