January 10, 2013

Oscar nominations.

Here.

Observations: Quentin Tarantino punished. Who's Benh Zeitlin? Benh Zeitlin gets a director nomination and QT is out. Ben Affleck shunned as well.

"Zero Dark Thirty" punished.

The award ceremony is set up to be a solemn struggle between 2 inspiring models of virtue: Lincoln and Pi.

What is "Beasts of the Southern Wild"? Isn't that the question everyone's asking. Here:



"I see that I'm a little piece of a big big universe." Blech!

Obviously, it's Inspiration Year.

This is why I don't go to the movies.

Leave me alone, Hollywood.

94 comments:

damikesc said...

May I suggest a movie award show with movies people give a shit about watching being nominated? Tedious PC drivel is dull and passe...like most of Hollywood.

MayBee said...

Academy doesn't want to be seen enjoying violent films right now.

I've heard Beasts of the Southern Wild is good, but I don't believe it.

MayBee said...

I'm so with you, Althouse. Leave me alone. I foresee a very self-congratulatory Oscar broadcast.

MayBee said...

It would be funny if Tom Cruise had to hand the Oscar to Phillip Seymore Hoffman, though.

wyo sis said...

When wasn't any award show anything but self-congratulatory?

Freder Frederson said...

I love how art critic Althouse can pass judgement on a film based on the trailer.

BTW, Beasts of the Southern Wild deserves its nomination.

And it is about as far from a "Hollywood" movie as is likely to get made in this country.

rehajm said...

I waded 30 minutes into a screener for botsw. I couldn't take it. I'm not sure if I was supposed to be most impressed with the precosiousness of the girl, the 'brilliant' cinemetography, or the unique convergence of several political backstories..

MayBee said...

wyo sis- ha! Good point.

But there is their usual self-congratulatory-ness, and there's the "This was brave" and "This is an important film" and "We are making a difference"-level self congratulations. (Think of the year Philadelphia was nominated and Tom Hanks won)

rehajm said...

...based upon who's cheerleading for botsw, I reckon it's option three.

Shouting Thomas said...

In general, I'm waiting for the zeitgeist of the civil rights era to die.

The liberal consciousness is addicted to the sanctimonious babble of the sainted oppressed versus the bigots.

It's been boring as hell, and idiotic, for a very long time.

damikesc said...

I love how art critic Althouse can pass judgement on a film based on the trailer.

You pass judgment on large swaths of people with less to stand on. Such irony.

Academy doesn't want to be seen enjoying violent films right now.

Which is ironic since they are the only movies people watch. Their attempts at "story telling" are so hackneyed and lame that bombast is Hollywood's only shot.

I'm so with you, Althouse. Leave me alone. I foresee a very self-congratulatory Oscar broadcast.

That's every Oscar broadcast.

Glenn Reynold's idea of a $2 surcharge on every movie ticket, piece of physical media, download, and PPV buy of a movie cannot come soon enough.

MayBee said...

If you want to watch a great movie with a non-precocious child, I highly recommend "The Fall".

jr565 said...

I hate the academy awards. One of the dullest award shows ever.

damikesc said...

In general, I'm waiting for the zeitgeist of the civil rights era to die.

Coulter's takedown of Halle Berry's Oscar win is still a favorite.

Chip Ahoy said...

And you know what the worst thing is? Do you? All these people especially the ones with weird little names will be crossword entries. So that the finest crosswords of all will contain at least five or so Hollywood references. And it's a real pisser when they ask for the name of the screenwriter. Like that one last night, eeewww that makes me mad.

And I know for a fact constructors scour the industry magazines for actors with weird names, hoping their show takes off sufficiently to qualify their name as fair game.

So now everything looks like a puzzle out of a T.V. Guide and since I know these people, I know what they look like and sound like and the things they say in conversation, I go, "WUDDAYA DOIN' WRITING FOK T.V.GUIDE or sumpin?" BLAM straight to trash.

Freder Frederson said...

"Zero Dark Thirty" punished.

WTF?! It was nominated for best film, best actress and screenplay!

Ever consider that Zero Dark Thirty simply opened too late (and only in New York and L.A.), which may have affected the voting.

You really have a blindly partisan view.

bpm4532 said...

Nice to see there's NOOO ideology in Oscar nominations.

MayBee said...

Ever consider that Zero Dark Thirty simply opened too late (and only in New York and L.A.), which may have affected the voting.

Everyone who is responsible for nominating the best director has the screener and can watch the movie at his or her leisure, well before the opening date.

MayBee said...

Movies that are considered Oscar material are purposely held back for late releases, just as ZDT and DU were.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...

"Zero Dark Thirty" punished.

WTF?! It was nominated for best film, best actress and screenplay!

Ever consider that Zero Dark Thirty simply opened too late (and only in New York and L.A.), which may have affected the voting.

_________________________________

If it opened to late, how did it receive any nominations?

Ann Althouse said...

"I love how art critic Althouse can pass judgement on a film based on the trailer."

Like I have to go see every movie or shut up.

As a consumer, I get to choose which products to buy. It's a business, and the trailer is the ad. I can opine on the ad.

Maybe it does misrepresent the product. But that's how the manufacturer portrayed its product. I'm sure as hell justified in forming an opinion based on that.

I'm interested in the process of buying and selling, how big business manipulates our brains. That something they thought we'd buy, with that cute little girl.

I want to shout: NO!'

I'm not buying that.

And I'm especially not buying that abysmal dialogue/disgusting idea: "I see that I'm a little piece of a big big universe."

Bullshit religion substitute.

Ann Althouse said...

"WTF?! It was nominated for best film, best actress and screenplay!"

For its level of importance and critical attention, it should have received a director nomination.

The best picture list is very long, so getting on it means little for a film like that. It was snubbed, as was Django and Argo.

Hollywood snubbed the films that took on serious subjects and had edge, films that challenged us.

It nodded at softer, more sentimental material about: Lincoln and Pi.

If you can't see my point, then I have too much edge for you. I am too challenging.

So go ahead. Cocoon up with LincolnPi.

Ann Althouse said...

Have a big slice of gooey Lincoln Pie.

chickelit said...

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" looks preachy like "Waterworld"

The Oscars used to be something that we'd sit down and watch together as a family but it has lost that over the years. I'm no longer interested, my son is totally uninterested; my wife and daughter only watch the dress pageantry pre-show. The Oscars badly need a makeover of some sort and I don't mean a bigger load of Ryan Seacrest.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you want to watch a great movie with a non-precocious child, I highly recommend "The Fall"."

I've written about that movie a few times on this blog. It was my favorite movie of whatever year it was that it came out, a year when I saw many movies.

MayBee said...

A lot of people don't know this, but a movie only has to play in Los Angeles 1 time in a calendar year in order to be Oscar eligible. If it doesn't play at all in LA, it can't be eligible that year.

Freder Frederson said...

Like I have to go see every movie or shut up.

Well, actually if you haven't seen a movie, you should shut up about that particular movie.

Of all the movies nominated for best picture, the only one I have seen is BOTSW. I would not pass judgement on the others--even Zero Dark Thirty--without actually seeing them.

MayBee said...

Thanks, AA. No wonder it seemed to me like a movie you'd like!

For everyone who has forgotten Althouse's recommendation, I re-recommend it.

MayBee said...

The math as I see it:
Sandy Hook + Obama struggling with negotiating on the fiscal cliff = Hollywood giving us Feel Good Oscar Noms

Freder Frederson said...

If you can't see my point, then I have too much edge for you. I am too challenging.

Your point is undermined by your ignorant criticism of BOTSW, which you have not seen, yet you pan.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" looks preachy like "Waterworld"

Like Althouse, you really shouldn't criticize things you haven't seen.

MayBee said...

You are doing a great job selling BOTSW, Freder.

Fab Forty said...

Wow. Lots of movie haters that skulk around this blog. I like the movies for lots of reasons. I reluctantly went and saw Lincoln and ended up liking it so much I saw it twice. I really enjoyed Life of Pi too, and Argo. Ben Affleck should have been nominated. I can’t speak to Django as I have no interest in seeing it. I’m simply not a fan of Tarnantinos style. I will likely see ZDT; although it’s just opening up here this weekend.

Fab Forty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the wolf said...

One of the reasons I've resisted seeing Lincoln is that it's one of those movies made simply to win awards. There is a certain smug self-assurance in the production that just screams "give me awards" that turns me off. And they time the release perfectly for that purpose also.

Chip Ahoy said...

Who are you wearing?

I'm wearing Michael Kors. Can't you tell? That's his face right here. *displays inside jacket panel*

Following Newton massacres attention was drawn to the serious social problem of mass murders at public places and films are awarded that address the issue directly. The documentary, "Mass Murders Stopped by Gun Wielding Security" follows the events surrounding fifteen such incidences and is awarded Oscar for "Shortest Documentary" Ultimately not that interesting a film, he tried he died, he tried he died, he tried he died ...

Freder Frederson said...

As for challenging. My understanding of Zero Dark Thirty is that it offers an uncritical retelling of the administration's official line on the killing of Bin Laden. How is that challenging?

If I am wrong about this (as I said I have not seen it) and you have (which I doubt since it is not in general release yet).

You're just pissed off that a movie that aligns with your views on torture has been criticized by civilized people.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I love how art critic Althouse can pass judgement on a film based on the trailer."


I love that you love that.

Love is in the air.

Love it.

Larry J said...

The Academy Awards are just the biggest in a long, tiresome series of "Aren't We WONDERFUL!!" celebrity awards shows for movies, TV, music and Broadway. You'd be hard pressed to come up with enough money to induce me to watch any of them.

traditionalguy said...

Beasts of the Hollywood imagination are what we called being poor and uneducated. But since the target is now destruction of Western Civilization based upon Christian mercy, free will and intrinsic value of human individual rather than a collective tribe of all men on Gea's Earth ruled by Shamans, this is what our children are being fed.

Shouting Thomas said...

You're just pissed off that a movie that aligns with your views on torture has been criticized by civilized people.

The liberal asshole personified!

AllenS said...

Civilized people kill people who are not civilized. It's really that simple. That's how mankind has survived, and western civilization prospered.

chickelit said...

Freder Frederson writes:
Well, actually if you haven't seen a movie, you should shut up about that particular movie.

I agree with that on principle. I was reacting to a movie trailer which is a piece of film in itself. It is a pretty bad trailer in my opinion and doesn't make me want to see the film.

chickelit said...

The Golden Globes have ascended in importance and audience share anyways so there is that too. It's like the slow eclipse of baseball by football. Lots of the talent and money has moved to TV.

ndspinelli said...

When we're being preached to on films remember it's a person who sees few movies, and loves My Dinner w/ Andre. Always consider the source. Next Althouse will be telling us what airlines are good/bad.

rehajm said...

As for challenging. My understanding of Zero Dark Thirty is that it offers an uncritical retelling of the administration's official line on the killing of Bin Laden. How is that challenging?

Oh for chrissakes, if youre going to make a rule, dont break it three posts later...

and zdt has been in general release where i live for a week...

ndspinelli said...

rehajm, Limited releasse last week for ZDT, nationwide release today.

ndspinelli said...

Golden Globes are popular because everyone is drinking heavily. En vino veritas.

Shawn Levasseur said...

Not yet having seen ZD30, I can't see how the nominations (or lack of them) amount to "punishment". To some degree, I suspect any "punishment" is due to it's Ms. Bigelow's covering similar ground to her "Hurt Locker", and it's being treated as not much more than a sequel.

Judy Dench should have gotten a supporting actress nomination for "Skyfall". She gave a speech so great that it could only be followed by a gunfight involving the entire cast,

The feature documentary category is nothing but films I've never heard of. Probably all actually "Made for TV" films submitted for Oscars. I'd rather have Michael Moore have five films up and nominated rather than that. His films at least see the insides of theaters.

I could kvetch about the snubbing of 2016: Obama's America. But having seen it, I'm not fond of its premise. I don't believe Obama is deliberately trying to sabotage America. I think that gives him way too much credit, and turns him into a bad parody of a Bond villain. I don't buy into the pseudo-psychology it uses to make its point. The real Obama is bad enough that a straw man alternate version is not necessary. It's low grade conspiracy theory, not an Oscar worthy film.

William T. Sherman said...

Hollywood punished ZDT for being insufficiently ant-Bush / pro-Obama. Also, there's a scene towards the end when the SEALs are standing over UBL's body and they radio back to HQ: "Geronimo.....for God and Country".

Such sentiments must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

rehajm said...

...and i have seen zdt. I wont spoil, but justification for the controversies is there- the use of torture, the way the 'facts' were acquired, the squaring of those 'facts' with the actual events...and the political ramifications thereof.

EMD said...

Great. Another thread where everyone can tell us how much they hate movies.

BTW - "Beasts" is a good, but not great, film.

EMD said...

Judy Dench should have gotten a supporting actress nomination for "Skyfall". She gave a speech so great that it could only be followed by a gunfight involving the entire cast,


Man, that gunfight was silly, though, wasn't it? Stuck out like something filmed in 1970.

EMD said...

The People's Choice Awards were on last night.

Robert Downey Jr. won, and he seemed authentically happy to have won. That made me happy.

rehajm said...

and just one more on ZDT: I dont think the kack of nominations is a snub, excepting Bigelow not getting a nod. Theres really only one major character surrounded by ensemble. it would be hard to justify a supporting actor nomination..

X said...

"Zero Dark Thirty" punished.

you wouldn't care if the director were a man and I might see it if it wasn't from the mind that made Point Break.

ndspinelli said...

EMD, I have grown to really like Downey. He's always been a superb actor but rehab truly changed him. He is now fairly conservative, partially from having spent some time in the joint.

EMD said...

EMD, I have grown to really like Downey. He's always been a superb actor but rehab truly changed him. He is now fairly conservative, partially from having spent some time in the joint.

Quite the awakening.

An interesting note: The first Iron Man movie had a marketing tie-in with Burger King. So, when Tony Stark comes back to the States and says he wants a cheeseburger, he gets a bag from Burger King.

Obvious product placement, correct?

Consider that Downey himself has stated the moment when he realized he really needed to change his life, he in a Burger King, of all places, on Pacific Coast Highway.

ndspinelli said...

EMD, Great info on Downey. I like a Whopper now and then...no onions.

ndspinelli said...

I had my awakening @ a clam shack on the Boston Post Road in Ct. I had the epiphany I needed another order of whole belly clams and a lobster roll.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh for chrissakes, if youre going to make a rule, dont break it three posts later...

I am not panning the movie without seeing it. I am disputing Althouse's implied contention that ZDT is a "challenging" film. I liked "The Hurt Locker" but didn't find it particularly challenging.

Freder Frederson said...

Civilized people kill people who are not civilized.

Civilized people don't torture people. It is as simple as that.

edutcher said...

Back when people cared who won the Oscars, the nominees were selected with an eye to the most popular movies.

Now the Oscars want to be an arts fest and nobody watches.

PS You are really in a mood today, Ann, like the Blonde was yesterday. Is this something women pass around?

Bob said...

Freder, so the Germans weren't civilized? Greeks, Romans, Italians, or English? Were the Russians? Because only "savages" torture, right.

As to who was or was not nominated, who cares? the "awards" is just self-licking ice cream cone.

Tibore said...

"EMD said...
Great. Another thread where everyone can tell us how much they hate movies."


Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. It's surprising how people complain about movies and Hollywood being so preachy and self-absorbed (legit criticisms, BTW) in a manner that makes the complaints and complainers themselves sound preachy and self-absorbed. So much unintentional irony.

Some of the readership here does continue to like movies, and are willing to recognize that there are films worth seeing that aren't necessarily narcissistic, preachy works.

tiger said...

Althouse wrote: '"I see that I'm a little piece of a big big universe."'

For some reason the radio ad for BotSW reminded me of the radio ad for 'Sideways' when it was released on video.

The ad said that people were buying the video and 'having "Sideways" parties where they buy wines and hold tastings during the movie'.

Really? What wine went with the scene where Sandra Ho was getting treated like a ho?

Just preteniousness used in an effort to make people feel 'hip' for seeing a movie.

Yaaaaaawwwwwwwn.

CWJ said...

What color ribbons are they wearing this year?

Pianoman said...

A friend of mine, who sees a LOT of movies, once observed:

"At Oscar time, Hollywood remedies injustice with MORE injustice."

I saw the Oscars in a whole new light after that. I guess they've always been political, but it seems to me that nowadays they are VERY political.

Writ Small said...

Well, actually if you haven't seen a movie, you should shut up about that particular movie.

Scene/Unseen was a great, now-defunct podcast where two younger guys (film students trying to break into the business, I always assumed), would each review a movie. One saw it while the other soaked up all the marketing for the film - posters, trailers, web campaigns and such - but deliberately didn't watch the film. Lots of insights into what it takes for a film to succeed - on many levels.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

I'll be pulling for our Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence though I haven't bothered see her movie yet.

Justin said...

"Beasts" is a good, but not great, film.

Agreed; it's definitely worth checking out on Netflix but not worth paying to see it in a theater. I actually found it less sentimental than the trailer suggests.

Robert Cook said...

"And I'm especially not buying that abysmal dialogue/disgusting idea: 'I see that I'm a little piece of a big big universe.'

"Bullshit religion substitute."


I haven't seen BOTSW and I don't know if I'd like it or dislike it, (or be indifferent to it). That line of dialogue coming from a 5 year old's mouth is unlikely and shows the hand of the filmmaker more than one might wish, but it's not impossible a 5 year old could or might say that. However, why is it a "disgusting idea?"

It is indisputably factual: each of us is a little piece of a big universe. "We are stardust," as the song lyrics tell us. This is not mere poesy or sentimenaltiy, but is literally true. There need be no religious or spiritual interpretation of this reality. It merely points out that we are all of the same matter; metaphorically, it recognizes that we are all in the same fix, namely, we live too briefly, often endure too much woe, and must die.

Alex said...

Billions and billions of stars!

Alex said...

99% of the Althouse commetariat doesn't like anything outside of Biblical Epics.

AReasonableMan said...

Beasts of the Southern Wild wasn't a very good movie. I found it quite disappointing, a view shared by my son who saw it with me. My view has to be tempered by the fact that I liked Avatar.

Todd said...

They still do the Oscars?

I have never watched them or any of the other award shows. I also never quite got the whole celebrity thing. These are people that are paid to lie (actors) or people that are paid to play kid games (sports stars). They should be happy simply to get paid.

I think the Romans (or was it the Greeks) had it right, actors were shunned and not permitted in polite company...

EMD said...

My view has to be tempered by the fact that I liked Avatar.

Thank you for the honesty.

EMD said...

Back when people cared who won the Oscars, the nominees were selected with an eye to the most popular movies

This is somewhat true, as the 15 lowest-grossing Best Picture winners have come in the past 30 years.

The Avengers should have been nominated for Best Picture, along with the Lincolns and the Amours.

Sigivald said...

Why does anyone outside the industry care about the Oscars?

Hell, why does anyone inside it care?

Levi Starks said...

After the first 3 notes of the intro music I knew they were going to try and teach me a life lesson.
But in spite of that It looks like a movie I could watch.

Maguro said...

And the lifetime award for being a sanctimonious bore goes to Freder.

Cedarford said...

I can understand Tarantino getting burned on blowback for his 20 year long violence porn rut in light of the "badly mistimed for the Oscar nominations" school massacre.

But Tom Hooper? 80% of the directors nominated lack his basic skill level and talent to have even attempted a film version of Les Miserables!! (And that includes Spielberg)

And Ben Affleck is like Robert Downey Jr - completely redeemed from his professional nadir - at least as a director. 3 Awesome movies in a row..Gone, Baby Gone, then The Town, then Argo. Argo rated a spot, particularly when fans and critics said it was standout stuff all the way.

And Bigelow maybe was a little too brave and her approach to making a good movie got in the way of Hollywood politics this time.

Thats the directors.

And the last Batman, a superb flick that made over a billion globally, and Skyfall also finely done ....are as expected ignored as "proletariate fodder" by the elites. For a black version of Waterworld with yet another precocious girl the gays can gush over.

William said...

My money is on Anne Hathaway to win best actress. It's seldom that you see a major star with such a bad haircut. While it's true that anyone can get a bad haircut, only a major star can get a bad haircut and still look gorgeous......Is there anyone in the entire world who wants to see Amour?

William said...

I think I would rather see Brokeback Mountain than Amour.

Cedarford said...

EMD said...
My view has to be tempered by the fact that I liked Avatar.

Thank you for the honesty.


================
Avatar was good. What hurt was the idea that it could have been truly great, had Cameron invested 1/100th the money he put in FX into writers who could have given him a far better screenply than the nursery school leveal "Noble, wisest of all 3rd Worlders in harmony with all vs. the ignorant greedy fools of civilization" crap he wrote on his own.

Revenant said...

I'm really surprised about Affleck not getting a nomination. He has been making a name for himself as a director, and Argo was widely praised.

Maybe the Academy didn't want to seem anti-Iranian.

eddie willers said...

I think the Romans (or was it the Greeks) had it right, actors were shunned and not permitted in polite company...

It was the Romans.

In fact, that did more to make Nero (who fancied himself the greatest artist ever) unpopular than did his burning down the city.

dodson said...

Beasts is for and about rural Southeners. As such it was a great film. We do not get many films made about us and our people. I left the movie in tears. I am a 70 year old kick ass white gun owning Southener. I knew everybody in that cast. Best film since Winter's Bone. No way Yankees or Madison law professors can "get" either one. You and the horse yall rode in on.

Robert Cook said...

WINTER'S BONE rocked!!

Ben Calvin said...

I can't respect the Oscars if Iron Sky did not get any nominations. It is so superior to the the multi-Oscar winning Titanic.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This thread sort of exemplifies why conservatives suck at the arts. Beasts was a very great movie; as art it appeals to the senses in an interesting way (which is what good art is supposed to do) and makes meaning out of settings and situations that are similarly unconventional. And, sorry to disappoint Shouting Bigot, but the little protagonist is actually part of a community in the movie that is mostly white. If he was hoping for a "racial lesson" to feel condescended by, he would have sorely missed out on it. Poor, poor Shouting Tommy!

Also, what is this bullshit about "religion substitute"? Religions succeeded because they appealed to the limited artistic imaginations of primitive peoples. If you think Passion of the Tortured, Tortured and Oh So Bloody Christ is better art, or perhaps a better "art substitute", then say so. It's just as graphic as Beasts, but limited in the range of sensibilities it can appeal to in people.

And anyway, if you're so down with how religion is a poorly abused but REALLY great and wonderful thing, then where are all the god-damn posts glorifying scriptural depictions? You can't condemn something for attempting to copy something else unless you hold the thing you accuse it of copying in high esteem. Unless you're a poseur, of course. I can hear it now, Althouse as a late-life middle-school student, complaining about imitation fashion designer labels! Oh, the fucking humanity!

Unknowable said...

Who needs $1T coins? Just levy a tax preening pretentiousness at a dollar per cubic butt-load, and we could pay off the national debt the day after the Oscars.

CWJ said...

Oh my goodness! Is this a first? Ritmo spikes a thread AFTER its over! Now that's a stunner.

Tibore said...

Well, Ritmo just does his thing, and we're all accustomed to his rants.

In reality, it's more blowhardism that makes things intolerable. Preachy's preachy, regardless of whether it's a leftist or a rightist creating the art.