Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oscar Symposium Day 3: Big Finale Remix

Previously on the Symposium: Nathaniel was talking about Tarantino's mastery of 'The Moment' and how it excuses his messy indulgences elsewhere. As a filmmaker he's a perfect match for our DVD chapter-menu culture


Guy Lodge: I think it's a spot-on point, and I'm both intrigued and troubled by the idea of Basterds being a success story of latter-day audience inclination to edit their own movies. My problem is that, while I'm as capable as anyone else of filleting out treasurable moments -- -- "Attendez la crème!" -- from the sheer morass of stuff in the film, my brain can't blithely discard the missteps as you imply others can. For much sorrier reasons, the wincingly awful appearance of Eli Roth burns as brightly in my memory as that exquisitely extended opening sequence, so much so that one can't eclipse the other.

But I think you've latched onto a selectivity that has boosted the fortunes of a number of contenders this year besides Basterds: everyone has cut out and stuck the 'Married Life' sequence of Up into their cinematic scrapbooks, but who really wants the rest? Precious, whatever your take on it, is made for mental re-editing -- Joe Klotz's baffling nomination notwithstanding.

Tim Robey: What we're basically saying here is that a lot of these movies are screener-friendly. They can be browsed. And I have to say this faintly depresses me as an old-fashioned, packed-audience-on-opening-night, communal experience sort of guy. This is where I think the 3D selling point of Avatar is quite a canny ruse -- a trick to get people going back out to the movies rather than waiting for the inevitably diminished experience on their home TV -- and it's a ruse for which I have some respect. Did Cameron send out screeners for Avatar? Did he need to? To lesser extents, Up and District 9 (and to be fair, even The Blind Side) are films that audiences discovered together in their first few weeks of release, whether in a mall in Kentucky or the Odeon Leicester Square (where The Blind Side has yet to be unveiled, actually -- Sandy or no Sandy, UK distributors are understandably never in much of a hurry to release anything to do with American football. We get confused! Don't ask me what a Tight End is.)


Read the rest at Day Three of the Symposium
In which we discuss "the Ten", The Hurt Locker, Where the Wild Things Are, the scores, missing foreign films, screeners vs theatrical and wrap up this three-day party with Meryl Streep vs. Sandra Bullock and Nathaniel's favorite movie game "Re-Casting Couch"

Return and comment. It keeps the conversation going!
*

57 comments:

Julian Stark said...

Nat, count me as one who also drifted in and out of paying attention (I hate ADHD) while watching The Hurt Locker. I put it in to watch a second time on Wednesday... as of now, I'm not even half way through the film.

Totally agree with Sasha about Bright Star never hitting the romantic mark. For me it only hit the "OMG look at the scenery!" mark

I'm definitely one of those people that Peter was talking about when referencing how some people "understood but couldn't get into" Where the Wild Things Are and Bright Star

As for questions at the end...

Sandra vs. Meryl: I've had an odd fixing to watching some of Lauren Bacall's filmography (aside from The Mirror has Two Faces). Finally began doing that last night. Anyway, that got me thinking today: what if 2009's Best Actress race is like 1996's Supporting Actress race?

You have Lauren Bacall. Whether you like her or not, you have to admit that she's a screen legend with an extensive body of work. Then she stars as Streisand's mother in The Mirror has Two Face. It's not the strongest role in the world, but awards shows love to award veterans (old people). Quick: it's their chance to award a legend! Consequently, she wins the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award. She totally wins the Oscar... but she loses to Juliette Binoche

I see her situation as one very similar to Bullock's. Except that Bullock has nowhere near the same amount of respect that Bacall had in the industry (even if her claim to fame didn't come from Humphrey Bogart). In addition, Bullock hasn't really hit "legend" status yet.

Perhaps I'm reading into this whole thing way too much because I really want Gabourey Sidibe to win, but I think it's an interesting comparison nevertheless.

Re-Casting Couch:

1. Penelope Cruz stepping in for La Streep in Julie and Julia. 2. Swap Bridges and Plummer

I can't think of any more good ones, unless I stretch outside of the Academy's boring nominee list

brandz said...

'this is Sandy's one shot, so why not.' what a joke! that's no reason to give a mediocre actress an Oscar. the critics are looking for excuses to give Bullock an Oscar, or validate her nomination (and possible win), or possibly both. it makes me sick. something is very, very wrong with this scenario.

Thomas said...

This post is going to be kinda bitchy, but oh well.

If you personally believe that the actress with the highest quality performance should win the Oscar, raise your hand.

Did everyone raise their hand? That's what I thought.

So why is everyone unashamedly backing Meryl? I love her just as much as the next Oscarphile, but you all just agreed that charisma and general awesomeness alone shouldn't win people awards (you raised your hands, remember?).

So please. Champion someone else. Gabby, Carey, someone. And if you decide to stick with Meryl, at least make it be because you genuinely believe that her performance was better than Bullock's, Mirren's, Mulligan's, and Sidibe's. To do anything else would be fine, I suppose, as long as you never again require others to take you seriously when you bemoan the popularity race that is the Oscars.

Robert Hamer said...

I completely agree with Sasha's assessment of The Hurt Locker. I can't understand how anyone would describe it as "repetitive," given the diverse and unpredictable each day was, whether it was IEDs or snipers or body bombs.

brandz said...

Thomas, the real problem is that voters are unashamedly backing Bullock, easily the least-best performance of the 5 nominees. talk about a popularity contest. i haven't seen Mirren's performance yet, but of the remaining 4, i do think Streep turns in the best performance. so, yes, my hand is raised.

Julian Stark said...

Thomas - I'm pulling for Sidibe *raises hand*

Jon Foerster said...

I'm going to bring down the intelligence level of this convo and say that Peter Knegt looks HOT in that photo. And is he also British too?

Bryan said...

Here's in interesting question that doesn't get talked about much: who do you think will be coming in 2nd place?

I predict: Meryl, Firth, Kendrick, and Plummer. Who do you think will be in the dreaded runner-up positions?

Anonymous said...

I also think Peter looks cute...

Mike said...

Nat, I'm totally floored that the top 10 experiment worked so well this year. I count eight very good-to-excellent movies getting pic noms, and that doesn't include Avatar, which I'm not a fan of, but agree is impressive. But I agree that once publicists have this thing figured out, the Invictuses and Lovely Bones will get nominations.
Thomas: I agree with your sentiment. I would be so happy if Gabby or Carey could get the win, but it seems so unlikely that I'm crossing my fingers for Streep. When the only likely outcomes seem to be a phenomenal, under-rewarded actress doing adequate work in a mediocre movie or a likable actress doing watchable work in a horrifying movie, the (unenviable) choice is clear, I think.

Marsha Mason said...

Christoph Waltz as Leigh Anne Tuohy. I wonder if even he could make the character or script the least bit interesting. I bet he could deliver the lines while making it clear to discerning viewers he was making fun of them, especially the scenes with the hood people or the snobby friends.

Better yet, Waltz as Landa as Tuohy. Turns out, in his role as Jew Hunter, he wanted to see if he could infiltrate Tennessee (Raines' home state) inner circles with nothing but a little snap. "Not operating on a level of mutual respect" indeed. And he could deconstruct his mastery at the end just as in "Chapter One" of Basterds.

Adam M. said...

+1111111111 for Guy on the recasting experiment.

Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but I had a completely different reaction to 'The Blind Side' scoring that Best Pic nod. I didn't think it sealed the deal for Sandra: I think it flung the race back open. It is SO. OBVIOUSLY. the ugly duckling of the bunch. The stuff of "one of these things is not like the other one" lore. And from what I've read/the general tone from the Oscar buzz-waves, TBS is sort of the big joke contender-- like the friend that nobody really likes but shows up to the party anyway? I think the fact that Bullock helped TBS break into the big 10 (a statement few would argue with) could be a big turn-off to a lot of Oscar voters. It's like they went to bed with the sweet and supple Sandra Bullock and woke up next to the crusty, clunky 'Blind Side.' Oh the terrible tricks of champagne goggles! I do a more detailed run-through on my blog, but I have this gut feeling that the Best Actress race isn't over just yet.

Fernando Moss said...

Is Tim serious about nominating Sandra in The Lake House? I tought I was the only person who would have done so...

tim r said...

Completely!

Guy said...

Adam M: I hear where you're coming from, but you mustn't forget that a sizable portion of voters did actually VOTE for The Blind Side, and it's safe to assume they don't feel embarrassed by its presence. It didn't get there by accident, after all.

Glad I'm not the only one in line for "Invictus 2: The Klumps."

Catherine said...

As of right now, I'm throwing my lot in with the two young 'uns in the Best Actress category - having not yet seen Helen Mirren (though I really don't know if I can be bothered dragging my ass to the Tolstoy picture) or Sandra Bullock (TBS hasn't opened here yet!). I like Meryl Streep as much as anyone here, but I'm just not enthused about her winning for this particular performance. If it did come down to Meryl Vs Sandra, I'd be cheering for the latter (again, not yet having seen TBS) purely because I absolutely, unashamedly adore her. I was at a table quiz a few weeks ago and our team name was Team Sandra Bullock...ahem. Anyway, I'd much prefer Mulligan or Sidibe to bag this one.

Andrew R. said...

I agree with NINE of the Best Picture nominees. (Where the Wild Things Are over Blind Side, anyone?) Rankings of those 9 films:
1. Hurt Locker (tie)
1. Precious (tie-but I don't agree with the Editing nom, I admit it's flawed but so is Hurt Locker)
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. Serious Man
5. Up in the Air
6. Avatar
7. District 9
8. Up
9. An Education

And I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. Last year, I only agreed with two (Milk and Slumdog).

And for all you Meryl worshippers (significant glance), I agree with whoever it was that said this is not Sophie's Choice, Bullock's win is bearable, but Carey Mulligan should win. (I'm also good with Sibide.)

Ben said...

Sasha's comment- recasting Sandra as Vera in Up in the Air??? I would be terrible!

Re:Top 10. I think I like it. It does give a better representation of the year than the normal 5-wide field, and it is pretty cool that A Serious Man and District 9 are nominees now.

NATHANIEL R said...

@Andrew and everyone (not Andrew) on the Bullock train. Why does Streep have to do something as good as Sophie's Choice again to deserve a win but Bullock only has to do something as good as the Blind Side?

these double standards are making me cra--zazy

@Adam hilarious champagne goggles bit but I really don't think these voters will be embarrassed about The Blind Side (sigh)

@Jon -- Peter is not British. Or if he is he does a very good American accent ;)

@Robert -- I didn't mean "repetitive" like in a very bad way. I just mean... repetitive. I definitely agree that the cumulative nature of these scenes is powerful. It was only a tiny thing. I love the film.

Julian you and Sasha and others have helped me understand why Bright Star didn't get nominations. But it's still disappointing that people couldn't put their favorites aside in categories like cinematography and vote for such breathtaking work, you know?

adelutza said...

Carey Mulligan should win Best Actress with a big margin. But , finally, I came to terms with Sandra Bullock winning. At least we'll have something to bitch about for the years to come.

As for The Hurt Locker, that film totally bored me . I bought the Blu-ray though and I'm going to give it another chance now that I somehow understand what's it supposed to be about. But explosions were never my thing, especially as the drug of choice.

Robert said...

This re-casting concept has gotten me thinking of how much I always like Morgan Freeman (though we all do) and how it's a shame that he's been typecast in terribly bland roles.

I'd have loved to see him as Ryan Bingham, George in A Single Man or even Bad Blake. I think he could pull it off, but alas will he ever have the chance to stretch?

On the flip side is Sandra, who seems like a likable person but couldn't play any part other than Twohey. Which is a shame.

More actors need to take roles that challenge the public's perception of them. It worked for Mo'nique.

Anonymous said...

Bridges, Sidibe, Waltz, Mo'Nique. Enjoy the winners in advance :P

Paul said...

Are Guy and Tim both British? I've never read/heard of either bloggers before, and I'm wondering where they're coming from with a lot of their comments.

Guy said...

Paul: Yes, Tim and I are both British and London-based. (By way of South Africa, in my case.)

Tim writes for the Daily Telegraph newspaper. I write for the (American) awards site In Contention.

Which comments are confusing you? I'm happy to clarify anything I can.

Adam M. said...

@Guy - I'm assuming 'Blind Side' was #10 on the best pic tally. If that is the case (it has to be), then not too many people actually needed to vote for it for the film to make the cut. With the preferential system, only a handful of voters needed to put it at #1 and then maybe a few more at #2 or #3-- especially if the top spots on most ballots went to the presumed front-runners. Certainly if you took the members of the Academy who did not vote for 'Blind Side' and siphon their votes away from Sandra, she would absolutely lose. But I guess we'll see!

@Nat - I forgot to ask... are you enjoying your SNOWPOCALYPSE?!? I'm near B-more and we've had an unprecedented TWO of such events this winter, one on top of the other. Completely shut down the city for a week. Good times!

Jim T said...

It was great! Thanks to everyone involved :)

Is it weird that I found the movies disscussion far more interesting than the awards disscussion? I think you (Nathaniel) should do it again with one or more people. The videos of you and Katey are great but I think one expresses his/her thoughts better by writing. I think this symposium proves that.

Re-casting: Streep as Sophia Tolstoy. No doubt! I think that had she agreed, she would have won and I would actually be happy that she won for that role.

And, I think Renner should have gotten DiCaprio's part in Shutter Island. He would have been amazing and possibly movie-saving.

NATHANIEL R said...

adam m -- good point. good point on the blind side.

also i'm loving the snowpocalypse. but i'm from Michigan and this is totally normal/no big deal for me (although everyone else is freaking out)

jim t -- well, there's somethign to be said for stretching too. I need to get better at public speaking so i'll still try to do videos when i can. but yes, i'm a writer first and foremost.

i'd love to do another symposium but it's hard to get people interested in lengthy things outside of oscar season.

Lance said...

I for one thought that Stanley Tucci deserved his nod for "The Lovely Bones" over "Julie & Julia," and I don't get why that's such a foreign concept. If we hate the rote "long-suffering wife" nominations, then the "long-accommodating? husband" roles should get some equal disdain. For most of those sections, he was Meryl's human prop piece. At least in "The Lovely Bones," he stood on his own and delivered when needed to. He was the creepy and sleazy Mr. Harvey that I envisioned from the novel. Now the film blew as an adaptation (now I think it was a bad call to go the PG-13 route instead of R), but his work (and Saoirse Ronan's) was sound in it. I can generally accept this as his first nod knowing that it should have come about a long time ago for other roles (some of his TV roles especially were Oscar-worthy, like "Winchell" and "Conspiracy").

Donovan said...

I'd agree that if Meryl must win a third (which I'm not clamouring for), it needs to be for something more substantial than the trivial "Julie & Julia." Why are people content with this being her "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" win? It's ridiculous and desperate really. Give it to her when she does "August: Osage County" and call it a damn day. Carey Mulligan or Gabourey Sidibe should be winning this easily and they won't. That deserves the fury and outrage. There are worst things in the world than Sandra Bullock winning an Oscar (see Kate Winslet/2008). I'm over it. I was over it when "The Blind Side" was nominated in best picture and the deal was sealed for her. The standards are entirely different for Meryl, and maybe that's not "fair," but that's what happens when you've already won two Oscars and one of them is a touchstone, landmark acting role of our time. Meryl won't win again until she's perceived as "topping" herself (and being in a BP nominee wouldn't hurt). That's the way the cookie crumbles. Acceptance is the first step.

Adam M. said...

Re: the Tucci debate, I don't think he was that great in either TBL or J&J. And I wonder if he would have been recognized for his work in J&J anywhere (including here?) had he not already generated so much buzz for TLB. Not to belittle Nat's lovely Film Bitch slate (♥), but might some of the love for Tucci in J&J stem from reactionary sentiment toward the accolades he's collected for TLB?

And am I the only one who liked both Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in 'Invictus'? They were the only consistent and convincing components of the film (their accents occasionally aside). If Bullock gets credit for bringing the charm and making TBS watchable, then Damon/Freeman deserve at least ten times that credit for their contributions to 'The Invictus Factor.'

IMHO.

NATHANIEL R said...

ADAM -- well i like both Damon and Freeman in Invictus but those just weren't challenging roles and the performances just weren't particularly special. Good work... but i'm tired of merely good work being so easily recognized if the actor is an Oscar favorite. they should be seeking the extraordinary (which is sometimes by the Oscar favorites but just as often by people they haven't noticed ever)

DONOVAN -- acceptance IS the first step true ;) but i haven't taken it yet. I just think it's ridiculous that Streep is expected to top Sophie's Choice (none of the other actresses around could do it... why should she be expected to?) and i also hate this notion that her third win must be for a heavy drama. She's already won for heavy drama twice and she is a very gifted comedienne.

LANCE - well, we don't hate the "accomodating husband" as much simply because it's not a staple and not gender role reductive the way the long suffering wife is. But I applaud you for speaking out for Tucci when we've lambasted him so for that performance.

contrary to popular belief, i really do not expect (or even enjoy) when everyone agrees with me :)

Donovan said...

If you couldn't tell, I didn't like "Julie & Julia" all that much. Reward Meryl for a good comedy if you must see her win for a comedy (like "Prada" if there had been no Mirren or Dench). But I want her to win for a heavy drama like most do. I just do, and I'm not apologizing for it. Give me her "A Lion in Winter", not "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". "August: Osage County" is the one. Gut feeling.

Nicholas said...

This is totally unrelated, but, I love perfume almost as much as I love movies and wanted to alert people to something. Niche fragrance house Etat Libre d'Orange released a fragrance some time ago which they created with Rossy dePalma, now they have e new fragrnace coming out... Like This created in collaboration with TILDA SWINTON! Check out what we know so far here: http://www.nstperfume.com/2010/02/27/etat-libre-dorange-tilda-swinton-like-this-new-fragrance/

Julian Stark said...

Nat, as much as I myself didn't care for Bright Star, I'll agree that it deserved at least several technical nominations. Giving the film only one mention was a cheap move.

For what it's worth, I much preferred Tucci in The Lovely Bones than in Julie and Julia. I really had no opinion of him in the latter. As much as I am on the fence for whether or not I actually liked The Lovely Bones (and it's been over a month!), I thought that Tucci was fantastic, as was Ronan - much better than she was in Atonement

Burning Reels said...

Sidibe or Mulligan would probably have a decent shot but I have a feeling they might be cancelling each other out

Bryan said...

I thought that Meryl was quite good in J&J, but I agree with some of the people above who believe that Carey and Gabby are way above her.

One thing that's strange is this: if (we can assume) no one will be voting for Mirren or Freeman, why are they there? In an ideal world, wouldn't each nominee have a huge and devoted fanbase, and wouldn't all of the performances be amazing in their own right? Very rarely is there one performance in a year that stands above all of the rest and deserves all of the votes... so why nominate actors who "don't have a chance"? If that's the case, then why are they there?

P.S.--This is all very idealistic. I'm aware that the Oscars aren't going to change their voting habits because of me :)

brandz said...

if Bullock wins I will never forgive Oscar. it's so embarrassing. it's the fucking Oscar for chr*** sake! I'm having a very difficult time working that out in my brain, as you can tell.

August: Osage County has not even been cast yet, to my knowledge, and people are already rewarding Streep for something that hasn't happened. i say reward her now, while we can, cast her in Osage and see what happens.

Colin Low said...

"Why does Streep have to do something as good as Sophie's Choice again to deserve a win but Bullock only has to do something as good as the Blind Side?"

The same reason why Gabby Sidibe and Carey Mulligan will be waiting for their Oscars--because the Oscar is more than just an award for a year's best performance, it's the industry's top accolade for a certified "marker" within an actor's career. Giving an Oscar to Meryl Streep for J&J is telling her that she never has to reach for anything as good as Sophie's Choice again. And that's a sadder scenario than Sandra Bullock comfortably going back to her comedies and never having to worry about stretching her dramatic limits in Oscar bait again. How's that for a Sophie's choice?

Donovan said...

Since I'm the one who mentioned it, I'm not rewarding Streep already for "August: Osage County." All I said was that I think that's the kind of role that she should be winning a third for, not "Julie & Julia." I know that the casting hasn't happened yet, and as far as we know, the film itself might not even be made, or it could be made and be awful, Streep might not get the lead role, or she does and someone else with more momentum swoops in and beats her yet again. Plenty of intangibles there. I was just thinking out loud. But no, I wouldn't want to reward Streep for something mediocre like "J&J" and then "see what happens" with "A: OC" later on.

xixi said...

@Colin Low I don't really follow your logic. Like many others, you are giving a free pass to Sandra Bullock even though she may well 'go back to comedies and not have to stretch herself" again but insists that Meryl Streep has to top Sophie's Choice.

Talk about double standards. I echo Nathaniel -- this kind of logic drives me crazy too.

Same too with people saying that she should win for a weightier role in a drama like August Osage County that a) may never be made given the unpredictable nature of development process b) even if it gets made, Streep may not get the lead role.

Meryl Streep does not need anyone or anything to make sure she keeps stretching herself. She will certainly not become lazy if she wins her 3rd Oscar.
She has 16 Oscar nominations for a reason!

To award someone like Bullock because her performance is merely 'better than expected' and then turn around and say that someone who is consistently excellent like Streep can only win for a mind-blowing performance is to celebrate mediocrity.

I rest my case.

Colin Low said...

@xixi: See, the thing is, I don't think Bullock "deserves" the Oscar in any sense of the word. If I thought the Oscar should go to the most deserving performance, I'd love it if it ends up in Sidibe's hands. However, if the horserace is really as prognosticators are calling it, I would rather give it to Bullock than to Streep. I actually think either choice would be an instance of "celebrating mediocrity", but in such a scenario I wouldn't want the Oscar to "validate" Streep's performance in any way when she could do better, whereas I assume (I might be wrong) that a win wouldn't affect Bullock's future career choices as much.

In other words, I don't have sufficient respect for the institutional judgement of the Academy to care if it embarrasses itself in choosing a winner in Bullock; I care more for what a win would do for the Oscar winner. And in this case, I'm much more invested in Streep pushing harder and finding riskier roles than I am in Bullock, and I don't want her to think that J&J is "worthy" enough that she doesn't need to try for more each time around, for the rest of her career.

brandz said...

i agree that J&J is a light-weight movie. however, Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child is another case entirely. Streep absolutely captured the heart and soul of Julia Child. her performance was nuanced and layered, joyful and touching. i cannot see any other actress doing what Meryl Streep did with that role. i'd be most satisfied if she won Oscar again, finally. that being said, i'd be least happy and frankly embarrassed if Bullock wins. of the 5 nominees, any win would be fine except Bullock because we should not reward mediocrity with an Oscar. this should not be a popularity contest and it looks like that is what is happening. shameful!

Anonymous said...

Lead actress has always been a popularity contest. Catch up already.

brandz said...

i disagree that Best Actress has always been a popularity contest. sometimes Oscar actually gets it right and rewards merit/art. a Bullock win would be an embarrassment.

xixi said...

@Colin Low thanks for clarifying. i understand your point better now.

I too would support a win by Gabby Sidibe as it is a worthy performance that has emotional impact.

As for Streep, I do believe that the standard for her has probably been set at a superhuman level.

Every time she is nominated, the argument is either that she has been better before or that she can do better in the future. And thus 27 years have gone by since she last won.

The truth is she has been more consistently excellent than most other actresses. Unfortunately, consistent greatness does not back for an exciting Oscar narrative as opposed to "surprisingly brilliant" or "box office queen turned 'real' actress.

Anonymous said...

Bullock's win wouldn't be an embarrassment. Believe it or not, some people actually loved that performance and think it's completely worthy of the Oscar win, and gosh, I'm one of those people too. And before you ask, I've seen all five nominees, and they'd all make deserving winners in one way or another.

Bill_the_Bear said...

For Best Actress...I think that Sandra's going to take it...but I would prefer either Sidibe or Mulligan to win.

For Re-Casting Couch: I so would like to have seen Ellen Page instead of Anna Kendrick in "UitA!"

Brian Owens said...

I made myself see THE BLIND SIDE today; and I didn't hate it as much as I expected to. Didn't love it by any means...

But - I was surprised by Bullock's performance in that I was expecting it to be over-the-top (since Oscar tends to go for that). It was actually subtle and - since I'm now a Tennessean - actually a realistic portrayal of that type of woman.

I wouldn't be that pissed if she wins (whereas, I had already planned my indignation at the possibility).

Now, if the movie wins (which it won't), I will go off...

Brian Owens said...

Nathaniel,

What I did want to raise (and forgive me as I miss a few days here and there) is the fact that the 10 Best Pic Nominees seems to have put an end to the December tactic. Only 2 were December releases and the studios that waited it out to the final minute collapsed and failed - utterly.

Could the 10 Best Pic nominee list finally alter Oscar film release campaigns?

If so, I'll be very happy to have 10 nominees - even if I have to tolerate THE BLIND SIDE getting nominated.

NATHANIEL R said...

Brian I totally agree about the December thing. I was thrileld about that. But i don' t think they'll learn from this... because CRAZY HEART and THE YOUNG VICTORIA and DR PARNASSUS which all waited it out and were barely released in 2009 all did pretty well using that old "hide your movie!" strategy that hates real moviegoers.

boo.

xixi said...

@Anonymous : are you the publicist for Sandra Bullock's Oscar Campaign? *just kidding* :)

But seriously, you seem to be echoing the politically correct campaign line: Sandra was great but all the nominees are wonderful too.

Unfortunately not too many agree with you. :P

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not Bullock's damn publicist. I happen to like her performance and would be fine with her Oscar win (which I see her getting). And how is it the PC line to like all five nominees? Is that outside of your realm of acceptable thinking? I didn't resort to labeling you as a Meryl nutjob, so don't pull that crap for me in my views on Sandra Bullock.

poopoo said...

Didn't read all of the comments, so maybe this stuff is already mentioned but here goes anyways.

First off, three cheers for this symposium. It's actually interesting to read.

That being said, three boos for some of the thing said.

First Boo: Hating on Shankman. Why is everybody hating on the guy? It seems like his crimes are as follows:
1. Making an astute observation of how the oscar campaign closely resembles competition-style reality TV (this is exactly how the oscar-obsessed experience the oscars).
2. Hiring dancers (some from SYTYCD) to dance during the oscars(This happened last year to with the "musical" number and it sucked but somehow the reason it's bad this year because he's hiring SYTYCD alums).
3. Getting movie stars that you guys don't like (from twilight) to attend (this is nothing new, I think this alwaysh happens, nothing to do with the new producers).
4. Getting rid of the biggest oxymoron of the ceremony: that the most inconsequential category (best song) get the most presentation time, and simultaneously eliminating guaranteed painfully awkward performances of mediocre songs, by getting rid of the "best song" permorances.
5. Getting rid of the awkward self-indulget 5 presenters per acting category deal (producers should be commended for this).
6. Being gay (haha, just kidding)
But seriously, I get the vibe that Shankman's biggest crime is that he's affiliated with a reality tv show, and the "reasons" mentioend for hating on him are justifications and not legitimate.

Second Boo: Enjoying Inglourious Basterds "DVD" style

Enjoying movies just for specific scenes is fine for low-brow comedy or action movies, but not for a tour-de-force like basterds! I'm shocked that these movie-obsessed people feel it's ok to contemplate their favorite movies with "mental editing." It's really a shame if you do that too, because you might miss out on some big picture ideas of the movie. If you mentally edit out all scenes with the bear jew, for instance, you miss out some of the ironic parrallels to scenes without the bear jew, and this makes the film less interesting (for me, anyways). I'm spefically referring to the ironic parallel of the bear jew gruesomely beating up the german captain (while fratboys cheer, if watching in movie theater) between the nazis cheering on as they watch the movie about the german sniper picking off american soldiers. Also, that first chapter/scene is fine on its own (where nazis brutally shoot up shoshana's family from above the floor) but it becomes more interesting when you realize is a mirror to the scene where bear jew and his friend brutally shoot up the helpless nazis in the move theatre from the balcony. I'm rambling here but I hope you get the point. This whole meta-mirror is lost of ignore scenes with americans in them, and thinking about the movie in this way diminishes it.

Third Boo: Complaining about not enugh "subtitled" movies getting nominated.
Let's just cut the crap and called them foreign movies. At least three best picture nominees had quite a bit of subtitles (basterds, avatar, district 9) and all of them were popular. Subtitles have little to do with why foreign movies don't get seen or nominated, so let's stop pretending like it's true.

3 boos: boo boo boo

poopoo said...

I apologize for the spelling errors, grammer errors, and sentences that don't make sense in above post.

XYZ said...

You should get capital-lettered BOOOOOOs for that awful defense of Adam Shenkman. Drink up his bathwater too while you're at it.

Guy said...

"I'm shocked that these movie-obsessed people feel it's ok to contemplate their favorite movies with "mental editing.""

Well, I think the Symposium makes it quite clear that we're not all okay with that -- hence the discussion.

Fair point about the subtitles in "Basterds" and "District 9." I avoid the word "foreign" because it doesn't relate specifically to language -- "An Education" is "foreign" to U.S. voters too -- but using "foreign-language" all the time can get a bit unwieldy. So you caught me, but I stand by my point.

poopoo said...

"Well, I think the Symposium makes it quite clear that we're not all okay with that -- hence the discussion."

You're right. I read the symposium stuff a while a go and can't remember everything, but I vague recall people disagreeing with "mental editing" and some people even defended Shankman's reality-tv analogy.

I think what I was angry about was not that there was consensus on mental-editing mentality, but I got the vibe that there was consensus on poopoo-ing the scenes from basterds that involved the americans, as if the movie could have been better without them. Obviously, from my perspective, the american basterds are in important part of the movie so I got upset when people were dismissing it (although i do feel the american actors are less engaging).

Also, fair point about british movies being technically foreign. (although it's impossible for me to tell the if the production is american or british, with all those british movie stars being in lots of hollywood movies). Anyways, I understand, you guys are writers and need to think about sentence flow and all that.