So the Oscars Just Happened

Remember when I said I would review all the Oscar-nominated films for you? I forgot, I apologize. But that’s not to say I didn’t watch them, so I won’t do you the disservice of failing to complete my mission even though the Oscars have already happened. So today I present to you a piece I like to call: An Honest Review of the Oscars and One Film to Watch and One You Should Probably Avoid.

An Honest Review of the Oscars and One Film to Watch and One You Should Probably Avoid

Here’s what happened. Stop me if I start to sound like the Skimm, because if that happens I’ve officially turned into a biddy, instead of being the normal human lady that I am who pretends she doesn’t read the Skimm.

For the first time ever I was not a fan of the Oscars. I watched the entirety of the red carpet dress-analysis, about which Chris Rock made a pretty good funny in his too loud, too racy (pun completely intended)  monologue that you can go without watching. Not that I expect TV personalities to have perfect grammar, but at least have your facts straight and don’t: mistake film director/writer Nick Hornby for Saoirse Ronan’s dad, call the Oscar-nominated film The Room instead of just Room, ask questions without listening to the answers, and finally show every single black person who attended the event to pretend that there is indeed #diversity.

As usual, the damn thing dragged on till 12:30am, after hours and hours of hearing Mad Max win too many awards, when we finally got to see Leo look all smug and then pretend that he’s more excited about the environment and indigenous people than he is about the little gold trophy in his hand. And so now appropriately at this point in my rant I present you with:

The Movie You Should Probably Avoid

If you’re thinking, like I once did, that you have a duty to watch The Revenant because Leo won his first Oscar acting in it, you’re wrong. This is such a specific movie, created for such a specific viewer, so please do yourself the favor and don’t waste your time unless you find you are this viewer. This was one of the most horrific movies to watch. There is blood, gore, murder, rape, horrifically graphic scenes AND sounds, and it goes on for 3 hours. I think I watched the whole thing with my hands partially over my eyes.

Sure, Leo did a good job, but the whole movie is essentially watching him getting beaten up. First he gets mauled by a bear, then he gets abandoned, then he watches his son get killed in front of him—the list goes on and on. At one point he is so down on his luck that his horse dies, he slices it open, pulls out the guts and stomach, and then climbs inside to sleep to escape the cold. I feel like at this point, Aggie and I were just shouting JUST GIVE HIM THE DAMN OSCAR AND MAKE IT STOP at the screen. For the whole first chunk of the movie Leo can’t walk post the whole being-mauled-by-a-bear incident, so he drags himself along on his elbows while foaming at the mouth, which resembled all too closely Leo’s scene in Wolf of Wall Street, in which he also drags himself by his elbows and foams at the mouth, but because he has taken too many horse tranquilizers.

The only redeeming quality of this movie is the scenery and cinematography. It’s beautifully shot on a spectacular landscape and it really is a work of art when there’s no blood going on, but to me it wasn’t worth these few minutes of beauty. Skip it.

One Film to Watch

Room. I just watched it after witnessing Brie Larson win her first Oscar for her role as Joy, or “Ma” and falling in love with her. This story is heart-wrenching: it’s about a 17 year-old girl who is kidnapped and trapped in a garden shed, where she is kept for 7 years, during which she is continually raped, abused, and is finally impregnated by her captor. The film begins 5 years after her child is born and it’s the story of the world she has created for him in this little room and how they get out.

I know it doesn’t sound any more “fun” than The Revenant, but it is because Brie Larson is a goddess. It’s heart-wrenching and imaginative and emotional and complex in so many ways and I was so immersed in this story that even though it was tragic and also hard to watch, I became a part of it. I don’t want to say any more, because I don’t want to ruin the experience for you, but definitely worth the $5.99 I (Aggie) paid on iTunes.

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Getting Ready for the Oscars

As a self-proclaimed film buff (which most definitely does not make me a real film buff) I have taken it upon myself to watch as many of the 2016 Oscar nominated films and review them right here for your enjoyment. I know, you’re welcome. Hopefully my reviews will save you the trouble of getting up off your ass and going to the actual movies or at least save you a couple of bucks. If this starts to get annoying please tell me before I continue reviewing all of them. Time is money folks!

-The Chic Working Woman

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The Big Short

Nominated for:

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Supporting Actor

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Film Editing

This review probably won’t save you any money, because what I am going to tell you is this: WATCH THIS MOVIE. Maybe I’m totally late, but I know that I didn’t learn what a mortgage was until very recently. So a “subprime mortgage loan”? Forget about it. The Big Short tells the story behind the causes of the 2008 recession, which we all remember happening…which is what makes this film so interesting. Instead of telling this story through a boring documentary (though there probably is one) this movie is catered towards people who don’t know what a subprime mortgage loan is and so they tell you.

What makes the movie is its cast. In addition to its many other nominations, Christian Bale, who plays a socially awkward hedge fund manager who is the first to realize that doom is approaching the US housing market, was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. I’ve loved Christian Bale ever since he played Laurie in Little Women and though he’s not as sexy in this role, he’s an amazing actor and so convincing that you forget he ever was sexy.

Ryan Gosling plays a very Ryan Gosling-y part, but his role is essential and precisely what makes this movie so much fun to watch. Just when you begin to tune out as the cast members use terms like “subprime mortgage” and “collaterized debt obligations”, Gosling turns and faces the camera, acknowledging that it’s starting to get a little confusing. He then introduces an entirely new scene, starring real celebrities playing themselves, who go on to explain these terms to us (the audience) in “real people speak,” such as through Selena Gomez who explains synthetic CDOs over a game of Black Jack and Margot Robbie who explains these pesky subprime mortgage loans while drinking champagne in a bubble bath.

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These particular segments are just one of the many effects that make this movie so interesting to watch. The movie plays kind of like a highlight reel as it moves through the years leading up to 2008, flashing clips of music videos, photographs of pop culture icons, and paparazzi photos of the outfits celebrities were wearing at the time, completely submersing the audience into recent American history and to help us truly understand the shady business that was happening on Wall Street during these years.

More importantly it felt entirely relevant watching this movie just one day after hearing Obama say in his State of the Union, “Food stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis. Recklessness on Wall Street did,” a sentence that made me scream “AMEN” alone in my minivan.

While The Big Short is real and its truth is actually pretty frightening, I think I laughed  out loud the whole time, had fun all the way through, and learned a lot. What more can you ask for?