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Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Post-Oscars Thoughts

The short version of my thoughts would be "grave disappointment, with a side of expected."  I knew before turning the show on that the Academy's bias against innovative filmmaking would persist.  Even the inclusion of special awards for animated pictures only highlights the fact that the Academy is completely unwilling to consider great works of animation as actual movies.  There were, of course, a handful of moments where justice was served, but in the end all I could think was:  "well, I saw that coming."

Now on to the individual awards:

Art Direction
Went to:  Alice in Wonderland
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  Because Tim Burton's film is the same oversaturated crap he's been producing for a decade.  Inception at least attempted to merge the mundane with something seemingly new.  That may not be a good argument for Inception, but that still doesn't change the fact that Alice in Wonderland was little more than a rehash of a familiar form with massive oversaturation of color and a complete lack of originality.

Went to:  Inception
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  Because the film was bloody beautiful and the things they filmed were so technically amazing as to blow everyone else out of the water.  You can probably detect a hint of a bias at this point...

Best Supporting Actress
Went to:  Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Should have gone to:  Anyone else.
Why:  I really can't stand poor use of accents in acting.

Best Animated Short
Went to:  "The Lost Thing" by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Should have gone to:  "The Lost Thing"
Why:  I have no reason.  It's just nice to see one of our own get some recognition by the "big boys."

Best Animated Feature
Went to:  Toy Story 3
Should have gone to:  How to Train Your Dragon
Why:  Honestly, I think it is a close match, but I prefer the latter simply because I thought the story was heart warming.  I like me a feel good movie sometimes.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Went to:  The Social Network by Aaron Sorkin
Should have gone to:  The Social Network
Why:  It's poignant.  That's pretty much all I've got for this category.

Best Original Screenplay
Went to:  The King's Speech by David Seidler
Should have gone to:  Inception by Christopher Nolan
Why:  Inception is actually an original screenplay.  The King's Speech isn't.  It's about people that actually existed.  It's about real events.  It's an adaptation of history books.  Inception, however, is not rooted in an actual historical figure, but in mythologies and ideas.  The screenplay, as a result, is powerful, well-written, and stunning.  Hollywood rarely sees such quality.  They seem to like celebrating mediocrity, like The Hurt Locker from last year, which was hardly a decent film at all.

Best Supporting Actor
Went to:  Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Should have gone to:  Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Why:  I think Bale is massively overrated, and I don't think Renner gets the credit he damn well deserves, particularly for The Town.  The Hurt Locker may have been a shitty movie, but Renner really did carry it.

Best Original Score
Went to:  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
Should have gone to:  Hans Zimmer for Inception
Why:  The music for Inception is bloody brilliant.  It's as perfect a compliment to the film as any music ever has been.  It's so interwoven into the film that you can't ignore it as a intimate part of it.  So screw the Academy on this one.  Hans Zimmer totally got screwed.

Best Sound Mixing
Went to:  Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick for Inception
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  The film sounds wonderful.  Have you seen it?  No?  What's wrong with you?

Best Sound Editing
Went to:  Richard King for Inception
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  The same as above.

Best Makeup
Went to:  Rick Baker and Dave Elsey for The Wolfman
Should have gone to:  The Wolfman
Why:  The film has some pretty makeup.  That about sums it up.

Best Costume Design
Went to:  Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland
Should have gone to:  Alice in Wonderland
Why:  Pretty much all of the other options didn't really offer anything worth recognizing, since they were just reproducing things we've already seen (The King's Speech and True Grit).  I've never been one to appreciate costume design when it's only showing me things that already existed.  I like originality, which is why I think the award was well placed, even if the film was an awful pile of crap.

Best Short Documentary
Went to:  "Strangers No More"
Should have gone to:  No idea.
Why:  I'm not familiar with most of these films, but they all seemed like really important flicks to see (which I'm now going to do).

Best Short Film
Went to:  "God of Love"
Should have gone to:  No idea.
Why:  The same as above.  The guy who won is a little goofy, though.

Best Documentary Feature
Went to:  Inside Job
Should have gone to:  Inside Job
Why:  Anything that points out who was responsible for screwing over the country deserves recognition in my book.  Wall Street can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

Best Visual Effects
Went to:  Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb for Inception
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  Have you seen it?  It's visually gorgeous, man!  The other nominees were decent, but most were a little lackluster (like Harry Potter).

Best Film Editing
Went to:  The Social Network
Should have went to:  Black Swan or 127 Hours.
Why:  Honestly, I don't really care about this category.

Best Original Song
Went to:  "We Belong Together" by Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)
Should have gone to:  Something someone sang in the gutter somewhere.
Why:  Randy Newman is to song making what arsenic is to healthy food.  He's awful and his latest song is nothing more than moving lyrics around.  It's awful.  Just awful.  Please, Mr. Newman, go away.

Best Director
Went to:  Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
Should have gone to:  Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Why:  Nolan wasn't nominated, but he damn well deserved the award.  He produced an amazing film that has been given almost no recognition throughout the entire awards.  I'd even argue that Inception is the best film of 2010.  But it's the Academy, and they don't generally like scifi.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Went to:  Natalie Portman
Should have gone to:  Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Why:  She's amazing.  Done and done.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Went to:  Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
Should have gone to:  Don't care.
Why:  None of the selections really grabbed me.  I thought it would go to Eisenberg (The Social Network), but it didn't.  Oh well.

Best Picture
Went to:  The King's Speech
Should have gone to:  Inception
Why:  What pisses me off the most about the Oscars is that they didn't even pretend that the voting was fair.  During the little video bit about the nominees, they not only showed clips from The King's Speech, but they laced audio from the film over everything else.  It was the only film that got that treatment.  It's infuriating.  And then to think that Inception, the only film worth its weight in gold, doesn't get the win, despite deserving it just based on how much work went into its production.

In the end, the Oscars simply confirmed what I already thought:  they're irrelevant.  Last year they were pointless, and the same is true now.  They're clearly biased against science fiction, even when it is good.  Inception is hands down the best film of 2010, and easily one of the top ten best films in the last ten years.  After waiting four hours tonight, I don't think I'll watch again.  I don't pay attention to the Nobel Prize either for the exact same reason.  Why should I?

How many members in the Academy actually watch science fiction movies anyway?  Seriously...

Meh!  Fuck the Academy.

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  1. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Sorry, I love science fiction, but Inception was not that good, nor was it the best movie of 2010. I didn't see most of the nominated films, but Black Swan was way better in my eyes and for that alone I don't think Inception should have won. Inception was overhyped and, though interesting and pretty, and among the better lot of what came out the past year, hardly the 'best' movie of the year.

  2. I would have preferred Black Swan to The King's Speech. At least it's a genre film...

    Everyone can't be perfect, though.

  3. I know you love Inception, but there is no way Inception deserves anything resembling Best Picture. Get over it. ;)

  4. Anonymous3:36 AM

    Agreed that Hans Zimmer should have won. He created music that sticks to your mind, that fits enourmous scenes of a special movie. No one who ever heard those tunes will ever forget to connect it eiter to Inception or Matrix. Just as good as the "Gladiator" main theme.
    The winners are good musicians too, Trent Reznor is no doubt imaginative. But does anyone remember it in a few years, does it have any importance, is its influence on the movie bigger than in Inception? Really?

    But to be honest I feel a bit sad that True Grit has not got a golden statue. At least one would have been fair.

    What is film editing?
    Why is sound editing/mixing divided in two categories?

    Why does the Academy not drop Documentations and Short Films? These are categories almost noone knows about and are sure placed in another awards ceremony.

    And then there is "best film song". Ridiculous category. Put it to the Grammys.

  5. Loopdilou: Yes it damn well did. Best Picture is for everything. It's not just for acting or visuals or sound. It's the whole shebang, and Inception is the only film that rose to the challenge on all levels. Good acting, good writing, good visuals, good music. Everything else had little tidbits of good, but not goodness everywhere. I'm never getting over it.

    Anon: I know! Why didn't he win? The soundtrack was brilliant! Nobody will remember the music from The Social Network. Nobody knows it now. That's what's so ridiculous. Zimmer's soundtrack will be remembered for decades, like Star Wars. Meh.

    True Grit didn't stand much of a chance. It's a genre film, and the Academy hasn't liked westerns in 50 years.

    To your questions:
    --Film editing is the cutting and piecing together of the movie from the stuff that was filmed.
    --Sound editing and mixing is divided because mixing is actually the creation of the sounds, while editing is their placement into the film.
    --They already drop a load of awards from the show, and I think the short film categories are really important.

  6. Firstly, YES! The Academy Awards are obsolete. Honestly. I didn't even know they were on. And I hadn't seen half of what was nominated.

    But you do over-hype Inception. The concept was cool, and the cinematography was superb - perhaps it should have won for score and art direction as well as visual effects. But only perhaps. They were good, but not GREAT. The art direction especially, was virtually no different than Nolan's previous movies, PRESTIGE and DARK KNIGHT. Same look, lighting, color scheme, etc. Kind of boring.

    And the screenplay is shit, I'm not sorry to say. Inception has some of the worst dialogue and character development of the year. A concept and even some mind-blowing scenes does not a screenplay make. The acting in Inception was only serviceable, too. It was pulpy, hokey, and pretty laughable in about two dozen places. Sorry, man, NOT the best movie of the year.

    And what's your beef with Hurt Locker? You don't have to love it, but "hardly a decent film at all" is as overstated as your Inception mini-parade.