Oscar Watch: Amour, Life of Pi, and Les Mis

Amour film still / AP

Amour film still / AP

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, I thought I’d run through the nine nominees for best picture and do some quick mini-reviews/Oscar predictions. They’ll roll out throughout the week, culminating with the film I think will (not should, but will) win best picture. But first: the films I haven’t seen!

To be very clear: These are not reviews. You are not allowed to “review” something you have haven’t (UPDATE: silly, post-defeating typo fixed) seen. It’s part of the Film Critic Code, to which we swear an oath in blood in a secret ceremony presided over by Roger Ebert and the spirit of Pauline Kael (PBUH). Instead, I’m just going to pass along a few data points as well as my (frequently lame) excuse as to why I haven’t seen the film in question.

First up: Amour. This is the tale of how everyone dies and how getting old is lonely and depressing and oh, by the way, you’re definitely going to die and your loved ones will die. I have no intention of seeing it because it sounds wildly depressing and I dislike its director, Michael Haneke, because Michael Haneke dislikes his audiences. The Hollywood Stock Exchange, somewhat surprisingly, gives Amour the fourth-best chance of winning best picture. It is 98 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes amongst top critics.

Next up: Les Misérables. This is the tale of how being poor is terrible and why we shouldn’t throw Wolverine in jail for stealing bread, or some such. If I’m being totally honest here, I must admit to one of my critical blindspots: I can’t review musicals. Suspension of disbelief fails me when confronted by actors releasing their emotions through the power of song. Blergh. I realize this makes me a philistine, but I can’t help it. (Also: I saw the stage production of Les Mis in December with my wife and, honestly, once is enough, right?) Les Mis is 59 percent fresh amongst top critics and it has the third-worst chance of winning best picture, according to the Hollywood Stock Exchange.

Finally: Life of Pi. No opinion on this one. Not terribly fond of pseudo-spiritualistic claptrap. Heard it looks pretty. HSX gives it the worst chance of winning best picture. 88 percent fresh amongst top critics.

Coming tomorrow: Two films I’ve actually seen (hooray!), including the one I think should win best picture.