Jason Fraley, WTOP film critic
WASHINGTON – Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
As I combed through this year’s nine Oscar nominees, some familiar themes emerged.
Does the Academy choose its films based on similar themes? Or is it just a freak coincidence?
You be the judge.
Based on thematic elements, not the quality of the film or its chances of winning
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Low-budget, indie powerhouses that thrive off unknown actors, upstart directors, powerful music and plenty of heart
Silver Linings Playbook
Off-beat family dramedies from Oscar-nominated writer/directors (David O. Russell / Alexander Payne) with known stars (Bradley Cooper / George Clooney)
True stories become thrilling crowd pleasers, showing range from Bennifers and Brangelinas (Ben Affleck / Brad Pitt)
Spielberg period pieces of wartime heroism with John Williams scores and Kaminski cinematography
Life of Pi
Oscar-winning directors (Martin Scorsese / Ang Lee) comment on storytelling while pushing the 3D envelope
The Tree of Life
Daring directors (Michael Haneke / Terrence Malick) win the Palme d’Or, breaking conventions of life and death
Midnight in Paris
Best Picture directors (Tom Hooper / Woody Allen) tell stories of Paris heroes dreaming “dreams of time gone by”
Deep supporting casts bolster mainstream race flicks about servants and slaves
Zero Dark Thirty
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Gutsy heroes grapple with 9/11 cell-phone memories
Note: The years are when the movies were released.
Follow WTOP Film Critic Jason Fraley on Twitter @JasonFraleyWTOP or check out his blog The Film Spectrum.
It’s time for these animals’ annual checkup.