I think we have an Oscar upset.
In my quest to watch all of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture in their captioned glory, I’ve seen seven out of the nine films. In last week’s post, I was a Life of Pi fan, due to my inaugural experience with watching a 3-D movie with Sony Entertainment Access Glasses. The movie and captions were so state-of-the-art, I was convinced that this would be my favorite captioned Oscar movie for 2013.
I was wrong.
In the past week, I have watched three additional contenders. One of them stands out as having the goods when it comes to best captioned movie experience. Will this major motion picture over-ride Life of Pi to win the coveted Lipreading Mom’s Best Captioned Oscar Movie of 2013?
And the remaining nominees are…
Beasts of the Southern Wild – This was the one Oscar contender I watched from the comfort of my living room. Released early in 2012, Beasts is now available in the DVD rental selections at various storefront and online venues. I rented Beasts from Redbox. The magical thing about DVDs is most of them have a subtitled option in their menu selections. Beasts was no exception. The PG-13 movie about a 6-year-old girl trying to save her Louisiana home from toxic flood waters is, hands-down, one of the best movies I’ve watched as far as youthful narration goes. The captioning allowed my hard-of-hearing self to understand young Hushpuppy’s narrated words. And those words were bittersweet: rough yet poignant, painful and often healing, too. Someone deserves a screenplay Oscar for this film. Rent this movie, but be forewarned: The setting, characters, and words can, at times, be dark. Hushpuppy’s words shine, though.Les Misérables – I’ve struggled with musicals for years because without captions, I just can’t lip read singing lips proficiently enough to know what is being sung. The last filmed musical I truly enjoyed was Grease from 1978, and that was because I didn’t have hearing loss then and could actually hear the lyrics. Fast-forward almost 35 years to today. It was a treat to watch a movie musical production from a comfortable recliner at the local AMC’s Fork and Screen, my Doremi CaptiView captioning cup holder device at hand. Les Misérables is so visually magnificent that when watching, I often had to remind myself to glance at the CaptiView. Yet how could I take my eyes off character Fantine’s heartbreaking face as she sang about lost innocence and love? I forced my eyes back and forth between screen and CaptiView, all the while balancing a plate of Asian food in my lap. The smell of teriyaki sauce wafted in the air as Hugh Jackman’s lead character sang about duty and honor. Word-for-word, my CaptiView brought the story to life. Without captioning, this movie still would’ve been a visual masterpiece, but the storyline would have fallen on my deaf ears.
The Silver Linings Playbook – If I were to award a movie based on its comedic merits, Silver Linings would be the Oscar race’s hands-down winner. The film took me inside the heads of a man and woman dealing with depression, death, and dancing in a freshly humorous way. My Doremi CaptiView at Cinemark caught most of the words spoken. I say most, because my movie-going friend and I watched some scenes in which lips moved, but captions didn’t. Some sentences appeared to have been edited out in the captioning room, thus making for awkward pauses on the CaptiView. Another thing missing: the captions to song lyrics playing during scenes. Don’t those of us with hearing loss deserve to know the words to movie music? Regardless, Silver Linings put a smile on my face with its Happy Hollywood Ending. Then the closing song started, the credits rolled, and my CaptiView screen faded to black.
Amour – This French movie with English subtitles tells the story of finding love at a later age. It was also impossible to find this movie showing anywhere near Lipreading Mom’s home. If someone had paid me to fly to New York or LA for the screening, I would’ve been there. But the reality was, I didn’t get the opportunity to see this film at press time.
Django Unchained – The one and only Quentin Tarantino film I’ve ever watched—Pulp Fiction—gave me nightmares for a couple of days. Sorry folks, but I didn’t have the stomach to sit through another violent-for-the-fun-of-being-violent Tarantino movie. Lipreading Mom passed on screening this captioned movie.
Once again, the nominees for Lipreading Mom’s Best Captioned Oscar Movies for 2013 are… Amour (not screened), Argo (reviewed here), Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained (not screened), Les Misérables, Life of Pi and Lincoln (reviewed here), The Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty (reviewed here).
And the winner is…
It was a close call, but Les Misérables comes out as champion. In my mind, there is no greater captioning experience than to feel powerful emotions simply through the words on my CaptiView screen. Les Misérables was such a musical feast of words that I would have been moved even without the screen images. And the captioning put me in the characters’ heads. I felt Fantine’s pain from her captioned song. I fell in love with Hugh Jackman’s unwavering captioned words of unconditional love. Captioning brought this movie to technicolor life for Lipreading Mom. And that, my friends, makes Les Misérables Lipreading Mom’s Best Captioned Oscar Movie of 2013.
What do you think?
Do you agree with my movie pick—why or why not? Lipreading Mom wants to know.