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The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread 
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Victor Meldrew wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
I actually have a DVD copy of that movie because I have poor taste.


Explained.


Hilarious =)


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:00 pm
Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Freedom_Fryer wrote:
jksander wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Too many users on the forums caused a crash of the entire database, so here (for posterity's sake) is what was missed:

Post #13 (11:38 pm EST):

Award #17: Best Foreign Language Film - THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES [12/17]- I don't think anyone expected this. And I don't think anyone in this country has seen it.

Acceptance speech: ** out of ****

Award #18: Best Actor – Jeff Bridges [13/18]

Acceptance speech: ** out of **** - Soaking it in. The speech started out nice, but then the thank yous started and it just went on and on and on. Is there anyone he didn't thank?


Actually a Yahoo Movies article on how to pick the Oscars predicted it, saying the Argentine movie could upset ... wish I had the link.


This one is rather interesting. I wonder how these people vote? I do not think they watch any of these films or read reviews. This way they would have known that "The White Ribbon" won the main prize at Cannes and a lot of other prizes. The fact that it is German is a minus for these people, but it is antifascist, that might compensate (see The Counterfeiters). The prophet won the runner-up prize at Cannes and swept Cesars, but it is French, of course, a big minus. So these two films have a huge critical acclaim, which should probably compensate for the anti-European bias. The Argentine film has good reviews, but not anywhere near.

It looks like the voting process on the foreign film is 1) purely random - just pick a number 1 to 5; 2) bias-driven, like Latin - neutral, German - minus, French - double minus. Nothing else comes to mind.

On ignoring "Avatar" - this is pure penis envy. I am all for small movies, but The Hurt Locker is not an outstanding small movie. Awarding Avatar would look good ten years later and The Hurt Locker will go to WTF category, together with Crash (most people will likely remeber Cronenberg's fim, not Haggis'), Shakespeare In Love etc. Cameron is not a crowd pleaser, but he certainly had the cojones to bet 500 million and win, that is unprecedented.


This is how it works: the foreign language committee is either selected or already exists and they sit down and watch all of the movies submitted by countries. All of them. All sixty-three or however many countries submit. From there, a shortlist of nine is made. From there, the five. The Academy's foreign language branch is notoriously old and conservative for the most part, so expecting them to pick a cerebral film about the birth of terrorism or an equally cerebral (but much more violent) film about a man in prison is kind of foolhardy at this point. When you think about why Departures won, it makes a lot of sense that The Secret in Their Eyes took it: it's emotional, romantically potent, well shot, well acted, and beautiful. The White Ribbon probably fared better than last year's Waltz With Bashir, but that's just a guess.

But to answer your question more directly - there are no biases. It just happens to be that France and Germany make a lot of cerebral films and the foreign language branch doesn't really go for those.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:07 pm
Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Pedro wrote:
This is how it works: the foreign language committee is either selected or already exists and they sit down and watch all of the movies submitted by countries. All of them. All sixty-three or however many countries submit. From there, a shortlist of nine is made. From there, the five. The Academy's foreign language branch is notoriously old and conservative for the most part, so expecting them to pick a cerebral film about the birth of terrorism or an equally cerebral (but much more violent) film about a man in prison is kind of foolhardy at this point. When you think about why Departures won, it makes a lot of sense that The Secret in Their Eyes took it: it's emotional, romantically potent, well shot, well acted, and beautiful. The White Ribbon probably fared better than last year's Waltz With Bashir, but that's just a guess.

But to answer your question more directly - there are no biases. It just happens to be that France and Germany make a lot of cerebral films and the foreign language branch doesn't really go for those.


I believe Pedro. He seems to know everything about the Oscars - and that's not said with even a hint of sarcasm. The man knows his shit.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:10 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
And that's why he's getting a free DVD

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:17 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Pedro wrote:
This is how it works: the foreign language committee is either selected or already exists and they sit down and watch all of the movies submitted by countries. All of them. All sixty-three or however many countries submit. From there, a shortlist of nine is made. From there, the five. The Academy's foreign language branch is notoriously old and conservative for the most part, so expecting them to pick a cerebral film about the birth of terrorism or an equally cerebral (but much more violent) film about a man in prison is kind of foolhardy at this point. When you think about why Departures won, it makes a lot of sense that The Secret in Their Eyes took it: it's emotional, romantically potent, well shot, well acted, and beautiful. The White Ribbon probably fared better than last year's Waltz With Bashir, but that's just a guess.

But to answer your question more directly - there are no biases. It just happens to be that France and Germany make a lot of cerebral films and the foreign language branch doesn't really go for those.


Sounds like a very sensible explanation. It beats me though how Amelie - arguably the best looking film of the decade lost to No Man's Land 8 years ago.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:32 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Freedom_Fryer wrote:
Pedro wrote:
This is how it works: the foreign language committee is either selected or already exists and they sit down and watch all of the movies submitted by countries. All of them. All sixty-three or however many countries submit. From there, a shortlist of nine is made. From there, the five. The Academy's foreign language branch is notoriously old and conservative for the most part, so expecting them to pick a cerebral film about the birth of terrorism or an equally cerebral (but much more violent) film about a man in prison is kind of foolhardy at this point. When you think about why Departures won, it makes a lot of sense that The Secret in Their Eyes took it: it's emotional, romantically potent, well shot, well acted, and beautiful. The White Ribbon probably fared better than last year's Waltz With Bashir, but that's just a guess.

But to answer your question more directly - there are no biases. It just happens to be that France and Germany make a lot of cerebral films and the foreign language branch doesn't really go for those.


Sounds like a very sensible explanation. It beats me though how Amelie - arguably the best looking film of the decade lost to No Man's Land 8 years ago.


I haven't seen No Man's Land (planned to for a while), but based on the little I've read about it, it's a darkly comedic war film. War films tend to be very emotional and if you can add humor to it, more power to you. I also imagine there may have been some Amelie backlash by then, despite its presence in four other categories on Oscar night. (Then again, tell that to Pan's Labyrinth.)


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:46 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Freedom_Fryer wrote:
Sounds like a very sensible explanation. It beats me though how Amelie - arguably the best looking film of the decade lost to No Man's Land 8 years ago.


That was one of the savvier picks of the academy in a while: No Man's Land was a much better film than Amelie

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:46 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Avatar didn't win much because it's not that great of a movie.

The Hurt Locker deserved some awards, but perhaps not as many as it won.

The movie that really got screwed was Inglourious Basterds.

Nobody saw A Serious Man because it was stuck in limited release, so there's that. I won't bother pointing out that it was Tarantino's only real competition this year.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
JamesKunz wrote:
Freedom_Fryer wrote:
Sounds like a very sensible explanation. It beats me though how Amelie - arguably the best looking film of the decade lost to No Man's Land 8 years ago.


That was one of the savvier picks of the academy in a while: No Man's Land was a much better film than Amelie


I love Yugo films, the good ones, but this was not one of them. I can barely remember the story, it was very straightforward and pretty boring, comedy part not funny. Amelie was inventive to the extreme, good looking, romantic and funny. I have a problem visualizing a typical Academy voter, a 65-year-old WASP or Jew, watching No Man's Land with subtitles. Amelie was an eye candy, you did not have to read to enjoy that film. I think they just voted based on some personal criteria, like "I hate them Frogs".


Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:58 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Ken wrote:
Avatar didn't win much because it's not that great of a movie.


Technological fireworks with a mediocre story. Sounds precisely like what Oscars should be about. The Hurt Locker is kinda like Crash (not Cronenberg's), 5 years from now it will be forgotten, but Avatar's tech achievements will still be untouchable by anyone not named Cameron and Basterds will be remembered for non trivial story.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:07 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Victor Meldrew wrote:
jksander wrote:
Sci Fi Wasabi wrote:
For a minute I thought I was on acid, then realized it is yet again the pointless dance bits that do not fit to theme nor music...

Could they have skipped over David Carradine faster in the lost people montage? And uh, why was MJ in there?!? Once again though it was informative for me, didn't know Roy Disney passed...


My guess is they really REALLY liked Captain EO


Who?


Michael Jackson's film, directed by, I believe, Francis Ford Coppola, which was a 3D-stravaganza made for Disney parks. It's Jackson's best known foray into film other than his music videos, at least as far as I know.

EDIT: I realized this was answered by another poster above.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:49 pm
Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Take this into consideration: The voters are all sent DVDs of the contenders for their viewing and consideration. Everyone keeps talking about how Avatar must be seen on the big screen in 3D for the impact to be fully felt, but it's likely the voters just saw it on a small screen in 2D. Could this be a factor in its loss?


Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:51 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Quote:
Take this into consideration: The voters are all sent DVDs of the contenders for their viewing and consideration. Everyone keeps talking about how Avatar must be seen on the big screen in 3D for the impact to be fully felt, but it's likely the voters just saw it on a small screen in 2D. Could this be a factor in its loss?


My friend's wife is a screenwriter who gets a ton of dvds during the awards season, & I'm pretty sure they didn't an Avatar one this year.

And any Academy member can go to the theatre for free screenings of any nominated film, so I doubt 'not seeing it the way it was meant to be' was a factor. I'm sure a large % of the Academy had already seen Avatar anyway(LA & New York are the biggest markets in the US, where the largest % of Avatar's domestic gross came from)


Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:19 pm
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Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
Ken wrote:
Avatar didn't win much because it's not that great of a movie.
The Hurt Locker deserved some awards, but perhaps not as many as it won.
The movie that really got screwed was Inglourious Basterds.Its Nobody saw A Serious Man because it was stuck in limited release, so there's that. I won't bother pointing out that it was Tarantino's only real competition this year.


As someone else pointed out, 20 years down the road, Avatar will be playing on TMC3D, and The Hurt Locker will fade into oblivion. This was no Patton. Inglorious Basterds def got shafted, but then again so did Up in the Air, which in a "normal" year would have killed. Clooney is the finest American actor out there.

The real shaft was still Max & Mary though.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:16 am
Post Re: The Official Berardinelli Live Oscar Commentary Thread
MrGuinness wrote:
As someone else pointed out, 20 years down the road, Avatar will be playing on TMC3D, and The Hurt Locker will fade into oblivion.


A few thoughts about this sentiment:

1. If Cameron's movie is as groundbreaking and mother-effing game changing as many would have us believe, in 20 years people are going to be watching the movies he influenced with Avatar, not necessarily the film itself. My point is - he made a technological breakthrough, not a great movie. The Jazz Singer made a technological breakthrough in 1927, how often does that air on TV?

2. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture. TV channels have Oscar marathons around Oscar time. That will ensure the film some amount of exposure for quite a while. I mean, it won Best Picture. People care about that regardless of whether or not it makes sense. When first getting into film, watching Best Picutre winners, Oscar winners, and Oscar nominees is the first place I started. I imagine there a quite a few others who did/will do that as well. It's not like no one will have any clue what the movie is in 20 years.

3. How many films, in general, from 20 years ago have, to quote Mike Tyson, "faded into Bolivia?" A lot. Of the tens of thousands of movies made from 20-30 years ago, a small handful are remembered. An older movie fading into the background as time passes isn't a knock on the movie. It's completely normal.


Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:58 pm
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