Oscars 2013

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  mrinsouciance on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Babel made me want to walk out in traffic after we left the theater. No Country was easily the best film of that group, imo.

Not all years in film are created equal.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  biakbiak on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:50 pm

while I'm not the biggest Forrest Gump myself, how many people were fans of Shawshank before TNT showed it a thousand times a day?

Me! I hated Gump with such a ferocious passion and adored Shawshank and Pulp Fiction.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  katha on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:53 pm

I think there's a difference between the Academy awarding worthy projects that were then later on perceived as less important than other contenders in that year and major screw-ups. Some things only become clear in hindsight and it's unfair to deride the members for not being time travellers.

And then you also have stuff like giving BP to The Greatest Show on Earth in the same year when High Noon and Singin' in the Rain came out. Or giving the Best Actor prize to Art Carney for Harry and Tonto in the year Al Pacino did The Godfather 2, Dustin Hoffman did Lenny and Jack Nicholson did Chinatown. The problems with Dances With Wolves and its "noble savage" stereotyping should have been apparent at the time. Crash was side-eyed the minute it won BP because the circumstances surrounding the win were so...interesting. I don't know many people who seriously argue that The King's Speech was the best movie that year. So IMO there are instances where the Academy really can't complain that people are pointing and laughing.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  swsa on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:54 pm

I actually know TONS of people who preferred The King's Speech to The Social Network. I'm actually struggling to think of anyone I know in non-internet life who DIDN'T prefer it. I've always thought that win was just a matter of taste and not some academy outrage. TSN was a very cold film, and it's not like TKS came out of nowhere for that win, a la Crash. It was building momentum all season.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Skyblade on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:56 pm

Generally, whether I get indignant at their choices or just go "Oh, Oscar" depends on this; "Is the movie in question some kind of popular, undeniable force?' For instance, L.A. Confidential is, in my opinion, one of the most excellently crafted movies ever made. It lost to Titanic, a movie I don't much care for. But I have to accept a lot more people got into it. Sure. Goodfellas is one of the most seminal gangster flicks, but it's abrasive, brash, and the lead character isn't very likeable, so it doesn't bother me that a lot more bit at the huge success that was Dances With Wolves. (Which I have to say, is probably my favorite of my least favorite genre, the 90's epic.) In fact, the very concept of the Academy Awards is so inherently High School, that it doesn't bother me when it turns into a literal popularity contest. It's when their choices become idiosyncratically bad, like Crash, is when I get vexed. 2005 wasn't called "The Summer of Crash." Nobody quotes the movie. Hell, the movie is so insignificant, four years later everybody talked about Sandra Bullock being some kind of stranger to the Oscars and forgot she was actually in a best picture winner.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Fraoch on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:25 pm

"John Cazale never nominated" versus "Goodfellas loses Best Picture" -- that is a personal Sophie's Choice right there.

I love Sam Jackson in "Pulp Fiction," but I also love "Ed Wood" and thought Martin Landau was great in it. I've never understood the hate for his win. And now I'll show myself out before you have time to stone me.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Poubelle on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:59 pm

swsa wrote:I actually know TONS of people who preferred The King's Speech to The Social Network. I'm actually struggling to think of anyone I know in non-internet life who DIDN'T prefer it. I've always thought that win was just a matter of taste and not some academy outrage. TSN was a very cold film, and it's not like TKS came out of nowhere for that win, a la Crash. It was building momentum all season.
The Social Network was so BORING. I fell asleep, though I did stay awake long enough to wonder why college students sounded exactly like White House staffers. King's Speech may not have been great cinematic art (and all the major plot points were thoroughly predictable) but at least it was engaging and fun. Cold is an apt description--I didn't see any reason to care about the characters or what they were doing, which basically meant none of the stakes actually mattered. Meanwhile, I went into the King's Speech with enough knowledge of the surrounding history to know that the actual stakes were relatively low, considering, and yet I was still rooting for him to successfully work through his stutter.

Departed was clearly a career win as much as anything else for Scorsese, helped by the fact that he'd also been passed over for a win recently, with the Aviator and Gangs of New York. I remember there was a lot of chatter about how the Academy never actually managed to give Hitchcock Best Director (he only got an honorary award), and seemed to be on track to do the same to Scorsese.

And some years, they really do have a hard choice. I still think There Will Be Blood is a better film than No Country, but that's an excellent one, too, and I didn't mind the Coens winning at all. (Now, had the Academy passed over both of those in favor of, say, Juno, THAT would be worth complaining about. I think that's part of why people complain about Forrest Gump--it was up against both Shawshank AND Pulp Fiction, and hell, Four Weddings and Funeral has aged better.)

I thought the most telling moment of Crash's win was when they cut off that one producer lady's speech. Like, she not only got played off, they actually cut away and went to commercial.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  katha on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:09 pm

Martin Landau did very good work in Ed Wood, so even though I don't like the film and thought Samuel Jackson's performance was superior, I don't think this ranks somewhere among "the Academy's worst offences", not even close...yeah, it was a bit of a Lifetime Achievement thing, but Landau certainly delivered in his performance.

With TKS it's IMO kinda like with Chariots of Fire, I like it, I think Firth is brilliant, but for me apart from The Kids are All Right all the other BP nominees were superior. So was Blue Valentine. No, IMO it's not great cinematic art at all and many people that year seemed to concede that yet that didn't seem to bother anyone since it ticked off all the right "Oscar boxes". Yeah, the the picture was a forerunner all awards season long, but in the end it seemed like it won because it was the "safe choice". I can't admire it when the Academy does stuff like that. Yes, it's expected, doesn't make it less disappointing. I concede I shouldn't have thrown it together with the stuff I found really outrageous, it's more of a "business as usual" for the Academy that I find personally irksome.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  swsa on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:51 pm

You know what I find odd? How much the American Beauty win has come to be reviled. At the time, I remember most thinking it was a fairly solid win. It's also a year where I think people are more bothered by what wasn't nominated than by what it actually beat in the category. 1999 was a pretty bad ass year for movies.

Toy Story 2
The Matrix
Magnolia
All About My Mother
Being John Malkovich
Election
Eyes Wide Shut
Fight Club
The Straight Story
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Three Kings
The Virgin Suicides

So with all that in the mix, nominating American Beauty, The Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, The Insider, and The Sixth Sense, is pretty weak. But I do think that had The Sixth Sense won, it'd be just as hated of a win now, considering what happened with M. Night Shymalayan.

I do remember being super sad at the time that Richard Farnsworth didn't win Best Actor (Matthew Cuthbert!), since he was old and obviously about to die, but looking it up, that was a damn hard category that year, with Kevin Spacey – American Beauty, Russell Crowe – The Insider, Sean Penn – Sweet and Lowdown, and Denzel Washington – The Hurricane all worthy winners.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Poubelle on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:13 pm

That list reminds me of how much I wanted every fanboy whining about the Dark Knight to shut the hell up. Are you new? They skip great movies ALL THE TIME.

I guess the one big snub that hasn't been mentioned here yet is How Green Was My Valley beating out Citizen Kane. Which, Kane initially flopped and took many years to really gain its GREATEST MOVIE EVER rep, so I think the Academy messing up on that one had more to do with not being psychics as much as anything. In the long term, I'd say that Oscars don't really help keep the great films from being forgotten so much as they help mediocre films to be remembered at all.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Kiran on Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 pm

They do but I did think that was odd just because that movie was so well received and the movie they nominated instead was the reader. I will be in the minority and say I really liked the social network and thought the kings speech was an ok movie with song great performances.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Agent Sculder on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:59 pm

I thought it was interesting that while Grantland included Shakespeare in Love winning best picture as one of their travesties, they left out the travesty that personally made me MUCH more upset that year: Gwyneth Paltrow winning Best Actress over every other person nominated in that category. She beat Cate Blanchett, Fernanda Montenegro, Meryl Streep, and Emily Watson. OK, she probably deserved to beat Meryl but Emily Watson or Cate should have won that year.

As far as I'm concerned the only reason those ladies lost was because of Harvey Weinstein. I still find it hard to root for his movies even when I like them because of his notorious Oscar campaigning.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  queenofdenile on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:08 pm

I honestly loved Gwyneth in Shakespeare in Love. The only other performance I've seen from that year is Cate Blanchett's, so I can't speak to whether or not she was better than Emily Watson, but she was engaging, passionate, and lovely. I can see why other actresses might have been more impressive/deserving, but it's not, like, Helen Hunt beating Judi Dench, at least not for me.

It's also funny to see people say like Shawshank Redemption clearly should have won over Forrest Gump, and while I'm not the biggest Forrest Gump myself, how many people were fans of Shawshank before TNT showed it a thousand times a day? Same with a lot of Coen brothers movies. Granted, it's, in theory, the Academy's job to be more on the ball and not get caught up in the zeitgeist, but people take the hindsight aspect for granted.

And for all the criticism Forrest Gump gets, it's a movie people still talk about almost twenty years after it was made, and not all of the talk is negative. I don't think it's a better film than either Shawshank or Pulp Fiction, but there's something to be said for movies that make that much of an impression. It's a pretty impressive film year when three major movies are still quoted, talked about, referenced, and parodied for almost two decades.

Besides, like Kiran, I have a hard time begrudging Tom Hanks anything. He's a national treasure.

The Departed is one of my favorite wins. That and No Country for Old Men winning in 2007/2008 was my fave awards run. And again, were Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Queen more worthy?

The Queen is the only other film nominated that year that I even liked, much less would put in the same category as The Departed. Given the choice between rewatching The Departed and Goodfellas, I would pick the former even though I think the latter is technically better. I loved it, and I always thought the rat at the end was meant to be tongue-in-cheek anyway.

Y'all have made a lot of smart points about the hindsight aspect of the Oscars, and how it's hard to predict a movie's staying power over time. I'm going to do exactly that, though, and say that staying power is exactly why I don't want Argo to win Best Picture. I thought it was a well-done, good, solid film, but I can't see people still talking about it two decades from now, or even one decade from now. It won't be an embarrassing win by any means but not a particularly memorable one either. And I don't think everyone would be so up in arms about the Best Director snub if it were a no-name, non-famous-actor-turned-director at the helm. IMO, of course.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Kiran on Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:39 pm

Oh Tom. Though to be fair I think the backlash rarely extends to Hanks. I remember reading in Inside Oscar ( which is a super juicy read) that even people who hated that movie thought he gave the role a dignity some other actor may not have.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  laddical on Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:43 pm

even people who hated that movie thought he gave the role a dignity some other actor may not have

Yeah, that's about where I fall.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  swsa on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:50 pm

I still love Forrest Gump. Yes, it's sappy as hell, but if it's on cable, there's no way I'm not watching. And I actually think Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, and Gary Sinise are all fantastic in it.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  blixie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:31 pm

Me too. I wanted to dislike it for beating PF, but nope it was really pretty great. I did have to laugh at Grantland beating up Benjamin Button though because that movie is basically a rip off of Forrest Gump, but nowhere near as good.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  MLIS on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:12 am

The scene where Forrest finds out about little Forrest, and the way the emotions play across his face as he asks if he's "like me, or is he smart?" is one of the finest acting moments ever captured on film, in my not so humble opinion. Beautifully done by Hanks. I agree, the movie is sappy as hell, but I still love it, and I think the performances transcend the material. Especially Hanks.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Eris Rising on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:23 am

Still can't stand the movie, but I agree that Hanks knocks it out of the park every time that he's given a scene with real depth.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  katha on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:08 am

I honestly loved Gwyneth in Shakespeare in Love. The only other performance I've seen from that year is Cate Blanchett's, so I can't speak to whether or not she was better than Emily Watson, but she was engaging, passionate, and lovely. I can see why other actresses might have been more impressive/deserving, but it's not, like, Helen Hunt beating Judi Dench, at least not for me.
I think Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor that year was sketchier tbh. Paltrow winning is for me comparable to the Martin Landau situation, it was a very good performance, I thought Blanchett and Watson were better (haven't seen Montenegro and wasn't a fan of Streep's work in One True Thing), but I don't think it was a criminal outrage that she won. What did make it sketchier is that it was all associated with Weinstein's infamous campaigning. And in hindsight Paltrow has made some questionable career choices, I guess. But her performance in SIL really holds up well IMO. And she has been good, even very good since then, at least when she chose her roles wisely. Her work in The Royal Tenenbaums, Proof, Sylvia (yes, terrible movie but IMO she and Craig really gave it their all to try and save that wretched thing), Two Lovers was beyond reproach IMO. She's always competent and can be very good in the right role, she's just perceived as irksome and ridiculous outside of her movies and that might also colour the perception of her work on screen.

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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  Kiran on Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:16 pm

Yeah I completely agree. Especially about RB. Looking back the field he won over... Everyone but him was brilliant. He really was a case of charming the voters.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  RiverThames on Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:30 pm

katha wrote:
I honestly loved Gwyneth in Shakespeare in Love. The only other performance I've seen from that year is Cate Blanchett's, so I can't speak to whether or not she was better than Emily Watson, but she was engaging, passionate, and lovely. I can see why other actresses might have been more impressive/deserving, but it's not, like, Helen Hunt beating Judi Dench, at least not for me.
I think Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor that year was sketchier tbh. Paltrow winning is for me comparable to the Martin Landau situation, it was a very good performance, I thought Blanchett and Watson were better (haven't seen Montenegro and wasn't a fan of Streep's work in One True Thing), but I don't think it was a criminal outrage that she won.

You know, I'm fairly certain I saw One True Thing, but I don't remember anything about it, and certainly nothing hits my brain about it. On the other hand, Shakespeare In Love is still one of my favorites from the past 20 years. Now, maybe that's because I'm a big theatre geek who got the John Webster jokes, but there you are.

Oh Tom. Though to be fair I think the backlash rarely extends to Hanks. I remember reading in Inside Oscar ( which is a super juicy read) that even people who hated that movie thought he gave the role a dignity some other actor may not have.

Sean Penn's ears are on fire right now.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  queenofdenile on Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:01 pm

Forrest Gump is kind of like Titanic for me - manipulative and sappy as hell, and I KNOW it's manipulating me, and I WANT to hate it for manipulating me, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  RiverThames on Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:54 am

So, I went to a screening of the Live Action Shorts, so I can have an informed opinion about what I think should win, and what probably will.

Henry should not. It was my least favorite. I found it clunky and obvious. As soon as a certain piece of information was given, the twist coming at the end just sat there on the floor like a dead mouse the cat delivered to you.

Shadows of Death should not. I liked it, and it had some style, but in the end, it was essentially a Twilight Zone episode.

Curfew ought to, in my opinion, but probably won't. I thought it was stylish, darkly charming and very well performed.

Buzkashi Boys is likely to, but I didn't care for it much. It was a long, "Life in as a kid in this third world nation sucks, what ya gonna do?" piece.

Asad has a good chance as well, and I liked it much more. It's also a "Life in as a kid in this third world nation sucks" piece, but with a lighter touch and more community and hope at its center
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Re: Oscars 2013

Post  blixie on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:12 am

I saw them as well, and mostly agree with your assessments, especially Henry as stories about aging and Alzheimer's feel too easy. I liked Shadows of Death more than you, in that it was more emotionally affecting than a TZ ep. My favorite was the shortest of the shorts: Guacamole, really cute and fresh and simple but fun, but at 2 minutes kind of not fair for those who did more. I enjoyed Curfew, but it was a little too hipsterish, with an uneven tone, though it did leave me wanting to see more of that story and those characters.

Also? I hated Adam and Dog. On principle. I am sure it will win.

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