both films have received some of the most prestigious nominees at this year’s oscar run: best motion picture of the year, Pitt and Clooney run for Best Leading Actor, Jonah Hill for his Supporting role in Moneyball, The Descendant’s Alexander Payne is nominated in the Best Achievement in Directing category, Best Adapted Screenplay and Editing for both movies, and again Sound Mixing for the baseball story of failure.
well, i have braced myself to watch them, i really didn’t want to, what with all my many preconceptions about Pitt not being able to cry or look serious: last time i actually believed him to be distraught was in Interview with the Vampire and then he didn’t have many emotions to show, being undead and jaded and all. then there’s Clooney losing his crying-virginity: not that i personally recall, but it’s being said The Descendants marks the very first time he has ever cried on screen, but well come to this i a while, i sure have something to say about his tear(s).
first this that has to get off my chest is: these two films didn’t give me or leave me anything, no emotion, no message, no sense of what their stories were probably trying to pass on to the viewer. because both films deal with grave matters, stories of woe and glory and struggle. yet nothing.
Moneyball just gave me a lot of math, which i don’t for the life of me understand, a lot of cynicism and a stupid number of weird faces from lead Brad Pitt, who has only been capable to show true emotion in the very last shot. the last, yes, the one right before the closing credits.
Same for Clooney’s lonely tear. A huge fuss has been going on about him crying for the first time and you wait for it, you wait for that magical moment.. and only ONE single tear is shed? might as well have been from conjunctivitis. the story deals with a dying wife, difficult children, the heritage of a royal hawaiian family and yet no weight of it is ever felt, there’s funny moments too and i do not know if it appropriate or not, if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. all i know is that, knowing myself and knowing that i can cry for about anything, this mess of sad happening didn’t do anything for me.
Kristen Bell’s Sloth Meltdown made me feel more softy inside and ever a bit moved.
both films are handicapped by their length and the many many descriptive sequences: ok, uncontaminated hawaii land is beautiful, we get it! ok, you wanna show us baseball matched on tv, from tv footage? this is not inception.
both films lack emotion (exception made from two of the supporting characters: Jonah Hill for Moneyball and unknown daughter’s friend for The Descendants).
both films fail to pass real emotions through the screen and to the audience: you may laugh, you may smile, you may wonder, but you do not want to sit through it weeping in a napkin or slow-clapping at an home run.