Saturday, February 23, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer and I are watching a lot of movies lately.  Some I have not blogged about.  Today, for Our Valentine's Day, we saw Silver Linings Playbook after a nice lunch at Chili's.  This marks our 25th Valentine's Day together.  We had one before we married.  At any rate it is a very good romantic comedy and I'd rank it a 7 maybe an 8.  I think the screenplay is excellent, and is Oscar-winning calibre, the acting is totally up to par (it is the first film in over 30 years and only the 14th movie in history to be nominated for all four major acting awards in tomorrow night's Oscars), and it is comparable with Lincoln (to the degree a romantic comedy can be compared directly with an historical drama), which joins it with other films for the Best Picture nomination in this year's Academy Awards

I have not seen Argo, nor any of the other Best Picture nominees save for Zero Dark Thirty.  If I rank the three contenders I have seen as of today, I give Zero Dark Thirty a slight edge as the best of the three.  I understand Argo is the favorite to win overall.  I hope to catch that on a future DVD release. 

Speaking of DVD's, The Master comes out next week.  I am looking forward to the acting in that.  Joaquin Phoenix is one of my favorite several living actors.   I plan to catch all of the Best Picture nominees in a "delayed satisfaction mode" when I can rent them from Redbox.  This is a mental practice toward life I have tried to adopt recently.  It makes the best economic sense and it helps me deal with the danger of "immediate gratification" that I think burdens my life and makes our society weaker.  But, that is for a future post.  Barring big theater experiences (like Avatar in IMAX), films are just as good or just as bad on my HDTV as in any other format.

My daughter pointed out to us that we didn't do anything special as a couple for "actual" Valentine's Day several days ago.  But I explained to her that we delayed the enjoyment of it until today.  I mentioned that as long as her mother and I agree it is Valentine's Day between us as a couple, then it did not matter what the rest of the world alleged about when Valentine's Day cometh.  That is the essence of Nietzsche's Free Spirit. (I did not tell my daughter that last part.)

The movie today was a perfect celebration; lite without being overly sentimental, complicated and, in part, rediculous but funny and written so you are rooting for the couple.  A plausible happy ending.  I don't know if it will win any Oscars tomorrow but it deserves Best Screenplay compared with the other films I've seen.  We came home and drank upscale beer and scotch and listened to the Cool Jazz music feed.  It was very nice.  We love each other.

In the evening we settled in and (rather spontaneously) we watched It Happened One Night, a rare film that compares with Silence of the Lambs and One Flew Over a Cookoo's Nest as being the only films in motion picture history to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.  I really enjoy Clarke Gable in this classic romantic comedy.  He is at his height as an actor and I rate the film as a 9, possibly a 10.  It is an noticeably superior film for the 1930's.

Silver Linings Playbook is not as good a film as It Happened One Night.  But it still made a fun gift to each other on Our Valentine's Day afternoon outing.

Late Note: Argo did win Best Picture.  Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor, his third well-deserved Oscar.  Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress. Quentine Tarantion won Best Original Screenplay.  Ang Lee won Best Director.  I look forward to seeing the latter two movies when they come out on DVD. 

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