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“Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” February 19, 2009

Posted by David Card in Media.

OK. My Oscar picks are in. I’m going with a combo “Slumdog sweep” plus “conventional wisdom” strategy this year. It was that kind of year. I’m not going to jinx myself by listing my picks till I can crow about my inevitable victory in the Card Family Oscar Pool. But here are the movies I really thought were the best of 2008, a fairly lousy year:

  • The Dark Knight. Post 9/11 superhero movie. Sadly, this is what the 21st century feels like. If Chris Nolan could only direct fight scenes, DK might have made my all-time list.
  • Wall-E. Pixar’s best since Toy Story. First half justifies the existence of CGI. Loses a point for preachiness.

big gap

  • Rachel Getting Married. Altmanesque chick flick that feels all too real.
  • Miracle at St. Anna. It’s kind of a mess, but it’s an ambitious, sentimental, polemical, fabulous mess.
  • Cloverfield. A gimmick, but a fun one that doesn’t succumb to irony.
  • Speed Racer. Sure it’s silly and a little incoherent. But it looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
  • Iron Man. Fun.
  • The Bank Job. Tight, twisty, old-school caper flick.

Couldn’t even get to ten. I swear, I’m not usually such a nerd. And for once, my two faves were also boffo at the box office. Other than Frost/Nixon (which I’ll probably see this weekend) I liked but didn’t love all of the Best Picture noms. Say 2.5 to 3 stars each, with Benjamin Button the most lasting.

Bats and Wall-E are both fantasies, but at absolute polar opposite ends of the mood spectrum, and the combination amazingly captures the despair/hope zeitgeist of 2008.


1. Matt - February 19, 2009

Oh bullsh*t on the “preachiness” card. Get over yourselves, all of you that use the “preachiness” line. The whole idea that you might’ve learned something seems to set a lot of you whiners off. Next time actually ENJOY learning something, you might find that you learn even more.

2. Oscar Post-Mortem « Silicon Valleywood - February 23, 2009

[…] real 2008 faves. (I saw Frost/Nixon this weekend and it was my least favorite of the best picture noms. Two really […]

3. Best of 2009: Movies « Silicon Valleywood - February 2, 2010

[…] of these 3.5 stars (out of five), but I probably enjoyed Star Trek and the documentary the most. Last year, I gave one 4-star rating (Dark Knight, of course, I concede that I am a nerd), and only two […]

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