Of the 10 films that have been nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Picture, I have seen five of them. Not too shabby. Especially when you consider back in the day, when the Academy hadn’t come up with the bonkers idea of having 10 films in the running for the top award, I probably would have seen all of them. Maybe.

I haven’t seen 127 Hours. Even though I want to make babies with James Franco, I don’t want to see him cut his arm off. Oops. Spoiler. I haven’t seen The Fighter or Winter’s Bone because I don’t like looking at crackheads and meth-heads. I didn’t see Toy Story 3 because I try to avoid crying in public. And I don’t really have an excuse for The Kids Are All Right except maybe I had better things to do with my life when it came out. But that’s basically a lie.

As far as the other five films are concerned — Black Swan, Inception, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, and True Grit — they were good. Of course they were. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been nominated for Oscars. But I wasn’t utterly blown away by any of them. That’s not to say that any of them are undeserving of blown-away status. I’ve just reached that point in my life where I’ve seen so many movies that it takes a really special one to blow me away and that doesn’t happen very often. The last one that did that for me was for Never Let Me Go, but that’s nowhere on this year’s nominee list. Maybe I just have bad taste.

Black Swan could have been creepier. Inception could have made more sense. The Social Network I’ve got no real qualms with, but I’m biased toward Andrew Garfield and my main man Justin Timberlake. The Coen Brothers have done better than True Grit, but it’s definitely a film they can be proud of. And The King’s Speech was great. If I had to choose a favorite from this crop, that would be it.

And the word on the street is Blue Valentine got shafted.

One standout from this year’s nominees, in the Foreign Language category, is Dogtooth. I’m so proud. I reviewed it back in September, when the Greater Park Circle Film Society screened it. It was outrageous in that Michael Haneke kind of way and I’m glad to see it getting attention. Though I’m sure it’ll lose out to Biutiful (which the Terrace will be showing in February).


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