Presenting Our Guide to Pretending to Have Opinions About This Year’s Oscars

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03/05/2010 2:55 PM |


Want to watch the Oscars because it’s all anybody ever talks about I mean Jesus Christ, but afraid of being called out for not having seen all or indeed any of the nominated and discussed films, because you don’t actually like movies or watch that many of them?

Then why not AVOID EMBARRASSMENT with The L’s Magazine’s Official Guide to Pretending to Have Opinions About the Oscar-Nominated Films of 2010! After the jump, you’ll find links to our reviews, blog posts and other discussions of the Best Picture nominees; feel free to print them out, gluestick them onto flashcards, memorize them, and declaim them as your own. With the words of the L Magazine film section’s world-renowned wits rolling off your tongue, you’re sure to be the hit of your block’s Oscar-viewing festivities.

(For a complete rundown of the nominees, selections, thoughts and discussion, see Jesse Hassenger’s picks from yesterday.)

-Benjamin Strong reviewed the latest Most. Expensive. Movie. Ever, from self-proclaimed King of the World James Cameron.
-I had some thoughts on James Cameron’s “megalodrama.”
Ben Sutton and Henry Stewart discuss radical politics, anti-corporate sentiment, environmentalism and 3-D.

The Blind Side
Sutton and Stewart dissected this homespun ode to the White Trash Woman’s Burden earlier this winter.

District 9
Sutton and Stewart appreciated the sci-fi apartheid allegory last summer, but only to a point.

An Education
-In his review, Stewart appreciated the acting in this otherwise “cliche-soused” coming-of-age.

The Hurt Locker
-Reviewing the film, Michael Joshua Rowin praised the film as an intensely immersive psychological profile, but questioned its political applicability.
-Rowin also expanded on Bigelow’s careerlong fascination with adrenaline junkies in a video essay produced by Matt Zoller Seitz. (Transcript.)
Stewart had some reservations as the film was logging too-predictable critics-group awards in December.
-Later that month, Justin Stewart consolidated the praise for the L’s 13th best film of 2009.

Inglourious Basterds
-MZS anticipated the film with a video essay, Quentin Tarantino In His Own Words.
-Reviewing the film, Nicolas Rapold preemptively questioned whether this Oscar-poised midcareer film could be considered Tarantino’s “masterpiece.”
Sutton and Stewart celebrated the film as boldly cinematic good time…
-… and I defended (sorta) the film’s rewritten history
-… and restated the case in my appreciation of the L’s second best film (and best American film) of 2009.

Precious: Based Upon the Novel ‘Wives and Daughters’ by Elizabeth Gaskell
Simon Abrams was disgusted with the film when it anchored the New York Film Festival.
-Upon its release, Ben Mercer was unimpressed with its bludgeoning tale of uplift.
Discussing the movie together, Stewart questioned how anyone could possibly take this poverty-porn seriously; Sutton piped up that he found it a moving melodrama, actually.
-And I defended, sorta, the white movie critics who felt that they should pretend to like it.

A Serious Man
-Reviewing the film, Rowin invoked Kafka and the Old Testament, and discussed Jewish assimilation and simmering 60s conflict.
-I stumped for the bold uncertainty of the L’s 5th best film of 2009.

-Reviewing the film, Strong admired the film’s lightness of touch, and the almost unbearable heaviness of the film’s meditations on love and aging.
-His admiration was echoed by Sutton in his appreciation of the L’s 15th best film of 2009.

Up in the Air
-I decoded the film’s calculated prerelease positioning.
-Reviewing the film, Rapold located it within the glib gravitas of the Jason Reitman oeuvre.
Sutton and Stewart were both roundly displeased with the film’s stealth conservatism and pretensions of relevance.