General Oscar Telecast Discussion

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby ITALIANO » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:33 am

anonymous1980 wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:
As to the "younger critics" comment, I would hardly call Richard Roeper, David Edelstein, Kenneth Turan, Joe Morgenstern, A.O. Scott or Lou Lumenick "younger critics." This movie was well supported by critics across a diverse spectrum. These also aren't the kinds of critics that will devalue other films to prop up modern choices. This myopic view of the critic landscape is frustrating.


*cue Big Magilla and ITALIANO saying these critics are only praising Mad Max to "seem" hip and current and keep their jobs because there's no way anyone mature and knowledgeable about art and about film could ever laud Mad Max. Only younger critics whose brains were rendered stupid and ignorant would do that.*


I don't think I said "stupid" but maybe I said "ignorant" (though I once for example saw an interview with Richard Roeper and he didn't seem to be that intelligent either). But Big Magilla is right - I mean, you think it's a masterpiece, all critics agree with you, you won six Oscars - what do you want more? I certainly will never change my mind.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:46 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:
As to the "younger critics" comment, I would hardly call Richard Roeper, David Edelstein, Kenneth Turan, Joe Morgenstern, A.O. Scott or Lou Lumenick "younger critics." This movie was well supported by critics across a diverse spectrum. These also aren't the kinds of critics that will devalue other films to prop up modern choices. This myopic view of the critic landscape is frustrating.


*cue Big Magilla and ITALIANO saying these critics are only praising Mad Max to "seem" hip and current and keep their jobs because there's no way anyone mature and knowledgeable about art and about film could ever laud Mad Max. Only younger critics whose brains were rendered stupid and ignorant would do that.*

Get your facts straight. I never called anyone "stupid" or "ignorant". I did say that the film's appeal was to younger critics and older ones who wanted to appear "hip". With a 98% Rotten Tomato rating both for all critics and top critics, apparently it's those of us on this board who didn't like it who are out of touch. So be it. Let's move on.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:46 pm

OscarGuy wrote:
As to the "younger critics" comment, I would hardly call Richard Roeper, David Edelstein, Kenneth Turan, Joe Morgenstern, A.O. Scott or Lou Lumenick "younger critics." This movie was well supported by critics across a diverse spectrum. These also aren't the kinds of critics that will devalue other films to prop up modern choices. This myopic view of the critic landscape is frustrating.


*cue Big Magilla and ITALIANO saying these critics are only praising Mad Max to "seem" hip and current and keep their jobs because there's no way anyone mature and knowledgeable about art and about film could ever laud Mad Max. Only younger critics whose brains were rendered stupid and ignorant would do that.*

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:43 am

Dingy and ugly does not preclude creativity. That's what won Mad Max those design awards. It was an elaborate and creative concoction that evoked the dystopian, scavenger economy of a desolate future. You can gripe about the Oscars all you want, but the film also won the Costume Designers Guild Award and the BAFTA for costume design. You don't have to make pretty gowns, something that most costume designers can do quite easily, but coming up with something out of the box, something creative, is definitely a challenge. That's why she won.

And that's not to say Jenny Beavan is a one-trick pony. She's been nominated 10 times and won twice. Until Mad Max, she had only ever been nominated for costume drams like Bostonians, Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End, Remains of the Day, Sense and Sensibility, Anna and the King, Gosford Park and The King's Speech. She's not an upstart costume designer and to suggest that just because she took a chance on a bleak future and gave us some incredibly inventive designs doesn't mean she should be ridiculed just because she didn't make pretty dresses. Costume design isn't just about pretty dresses.

As to the "younger critics" comment, I would hardly call Richard Roeper, David Edelstein, Kenneth Turan, Joe Morgenstern, A.O. Scott or Lou Lumenick "younger critics." This movie was well supported by critics across a diverse spectrum. These also aren't the kinds of critics that will devalue other films to prop up modern choices. This myopic view of the critic landscape is frustrating.
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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:06 am

I've always said that the artisans - the below the line workers, if you will - like the films that employ the most people, which in part explains the huge number of nominations for Mad Max and The Revenant. Ex Machina, which was the best sci-fi film of the year IMO, received a paltry two nominations, one for screenplay, which it wasn't going to win, and one for Visual Effects. That it won for Visual Effects against the two behemoths, suggests that the writers, actors, directors and maybe some of the artisans as well, thought more of it than the other two. Had it been nominated in more technical categories, who knows what the overall results would have been - maybe no different, but maybe, just maybe, Ex Machina would have 7 Oscars instead of 1. 8, had Alicia Vikander been nominated for that instead of The Danish Girl.

I would say that Mad Max's win for five out of its total of six were in part as a rebuke to The Revenant which apparently more people hated than Mad Max, but, and it's a big but, that doesn't explain Mad Max's win for Costume Design. The beautiful clothes of Carol, Cinderella and The Danish Girl were much more in the Academy's wheelhouse than the ugly designs of Mad Max. Perhaps there wasn't a consensus between the majority of voters and those three canceled one another out, perhaps not. In any case, we know that Jenny Beavan is a great designer as witness her previous nine nominations and win for A Room With a View so I can't begrudge her a win for her first nomination in five years.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:12 am

I think Mad Max: Fury Road will be remembered and I'm speaking as someone who did not like the film and found it virtually forgettable whilst I was watching it. The most memorable experience of watching the film was nipping out for a toilet break!

The reason is that younger critics generally loved the film and in time the will re-write the history of cinema. Many older great films and filmmakers will be all but forgotten except by a few and a new 'consensus' of what is great from the past will change with the up and coming younger voices.

As for already obscure films. They will become even more so. They will virtually disappear.
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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:06 am

anonymous1980 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:That's where some true masterpieces first saw the light - movies which are still in film history and will stay there long after Mad Max Fury Road (and its crazy fans) will be forgotten.


You know, I happen to think Mad Max: Fury Road will be the one film in this slate of Best Picture nominees most likely to be talked about for years to come. (Cue ITALIANO condescendingly putting down my ignorance.)



They will all be forgotten, anonymous. Except maybe The Revenant which will always be "Leonardo Di Caprio's Oscar movie".

And I've never "put down" your ignorance. On the contrary, I've always valued it - I read your reviews and I immediately know what the general opinion on a movie is. But I also know that it probably won't be mine.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:07 pm

ITALIANO wrote:That's where some true masterpieces first saw the light - movies which are still in film history and will stay there long after Mad Max Fury Road (and its crazy fans) will be forgotten.


You know, I happen to think Mad Max: Fury Road will be the one film in this slate of Best Picture nominees most likely to be talked about for years to come. (Cue ITALIANO condescendingly putting down my ignorance.)

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:08 pm

Spielberg's first 6 films:
Sugarland Express (1974) - No Oscar nominations (age 28)
Jaws (1975) - 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but not Best Director. Won 3. (age 29)
Close Encounters (1977) - 8 Oscar nominations, including Best Director, but not Best Picture. Won 1, plus a special Oscar. (age 31)
1941 (1979) - 3 Oscar nomination, 0 wins (age 33)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - 8 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture AND Best Director. Won 4, plus a special Oscar. (age 35)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) - 9 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture AND Bet Director. Won 4. (age 36)

J.J. Abrams' first 5 films:
Mission: Impossible III (2006) - No Oscar nominations (age 40)
Star Trek (2009) - 4 Oscar nominations, 1 win (age 43)
Super 8 (2011) - No Oscar nominations (age 45)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) - 1 Oscar nomination, 0 wins. (age 47)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) - 5 Oscar nominations, 0 wins. (age 49)

Now, compare Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. to any of Abrams' films and tell me he's Spielberg. He's a Spielberg wannabe. He's merely aped Spielberg with no actual sense that he can be another Spielberg. In the span of eight years, Spielberg's films had collected 32 Oscar nominations, 12 Oscars plus an additional 2 special achievement Oscars. He had 3 Best Picture nominations and 3 Best Director nominations. Abrams has a grand total of 10 nominations and 1 Oscar under his belt the span of 9 years without a single Best Picture or Best Director nomination. Abrams is no Spielberg.
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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby jack » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:41 pm

I've been thinking about this since the show, and maybe should save it for the Who'll Be Back post, but how long do we it'll be before JJ Abrams is nominated? I know he makes relatively light-weight blockbusters, but I think it goes without saying that he'll follow the Spielberg path before long and start making real films.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:22 pm

Oh, and I don't even want to talk about the ceremony... I don't know you, but now I will avoid movies with black actors for the next five years. If this is what they were hoping for...

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:18 pm

As for the surprises - yes, there have been two or three, and generally good. Still, this is really the least you should expect from a show which, till the mid-90s, was often very unpredictable. In the last twenty years everything has changed, so it's true that nowadays we can only be grateful for this kind of outcome.

Of course, six Oscars for Mad Max Fury Road (including Costume Design!) is just absurd, but it was kind-of expected. Since The Revenant was nominated in all these categories, this was also a sign that it wasn't as strong as we believed, and of course this proved true later in the evening.

Let's face it - Spotlight isn't the most exciting film experience ever. Still, it was the most logical, and the most "dignified" choice. I personally think that - all things considered - it was also the best possible choice (in an unusually disappointing field). But it's at least a movie that the Academy doesn't have to be ashamed of, it's about a serious issue, it's quite well-made... If the alternative was The Revenant - and it WAS The Revenant - we can't complain. This, and Mark Rylance over Sylvester Stallone, are proof that the Academy still hasn't complely fallen down. In ten years, I'm afraid, Mad Max Fury Road (or a something similar) will win Best Picture.

Internet doesn't even know who is, but Ennio Morricone is one of the last few suriving artists of a cinema which doesn't exist anymore. When he talks about movies, he talks about them with a love, a patience, a care, which belong to a a forgotten time, a pre-Mad Max time. It's the time when filmmakers (directors, writers, composers...) and intellectuals in general used to meet in cheap trattorias in Rome to discuss new ideas and projects. That's where some true masterpieces first saw the light - movies which are still in film history and will stay there long after Mad Max Fury Road (and its crazy fans) will be forgotten. Except in Italy, Ennio Morricone's win has been completely ignored. I think this says alot about how the Oscars are perceived today - and by whom.
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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:06 pm

To just elaborate on the preferential ballot thing, there is of course no way to know whether or not the old system would have produced similar winners, but it's worth examining how the recent splits might have something to do with the new way Oscar votes for Best Picture.

I'm going to say that the Argo/Life of Pi split was just a fluky situation all around, and Argo would have won regardless on a simple, vote-for-your-favorite ballot. Had Affleck been nominated, he most surely would have won Director, and Argo was the favorite all season. I think this outcome was due to a quirk from the Directors' branch.

However, the other two splits -- 12 Years a Slave/Gravity and Spotlight/The Revenant seem like exactly the kind of scenarios you could encounter with this system. Just look at this board as a sample pool: Gravity had fierce partisans but also some pretty strong detractors; a much wider consensus of posters here were happy to accept 12 Years as a Best Picture winner. I don't know that either Spotlight or The Revenant provoked similar enthusiasm around here, but many of us were dreading a win for The Revenant; Spotlight, in contrast, was a movie a lot of us felt was a perfectly solid choice, even if it wasn't our choice.

It's still interesting though, how often we might have had splits in this new era, but didn't -- Avatar/Katheryn Bigelow, The King's Speech/David Fincher, The Artist/Martin Scorsese, Boyhood/Iñárritu, Birdman/Linklater all strike me as outcomes we could have had, but didn't. Oddly, the only Best Picture winner in the more-than-five era that feels like it definitely COULDN'T have had a split was one that did by force, and that's Argo, in a race that would have seemed like a total runaway had Affleck gotten his expected Director nod.

Forgive me if someone else has already mentioned this here -- a lot of Oscar coverage over the past day has bled together in my mind -- but it's also worth noting how the trend in number of Oscars for Best Pictures has decisively gone down in recent years. Spotlight pulled it off with a paltry 2; 12 Years a Slave and Argo only managed 3; The King's Speech and Birdman, in this context, looked amazingly healthy with 4; and The Artist was a virtual sweeper with 5. Compare that to the '90s, when three winners scored 7, and others reached up to 9 and 11. It seems that there has been a real change in terms of how much across-the-board support a movie needs to win Best Picture.

Part of me wonders if this has to do with different kinds of movies winning Best Picture. And there's definitely some of that -- Spotlight resembles the kind of movie that was often an also-ran in the '90's, like The Insider or Quiz Show, rather than the winners. But others seem like movies that could have swept up more Oscars, but just didn't. Imagine if Gravity hadn't existed in 2013 -- 12 Years a Slave certainly would have added a well-deserved Director prize to its haul, but it very likely could have won Cinematography and Score (categories it didn't even get nominated in!), to say nothing of both male actors and the design categories being within reach. And many of us predicted The King's Speech for Score, Production Design, AND Costume Design, which would have given it a haul much closer to Shakespeare in Love's than Rain Man's. Or, to flip the argument, perhaps some of the movies that have dominated down-ballot in recent years (like Hugo, Gravity, and Mad Max) are just a bit more fantastical than the historical epics that were routinely sweeping in the '80's and '90's -- had one of these films been even slightly more serious, might it have gone all the way to Best Picture?

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:32 pm

Morricone's first credit was in 1961 four years after 79-year-old Lou Gossett's first TV credit. Gossett's first film was 1961's A Raisin in the Sun. 78-year-old Morgan Freeman's first film was 1964's The Pawnbroker. They and 82-year-old Quincy Jones, whose music career goes back to the mid-1950s, stayed above the fray, providing the show with a lot of class.

I don't think it was lost on Gossett, who introduced the In Memoriam segment, that it won't be long before he will part of it. On the red carpet he talked about his surprise at having won over Robert Preston, James Mason and Charlie Durning thirty-three years ago, all of whom are gone now.

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Re: General Oscar Telecast Discussion

Postby Uri » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:11 pm

The only reason for being sorry Stallone didn’t win is that if he had, it would have been a kind of a throwback to the ‘70s, which could have given this ceremony a much needed historical reference, since other than Morricone’s win, this Oscar show totally lacked any. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the most veteran people on stage were Morgan Freeman and Woopie Goldberg, who became known in the mid ‘80s. And we all know why they were there. I don’t mind this aspect of the show – saying it’s ok to bring up the black issue as long as it’s not over done, as long as it’s not over extensively shove into people throats, or, in other words, as long as it’s marginalized - is missing the point. I liked the notion of making White Hollywood squirm in its seat and keep doing it throughout the evening. It would have been nice though had it been done even more viciously and with more wit and less sentimentality – the Chris-Rock-as-Ellen-black-girl-scouts stuff was dreadful. But even with this frame of mind, couldn’t they incorporate something about the way black people were represented over the decades in American cinema – mainstream films as well as segregated black ones. I wouldn’t mind being reminded of everything from those early all black musicals set in Harlem to blacksploitation movies. Don’t shy away from the extremities of the ways these issues were misrepresented but bring us some historical context – and glamour and talent while you’re at it. Ethel Waters, Bill Robinson, Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robson, Lena Horn and so on – it’s the Oscars, remind us of them. The sense I got last night was of a very short memory, culturally unrooted experience.


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