How To Be A Giant Movie Geek

The Oscars. Love them or hate them. To me they are still the only award ceremony I’ll watch live in its entirety, despite the fact that the time difference and hugely boring “entertainment acts” (to be fair at 4am hardly anyone singing full playback will get me excited) usually render me half unconscious when they finally announce the last award at 5am my time.

Part of the reason I love it so much is that I get to geek out about watching as many nominated films as possible in the running up to it. Not that anything stops me from watching films any day of the year but “having” to watch a certain amount of films in just one month is almost like a challenge. It certainly is a challenge when a lot of the nominated films is not even out in Europe yet. Thanks, Academy!
The other reason to watch it is divided into red carpet ogling (and ranting, of course), complaining about why on earth that horrible film won (with these years nominees there may be lots of that) and just good old Hollywood glamour that appears to still exist in the Kodak theatre on this one night of the year.

This year I have my friend Janina coming over to England to bully Marco into watching with us join me and Marco in watching the Oscars live. There shall be huge amounts of microwave popcorn and shouting and pointing at the screen. I won’t have watched all of the films that I wanted to but at least most of them. Here is a little round-up including a one line review:

  • “The Descendants” – I cried. In a cinema. And I would totally cry again because it’s brilliant and touching and funny and beautiful.
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” – Again, I cried. Have not read the book but, quite unexpectedly, really loved this film. The boy is amazing (even though I hated him for a little bit) and Sandra Bullock has strange hair.
  • “The Help” – Yes, it’s a little cheesy. But a joint acting effort of Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer made this a real treat to watch.
  • “Midnight in Paris” – Finally a proper good Woody Allen film again. Loved it all.
  • “Moneyball” – Man, that Brad Pitt can act! And so can Jonah Hill. Even if you don’t like Baseball this is a great film.
  • “The Tree of Life” – Oh boy. Boring. No story line. Very pretty pictures. What annoys me most are the glowing reviews everywhere. Get a life, people.
  • “War Horse” – Horrible. What a train wreck of a film. I’ve never cringed and groaned as much as I did when watching this. The last scene truly hurt my eyes.
  • “A Better Life” – It was good. Not brilliant, but good. Very much liked Demián Bichir in this.
  • “Beginners” – Really liked it. Despite the “talking” dog. Then again I love Ewan McGregor in almost everything, have a girl crush on Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer broke my heart in this film.
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – I read the books and saw all of the original Swedish films. And I really liked them. I only watched this because it’s directed by David Fincher. And I liked it too. In parts it’s less harsh than the Swedish version and sometimes feels closer to the book. I almost wish it had been a little more different.
  • “The Iron Lady” – Oh dear. Loved Merryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, the rest of the film was mostly confusing, flat and lifeless. I don’t even know what it was supposed to tell me. I am not English and only know a few cornerstones of Thatcher’s history. This film did nothing to help that and it didn’t tell me what kind of person she was either.
  • “Bridesmaids” – I laughed. Lots. I even watched it twice. Not the comedy to end all comedies but it’s great entertainment.
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – This is only nominated for VFX, art direction and make-up but I love the entire Harry Potter series and so clearly I loved this, too. However I have no idea what happened, some things with weird names did some magic to other things with funny names and it all looked wonderful.
  • “Jane Eyre” – I really loved this film. Beautifully shot. Sadly only nominated for costume design so it should at least win that.
  • “Hugo” – I wanted to like it. I really did. But it felt like three films crammed into one with Borat as an inspector and a lot of split-toning like colours giving it a crazy look. It’s a solid “meh”.
  • “The Adventures of Tintin” – Ahhh, Tin Tin. A perfect film. The 3D looked good, the story was a cracker and it felt like watching one of the comic books I read as a kid. Again, only nominated for music which I can’t remember but it should win anything it can.
  • “Drive” – I love this film so much I want to marry it. Not just because of Ryan Gosling (he does help!) but mostly because of its pacing. It slows right down when there is tension on the horizon (car chases, shoot outs) and the scene in the elevator makes me die a little it’s so good. Shame on you, Academy for not nominating this for anything but sound editing.

I haven’t seen any of the documentaries yet which I hope to remedy in the next few days as well as “The Artist”, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and hopefully “My Week With Marilyn”. And then that’s it!

Anyone else seen any of these or some other must-see ones while I still have time? I love talking movies so hit me with your best shot.




© Ann-Kathrin Koch 2012. Images look best without watermarks on them. Please don't use the photos without asking me first.


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10 Comments. Leave new

The thing that annoys me most about the “Drive” nomination debacle is that the sound editing was the only part of the film that I didn’t like. Perhaps I over-think these things (note: rhetorical question) but I wished they’d got somebody that’s actually driven a car to help you get the gear change sounds in the right place.

In every other element, how it is not nominated for director/actor is a mystery.


Right? Or bloody editing, that’s a worthy nomination if there ever was one.


Embarrassingly, the only one I have seen of all of the aforementioned is dragon tattoo. But I too love the Oscars and I would watch it but I don’t have the right channel. Or do I? (wonders to herself)


It’s on Sky Movies only Denise – I’ve been “encouraged” to switch from cable and subscribe especially!


the “drive” thing is a travesty. but hey, here’s a cool little vignette about the sound design:

i completely agree about “war horse” and “the iron lady.” i really loved sascha baron cohen in “hugo” but otherwise totally agree. i actually enjoyed “the tree of life,” even though everything you say about it is not false :)

i think you’re going to enjoy the next few you watch. “the artist” is really charming. and it ALSO features an adorable supporting dog actor.

here are my favorites of the season so far:
– drive
– tinker tailor soldier spy
– the girl with the dragon tattoo
– a separation
– pina

happy watching!


That’s an excellent link, Francisco!
I’m looking forward to exchanging prediction lists with you on the day, we shall have a skype thing going. :)

Denise, in my defense Marco only needed very little encouragement as Formula 1 forced him to make the switch anyway!


Thanks for sharing that Fransisco! Now I’m even more disappointed that they knew the sounds didn’t make sense but used them anyway.

It’s just like “Lost Boys” all over again where their motocrossers all sounded like grand prix bikes as they raced along the beach! Not even the bloody frog brothers could make up for that one.

OK, OK, I’m stopping this nonsense now!


At the risk of sounding a – ignorant and b – completely dumb I couldn’t for the life of me gel with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I wanted to get it, I really did and don’t get me wrong the sets and costume design were fantastic but the plot left me bamboozled. This could of course be due in part to my dodgy hearing and the fact that much of the film seemed to be spoken in theatrical stage whispers. I haven’t seen drive so I’m guessing I need to get that out on DVD and I’m desperate to see Marilyn too. I’m nervous about seeing The Help for fear that it won’t live up to the book too. So much to see!


Lauren – no worries! I feel exactly the same way about Tinker Tailor. We had to break it up into two installments because I was so tired the night we started watching it that I simply couldn’t handle the confusing and complex story. I still have no idea who was who but I found it got way more interesting towards the end. I just wish I understood what was happening. Loved the atmosphere and art direction of it, though. :)
You will absolutely LOVE Marilyn. So wonderful. I am deeply smitten with the whole film and everyone in it.


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