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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A big 'Silver Lining' as award nominations arrive

It probably doesn’t seem like a lot of work. But this week, I found out just how much is ahead of me.

I thought I’d done a good job preparing for Academy Award season, seeing the movies “they” said would be among the favorites.

It turns out most of them were.

I should have paid more attention to the length of the list of movies “they” suggested.

Now, in order to accomplish my yearly goal of seeing all the Oscar-nominated movies before the Feb. 24 ceremony, I will have to do some serious cramming.

It feels like college.

Turns out that I still need to see six of the nine films nominated for Best Picture.

I’m good on “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” and “Lincoln.”

The meat of the lineup remains, though.

I never heard of one: “Amour.” It’s also nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.
That’s a signal to me that I might not, well, “amour it” very much.

Then there are the films I’ll try to resist because I don’t know enough about them. “Life of Pi” comes to mind.

I was under the impression it was a movie about animals, so when our movie reviewer Mark Meszoros pointed out it’s a tale of a young boy’s journey after a boat accident, it sort of soothed that concern. I’m not really that much of an animal person.

Then there’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Also sounds like an animal movie, doesn’t it? Apparently it’s not, either.

You learn so much from the Academy Award nominations!

Its basis in the Bayou reminds me of another movie I gave a chance because I felt I had to, “Eve’s Bayou.” That one also features a young girl who learns the ways of the world.

I’ve had “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Django Unchained” on my list since I saw the first previews, but they only recently opened here in Cleveland.

I’ll get there.

This weekend, though, will include a showing of the movie my husband has been trying to avoid for a couple of months.

When we saw the first previews for “Silver Linings Playbook,” I leaned over and whispered “yes” to my husband. That’s our shorthand discussion about whether we’ll see whatever movie is being promoted. He answered with “you can see that one.”

If you’re not familiar, it’s seemingly a romantic comedy about a mentally ill man who turns to dance to cope with life. He meets a girl, and they have adventures.

But, it’s got Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro on screen as father and son.

I would sit and watch Robert De Niro read the Lake County phone book for eight hours if it were offered. And, Bradley Cooper. Oh my. We really don’t have to engage in much more discussion about someone who’s been dubbed the “sexiest man alive.”

I see a silver lining right there.

After the nominations were announced Thursday morning, I emailed my husband with the subject line “Bad news.” Inside was a note that said “... we have to see ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ this weekend.”

His response: “Why?”

I sent a note back that explained that it’s because the film is the first in 32 years to be nominated in all four of the Oscars’ acting categories.

I’m sure he’ll demand we have dinner at his favorite restaurant in return for his pain at the theater.

If I want to really challenge myself this Oscar season, I can also try to fit in the “The” movie collection.

There are multiple acting nominations from “The Master,” “The Sessions,” and “The Impossible.”

That might be tricky, though, with what then would be nine movies and only seven weekends until the awards show.

So I think I’ll stick to the biggies and the sense of accomplishment it’ll bring.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a meaningless goal. But if it means I’m successful in escaping from the stress of the day, then it’ll do just fine.
Twitter: @Lauranh


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