Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:06 am




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Best Picture Nominees Ranked 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2381
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook -

Quote:
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.


I don't see the relevance. Bale and Oldman have both made long careers out of playing Americans. A lot of Brits I've spoke to actually think Bale is American.

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:29 am
Profile
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
NotHughGrant wrote:
I don't see the relevance. Bale and Oldman have both made long careers out of playing Americans. A lot of Brits I've spoke to actually think Bale is American.

Indeed. I listened to a radio interview with Bale once in the run-up to the Batman Begins release and he did the entire interview with an American accent. When Empire of the Sun came up and he casually mentioned his natural accent, and that he was doing press for Batman in an American accent because Batman is an American icon, the interviewer was stunned. It was a fun moment.

The nationality of the actors has absolutely nothing to do with the nationality of the character. Unless the nationality of the character isn't well pulled-off by the actor. For example, Khan isn't a particularly good representation of Sikhs, for obvious reasons.

Also, I may be confused, but Wilkinson and Murphy are certainly not American.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:27 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I never understood all the quibbling about the American-ness of superheroes. Yeah, they were invented here, but the idea that they are somehow fundamentally or uniquely American is primarily the result of the comics industry going into damage control mode during the Red Scare.

In a recent (and, I believe, still running) Batman storyline, Bruce Wayne goes abroad to deputize crime fighters into a sort of international corps of Batmen.

Many of the most noteworthy superhero titles of the last 30 years have been made by authors and artists from the other side of the pond--guys like Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Neil Gaiman, Mark Millar, and John Byrne. Somehow, not being American has not precluded these people from understanding these characters well enough to do stories about them that resonate with the predominantly American readership.

And Superman, of course, isn't even from this planet, let alone from any one country. Compound that with the fact that Joe Shuster was Canadian, and he and Jerry Siegel were both sons of East European immigrants.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:32 pm
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
The nationality of the actors has absolutely nothing to do with the nationality of the character.


J.K. Rowling would disagree, and it's certainly an issue for contention in general. Chris Reeve and Michael Keaton had a certain American boyishness that unfortunately doesn't seem to be too fashionable anymore. I also think American, British, etc. sensibilities have well-defined feelings that are easily recognizable to a majority of viewers. The simple truth is that it's pretty easy to guess a director's nationality partway into his/her movie, generally speaking. And I don't have a problem calling Superman an American hero, despite his alien origin. Bond has stayed British for 50 years; an American director has never touched that series.


Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:35 pm
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2381
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
The nationality of the actors has absolutely nothing to do with the nationality of the character.


J.K. Rowling would disagree, and it's certainly an issue for contention in general. Chris Reeve and Michael Keaton had a certain American boyishness that unfortunately doesn't seem to be too fashionable anymore. I also think American, British, etc. sensibilities have well-defined feelings that are easily recognizable to a majority of viewers. The simple truth is that it's pretty easy to guess a director's nationality partway into his/her movie, generally speaking. And I don't have a problem calling Superman an American hero, despite his alien origin. Bond has stayed British for 50 years; an American director has never touched that series.


But Bond's thing is his unique Britishness. It's the larger part of his personality. He's a throwback to the unapologetic days of empire and to Americanise him simply wouldn't make sense on a logical level.

Batman isn't uniquely American in quite the same way. The DC universe is based on Americanisms for sure, but I never saw Batman as the flagwaving type.

A better example would be V for Vendetta. The comic books were uniquely British because they were specifically anti-Thatcherite, but when they made the film in 2005 this central theme no longer made sense to the viewing public so they had to adopt another cause for another era. And the only way to do this was to incorperate an Americanism (the War on Terror and subsequent Government reactions to it). V for Vendetta may be set in Britain but its themes aren't uniquely British. Hugo Weaving is Australian but the message isn't lost.

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:55 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1439
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I always thought the box office for Dark Knight was rather telling as far as its appeal in the US compared to its appeal abroad.

It made 1 billion worldwide, but only 468 million was from non North American territories. That's 46.8% of its worldwide total.

all other films that made a billion had much higher % of the worldwide total coming from non North American territories.

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 2 had 71% of its total from foreign BO.
Transformers 3 had 68.6%
Avatar 72.7%
Titanic 67.4%
Return of the King 66.3%
Dead Man's Chest 60.3%
Toy Story 3 61%
On Stranger Tides 76.9%
Alice in Wonderland 67.4%

heck, 2012 made a lot more than Dark Knight in international BO - 603 million! while it only made 166 in North America.

I would bet that the pattern holds true for Dark Knight Rises, no worldwide BO records are in jeopardy(it certainly won't get near Harry Potter, now that's a character that has much bigger worldwide appeal. as do the Pirates movies)


Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:24 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1439
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
atman isn't uniquely American in quite the same way. The DC universe is based on Americanisms for sure, but I never saw Batman as the flagwaving type


I think there's a lot more to being a 'uniquely American' character or film than waving the flag. In fact, that's pretty far down the list when I think of what it means to be American.


Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:37 pm
Profile
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
calvero wrote:
I always thought the box office for Dark Knight was rather telling as far as its appeal in the US compared to its appeal abroad.

It made 1 billion worldwide, but only 468 million was from non North American territories. That's 46.8% of its worldwide total.


That's an interesting way of looking at it. For shits and giggles I checked out Batman Begins and that film's foreign total was even lower (44.9%). Clearly, Nolan's movies have more appeal in the U.S. than outside of it. I also think it's fair to say their main concern thematically (the War on Terror, both in subtext and not-so-subtext) is very much a U.S. issue. I don't know about the character of Batman in general, but I think it's fair to say Nolan's Batman franchise has a distinct American flavor.

The bigger question to me is, is that a bad thing? Obviously Nolan's a Brit and many of his actors are too. Why is that bad? Why does that prohibit him from creating a film with American interests that feels authentic?

To me, saying he can't, or worse, shouldn't, make movies tackling American issues is dangerously close to saying things like black/asian/white filmmakers should only make black/asian/white films. Obviously, the end game using this kind of logic is a form of pigeonholing and prejudice that leads to each race/gender/nationality being severely limited in the kind of movies they can make. It's an indirect form of censorship in art and that's no good.


Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:18 am
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
That's an interesting way of looking at it. For shits and giggles I checked out Batman Begins and that film's foreign total was even lower (44.9%). Clearly, Nolan's movies have more appeal in the U.S. than outside of it. I also think it's fair to say their main concern thematically (the War on Terror, both in subtext and not-so-subtext) is very much a U.S. issue. I don't know about the character of Batman in general, but I think it's fair to say Nolan's Batman franchise has a distinct American flavor.


It contains U.S. issues, but none that are positive. If anything, it suggests that in order to fight modern terrorism, Americans must alter their values for the worse. I think Dark Knight came out at a time when many Americans were dissatisfied with their government, and Nolan played into that.


Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:14 pm
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2091
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Still haven't seen The Artist.


1. War Horse - 9/10
2. Hugo - 8/10
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - 8/10
4. The Descendants - 8/10
5. The Tree of Life - 8/10
6. The Help - 8/10
7. Midnight in Paris - 7/10
8. Moneyball - 7/10


Last edited by ilovemovies on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:02 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2381
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
That's an interesting way of looking at it. For shits and giggles I checked out Batman Begins and that film's foreign total was even lower (44.9%). Clearly, Nolan's movies have more appeal in the U.S. than outside of it. I also think it's fair to say their main concern thematically (the War on Terror, both in subtext and not-so-subtext) is very much a U.S. issue. I don't know about the character of Batman in general, but I think it's fair to say Nolan's Batman franchise has a distinct American flavor.


It contains U.S. issues, but none that are positive. If anything, it suggests that in order to fight modern terrorism, Americans must alter their values for the worse. I think Dark Knight came out at a time when many Americans were dissatisfied with their government, and Nolan played into that.


Does it?

Where?

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:59 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:26 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
I've just seen The Artist and, while it may not win, it genuinely deserves the recognition.


Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:28 pm
Profile WWW
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Posts: 529
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Ranking for me:

The few that actually deserve the nomination:
1. The Artist
2. Moneyball
3. The Tree of Life

The pretty good dramas but why are they nominated:
4. The Descendents
5. The Help

The totally overrated:
6. Midnight In Paris
7. War Horse

The kill it with fire category (no pun intended):
8. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The I'm not done watching it category:
9. Hugo

So far, I think Hugo should be at least at 5, but we'll see.

I was a little disappointed this year, The Artist was the only film nominated for best picture that really moved me. I put Moneyball up there because I thought it was really original, and even though I know there is no chance it's going to win, it was a refreshing experience. The Tree of Life didn't connect to me on any deep levels, but its undeniable the craftsmanship that went into making it.

The Descendents didn't get put into that top group because I'm getting tired of watching George Clooney playing a middle aged man trying to find his way using a voice-over narrative. The acting all around was excellent, however. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer made The Help worth it, but I found that the rest of it was filled with pretty flat characters and a predictable story.


Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:49 pm
Profile
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
MGamesCook wrote:
It contains U.S. issues, but none that are positive. If anything, it suggests that in order to fight modern terrorism, Americans must alter their values for the worse.


Well yes, the war on terror isn't a positive issue. Commenting on that issue isn't negative, however. Nolan putting forth a specific worldview as to how the issue might be solved may be seen as "for the worse" by you, but not necessarily by everyone. There are people who agree with that point of view, so it isn't exactly fair to paint how you're painting him here.

There's also the separate issue of why any of that matters in the first place? Why can't Nolan touch on American issues that aren't positive? Why can't he make an entire film that portrays America in a negative light?


Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:18 am
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
darthyoshi wrote:
I was a little disappointed this year, The Artist was the only film nominated for best picture that really moved me. I put Moneyball up there because I thought it was really original, and even though I know there is no chance it's going to win, it was a refreshing experience. The Tree of Life didn't connect to me on any deep levels, but its undeniable the craftsmanship that went into making it.

The Descendents didn't get put into that top group because I'm getting tired of watching George Clooney playing a middle aged man trying to find his way using a voice-over narrative. The acting all around was excellent, however. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer made The Help worth it, but I found that the rest of it was filled with pretty flat characters and a predictable story.

Seems like there's a sort-of consensus forming about Tree of Life. That it wasn't perfect, didn't quite achieve what it was going for, but was an admirable, original, impressive effort. And that it would be good if that sort of filmmaking effort was rewarded.

I'm also interested in your reaction to Moneyball. I found it very similar to how you describe The Help. Some fine performances and some fun scenes in the service of a movie that doesn't end up doing anything. It's one I wanted to like a lot more than I ended up liking it. Maybe it was the third act, which felt like it ignored the promise of the set-up and turned into a generic sports movie.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:01 pm
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Posts: 529
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Bones wrote:
I'm also interested in your reaction to Moneyball. I found it very similar to how you describe The Help. Some fine performances and some fun scenes in the service of a movie that doesn't end up doing anything. It's one I wanted to like a lot more than I ended up liking it. Maybe it was the third act, which felt like it ignored the promise of the set-up and turned into a generic sports movie.


Well if we're comparing the two, I can see where you're coming from. But the difference for me was that the characters in Moneyball seemed a lot more organic and believable.

Also, having finally finished Hugo, I'm going to put it at #2 on my list. I wasn't terribly impressed with the first half, but I really liked where things ended up. I really enjoyed the homage to the forerunners of cinema and I was glad that it wasn't ruined by bad child acting. It definitely wasn't one of Scorcese's best, but I did enjoy it.

That said, I thought it was weird that it touched on a lot of the same themes that The Artist did. However, I much preferred the way The Artist handled it subtly rather than being so blunt about it.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:47 pm
Profile
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
darthyoshi wrote:
Also, having finally finished Hugo, I'm going to put it at #2 on my list. I wasn't terribly impressed with the first half, but I really liked where things ended up. I really enjoyed the homage to the forerunners of cinema and I was glad that it wasn't ruined by bad child acting. It definitely wasn't one of Scorcese's best, but I did enjoy it.

That said, I thought it was weird that it touched on a lot of the same themes that The Artist did. However, I much preferred the way The Artist handled it subtly rather than being so blunt about it.

I was interested in that, too. Did you watch the first half, then stop, then watch the second? Coincidentally, I can imagine that would be a pretty good way to watch the movie, as there is a definite change in subject matter about half-way through. I enjoyed where Hugo ended up, but was pleasantly surprised when my wife (who doesn't necessarily have any built-in interest in a story about preserving the origins of film but was engaged in the story of Hugo) loved where it went as well.

Also, a note on the (lack of) subtlety in the "let's save film!" message of Hugo. It is so so much less subtle in the book, which I read after seeing the movie. After the automaton draws, the book simply stops, says "That's the end of that story: here's another story", and moves on to the Melies story. I like how the movie made it a little more natural. Since for purposes of Best Picture you wouldn't judge a movie against its source, the movie has to stand on its own. It would have been nice if they had incorporated that story even more naturally. But from the point of view of, say, a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, I found it pretty impressive.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:11 pm
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Posts: 529
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Bones wrote:
I was interested in that, too. Did you watch the first half, then stop, then watch the second? Coincidentally, I can imagine that would be a pretty good way to watch the movie, as there is a definite change in subject matter about half-way through. I enjoyed where Hugo ended up, but was pleasantly surprised when my wife (who doesn't necessarily have any built-in interest in a story about preserving the origins of film but was engaged in the story of Hugo) loved where it went as well.


Yes actually, I watched up until they went to the library to do research on film pioneers. In retrospect it's a pretty good way to watch the movie if you don't have that much time at once, but it sounds like the movie left that first story a bit more open ended than the book did. Also, I haven't read the book, so I'm just guessing.

Thinking about it now though, I wouldn't have minded if the whole movie was about Melies and his beginnings. For the record, I think that would have been a way better WWI movie than War Horse.


Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:05 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1439
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
Quote:
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


how are you feeling about this pick today? where can you bet on the Oscars?


Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:26 pm
Profile
Post Re: Best Picture Nominees Ranked
calvero wrote:
Quote:
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


how are you feeling about this pick today? where can you bet on the Oscars?

You can bet on them internationally. It's illegal in the United States to gamble on entertainment events as far as I know. Also as far as I know, you can't just bet the house on something obvious. Something like Chris Plummer winning for Beginners would cost, for example, $60 to win $1. If I bet the house a few years ago on The Secret in Their Eyes beating The White Ribbon, though, I'd have at least two houses. (But I wasn't 21 then, so boo.)


Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:37 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr