Sunday, November 8, 2009

Academy Watch, Movie #1 - Whatever Works

This week marked the beginning of Academy Movie Watching.

Every year from November to February, we get sent every movie being considered for an Oscar because one of my immediate family members is a voting member of AMPAS.

This year, I am gonna chronicle every Academy movie I see.

First up, Woody Allen's Whatever Works

This is the second year in a row where one of Allen's films has immediately become one of my favorites of the year. The overall reviews of Whatever Works say bizarrely disparaging things about the movie that I didn't find to be the case at all. "Medieval torture?" "Complete failure?" "Stepped in dog doo-doo but doesn't know it?" Did half the critics at Rotten Tomatoes see the same movie I did?

The moment Whatever Works began, I was laughing my face off. Larry David & Evan Rachel Wood play off each other beautifully in what is by far her best work to date. Somehow she managed to look utterly unlike herself & deliver a joyful performance I had no clue she could pull off so seamlessly. The film had a very theatrical sense about it - I can easily imagine a staged production. That quality, hated by many critics, actually made it easier to go along with the far-fetched, but nevertheless delightful, story.

Maybe it's because my entire family relates to Larry David's curmudgeonly Boris or because we all are quite familiar with the seductive, freeing nature of New York City, but we were with the movie 200%. It's movies like this that make me question my habit of deciding whether or not I see a movie based on its Rotten Tomatoes score and grateful that we have an AMPAS member in our midst forcing us to see every film sent our way.

Whatever Works: My heart says A-, my head says B+

Possible Oscar Nominations:
Best Original Screenplay