Amour - Seriously the best movie I have seen in a long time. It's *rough* to watch, though, majorly heavy drama. Also, an excellent example of a foreign movie that wouldn't get made by Hollywood. Primarily two actors, both old, and filmed mostly in one apartment. Gripping look at love and growing old and the human condition. Everyone in the audience was crying at one point or another. If Emmanuelle Riva does not get the Best Actress award, it will be robbery. Must see.
Les Miserables - In a big contrast, this is the kind of movie Hollywood likes to make. And nominate. The film is well done, and I hope they do more musicals like this. They filmed the actors singing (as opposed to doing studio versions of the songs) which let them act through the songs more, and it really adds to the performances. A couple of the really tough songs were also done with a single cut, and even a single shot, and that does really pack in the emotion. Anne Hathaway completely deserves the Supporting Actress nod for the one song along. A couple other good performances in there, too. Samantha Barks did a great job as Eponine. I did think that the innkeeper and his wife, while amusing, were a very jarring push away from the seriousness of the rest of the movie. So yeah. Worth seeing, but expect Hollywood big budgetness.
Argo - Man, who would have expected Ben Affleck's career to take this path. Almost a heist version of a political thriller, we also get a healthy dose of laughter in the middle of a historical drama. Yes, the story takes some wide liberties with what happened on the ground, but it's easy to guess where they embellished. A good flick nonetheless. Not best picture good, but highly enjoyable. They kick off the movie with a three-minute history lesson on the relationship between Iran and the United States that is concise and jarring, and that alone is quality stuff. And if there was an Oscar for 'best historical facial hair,' it would take the statue in a walk.
Django Unchained - As a fan of Quentin Tarantino, it doesn't come lightly to say that this is probably his best movie to date. It's funny and quirky, and combined action-movie sensibilities with one of the most visceral accounts of slavery in the United States that I think I have ever seen filmed. Entire audience was into the movie in a way I haven't seen in a while, both the funny parts and the terrifyingly realistic ones. Jamie Foxx is a natural here, commanding every scene he's in. Leonardo DiCaprio is remarkable as well, and I could watch Christoph Waltz just read the phone book. It won't take best picture, but you could easily make an argument that it deserves to. Definitely catch it.
Tomorrow, the rest of the lot.