It’s time for my annual movie review in preparation for the 95th Oscars. This year had a lot of great movies, and also some that were nominated but I would suggest avoiding. Let me know in the comments what you watched, what you enjoyed, and what movies should be avoided. You can check out my thoughts on last year’s awards here.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water (didn’t watch)
The Banshees of Inisherin
Elvis (didn’t watch)
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick (didn’t watch)
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking (didn’t watch)
To start it right out, I didn’t watch Avatar (don’t have Disney+), Elvis (I hate Elvis), Top Gun (I hate Tom Cruise), or Women Talking (not available for streaming). For the rest, be prepared to sit for awhile if you are going to watch them. When did the average length of movies become 2+ hours? I don’t go to movie theaters, and so I streamed everything I watched in shorter segments over multiple days. I didn’t necessarily think all of the movies needed to be that long.
The Fabelmans is worth watching to the end, for me at least, due to a cameo appearance in the last five minutes that I really enjoyed. I suspect Everything Everywhere All at Once may win for best picture, as it has won so many awards at the other ceremonies leading up to the Oscars (Golden Globes, SAG Awards, etc.). And it is nice to see an Asian film win for sure. Also, I love Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh. I found the movie itself kind of hard to follow. Interesting concept as well, but not my absolute favorite. Should you watch it? Maybe, if it is streaming on a service you already have.
I thought Tár was excellent, and Cate Blanchett was amazing in it. It’s a movie that would win in another year if it wasn’t up against Everything and I do recommend it. I think I will probably watch it again. I understand that The Banshees of Inisherin is a dark comedy. I just didn’t like it that much. All Quiet on the Western Front is a hard movie to watch. It might win against, Everything, as it did very well in the BAFTAs. It is quite good.
My favorite nominee is Triangle of Sadness. I doubt very much it will win for any award, but I loved it. Loved the concept, loved the acting, loved the humor. Loved it.
Actress in a Leading Role
There was controversy over the category of actress in a leading role with how the film To Leslie scored a nomination of its lead actress Andrea Riseborough. There is a bigger conversation on which films get nominated because they are really good, and which films get nominated because the money is there for promotion, but that’s for another day.
I watched all of the nominees except for Ana De Armas in Blonde. The movie wasn’t interesting to me, so I didn’t watch it. All other actresses put on great performances and I wouldn’t be disappointed in any of them winning. I really did enjoy To Leslie, and thought Andrea Riseborough did a great job.
Documentary Feature Film
All That Breathes (didn’t watch – can’t stand another dead animal film)
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (not available)
Fire of Love (didn’t watch)
A House Made of Splinters
My goodness, I had a hard time this year with documentary feature, and it’s normally one of my favorite categories. Fire of Love is on Disney+, and I’m not springing for another service. I wanted to watch All the Beauty but it won’t be available until March 19 which is after the awards show and honestly by that time I think I’ll be watching gardening shows to cleanse my palate. For that reason, I didn’t watch All That Breathes as I absolutely can’t watch another film where creatures die. I know that it’s about brothers who try to save birds and have a bird hospital, but you know well enough some of them are going to die and I’ve just plain had enough.
A House Made of Splinters is depressing. Navalny is depressing. Both are worth a watch to see what’s going on in the world, and they are both important stories. Watch them, but not back to back, and watch a comedy or two in between.
Documentary Short Film
The Elephant Whisperers (didn’t watch)
How Do You Measure a Year? (not available – didn’t watch)
The Martha Mitchell Effect
Stranger at the Gate
I enjoy a nice documentary short. How Do you Measure a Year is not available for streaming, and I just didn’t feel much like watching The Elephant Whisperers. I get tired of watching sad animal films to be honest. Will some elephants die or be threatened with death? Yes, probably, so I’m not going to risk it. I get enough of it at work, you know? For the films I watched, I would recommend seeing them all. Haulout is quite short and it’s less a walrus film and more an environmental film. I would guess Stranger at the Gate will win, and it deserves it. Martha Mitchell was by far my favorite though. What an amazing woman and a life story that should be more well known. It’s a reminder that what happened to Mary Todd Lincoln was still happening not too long ago in this country. Outspoken women could be institutionalized for being outspoken. You should watch it!
International Feature Film
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
Close (Belgium) (didn’t watch)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
The Quiet Girl (Ireland) (didn’t watch)
I would absolutely expect All Quiet to win this category, and it is deserved. I really did like Argentina, 1985 as well. It’s a dub, not sub, so that might be a problem for you. If you put on the sub, it doesn’t match the dub, which is even more irritating. The story is great, the set design is amazing, and it features a speech that will move you to tears. Close and The Quiet Girl are not available for streaming. I regret watching EO. The donkey dies in the end. Yes, I understand the point of the film. Yes, it’s an important issue. But I don’t need to see it to know it.
Misc. Thoughts on Other Categories
I didn’t see enough movies in the categories of Cinematography or Music – Original Score to really be able to comment on who should win the categories. But while I was watching All Quiet on the Western Front, I thought it could absolutely win for these categories. The musical score was haunting and perfect. It was like a character all on its own, just amazing.
I did watch a couple of the animated shorts, which is normally one of my favorite categories. I didn’t like anything I watched. And the live action shorts weren’t available for streaming.
That’s it! That’s my thoughts for this year’s Academy Awards. What, if any, did you watch? What were your thoughts?