Latest Best of NY

Nina In New York: And The Nominees Are…I Dunno.

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Acclaimed director Terence Malick has only made five films in his career. His latest, The Tree of Life (starring two of Hollywood’s biggest names, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) has been in production for years and its release date has been delayed several times. Now set to open during the summer blockbuster season, this visually stunning family drama will be a sure contender for the Oscars. (Photo: Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Acclaimed director Terence Malick has only made five films in his career. His latest, The Tree of Life (starring two of Hollywood’s biggest names, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) has been in production for years and its release date has been delayed several times. Now set to open during the summer blockbuster season, this visually stunning family drama will be a sure contender for the Oscars. (Photo: Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak
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Fmeh. It’s Oscar season again.

I enjoy watching the red carpet as much as the next person who enjoys that type of thing. I like seeing the beautiful people in their beautiful gowns and also hearing the sparkling wit bandying to and fro in the pre-show interviews looking at all the pretty dresses. I am entertained by approximately twenty non-consecutive minutes of the actual hours-long awards show, which sometimes includes commercials and/or something funny my dog just did.

The thing is, due to my paralyzing fear of bed bugs, I haven’t seen the inside of a movie theater in about two years. And while I have the best of intentions in regards to renting lots of films when they’re available on Netflix, I mostly tend to forget those intentions as soon as everyone I know stops talking about movie A and starts talking about movie B. Instead, I just entertain myself with streaming episodes of Breaking Bad and Arrested Development (for the gajillionth time), and the zeitgeist passes me by. At least, this particular slice of it does.

So the only context I have for each of the nominated films is whatever I’ve gleaned from television commercials, friends’ reviews, and tangential references in other media. As far as I understand it, here are the nominees:

HUGO: Robot butler develops familial relationship with a little French boy who appears to live in a giant clock tower. Martin Scorsese is a producer, so probably Steve Buscemi comes in and shoots Leonardo DiCaprio at some point, and everyone speaks in bad Boston accents.

THE ARTIST: Silent film about a dog. Er, and silent film. But mostly a dog, which is okay by me.

THE DESCENDANTS: George Clooney is charming and and continues to age gradually and gracefully. Co-starring New Young Ingenue and Kitty from “Arrested Development,” whom we are supposed to believe was at one point married to Clooney. Glasses on, hair up?

THE HELP: Heartwarming story based on a book I didn’t read because too many people insisted I read it. Takes place in the South during the civil rights movement. Some white people get what’s coming to them, but Emma Stone is super awesome. Racial boundaries are broken, brave truths are revealed. Stars at least two redheads and a woman named Viola Davis who wore an awesome dress to the Golden Globes, and who makes me realize that Viola is a very nice name and ought to go on my longlist of future baby names, which I have been cultivating since I was twelve.

MONEYBALL: Baseball, baseball, sports, sports, sports, Billy Beane (great name), Brad Pitt.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS: Owen Wilson walking around Paris, nostalgizing about artists and writers who made the city what it was in the 1920s, directed by Woody Allen? Stop. Just stop. You had me at hello.

THE TREE OF LIFE: Honestly, I’d never even heard of this movie until I just googled the list of “Best Picture” nominees. More Brad Pitt? Man, that guy is unstoppable. Judging by one still shot and the title, I’m going to go ahead and say this is about a guy and his son, and maybe they’re Jewish. But maybe they’re not.

WAR HORSE: Book to Broadway to film sensation. Involves a horse. And a war. And I’m assuming I shouldn’t see this because I’m going to have to watch a horse die at some point. I don’t do well with animals dying in films. I still get misty whenever anyone brings up King Mufasa.

And now you see why I don’t participate in Oscar pools.

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Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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