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