The Oscar Project
I’ve decided to do another two month recap of the year so far now that we’re about 1/3 of the way through the challenge. As a reminder, I have a full list of movies I plan on watching on Letterboxd. If you’re on Letterboxd, please give that list a like or comment to show your appreciation. If you’re not already on Letterboxd, what are you waiting for?
As I did with my two month post at the beginning of March, I’m going to review what I’ve thought of the movies I’ve watched so far this year. I already went into quite a bit of detail in the previous post for the first nine films, so my focus will be on the second batch of nine I’ve watched since then, but here is the full list so far:
My top film I’ve watched (Parasite) this year remains from my last post and I doubt very much it will be knocked off the top of the list this year. The next two films I watched after that in early March (Akeelah and the Bee and Network) were probably the closest I came to moving Parasite off the top of the list. They are great movies and while Network was appropriately lauded in its time, I feel like Akeelah and the Bee has been a bit overlooked and deserves a second shot at life. Keke Palmer’s role in that movie is near the top of the list of individual performances in the movies I’ve watched for the challenge.
On the other end of the spectrum were a few movies that I rated very poorly, for a variety of reasons. My post on The Birth of a Nation is probably the longest of the year so far, and rightly so because it’s the longest film and the one with the most baggage to discuss. I also gave poor ratings to the following week’s film The Avengers, and still want to go back and watch the television series. Unlike Firefly, The Avengers ran for several seasons, so I haven’t had time to check it out, but I continue to hear much better things about the show than the movie. The other flop on the list, and likely the lowest rated film of the year for me was Plan 9 From Outer Space. What can I say? I didn’t expect much from the movie once called “the worst movie ever made” and my expectations were correct.
One of the more recent films I watched was Nosferatu, from 1922, and despite its age, the film holds up over 100 years after its release. I was recently doing some cleanup of files on my computer and came across a list of Must See Movies that included both Nosferatu and The Birth of a Nation as must see films across the whole of film history. Ironically, the latest film on the list is Parasite, so I’ve got the bookends of that list done and would just need to fill in the rest in the middle. I am keeping this list handy as a potential option for a challenge to do next year. The full list goes well past a year so in order to get it into a year, I would have to do multiple movies a week, but we’ll see how that goes.
Continuing the generally high ratings I gave films in these two months, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom came in strong as I expected. The performances in this film are absolutely incredible, and after watching it, I got angry all over again that Chadwick Boseman didn’t win the Oscar for his performance (this was the 2021 Oscars ceremony where they left Best Actor to last, expecting him to receive the award and it went to Anthony Hopkins who was asleep at home in Scotland). I understand it’s based on a play and may not be ideal for a screen version, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to see a stage production as well.
In the last two weeks, I took in two science fiction films, one being a revisit of the animated surrealist fantasy by René Laloux called Fantastic Planet. I hadn’t fully appreciated the film when I first watched it earlier this year (check my post for the full explanation) but am starting to come around to the impact it had. Following that, I just watched Serenity this week after cramming the entire Firefly series over the last few weeks. I’m sure I would have enjoyed them more if I had seen them when they were originally released, but I enjoyed them even if I won’t be as fanatical about them as Sheldon Cooper was on The Big Bang Theory.
As I wrote two months ago, I continue to be happy with the choices I’ve made for my movies this year. I’ve seen a wide variety of films and when combined with the multiple movie roulette groups I’m participating in, I have seen more movies this year than ever before and from a much more diverse group of directors, actors, and other creators. I am currently working on a post separate from this challenge to discuss that exact idea, so look for that in the coming week.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?