My Bucket List: Best Picture Nominees

We all have a “bucket list” of things we’ve always wanted to do and hope to do before we die. One of mine was to attend a FSU/UF football game, at Doak. We did that back in 2010. Something else I’ve always wanted to do was to see EVERY Best Picture Nominee before the Oscars. I know, that sounds random. And it is, kinda.

In a prior life (meaning, my life before kids haha) I was hardcore into movies. I loved them. So much so that guys I dated had to pass my secret “movie test.” Basically I would have them watch some of my favorite films and then discuss them with them after and see how they did. Haha. One boyfriend took me to see Charlie’s Angels at the theater and said he didn’t like “movies that made him think.” FAIL. I loved deep movies. I loved movies that altered my perception of the world. I loved movies with double meanings, surprises twists, and especially movies that just END with no real resolution (b/c isn’t that how life often is? I’m sorry but life doesn’t always wrap up all of our problems into a pretty little package, am I right?). 

My favorite movie of all time is, and always will be, Clueless. I know…it’s not deep or meaningful. But Cher is like my idol…what girl doesn’t want a closet like hers? My other favorite movie is Memento. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. Very awesome. Anyways. I never cared much for any awards shows other than the Oscars. And I liked the Golden Globes only because it gave an idea of what would be nominated for the Oscars. Every year I had this little goal to see the best picture nominees, but it just never happened. They typically announce who is nominated in mid- December then the awards show is in late Feb. Kinda a short time span to see a bunch of movies, especially when they are often hard to track down. I remember often times some of the films nominated would be in that “twilight zone” time where they weren’t in theaters but also weren’t yet available for rent.

In recent years I haven’t even attempted to try to see the movies. I mean, how would THAT be possible? Zach and I RARELY get to go to the movies as it is and typically several of the films that are nominated for Best Picture aren’t even movies Zach would want to see. (In case you’re wondering…Zach DOES pass my movie test. Although he does NOT like movies without a conclusion!).  Most years I am able to eventually see all the nominated films, just not prior to the awards show. I know it may seem like a lame goal but it always seems like the one movie I didn’t see is the one that ends up winning (I mean who the heck saw that silent film last year?!?! Really???) and I’d just love to have that moment where they are about to open the envelope and to know that no matter which one wins, I’d seen it. Haha. Call me lame…but it’s a goal of mine!

This year we happened to see one of the movies before the nominations were even announced. Once they were announced and I looked them up online I realized that for the first time probably ever that majority of the nominated movies were ones that I would normally WANT to see anyway. I had heard of majority of them (usually that’s not the case) and I knew ZACH would enjoy many of them. I started doing my research of each film and realized that two of them were in that “twilight zone”and one wasn’t even released yet (and probably wouldn’t come to Valdosta). My hopes died there and I just went on with life as normal…until our theater re-released the two in the “twilight zone”! I had a chance!!!!!

I’ll go into detail about each movie, my thoughts on them, and the story behind getting to see them in a second (not that any of you care about this at all haha) but as of yesterday I can say that I can officially MARK THIS GOAL OFF THE BUCKET LIST!!! Yay! I did it!!!!!! I cannot WAIT to watch The Oscars tonight (which I’ll be watching solo…I don’t expect Zach to “get into it” Do I get into the Super Bowl? The BCS National Championship? Nope. So I’m totally fine with having my own little Oscar viewing party!). Here is each of the NINE nominated films and my story behind them all! They are listed in the order I watched them πŸ™‚

1. Lincoln We saw Lincoln by chance. We were in Banner Elk and it rained the whole trip so we went to the movies! If there were better options at that theater we would have seen them. Looking back, I wish we’d paid the over-priced rate to see Life Of Pi in 3D. But we chose to see Lincoln. And it was almost 3 hours of my life I can’t have back haha. Sure, the makeup is PHENOMENAL. I’m sure, without a doubt, that Daniel Day-Lewis will win an Oscar, as will his makeup team. But the movie was a snooooooze fest. I was really hoping for some new knowledge about Abe Lincoln. Some cool facts we didn’t know. A secret life we’d never heard about. Or, heck, even more details about how his life ended. Instead it was all about dang slavery. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all awesome what Abe did by ending slavery…but haven’t we all already heard that story like 1,000 times? The only good parts best parts were when Abe told some crazy stories. So like maybe 20 min of the film was enjoyable haha! It was my least favorite of all nine films. But I wouldn’t be shocked if it wins Best Picture. The dang Academy LOVES Daniel Day-Lewis and historical movies. 

2. Les Miserables: I knew before this came out that I wanted to see it. Casey and Jordan came and watched the kids for us so we could have a date night over Christmas break πŸ™‚ It was a GREAT night. We went to the mall first and I got a make-up revamp at the Mac counter. She used a bunch of new products on me and Zach was so sweet to watch the process. I’m glad I brought him along because he actually talked me into buying more than I had planned on! I like my new look (new foundation, blush color, eye make up colors) and it makes me feel good that HE likes it so much! We then ate dinner at Ruby Tuesdays…they have redone their entire menu and it’s soooo good AND affordable πŸ™‚ 

Zach had wanted to see this movie too and I’m so glad we saw it together. It was amazing. Truly. The fact that the actors were singing live while filming was beyond impressive to me. They all did an AWESOME job. I went and saw the play with my Aunt Amy at The Fox in Atlanta and remember it well. I also was obsessed with the song “On My Own” after Joey performed it on an episode of Dawson’s Creek. I actually have her version of it on my ipod along with the entire Les Mes soundtrack πŸ™‚ We both walked away with a lot to say about the movie and talked a lot about it on the ride home, which I enjoyed immensely πŸ™‚ I hope it wins several Oscars, it deserves them!

3. Life of Pi: Life of Pi and Argo were both the movies in the “twilight zone” when the nominees were announced. I was in SHOCK when I saw that our theater was re-releasing them. They were both only showing at two times a day…like a mid-afternoon random time and a late, late night time. I knew that meant they may not stay released for long and were probably only released b/c people like me flock to the theater to see the nominated stuff πŸ˜‰ I begged asked Zach if I could go to see them. I ended up taking a Sunday afternoon and doing a double feature. I used to LOVE doing double features with my dad growing up. I would get to a pick a movie and my brother would get to pick a movie and Dad would sleep through them both haha!

I was on the Challenge (post to come, I PROMISE!) and was proud of myself for not getting any snacks or anything! I even packed fruit and Spark and while people crunched on popcorn I crunched on carrot sticks haha. 

I have only seen a movie by myself in theaters once. It was Water for Elephants. I enjoyed seeing these SO MUCH and had a GREAT time seeing them solo. When I want to see a movie and Zach comes with me I always worry if he’s enjoying it or not throughout the whole film. He also gets SUPER irritated when people talk and such and that tends to affect my enjoyment of the movie experience. So it was nice not having those worries and just relaxing the whole time. When the girls behind me KEPT talking I could be mildly annoyed but not feel like Zach would turn around and yell at them at any minute haha

The movie was awesome. Seriously. I didn’t understand why it was released in 3D at first, but after seeing it…I get it. I am not a 3D fan but it’s probably pretty awesome! There were many families in the movie which I did feel was inappropriate. I think the PG rating is fine, but it’s not kid appropriate. It’s very deep and has some very hard to see parts. The only thing I had heard about the movie was that “it will make you believe in God” and I already believe in Him so I didn’t go into it with many expectations. However, out of all the movies I saw…it has been the one to stick with me the most. I think about it very often and it is one of the only ones that I REALLY want Zach to see. In fact, I loved it so much that I’ll probably get it on DVD so when our kids are old enough they too can watch it. And I never buy movies on DVD so that says a lot. There is no way in the WORLD it’s gonna win Best Picture. But I highly recommend it and would LOVE to discuss it with some of you who have seen it. It’s one of those that when I left I wanted to talk about it. I will rewatch it when Zach sees it so we can talk about it together πŸ™‚

4. Argo The buzz around this movie is nuts! Zach and I actually wanted to see it when it was released the first time but never go around to it. I felt guilty seeing it without him (and even more so when it STAYED in the theater for another MONTH!) but I know he’ll see it and love it. It was another great one. I love Ben Affleck in most everything (especially his Jay and Silent Bob days haha!). I wish I had more time between seeing this and Life of Pi because I literally had 45 min between them and was still deep in thought about Life of Pi so it affected how much I enjoyed this one. It’s one of those movies that surprises me that it IS nominated. So often the Academy is snobby and picks all these random movies that no one ever sees…whereas Argo (and Django and Zero Dark Thirty) is one where the masses would enjoy it and flock to the theater to watch! It’s nice to see that reflected in the nominations this year πŸ™‚ And yes, Ben Affleck was robbed for not being nominated!!! I love me some movies that are based off true stories and this one didn’t disappoint πŸ™‚

5. Django Unchained I’ve seen every Tarantino movie. Pulp Fiction is one of my favs (John Travolta is a legend in my heart!) so we would have also seen this movie regardless of its nomination. Zach, too, enjoys a good Tarantino movie πŸ™‚ Casey and Jordan again watched the kids for us one night so we could go see it. Omg it was SO LONG. I felt guilty how late we got home, but it was worth it!!! 

The only negative about this movie for me was the CRYING TODDLER in the theater with us. I swear that drives me INSANE and it happens to us so often! There was an elementary school aged kid at Step  Brothers, a child Kye’s age at The Candidate and this toddler at Django. I don’t understand what some parents are thinking. A) you’re interrupting other people’s enjoyment of the film B) HELLO. The movies are rated R for a REASON. The content is INAPPROPRIATE for your child! Do they think b/c their kid is young that they won’t be affected by it? Wrong!!!! When stuff like that happens I have a hard time focusing on the movie because every cuss word, sex scene, or violent scene I start thinking about the poor child. Which you know happened a TON in this film.

Jamie Foxx was THE MAN. I personally didn’t get why he won the Oscar for Ray. Again, the academy just loves movies like that. However, this time…it’s well earned for him yet he didn’t even get nominated! And poor Leonardo…I feel like every year people are talking about him being snubbed yet again. Will he EVER get an Oscar because seriously he’s probably one of the best actors of our time. I’m sure he’ll be one of the greats when we’re old πŸ™‚

I am one of those people who is VERY offended by the “n” word. It bothers me even with the “a” ending opposed to the “er” version. However, I think the critiques about the use of the word in the film are ridiculous. It’s a term that they used in that time period and in the way it was used in the film. It was always used in the context of the storyline and I never felt like the actors were just saying it to say it, ya know? It made sense that it was said and it never rubbed me the wrong way! Overall, super great movie. Super amazing acting. And, of course, directing!

6. Silver Linings Playbook: I knew NOTHING about this movie prior to seeing it. Actually I didn’t realize until it started playing that it was Bradley Cooper in the lead role. For some reason I thought it was Jason Bateman? I planned on seeing it solo but asked Mrs Charlotte if she wanted to come. We grabbed lunch at McAlister’s before and ended up meeting Casey and Melody (who was in town visiting!) at the theater to see it as well.

I love Jennifer Lawrence. Of course I like the Hunger Games thing but I also LOVED her in Winter’s Bone. She was great. He was great. Both of them were in much different roles than I was used to seeing. However, why the heck is this movie nominated for best picture?!?!? Yes. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s quirky. It’s got an all star cast. But that doesn’t make it Oscar worthy. I feel like the storyline got downright silly at one point and I will be shocked if it wins ANYTHING. I truly liked the movie and it was great for the crowd I was with, but I felt like it should have been a rental at the house watching it while we painted our nails and talked throughout it rather than one I was rushing to see before Oscar night!

7. Amour: When the nominations were released, Amour was the odd ball. It was the one that I’d never heard of and had no actors or anything I was familiar with. All I knew about it was that it was about dying. Awesome, right? It was also the movie that wasn’t released yet. I found some random site with the info for when the movie would be released and where and good ‘old Valdosta wasn’t on the list. I even called our theater and talked to the manager about if it would potentially be released here. No such luck, he hadn’t heard of the movie either haha

We had some time and I didn’t stress over it. Maybe Zach would surprise me with a trip to Tally. Maybe we’d go on vaca somewhere that it was play. Who knows. Well…as of last weekend I gave up hope about it. I figured, yet again I’d fail at my mission. Casey actually texted me and asked how my goal was going. It makes me feel SO GOOD that she’s so supportive in this venture as pretty much everyone else thinks I’m super stupid for wanting to do this haha. I told her Amour was the only one that wouldn’t be possible and she suggested the two of us going to Tally to see it! We loosely made plans but I didn’t want to ask Mrs. Charlotte to keep my kids in order for me to drive 3 hours roundtrip just to watch a movie, ya know? So, again, I figured it wasn’t going to happen. This was on Sunday Feb 17th. That afternoon I was telling Zach about it all and HE suggested for us to drive down that night and see it! Casey had off work the next day so I called her about Zach’s crazy idea and she went for it! That way Zach would be home with the kids (asleep) and Mrs. Charlotte wouldn’t have to keep them! 

The movie STARTED at 10:10. Yes. We’re nuts. We drank our afternoon Sparks at 7:00 then drove to Tally (Jordan stayed and hung out with Zach, of course) and had plenty of time to get dinner before the movie. We ate at Marconi Grill which brought back such great memories of alllll the times I would visit Katie when she lived down there! I love these pics of Casey and the bread…the first one is especially hilarious!

I have been very proud of my Advocare lifestyle change (again, I promise I’m posting about my results soon!). I mean, I did eat almost an entire loaf of the bread butttt I order whole wheat pasta with a pesto sauce, artichokes and capers. MUCH healthier than what I normally get there (baked loaded cheese tortillini haha). It was super yummy AND cheap (only $11 for my bill!) AND was fabulous heated up the next day πŸ™‚

When we got to the theater my “street smarts” kicked in. It was shhhhhady. Like super, mega shady. There was hardly anyone there (hello, 10:00 PM on a Sunday!) and the people who were there gave off those I-wanna-rape-you vibes. Not cool. We hit up the potty then stopped to snap some pics outside our theater before going inside!

Once in the theater we started talking about the creepppppy guys who were watching us in the lobby. How they SAW what theater we went into. How, surely, we would be the ONLY people watching that movie. How there were only two exit doors out of the theater and there were three guys. How we were SCREWED if they decided to take advantage of the situation. And especially how there was NO armed guard at this theater. I mean our theater is pretty nice, in a nice area, etc and WE have an armed guard…why would the shadddddy theater not have one!?!?!

I texted both Zach and Jordan thinking that it was good for people to know the situation just in case something went down. Jordan LITERALLY texted back “hope you brought your rape whistles” I mean really dude?!?! We were ticked at him at the time (obviously now “rape whistle” is a running joke, naturally). Casey devised a plan of escape in case they came in the theater (it involved hoping OVER the balcony thing and running haha). We decided to go back out to the lobby to talk to a worker and just see what was up. 

Shane was the dude taking the tickets that night and we told him what was going on (I mean the guys were all still hardcore creeping in the lobby so they saw us and HAD to know we were talking about them) and he confirmed that we were the only ones who would be watching that movie. He said people would come in to do a check twice during the film and that he’d keep an eye on the door for us. Why did we trust Shane so much? I guess because we had no other options?

Legit…my heart was racing SO MUCH that I barely paid attention to the movie. And of course it was the ONE movie with subtitles so if we weren’t constantly reading then we’d be missing the movie. I sat straight up the entire time with my purse on my arm, my jacket on, and my cell phone in one hand and keys in the other. The good thing was with all that adrenaline pumping I wasn’t too worried about staying awake for the drive home!

The two workers checked on us and we relaxed a little until I heard the door open a third time and one of the creepers heads popped over the side rail and looked right at me!!! I FREAKED. He went back out after our eyes met and I told Casey it was time to BOLT. We went into the lobby pronto (I gladly let Casey lead the way…I mean I’ll admit it, I’m a WUSS) and the guys were all out there. We asked Shane to escort us to the car and he said we needed to talk to the manager and report everything. So we did. And the guys WORKED there. Um A) Why the heck did that theater need THREE janitors when the place was a DISASTER? B) Who the heck lets their cleaning staff walk around wearing CAMO gear and stare down customers and C) Why the heck didn’t Shane tell us from the start that they were WORKERS?!?! I mean jeez!!! 

We felt a little better knowing that. The manager also said that people had complained about them before (I mean SHOCKER) and that he’d tell them to leave us alone and would personally watch the door for us and assured us no one would be coming in the theater again. So we went and finished the movie. MUCH more relaxed than before. Enough to where I did actually cry during a few scenes. 

When the movie ended we decided to pee there because we knew we’d be waaaay to freaked to get out somewhere else at 12:30 at night. We took turns guarding the bathroom door while the other one peed (we weren’t about to be left vulnerable with our pants down!) then we had Shane escort us to our car. The question in hindsight is why in the world did we feel so safe with dang Shane?!?! Haha! 

We drove through McDonald’s on the way out of Tallhassee to get some ice coffees so we’d be able to stay awake for the drive home. I asked the drive through guy to take a picture for us πŸ˜‰

I know I’ve said it plenty of times before, but I am so blessed to have my awesome in-laws πŸ™‚ Casey and I have really gotten so close and have SUCH a great time together. I love our talks and that we can be 100% REAL and don’t have to worry if we’re being judged, etc. I don’t have to have a filter when I’m talking to her and that’s so rare for me with friendships. Our friendship is natural and comfortable and we never run out of topics to discuss. Anytime we leave each other I am seriously sad haha I could hang out with her all the time and never get tired of her. It is a mega perk that our husbands are super tight too. How lucky did we get?!?! Hopefully our future babies will be besties too!

Anyways…isn’t she SO SWEET to be willing to go do that with me?!?! Seriously, it meant THE WORLD to me and it was SO FUN. Well…maybe not fun at the time, but it’s a great story πŸ™‚ At least we survived and lived to tell about it. Even without our rape whistles πŸ˜‰ (Btw…this is a PRIME example of WHY I want a GUN and WILL be carrying it with me!!!). I dropped her off then got home at 2:30 and, yes, I got up at 7:00 that next morning. I drank me a Spark first thing and was fine for the whole day! Even for the family gathering we had that night with everyone. Being super tired makes it harder for me to keep my filter up so I tend to say a lot of things as I think them…most people find this humorous so I think everyone enjoyed my sleepy state haha

Oh right, I’m supposed to be talking about THE MOVIE haha! Oops! The movie was French. With subtitles. And it was, legit, about the process of dying. It was terribly depressing. And sad. And deeper than I was able to think at that moment. However, I am not interested in seeing it again so I can further dissect it. I did google search it when I got home and found out that it’s like SUPER deep and was WAY over our heads haha. Back when I was a teenager, I would have LOVED this movie. Now? I appreciated it but I left it in the theater. The last thing I want to do is walk around thinking about my inevitable demise! There is no way it’s winning for Best Picture. It will win for Best Foreign Film, I’m sure. 

8. Zero Dark Thirty Another one that Zach and I would have wanted to see regardless of it’s appearance on “the list.” We probably wouldn’t have seen it so soon but we would have seen it at some point! For our post-Valentine’s Day date we went to dinner at Applebee’s (again, so proud…I got grilled chicken, veggies and plain baked potato!) then saw this movie. We were the only ones in the theater (I think everyone has already seen it haha) and then one other couple came in and when they did they guy apologized to us. I found that odd. I mean what did he think would be happening? We did NOT spend almost $20 to spend the time in that movie making out…we can do that at home. For free! Haha! 

VERY good movie. The fact that it’s true and recent made it even better. I was waiting for it to be very pro-Obama since all of Hollywood pretty much is, but it was surprisingly not that way. It gave him very little credit and I liked that it gave the credit where it was due. If you haven’t seen it, see it. It just might win Best Picture. Btw…I’m also not a big “girl power” type girl, but I DID think it was AWESOME how huge of a role a WOMAN played in bringing down Bin Laden! 

9. Beasts of the Southern Wild When the nominees were announced this one happened to be available to rent through Dish network so I rented it and saved it on our box. I hadn’t heard a single thing about it other than the 6 year old actress is nominated for Best Actress. After seeing it, I don’t know how she won’t win! I watched it yesterday during nap time πŸ™‚ It was good. Interesting as I didn’t know cultures like that still existed. I will not, however, tell Zach to watch it. I know what he’ll say because it’s the same thing I kept thinking: “JUST LEAVE!” haha. One line in the film did strike a cord with me…during a scene the girl is being held and she said “I’ve only been held two times in my life.” It then showed a flashback of her being held the moment after she was born. That is so sad to imagine a sweet child never being held. It made me want to go wake my kids up and hold them πŸ™‚ I do not think this movie will win anything other than the Best Actress nomination, but I did enjoy it. 

If I had to rank my personal favorites of the nine in order here they are: 1) Life of Pi 2) Les Miserables 3) Zero Dark Thirty 4) Django Unchained 5) Argo 6) SIlver Linings Playbook 7) Amour 8) Beasts of the Southern Wild 9) Lincoln

I know this is a SUPER long post. I know that MAJORITY of you are bored stiff reading it. But one of my main goals of blogging is so my children (and theirs) will know ME. So this post is important for that reason πŸ™‚ 

I’m SO excited to watch The Oscars tonight. I’m excited to go into it having seen ALL the films. I’m soooo thankful that Casey allowed me to achieve this goal and that Zach supported me in it even though he thought it was beyond dumb. 

I truly do believe that THIS was the BEST year to achieve this goal as majority of the movies were LEGIT GOOD. And I would have ended up seeing probably 5 or 6 of them regardless of their Oscar Nomination! Pretty awesome πŸ™‚ Excited that I can cross this goal off my imaginary “Bucket List!”

While I’m glad I’ve finally done it…I doubt I’ll attempt it again. To be honest, I would now fail my OWN movie test. I used to look at Moms who all flocked to the theater for a dumb chick flick (The Notebook? GAG ME). Now? I relate to that boyfriend who took me to see Charlie’s Angels and didn’t want to think while watching a movie. I get it. REAL LIFE is hard. REAL LIFE is painful. I’ve seen hurt. REAL hurt. I’ve experienced PAIN. REAL PAIN. Why the heck to I want to spend money and time watching FAKE people experience it? I don’t have the emotional energy to invest myself in fake problems. Made up issues. I don’t have any extra tears to be crying for stories that haven’t happened. Old Emily would have NEVER had Life of Pi as my #1. Old Emily would have dissected Amour to death (pun totally hilarious…) and would have eaten Beasts of the Southern Wild UP! However, New Emily is a Christian. Is a parent. Is a little more experienced in the world and slightly more jaded. If I pay money and take the time to see a movie I want to just relax and enjoy it. Guess I better start reading Nicolas Sparks huh? πŸ˜‰


  1. Sandi
    February 25, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    This is one of your funniest posts! I literally laughed out loud several times and my husband kept looking over st me! I tried to explain….but didn't get anywhere! Good for you for accomplishing this, not everything on a bucket list has to be equivalent to Sailing Around the World!

  2. Catherine
    March 5, 2013 / 12:58 am

    You just cracked me up throughout this whole post!! I don't know why? I just laughed and laughed, it read like you were talking to me and I was just listening. This was a blog post that I was just going to read "real quick" in between studying, and now I've got all these movie plots in my head and what I need to go see. A. Yes, you are courageous to drive that far for a late night movie. I'd fall asleep. πŸ™‚ But Casey was SO sweet to do that with you and invest in your goal.B. Thanks for the tips.C. WHY wouldn't he have just told you they worked there??? That is weird!!! D. Pack a rape whistle. Got it.

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