While I am by no means a novice movie watcher, Saturday marked a new experience for me in terms of single-day movie watching as I took part in an all-day movie marathon of the five Oscar nominees for Best Picture.
Going into the marathon, I wasn't sure what to expect.
Would I be able to make it through 11 and a half hours of movies, even if they were the very best that this year's cinema had to offer? Would I fall into a sugar coma on account of all of the chocolate I was bound to consume? Would I be seated next to someone nice who would save my seat when I had to go to the bathroom? Would I be able to make it through all of the gore and violence of "No Country for Old Men"?
It was with these concerns in mind that I arrived at the AMC Stonecrest Mall movie theater at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. For $30 I was sold tickets to "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood." With the purchase of my tickets, I was also presented with a nifty lanyard and a large popcorn bag with unlimited refills.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie theater filled with devoted cinephiles with not a churlish teenager in sight. Seated to my right were a lovely couple who had driven two hours to be able to make it to the day's event and who had no problem saving my seat for me when it was time for a soda refill.
Seated directly in front of me however was a veritable Princess and the Pea who informed me after the second movie that I had been bumping the back of her seat with my feet whenever I moved to stretch my legs. Mortified, I apologized profusely and resolved to keep my feet to myself for the rest of the day.
Getting through the first four films was a cakewalk, but after the credits on "Juno" rolled I began to wonder if I would be able to make it through "No Country for Old Men." Several of my coworkers had already seen the movie and had given it rave reviews. Knowing, though, my low tolerance for movie bloodshed I began to think about ending the day on the cheerful note of "Juno."
Still I gave it my best shot but ended up leaving the theater at 10 p.m., somewhere after the tenth body was dropped by the demonic Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem). I ended up finding out the ending to the movie at themoviespoiler.com.
While from what I saw "No Country for Old Men" was beautifully directed and superbly acted, I did not think it was deserving of the Best Picture of the Year Award. That honor I believe should have gone to "Atonement." But what do I know? I am predisposed to favor films with star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of war over movies where the bad guy triumphs.
I am also predisposed to favor movies with some kind of a plot resolution at the end. Maybe that makes me trite and simple but there it is. I can handle ambiguous endings in novels, but I like my movies like I like my liquor, straight up.
"No Country for Old Men" had even less of an ending than "There Will Be Blood." Both movies just kind of ended right after a climatic scene with no hint as to the fate that befalls the characters that haven't already been killed.
But seriously, what is with all of the depressing movies this year. The only light movie to be nominated for Best Picture this year was "Juno" and that featured a teenage pregnancy.
Rachel Oswald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.