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The Oscars

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:58 am
by Mr. Tweedy
As most of us have probably noticed, this year's Oscar nominees have been announced. One of these 5 movies will soon be named the Best Picture of 2008. The nominees are:

• Slumdog Millionaire
• The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Frost/Nixon
• The Reader
• Milk

There a couple of odd things about this list. First, let's take "The Reader." The Reader was not a hit either with critics or with moviegoers. Despite it's small budget, it lost money in theaters, and it only scored an aggregated 58/100 from critics. (For reference, Indiana Jones 4 got 65/100.) It features a plot that sounds, IMO, rather boring and obscure. By all accounts, it would seem this movie was a dud, but there it is on the list. Why? Well, Kate Winslet struts around nude for half the movie. Maybe that's got something to do with it?

The others all received some acclaim. I've seen Slumdog, and it rocks, and I've heard good things about Button on this forum. Let's just take it as granted that the other four are good movies.

But what isn't there? This summer saw two of the most acclaimed and highest grossing movies of all time: WALL-E and The Dark Knight. Both of these sold more tickets than all of the nominees combined and WALL-E received better reviews than any of them. (Dark Knight reviewed better than the lower 3.) I've also seen them both and they are both very awesome.

What's my point? My point is just that it seems like, recently at least, the various nominees have been chosen on some basis other than what movies are really the best. I've not sure what the basis is: It seems like there are several factors competing, but I'm pretty sure that quality is not the most influential. And that, to me, makes the Oscars irrelevant.

So, yeah, what so y'all think?

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:02 am
by Poppydragon
The Oscars have never been about the most poular film though, if they were films such as Rocky, Saturday Night Fever and Terminator would have won (all I think highest grossing films of their year). Similarly best actor/actress awards, often given in case the recipient has died before the next awards come around or because the academy want to seem to be nominating the right people. Every now and then they realise that they have made a huge error and then try to rectify it the next year, but most recently got that terribly wrong too. (Judy Dench - should have got it for Mrs Brown and didn't then got it for Shakespeare in Love when she was on screen for less than 15 minutes).

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:27 pm
by tbaker2500
Let me offer another choice that fits me better:
"The Oscars are going on? Huh. Who cares."

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:17 pm
by strawman
I go with Tom on this one. It's like a discussion between Cypher and Trinity about their favorite part of the Matrix.

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:20 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Image

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:20 pm
by tbaker2500
LOL! That's a great way to respond.

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:56 pm
by strawman
I taut I taw a puddy tat.

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:23 am
by Kevin Anderson
The Oscars. Don't watch, don't care.

other

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:32 am
by StalinSays
Explaining my vote of 'Other'

The Oscars mean nothing as an indicator of merit. See Crash. See notable snubs. It's more about studio and talent agency allegiance, who does well by their cronies (Clint Eastwood), who frosts the wrong folks (till his deal with Paramount, Martin Scorcesse, Quentin Tarantino)

As an economic factor, they are hugely important. They can send an obscure character actor in to rarefied air, see Phillip Seymour Hoffman. They can buy a director clout, and open the door for dream projects. Slumdog Millionaire ticket sales more than double when it picked up Oscar buzz, and would anyone have seen There Will Be Blood without a nomination?

Bottom line: will I watch the ceremonies - no. Will I read the results? Certainly.

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:12 am
by cammoblammo
All I can say is that the Oscars aren't an indication of what my local cinema will play. I'm still waiting for Slumdog Millionaire to screen, and it looks like I'll be able to buy it on DVD first.

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:27 pm
by Talia
Well, Wall-E was nominated for best animated feature, at any rate.


Thing about the Dark Knight:

I absolutely loved this movie, but.. its only a "pretty good" movie. The only thing exceptional about it was Heath Ledger's performance. The rest of the movie is not nearly so phenomenal. So I completely agree with how the nominations for that film fell. Amazing performance, good film.. but not an overall "best of the year" type film. Now I havent seen 'The Reader' so I dont know anything about it really.. I can attest that 'Milk' is fantastic, though. Overall a better quality movie than Dark Knight.

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:54 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
See, I didn't think Heather Ledger's performance was exceptional. He did a good job, of course, but it seems to me that playing an over-the-top psychopath in makeup would be much easier for an actor than having to play a more nuanced character. The Joker is pretty one-dimensional. There isn't anything subtle or ambiguous about him.

I thought all the actors did a great job in Dark Knight, Ledger no more so than the rest of them. (Thank goodness they ditched Katie Holmes! Maggie Gyllenhaal was exactly 1042% better.)

I think it was an all-around great movie. What strikes me most about it is how complex it actually is. The action scenes aren't just explosive; they're clever. You've got a hero who makes big mistakes, characters with many motives, and the only character with no moral ambiguity represents pure evil. And the story, generally speaking, is as twisty and turny as any good crime drama. I've seen it three times and I'm still not sure I understand all the details.

Yeah, I thought it totally rocked. The only thing I think that would have made it better is if they had made it 20 minutes longer and fleshed out a few points that seem truncated. I don't know that it's the best movie that came out this year, but it's gotta be in the top 5.

And come on: The Happening wasn't nominated? What's up with that?

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:21 pm
by Talia
I, for one, am shocked - SHOCKED - Disaster Movie was overlooked.