January 24, 2012

"Were there any Oscar surprises?"

The nominations were announced this morning.
The nominees for best picture are “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “The Help,” “Moneyball,” “Hugo,” “War Horse,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “The Tree of Life” and “Midnight in Paris.”
I've only seen "Midnight in Paris," so I'm not a good judge of whether any of this is a good idea, though I will say I've seen the trailers for “The Help” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and believe them to be the kind of sententious treatment of an important subject that I avoid. All the others, except "War Horse," I could be prodded to see, except that I already feel overprodded about "The Artist," and I'm getting cranky. (Sorry, movies are mainly about emotions, and these are mine.)
The nominees for best actress are Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”), Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), Viola Davis (“The Help”), Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”) and Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”).
Is there an iota of suspense about that one?

30 comments:

ricpic said...

Very disappointed The Iron Lady wasn't nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Actress. I went in expecting the worst and was impressed by the film's more than fair presentation of Thatcher's brand of conservatism while showing the imperiousness that brought her down. On top of which it was a beautifully paced film. And Streep's performance is one for the ages.

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

Go see the Artist. Not perfect but quite moving as well as funny and gay (in the original meaning of that word).

LarryTheOlder said...

My wife and I read "The Help" and saw the movie. Both the book and movie are highly recommended by us.

Tank said...

We've seen Midnight in Paris, which I really enjoyed, but is it comparable to GREAT pics? I don't know about that.

Watched half of the Tree of Life. That's 45 minutes I'll never get back. Should be on the short list for worst ....

Freeman Hunt said...

I've seen “The Descendants,” “The Help,” “The Tree of Life,” and “Midnight in Paris.”

It will be tough for anything to be more deserving than Tree of Life, but I would like to see The Artist.

Also, no Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?

EDH said...

Wouldn't it be funny if they opened the envelope from Price-Waterhouse and it contained Mitt Romney's tax return from 2011?

Ginsberg said Romney would fare better financially under Gingrich's tax plan than under his own. Gingrich would end all taxation of capital gains; Romney wouldn't let high-income taxpayers receive that break. The 203-page return of Romney and his wife, Ann, along with returns from trusts and a foundation, provide a glimpse into the candidate's financial life.

My initial reaction: the release of Romney's tax returns offers more opportunity for Mitt to advance his campaign than it offers Gingrich.

Do I think Mitt will miss that opportunity? Possibly.

Justin said...

I'm disappointed that Tilda Swinton was not nominated for We Need to Talk About Kevin. Go see it.

William said...

I saw that pro-Paris piece of propaganda, Midnight in Paris. I'm sure Woody Allen will get the French government to fund his next ten movies. Carla Bruni as a tour guide--what a brilliant piece of casting.....OK, I liked the movie, but he made Paris a Disneyland for liberal art majors and populated it with cartoon characters. The artists were caricatured affectionately, but the two Republicans were not given a single redeeming trait.

LYNNDH said...

I highly recommend the "War Horse". It really is a good flick,difficult to watch at times.

victoria said...

Listen, Ann.I went to see "The Artist" with my 26 year-old daughter with moderate expectations. I tell you, there must have been some drugs in the theater because I walked out loving it. Go see it, run don't walk. It is divine. Saw all the other nominated pictures except "Hugo". It is wonderful. For those of us who live in Los Angeles, it is a love letter to Hollywood and the movies. All of the exteriors were filmed in L.A. including Mary Pickford's house.

Lovely


Vicki from Pasadena

Jim Gust said...

Ann, we don't see many movies in the theater any more, but we saw The Artist on the big screen on Sunday. Let me add to the prodding by saying, it was the first time in quite a while that afterward we felt that it was really worth the money and hassle of going to the theater.

Spoiler alert: There are some moments when the movie is actually absolutely silent. During those moments you could have heard a pin drop in the 2/3 full theater we were in. A new experience for me.

PS. Saw The Descendants, recommend waiting for the DVD.

MayBee said...

I loved The Artist. A very good way to spend an hour or two.

Midnight in Paris is a cute movie, but I believe it gets more acclaim because it's Woody Allen. It doesn't seem like a movie any number of people wouldn't make. The family-in-law and whatsername are caricatures and heavy-handed.

My husband loved Moneyball, I think I'll watch it this weekend. I'm so thrilled for Jonah Hill.

BigFire said...

I'm surprised that Kevin Spacey or Jeremy Iron weren't nominated for supporting actors. Both were outstanding for Margin Call, which did pick up nomination for original screenplay, so it is eligible despite the somewhat weird release.

prairie wind said...

Saw The Help and recommend you spend your money elsewhere. You already know the lesson it teaches: white people are mostly evil; black people are warm-hearted and funny.

chuck b. said...

My understanding is that nominees for best actor nods actually have to campaign for them if they expect to win them, throwing self-promotional parties, ingratiating themselves to the likely voters in the Academy, etc., etc.

So far Meryl Streep has declined to do this, so she has not won since Sophie's Choice and so many lesser actors have. It's more of an embarrassment to Hollywood than it is to her.

I've seen the Descendants, Midnight in Paris, the Help, Moneyball, and Hugo--more movies than I usually see in five years. I thought they were all MEH except for Hugo which was AWFUL and Moneyball which was Meh+.

chuck b. said...

"black people are warm-hearted and funny."

Making someone a chocolate pie is not warm-hearted. But it is funny.

edutcher said...

I hear Michelle Williams gets naked, so I'm betting on her.

Only 2 songs nominated and they're both from cartoons. Sounds like, when the big one hits, Hollyweird will be just about due.

Actually, the Blonde is waiting for the next Percy Jackson movie, so we haven't seen anything since "Prince of Persia".

DADvocate said...

I don't care what anyone says, Sarah Jessica Parker deserves an Oscar for "War Horse."

Levi Starks said...

I'm surprised A midnight in paris made the cut, it was much too entertaining to get an oscar, Must have been a nod to Lesbian Gertrude Stine in the movie.

paul a'barge said...

Don't care. Not going to watch.

Hollywood is all about disrespect for and undermining traditional American values.

I don't feed the beast.

I did buy a DVD of Midnight in Paris. Take my word for it: watch with the sound off.

Popville said...

Re:
> the kind of sententious treatment of an important subject that I avoid

Thanks for putting that feeling I've had for years into an easy to remember phrase: Avoid sententious treatment of important subjects

write_effort said...

Re: Tinker, Tailor...

The people in the audience were so confused about who was who and what was going on, they were openly grumbling. Not sure why it was remade. Kind of a waste of good acting and technical skill. It might be an excellent movie on the second viewing, not on the first.

Spoiler Alert

There's at least one forum thread on who the body is at the end. I thought it was obvious, but I'd have to see it twice to be sure.

Jennifer said...

I don't know what is or isn't surprising. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of my favorite books. The Descendents is based on a book written by a friend from school. I actually care who wins Best Picture for the first time ever.

On a related note, Punahou - we're taking over the world! Well, Kaui and President Obama are. I'm just chilling in Germany, having the occasional beer.

Oclarki said...

Tilda Swinton and Mara Rooney are gross. Get some sun and eat a sandwich.

Jim said...

Freeman, I saw Tree of Life and absolutely hated it. I found it pretentious, heavy-handed and pointless. It fascinates me because no one I've talked to thought it was "just okay" or anything middle of the road-ish. They either loved it or despised it. That makes me wonder if I missed something, but I can't bring myself to sit through it again to find out.

The Artist is a wonderful film, but it is getting pushed too much. I liked War Horse and Extremely/Incredibly much more than I thought I would.

Freeman Hunt said...

Jim, watch it with the orientation that the mother represents the easy to accept, merciful aspects of God while the father represents the harder to accept, rule-setting judgmental aspects of God. It's incredible.

Also, if you're a philosophy of religion buff, and I am, it's especially incredible. Tons of material on the problem of evil.

I started to do a shot by shot analysis of the movie that I was going to post on my blog, but then I had a baby. I should post something shorter.

Freeman Hunt said...

Well, maybe not shot by shot analysis. More beat by beat.

Chip Ahoy said...

This is all very interesting, you being interested in this, they lost me so long ago with the first,

"Who are you wearing?"

cokaygne said...

Last week we watched "Chariots of Fire" on a Netflix DVD. The movie won an Oscar for best picture back in the 1980s. It was not a bad movie, but it was not great either.

I wondered, why did this movie get an award for best picture? Then I remembered, it was the Reagan era. In case you've forgotten, "Chariots" is about two young Britons, one a wealthy ambitious Jewish Cantabrigian who wants to prove something to the antisemitic elites of his circle, and the other a middle-class Scottish missionary who is so religious that he will not compete on Sunday, who race for Britain in the 1924 Olympics.

The bulk of the movie follows the Jew who is so very English on the outside with his Cambridge education and his wealth, but so inwardly tormented by knowing that English upper classes will never accept him, that he hires a professional coach to improve his performance - something not done by a true gentleman as pointed out by a couple of Cambridge Dons.

The real hero of the movie, though, is the Scot who places his Christian faith so far above the Olympics and his country that he even turns down a personal request from the Prince of Wales to run in a race on Sunday. The climatic scene shows the Scot preaching in a church while his teammates, including the English Jew, compete. A biblical reading by the missionary glorifying what the athlete can accomplish with God's help is played over scenes of Olympic athletes running, falling, getting up, and winning the race.

It was very powerful and nearly persuaded this agnostic anglophobe to forgive Cromwell and King Billy. How did those godless, money-grubbing, malefactors of great wealth in Hollywood ever think of awarding best picture to the movie?

Obviously, they wanted to curry favor with an audience that elected as president an actor who catered to the religious right. On that basis, sight unseen, I predict that Streep is a lock to get the best actress award.

Perhaps Streep could enter the remaining Republican primaries as Margaret Thatcher.