An Overview of the Oscar-Nominated Movies For Anyone Who Didn’t Get Around to Seeing Them (No Spoilers)

The Oscars are almost upon us, which means it’s that time of year when I remember all the movies I meant to get around to seeing in the theaters, but which I only managed, months later, to slide into my Netflix queue.  (High hopes that I’ll get around to seeing them once I watch that “Constant Gardener” disc I’ve been holding onto for five months without watching!)

But this year, I promised myself, would be different.  When my cool, childless friends said, “Hey, did you see [insert nominated movie title] I would have something to reply besides, “No, I was at home, wiping mucus off the recliner.”  I would be able to over-enthusiastically scream,  “YES, I SAW IT!  DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT LIKE ADULTS?!”

So I saw several movies.  If you, like so many people out there, want to watch the Oscars and feel like you have some idea of what’s going on but have not had ANY time to get out and see a bunch of movies, here are (without any spoilers) brief overviews of some of this year’s top films:

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In the Best Picture-nominated film, Gravity, Sandra Bullock is in totally amazing shape and has tons of quiet time to herself.  And you’re going, “Quiet time to herself? That sounds incredible!!” but without giving anything away, heads up, it’s not as fun as it sounds.  Also starring George Clooney as “George Clooney dressed as an astronaut.”

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American Hustle

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Embarrassed by some of your fashion choices?  Feel like your hair always looks ridiculous?  Well, get a load of American Hustle, where the entire cast looks like someone electrocuted a Bee Gees concert.  Bradley Cooper’s hair is nominated for three Oscars.  Also, someone from this movie is nominated for “Best Supporting” but it’s definitely not any of Amy Adams’ bras.

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Ok, so babysitter canceled due to inclement weather and I didn’t actually get to see Nebraska, but I bet it was so great, right?  It had to be at least decent or else film critics everywhere would write hundreds of reviews in which they compared it to the actual state of Nebraska, saying “This movie is boring and sort of flat and when you’re in the middle of it it feels like it goes on f**king forever.”

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Frozen is nominated in the relatively new category of, “Best Song-Around-Which-Someone-Has-Also-Built-An-Animated-Film.”  It’s a fun romp that will remind you of the Disney movies of your childhood, though with a better ending and (if I haven’t mentioned it) the incredibly popular song, “Let it Go.”  If you see the movie, expect to spend a lot of time walking around singing Let it Go, and a fun bonus, if you have an infant in the house, is breaking into Let it Go every time you’re prying something they’re not supposed to be holding from their fingers.  The movie’s alternate working title was  “Let it Go + Some Sort of Plot.”

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August: Osage County

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Ok, I also didn’t see this one.  But I meant to.  On two separate occasions I was all, “I’m going to leave the house and walk twenty minutes through the snow to get to the movie theater to see August: Osage County” and then somehow managed to rationalize not leaving the house.  I heard it was good and has Meryl Streep in it, so without even fact-checking this post I’m going to assume that Meryl Streep is nominated for an Oscar.  This makes the number of times she has been nominated only slightly lower than the number of atoms in the known universe.

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Remember what it was like before you had a kid, when you formed meaningful adult relationships?  That’s what Her is about.  I thought it was great.  A lot of other people I respect have told me they thought it was less great, but I still thought it was really great.  We can disagree on this and still remain friends.  It’s not for everyone.  Also, this movie takes place in a future that looks like what you’d get if Portlandia had sex with The Jetsons.

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Dallas Buyers Club

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I keep picturing Matthew McConaughey dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, while Glenda the Good Witch tells him, “Why, my boy…you’ve had the power to act this whole time.”  McConaughey is amazing.  Also, what really hurt after seeing this movie was staring at my own face in a mirror and realizing I’m less attractive as a woman than Jared Leto.

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12 Years a Slave

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This was an incredibly powerful movie and I hope it wins a thousand awards.  I’m not saying I cried a lot, I’m just saying I’ve emerged from swimming pools less soaked.  It’s directed by someone named Steve McQueen in an attempt to make the name “Steve McQueen” less synonymous with cars.  Chiwetel Ejiofor is amazing in the film, although clearly he is memorable in other films as well, as two seconds after he appeared on screen my husband screamed, “It’s the bad guy from Serenity!”  But 12 Years a Slave is well worth checking out.  Probably the best time to see it is after having burglarized a tissue factory.

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Blue Jasmine

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A super confusing movie which casts Ronan Farrow as Aladdin, Mia Farrow as the woman who wants to save all 101 Dalmatians, and Woody Allen as a guy who writes a letter to the New York Times.  The movie also stars all of us as “the audience who just wants some ending to this mess where nobody else gets either physically or emotionally hurt.”  We don’t know who to believe or who to trust, but we’re all good people and want to believe that good wins out in the end, so we’re hoping for — if not a happy ending —  at least one that makes sense?  Brief cameo by Frank Sinatra.

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Wolf of Wall Street

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Think of how boring and predictable your life seems sometimes.  Think of how you don’t have an insanely large, beautiful mansion or a fantastically expensive wardrobe.  Think of how little of your time involves popping Champagne corks while wearing expensive sunglasses and how you literally never get invited to parties covered by the tabloids.  Think of the expensive summer house that you’ll never have and how neither you nor your spouse looks anything like a model.  Are you thinking of all those things?  All of them?  Great.

Now go see Wolf of Wall Street and when you get home, sit on your beat up, food-stained couch, think of those things again, and this time, appreciate them.

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24 CommentsComment

  1. Loved the comment about Sandra Bullock’s hair! I was so looking forward to that movie because I love both Sandra Bullock and George Clooney….but I was so disappointed by the actual movie. Why is it in space movies when people wind up un-thethered they float away? They wouldn’t, unless some external force propelled them.

  2. Very funny. I saw a few of these movies too – I think your summaries are pretty accurate!

  3. Hi there. Love your spin on Oscar night. I didn’t get to many movies this year either. I have 2 teens that don’t require diaper changing but I still have to clean up their crap 😉 I absolutely agree with you on Frozen which I did see with my big kiddiess. I felt like they were selling the Broadway version early. The opening song was very Lion Kingesque and many of the songs didn’t seem well placed. Oh, well all those red carpet penguins and sparkling dolls will still be able to purchase more fineries.
    I wrote a silly little post about combining Oscar Night with the Westminster Dog Show because I don’t hold the Grammys on a pedestal. I do like the pretty doggies though.
    Great blog, great layouts.
    new blogger and future Oscar protester

  4. Loved your overview! Since I haven’t seen any of the films, I will trust your expertise and only see 12 Years A Slave. (That’s pretty much what I was going to do anyway.) Maybe watch Dallas Buyers Club when it comes to Amazon Prime or Netflix.

  5. Oh, girl. Are you available for playdates? I need more of you in my life. This? Perfection. I almost pissed myself several times through, and it’s not just because I’m 8 months pregnant. Well done, m’lady. Well done.

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    I was drowning my sorrows over my Oscar ignorance in a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos while reading your summaries. Now I am feeling ready to watch the Oscars even though I’ve only seen one of these films. SPOILER: I have kids. It was Frozen. Also? I have a bellyache from all the chips.

  7. I made the mistake of seeing August: Osage County. I made this mistake because for some reason I find Benedict Cumberbatch attractive and spend my $5.00 matinee fee to see him on screen for a total of 10 minutes spouting a horrible Southern accent. I would like to clarify that the acting in this, especially by Streep, was excellent. I wouldn’t be surprised if she took the Oscar for her performance, it was very very good. The movie itself? OH MY, WHY THE HELL DID I SIT THROUGH THIS WHOLE MOVIE, I HATE ALL THE CHARACTERS, WHY CAN’T A DECEPTICON COME THROUGH THE SKY AND DESTROY THEM ALL JUST TO PUT THEM OUT OF THEIR MISERY?! If I wanted to sit through 2 hours of miserable people shouting at each other making themselves more miserable, I’d just stay for drinks after Thanksgiving dinner.

  8. This is hilarious. And I feel like a complete loser because I saw only one of these movies, and now I’m out of time to see any more of them. I didn’t even see Frozen, and I have two kids.

    Best line: “Also, what really hurt after seeing this movie was staring at my own face in a mirror and realizing I’m less attractive as a woman than Jared Leto.”

    Girl – I feel you.

  9. The Portlandia/Jetsons comment: awesome. And the Wolf of Wall Street summation was perfect. It’s a circle of life, isn’t it, or something like that.

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