Thursday, January 22, 2009


Oscar nominations came out this morning!  Unfortunately, I do not think I will be able to accomplish my aforementioned resolution of watching all five Best Picture flicks (ha! i just said flicks - i should write for a magazine).  Here's the lineup of the big categories:

Best Picture: 
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 
The Reader 
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor: 
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress: 
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Supporting Actor: 
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road.

Best Supporting Actress: 
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler 

It looks like I will once again be an uninformed Oscar viewer.  Milk, The Reader, The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road, and Slumdog Millionaire are not playing in Alabama.  Benjamin Button is, but I already paid nine dollars once to see it and I had to leave after 45 minutes... (long story. it was not a fun night.)  and while it was good, I don't really feel like paying another 9 bucks to finish it.  Frost/Nixon is actually opening in Mobile tomorrow, so I think I will go see it this weekend - anyone want to come along?  I would also really like to see Changeling and Rachel Getting Married, but I think both of them are in that awkward between-theatres-and-DVD stage.  I have never heard of The Visitor or Frozen River.  And Vicky Cristina Barcelona is out on DVD, I'm pretty sure, and I love Woody Allen, so that one will probably be a renter soon.  

On a related note: in perusing theatre listings, I always seem to have a certain frustration.  For example, here is a sampling of movies playing here currently:  
Hotel for Dogs
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
My Bloody Valentine (3D)
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Now, I am not trying to demean these films.  For all I know, they are fantastic.  I'm sure people like them.  However, I just always wonder who decides that people in Alabama have no interest in seeing the movies that were selected by actors, directors, and critics everywhere as the absolute best offerings of the year - instead, they would rather see three-dimensional horror films or a movie about a dog hotel.  I realize that a lot of people don't view movies as a life-enriching experience, but why not?  If I want to sit in front of a screen and space out (which sometimes I do), I have 107 channels to choose from at home.  If I'm going to spend nine dollars to sit in a theatre and see something, I'd like to be able to experience one of the films I've read reviews about, movies that have made people think, movies that have changed people's lives.  

A plea to the movie-deciding-people of Alabama:  why not branch out and show something with a little more cultural and intellectual significance?  You might be surprised.  

EDIT: All of the aforementioned movies (with the exception of Milk) are now playing in Huntsville and/or Birmingham.  I stand corrected, movie-choosers.  You're doing a little better than I thought.  Just a little further.

EDIT AGAIN: Whoa.  Whoa.  I stand even further corrected.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but perhaps I should come to terms with the fact that Google is not the unerrant source of all information.  Check out these listings for tomorrow, in Mobile, on Fandango:


Kacie said...

I feel your pain. I really wanted to see XXY, but alas no one in Alabama enjoys stories of the transgendered.

Andrew said...

I think that we're the minority in this state. Even if 1 theater in every big city (huntsville, bham, mobile) played those kinds of movies, I still don't think they'd make enough to get anywhere. All the "artsy" crowd would go in the first week or two, and after that, jack... and probably even in those first few weeks the viewings would be sparse.

I'm one of the only people I know that watches a movies seriously and not just to be entertained... watching them isn't about watching, it's about experiencing, letting yourself be dragged around by the emotions that are being created. A telephone ring, a text message, a joke mocking something someone thinks is odd, all of that detracts from the experience. And most people don't watch movies that way.

We're in the minority and it sucks. And it's not just an Alabama thing either... or just a Southeast thing. You need to be in a huge city to get a population large enough for our percentage to make any dent in a box office.


But do what I do and download the ones we'll never get, haha :)

Katie said...

AGH i feel so uncultured...the only one i have seen is "tropic thunder". i will definitely see frost/nixon with you if we can do a matinee or get the student tickets from USA.