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Best Picture Nominees Ranked 
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Post Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I'm interested in seeing how everyone ranks the Best Picture Nominees in terms of preference-for-a-win. I realize that, for most people, your favorite few 2011 films aren't even up for Best Picture, but which that are nominated are good enough that you'd be pleased if they won? Which are so bad you'll go Elvis on your TV if they get called out?

While there are in reality only 2 or 3 movies that actually stand a chance, it's more fun to pretend all 9 have a shot in order to work up a satisfying amount of anticipation/anger/disappointment.

The Movie I'm Rooting For Category
1. Hugo

Movies I'd Be Happy Winning Category
2. Midnight in Paris
3. The Artist
4. Tree of Life

OK Fine But Really War Horse and Not Saving Private Ryan? Category
5. War Horse - I actually liked War Horse better than Tree of Life, but I'd much rather Best Picture go to Terrence Malick Swings for the Fences than Steven Spielberg Makes You Cry Again.

Solid Enough Dramas But Man Best Picture? Category
6. The Help
7. Moneyball

Want to See It Category
Descendants

Will Actively Avoid It As Long As Possible Category
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:11 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I think this is the first time I've seen all of the Best Picture nominees before the awards ceremony. Here are my rankings:

Made my personal Top 10:

1. Midnight In Paris (this doesn't have a chance of winning but it was my favorite of 2011)
2. Hugo
3. The Artist
4. Moneyball

These two I admired quite a bit, but they didn't quite connect with me the same way as the above four films:

5. The Descendents
6. War Horse

I've seen this twice now and it hasn't won me over yet, but I understand why people view it in such high regard:

7. The Tree Of Life

Bland, safe, predictable, boring, forgettable, vanilla, incidental Oscar bait:

8. The Help
9. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

Replace those last two with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive or 50/50 and I would have nothing to complain about.


Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:35 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I've only seen Hugo and Tree of Life. On balance, I like Hugo more. That said, I wouldn't be brokenhearted if either one gets it.

I love Boneseses' description of Tree of Life as "Terence Malick swings for the fences". It encapsulates exactly why I admire it, even if I don't quite like it: it's a film that consistently takes risks. Some of them pay off and some of them don't, and my opinion of it can't be boiled down to "I liked it" or "I didn't like it".

I'd love to see something like that win, even if I have mixed feelings about it. The Academy typically goes for choices that are merely decent. Best Picture winners usually don't inspire a particularly strong or multifaceted response, as Tree of Life does. The winner is probably going to be a "feel-good" movie, or, more accurately, a "feel-bad-but-not-too-bad" movie.


Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:05 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Ken wrote:
I love Boneseses' description of Tree of Life as "Terence Malick swings for the fences". It encapsulates exactly why I admire it, even if I don't quite like it: it's a film that consistently takes risks. Some of them pay off and some of them don't, and my opinion of it can't be boiled down to "I liked it" or "I didn't like it".

I'd love to see something like that win, even if I have mixed feelings about it. The Academy typically goes for choices that are merely decent. Best Picture winners usually don't inspire a particularly strong or multifaceted response, as Tree of Life does.

Right. I feel the same way. The way Blonde Almond described it, too. For Best Picture I really don't mind adding a "degree of difficulty" consideration. Spielberg can tug on your heartstrings in his sleep. For Spielberg, a movie like War Horse is kind of like Tom Hanks' performance in something like Green Mile: it's so safely within his wheelhouse that pulling it off well enough is less impressive as an accomplishment.

Quote:
Replace those last two with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive or 50/50 and I would have nothing to complain about.

For me it would be replacing The Help, Moneyball, and Extremely Loud with Ides of March, Harry Potter, and Drive--then I'd be happy with any outcome.


Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:45 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I've seen three of the nominees (Artist, Midnight in Paris, Tree of Life) and only one approached greatness. The Tree of Life was the one.

I have no interest in seeing Moneyball, The Help, Extremely Loud, War Horse so I can't comment on their worthiness. I didn't know they had 9 nominees until today. Couldn't find a tenth?

I'll see Descendants and Hugo eventually.

My gut tells me The Artist will win.


Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:09 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I honestly thought that I'd seen a fair share of the Best Picture nominees only to realise that I've still only seen 3 Best Picture nominees. What were they thinking?

I'd be upset if either Moneyball or The Help won the award. Neither is deserving and I find it particularly troubling that a middling movie like The Help is one of the big favourites. I have not seen The Artist but hope that it does not win. Why hope against a movie I have not seen? No silent picture has ever won the single best picture award (Wings and Sunrise, I know, but there's an asterisks next to those). It would seem counter-intuitive to give the statue to a silent picture today. I'm quite aware that the silent picture died while Oscar was born, but think of all the great Chaplin that came out afterwards. Is The Artist better than those Chaplin flicks? Again, I have not seen it, but I kind of doubt it.

That leaves Midnight in Paris as my favourite so far. Hardly Woody's best picture but I do like it quite a bit (even though I dissed it recently. It's good but not great).


Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Right now I would bet about $500 that it will go to Alexander Payne and The Descendents. That's the word of mouth pick at the moment. People loved War Horse, but it just doesn't have enough momentum or hype behind it. Backlash for Artist has settled in, and Hugo is just another Aviator.


Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:55 am
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Guy Incognito wrote:
Can't agree with the major predictions. Fincher and Social Network were always the front runners and still are. I'd lay 50 bucks on both.


Guy Incognito wrote:
Changed my mind. Now I bet 100 bucks on Social Network best picture instead of 50.


If only I were a betting man (and, in this case, a US resident).


Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:12 pm
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Right now I would bet about $500 that it will go to Alexander Payne and The Descendents. That's the word of mouth pick at the moment. People loved War Horse, but it just doesn't have enough momentum or hype behind it. Backlash for Artist has settled in, and Hugo is just another Aviator.


Not in my experience they didn't. I don't know a single person who swallowed that pile of guff.

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Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:03 am
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
NotHughGrant wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Right now I would bet about $500 that it will go to Alexander Payne and The Descendents. That's the word of mouth pick at the moment. People loved War Horse, but it just doesn't have enough momentum or hype behind it. Backlash for Artist has settled in, and Hugo is just another Aviator.


Not in my experience they didn't. I don't know a single person who swallowed that pile of guff.


Did any of the people you know take the SAT?


Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:04 am
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesWhite wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Right now I would bet about $500 that it will go to Alexander Payne and The Descendents. That's the word of mouth pick at the moment. People loved War Horse, but it just doesn't have enough momentum or hype behind it. Backlash for Artist has settled in, and Hugo is just another Aviator.


Not in my experience they didn't. I don't know a single person who swallowed that pile of guff.


Did any of the people you know take the SAT?


You need to have undertaken age-13 exams to appreciate War Horse?

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:16 am
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
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You need to have undertaken age-13 exams to appreciate War Horse?


I dunno, most educated people I know loved it, which should dispel the notion that Spielberg's films somehow require less thought and intellect to appreciate. They do, however, require that one gives up all claims to superior taste/knowledge in film in favor of mass appreciation. I don't know how cynical and elitist someone has to become to be unable to swallow the undoubted pile of guff that is War Horse. My fraternity brothers aren't exactly the naive half of the crowd, but they were uniformly moved by War Horse. I think you just need to appreciate movies, and the communal experience that goes along with them.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
You need to have undertaken age-13 exams to appreciate War Horse?


I dunno, most educated people I know loved it, which should dispel the notion that Spielberg's films somehow require less thought and intellect to appreciate. They do, however, require that one gives up all claims to superior taste/knowledge in film in favor of mass appreciation. I don't know how cynical and elitist someone has to become to be unable to swallow the undoubted pile of guff that is War Horse. My fraternity brothers aren't exactly the naive half of the crowd, but they were uniformly moved by War Horse. I think you just need to appreciate movies, and the communal experience that goes along with them.


I do appreciate Movies, but there's something you couldn't possibly get that I do - the Americanised depiction of Britain in films is always f*cking awful.

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Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:22 am
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I thought Wayne's World 2 did a pretty good job.


Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
There's a great moment in that hilarious satire "Natural Born Killers" were people from around the world are commenting on Micky and Malory. The depiction of the Brits resembling members of the Sex Pistols with the superimposed backdrop of London behind them sldom fails to raise a smile.

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Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:39 am
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Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
I do appreciate Movies, but there's something you couldn't possibly get that I do - the Americanised depiction of Britain in films is always f*cking awful.


I would say the same for Nolan's depiction of Americans.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:06 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
I do appreciate Movies, but there's something you couldn't possibly get that I do - the Americanised depiction of Britain in films is always f*cking awful.


I would say the same for Nolan's depiction of Americans.

What do you mean by that? On a sidenote, I didn't like the depiction of Americans in that Korean film "The Host", I know that was partly based on a true story, but the portrayals still seemed a bit too cartoonish to me.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:16 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Vexer wrote:
On a sidenote, I didn't like the depiction of Americans in that Korean film "The Host", I know that was partly based on a true story, but the portrayals still seemed a bit too cartoonish to me.


Interesting you write this. Maybe not. Well, you decide:

I've been watching some Japanese television series and couldn't help but delight in their version of Americans. Japanese TV's version of NYC, for example, is fairly stunning: angry, basketball-holding black people pulling guns, mugging random Japanese tourists and peppering every 5-word sentence with at least 4 variations on "fuck". It's weirder than it sounds -- check out Hana Yori Dango's first episode of season two for an example of what I'm writing about. Available online, I'm sure.

The Host doesn't get everything right -- the conversation at the beginning is stupid ("Just pour it down the drain... like I told you!") -- but the treatment of Americans isn't specifically bothersome. The movie frequently mixes absurd comedy with horror (the scene where the family mourns the loss of the daughter mixes up trauma with Stooges-esque pratfalls... it's weird but kind of the point of the film) and the cartoonish Americans fit in with the cartoonish Koreans. But I get your point.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:54 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
What do you mean by that? On a sidenote, I didn't like the depiction of Americans in that Korean film "The Host", I know that was partly based on a true story, but the portrayals still seemed a bit too cartoonish to me.


Just that ethnocentricity and nationalism are a big part of where pop mythology comes from. All these superheroes, especially the early ones like Superman and Batman, are inextricably tied to American values, culture, political climates, etc. Almost none of the actors in his Batman films are American; the ones that are tend to be Homer Simpson stereotypes, like the corrupt cops, or gangsters like Wilkinson and Murphy. I can't help feeling there's some anti-American cynicism going on there, even though there's no way I can prove anything.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:02 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
What do you mean by that? On a sidenote, I didn't like the depiction of Americans in that Korean film "The Host", I know that was partly based on a true story, but the portrayals still seemed a bit too cartoonish to me.


Just that ethnocentricity and nationalism are a big part of where pop mythology comes from. All these superheroes, especially the early ones like Superman and Batman, are inextricably tied to American values, culture, political climates, etc. Almost none of the actors in his Batman films are American; the ones that are tend to be Homer Simpson stereotypes, like the corrupt cops, or gangsters like Wilkinson and Murphy. I can't help feeling there's some anti-American cynicism going on there, even though there's no way I can prove anything.

Funny, I never got that impression, I mostly saw that as Nolan taking issue with those in positions of authority.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:44 pm
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