My Cinematic Thanksgiving – 2009


One of the benefits of having a blog is that it gives me an outlet to rant and rave about goings on in the cinematic world. For every complaint delivered, I try to counter with a few positive points. Because the bottom line is that I love movies and I’m blessed to have an outlet to discuss them.

As the Holiday season approaches once again, it is time to compile my list of 10 reasons to be thankful this year (in no particular order).

1) I’m thankful that movies are becoming more accessible than ever.

The number of movie screens in America has increased by over 58% since 1990 [Source: CNN Money]. It’s always been the case that anybody can see the newest blockbusters at their local megaplex, but these days there are art house cinemas in almost every major city. I’m happy to reside in St. Paul, Minnesota and I don’t have to travel far to see just about any film. Not to mention there are also new mediums such as On Demand that allow movie buffs to see certain limited releases that are still in theatres and may not be playing near them.

Not only are new releases more accessible, but thanks to Netflix and online streaming sites, one can also find almost any classic film at the click of the mouse. For instance,  the social networking classic film community The Auteurs has just released several of Luis Bunuel’s films that can be viewed online for free. We live in a wonderful time.

2) I’m thankful that Hollywood continues to give challenging roles to Julianne Moore.

If there is one actress who I will never tire of it is the great Julianne Moore. From her brilliant appearances in early Coen brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson films to her career-defining performance in Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, Moore never ceases to amaze. Even in her recent underwhelming film roles – namely Freedomland and Blindness, Moore was still great and the best part of the film. In my opinion she is the most overdue actress for an Oscar win and I hope that her role in Tom Ford’s A Single Man fixes that problem.

3) I’m thankful for the online movie community.

Starting a website is not easy, but joining a community that includes such brilliant writers is something that I have always wanted to do. The movie blogging community is stronger than ever and thanks to Twitter and other social networking sites dialogue between film writers, bloggers, and people working in the industry is easily accessible and thoroughly enjoyable. You can see some of my favorite film sites over at the links page.

4) I’m thankful for Woody Allen.

Between his classic films, his new work, his plays, and his short stories, I will never cease but be inspired by Woody Allen. He has reached a rare level of his career where he is able to put out limited released films each and every year. He works with some of the greatest screen actors of each generation and it is a joy to see each of his new projects. Of course not all of his projects are going to be masterpieces, but anybody who says they are waiting for a “come back” or “return to form” must be blind. Three of his recent projects have been excellent films in my opinion – Whatever Works, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Match Point. He’s still “got it” and I can’t wait to see what he puts out next year.

5) I’m thankful for the Oscar prediction game.

It’s addicting, but each successive year I get more excited about making Oscar predictions. Of course not all of the best films win each year, but gauging how tastes change among the Academy reflects cultural shifts in our society. I feel like Oscar predictions for a movie buff are like playoff predictions for a sports buff.

6) I’m thankful that most people who write about movies don’t love the Box Office winners.

There’s nothing worse than being in the minority shouting something while everybody turns their shoulder and calls you wrong. This is why I’m thankful that when movies like New Moon or Transformers 2 top the Box Office, critics and bloggers alike are not afraid to go against popular demand and risk sacrificing readers in order to say that movie sucks. The film writing community might not be able to change the minds of the movie-going audience at large, but at least we’re not alone in our fight.

7) I’m thankful for Pixar.

There is no production company, director, writer, actor, or producer that is hotter right now than the Pixar team. Decades from now the most recent cinematic contributions by Pixar are going to be viewed as undeniable masterpieces that had a great influence on the art of film. While other animated film companies are satisfied with phony and forced plots that are beefed up with cheap visual effects and 3D gimmicks, Pixar films have a depth that even many live-action films don’t get close to.

8) I’m thankful for movie musicals.

Whether it’s a spectacle-filled new release or an MGM classic, nothing cheers me up more than a bowl of ice cream and a great movie musical. I’m totally straight, by the way…

9) I’m thankful for Paul Greengrass.

Apart from Woody Allen, my favorite working director is definitely Paul Greengrass. His Bourne trilogy are the best action films in years and United 93 deserved way more awards attention than it received. Greengrass’ next teaming with Matt Damon, an Iraq war film called Green Zone, is already one of the most anticipated releases of 2010. His use of frantic cinematography combined with the most impressive editing you will see these days is thrilling, challenging, and just plain fun.

10) I’m thankful for you!

You readers of Film Misery are what keep me enthusiastic about this website. I love receiving your e-mails, reading your comments, and tweeting with you about movies. I also appreciate those of you who are loyal trivia buffs and submit for the Daily Trivia Contest day after day. I want to hear about what you like, what you want to see more, and what I should do less. I hope to keep you entertained with this site and I hope you keep coming back.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • I totally agree with #1, #7, and #8. Will Pixar ever make a bad movie? I’m beginning to doubt it.

  • I agree that Julianne Moore is long overdue of an Oscar..

  • filmfan

    I hope, hope, hope that Julianne Moore will get these challenging roles furthermore. I think that she is the greatest contemporary dramatic actress (she failed in her latest comedies imo). But her career wasn’t the best in recent years… and when she was fantastic as in Blindness, the movie got (unfairly) panned.
    And I don’t think that she’ll get her incredibly overdue Oscar this year, unfortunately. Everyhting is going for Mo’nique. But hopefully Moore’s Oscar comes soon, and hopefully she’ll make better career choices in the new decade.

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