Films of the Year So Far, Part 1: The Cove

Sorry for the light posting over the past few days from me – it’s a crazy busy time and isn’t going to get any less intense for a couple of weeks, so this week I thought I’d try something that has worked on occasion in the past, and may either be a stroke of genius or the worst idea in blogging since Perez Hilton figured out people would click on advertisements after prying into other people’s private lives: The Review Haiku.

Please try to contain yourselves.

Roger Ebert expresses his disappointment annually that the timing of the Academy Awards means that the ‘quality’ films are released together, in the last three months of the year, which means, of course, that they are in competition with the Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/’Holiday’ enormo-prints; October-December become like a theme park, with far too much going on, so smaller films are lucky to have a week on a local screen, and I always end up frustrated at my inability to see the films I want in their natural habitat.  (And at the fact that many of the ‘serious’ films are rushed to the finish line, suffering from the half-bakedness that comes with a director being forced to lock a cut before the film is really complete.  Yes, I’m thinking of you.)

Ebert suggested a few years ago that the Academy could make things easier for audiences (and encourage more quality films to be made) by dividing the voting period in two, with nominations being made at the end of June and December each year.  The logic would be that films released in January – June would have a better chance of being recognised; and we the ticket-buyers would have more decent movies to see in late winter/early spring.  There are enough examples of films released early in the year whose momentum for recognition burned out before the votes were cast (remember how everyone was saying that Richard Jenkins would win for ‘The Visitor’, released last April?); there are exceptions, of course, and who knows if Ebert is right; for my money, anything that shakes up the staid and repetitive vision of what passes for a ‘Best Picture’ qualifier can only be a good thing.

With that in mind, and as we approach the mid-point of the year, I thought I’d cast a look back and share my putative choices.  All a game of course, but I feel bad about not posting much lately and thought I’d enjoy the haiku exercise (tongue in cheek.  I hope).  I’ll try to post one each day this week.

To that end, herewith the ‘First Half of 2009 Best/Worst Pictures/Honorable-Mentions and Haven’t-Seen-Yets (5-7-5 Formation) Part 1’:

Best Picture nominee #1

‘The Cove’

Dolphins are cute, right?

Not in Japan. They die there.

Not waving.  Drowning.

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