Sunday, January 4, 2009

Oscar Bait Corner: Button and the Wrestler

Okay, so I saw Bennie Buttonz' Curious Cases and The Wrastler. Benjamin Button is a cute movie, Brad Pitt does a good job, and the special effects are convincing and you don't really think twice about them. I liked Tilda Swinton in this too, but everybody loves her, and she's kind of expected to do a good job anyway, now isn't she? Cate Blanchett (I'm not spell-checking any of these names, sadly) was good too, but she's kind of whatever to me. Overall though, I didn't think the movie was all that amazing--it was good, obviously, well-done, but it didn't, like, grab me and refuse to let go or anything. Of all the Oscar Bait films I've seen this season, this was probably the least exciting experience I had. I didn't realize the Roth dude (the screenwriter) had also written Forrest Gump, but it was all I could think about while watching this--when I found out that he had, it solidified David Fincher's film as something I'll only ever want to watch again for the FX


The Wrestler, on the other hand, was quite awesome. I wasn't 10o% on board with the Fountian, but I love Mr. Darren Aranofsky to no end, and his assured touch (so gay sounding) was all over this movie. Mickey Rourke was awesome, as expected--Marisa Tomei's exposed breasts also did a good job. I'm not that into Evan Rachel Wood, and, although she seemed to be giving her all, I was kind of glad when he character went away.
The 'documentary style' approach was used loosely, but the non-actors (and there were a lot) were very natural, making it clear that a lot what they were doing was improvised. This movie didn't overwhelm me with sadness like something in a Brokeback Mtn. But it had a reality-based seriousness, sense of humor, dreariness, hope and melancholy that permeated throughout, and that stuck with me long after Springsteen's song washed over the credits. I wanted Sean Penn to win best actor, but I think Rourke should get it now. I'm stuck on Best Picture, but I wouldn't be upset if this took it. The end.

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