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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
I don't think any movie this dark could ever be considered Oscarbait

<cough> Silence of the Lambs <cough>. Oh and Schindler's List.


Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:22 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I don't think any movie this dark could ever be considered Oscarbait

<cough> Silence of the Lambs <cough>. Oh and Schindler's List.


Silence of the Lambs? SILENCE OF THE LAMBS?

A January-released horror/thriller about an attempt to catch a serial killer who's skinning women in order to fulfill a bizarre transsexualism by making a second skin for himself out of his victims' skin???

IN WHAT UNIVERSE COULD THAT MOVIE POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERING OSCAR-BAIT?

I'M SORRY FOR SHOUTING, I'M JUST A LITTLE EMOTIONAL.

Seriously though, I do not think you know what "Oscar-bait" means. Please go watch The Reader and The Help over and over again.

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Yeah I don't see Silence of the Lambs that way either. I suppose if I could define Oscarbaiting (that's an awesome verb, by the way), I think you'd have to make some sort of historical drama. Obviously, that's not the only kind of movie that scores big, but it's incredibly awards-friendly even if it turns out to be a great movie. I could be wrong, but the 1999 Academy Awards ceremony still stands tallest as what I think a lot of people conjure up when they think of the Oscars. Check out the BP nominees there: two WWII dramas (Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line), two Elizabethan era costume dramas (Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love), and a Holocaust film (Life is Beautiful). I like them all (SPR more than the others), but the theme is clear. If you want to win, mine the past for all its worth.

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
Yeah I don't see Silence of the Lambs that way either. I suppose if I could define Oscarbaiting (that's an awesome verb, by the way), I think you'd have to make some sort of historical drama. Obviously, that's not the only kind of movie that scores big, but it's incredibly awards-friendly even if it turns out to be a great movie. I could be wrong, but the 1999 Academy Awards ceremony still stands tallest as what I think a lot of people conjure up when they think of the Oscars. Check out the BP nominees there: two WWII dramas (Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line), two Elizabethan era costume dramas (Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love), and a Holocaust film (Life is Beautiful). I like them all (SPR more than the others), but the theme is clear. If you want to win, mine the past for all its worth.


Oscar bait also implies a certain "importance" and "prestige" and, above all, self-importance

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
nitrium wrote:
IN WHAT UNIVERSE COULD THAT MOVIE POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERING OSCAR-BAIT?
I'M SORRY FOR SHOUTING, I'M JUST A LITTLE EMOTIONAL.

So sorry didn't really mean to imply that Silence of the Lambs ITSELF was Oscar bait (although I see that if you couldn't read my mind, that is how it comes across). What I meant to say it is a very dark film, and, by actually winning Oscars, set a precedence for others to follow. For example, Unforgiven, Mystic River, The Green Mile, Winter's Bone, Million Dollar Baby (even The Sixth Sense) are all pretty dark films - and all nominated for Best Picture. See you would have (perhaps rightfully) had EXACTLY the same feeling towards a Holocaust movie not ever, ever, ever being construed as Oscar Bait (given the awful subject matter). But do you still feel the same way, after the Oscar success of Schindler's List, The Pianist and The Reader? Is it wrong to STILL label a Holocaust movie in 2014 as "Oscar Bait"? If not, why do you feel it somehow still incorrect to label a slickly made dark film as Oscar Bait in 2014?


Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I thought Oscarbait is about how the movie is about its subject itself, not about if it wins any award.

The most Oscarbait 2013 movie is still The Butler for me. Good god, and I watched that in theater..


Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I thought Oscarbait is about how the movie is about its subject itself, not about if it wins any award.

The most Oscarbait 2013 movie is still The Butler for me. Good god, and I watched that in theater..

Out of the Furnace gave me that impression and Pete's review of it didn't help, either. The Butler's an excellent choice for that distinction, though.

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pedro wrote:
peng wrote:
I thought Oscarbait is about how the movie is about its subject itself, not about if it wins any award.

The most Oscarbait 2013 movie is still The Butler for me. Good god, and I watched that in theater..

Out of the Furnace gave me that impression and Pete's review of it didn't help, either. The Butler's an excellent choice for that distinction, though.

Yeah, 42 also kinda came across as Oscar Bait.


Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Pedro wrote:
peng wrote:
I thought Oscarbait is about how the movie is about its subject itself, not about if it wins any award.

The most Oscarbait 2013 movie is still The Butler for me. Good god, and I watched that in theater..

Out of the Furnace gave me that impression and Pete's review of it didn't help, either. The Butler's an excellent choice for that distinction, though.

Yeah, 42 also kinda came across as Oscar Bait.


12 Years a Slave. I figured once I heard of the film and it wasn't screwed up it was a lock for nomination for picture, director and best actor. It may not win, though I expect Chewy will win for best actor.

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gedmud wrote:
Balaji Sivaraman wrote:
The problem with a whodunit like Prisoners is that the culprit always has to be one of the characters already introduced to us. And with such a small number of characters in the film, it is always going to be easy to figure out the mystery portion. That being said, I still found the twist satisfying. Out of the two or three possible suspects I had in my mind, the big reveal turned out to be a nice surprise. I had difficulty swallowing the reasoning behind the character's doing though. The problem there being the monologue he/she delivers wasn't as satisfying as the reveal itself. I may have to watch it a second time to see whether that remains the case. As for the needlessly "open" finale, it would've pissed me off very much, and had me dropping a half star were it not for:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
They show Jake Gyllenhall hearing the sound coming from the whistle. Being the optimistic person that I am, I get a feeling Hugh Jackman would be saved.


I think for me, Prisoners wasn't so much about what I saw, but what I didn't. To me the reveal wasn't as important as the monologue. In a thriller like this it doesn't really matter who did it. It's generally more important why they did it. I know there's a bit of disagreement on the significance of that particular scene around here, but I still think it was really powerful. Similarly, the "open" finale works for me because of what transpires before it, and then what I didn't see after it. Before the finale we see
[Reveal] Spoiler:
a fairly ambiguous conversation between Detective Loki and Grace Dover about what will happen to Keller if he returns/is found. I thought that added another layer to the ending. It isn't just about whether Keller is found, but what consequences may or may not lie ahead of him.


Prisoners, quite simply, should not have been a whodunit thriller and in making it so they cheapened a potentially very good movie. The twist added nothing and distracted the film from the more thought provoking elements that had been better established, the monologue given makes painfully obvious what was already apparent. Subtlety and introspection were thrown to the wind when before the twist the ambiguity greatly enhanced the feature overall; a very dark and intriguing film suddenly becomes an overly serious one that drops the ball on everything that deserved serious inquiry. Gedmud, how does that knowledge add to the ending and what does that add to the movie overall? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by it being about what you didn't see rather than what you did because considering film is a visual medium and you can only work with whats presented that doesn't seem to make any sense.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
What does that say about ambiguity? You used the term, but say that film is a visual medium so if you don't see it it doesn't have value? What I meant by "what you didn't see" was the ambiguity of the whole movie. It left things open ended and "unseen" and I appreciated that because I thought it added value to the theme. I could be in the minority, but I like when a movie doesn't sum it all up. Basically I was responding to Balaji's opinion of the ending. As an optimist he likes to think that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Keller will be found but to me it is about the consequences he may or may not face. Which was talked about in the scene previous with Det. Loki and Grace.
It was clearly just more valuable thematically to me. It worked for me.

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Last edited by Gedmud on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:14 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
Unke wrote:
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think it is a correct choice to end on an ambiguous note. The movie's impact would be diminished a lot if we would see Patrick led away in handcuffs and Martha/Marcy May happily playing with her sister's daughter on the lakeside. (Just to make up a ludicrous happy ending.) That being said, the movie should have ended with Martha/Marcy May swimming in the lake on the morning of her departure to a mental insitution, half way between her sister's house and the stranger (a member of the cult or perhaps a hallucination?) sitting on the other shore of the lake. Instead, there is an additional suspense scene in the car, which is actually very good, if taken in isolation, but demands a payoff, in my opinion.

Because the ending is a little unsatisfactory, 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' isn't quite a msterpiece, but still a very good film. 8/10


Man oh man, do I love this movie. One of the best of the decade, I think. An 8/10 from Unke is like a 10/10 from just about anyone else, so I'll take it.

As for the ending:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I like it. Granted, your proposed ending makes the same point - that Martha will be living the rest of her life quite literally looking over her shoulder - but I think it fits better with her sister and brother-in-law there as opposed to her by herself. One of the large points the film makes is how victims of trauma need an almost unconditional type of support in order to get better. Some may find Ted and Lucy's decision to place Martha in professional care justified, and some may see it as abandonment. I think the movie falls firmly in the latter, however. To make this point, I think it's essential to end the film the way Durkin did. By placing Martha with her family, and having the real/hallucinated stalker still approaching, it drives home Durkin's point. I don't think we get that if Martha is swimming alone in the lake.


That's a good point, although I came to a slightly different conclusion regarding Ted and Lucy's support of Martha (or lack thereof). I think that very often, people are overtaxing their abilities to take care of relatives with psychological problems, unless they have the professional qualification to do so - and the professional distance. I know a few real-life examples, in which this has been the case. I admired that the movie wasn't sugarcoating how difficult it is to deal with the situation of taking care of a person with severe mental issues. I also liked how Lucy and Ted were portrayed rather realistically. When Ted says that he only has two weeks a year to relax and cannot deal with the extra stress on his downtime, I recognised myself a bit (albeit in completely different situations). And when I thought he was behaving like a heartless bastard when he told Matha that she needed a plan for a career and all she does at the moment is living off other people (specifically himself and his wife), my wife thought that he had a valid point. The realistic portrayal of its characters is another strength of the movie, which I forgot to mention in my earlier post.

Still, the ending rubbed me the wrong way a bit. Why start a suspense scene without a resolution at the very end of the movie? I'll keep your thoughts in mind, though, and may reconsider my opinion once I will rewatch the film (which I'll certainly do sometime in the future).

As for the rating: I reserve 10/10 ratings for my personal favourites, which I'm attached to for reasons, which may not have anything to do with the movie. For instance, I guess that few people would consider 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' a perfect movie, but it was the first movie, which scared me, and it was also the first movie, in which I noticed upon repeated viewings, that there is a lot more to it than just being a hokey 1950ies horror movie. A 9/10 would mean that I can completely overlook any problems with the movie, because I like it so much, but that it isn't quite "top 100" material (if I had made such a list). Because of my problem with the ending of 'Martha Marcy May Marlene', it isn't quite a 9/10, but it comes very close.


Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:17 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gedmud wrote:
What does that say about ambiguity? You used the term, but say that film is a visual medium so if you don't see it it doesn't have value? What I meant by "what you didn't see" was the ambiguity of the whole movie. It left things open ended and "unseen" and I appreciated that because I thought it added value to the theme. I could be in the minority, but I like when a movie doesn't sum it all up. Basically I was responding to Balaji's opinion of the ending. As an optimist he likes to think that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Keller will be found but to me it is about the consequences he may or may not face. Which was talked about in the scene previous with Det. Loki and Grace.
It was clearly just more valuable thematically to me. It worked for me.


You misunderstand me. It's not that what you don't see doesn't have value, although I'm not sure how your example really adds anything to the film itself, what I'm asking is how does that ambiguity add to the film thematically? If you ask me the film wasn't about
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the legal consequences of Keller's actions
and I'm failing to connect how it plays a significant role here.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I don't think the film is really about that either. But it challenges the viewer to think of the morality of torture, and the ambiguous ending forces you to think about what you think is right and wrong. What is fair? What is deserved? Like I said, I had a strong reaction to the film. It challenged me far more than I expected it to.

I guess in answer to your question, maybe the ambiguity doesn't "add" to the film thematically, but I think in this film, and many others it's a driving force that challenges you to come to your own conclusions about the theme.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:26 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Re: Prisoners

[Reveal] Spoiler:
There's a thematic subtext about being "prisoner" through all the film, which I brought up on a previous post. What I get from the ending is that regardless of what happens with Keller, he will always be a "prisoner" of his actions. Be it because he is left in the hole and never found, or found and put into jail... which can be representative of how he might feel after doing what he did, and maybe not being able to free himself from the guilt of it.

Then again, there's also something to him actually sounding the whistle after several days captive. He doesn't know his daughter is alive, so he might as well have left himself to die on that hole. But him sounding the whistle might represent a desire to break free, escape, live on. I don't know. Those are my two takes on it.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:47 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2388637/
Well shot and acted film set in the 70's about a criminal couple in which Bob (Casey Affleck) takes the wrap for his pregnant wife Ruth's (Rooney Mara) crime of shooting a police officer during a shoot out, so that only he goes to jail. After escaping from jail he tries to reunite with Ruth, but both know it might get him caught. Meanwhile the cop who was gunned down has formed a sort of strange bond with Ruth. The film moves incredibly slowly, not quite excruciating (at 96 mins it's too short for that), but the time certainly didn't fly by for me. Frankly I didn't really "get" the ending:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Who were those three hitmen? How did they know where to find Bob? Presumably some other character dobbed him in? Who? Why?

6/10.


Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:04 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I think I'll start contributing my thoughts on this thread.

Shame (2011)

The moment this was over I appreciated it, but not overwhelmingly so. But in the hours since then, it has burrowed itself into my mind and refused to leave. Fassbender is incredible. People complain about the lack of narrative, the lack of a cohesive story, but Fassbender is compelling enough to hold my interest no matter what the content. I think people concentrate too much on the sexual aspect of this story. This is not a story about sex, it's a story about addiction. Addiction that is honestly, unblinkingly portrayed. And it may just be the best film of 2011. I need to rewatch it in order to make a final evaluation.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2388637/
Well shot and acted film set in the 70's about a criminal couple in which Bob (Casey Affleck) takes the wrap for his pregnant wife Ruth's (Rooney Mara) crime of shooting a police officer during a shoot out, so that only he goes to jail. After escaping from jail he tries to reunite with Ruth, but both know it might get him caught. Meanwhile the cop who was gunned down has formed a sort of strange bond with Ruth. The film moves incredibly slowly, not quite excruciating (at 96 mins it's too short for that), but the time certainly didn't fly by for me. Frankly I didn't really "get" the ending:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Who were those three hitmen? How did they know where to find Bob? Presumably some other character dobbed him in? Who? Why?

6/10.


I actually had the same exact questions after seeing this, but here's what I think:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Skerrit hired the three men to "take out" Bob.

It's clear Skerrit cared a great deal for Ruth (a care that seems slightly oedipal), and didn't want Bob to come back into her life. We're given that pivotal scene of Skerrit telling Bob to leave Ruth alone; a scene that is nothing short of threatening. Of course Bob didn't adhere to Skerrit's wishes, and it would seem that Skerrit, being the small town crime boss that he is, hired these guys to force Bob's adherence per se. Yet the scene that captures the three men walking into Skerrit's store is slightly confusing; Skerrit doesn't seem to know these men at first, but their conversation alludes to something more. What are your thoughts?

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Steven wrote:
I think I'll start contributing my thoughts on this thread.

Shame (2011)

The moment this was over I appreciated it, but not overwhelmingly so. But in the hours since then, it has burrowed itself into my mind and refused to leave. Fassbender is incredible. People complain about the lack of narrative, the lack of a cohesive story, but Fassbender is compelling enough to hold my interest no matter what the content. I think people concentrate too much on the sexual aspect of this story. This is not a story about sex, it's a story about addiction. Addiction that is honestly, unblinkingly portrayed. And it may just be the best film of 2011. I need to rewatch it in order to make a final evaluation.


This was my favorite of 2011 as well. A lot of people question the idea of sex addiction, saying it's nothing more than just "a guy being horny," but not here. It consumes Brandon's everyday thoughts and he doesn't even appear to actually enjoy it. It's like a fix. And when he finally tries to combine that with an actual person he cares about (as opposed to someone he views as an object), he can't go through with it because a legit relationship (without cheating) would mean the end of meaningless sex.

And so much of this is achieved with sparse dialogue. It's also worth noting that not at any point does someone tell him "you have a problem and you need help." McQueen was also very wise to not reveal what happened with Brandon and Sissy to fracture their relationship. How trite would it have been to have some easily explainable childhood trauma that you can point to and say, "oh okay so that's why"?

Bonus points for the soundtrack. I've listened to that opening piece (from the train scene) countless times.

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Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:27 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Skerrit hired the three men to "take out" Bob.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I thought that too, at first - and really it is the only semi-logical explanation. But at the end the lone survivor hitman shoots Skerrit (off-screen). Why would the guy you hire shoot someone else shoot YOU?! Further there is no evidence that Skerrit knows where Bob's hideout was - from the film it seemed only the cop had suspicions about that. And Skerrit actually hugs Bob when they first meet (post-escape) - not something you do with someone you later send hitmen out to execute.


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