With "Boyhood" Cynthia and I completed our annual ritual of watching all the nominated films before the big Oscars night. We had high hopes for this last one based on critical buzz but found ourselves looking at our watches and wondering when it would ever end.
I think it safe to say that none of this year's movies are destined for "classic" status. Almost all of them focus on a character who is unhappy, depressed and/or dysfunctional. In the case of "Birdman" that applies to every character in the film. Even in the ones with redemptive endings you don't feel like standing up and cheering. In "Wild" Reese Witherspoon arrives at a bridge. Whoopee. The guy in "The Imitation Game" triumphantly breaks the Nazi code, then we learn during the credits he later kills himself. Ouch. Even MLK in "Selma" is catching grief left and right from his wife, co-workers, and of course Whitey. The biggest hero is poor Stephen Hawking slumped in a wheelchair and unable to speak. Geez-----.
"Into the Woods" gets a pass from this disappointing critique. Taking a clever, successful play from the stage to the screen isn't as hard as condensing a book into a cohesive two hour movie, and in the case of this one the ability to incorporate special effects actually enhances the final product.
Does this group of nominees reflect the overall mood of the viewing public? If so I wish the United States a belated and heartfelt HAPPY New Year! Here's to some feel-good flicks that make us smile and elevate our spirits in 2015.