Thus far, the wife and I have seen two of the Academy Award's Best Picture nominees.
If you haven't yet seen it, don't bother to rent Babel. In spite of good acting, the plot is poorly constructed, at times forced, and overall boring. It reminded me a lot of the previous year's winner, Crash, which came across as artificially construed. To the ladies, Brad Pitt is not hot in this movie. I can attest to this for, if my wife could leave me for any man, it would be Brad Pitt. Although it is of no importance, I must brag that I have family--though not bloodline-and friendly ties to a branch of Pitt's family. They are close enough in relation that their name is "Pitt," and they refer to the famous one as "Cousin Brad." Still, don't waste your time on this movie. If you like Brad Pitt, then see something else (other than his other mistake, Kalifornia).
The other nominated film that we saw was Martin Scorsese's The Departed. My recommendation is that you watch it. It's quite good. What makes this recommendation even more sincere is the fact that have long-been a Leonardo DiCaprio hater. I've always thought that his talent was overrated. He was not great in Titanic, and Titanic was NOT a great movie (in spite of its box office draw and its excessive awards. However, in more recent years I've seen him mature as an actor. I thought that he was rather good in Catch Me If You Can and as Howard Hughes in The Aviator.
Don't think that I am admitting a wrongful assessment of DiCaprio's acting. He was rather poor in all movies preceding Catch Me If You Can. He might have been great in Titanic, had not the director been poor and the script (written by that very same poor director) been sub-literate. I am not admitting that I was wrong. To the contrary, I am acknowledging that DiCaprio has risen to my standards. If only Keanu Reeves could do the same. He's the one, you'll remember, who nearly ruined the otherwise brilliant The Matrix. Thank God that the movie was saved because the charactor "Neo" (Reeves) was supposed to be an idiot. Consequently, the sequels sucked because once "Neo" wasn't an idiot, Keanu Reeves could not adequately portray him.
Stay tuned, as I plan to watch the other "Best Picture" nominees, as well as The King of Scotland, which at least one trusted friend has argued should have been nominated.