By Amanda Thomas
“Really? The Tree of Life?” my brother asked when he heard the Oscar nomination. It’s 26 days until the Oscars, and every movie enthusiast is either crossing their fingers for their favorite or angry at the academy for snubbing their favorite.
To my brother, I say, “Yes, ‘The Tree of Life’!”
Terrence Malick is known for his direction technique. His movies are like pieces of art, and his medium happens to be film. For this reason the best picture nomination of ‘The Tree of Life’ is confusing for some, but for me, it makes sense. The movie is a masterpiece.
Instead of a narrative explaining the meaning and the development of life, there is a 20-minute montage of vivid stars and the earth throughout time. The acting was great as well. Brad Pitt’s portrayal of a strict father made me nervous, and Jessica Chastain’s portrayal as a timid and caring mother warmed my heart. The “Tree of Life” is the most creative film that has been nominated because it successfully blurs the line between art and cinema.
Other nominations I am excited to see are: actor in a leading role – Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”; actor in supporting role – Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”; actress in a supporting role – Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”; directing – Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris”; and original screenplay – “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight in Paris.”
When I saw Oldman’s name on the list for actor in a leading role, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, “Finally!” Oldman is one of the best actors, and it is great to see him finally get nominated for the Oscar. He has played Harry Potter’s caring yet eccentric uncle, Sirius Black, and the passionate and smart police commissioner of Gotham City. Each role was convincing, and each role moved the film from good to great. The same can be said for Oldman’s portrayal of retired spy in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” His role made the movie great.
“Beginners” is a great movie about a man’s personal journey with his father. Plummer portrays a man who just revealed his homosexuality to his son, has a new boyfriend and is diagnosed with cancer. Although he is dying he keeps in great spirits, drinking wine with his friends in the hospital and telling his friends that he is getting better every day when he is not. Plummer does a great job in the movie to reel the audience in, and the audience experiences the father and son’s journey as well.
“Bridesmaids” was the funniest comedy of the year and by far one of my favorite comedies of all time. McCarthy’s nomination at first was a shock, but after I thought about it, she deserves the Oscar nomination. The movie was hilarious, and all of the actress’s one-liners were memorable. McCarthy, however, had something that is not found very often in comedies. Her jokes were never-ending, and she didn’t have to have a one-liner in order to make the audience laugh.
Although it is exciting to see “Bridesmaids” get the nomination for Best Original Screenplay, Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” was the superior original screenplay. The movie asks and successfully answers the question, “Are past times better than your own?” “Midnight in Paris” is a beautiful thing to watch and learn from while allowing the audience to see representations of historical people like Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway.
Amanda Thomas is a sophomore journalism major from Irving and is a reporter for the Lariat.