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January 10, 2013

Snub? Zero Dark Thirty Director Refused In-the-Bag Oscar Nomination Due to Equivocal Treatment of Torture

They appreciate daring, edgy films that challenge assumptions and ask uncomfortable questions, but only if we're talking about challenging other people's assumptions and asking other people uncomfortable questions.

Their own assumptions, they need relentlessly reaffirmed and their preferred answers relentlessly restated.

Apparently the Bradley Cooper movie, Silver Linings Playbook, is pretty good. It got a bunch of nominations, in all the major categories. I saw him play one clip on Leno and it was pretty funny. I'd link it but I can't find it. I'd explain the joke but it would ruin it.

And Les Mis I guess is good. And Lincoln, though the subject matter sounds pretty dry. (Apparently it's not about the life of Lincoln or the Civil War, but only the behind-the-scenes politicking over the 13th Amendment.)

The rest of the nominations are here. No, you officially do not have to care. I really don't care myself. But I guess it's news.

Oscar Loves a Comeback!

... is a sentence I have never in my life spoken and do not plan on doing so in the future.

Funny Review of Les Mis: Recommended by a commenter.

The Oscars' Poor Performance In Selecting the Best Film of the Year: A commenter writes:

These same yahoos were saying "The Last Emporer" was the best picture in 1988 (we walked out of that stupid film after about 13 minutes) and that "Shakespeare In Love" was best picture over "Saving Private Ryan."

It's a pretty well-known bit of lore that, at least since the early eighties, the best film in any particular year is almost certainly not the one which won Best Picture at the Oscars. As they do with documentaries (you can tell the Academy hasn't bothered seeing the documentaries, and just vote based on which subject they find the most worthy), the Academy doesn't even see all the nominated movies, and tends to pick which movie they think they should like, and which seems "weightiest" or "most important."

Thus a lot of movies which no one in the world even remembers, let alone re-views like "Out of Africa" take home the prize. The Academy's choice for Best Picture is almost completely unrelated to actual merit, influenced by things like "Have I heard of this guy? Which movies did I actually see?" and "Which film seems like the sort of film a college Intro to Film Studies professor would approve of?" than artistic and audience impact.

I think it would be an interesting experiment for someone to start naming the best films of past years, retrospectively. I mean, people do this in articles, but I mean actually have some body of critics review movies from fifteen years or twenty years ago and now nominate those movies that really persisted in the memory and impacted the imagination. Not the duds like Out of Africa.

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posted by Ace at 06:16 PM

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