In the days leading up to the Oscars, Sentimental Movie Marathon will take a look at each of the Best Picture Nominees. This is OSCAR BONANZA: TOO MUCH FILM IN YO’ FACE. First up, Up. Redundant.
1. WHAT IS UP?
Up is so many things! Love story, loss story, adventure, journey, family film, animal film, comedy, lots of stuff. At times, Up breaks hearts like members of O-Town signing autographs in a mall circa 2002 (mostly, Ashley Parker Angel). It also lifts those hearts up by encouraging dream chasing, perseverance, forgiveness, and togetherness. After seeing Up (in Disney 3-D), I thought it might be my favorite movie (Remember, Up was pre-Whip It). The story of Carl and Russell hits on a bunch of notes, all of them great and aww.
2. WHAT DOES UP HAVING GOING FOR IT?
Not only is Up a best picture nominee, but it is also one of the ten highest grossing films of 2009. So, lots of people have seen it. I mean, that would make it a lock if these were MTV Movie Awards rules, but since we do not yet live in that world, Up‘s popularity just puts it in a cultural consciousness that could positively influence the perception of the film.
Up also is a great film in its own right. It looks great, sounds great, and the animation is really fluid. The story plays on sentiment (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) but never seems emotionally exploitative. Honestly, I cried during Up. I am not ashamed to type that. The opening of the film was the cause of the tears (I think the opening of Up is probably my favorite sequence in a film ever) and the rest of the film, the bulk of it, served as a comfort to those it had touched. Great job, Up!
3. WHAT WILL TOTALLY DESTROY UP‘S CHANCES FOR GLORY?
While many consider Up a great film, its inclusion in the Best Picture nomination does not seem genuine. Up occupies that weird space of the ten films (Probably along with District 9, Inglorious Basterds, and The Blind Side) as an admired film that was included in the ten films less for its worth than for the statement the Academy is making. Here, Up almost seems like a call to the animation guild (they have a guild, right?) that they are a serious, well-respected part of the film industry. While that may be true, it still feels fishy. If there were only ten nominees, Up might have missed the cut.
Up‘s chances also suffer from the general perception of animation. Some still view it as kids stuff.
4. WILL I TOTALLY LOSE MY SHIT IF UP WINS?
I would be happy if Up were to win the Best Picture award. It doesn’t have some of the OSCAR STORYLINE INTRIGUE of other movies, but it’s a great movie that can hold its own with any of the other films nominated. So, if Up wins, I say Up deserves it. Enjoy your Oscar cake, Up!