Saturday, February 26, 2011

Who watches short shorts?

It was an Oscar-filled day yesterday. In the early afternoon, I saw "Winter's Bone" over at my friend Susan's place. That was my eighth (of 10) Best Picture nominees to see, and it looks like that's all I'll get to before tomorrow evening's awards. I still think "The Social Network" was the best, and in my opinion it will win, but "Winter's Bone" was awfully good.

It took place almost entirely in the forgotten woods of Wherever (there was a reference to driving to the Arkansas state line, so perhaps the story unfolded in my belolved home state of Missouri). The movie looked at the mysterious network of destitute people involved in a mysterious, mafia-like web of meth making/dealing. Amongst them is a bright, surefooted, sober 17-year-old girl who is raising her two younger siblings and catatonic mother. When the law come 'round, she gotta find her daddy right quick or she gon' lose that there house, which ain't much but's all they's got.

In the evening, I attended an SOM party with an open bar (a generosity that Yale may just be able to afford now that I've quit drinking) at a place I'd never been called Kelly's. After some time there chatting with classmates and partaking of free food, I rebelliously scooted to the movie theater next door to see the collection of Oscar-nominated animated short films.

They were cute. I'm not sure what the criteria are for judging these things, but I think there's no doubt that the 6-minute Disney/Pixar short "Day & Night" was the most clever and fun. If that wins the day, great. If not, my money's on "The Gruffalo," the star of which was a cute mouse pictured above; that was certainly the most memorable. The only short I didn't care for was "Madagascar, a Journey Diary," which was the most artsy and innovative in terms of animation but was trying too hard; the result was totally boring.

I really have tried to catch up with movies this year because, when you don't, the Oscars aren't much fun to watch. But despite that, I'm not nearly as wildly into them as I have been in years past, when I could name all the nominees quickly and discuss each one's merits at length. Maybe next year, once I'm living the leisurely life of a consultant, I will have plenty of time to get into the movies ... Ho, ho.

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