The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#451 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:10 am

knives wrote:The Departed
This is a good film with some fun and occasionally even great acting plus enough oddball elements (why is Anthony Anderson present)
I truly think someone close to, or perhaps even Scorsese himself was a fan of The Shield, in which Anderson went completely against type and played a pretty cold-blooded dude. Him being cast in Chris Penn's role in Jason Reitman's reading of Reservoir Dogs with an-all black cast was a genius move I thought.

Another member of the cast Mark Rolston, also appeared in a handful of episodes of the 2nd season of that show.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#452 Post by knives » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:22 pm

I'm not a television guy so I would have never guessed that though Anderson doesn't seem to be asked to play much against type here.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#453 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:21 pm

2015

the Big Short I thought this was gonna be an Economics 4 Dummiez flick, but it couldn’t even be bothered to be that consistent and purposeful. Dull and tonally uneven, this movie lobs easy punches at even easier targets with so little effort extended that it’s utterly confounding how it was received as an awards-worthy juggernaut. Thank God this didn’t win.

Bridge of Spies Pedestrian fare elevated to high esteem here on the forum and by the academy, though I have no earthly idea why. For all the bellyaching over dime a dozen, instantly forgettable prestige pics, this forum sure loved two of the biggest offenders nominated this year, Bridge of Spies and Brooklyn. While Rylance’s performance was often praised as “subtle,” I think more accurately it’s just non-existent. Ruffalo and Hardy were robbed.

Brooklyn Stunningly average mediocrity. Not one part of this film ever rises above “Eh.” I may not have been wild about Room or even Larson in it, but I hardly think Ronan was robbed for starring in what looks and feels like a PBS BBC import.

Mad Max: Fury Road Sensing a pattern yet? Mediocre action film, frequently undermined or marred by horrible editing, elevated by its fandom into Oscar glory. I don’t begrudge its placement here, since it’s so far out of the Academy’s wheelhouse that I enjoy its inclusion on principle, but it doesn’t really belong here on its merits. Then again, few films ever do!

the Martian Solid populist sci-fi entertainment, filled with friendly faces and telling a compelling action yarn. While this is a good movie, every time I remember that this made the final cut and the superior by every metric Interstellar didn’t, I get unduly upset.

the Revenant Is it show-offy? Yes. Does it earn its show-offiness by meriting attention? Yes. In a year that gave us some all time great Westerns (Hateful Eight and the Keeping Room), it’s only fitting that one make it to the final roundup, even if it never quite leaves more than a visceral impact. Inarritu earned his Oscar just for the impressive coordination of all the elements in play, at least. DiCaprio may have walked away with his “owed” Oscar for putting himself through the Sand Pebbles treatment, but I thought Tom Hardy pretty easily stole the movie from him.

Room A complete mess and the worst film nominated. Larson won for Short Term 12 in my mind, and that’s how I live with it. I've encountered a surprising number of people who've read the source book but don't want to see the film, so I guess it was/is more popular a starting point than I'd realized, at least. I can't argue with their desire, though!

Spotlight Really, this and the Martian and the Revenant are all about equal in my estimation: Three good (but not great) films among a lot of mediocrity or worse. So, when in doubt, go with the Academy.

My Vote: Spotlight

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#454 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:01 pm

All I'd need to do to contribute my own 2015 list is watch The Big Short and I don't know if I'm prepared to make that sacrifice

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#455 Post by movielocke » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:05 am

mfunk9786 wrote:All I'd need to do to contribute my own 2015 list is watch The Big Short and I don't know if I'm prepared to make that sacrifice
that is exactly how I feel about watching room.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#456 Post by TMDaines » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:56 am

domino harvey wrote:2015

the Big Short I thought this was gonna be an Economics 4 Dummiez flick, but it couldn’t even be bothered to be that consistent and purposeful. Dull and tonally uneven, this movie lobs easy punches at even easier targets with so little effort extended that it’s utterly confounding how it was received as an awards-worthy juggernaut. Thank God this didn’t win.

Bridge of Spies Pedestrian fare elevated to high esteem here on the forum and by the academy, though I have no earthly idea why. For all the bellyaching over dime a dozen, instantly forgettable prestige pics, this forum sure loved two of the biggest offenders nominated this year, Bridge of Spies and Brooklyn. While Rylance’s performance was often praised as “subtle,” I think more accurately it’s just non-existent. Ruffalo and Hardy were robbed.

Brooklyn Stunningly average mediocrity. Not one part of this film ever rises above “Eh.” I may not have been wild about Room or even Larson in it, but I hardly think Ronan was robbed for starring in what looks and feels like a PBS BBC import.

Mad Max: Fury Road Sensing a pattern yet? Mediocre action film, frequently undermined or marred by horrible editing, elevated by its fandom into Oscar glory. I don’t begrudge its placement here, since it’s so far out of the Academy’s wheelhouse that I enjoy its inclusion on principle, but it doesn’t really belong here on its merits. Then again, few films ever do!

the Martian Solid populist sci-fi entertainment, filled with friendly faces and telling a compelling action yarn. While this is a good movie, every time I remember that this made the final cut and the superior by every metric Interstellar didn’t, I get unduly upset.

the Revenant Is it show-offy? Yes. Does it earn its show-offiness by meriting attention? Yes. In a year that gave us some all time great Westerns (Hateful Eight and the Keeping Room), it’s only fitting that one make it to the final roundup, even if it never quite leaves more than a visceral impact. Inarritu earned his Oscar just for the impressive coordination of all the elements in play, at least. DiCaprio may have walked away with his “owed” Oscar for putting himself through the Sand Pebbles treatment, but I thought Tom Hardy pretty easily stole the movie from him.

Room A complete mess and the worst film nominated. Larson won for Short Term 12 in my mind, and that’s how I live with it. I've encountered a surprising number of people who've read the source book but don't want to see the film, so I guess it was/is more popular a starting point than I'd realized, at least. I can't argue with their desire, though!

Spotlight Really, this and the Martian and the Revenant are all about equal in my estimation: Three good (but not great) films among a lot of mediocrity or worse. So, when in doubt, go with the Academy.

My Vote: Spotlight
Wow, you really did not have a single positive experience whilst watching any of these? Given that there is such a broad range of films there, I find that surprising.

I must say, it's odd how you either purposefully or inadvertently make repeated subtle digs at people who happened to like some of these films, as if those who regarded them highly are not enlightened enough to see them for what you perceive as their true value. You seem to be criticising many of these for being well regarded, or worthy of Awards consideration, which you disagree with, rather than anything in the films themselves. That may just be a consequence of condensing your thoughts down to a couple of sentences on each though.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#457 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:01 am

What are you talking about? I liked three of them. I literally say that.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#458 Post by cdnchris » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:17 am

movielocke wrote:that is exactly how I feel about watching room.
Does that film really have that bad a reputation around here? My wife ended up renting it and I liked it a great deal, certainly not "a complete mess" like domino says (not even sure what that means). I don't know if being a parent somehow makes me more susceptible to films like this, as it's really about the relationship between the mother and son, but I thought it was good, way better than The Big Short (which I liked well enough but have little desire to see again) and Brooklyn (which I'll probably forget within the next hour or so). And honestly I probably liked it more than Spotlight. Not sure.
domino harvey wrote:What are you talking about? I liked three of them. I literally say that.
That's true, but your criticisms against the other four seem to be more about they suck because other people like them (which I'm sure isn't really the case, just how it comes off), which is what he was referring to.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#459 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:28 am

Okay, to clarify, especially since several of these I've already talked about elsewhere on the board in more specifics, I think these films are not very good apart from anyone else's response. I found it odd that so many people here responded positively to several films that struck me as being in the mode of the typical awards bait people usually bemoan. I don't care enough about these films to get worked up over someone else loving them, it was just an observation. This is just a brief writeup anyways for the purpose of bookkeeping more than anything else, not a thesis. And a good time was surely had by all

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The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#460 Post by TMDaines » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:51 am

Sorry, that's probably a misreading on my part. I thought you referred to the three you called good as mediocre too, but that wasn't the case. Chris reiterated what I meant by my other point though.

Personally, I thought this was a pretty good year and I really enjoyed all of these that I have seen so far (with only Mad Max to go). Even if none of the films quite reach the level of some of the other films in consideration over the last few years, I didn't dislike any of them, nor was I even indifferent to them. The chaff, for instance (The Danish Girl, seemed to get weeded out from the nominations this year.

Edit: Added a missing word or too.
Last edited by TMDaines on Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#461 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:05 am

And I thought the Danish Girl unexpectedly was slightly better than at least half of these noms, though I'd never have guessed it sight unseen!

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#462 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:15 am

cdnchris wrote:
movielocke wrote:that is exactly how I feel about watching room.
Does that film really have that bad a reputation around here? My wife ended up renting it and I liked it a great deal, certainly not "a complete mess" like domino says (not even sure what that means). I don't know if being a parent somehow makes me more susceptible to films like this, as it's really about the relationship between the mother and son, but I thought it was good, way better than The Big Short (which I liked well enough but have little desire to see again) and Brooklyn (which I'll probably forget within the next hour or so). And honestly I probably liked it more than Spotlight. Not sure.
Room, while it didn't rank highest on my overall list for the year among the nominees (that was Bridge of Spies), probably would've gotten my Best Pic vote if I had one - aside from the misguided narration, it did a great job exploring the subject matter without being exploitative, and was wise enough to dedicate a good deal of time to the fallout from the events. But like I said, I haven't seen The Big Short, so I can't make that official in here yet.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#463 Post by knives » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:08 pm

2015
The Big Short
This isn't as bad as some of its detractors make it out to be, but it's not as good as its fans think either. The main issue on display is the insecurity of McKay's direction and script. He is talking down to the audience , adding unnecessary dramatics, and distracting with inept arty directing choices. Given his recent output this film is no surprise, but frankly McKay has already handled the banking crisis better with The Other Guys. There is a nugget of a great film here with some simple restructuring and a bit more confidence in the audience in understanding the material. Just a quick example to show where the film succeeds and where it fails. The first scene between Gosling and Carrel is great and besides two useless fourth wall breaks it succeeds in turning banking into tense drama that is informative of the specific pieces of the crisis. The master of the scene handles CDOs well with the Jenga blacks so the cutting to the CNN food guy undermines the film. Just get rid of it and boom you have a great scene. We also really did not need the plot with Jesus Pitt. In fact the scene introducing his plotline is the worst of the film. We have a perfectly okay scene scripted to show how these guys found out about the default swapping scam which gets broken up to explain how the scene actually happened in real life which leads to the question of why McKay bothered to script the scene this way if he is just going to call it out as false. It's dramatically stupid, adds nothing to the audience's understanding of banking, and makes McKay look incompetent next to Michael Bay of all people who took a similar approach to the truth and made it world dramatically in Pain and Gain. This isn't a bad film, but it could have been significantly better and there have been better examples made then this attempt to turn a Michael Moore doc into a fiction.

Bridge of Spies
This is Spielberg (and everyone else really) coasting with a light take on his serious style and it's really enjoyable as that. Rylance embodies this the best giving an enjoyable performance which succeeds as drama while not bothering to get too complex. The film on the whole stands in the middle of the road in this group of simple films, but I guess that just highlights how well this year was for Oscar friendly films.

Brooklyn
Crowley does a good bit of work with a bit of added enjoyment to the throwback nature the story s told in (too bad though it's a throwback to the worst '50s genre in the form of the social drama). It uses a few modern techniques regularly and is a fair bit more open about stuff like the bathroom, but the core of the throwback is handled well (certainly better than the fraudulent The Immigrant). Everything is play by the numbers to such a slavish degree that it only can reach to the level of okay, but thanks in no small part to Ronan, who continues to be just the best, it's the best okay film I imagine this story could be. Nothing more nor less than simple and sweet.

Mad Max: Fury Road
This is a cool, stylish film, but the ecstatic response to it speaks more about the dearth of quality english language action cinema rather than anything about the film itself which in terms of action, social commentary, and even general weirdness doesn't hold a camera to even many middle of the road action films out of Asia and the pacific islands. The social commentary in particular is really flawed through an incoherent expression and a nonsensical ending which if one dares to think past its chipperness undermines much of the film's themes. Very beautiful though.

The Martian
This is a pleasant enough film (which is a phrase I could apply to nearly all of the films nominated) though compared with the other pieces of big adult sci-fi, particularly Interstellar which it shares a few cast members with, it fails to live up to its possibilities. Instead the film plays out like a lazy Sunday afternoon. If it's any consolation though this is easily Drew Goddard's best work only occasionally trying too hard to appear cool and witty and almost never failing. In fact Damon gets to be rather dorky and lame in a way that gives him more character then emphasizing his wit would. Also it has the second best instance of surprise Donald Glover I've seen recently.

The Revenant
This is a fair bit more flawed than Birdman which remains AGI's best film, but that's because the experiment at hand is much tougher to pull off. The two are bit like seeing if the car runs and then seeing if it can run on a course. The extant to which he pushes this digital Sam Fuller intensity alone is worth applauding. The film has failures though they are rather limited (the bear attack for example just feels off and some dialogue scenes feel like a video for a theme park ride) and the successes have that intense power captured earlier in Emma Stone's big monologue in Birdman. DiCaprio affords the film some artiness owing to magical realism, but it is with Hardy the film and the style shines. There's something about Hardy's slurred speech and visual humour grown onto a Juan Rulfo inspired madness which marries to the style perfectly. The film becomes at its best like the version of Ford that Jean Marie Straub sees.

Room
I hate this kid almost as much as Brie Larson does. Though that's not even the biggest problem. This film is so lazily staged that to claim it is anything but the most incompetent film nominated for best picture is decades would be too kind. For example the big escape scene is just ridiculous.
SpoilerShow
The kid stands in the truck for so long that it takes the villain that long to see him is crazy. Then after all of that with him clearly knowing what would happen to him if he's caught he just leaves the kid out on a lawn instead of taking him back to the shed?
That is stupidity in a way just to force the narrative along and could have been easily cured by better staging. This exact problem hits the film over and over and over again with the whole affair just being this lazy nonsense. This is a BAD movie plain and simple and no one should watch this especially with the far superior 10 Cloverfield Lane now available.

Spotlight
This was a lot better then I was expecting. It's no Alan Pakula, but Mark Ruffalo's hammy annoyance aside (so of course he gets the nomination out of this great group) it plays as a far superior The Verdict. In a somewhat generic way it's exactly what you want out of a best picture winner. It's mature without being portentous. The acting is all variety of show off, but with the one exception fits naturally in the world carved out so that their dance is exciting without becoming distracting. And of course most of all the plot motivated source of seriousness is actually relevant and multi-faceted in a way that could lead to some good discussion. I do wish more attention was paid to Liev Schreiber's side of the story than the actual investigation as that is far less tread territory and thus was much more compelling than the investigation. Also it is just nice to see Rachel McAdams have a good role again. It seems like forever since she got something this meaty.

My Vote: The Revenant

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#464 Post by knives » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:09 pm

2011
The Artist
Of all the BP winners to be forgotten within a week of their leaving theaters you wouldn't think it's the black and white, academy ratio, no spoken dialogue French movie. You'd think something in that description would hold people's attention for more then a year. I'm not sure either why this seems to get a sea of upturned noses as once you realize no one here is particularly interested in being imitative of the period, but rather coming up with a fresh way to do another 'let's put on a show' it is quite the enjoyable crowd pleaser. I'm tempted to make a more thorough argument for the merits of the film given that the film has no interest in being a slave to period detail, but honestly it ultimately doesn't matter.

The Descendants
It's been on my tongue before this, but now I really want to see Payne adapt Roth's Everyman. Payne's talent with middle aged almost misanthropes dealing by not dealing with personal tragedy would be perfect for that book. This film is a fair bit distanced compared with Payne's usual touch, but the anthropological curiosity of an ordinary life in an area usually not afforded to be ordinary (though that seems to be a more common approach lately) makes Payne's ticks feel just different enough. Also it is probably Clooney's best performance.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Fuck off you English son of a bastard.

The Help
Look, this film is clearly not smart enough to honestly deal with the problems its subject presents and having Emma Stone be much more than just an audience surrogate seems to be an implicit acknowledgement of that. I don't think it is even particularly interested in the question of race as anything more than how it separates women. So it's unfair to judge this as more than a melodrama utilizing the historical background provided. Certainly that is a great point to start from for a story. Tales of women are severely under made in this day and age and the hierarchy genders construct within themselves is an intensely interesting subject. Unfortunately even by that standard this film is thundering in its obviousness. Not since Julia, for example, have I seen a film open to tell the audience in such a thick style the setting. If you can't tell from the voice over saying that we are in Jackson, MS don't worry. Johnny Cash is also telling you. The film is this obvious and stupid all throughout. By no means did this film have to be great for me to enjoy it, but it needed to at least be competent in telling the central drama preferably under two hours.

I will say though that Chastain is amazing here and if the film was just that relationship I'd be singing a different tune. Allison Janney, of course, is also a lot of fun.

Hugo
This is stunningly poor like a gaggle of cliches that adults think children like from children's stories but find boring in reality. Obviously this is a personal film for Scorsese who seems to be trying to breed a love for film preservation onto children. Unfortunately I doubt children would be terribly amused by the film and it condescends too much for an adult to appreciate. Christopher Lee is the one bright light present who seems to understand how to convey the grandfatherly charm with the adult sensitivity that could make this film work.

Midnight in Paris
One of Allen's best film's in recent years with a surprisingly critical take on his own nostalgia as a transitory thing. It's not perfect Allen, but to make something this enjoyable while criticizing his whole approach to life (yes I know the critique of the inlaws but that's irrelevant for me) is applaude worthy.

Moneyball
Shooting and telling what is basically a Casino type of film as a Jerry Maguire style film is just a dumb idea that leaves all aspects of the film completely unsatisfactory. There are a lot of moments where it feels like the script is just quoting the book, but the break in style from traditional narrative is handled with no grace or visual interest. The film is just schizophrenic and lousy for this intense indecisiveness. It's okay that this film isn't Soderbergh's, but it needs to commit to being a normal film which Miller just doesn't do. Jonah Hill does deserve his praise though if just for giving a sense of what a good version of either of these films might have looked like.

The Tree of Life
This has been talked about enough both in seriousness and humour that I don't feel the need to speak either way on it beyond acknowledging I fall in the bad category.

War Horse
This is a weird film and I just can't figure out who it was made for. The film is like the ultimate push from Spielberg in his transformation from DeMille to Ford. Instead of using the vibrancy of Ford as he has done elsewhere though this comes across as a collection of outdated pieces of sentimentality which become cynical due to how divorced the experience is from the action. Basically the whole thing is hokey at a distance which can't endear. Maybe with an hour shaved off there would be something likable in a goofy Lassie Come Home sort of way, but unfortunately this must be epic and the academy nominates the wrong Beard picture from this year. Guess this isn't the horse's chance for the money (honestly the film's wants seem to fit that Bresson better than the donkey film since the horse is a prop not a character).

My vote: This is a petty relaxed year with a few acceptable choices so why not The Descendents

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#465 Post by A man stayed-put » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:50 pm

Fuck off you English son of a bastard.
I imagine this is directed at Steven Daldry. Is it his Englishness that makes him a 'son of a bastard' of should he 'fuck off' for other reasons you've left unsaid?

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#466 Post by knives » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:08 pm

Salary should fuck off for the film he made and that alone. I don't like it and if I haven't explained why in the dedicated thread I'll simply say the sheer offense of the movie is evident enough from a viewing I don't feel obligated to explain further.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#467 Post by A man stayed-put » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:16 pm

I was wondering what him being English had to do with it.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#468 Post by knives » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:18 pm

Nothing. It just seemed like a good modifier.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#469 Post by knives » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:02 am

2010
127 Hours
This film solves one of my biggest problems with Boyle as a director and for that alone it deserves a lot of applause. That man cannot shoot a denouement worth his life with even his best films suffering dearly from a horrible ending. So the decision to essentially have this be a one act play with all of the extra narrative so and so being left to about four minutes at the beginning and end really allows the film to focus in on the where Boyle is good. I also think the central drama here of a tough physical scenario forcing the protagonist to reconsider their life even as it reaffirms some things is handled extremely well especially in light of Wild from a few years ago which handled the same material in a less meaningful fashion.

Black Swan
It's easy to tease Aronofsky's battle between a rather extreme artistic desire and an equal desire to make easily understood pop culture friendly films, but as long as he continues making them this involving and awe inspiring who cares? Also as every year passes the casting of Portman screams more and more true to the point of parody which I kind of love.

The Fighter
Russell has really developed a great sense of place. He's awful with time in a way that makes his period pieces weird, but the well researched details that make it, as with this movie, seem like moving the film's location just ten or twenty miles in any direction would be impossible. Just comparing the training scenes here to the ones in Silver Linings, admittedly they serve a very different narrative purpose, shows very different approaches to place with the characters alienating themselves from the location here versus the fairly opened up approach to the neighborhood in the next picture. Of the revival films this is the most clearly dramatic, though conversely its the oddities of the comedy like Bale's sing a long with Leo that make this interesting especially in light of the million other boxing movies that run about. All of that makes me a bit wary in saying this is his weakest film, because I suspect if I had a closer relation to the character of Boston, particularly this neighborhood, I might have the deeply personal reaction that Silver Linings and American Hustle produced which I guess goes into a whole other question of to what degree is a film responsible for letting an audience in.

Inception
What I said for Black Swan plus two. Admittedly this is one of Nolan's weakest films, getting in pretty exclusively due to the weirdness that popped up as studios got used to the new nomination size (compare this set of films to the last two years for what I mean) and as a general acknowledgment for The Dark Knight being ridiculous in its success, but it still offers a lot of entertaining meat to bite into.

The Kids Are All Right
Even if being a lesbian was like that it's not cute to commit adultery. This is just a bad collection of dumb indie film cliches whose only notable point over five years later is helping jumpstart the career of Mia Wasikowska who of course has become one of the most underappreciated actresses in Hollywood.

The King's Speech
Cute little thing that doesn't add up to much at all. Rush pulls off his rather revisionist (no smoking) character very well and it is nice to see HBC play a human again, but outside of that the film is too isolated on Firth to be anything other than a slight nothing if a fun enough example of such. The film does have some fun with Rush's Australian origin, but that this is a film where someone is Australian English rather than English English is a very important point and that the divorced status of Simpson is the biggest problem with Edward says a fair bit on the careful to not offend nature of the film.

The Social Network
I'm trying and failing at saying something not entirely trite because this film really does have everything every Hollywood film should have. It's such a slick east with tons of quotable and memorable material and some truly staggering performances that despite everything doesn't feel like the tossed off attempt at appealing to kids it should be. I place a good deal of the blame on Sorkin's fortunate old man grumpiness, but Fincher really does come through conveying the cliched lonely madness of genius in a vibrant way achieving a rather new perspective on it. The whole film recalls Rossellini's The Taking of Power, but the ending especially plays against that twin giving something as powerfully sad and full of isolation that comments on it in an unrecognizable manner. The big theme of this year's nominees seems to be the artistic process (five of the nominees by my count) and perhaps some others convey that more fully, but this one does it more intimately which is the perspective that works best for me.

Toy Story 3
I'm mostly indifferent to Pixar on the whole and that applies here too.

True Grit
I've got little to add here beyond the generic logline on how this shows how satisfying the Coens can be playing a broad enjoyable crowd pleaser without losing any of their flavour.

Winter's Bone
I feel somewhat bad for having the strongest negative opinions against the only two films directed by women, but what is there to do. Hawkes aside there's nothing I like about this mediocre attempt at noir whose attempt at profundity through a few acknowledgements at class feels completely false and certainly not helped by Lawrence's awful Pa and Ma Kettle accent which raises this to a genuinely awful experience.


My vote: The Social Network (though there are a lot of stone cold classics here)

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#470 Post by knives » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:14 am

2005
Brokeback Mountain
Lee pulls in his typical quiet observation and careful observance of small moments to bring forth a film which while pleasurable and smarter then most films of its ilk (especially in '05), but all the same doesn't lead to emotions or thoughts larger then a shrug. Put shortly this is perfectly adequate fluff. This sort of pleasant shoulder shrugging quality seems to be the one consistency throughout the '00s when it comes to BP nominees. It doesn't help that Heath Ledger does some sort of Boomhauer accent which is so impenetrably thick I have no clue about anything he said. It's a good and handsome performance in the way everything else here is, but my ears didn't need that workout.

Capote
Every year has to have at least one movie that is just there providing nothing and leaving nothing and this is 2005's such movie.

Crash
See, racism is no big deal anymore. That said it is technically fairly decent. Also Keith David and Michael Pena somehow manage to make something that resembles humans through sheer charisma, though clearly they chose the wrong Terrence Howard and Ludacris starring film.

Good Night, and Good Luck
This is such a pretty movie in a way so outside of everything else Clooney has shown as a director it makes me wonder how he did it this time. The look of the film is the only element that makes this feel like a theatrical release though as the rest plays like a handsome television movie and in fact I feel ready to guarantee that this was the basis for Jay Roach's style in those HBO movies. Though this is far better than those basically succeeding at what it sets out to do as well as it could.

Munich
Nifty way to have the lead character be an ethnic outsider and minority while retaining him as an Ashki. That's just one of the many layers of greatness the film has that doesn't just make it probably Spielberg's best, but also one of the best reflections on the problem Israel poses for Jewish identity. There's an expectation of masculinity and violence, but also the self deprecation that comes with a comfort in inhabiting the feminized aspects of Said's categories. The dinner when the team first meets is a perfect illustration of this where hey talk of revenge and violence, but also their inadequacies to live up to the masculine ideal of the assassin with their team leader chosen as such for the quality of his motherly brisket (now is the time to admit I just ripped that off of Nathan Abrams The New Jew).

A lot of this is due to Kushner's script which is dense in theme and expression, but Spielberg isn't chopped liver alternating his style in a way that while distinctively his own allows for the visuals to explore many of these same ideas through exaggeration. He also never allows it to become boring which it easily could be especially in the moments that really deal with the time. There are a lot of moments that as written don't seem cinematic, yet the camera clicks in just the right fashion. He also handles the genuinely cinematic moments with such careful blocking that my jaw dropped regularly. The grenade scene is one of the best action scenes of the previous decade almost entirely due to the very careful blocking.

I could continue to fawn, and it is definitely due, but I figure it might be more useful to bring up a pair of critiques which leave me unsure of the movie on the whole. The first is one that really is a problem with Spielberg's populism which otherwise aids the movie. This is a problem he encounters in all of his multilingual movie, but having the Palestinians speak arabic while to the point of illogic having the Israelis speak english makes the affair too one sided. Admittedly the political fight is not the film's main priority, but still given how the amateurish of the Israelis is a major theme making the sympathies so one sided is a bit ridiculous. More personally I find the fact that there are two, maybe three Jews among the main cast to be utterly absurd especially when one of them is playing a non-Jew! I love Daniel Craig the actor and he is good here, but having him play a zealot is more than a little absurd. It is comfort food for a protestant audience who might be put off by a bunch of Elliot Goulds or Lior Ashkenazis in the cast. It's a stupid black face for a film which should be above that. This gets even more absurd when all of the support is properly cast as if finding a Jew to play 'Newlywed Man' is less difficult and more important than for your leads. I really only bring up these problems which I am sure are invisible to most audience members because the rest of the film is so good that to have such glaring thematic and ethical problems are far more frustrating than if the film had just been the sort of pap you'd expect from Spielberg (nor John Williams whose somber tone here is a pleasant surprise).

My vote: Munich

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#471 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:30 pm

I'm in agreement with that, though unfortunately it didn't stop Daniel Craig from turning up in Defiance a few years later!

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#472 Post by knives » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:38 pm

It really is weird that he's become the sort of default choice for filmmakers looking for modern day zealots. Besides talent I have to wonder what the attraction is?

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captveg
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#473 Post by captveg » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:42 pm

I owe it to his creeper-ish role in Road to Perdition. There's a douchey smarminess about him in that film that carried over for the next 5 years or so.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#474 Post by knives » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:46 pm

I doubt that some since there's little to no overlap between that character and his pansy archetype and the two zealots.

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Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#475 Post by Minkin » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:15 pm

My S/O can't see Daniel Craig as anyone but Putin, so perhaps that's what they're going for.

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