January 16, 2014

Oscar nominations are out. What's your favorite snub?

Mine is: no foreign language film nomination for "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (discussed on the blog here, here, and here). [ADDED: I thought it was obvious, but since at least one person misread this (and didn't bother to go to my old posts linked there), "favorite snub" means I'm pleased it was snubbed!]

Other nominees for Best Snub by the Motion Picture Academy: Oprah. Robert Redford. Tom Hanks.

Worst snub? James Gandolfini! The man died! Sorry. Just kidding. No extra credit for dying. I appreciate the neutrality.

Here's the full list of nominees, announced this morning. I haven't seen any of these movies, but we would like to see "Inside Llewyn Davis," if we ever feel like showing up at a specific time and sitting in the dark for 2 hours. (Who does that anymore? Don't you want control over your time (which you always have with TV)?) "Inside Llewyn Davis" only got Cinematography and Sound Mixing, anyway, so it's more of a Snubbed by the Oscars than an Oscar-approved thing anyway.

I know, one answer to my parenthetical question above is: You've got to go to the theater for the fully immersive, giant-screen, 3D experience. I considered seeing "Gravity" in the theater for that reason. ("Gravity" got 10 nominations, equaled only by the good-for-you (as opposed to feel-good) flick "12 Years a Slave.") But I couldn't force myself to go. Like "12 Years a Slave," it felt like something I was supposed to do. When I really thought about how I wanted to spend my time, sitting through that wasn't the answer.

Creating this aura around a film that it must be seen — it's a must-see movie — is exactly what the promoters want to do, and it must work on many people, perhaps the kind of people — young people? — who see a large number of movies. Target the big spenders. Use the pitch that works with the people who spend the most money on the product. But to me, feeling like I'm supposed to do something — unless I'm legally required to do it — sets up my resistance.

CORRECTION: "12 Years a Slave" only got 9 nominations. It's "American Hustle" that equaled "Gravity" with 10.

65 comments:

Bob said...

Smith & Wesson model 642, the one without the internal lock. ;-)

Bob Ellison said...

I don't respect entertainment award shows enough to comment on them. D'oh!

Shouting Thomas said...

"Gravity" was a bore. Chase movie from beginning to end. The only good thing about it was the special FX. Grafting the feminist message onto it only made it more tedious.

Technology is way ahead of story writers. Nobody knows how to use the new media possibilities yet, so we're right back where the silent films started, with endless chase movies.

Yes, I'm getting lectured by all my "racism is everything" friends in the music biz that I must, absolutely must, see "12 Years a Slave."

I've suffered through 60 years of lectures on racism. I'm gonna spend money and go somewhere for another one? It's always the same bullshit.

The reviews I've read of "12 Years" unanimously call out the movie as a plodding piece of propaganda. Again, why waste time and money on that?

MathMom said...

Bob -

HAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!

I was disappointed in Gravity. Would have barfed if we went to a 3-D, but 2-D doesn't fix the leaks in a story.

All that zero-grav feather-on-the-prop teensy tinesy bursts on the thrusters during the space walk, then George Clooney floors it like he's driving a 1967 GTO so that they can have a crisis? Lost me there. But it will get Best Picture.

Yeah, Sandra Bullock looks really great in skivvies, but jumping from space station to space station like you are at a food court at a shopping mall? Meh.

I don't see enough movies any more to decide what is my favorite snub.

MathMom said...

Re 12 Years a Slave and August: Osage County, I want to see them when they come out on Netflix, because I don't like to give Meryl Streep money and don't care to watch torture on a huge screen, but I do love to watch Benedict Cumberbatch. He is different in every movie and television show he is in, and IMHO he's about the best actor I've ever seen.

Brando said...

They should still change it so that the nominations and awards can only be granted ten years after the film was released (so that this year we'd be dealing with the films released in 2003). A few reasons for this:

1) Some films are popular in the year they come out but don't age well. (e.g., Forrest Gump)

2) Some films take more than a year to get the appreciation they deserve. (e.g., Citizen Kane)

3) More viewers these days tend to wait until a film comes out in DVD or online streaming. I can't be the only one who hasn't seen most of the nominated films. (Though the nominations do give me good recommendations for what to see this year)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My favorite snub is me not watching the Oscar awards show.

MadisonMan said...

I'm curious, with a snub, if an actor will be nominated the following year for something sub-par to make up for it.

I'm thinking Emma Thompson, I guess, or Tom Hanks, two who might have quality work next year, but not Oscar-quality, and be rewarded next year for this year's work, actually.

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PB Reader said...

Inside Llewyn Davis: Aside from the look at NYC in the 1961 folk music days (loved the Chicago Gates of Horn detour), and some good performances, the movie was generally depressing.

John Burgess said...

You won't miss anything by passing on "Llewyn Davis". It was an interesting idea, but failed in its transformation into a film.

John Burgess said...

You won't miss anything by passing on "Llewyn Davis". It was an interesting idea, but failed in its transformation into a film.

traditionalguy said...

Get that movie off my lawn.

The Amazon Prime membership gives us free shipping etc., and also some free movies. They just added Reacher, which was the last movie we spent money to the metro-plex and see.

So we watched it again online. Lee Childs' book was followed well. But it was NOT good to watch the 5 foot, 6 inch, 140 pound Tom Cruz play the part of the 6 foot, 5 inch, 265 pound main character.

Doug said...

I don't choose movies to see based on their awards, and I have seen enough Oscars, Grammies, MTVs, Emmys, and Tonys to know that Hollywood and the entertainment industry despise Americans like me and take every opportunity to stick their fingers in my eye.

Michael K said...

""Gravity" was a bore. Chase movie from beginning to end. The only good thing about it was the special FX. Grafting the feminist message onto it only made it more tedious."

Gravity was about the special effects which were very good. The story didn't make sense.
You don't just push a button to reenter the atmosphere.

wildswan said...

"More viewers these days tend to wait until a film comes out in DVD or online streaming. I can't be the only one who hasn't seen most of the nominated films. (Though the nominations do give me good recommendations for what to see this year)"

Interesting point about a cultural shift that the lamestream culture hasn't caught up with. Why not hold Last Years Academy Awards on Althouse. See what from last year people are now watching on Netflix.

surfed said...

"When I really thought about how I wanted to spend my time, sitting through that wasn't the answer."

That sounds SO Wisconsin. Just like my significant other...too funny.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I haven't seen a movie in a theater since "Ratatouille." Netflix rocks.

William said...

I just saw Elysium. The plot, character development, and underlying politics of the movie truly sucked. But it had some great killer robots. Hollywood should give an award to the best performance by a killer robot,

Titus said...

I saw Gravity at the theater and don't normally like all the 3D/FX shit but I found it pretty cool.

Sandra Bullock's body in the movie was quite impressive.

tits.

paminwi said...

No Oprah?

Racism!

Must have been all those white guys voting because their racism is inbred. According to Oprah they must die before this racism will be gone!

Will Cate said...

Having recently seen "Inside Llewyn Davis" I can say the Academy got it right (nominating it in those two categories, and none of the others). Bit of a disappointment, by Coen Bros. standards.

Trashhauler said...

Quick, without googling, name the film that won Best Picture in the year Saving Private Ryan was up for the award.

Yeah, that's right. Shakespeare in Love. Now ask yourself how often that flick has even been mentioned, let alone shown or viewed over the intervening years.

Kevin Walsh said...

"... if we ever feel like showing up at a specific time and sitting in the dark for 2 hours. (Who does that anymore? Don't you want control over your time (which you always have with TV)"

I like sitting in the dark in a theater for 2 hours.I don't have Netflix and can't afford HBO or any of the movie channels, where chances are they won't have the movie you wanted to see anyway.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I plan to watch "Her" in the privacy of my own bachelor pad.

I am reluctant to see "Nebraska" without knowing whether it's a hatchet job on the state of the same name. I'm from Iowa, so I'm not necessarily saying that would deter me from seeing it.

"12 Years a Slave" is problematic to go see in a big city theater. Same for "Dallas Buyers Club".

Tom Hanks got me into the theater for "Saving Mr. Banks" so "Captain Phillips" is out.

"American Hustle" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" will play just as well on the small screen. "Philomena" might not even warrant a free online streaming.

That leaves "Gravity" to see in the 3-D theater, but it doesn't seem to be playing anywhere in the city right now, just at one lone theater in the suburbs.

I could argue that the biggest snub was "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire". It's got an A-list cast and was a huge box office draw. But I haven't seen it yet either.

"The Heat" was snubbed. That was by far the funniest film I saw in 2013. It should have at least have gotten a writing nod. But that would violate all the pretensions of the Academy.

SeanF said...

Althouse: ...we would like to see "Inside Llewyn Davis," if we ever feel like showing up at a specific time and sitting in the dark for 2 hours.

I didn't realize "Inside Llewyn Davis" was quite so...literal.

rehajm said...

I'm loving everyone's comments here! I used to be so passionate about film and now I avoid paying for a movie ticket for fear of validating Harvey Weinstein et al. But the last movie I saw in a theater was Gravity, for the 3D. Saw it at one of the new theaters designed to lure people away from Netflix. Reserved seating with expensive leather recliners. Full recline, including footrest. Swivel table with a call button for wait service. Illuminated menu- dinner, cocktails, beer etc. 'Complimentary' tub of popcorn. Lobby bar and lounge that looked like Radio City. Cost a fortune. Good for a date that puts out...

Two places to see award flicks without the theatre hassle- Befriend an academy member, then watch their 'for your consideration' screeners. More subversive- The Pirate Bay.

madAsHell said...

What's your favorite snub?

Smith & Wesson model 642

doh!!
I had to read it three times before I could see that this comment wasn't completely off topic.

FleetUSA said...

Another Oscar show to avoid. And most of the pictures too.

I've heard "Frozen" is worth seeing but I don't think it made any Oscar list.

FleetUSA said...

Oops I spake too soon.

It is in the animated movie category along with its song.

Birches said...

I'm so glad others are admitting to not wanting to sit through 2 hours of torture because "it's an important movie."

Didn't work for "The Passion;" doesn't work for "12 Years a Slave" for me now.

I'm done with important movies; just give me a bit of fun escapism.

CWJ said...

"The Great Gatsby" Any chace it had was killed by its May release.

Martha said...

I only go to the movie theater when my youngest son is home from school and he drags me there.

Just saw The Wolf of Wall Street and was pleasantly surprised. Leo di Caprio is fascinating to watch. I even liked Jonah Hill in this movie.

But something may be wrong with me--I was not offended by the 506 F-bombs.

Freeman Hunt said...

"12 Years a Slave" was good but brutal. You may go to your car after and sit behind the wheel and cry.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Christian Bale was fantastic in “American Hustle," but then, of course he was.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm still mad at the director of "Blue Is the Warmest Color," so I guess that's my favorite snub.

heyboom said...

we would like to see "Inside Llewyn Davis," if we ever feel like showing up at a specific time and sitting in the dark for 2 hours. (Who does that anymore? Don't you want control over your time (which you always have with TV)?)

When we watch movies at home there are too many distractions and my wife's attention span is about 5 seconds long. It really messes up the rhythm and continuity of the show we're watching. We love going to the matinees near our house because we tend to be the only ones in there a lot of the times. We'll sometimes even watch two movies on the same day.

Call us radicals I guess.

Sam L. said...

The only two movies on the lists that I have seen are The Croods and Frozen. I do expect to see The Hobbit/Smaug.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm still mad at the director of "Blue Is the Warmest Color,"

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed to find out they used prostheses.

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

Trashhauler said...

Quick, without googling, name the film that won Best Picture in the year Saving Private Ryan was up for the award.

Yeah, that's right. Shakespeare in Love. Now ask yourself how often that flick has even been mentioned, let alone shown or viewed over the intervening years.

1/16/14, 10:10 AM
___________________________________

I saw both SPR and SIL before they were nominated and knew that SIL would be the winner.

Reason: think about who was the weak human link in SPR? It was the artsy-fartsy cultured clerk. He was the who failed when it was time to fight.

Now, if you've seen SIL the cultured and urban writers and actors are not only intellectually superior to the hoi polloi but men of action whether with fist or sword. Bold, adventurous and fearless.

If you were a Hollywood metrosexual whose image of your craft would you prefer? It was no contest.

mccullough said...

I'd say Jeremy Renner got snubbed for not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in American Hustle.

He was terrific. I haven't seen many of the films, but Renner, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams gave some great performances in American Hustle.

Revenant said...

It really is silly that there are so many Best Picture nominees these days. And all so more films can put an "Oscar nominee" sticker on their marketing material.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm surprised the movie 42 wasn't nominated for anything.

In particular, I'm surprised Harrison Ford didn't get a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Andy Freeman said...

> ...and your early American ancestors were white beneficiaries, and not black slaves.

I've got some of each, plus the folks who greeted the ships.

Except my "white ancestors" didn't benefit from slavery.

And some of them paid dearly to end it.

So, if there's any "debt", my black ancestors owe my white ancestors.

Is there any hope that Mary might change and stop the ignorant pontificating?


Ann Althouse said...

"Saw it at one of the new theaters designed to lure people away from Netflix. Reserved seating with expensive leather recliners. Full recline, including footrest."

That would cause me to discover that sleep is better than watching a movie. I prefer to discover that at home, where I can get back to the point where I fell asleep.

rehajm said...

Yeah, that's right. Shakespeare in Love. Now ask yourself how often that flick has even been mentioned, let alone shown or viewed over the intervening years..

Shakespeare In Love was the entertainment industry's narcissistic, metaphoric tongue bath to itself. It couldn't not win.

Plus, the Academy was supposedly still hating on Spielberg with Saving Private Ryan.

Ann Althouse said...

""12 Years a Slave" was good but brutal. You may go to your car after and sit behind the wheel and cry."

I have a problem with actors pretending to suffer what real people actually suffered. It's alienating from reality, not, as it's supposed to be, giving you the real feeling, as if reading history doesn't produce real feeling.

I did not like "Schindler's List" for this reason.

There seems to be something morally wrong with the pretense, the actors showing off their skills in this context.

Ann Althouse said...

"It really is silly that there are so many Best Picture nominees these days. And all so more films can put an "Oscar nominee" sticker on their marketing material."

Yeah, you just refer to the Best Director nominees to find out which of the Best Picture nominees are the real ones.

Julie C said...

My son said the acting was terrific in 12 Years A Slave. He insists I see it. Don't think I can, though. Whippings and all that stuff are too difficult for me to watch.

I said it here before, but Christian Bale is fantastic in American Hustle.

We saw Captain Phillips in the theater, and that was a good movie. I would recommend seeing it.

Julie C said...

Unlike Althouse, I do like seeing movies in the theater (even though it doesn't happen too often anymore). At home, I tend to watch movies or tv while folding laundry or cleaning out a drawer or something. Drives my husband nuts. I can't focus just on a movie. But I'm forced to be a single-tasker in the theater.

William said...

I think Arnold deserves recognition for his work as a killer robot. His was the first killer robot to be a break out and become a box office smash. The way Homer iinitiated epic poetry at the level of genius, Arnold initiated the genre of killer robots at its peak. Blade Runner, to be sure, presented the existential dilemma of killer robots in a sympathetic light, but that very sympathy served to undermine their dramatic impact. Killer robots should be appalling not appealing. In like manner, there's something ambiguous about Ironman's efforts to become a killer robot while retaining his human indntity. I think over time the power immanent in his exoskeleton would corrupt Tony Stark, and he would start crushing people just to see their guts squirt. That's what happens when someone has unlimited power. Transformers was pretty good. They solved our ambiguity about robots by making some of them evil and some of them evil. Despite Keanu Reeves robotic qualities, I don't think Matrix counts as a robot movie. It was more like a computer stimulation.

William said...

There were killer robots in Elysium. They were completely mechanical and had no human qualities. That's always a plus in my book. We should not anthropomorphize killer robots. The problem I had with them is that they were being used to enforce discipline among the workers on the factory floor. If you use them for that, why not just use them as factory workers......I got the sense that they were used in such a way because the evil corporate executives did this because they simply enjoyed exploiting the proletariat.......Matt Damon is a latent Marxist. He should come out of he closet and make a romanticized biopic of Lenin.

ALP said...

"12 Years a Slave" was good but brutal. You may go to your car after and sit behind the wheel and cry.
*********
This is why I avoid touching/moving, "good for you" movies like the plague. The daily news provides PLENTY to cry about - why the fuck would I pay $8-$12* for the same experience? In fact, I've found several things to cry about this AM before I even finished my coffee.

The only pleasure I derive from such movies is telling my bleeding heart, overly-emotional and idealistic friends I'd rather have my eyes scratched out by weasels than watch such a movie. The "Care Bear" stare I get in response is PRICELESS!

*I have NO idea what movies cost nowadays - I only go to the movies when I visit my parents, and its always a budget priced, released-awhile-back movie.

Laura said...

"My Week With Marilyn," but then again, I'm two years behind the times. And sex, sex, sex sells for starlets on the hustle like my baby sister.

lgv said...

Biggest snubs:

Emma Thompson - actress.
Blackfish - Documentary.

Oprah, Hanks, Redford, Gandolfini, etc. were not snubs. They just weren't good enough.

Streep would get a nomination for a PSA.

BTW, Gravity was very good, but not worthy of being Best Picture. Llewyn was a bore, but I'm not a cat person.

JoyD said...

As at The Meadhouse, the two of us would rather watch a movie comfortably at home, wearing slippers, with a glass of wine, no extraneous noises. and I've never liked "re-entry", leaving the movie theater for the parking lot...
Now I do occasionally go out for a movie with the friends from work. We girls (ages 40-60, girlz? ladies? wimmen?) enjoyed Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine. The good thing about going out to the movie theater is going out for Thai food and conversation afterward.

JoyD said...

As at The Meadhouse, the two of us would rather watch a movie comfortably at home, wearing slippers, with a glass of wine, no extraneous noises. and I've never liked "re-entry", leaving the movie theater for the parking lot...
Now I do occasionally go out for a movie with the friends from work. We girls (ages 40-60, girlz? ladies? wimmen?) enjoyed Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine. The good thing about going out to the movie theater is going out for Thai food and conversation afterward.

The Godfather said...

We walked out of American Hustle after about 45 minutes. We'd seen the hair piece/combover on CB, which was probably equal to the special effects in Gravity (which we didn't see), and the contrary-to-stereotype acting, and we were actually familiar with all the dirty words, so there didn't seem much point in staying.

We did stay for all of Saving Mr. Banks, we both teared up. It was well done, well acted, well written. I would say the same for Philomena (although the anti-Catholic, anti-Reagan subtext was annoying); we do love Judi Dench. We plan to see Nebraska this weekend.

Turner Classic Movies has all the big pictures of 1939 on Feb. 1. That'll show you how it's done.

avwh said...

"Turner Classic Movies has all the big pictures of 1939 on Feb. 1. That'll show you how it's done."

One of the greatest years ever for movies, definitely.

EMD said...

Who does that anymore?

Because, sometimes there's something magical about sharing laughter or joy with strangers.

St. George said...

"Wadjda" — Movie of the Year

Not nominated.

The only Saudi Arabian movie ever made, so far as I know. And directed by a Saudi woman.

It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl, Wadjda, who wants a bicycle. Not allowed. Forbidden.

Plus, her father is leaving her mother. Why? His mother is finding him a second wife, something the Wadjda's mother knows about! (This basically makes the mother his concubine.)

Ah, what else? The creepy principal of the girl's school publicly denounces two other classmates for being lesbians. Because they're interested in toys. Or something.

Permissible extra-curricular activities? Qu'ran memorization clubs. In one scene, a 12-year-old girl announces in Qu'ran class that she's getting married. To her cousin.

Another scene has the Qu'ran teacher telling a girl she can't touch the book because she's menstruating. So she gets a Kleenex to wipe it off.

The topper? The scene in which a Yemeni construction worker invites Wadjda into the building he's working on. Because he wants to molest her. Wadjda walks on. Clearly, a commonplace come-on.

I saw this movie in a theatre in Berkeley. The audience? Mostly middle-aged women. From the nervous laughter I heard, it was clearly not what they expected.

At the end, Wadjda wins a Qu'ran memorization prize but has it publicly taken away from her by the principal because she's uppity. Humiliated, she goes home to find that her mother, who's just learned that hubby has split, has gotten her the bike, apparently because she wants Wadjda to be liberated and not suffer the same fate.

paminwi said...

Capt. Phillips: will not see it after reading an account by crew member who said the "real" Capt. Phillips did not follow protocol when sailing in the area where the piracy happened. He said the movie portrayed the Capt. As a hero and that in no way, in real life, was he a hero.

I feel the same way about the Wolf of Wall Street. I read an article by a daughter of one of the people the lead character screwed and how her family fell apart. She says she is fine now as an adult but as a child her world was turned upside down.

Just can not give $ to people who feed off the misery of others. You know that Hanks and DiCaprio have written into their contracts a % of the gross in addition to their salaries.

john marzan said...

"Her" is the best picture of the year.