Friday, July 16, 2010

Oscar Predictions. 3 of 10 Best Pictures Are Already Upon Us.

The Oscar Predictions have been revised for July. Finally! I think with the critical and (so far) audience response to The Kids Are All Right, Inception and Toy Story 3, we may have 30% of our Best Picture field filled in. Will we have a fourth by the time summer is up? Last year summer brought us 40% of the Oscar lineup: Up, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds and District 9.

The only one of these three buzzy titles I hadn't predicted back in April was Toy Story 3. Who could have forseen a third film in a franchise being that blissfully embraced? It's possible that voters will figure Pixar is amply rewarded and look at other live action movies but given the lack of strong competitors that 2010 has offered, it's looking good for the big show for now.


Bear in mind that the rankings are a mix of hunches, buzz, Oscar history factors, personal feelings, reviews and more. They are strictly for entertainment/predictive purposes and predictions should never be confused with statements about quality. As you all know, both horrible and great films get nominations every year. This year, for example, the ghastly eyesore Alice in Wonderland is probably looking at a few nods through its sheer excess. (Sometimes AMPAS confuses "Most" with "Best".)

A good chunk of the remaining slots each year are filled with whichever pleasant mediocrities can muster up temporary enthusiasm in precursor bodies and actual Oscar ballot holders.

In the charts and on the individual pages, you'll see major gains for the Danny Boyle/James Franco true story survival drama 127 Hours (now confirmed for a 2010 release) and the Cannes approved Another Year (Oscar has been known to warm to Mike Leigh). The saddest switch is this pundit's (temporary?) loss of faith in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, if only because I remember so vividly what happened and what didn't happen when it came to The New World's release. That nightmare has been resurrected in the wake of the Apparition troubles. Malick's The New World was a jaw droppingly beautiful visual experience and it couldn't even muster up a handful of technical nominations? Insanity. Nothing's a done deal with Oscar until all the deals are done.

As for Inception, the movie on everyone's lips this week, people need to calm down. It was a good Oscar bet before release and it still is. The mix of absolute boosters, passionate detractors and even a few opinions somewhere in the middle like mine -- I liked it but I wouldn't ever dream of calling it a masterpiece -- is totally normal for any big hyped release, though people may be behaving as if this has never happened before... or only once before in 2008. But we'll get to that in a second.


Nevertheless, Inception has several crucial Oscar plus factors going for it such as
  1. Due? The general perception that Chris Nolan is due for a nod. That's out there, thickly felt in the pop culture air and that sure does matter.
  2. The "Make Up" situation. Many feel that The Dark Knight was not properly rewarded. This has always struck me as odd but I'm the odd man out. It did win more nominations than most films ever come near and even a couple of actual statues so, for the superhero genre or for sequels in general, it was practically Titanic huge with Oscar. But then facts never deter people from personal feelings.
  3. Auteurial and technical ambition in spades. This will go a long way with at least a handful of Oscar branches. Just about the only place that Inception hasn't a prayer is in the acting categories since the characters are paper thin, and sci-fi epics have a difficult time getting the actor's branch excited. Just about the only time it ever happens is when someone is just so fantastic that nobody would deign deny their accomplishment (think Sigourney Weaver's immortal Aliens performance).
Do share your feelings about the state of the Oscar battle thus far in the comments (I've been having technical difficulties so I'll fix any errors on the pages as I can get to them.)
*

63 comments:

Terence said...

What prompted all the love for 127 Hours?

Jack said...

I'm surprised you didn't see "Toy Story 3" coming, Nat, especially with 10 nominees. For the past three years, people have gone nuts for Pixar films, and both "Ratatouille" and "WALL-E" would have been locks with 10 nominees as well.

This time last year I predicted "Toy Story 3" for a nomination, and depending on how the rest of the year goes, I wouldn't be too surprised if it won. All it needs is the early critics awards to decide that it's time to reward Pixar (and for a "Toy Story" movie, no less) and the Oscar race is all over.

stjeans said...

Pretty good but I have a feeling Julianne Moore will be supporting for The Kids(...). Im also surprise at your lack of support for Blue Valentine? I feel both M.Williams & R.Gosling will be nominated. Than again...maybe it's just whishfull thinking!

NATHANIEL R said...

stjeans -- i loved both Blue Valentine performances but i just don't trust its distribution plans.

Jack well, we all make mistakes. ;) I just figured they'd be tired of rewarding Pixar and it IS a third movie. Historically the only #3s to make it in were RETURN OF THE KING and GODFATHER III and at least with the latter is was entirely about the synchronicity of having the entire trilogy honored -- cuz who really loved that one?

Terence just a hunch. and the true story factor and the heat from Danny Boyle and James Franco still ascending and choosing interesting projects and working a lot. something about it just struck me as Into the Wild'ish but more focused. and with people Oscar is possibly ready to honor or currently into.

Duncan Houst said...

Toy Story 3 had the song "We Belong Together" which I'd definitely bet will get nominated at least.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

*SPOILER* not to sound like a smart ass but didn't they already do the ending of Inception on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Terence said...

Nat-interesting. What are your thoughts on Howl, James' other film this year?

That has the famous person, historical importance factor but I heard that it was just getting ok reviews from Sundance...

NATHANIEL R said...

Jaded -- hmmm. are you talking about the one where Buffy is in the asylum and maybe hte vampire slayer thing is all hallucinations?

Andrew R. said...

Four, actually. Winter's Bone is very likely too.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Oh shit, don't start with the Buffy talk or I'll never stop (all 7 seasons are currently on Netflix watch instantly...Buffy just a click away at work on my laptop? This doesn't end well...)

Back to more pressing matters, I really hope Inception is in the best picture race, whether it's deserving or not. It has nothing to do with me thinking Nolan is overdue. Nor does it have anything to do with wanting the Academy to embrace different types of films. It's just that after The Dark Knight didn't get nominated, I fulfilled my "listening to angry, misplaced, illogical fanboy rage" quota (both online and in person) for the next decade. I'm sure I'll eat these words, but no matter what better films it has to kick out to get in, it's almost worth it not to have to hear the sturm und drang it'll generate if Inception isn't nominated.

Curious on your feelings re: Winter's Bone, Nathaniel. It's way way way down on your prediction list. Do you see it as out of the best picture race entirely?

Dylan said...

VERY surprised by your omission of Moore

stjeans said...

so what's your excuse for the absence of her Majesty Julianne M.?

NATHANIEL R said...

andrew r -- really? you think winter's bone? I just don't see much like it in Oscar's history... I liked the movie a lot. But it screams Indie Spirits to me and I'm sure there's a Blind Side lurking ;)

Alex said...

Sad to see RABBIT HOLE go :(

I'm not as confident in 127 HOURS. If INTO THE WILD couldn't make it in, I doubt Boyle's pick can. INTO THE WILD had everything Oscar looks for: inspirational true story, actor-turned-director (and an actor they love, at that), a rising young star, a supporting cast they adore (Keener, Hurt, Harden), a veteran they can reward (Holbrook), the comedian doing dramatic work (Vince Vaughn), and it was actually a good film! Also, CAST AWAY didn't score outside of Tom Hanks's performance. I'm tellin ya, Oscar isn't outdoorsy unless you're a cowboy or mythical creature.

For the historians: If TOY STORY 3 is nominated, will it be the only sequel nominated whose original film wasn't? And no, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was not a sequel to MANHUNTER...

Patrick said...

The Academy will always have some atonin' to do for snubbing "The Dark Knight" in picture and director. That crap was uncalled for, and for what they included instead? Please. I'm still bitter about it, and if it wasn't for those snubs, we wouldn't have this asinine 10 nominees situation that we have now. Cause and effect, people! But yay, "Inception"! Seeing it tonight!

Rodrigo, UK said...

Nat dear, her name is FREIDA Pinto right?! And as much as I hated her in Slumdog (I guess she almost got that nom 2 years ago) but now I quite enjoyed her in the Miral trailer... maybe she deserves an extra credit, you know...

eduardo said...

at this point i'm not sold on Inception getting a Best picture nod. It seems like it's not a thing that most of Academy members will like so easy. I do expect plenty of tech nods, though

and i have to agree with Alex about 127 hours too. I think Boyle is one of those directors who will never be nominated again

Jason Brown said...

No mention of How to Train Your Dragon for Best Score? Normally given the early release and the animated aspect, I would expect it to be overlooked, but it's just SO GOOD, plus the film got fantastic reviews.

Volvagia said...

Even if 127 Hours makes a huge mark, I question whether Franco will even make it for that film. If he's as great as can be, all that would do is strengthen the Howl campaign, specifically because the news on it says it could be a primarily non-dialogue story, especially if it's 100 minutes or less, because the only thing actors like less than sci-fi roles are dialogue minimal roles (Mickey Rourke's Marv, for example.)

No Bad Movies said...

Hey Nathaniel... ya have to have Michael Douglas in there somewhere for Solitary Man. Not just because I have him in my top performance of the year so far, but many others do as well. I think it's performance that will still be buzzed about by the end of the year. It's truly one of his best performances.

Also I have seen Get Low and Nowhere Boy and I'd almost bet money that Spacek and Scott Thomas are locks for nods in support.

Joey Depps said...

I read The Long Walk and it was a compelling read. Jim Sturgess character has a lot on his plate.

Could Sturgess be this years Jeremy Renner ? ( a little known actor in a buzzed about film )

dbm said...

Nat... remember the last time Leo was in two good movies in the same year ? He was nominated.

It's going to be hard to bet against him. Oscar has been known to nominate an actor/actress who has had a solid year in multiple films.

Kyle said...

Just saw Inception...really REALLY kick ass...if there's any justice, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy are on their way to mega-stardom.

NATHANIEL R said...

dbm -- i just can't see how anybody would vote for Leo in either of those movies though. They seem like director movies first and foremost rather than acting showcases. i just can't see Leo happening this year. (but maybe my feelings about his work in Inception -- i thought he and Page were the weak links in the ensemble -- is coloring my idea of that)

no bad -- i loved KST in Nowhere Boy but it strikes me as the type of film that just as easily could be completely ignored. But if it does get attention, yes, she is where the attention is going.

Sissy Spacek (i've also seen that film) i could see that happening I suppose. But my guess is that it doesn't. all this could change of course. There are so many movies left to see.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

That's the one I'm talking about, Nath. Same lingering ending for an "oh no way" reaction from the audience. Not that I don't like the ending mind you, I'm just asking myself rhetorically, "Christopher Nolan took 10 years writing to get to that?"

Joey Depp's said...

I agree on the MD Solitary Man performance. Awesome. One of his best. Top 3 of his career of course.

Anyway... I'm with the person that mentioned Leonardo for Shutter. I think that's also one of his best performances. He really put it out there in a believable way.

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, blame the Oscar narrative of 2008. It was about AMPAS finally meeting the the audience half way. THE DARK KNIGHT in many respects SHOULD have been a best picture nominee. It was huge. Hugely acclaimed. Ambitious. As baity as any Edward Zwick film in terms of theme (if not style). Meanwhile, this year also had WALL.E, a huge step forward for animation as well as the closest thing to adult animation Pixar had ever done. Both were big hits. Both would've been great, memorable nominees. Both were beaten by THE READER, a film that had very little acclaim (it's the worst nominated best picture film of our time, according to Rotten Tomatoes) and showed the academy reverting back to form, with Harvey and the Holocaust.

In many respects, you can compare it to the 2005 race. Remember, we had just come off a particularly depressing 2004, with the polarization of the culture wars manifesting itself in Michael Moore, Mel Gibson and a second Bush term. So Brokeback Mountain was the palliative. It was the film that would challenged preconceptions (on both sides of the culture divide). It was hugely acclaimed. It was a box office hit. By all rights, it should've won best picture. It didn't. The prejudices of certain members of AMPAS stopped it from winning. The fact that I didn't think it was the best nominee (MUNICH, imo) doesn't stop me from realizing that. We shouldn't pat someone on the head for recognizing and overcoming their own prejudices (as in the case of Brokeback Mountain or The Dark Knight, they did) if they don't do it enough. And yes, I realize one might think I'm equating homophobia with the superhero sequeling etc, and I'm fine with that. They're not, but the principle behind the exclusion of each is that same.

So, not facts. Narratives.

NATHANIEL R said...

arkaan -- i hear you and i recognize that it "should" have been a nominee for some of those shifting reasons. (and would have been if it had been in any other genre save probably horror... and/or maybe if it hadn't been a sixth film version of a popular story)

but i guess what I really resent in the whole matter is the media torch-wielding preamble to that narrative which was the tired media cliche that Oscar wasn't relevant unless they agreed with the ticket buying populace [my problem with this is awarding "best" is rarely purposed so baldly as rewarding financial success. As in: But this makes money therefore = best. Because, then, where do you draw the line? Transformers? Alice in Wonderland? Spider-Man 3? the Harry Potter movies? (which have never been great cinema even as theyr'e totally watchable and sometimes endearing)]

there should be a difference between financial success and notions of best.

BUT even at the time I did say, it would have been cool to see them nominate The Dark Knight and step out of their comfort zones to that extent. Plus then maybe we wouldn't be hearing that 'Inception is the best film fo the past 10 years!' and other such craziness.

So i was with everyone in theory if not in emotion. because i never personally thought The Dark Knight was a great film. Just a great confluence of timing, genre popularity peak, rising talent, loss, and other elements.

which i readily admit many movies have been nominated for BP because they were a great confluence of lots of things and not because they were actually BEST.

BUT ONE MORE QUESTION FOR EVERYONE can someone please explain to me this internet obsession -- i see it everywhere -- with Rotten Tomatoes scores being equivalent to actual worth and some statistically true measure of Oscar success? Rotten Tomatoes has only been in existence for 12 years and truly popular for less than that and i just find it a weird barometer to trust and one that only can properly line up with about 10% of Oscar history and with the makeup of film critics shifting in a time when movie writing itself is in such strange flux and seems to be drifting more towards volunteerism (i.e. fan writing)

add that to the fact that it's absolutely a flawed system.

I blame Siskel & Ebert but it pains me greatly to put fresh or rotten when i review something. MANY films are inbetween. And it's so weird to me that something like HUD (1963) and something like THE YOUNG VICTORIA (2009) would get the same grade, "fresh", when one is an all time classic that's still breathtaking 47 years later and the other is a pretty, easy to watch but ultimately very disposable movie that few will remember by 2012.

you know?

It's a dumb system. and yet everyone wants to take those percentages and make them mean something big.

Andrew R. said...

Nate-Last year, we had Precious. Hurt Locker won despite making no money, though it's not really an indie.

So yeah, Winter's Bone seems likely.

As for a "Blind Side" lurking...well, Blind Side bumped off Invictus, a good but not great film, so I don't know.

Orion said...

Just watched "Inception." This could be the ONE for Christopher Nolan! This guy is an animal. I have to watch it again though. Too much of it went over my head sadly. My girl Marion Cotillard was the film's MVP though. The Edith Piaf usage was wicked! Ha ha, Mr. Nolan!

NATHANIEL R said...

but Winter's Bone is not going to explode like Precious. it's just not accessible enough (even though it's very good).

Precious made nearly $50 million and was embraced by the media. Winter's Bone would probably end up being the lowest grosser to ever be nominated as BP if it does happen. i still don't see it though it'd be sweet since it's so atypical but quality.

midcenturycharlie said...

I love that you're using the image of Vanessa Redgrave from Julia in your banner. That's such a pivotal moment in the film as well as perhaps the most intimate between Julia and Lillian.

Terence said...

Nat, I too dislike the way people lean on Rotten Tomatoes (and IMDB ratings for that matter). Its far too subjective.

Even though I know we here don't consider the Twilight series CINEMA, there is no way New Moon should be rated way lower than Twilight when it was better recieved by critics.

In other news, I just Inception in IMAX and I loved it. I do have a question tho. What was the point of using Imax cameras only to zoom in on fight scenes? Especially the one with Joeseph in the hallway...

Tedums_Precious said...

No love for TRUE GRIT? As soon as that one was announced, I saw Oscars in its future...

troyhopper said...

Nate, you might need to revisit the supporting-actor predictions at home base. I think you accidentally switched your "con" comments for Rush and Bale.

Anonymous said...

I am very interested to see how the campaigns go for Bening and Moore. Moore received top-billing and had some very clip-worthy scenes. But Bening was so moving in her role. I wonder if this could pull awards for both of them (one in supporting, one in lead). Don't they each have enough momentum in terms of "we owe them" to nab the statue?

Andrew R. said...

Just saw Inception. It's in, and I'm very happy about it.

moror said...

Yahoo Movies has named their best/worso movies, for what that's worth, and their best actress is Tilda Swinton in I am Love and the Runner Up is Julianne Moore for TKAAR.

http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/collections/gallery/2743/mid-year-round-up#photo4

Do you think this is some sort of beginning for their campaigns?

Also, Mother is best foreign, while I am Love is the RU.

Kent said...

Not gonna pretend like I understood all of "Inception," but damn, Christopher Nolan better be receiving some Oscar nominations in some form for this film. Producer, director, screenplay, whatever. Give this guy something. Of course they owe the guy big time already, but this film, wow, wow, wow. It's earned its spot in the top ten. I doubt there will be that much that tops it this year.

Plainview said...

Inception

Picture (50/50 win )
Director ( win )
Supporting Actress ( Cotillard )
Supporting Actor ( Levitt )
Original Screenplay ( win )
Cinematography ( win )
Art Direction ( win )
Orginal Score
Visual Effects
Sound
Sound Editing

Loved it and will see it again. Oh... ditto on Michael Douglas too. Great role !

Glenn Dunks said...

America is not the world. Inception hasn't been released everywhere yet. I want to read the comments here, but spoilers for Inception put an end to that :(

Mike F said...

Terence, Nolan didn't actually use IMAX cameras this time around like he did with The Dark Knight. What is playing in IMAX theaters is just the standard "blow up" job most commercial films get for IMAX release. That said, I know people often complain about the way he shoots action but it has never really bothered me that much.

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

and i have to agree with Alex about 127 hours too. I think Boyle is one of those directors who will never be nominated again

Yes, I might be wrong in agreeing since he could turn out to be like Stephen Dalry or something, but I think Slumdog Millionaire sweeping the way it did will be seen as enough reward. Maybe he'll be nominated later on, but for now, I think that SM's success is still in voters' minds, and the prevailing sentiment will be a combination of some voters having a backlash towards his project because of they feel like SM is a bad winner now, and other voters believing that they've checked off Boyle off the list of people that they need to honor, it's time to move on to someone new on the list.

I think James Franco could certainly get in because there's a feeling that he just missed a spot for Milk, but I don't think Boyle or the movie will get in for BD and BP.

BillBill said...

Inception was incredible! Marion Cotillard was Oscar-worthy again! Don't forget her again like you did for "Nine" (the best part about that dreck). If Christopher Nolan isn't nominated for picture, director, and original screenplay, something is seriously afoul with voters, or there's a bias there with him.

Wes said...

That's silly to think that now voters think that "Slumdog Millionaire" is a bad winner. You don't win eight Oscars in a vacuum. Voters know what they did, and I'm sure just about all of them are quite pleased that an exceptional film like that won best picture. Danny Boyle can certainly be nominated again in best director. He's in the club now, and he was an accomplished director before all of this too.

Wes said...

That's silly to think that now voters think that "Slumdog Millionaire" is a bad winner. You don't win eight Oscars in a vacuum. Voters know what they did, and I'm sure just about all of them are quite pleased that an exceptional film like that won best picture. Danny Boyle can certainly be nominated again in best director. He's in the club now, and he was an accomplished director before all of this too.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Lawrence is in for "Winter's Bone." I'd say top three at this point.

dbm said...

I always thought that Slumdog was a little overrated. I don't think it was the best picture of that year, in fact it didn't even make my top 10. Some of the acting was spotty at best. But people like to bandwagon, it's human beings biggest psycholigical predictable action. Once it became " cool " to like it, then everybody got on board and claimed it the best of the year. I don't think it should have won in cinematography either. I thought that should have went to Wally Pfister for The Dark Knight, and I wasn't even really hip to Pfister at that point.
That being said, I liked other Boyle films as well. And I think 127 Hours could have a chance at a Best Pic nod, including actor and director.

NATHANIEL R said...

plainview -- i would be really upset if Inception won for Screenplay. I think the screenplay is the weakest element (other than the acting)... it just explains so much and is too literal about things that are supposed to be imaginative. I enjoyed watching it but it's already one of the most overrated movies of all time (sigh).

and no way is any actor getting nominated.

I suppose in a super weak year we could see Cotillard in there (because her part in the film is so forceful) but nobody else has a shot.

Kyle said...

But Nathaniel, it couldn't be the most overrated movie of all time, Stephen Daldry didn't direct it...ZING!

NATHANIEL R said...

Kyle -- zing. but then Daldry movies aren't ever truly overrated because few people ever call them masterpieces. He has fans but not hysterically passionate "he's the best director of the 21st century!" fans ;)

Kyle said...

Nathaniel - point taken and agreed with. I wonder though, has any other director inspired the same kind of obsessive adoration that Christopher Nolan has received? Is it all Batman-based?
I don't even think Spielburg had these sorts of followers...maybe Kubrick?

If nothing else, Chrisopher Nolan is the director I can best think that exemplifies the Rotten Tomatoes generation of cinephiles.

moviesandsongs365 said...

I think the "obsessive adoration" C. Nolan gets is due to his films being enertaining + thoughtful, and I think people want that as so much else in Hollywood is shallow.

I feel I need to defend the rottentomatoes and IMDB rating systems, I think they are really useful, and I use them all the time. Would you rather not have them??

Trevor said...

"Inception"s screenplay had to do what it did from an expository level. If it didn't, could you imagine the level of criticism would be mounted against it for being too obtuse? Word of mouth would have sunk it, the critics wouldn't have been as receptive, and forget its Oscar hopes. But as it stands, I think this can be a big player this year. It's hopefully assured its spot in the top ten. Christopher Nolan should be nominated for director, original screenplay, and producer (if he produced it). Lee Smith and Wally Pfister should have editing and cinematography nods etched in stone right now. Marion Cotillard should be on supporting actress contender lists. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was better here than he was in "Shutter Island." Ellen Page proved that she can be a viable mainstream star post-"Juno" (cheers for that). The film itself was brilliant. I hope it can stay in the top 10 for the rest of the summer (at least).

And I loved "Slumdog Millionaire" at the time and still love it. It didn't have one iota to do with joining some bandwagon of what was "cool" at the time. The content, direction, acting, music, and technical achievements drew me into it, and I love that it had the Oscar sweep that it did. It had nothing to do with anything more than that.

Kyle said...

moviesandsongs:

Hey, don't get me wrong, I like Christopher Nolan's films...have since I was in high school when my dad bought it for me on DVD, but he's not the only really great film-maker out there and that's what (sometimes) drives me bonkers about the adulation he receives. So I'm with Nathaniel on that one.

But, he is a great film-maker and I'd say only Paul Thomas Anderson has been as consistent over these past 10-15 years. So it's nice to see that he is his own brand at this point and has a built-in audience that isn't only Batman based.

Do I wish we didn't have Rotten Tomatoes? Of course not, I love RT...but I get annoyed with the transformation of film criticism into a spectator sport via that website and metacritc, etc...

Roger Ebert makes a great point about it in his latest blog posting, where he posits the following possible dialogue between the average film-goer.

"What do the critics think?"
"76%"

What does that even mean? 76% of critics thought it was a good film? But on what grounds? I've seen plenty of films that rank in 90s on RT that I didn't care for, Crazy Heart being the first to come to mind. I can't remember the exact rating, but I recall The Fountain not doing as well, but I loved that movie when I finally saw it.
I'm sure though, there's somebody out there that would call me an idiot for either of those viewpoints, and then point to the RT rating as evidence.

The internet has really changed the way people look at movies, amongst many other things. I just wish people would allow their own opinions to form about films and not take it all so personally if there's dissent :-)

Timothy Marshall said...

Nat,

Of course Inception is overrated! It's a Christopher Nolan film! His fans are as rabid and plentiful as Judd Apatow's (and probably much moreso because of the 'geek' quotient involved).

That being said, I loved Inception, no matter how overrated it is. And it is NOT the most overrated film of all time. That's Avatar. Or the Matrix. I can't decide which. But yeah, I loved it. More than any of the ten best picture nominees last year. Way more than Avatar. Way more than Hurt Locker. (Digression: I find Avatar and Hurt Locker to both be deeply flawed, schlocky, and maniuplative - they both revolve around simpleton's politics and I can't watch either one without groaning every 90 seconds.)

If Inception were to take best picture and it most definitely will NOT, I would be pretty happy with that. Yes, the dialogue is overly expository. Yes, it uses that device of "bringing a new member in" so you can explain the way the concepts work. I recognize those problems, but they seemed minimal and only minorly affected my enjoyment of the movie. I mean, shit, at this point I'm so critical and picky at the movies that I can't seem to enjoy any movie fully or allow myself to be taken in by it, but I came pretty close with Inception.

Timothy Marshall said...

Also, something about all this Christopher Nolan talk (from both sides) reeks of fanboy chatter rather than any substansive critical discussion of his work. One side here can't drop the hyperbole when discussing films and the other has probably the snobbiest attitude I've seen(whilst also being fans of some of the worst dreck in the world, I might add). Whether he's overrated doesn't even seem like a valid topic to consider, especially since I'm not even clear in what regard he's overrated. I assume you mean word of mouth among his fandom, but certainly not by the academy or other award bodies. The fact is, he makes really entertaining, intriguing, intelligent films with high production value and excellent ensemble acting, which I'm sure even his detractors recognize. The common criticism of Nolan seems to be not that his films aren't great, it's that they're not as great as everyone says they are, which is total bullshit. If people think they're great and want to say their great, then I think that's genuinely how those people feel. Are they overrating them by the general critic's thermometer? Probably, but the general critic's thermometer seems to be flooded with a desire to see the same old boring oscar dramas year after year, so I guess I don't really take much stock in the general feeling of movie critics anymore.

Timothy Marshall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moviesandsongs365 said...

Thanks for the feedback Kyle

I like Nolan a lot , but also a lot of other intelligent, talented directors.

You talk about "consistent" recent directors, I feel Jason Reitman and Alexander Payne are up their too.

I'm currently sharing my A-Z of film recommendations on my blog, where the underrated "The fountain" you mentioned actually figures, so I don't always trust the ratings.
And I agree, some highly rated films are not that good, "In bruges" comes to mind.

However, I do feel the ratings on imdb and RT are pretty accurate most of the time, but their are many exceptions obviously. How about 'Year of the dog' 6.1 on imdb. That's a very good indie movie in my opinion.

It's also a matter of understanding the ratings on imdb, tv-shows often go very high, horror/comedy/indie movies often low ratings, and so on.

I'll check out article on Ebert's site.

Kyle said...

Dang, does Alexander Payne still make movies?

I saw that he's got something coming up, but wow 2004-2011 is a HUGE gap. I had almost completely forgotten about him :-)

Bill_the_Bear said...

Nat, I know that you're a big Annette Bening fan...but if either of the two actresses is a lead in "The Kids Are All Right," it's Julianne Moore. The plot twists DO revolve around her, after all, and she's much more in the foreground than Bening.

Moore for Best Actress and Bening for Supporting Actress...that I could see.

NATHANIEL R said...

Bill the Bear -- i've never said otherwise as to screentime (Moore definitely has the most)... but my theory remains the same that if Oscar divvies up these prizes the "top" in the relationship, figuratively speaking, is the one they view as lead.

But it's a moot point because they're both leads. It's a story of a romantic relationship, theirs. Saying otherwise (which many will do) is like saying that Angelina Jolie is a supporting actress in Mr & Mrs Smith or Jon Voight is a supporting actor in Coming Home. A film can have more than one lead.

Volvagia said...

Green Hornet is currently slated for next year, Nat.