Monday, July 12, 2010

Movie Mondays

My family and I have been watching all the movies that were nominated for Best Picture during this last Oscars. It's been a little slow going, but we're getting close to the end. Only three more to go. So far there haven't been too many we thought were really Oscar worthy. There were some we liked okay, but out of the seven we've watched only Up and Inglourious Basterds have really stood out as excellent. Tonight we watched A Serious Man. I have found that Cohen Brothers' movies can really be hit or miss for me. I thought Burn After Reading was pretty funny, but I fell asleep during Fargo (though I think I need to give that one another try). I loved O Brother Where Art Thou? and hated The Big Lebowski. As for this one, I'm not sure. There were definitely elements that I found funny...particularly the thirteen year old son, stoned at his Bar Mitzvah, and the Korean student trying to simultaneously bribe and blackmail his professor. But more often, instead of laughing I was wincing...wincing as the main character's wife and her new boyfriend talked to him in their totally different but equally horrifying ways or wincing every time his brother was onscreen draining his neck cyst (which is as gross as it sounds). I can appreciate the comparison to the book of Job from the Bible, but I think perhaps I needed a character who was a bit more compelling. Larry was a schlubby dude before his life went to pot and he was an equally schlubby dude at the end.

In better movie news, we watched A League of Their Own a few days ago, and I'm pretty sure this is one of my favorite movies. For some reason, I love sports movies. I don't really know why. I'm the most un-athletic person ever (unless we're comparing me to my sister the librarian or my sister the literature scholar in which case I'm only mildly un-athletic). But
give me a good sports movie and I am happy. Let's be for real, give me a mediocre sports movie (um...The Cutting Edge anyone?) and I am happy. A League of Their Own is far from mediocre. The characters are great, the acting is excellent (Tom Hanks at his comedic best), and the story is compelling. Plus there's an exciting bit of history to boot, which makes me happy. The story and the characters are a fictionalized account of the start up of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. When you're in school and you learn about War World II and the involvement of women in the workplace on the home front, most of what you talk about is Rosie the Riveter and the women who went to work in the factories. While that was an extremely important contribution to both World War II and the feminist movement (my Granny worked in a factory), it's also interesting and worthwhile to look at the other ways women were called on to support the war effort, ways such as playing pro baseball. Things like that sometimes tend to get overlooked. What movies have you been watching this week?

No comments: