But the two films that have stuck with me the most are Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.
Argo is phenomenal and is hands down the best movie I've seen in years. It is everything that is good about the movies. I truly think it will be one of those films we talk about for years and years to come. Also, it is an absolute travesty that Ben Affleck was not nominated for Best Director. It's considered a footnote to the bigger Iranian Hostage Crisis, and when you see this film, it makes you appreciate what an incredible and important time in history this was. It also helps you understand some of the relationships between countries today.
Long story short: GO SEE IT!!
But we're here to talk about why Jessica Chastain should win.
I want to give you a little back story about my experience seeing this film.
A few days before my husband and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty, my baby sister tweeted that she had seen the movie. It surprised me for a few reasons:
- Loren is a sixteen year old.
- She also has never expressed any interest whatsoever in politics or history to me.
- She was 5 when 9/11 happened.
- Her favorite movies are chick flicks, musicals, and Disney movies.
Now I feel obliged to say at this point that this is a bit of a spoiler post, so if you haven't seen the film, scroll through this part. Although really, I dont' think I'm ruining a whole lot of the story. However, it is necessary because it goes to my argument.
In short, Zero Dark Thirty is about how the CIA found Osama bin Laden and killed him. Jessica Chastain's character portrays the female CIA agent who lead this successful campaign.
At the beginning of the film it is pitch black and you hear to 911 conversations that were taped from people who were stuck in the World Trade Center towers. I was 17 when 9/11 happened and so for me, 9/11 is a very real day. There are times when the grass smells a certain way and I can see the football field that I was standing on the day 9/11 happened. Those few moments were very emotional for me and I definitely did the ugly cry.
The film goes on to show how the most famous manhunt of this century came together. It blew my mind about how things fell together and the lead they went on and what it took for things to finally happen.
But that's not why Jessica Chastain should win the Oscar for Best Actress.
Don't get me wrong, Jessica Chastain is a bad-ass in the film, but this film is about something more.
I walked away from this film so proud to be a woman.
I hope that doesn't draw eye-rolls when I write that but seriously, I was proud to be a woman. In the 60s and 70s when feminism was on the rise, what I see as an outsider was that women felt like they had to act like men in order to be considered equals. Then in the 80s and 90s, it seemed like there was this internal battle to be everything and everywhere.
Now it seems like it is finally okay for women to be who they are. It doesn't matter whether that's a hair dresser, a stay at home mom, a rocket scientist, a doctor, a teacher, a work at home mom, an entrepreneur, a lawyer or a CIA agent. They are respected for just being the best version of a person who happens to be a woman. They can be feminine and strong and graceful and bold. They can be smart and brave and forceful and wise.
I know there are still battles to be fought and glass ceilings to be pushed, but this film left me wishing that I had wanted to be a CIA agent when I was little. Lawyer, big whoop! ;)
My feelings above were only confirmed more once I talked to Loren (we call her LB).
After the movie, I tweeted about how much I loved the film. And within a few moments, LB sent me a text asking what I thought about the film. But before I answered, I told her that I wanted to know what she thought about it first thinking about all the things I listed above.
She proceeded to blow up my phone with texts. She went on and on about how she finally understood how big of a deal 9/11 was. She said she cried when the first few minutes of the film happened. She had lots of questions about torture methods. She wanted to know my book recommendations on the Kennedy family and told me that just because she didn't want to be a lawyer like me didn't mean that she wasn't interested in politics. I told her that no matter who you are, it's important to be informed about the world around you. I talked about how all the women in our family are among the most politically informed and that hardly any of us have the same job.
It was just a good sister to sister and friend to friend conversation. It might be my favorite conversation of ours to date. I absolutely loved it that much. It was so cool to watch her mind and body and soul open up to the realm of possibilities around her.
I loved that she was inspired and that even if she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up, she knows that becoming the CIA agent to take down the worst terrorist in this century is a possibility for her.
That's why Jessica Chastain should win the Oscar for Best Actress.
Because she represents a woman who stuck to her guns and remained true to who she was no matter the cost. And she brought to life the story of a woman who will inspire the girls of tomorrow like my sister.
To answer your question, yes I've seen Silver Linings Playbook. It was good, but I was more struck by Bradley Cooper's performance than hers in the film. I realize that her role is equally important because it brings to life the story of so many people and families who struggle in silent with mental health issues. But to me, the climate of this country is that we're down right now. We need some inspiration.
I also don't see Jennifer Lawrence making it for the long haul. Jessica Chastain has Meryl potential. JLaw doesn't in my opinion.
Unfortunately, the Academy will probably go with the provocative rather than the inspirational.
I just wanted to put out in words why Jessica Chastain is the better choice. Too bad I don't have a vote.