Whenever this time of year comes around in movies is when Oscar buzz starts to build. From independents that garner critical acclaim but fly under the general public’s radar, to the big summer blockbusters that have everyone talking, you can’t go a week without hearing about a new movie and the buzz its getting. The Students here at LPC are no exception and these are some movies that deserve an award as voted by them. As for what award they deserve, that’s a matter of debate, but everyone agrees they are award-worthy.
Marvel’s The Avengers
It has been called many things. Epic. Incredible. “A spectacle in the grandest sense of the word.” was what Laremy Legel of Film.com called it. ‘The Avengers’ is arguably the most ambitious movie made in the last 30 years. A franchise like Lord of the Rings started with the premise of one story spread out over multiple movies, but Marvel went the extra mile and created an entire interconnected universe just to make this movie a possibility.
After nailing down the individual movies(‘Iron Man’, ‘Captain America’, ‘Thor’), the studio chose geek fan favorite Joss Whedon (known for properties such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Firefly’) as director. When the movie finally hit theaters, the consensus was in. Whedon didn’t hit it out of the park, he hit it into the stratosphere. Students named this movie most often for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Special Effects.
The Raid: Redemption
This is one of those movies that flew under the radar. An Indonesian film that was released in the US in March 2012, the only sure way to have heard about this movie was through word of mouth.
The premise is simple enough, a police SWAT team is tasked to capture a drug lord in the slums in an unnamed city in Indonesia. However, things take a turn for the worse when the team is cut off from their backup and must fight their way to safety. The one thing that makes this movie stand out is the action scenes. Think of them as a hybrid between Kill Bill, Black Hawk Down and Assault on Precinct 13. This movie is “as pure a shot of adrenaline as any Tarantino fan could wish for.” said Bruce Diones of The New Yorker. This movie was named by students most frequently for Best Foreign Film.
“The best eras in animation occur when filmmakers follow their muse.” said Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle. Director Rich Moore definitely followed his. Wreck-it Ralph is classified as a kids movie but there are enough subtle references and inside jokes fueled by nostalgia to keep older audiences laughing out of their seats.
What helped the movie other than the jokes was the story it told. Audiences wanted Ralph to succeed as he embarks on his quest for glory, but finds what he really wants is some respect. They felt for both Ralph and Vanelopee as they develop a friendship with each other, even if it is a friendship based on how well they can insult one another. Students named this movie for Best Animated Picture.
Lincoln is the latest offering from Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, and it is a tour de force from both. The movie focuses on the struggle to pass the 13th amendment during the final years of the Civil War.
While its a historical movie, it also serves a pseudo crash course in American politics. If you thought politicians today could play dirty, the ones in Lincoln are exceptional with the back room deals they make to openly insulting one another in the House of Representatives. Spielberg has shown time and again that he knows how to make compelling history based drama and this movie is no exception. Daniel Day-Lewis’s Lincoln has been called “mercurial-melancholy, funny, always on the brink of winding through a story or a dirty joke.” by Chris Vognar of the Dallas Morning News. Students named this movie for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.
Another factually history based movie that has been described as “a blue-chip Oscar contender that’s also a rousing popcorn movie” by Lou Lumenick of the New York Post, ‘Argo’ was about Iran Hostage Crisis. But instead of the main hostages, the movie chose to focus on how six US embassy workers snuck out a back door and how the CIA tried to get them out of the country.
Many plans were formulated, from saying the workers were private agricultural experts to giving them bicycles and maps to the border. The plan that was decided upon? They were a Canadian film crew doing location scouting. From there the CIA created an entire fake movie. Ben Affleck both directed and starred in the movie demonstrating talent in front of and behind the camera. He showcased his ability to make a taut thriller that still has people talking. Students named this movie for Best Director.