The PO Life Tackles the Academy Awards’ Best Picture Nominees

An awesomely insightful recap of 2012’s best movies by your favorite know-it-all bloggers

2013 Oscars Academy Awards

The 85th Academy Awards are being presented this weekend and far be it from The PO Life to not get our word in before everyone starts patting each other on the back.

If you’re here it’s either because you have some sense about you or our weird SEO rankings made you think this is a porn website. Regardless of why you’re now stuck here, you might as well make the most of it.

We here at The PO Life like to fancy ourselves movie watchers (especially with one actually in Film School) and, between each other, have almost seen all of the Best Picture nominees. There’s more uncertainty about who will win ever since the Academy increased the number of contenders, but you’re in luck. This week we’ve put together our collective take on the movies up for the top award.

Come see what fair and objective opinions we have on this year’s nominees. And, since this is a movie discussion on the internet, don’t forget to hurl insults and defend your horse in the comments!

by Bart

I didn’t expect to see 85 year old tits as I looked forward to seeing Amour. Nor did I expect to see a decrepit, decomposing body. But most of all, I definitely did not expect to see a movie that would make me cringe in awe at the realistic depiction of a couples most intimate and tragic moments of their lives.

Did I like the movie? It is hard to tell. The acting was phenomenal to the point that I was so uncomfortable at the morbid reality of the situation that my own spirits rattled. I appreciated it for what it was, an incredible performance by two actors performing a brutal point in people’s lives: helplessness and dying. While Emmanuelle Riva is up for her own award, I think that Jean-Louis Trintignant did an equally beautiful job as the caretaker as the love of his life spirals downward into her inevitable death.

Chances to win: 1%

“I was reminded about how sick and old my Grandmother was. I am now severely depressed, but the movie was great.”
– Paul Blart Mall Cop

by Joey

Ben Affleck’s career arc is crazy. He went from a young up and coming star, to being overshadowed by his friend Matt Damon, to being ridiculed for his relationship with J-Lo, to making terrible movies including Gigli, Daredevil, and Jersey Girl. DAREDEVIL FOR GODS SAKE! He is now considered one of the best and most consistent directors in the business. He is 3/3 so far as a director with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. Argo is probably the most “mainstream” of these movies, telling a feel good story about the good guys (USA! USA!) prevailing over the bad guys, which in this case is the Iranian’s. May I point out what an interesting time it was to make this movie? Do you think it’s a coincidence that the “bad” guys in this movie, which is set in 1980, are the same “bad” guys that we are worried about obtaining a nuclear weapon and are heavily involved in the War on Terror? Hmm. Ben Affleck, you are one smart motherfucker.

In regards to the actual movie, I found it entertaining, well-acted, and very well directed. Affleck somehow was able to build up the tension to a boiling point that had me on the edge of my seat, despite me knowing exactly what was going to happen. Did it deserve to be nominated? Yes. Do I think it was the best movie of the year? No. Did the movie have enough of Ben Affleck shirtless? DEFINITELY NOT. But I would give it a decent chance of winning the award. It hits all the right spots; it has a big name star, a talented director, momentum from the other awards shows, and a chip on its shoulder because Affleck got snubbed for “Best Director.” It also was extremely popular. As of right now, it is the odds on favorite to win the award.

Chances to win: 35%

“Ar! go be seein’ this movie.”
– Davey Jones

Beasts of the Southern Wild
By Al

I haven’t seen Beasts of the Southern Wild, but my girlfriend did and then explained the plot to me in length. From what I remember, it’s about a small bayou community called “The Bathtub” that gets destroyed by a Katrina-esque hurricane and the survivors’ fight to live off grilled catfood (read: catfood, not catfish).

Apparently the whole thing is very depressing and while my girlfriend liked it, she left the theater sapped of emotion and had no desire to do anything the rest of the night. This reminds me of the time I watched Requiem for a Dream in high school and went to bed immediately after – on a Friday evening – because I was so depressed after seeing all the characters’ lives fall apart.

I’m sure this is a good movie but, considering its competition, it feels like the Academy’s odd pick out (watch it win).

Chances to win: 1%

“Jared Leto’s character arc in Requiem for a Dream is so sad that I feel worse when Edward Norton beats him up in Fight Club.”
– Al Irving

Django Unchained
By Al

Years ago a few of us dreamt up Emancipation Annihilation, an antebellum revenge movie where eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman traveled through time to wreak havoc on plantation owners. This past year, the unoriginal, idea-stealing hack Quentin Tarantino made half of that movie.

In Django Unchained, Tarantino’s theme de jour is the insanity of slavery in the American South. For two hours and forty-five minutes you will be blasted with the abundant violence and dialogue that have come to define Tarantino’s films. The movie does not disappoint and features stellar performances by Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and the rest of the casualt- cast.

Whether you want to enjoy a couple hours of pulp about a man’s quest to rescue his wife or argue about the nature of justice later on the internet, this movie has something for everyone!

Given that Tarantino is hitting below the Mendoza Line when it comes to success at the Oscars, I don’t have high hopes for Django to bring home the statue.

Chances to win: 1%

“Simply the best revenge movie of the year.”
– Osama Bin Laden

Les Miserables
By Rudy

How can a remake of a movie based off of a play based off of a novel about French people bomb?

Just ask Russell Crowe. For some inexplicable reason, someone thought it was a good idea to allow the lead singer of “Russell Crowe & the Ordinary Fear of God” to play the third most important character (according to my girlfriend) in the most dramatic production ever to hit the Broadway stage (also according to my girlfriend). What could go wrong?

The answer: Everything.

It’s not that I don’t like singing in movies. Hell, I’ll do “A Whole New World” in acapella karaoke style right now. But singing every damn line of the movie? Every casual conversation? During fire fights? While sleeping with a man for a little bit of money?

That just gave me a brilliant idea – replace the iconic “I Dreamed a Dream” song with Anne Hathaway doing a cover of City High’s “What Would You Do?” They’re basically the same song. Think about it. That would have saved the movie.
Final thought: the Academy loves seeing the “Oscar bump” for previous hosts and would therefore love for Hugh to go home with not only the Best Actor award but as the lead in Best Picture.

Chances to win: 20%.

“This movie was far from being les miserable!”
– Hack Blog Writer

Future Casting Considerations: Amanda Seyfried as “Girl Ant #4” in A Bug’s Life 2

Life of Pi
by Merkyll

This movie was superb. I entered the film in total fear if a monumental botching of one of my favorite books.  What i got was the exact opposite. Not only did the film capture the peaceful and philosophical nature of Pi, it looked incredible while doing it.

You leave the film with one certainty: Ang Lee is absolutely obsessed with the Pacific Ocean.  Beautiful shots, great acting, and a loyal screenplay make this film a huge hit.

Chances to win: 1%

“Life of Pi?  More like Life of Fucking Awesome Movie with Tigers in it.”
– Sigmund and Freud

by Joey

I have heard a lot of talk from people that thought Lincoln was boring. Well I can say one thing with certainty: the people that say that are the worst kind of people. What isn’t interesting about watching Daniel Day-Lewis personify the greatest President of all time while he attempts to maneuver around the politics and prejudices of the 1800’s to free all of the slaves and bring an end to the bloodiest war our country has ever seen? Oh that’s right, NOTHING. Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably the greatest actor of all time and certainly the greatest actor of this generation. His performance itself is worth the price of admission. He will almost certainly win Best Actor and if you appreciate the medium at all, you will marvel at his performance. I was convinced by the end of the movie that they dug up Lincoln and somehow Obama used his Kenyan voodoo magic to resurrect Lincoln’s spirit and place it in Daniel Day-Lewis in order to further his leftist-communist takeover of this country along with Steven Spielberg.

I think Lincoln will likely win the Oscar. It is a period piece about the greatest President who ever lived, directed by Steven Spielberg, acted by Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones. That is like a multiple orgasm sexual experience for the voters; an absolute dream. I don’t think it was the best movie of the year (I personally enjoyed Django Unchained more) but I won’t be mad at all if it wins Best Picture because I think it is more than deserving.

Chances to win: 20%

“Even I would go to the theatre to see this one!”
– Dead Abraham Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook
By Rudy

I’ll admit it right off the bat – I was highly skeptical of this. Everyone had hyped it up so much that I thought there was no way it could live up to expectations. Sure, it had stints here and there in different venues over the past few months, but it had yet to break out into mainstream media before the Oscar engine picked up steam in the fall. And once it did, everyone became so on board with it that my inner hipster revolted against recognizing it for what it truly is.

Once I saw it for my own eyes, however, I fell in love. My body hardened with every twist and turn it took. Its true beauty, hidden behind a thin layer of mystery and intrigue, captivated me. It fooled me into believing that it was palpable, that I project myself inside it. But alas, the two-dimensional constraints of the silver screen returned me to reality after this 122-minute odyssey.

I’m sorry. Was I supposed to write about the movie, or Jennifer Lawrence’s ass? In fairness, my eyes were focused on her for the majority of the movie so I missed out on its core theme. Also in fairness, that’s a lie. And I cried.

And kudos to the writing team of David Russell and Matthew Quick for the forced exposition. Cramming the definition of “parlay” down our throats for the last 30 minutes of the movie saved me from a lengthy explanation to my girlfriend afterwards and potentially exposing my gambling underbelly.

I think the Academy feels that they’ve done their piece in getting an underdog nominee in the mix this year through both this movie and Beasts. Plus, Bradley Cooper still has to pay his debts for All About Steve.

Chances to win: 5%

“Jennifer Lawrence’s ass alone deserves the Oscar.”
– Every guy ever who saw this movie

Zero Dark Thirty
By McCannon

I’m gonna come out and say it: Zero Dark Thirty kinda sucked.
Oh McCannon, you’re just trying to be a contrarian! Admit that it was interesting!

Yeah, it was interesting. At least the parts that actually seemed feasibly and connected to the real story were interesting. The raid scene was wonderful.

Jessica Chastain was amazing!

Jessica Chastain was without a doubt the worst part of this movie. Well, that’s not exactly right. Jessica Chastain’s character was without a doubt the worst part of this movie. Her character was unlikeable to the point of breaking the movie. As I said earlier, the raid scene was wonderful…the amount of “Maya” (Jessica Chastain’s character) in the raid scene? Zero (DARK THIRTY). To be fair, I don’t think it was Jessica’s fault — the screenwriter just fucked up the character. Her character is forced down our throats and into the narrative in ways so completely unbelievable, I just couldn’t stomach it. At one point she says “I’m the motherfucker who found the place” (or something) to the DIRECTOR OF THE CIA. She also utters the line “I’m going to find Osama and fucking kill him”. She’s an ANALYST.

Fuck you, McCannon. It’s a movie.

Yeah, but it’s trying to tell a true story in an incredibly serious manner — I don’t feel bad calling it unbelievable (in the bad sense). It’s honestly just not that good. Maya doesn’t work as the protagonist.  The final scene – supposed to be hard-hitting character-audience connection – is risible. I counted three times during the movie where the script had me flinching and looking down away from the screen because the dialogue or scene was so…what’s the right word…fucking shitty.

Fortunately for me, it seems the Oscar hype behind ZDT has faded a decent amount. Although, I think Argo (which will probably end up winning) was just as ridiculous in terms of any semblance of historical accuracy.

Chances to win: 15%

“Look for me shoehorned into an otherwise interesting storyline!”
– Doesn’t-Take-No-Shit Protagonist



  1. Merkyll

    Dead Abraham Lincoln would also like to correct the Po Life and clarify that he was not in fact alive during the 1900’s – making it all the more difficult for him to have dealt with the prejudices of that time period.

    • Alan

      Merkyll: Abraham Lincoln wasn’t around in the 1900s, but Dead Abraham Lincoln certainly was. In fact, some say you can still hear his ghost experiencing the prejudices black america faces today.

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