January 13, 2020

Anybody want to talk about the Oscar nominations?

They just came out this morning. Here's the list.

I haven't seen much of that stuff, but I did see "Rocketman," and Taron Everton (who played Elton John) did not get a nomination. And I recently streamed "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" on my TV and then restreamed it the next day. Thought that was good, obviously, or I would not have rewatched. It was great for rewatching, because there were lots of details — like the different flavors of Wolf's Tooth dog food (rat, raccoon, etc.) — to pay attention to at your leisure without the distraction of thinking about what's going to happen next.  "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" did very well, with lots of nominations, but I'm in no position to say whether Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were better than the actors in movies I did not see, and, really, it doesn't matter.

Did you know the New Yorker film critic, Richard Brody, called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" "obscenely regressive"?
Tarantino’s love letter to a lost cinematic age is one that, seemingly without awareness, celebrates white-male stardom (and behind-the-scenes command) at the expense of everyone else.... ...Tarantino delivers a ridiculously white movie, complete with a nasty dose of white resentment; the only substantial character of color, Bruce Lee (Mike Moh), is played, in another set piece, as a haughty parody, and gets dramatically humiliated in a fight with Cliff [Brad Pitt]....

“Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” is about a world in which the characters, with Tarantino’s help, fabricate the sublime illusions that embody their virtues and redeem their failings—and then perform acts of real-life heroism to justify them again. Its star moments have a nearly sacred aura, in their revelation of the heroes that, he suggests, really do walk among us; his closed system of cinematic faith bears the blinkered fanaticism of a cult.
I don't agree with much of that, but I won't bore you by explaining why. Instead, here's Brad Pitt feeding his pit bull (Pitt bull) Wolf's Tooth dog food:

44 comments:

madAsHell said...

I award you this award.

The Crack Emcee said...

That's a tribute to good livin'.

MAJMike said...

No, not really. The Oscars is just another self-congratulatory circle jerk.

Nonapod said...

As entertaining as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was, it definitely felt a bit indulgent. I guess a moving that essentially turns Hollywood actors into heroes may make a certain set of people feel good about themselves at a time when they're being mocked and derided by mean old Ricky Gervais. It was optimistic escapist fun.

Narr said...

The Beeb was just on this. Joker for 11?

Narr
We.Are.Doomed.

Michael K said...

I didn't like it as it seemed a slam at East wood. Entertaining as alternative history, I guess.

rehajm said...

Hollywood has to award itself with a tongue bath every few years. LA LA Land, LA Confidential, Shakespeare in Love, The Player...

Curious George said...

The only new movie I saw this year...actually in years...was Ford v. Ferrari. Good movie, especially for car guys. Bale and Damon did a nice job. And Caitriona Balfe is a hottie.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is, as the third in Tarantino's historical trilogy, the first film to put today's beloved cultists alongside Nazis and slave owners, and - for that - I am grateful.

I mean, it IS mental slavery, for Christ's sake.

Anyway, good movie.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I saw it twice, as well, in theatres. First digital and then at an artsy place, 35mm. In addition to being curious about the 35mm film, I suspected I would spot more details and I just loved the movie. I preferred the digital version because it was clearer. As far as details, I noticed several but Sharon Tate wearing a Don Meredith Cowboy's jersey was my favorite.

narciso said...

ditto for ford vs ferrrari two technical (sound editing and design) and best picture.

Ann Althouse said...

"I saw it twice, as well, in theatres. First digital and then at an artsy place, 35mm. In addition to being curious about the 35mm film, I suspected I would spot more details and I just loved the movie. I preferred the digital version because it was clearer."

Yeah, I should have done that, but I'm lazy and I don't like sitting around in the dark in the daytime and I get sleepy at night.

Anyway, it was fun watching it on TV in the dark, especially when the image is of a black-and-white TV show, and we're looking at it on a dorky old console TV, which is shown in closeup in a way that gives the illusion that your own TV is really that TV. I suddenly noticed and for a fraction of a second got taken in by the illusion — like: Wow, does my TV look like that? How can that be my TV, so ornately old-time-y?

Mattman26 said...

I had completely missed the dog food "flavors" when I saw it in the theater, so thanks for that!

robother said...

So, did Rat or Raccoon prime the dog for Krenwinkle?

Leland said...

Across Best Motion Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting, Director; I've only seen Joker. Of the others, I may see Ford vs Ferrari and 1917 when they come to digital. I heard Marriage Story is good, but if I want to see good drama about a deteriorating marriage; I can't see it in real life often enough. Spoiler, less drama in marriages often help them last longer.

Wow, Rocketman only got a nomination for... Best Original Song? I don't know if that's a good or bad thing for a biography on the career of a musician with some of the most iconic original songs in the world. It seems bad, considering I don't recall that particular song in a movie I watched twice.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

"Anyway, it was fun watching it on TV in the dark, especially when the image is of a black-and-white TV show, and we're looking at it on a dorky old console TV, which is shown in closeup in a way that gives the illusion that your own TV is really that TV. I suddenly noticed and for a fraction of a second got taken in by the illusion — like: Wow, does my TV look like that? How can that be my TV, so ornately old-time-y?"

They really got the period details right in that movie. I saw The Irishman in the theatre, as well. I was in Key West Thanksgiving week when it came out and we saw it at the Tropic Theatre, a modern Art Deco Theatre (2004), the day it released. Had this been a great movie, this would have been the perfect venue. Sadly, I was underwhelmed and felt guilty for dragging my wife there for three hours when there were so many other entertaining choices of activities in the area.

Bob Smith said...

I liked “Once Upon a Time”. Especially the part about the flamethrower. But what the pic really did was bring home how far we fell in the sixties. Where and when I came of age Charlie Manson would have spent his whole adult life clearing brush and doing road maintenance on a prison work crew. And Sharon Tate’s child would be turning 50.

Johnula said...

I enjoyed Rocketman far more than I expected. Taron Egerton (not Everton, btw) is very watchable, and he did a great job of both acting and singing. I didn't particularly enjoy his on-stage duets with the real Elton John -- he's not the same calibre as the original... but of course neither is Elton these days.

Curious George said...

"Of the others, I may see Ford vs Ferrari and 1917 when they come to digital."

I will say that FvF is enhanced by a theater experience. The sound from the cars is amazing.

Mark said...

Yawn.

Oscars long ago stopped being about merit and all about popularity (and politics). Same people nominated every year regardless of the quality of the work.

Shouting Thomas said...

My life is good.

I get a ton of love from my grandkids.

This old white dude is having a very good time enjoying life, playing music and hunkering down with people who love me.

Let the jealous spit and moan and throw shit. I don’t care.

At age 70, I’m still in demand, still doing the things that make me happy.

Char Char Binks said...

Bruce Lee wasn't taken down far enough.

He was a 128 pound bullshido artist who even in his prime would have been beaten up by Brad Pitt in his fifties, or Clint Eastwood in his sixties. It's one thing to be a movie actor/stunt man/choreographer, and I admire Jackie Chan, for instance, but Lee was a major promoter of kung foolery that played on, and profited from, the insecurities of many young boys and men, and probably got many of them beaten, injured, and humiliated because they fell for that Ancient Chinese secret.

Howard said...

I was very disappointed when is Little women didn't get the nod for best picture or director. Best chick flick ever.

Leland said...

I will say that FvF is enhanced by a theater experience.

My hearing, particularly in one ear, is not great. If I really want to enjoy the audio of a movie, I need to use headphones and that's best done at home.

The wife and I watched John Wick 3 last night, and what little story was spoken, we could barely make out the discussion. Then again, the only thing stopping me from calling John Wick 3 awful is that it at the series has built a consistent world and character that help keep you in the movie despite its lack of a strong plot or easy to follow cinematography. Compare the consistency to what Disney has done to Star Wars, and the truly awful becomes apparent. Then again, both franchises could be called awful.

Dave Begley said...

My "Bride of Frankenstein" will garner many Oscars; including my win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

"I was very disappointed when is Little women didn't get the nod for best picture or director. Best chick flick ever."

It is excellent. I went with my daughter last week and there were tears from all parties.

Leland said...

I should also note that for the theater experience; VR can make any location an IMAX experience. I often find myself wishing they would make some movies where you could look around the set with the characters.

Herb said...

little women did get best pic nomination as well as adapted screenplay, actress and supporting actress. not sure why it was largely snubbed at globes. seems kind of silly to criticize a movie that is trying to faithfully recreate early 70s hollywood for not being inclusive, wouldnt be very accurate. Seems like the criticism of midway for not featuring more diverse pilots no women or people of color, i mean the graphics looked fake enough without completely screwing up the real demographics of ww2 pilots.

William said...

Hollywood does to Hollywood what the BBC does to aristocracy and the monarchy. The vices are shown in soft focus and the virtuous moments are highlighted, back lit, and presented with an underlying orchestral swell. I enjoyed the Once Upon movie, but I wasn't quite sure if it was a subtle parody of Hollywood's self reverence or if it was itself another example of Hollywood's self reverence. The DeCaprio character was ultimately an artist committed to his art. Okay, but Tarantino could have highlighted that character's romantic attachment to his ten year old costar. It would have made an interesting subplot. They have never yet made a good movie about how Hollywood sexually exploits children.... The Brad Pitt character even forgoes a quickie from a hot but underaged teenager. I'm sure that happens all the time. There's a High Noon moment and he walks down that dusty street with less fear and more resolve than Gary Cooper......The movie is sure to win a ton of Oscars. The movie accurately depicts how Hollywood views itself. The winks are subtle and closer to blinks.

MountainMan said...

My wife and I have seen Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, and this past Friday saw 1917. We enjoyed all of them. I don’t really care about the awards and never watch them but I think 1917 certainly deserved the Golden Globes it received and it should be a hands-down winner for cinematography and anything technical, like wardrobe and set design. I thought it took a war film to a whole new level of realism. The long continuous take that has been discussed so much and the great detail in the trenches and no man’s land will make you feel like you are really there. And I would not wait for digital but see it on the largest theater screen with the highest quality sound system you can find.

mockturtle said...

Don't give a hoot about the Oscars but it looks like there are some films worth seeing from this past year. I've already ordered Parasite and Ford v. Ferrari for when they are released on Netflix DVD.

William said...

Renee Zellweger is up for an Oscar for "Judy". Dead actresses are to Hollywood what female monarchs are to the BBC. Legendary figures portray legendary figures in a legendary way. They're to us ordinary mortals as Shakespeare's language is to ordinary language...The Judy movie was pretty good. Judy Garland had a depressing life, and this movie makes it look even more depressing. I do, however, think it soft pedals the abuse that Garland was subjected to. Instead of showing Judy as a teenager being subjected to Louis B. Mayer's manipulation and making a Faustian bargain with him, they should have shown her as a child, being bullied and occasionally molested by studio execs. Her back story was a lot nastier than what we saw on the screen.

William said...

I think the life story of Hedy Lamarr would make an excellent movie. She was one of the most beautiful women who ever lived and was also blessed with a brilliant mind. Her backstory before Hollywood was complicated and adventurous. She was not a product of Hollywood, but she seems to have absorbed its values. She had too much plastic surgery and her beauty was marred rather than enhanced by it.

Roughcoat said...

Shouting Thomas @10:36 AM:

Why are you telling us this? What is your point?

Shouting Thomas said...

@Roughcoat

I'm responding to the attack on white men.

It's jealousy.

MountainMan said...

I forgot to mention that my wife and I also saw Richard Jewell during the holidays and really enjoyed it as well. I see that Kathy Bates got a nod in the role of his mother but Paul Walter Hauser really deserved some recognition for his portrayal of Jewell, it’s what really made the movie for me.

MountainMan said...

@WIlliam: I agree with you that Hedy Lamarr’s life story would make a great movie. She was a gifted mathematician and co-invented the spread spectrum technology used in modern communication systems.

Curious George said...

"Leland said...
I will say that FvF is enhanced by a theater experience.

My hearing, particularly in one ear, is not great. If I really want to enjoy the audio of a movie, I need to use headphones and that's best done at home."

That's a shame. Because the sound of the cars in the movie is not just an aural experience, but a physical one too. You can feel it in your whole body. I experience the same at the Milwaukee Mile on the inside wall. The cars are very close going by.

William said...

Tarantino and Brad Pitt were both knowledgeable about the predations of Harvey Weinstein. Did their silence on the subject make them his enablers or in some way complicit in his crimes? I'd like to see a dramatization of their involvement with Harvey....Once upon a time in Hollywood. They film the legends not the truth.....Once upon a time they would never make a movie about child molesters in the Catholic Church. That's changed over time. I wonder how long before they make a movie about the truly awful predators in Hollywood.

William said...

I don't know what to make of the pathos of Hedy Lamarr's last days. She led a sequestered life in Florida. She had had too much plastic surgery and her face was disfigured. She did not like to be seen in public.....She was a brave woman with a fine mind, and yet she had such a pathetic end. She was seduced by the narcissism of her own good looks. She's a cautionary tale for a lot of Hollywood stars.

Leland said...

Because the sound of the cars in the movie is not just an aural experience, but a physical one too.

A possible contributor to my hearing loss was a few times standing less than 200 yards from a Space Shuttle Main Engine test at Stennis Space Center. Do you think it was as physical as 418,000 lbs of thrust? Because I would agree something like that is something you feel in your body more than hear. I've also been to Daytona in January.

Howard said...

Mid Life Lawyer: it got me a little chocked up as well. Can't remember the last time that happened. Maybe the Bubba search in Forest Gump.

Darleen said...

Haven't seen any movies on the Best Pic but 1917.

Run, don't walk, and see that on the big screen. Fantastic FILM (and really reminds you that there are just some stories that only the big screen is the right medium).

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