Am I crazy for wanting to give Daniel Day Lewis's

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Postby Heksagon » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:27 am

All I can say is that I see it differently.

What bothers me, in a practical sense, is that there are a lot of films out there getting nominated for best actor, that are entirely constructed around the performance of the lead actor (Valley of Elah is far from being the most egregious example).

The studios know that an Oscar nomination for best actor is an excellent marketing tool, and the actors themselves know how important an Oscar nomination is for their careers. So, people involved in making the film actually benefit from compromising the overall quality of the film, if it means that an individual actor looks better that way.

Valley of Elah is not the best example in this regard. But with stuff like I Am Sam and Last King of Scotland I had the impression that the only thing that mattered for the filmmakers was the individual performances of the lead actors, and that they had a nevermind attitude towards the overall quality of the film. This is the type of approach to filmmaking that, in my opinion, the Academy should not reward.

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Postby Movielover » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:04 pm

Heksagon, I fully disagree with your comments. Angelina Jolie was very deserving of her Oscar in a sub-par film. The same would be applied to Denzel in Training Day. Brilliant performance, two-star film.

It is about the performance. That is what the category is judging. The only categories when the whole picture is taken into account should be Best Picture and Best Director. Otherwise, how can you even justify the nominations of Daniel Massey in Star! or even Rex Harrison in Cleopatra?

The performance categories are solely to be judged on just that - the quality of the performance.

And for the record, I enjoyed DDL - although someone called him hammy in this role and I agree with that sentiment exactly.

In My Left Foot, DDL proved that he was a force to be reckoned with. It was the first time I had seen DDL (for me, My Beautiful Laundrette came later) and I was amazed they had hired someone who actually had cerebral palsy to play that role and how amazing it must have been for this actor. Imagine my shock to learn he didn't have the disease.

DDL is a wonderful actor - I am not taking that away from him. But I LOVED TLJ in that movie. And I didn't feel the movie was a bad movie... I actually enjoyed it. It was formulaic as could be - that I give you... but still a good movie.




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Postby Zahveed » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:30 pm

I like your points, Hecksagon.
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Postby Heksagon » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:36 am

Sorry, I'm one of the people who actually enjoyed There Will Be Blood and Day-Lewis' performance in it... This is, of course, very much a matter of opinion. There Will Be Blood has split opinions very sharply, and most of the time, people who enjoy that film also enjoy Day-Lewis' performance in it, while those who do not like the film, can't stand him either.

In sharp contrast, people usually find that they don't like Valley of Elah very much, and that Tommy Lee Jones is the only good thing in that movie. So, for a lot of people, Day-Lewis' performance does help make his film an enjoyable experience, while there are relatively few who feel that Jones' performance - even if it is a good performance - is enough to turn his film into much more than a tolerable experience.

But this is entirely a matter of point of view, and clearly there aren't a lot of people here who look at this issue the same way as I do.

Actors are nominated all the time for giving good performances in bad movies. Some of them even win.

Indeed. But I didn't try to imply that the Academy does act the way I suggested, only that I'd like to see it act that way (and yes, there is no hope for me that it ever will).

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Postby Damien » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:34 pm

Heksagon wrote:Besides, the purpose of Academy Awards is to award quality film-making. The goal of good acting is to improve the quality of the film. What difference does it make how good an individual performance is, if it does not change the fact that the film, as a whole, remains terrible. Good acting in bad films is a waste, not a redeeming factor.

Well, then shouldn't Daniel Day-Lewis have gotten demerits for making a terrible film even more insufferable than it would have been if a better actor (say, Tommy Lee Jones) had starred in it?
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:58 pm

Actors are nominated all the time for giving good performances in bad movies. Some of them even win.

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Postby Heksagon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:00 pm

I made a mistake saying it was one of the "worst-reviewed films" of the year. I should have said something like "one of the most disappointingly received prestige films" of the year; obviously there were worse-reviewed films, but these were (for most part, at least) the types of films that everyone always expected to get poor reviews. In any case, the film was very poorly reviewed.

So, we should punish an actor because the people around them couldn't carry their weight? That is ridiculous. Every category should be awarded based on the merits and achievement of that individual, and one actor should not be held responsible for what his director turned his movie into.


Well, I see it differently. If good actors work wih poor directors and poor screenplays, it doesn't result in good movies, and you shouldn't reward actors for doing it.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:27 pm

"Valley of Elah" was very contrived, sure. But I don't remember it being close to one of the worst reviewed films of that year.
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Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:53 pm

So, we should punish an actor because the people around them couldn't carry their weight? That is ridiculous. Every category should be awarded based on the merits and achievement of that individual, and one actor should not be held responsible for what his director turned his movie into.
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Postby Heksagon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:37 pm

Jones is indeed very good in In the Valley of Elah, but it doesn't change the fact that the movie itself is totally sub-par. Films that are as bad as In the Valley of Elah should not be awarded major Oscars, in fact, they should not even be nominated for them.

People expect that films receiving Oscar wins and nominations in major categories should be of a certain quality (even if it is in vain). But it is reasonable to expect that one of the worst-reviewed films of the year should not be a contender for receiving any major Oscar honors.

Besides, the purpose of Academy Awards is to award quality film-making. The goal of good acting is to improve the quality of the film. What difference does it make how good an individual performance is, if it does not change the fact that the film, as a whole, remains terrible. Good acting in bad films is a waste, not a redeeming factor.

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Postby Zahveed » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:48 pm

TLJ was good, no doubt, but In the Valley of Elah was hard to sit through, boring, and preachy. He was the best part of that film and because of that, worthy of a nomination for being the stand out in a what I consider a failure of a war drama.
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Postby dws1982 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:53 pm

One thing I will say is that Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood is not as bad as Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. But both performances are examples of Day-Lewis and his preference for empty technique over everything else. Of course, "empty technique" is also an apt description of Paul Thomas Anderson and his film. In that respect, Day-Lewis and Anderson were something of a perfect fit.



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Postby Okri » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:29 am

I maintain that Day-Lewis' performance is one of the decade's finest, and and Jones vague emptiness robbed several more worthy candidates (Sam Riley, Cillian Murphy, Gordon Pinset, Casey Affleck, James McAvoy) of nominations. Oh well, AMPAS succumbs to the Haggis one more time.

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Postby Damien » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:37 am

Without hesitation, I would have voted for Tommy Lee Jones in 2007. And I would have chosen any of the other three nominees (Clooney, Mortensen,Depp) over Day-Lewis for his atrocious performance in that ludicrous thing. (Or, if you prefer, his ludicrous performance in that atrocious thing.) One of the worst Oscars ever, but the idiot film critics groups are as much to blame for anointing this cheesy hamola for his masturbatory onscreen emoting in the first place.
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Postby Reza » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:58 pm

dws1982 wrote:I would've easily voted for Tommy Lee Jones that year. I think he was the only one who even deserved a nomination out of that lineup.

I totally agree.. Jones was superb.


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