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I love when Oscar season rolls around. For my boyfriend, football season is the best time of the year. He loves watching NFL and NCAA football nonstop, knows all the teams, player stats, play by plays, you name it. Me on the other hand, come January and February I can tell you every movie that's been nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Screen Actor Guilds, BAFTAs, etc. (Uber dork confession here: if I'm having trouble falling asleep I try to list as many Oscar nominees since 1998 as I can. I usually fall asleep trying to remember one from 2000). I also usually try to watch the major nominees if I can before the actual winners are announced so I can make my own predictions.
That said, I am almost guaranteed Will Smith will be nominated for his role as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness. Based on a true story, this was one of the most inspirational and uplifting movies I've seen all year. Like most stories in this genre, you already know how the ending is going to be just by watching the trailer. However movies like this have always done well because I believe inside all of us, is the desire to know that underdogs can succeed. While the movie is mostly serious in tone, with tear jerking scenes like the scene in the subway bathroom, there are quite a few laughable moments especially involving that bone density machine. And there are some arrrghhh worthy scenes too, where you just want to yell at Chris's boss that he has to suck up to. It was very interesting to learn about how a stock brokerage operates. I never knew one had to go through so much just to get an internship. And I love the Rubik cube bit. I've yet to solve one.
Gardner's son is played by Will Smith's own son, Jaden. And let me tell you, that kid is adorable. He can also act. I love the scene where he asks his dad if his mom left him because of him and then tells him "you're a good poppa." One thing I loved was that you forget you are watching Will Smith. He becomes his character and you don't realize you are watching the same guy who played The Fresh Prince or sang Getting Jiggy With It. Like I said about Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction, you know when an actor is good when a former comedian takes a dramatic role and makes you forget he used to do comedy. The only thing that irked me was that this movie was supposed to be set in the 1980s. Other than some of the character's clothing and cars, I didn't really feel like it was right time period. But that's a minor detail.
At the end of the movie, I cried. The lady two seats over was crying too. Her husband/boyfriend looked at my boyfriend and they both laughed and shooked their heads. No matter. This movie is the type of movie that deserves the tears and applause it received. Chris Gardner's story is such an inspiration for everyone. I really do hope Will Smith becomes nominated for this movie. He totally deserves it.