This is the 9th of the 10 Best Picture nominees that I've seen (and if 127 Hours is still showing at the Angelika this Saturday, I will see that, too!)!
I was not looking forward to seeing this movie at all. I had only heard bad things about it, plus Mark Ruffalo is nominated instead of Andrew Garfield in the best supporting actor category. However, I realized when I posted that I was about to watch it, that the reason I had heard only bad things about it is that ALL my movie friends are dudes. Suddenly all these lovely lady film nerds retorted and said that it was great and I needed to give it a chance. All the chatter, good and bad, made this movie much more interesting to me, and I couldn't wait to make my own decision.
One of the things I noticed right off the bat is I really loved how the ladies talk to each other and how they work through their relationship. It's so different from how men and women tend to interact with each other in relationships. Even in their differences, they seem to have extra patience with each other.At least at first.
I felt badly for Annette Bening's character. She is so structured and uptight and she doesn't mean to do harm, but she kind of isolates herself without realizing it. I felt like the characters around her weren't giving her the benefit of the doubt, either. Maybe I related to her a little bit and I understood that her picking was out of love, not out of a place of negativity. But because she is such a perfectionist, she drinks. And then when it seems everyone in her entire family is turning away from her, she drinks MORE. Then she tries to fix things and it's too late, and she finds out she's been dealt the ultimate betrayal.
Then, even though he's kind of a horrible person, I felt badly for Mark Ruffalo's character because he obviously is dying to be a father and be a husband, and is desperately trying to cram what already exists into what he wants it to be. It's not working. And it makes him look very sad. He's lived a life that has made him miss that opportunity, and not he's out of luck.
I honestly didn't think Mark Ruffalo was that special in his role. He did one really meaningful scene (his last stitch effort to talk to his daughter), but that was it. I didn't think Julianne Moore was that wonderful, either. I think they were both just fine. I thought Annette Bening's performance was genuine and subtle. I don't think she deserves to win the Oscar. I am still trying to decide if any of them deserve to be nominated at all. But if any of them had to be, I would say Bening deserves the nom.
I thought Mia Wasikaowski was much better in this than she was in Alice in Wonderland. I actually didn't want to punch her in the face the whole time, so it was a big improvement. In fact, I thought she was slightly good... It gives me hope for Jane Eyer.
Overall, the movie wasn't Oscar worthy, but wasn't awful. I actually enjoyed it and did not regret seeing it. It didn't make me cry, but it didn't feel like a waste of time either.