Every year, I try to watch every movie nominated for any Oscar, even the ones that are only nominated for sound editing.
And every year, I watch some true stinkers and ask why I put myself through this. But then I see an amazing movie I would never have seen otherwise, and my faith is restored for another year.
You can all benefit by learning solely about the movies that are worth watching.
Today: Hacksaw Ridge and Florence Foster Jenkins.
Hacksaw Ridge is a bad war movie. It feels like it’s a set, the whole time. But watch it anyway for the awe-inspiring story (although, sadly, it wasn’t nominated for the screenplay). I researched it afterward, because it’s a true story, and you know how Hollywood “adds” to those stories.
Not this time. While they did pick this WWII-hero’s biggest deeds to highlight, he did so much more. This guy was amazing. Watch the movie, get inspired by what a conscientious objector can do without a weapon to support the war effort, and then go home and realize that nothing you will ever do in your life will equal one day of this guy’s life.
Then rent Florence Foster Jenkins. I’m going to be honest with you: this is a really bad movie. My wife and I spent most of the movie wondering where it was set, what the time period was, and who half the people were.
It’s about a bad opera singer, and she is really bad. But Meryl Streep put on yet another performance that no one else could possibly duplicate. She embodied this bad singer and made us love her.
Florence Foster Jenkins was a rich benefactor who also was a pop culture hit – people loved her singing, even though it was without-a-doubt horrible. How could anyone love her musicality? Meryl Streep will show you. By the end, I loved her.
You have to see it just to realize Streep’s greatness. There is no one like her. Sure, she can do regular roles as well as anyone else. But in roles like this, roles that no one else could perform, we can see just how good she is.
I haven’t seen all the best actress nominations yet, but frankly, it’s going to take a miracle to beat Streep. Unfortunately, voters often reward the best movie, and this movie sure isn’t. But boy does she deserve the award.