Saturday, January 21, 2012

And the Oscar Goes to...Drew Barrymore?

You know those movies that look great on paper. The one's with Oscar winning directors and buzz-worthy actors that were just manufactured to win awards at year's end. Then the movie actually comes out. If it's not a disaster, it's so forgettable that you barely remember it once the credits start rolling. Joe Reid has created a great tumblr blog called This Had Oscar Buzz in which he's reminded us about all those movies that had their eye on Oscar but were lucky if they got a Razzie.

Some of these are a little bit of a stretch. Kingdom of Heaven- that didn't even have regular buzz. No one was talking about that movie when it came out nor did anyone actually see it. And some of these I barely remember as movies. The Life Before Her Eyes? What is that? Uma Thurman is in so many random movies that go straight to DVD or make $130 in their opening weekend. She needs some career counseling. Or at least get Quentin Tarantino to create a movie for her more often than every ten years.

I'd like to add some of my own to the list:

Love and Other Drugs (2010) 

I remember reading something early in 2010 talking about how great Annie Hathaway was in this movie. She played a woman with a disability, she got naked...a lot. She was guaranteed an Oscar nom. I'm not sure what movie those people saw at advanced screenings because the one I saw was horrendous. Annie Hathaway is one of those actors that I think I like more than I do. Then I actually see her in something and remember how forced and actory she comes across. It didn't help that the script seemed to be written by someone who's apparently never encountered real human behavior.

Amelia (2009)

Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart seems like perfect casting. She's got that tomboy thing going on and actually bears a resemblance to the famed female aviator. Plus, she has two Best Actress Oscars (although, she only deserved one of them). But, Hilary Swank is never the right choice for most things (comedies, period pieces- all things she's attempted) and she falls flat in this by-the-numbers prestige biopic. Director Mira Nair has a visual flair but, like her Vanity Fair film, they are all surface and no substance.

Running With Scissors (2006)

The book was a huge success. It seemed everyone I've ever known had read it. There was an all-star cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, and Annette Bening in one of those roles that was tailor-made for awards. Everyone assumed that Bening was winning a Best Actress Oscar for playing the crazy mom. How wrong we all were. I think the blame falls on director Ryan Murphy who didn't seem to know what he was doing. (I fear for the fate of The Normal Heart film that was just announced.) My tolerance for slow motion set to a sappy 70's song reached it's breaking point while watching this movie.

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