Punch Brothers

If there were only five Best Picture nominees at the Oscars, they would probably be the five that are nominated for Best Directing. This year I’ve seen all five Best Directing nominees and eight of the ten Best Picture nominees. My wife and I have been playing catch-up since the Golden Globes by seeing nominated films on four of the past five weekends.

The snappy dialogue of “The Social Network” was appealing on an intellectual level. The personal growth of the monarch in “The King’s Speech” was more emotional. “Black Swan” made me feel sorry for the ballerina with an untreated mental illness. “True Grit” made wonder why Hailee Steinfeld was nominated as a supporting actress even though she was in every scene of the movie. “The Fighter” made me want to reach through the screen and throttle somebody.

Dicky Eklund and Alice Ward are despicable characters more interested in their own glory than the well-being of boxer Micky Ward. Dicky, when he’s not strung-out on drugs, is his brother’s trainer. Their mother Alice does too much talking and not enough listening. I’ve heard that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. I did not love Dicky and Alice but I wasn’t apathetic either. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo made me angry toward their characters, which is a testament to their acting abilities. Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg played likeable characters. I found myself rooting for them to stay together.

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