Congrats on the 1500 followers! Seriously still one of my favourite tumblrs, I love love love your amazingly well-informed commentaries on all things film related and your reviews and basically your whole blog. Gush gush gush :D
I believe I missed the beginning of Jackman's intro because of my damned digital antenna's crappy service in my apartment at that time, I'll need to look it up for a refresher. I remember when Hathaway joined in, let's hope she does a musical or Broadway if she hasn't already. Having seen Franco at the Milk premiere here in Portland, I'd be relatively pressed to say that at least with public speaking, Franco was the same way as we all saw tonight. Pretty deadpan, "relaxed", etc. which now when I consider this, perhaps it was a good display of both of the hosts' personalities. The way you described Hathaway is a big reason why she's such an appealing actress. Lord knows I'd be squealing if I was up there amongst my favorite actors, actresses, directors, etc. The Kirk Douglas moment was most definitely my favorite, so great up there on stage flirting and joking. Did you catch Roger Ebert's comments about tonight's ceremony on Facebook? "Worst he's ever seen, Dead. In. The. Water.", pretty harsh. What do you think? I think it kind of goes with what you said about Aronofsky, everyone's got their opinions - sometimes they love it, sometimes they don't and it's probably ever changing?
P.S. would you happen to know, is this the first time that an individual who's nominated for an Oscar was also coincidentally hosting the ceremony at the same time?
Well, I think Hathaway and Franco’s appeal is entirely personality-based. If you don’t like them, you won’t like the ceremony. And for some people (Roger Ebert, ahem), just the idea of having young movie stars host the show as a craven ploy for younger viewers is offensive enough to color their views on the ceremony, sight unseen.
I didn’t know offhand, but Google tells me it was Frank Capra in 1939. An article on the hosts who were also nominated:
I think the backlash to the True Grit epilogue is because it's very true to the book, and like a lot of Coen Bros films, it ends somewhat abruptly. People reject that. They bitched endlessly about No Country For Old Men's non-ending, whereas I think it's one of the top five greatest endings to a film ever. People want things wrapped up in an epic shootout, a grandiose, sappy way, or just in a nice ribbon. They reject endings that challenge them or don't summarize everything for them in a neat fashion.
What confuses me about the epilogue hate is that we’re told in no uncertain terms that Mattie Ross is narrating this as an adult—it’s clearly a reminiscence of her childhood. She’s telling a story; the narrative antecedents are clearly literary. I’m glad the success of the film has encouraged some people to pick up Charles Portis’ work, which is wonderful. If it hadn’t been for Sorkin this year, I would have loved to see the Coens win Adapted Screenplay because True Grit really is an extraordinary melding of their sensibilities with Portis’. When you read the book, you realize how seamless it really is.
I thought that Darren Aronofsky never really received the right amount of recognition for Black Swan. The enticing handheld direction, combined with the beautiful set design, gave the film such a natural feel to it--despite the supernatural elements that surrounded it. Perhaps he was overshadowed by Portman's performance but I think that Aronofsky is one of the select directors today, that can bring out some great performances out of his leading actors.actresses. That's an ability that shouldn't be overlooked in the future*.
Well, Aronofsky splits filmgoers pretty distinctly. More conservative Oscar viewers probably thought Black Swan was too extreme, while fans of Aronofsky’s early work decried Black Swan as his worst picture. So, he’s in a no man’s land right now. People are abandoning him now that he enters the mainstream at the same time he’s winning new acolytes with Black Swan’s success.
More me speaking an opinion than anything, but much as I love Deakins, Wally Pfister winning Best Cinematography for Inception is my absolute favorite Oscar win of the year. His lensing in that film is Children of Men-level groundbreaking work. That he shot it all on 35mm and captured all the effects in-camera, including the slow-motion, etc is incredible. I love the beautiful look of True Grit, but it's rather traditional for Deakins. We all know he should have won for Jesse James. He'll win one day for a more interestingly lensed film, but True Grit, beautiful as it may be, is not that film. Pfister wholly deserved it for Inception more than any other winner except maybe Bale. In fact, Pfister should have won for The Dark Knight's IMAX scenes alone. But I think there's something to be said about a lenser who is pushing the boundaries of cinematography while still shooting on film, and not giving into the pressure to go 3D. Anyways, just wanted to get that off my chest.
You know I love you, Kevin, and I know you love Wally Pfister and while I did admire his work on Inception, I just thought Deakins deserved it more, and not only because his career accomplishments should be rewarded. I actually do think True Grit was the most beautiful of the nominees—although I must say that was an extremely strong category and everyone should be proud of their work this year. Not a slacker in the bunch. True Grit may have been traditional-looking, but I am a sucker for Westerns and the vistas and landscape were breathtaking. Deakins is working with an understated color palette that rejects the blue/orange binaries of 127 Hours or Cronenweth’s murky greens in The Social Network. I wasn’t a fan of of Inception, as you know, but I cannot deny the camera work was exceptional—I just didn’t dig the net result. Libatique’s work I thought was extraordinary, especially on the budget they had for Black Swan. I can’t imagine Roger Deakins won’t win eventually, I just hope he gets it for a picture that deserves it and not just as a consolation prize.
How do you feel the Oscars ceremony of 2011 compared to those of the last 5 or so? I personally felt like James Franco and Anne Hathaway are adorable and charismatic in their own respectable ways but as hosts of the show, perhaps the way that they presented their dialogue, fell relatively flat? For me, it was the montages that kind of held everything together instead of the hosts' jokes and introductions to presenters, etc. I did catch criticism of the way Anne Hathaway excitedly gushed over many of the presenters that she called for and that Franco was sort of his own "one man show", often not looking in Anne's direction, etc. It might all be personal opinion though, seeing as I'm sure many here would want to call them both back. I love them both, but for Oscars, I'm voting no.
Hathaway and Franco did fine. It might have been nice if Franco looked half alive or even a bit like he wanted to be there. But maybe they were doing a schtick where he’s all deadpan and she’s all goofy, boundless energy. I don’t know. They’re not comedians or singers (well, he’s not), so their monologue was passable, but nothing extraordinary. For me, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better Oscar opening than Hugh Jackman’s from a couple years ago. That man is pure talent, and affable to boot.
Personally, I like Hathaway’s gushing. I don’t think she’s faking it. She seems like a genuine person who’s willing to make fun of herself and show real emotions. I mean, she’s hosting the Oscars. I appreciate that she was excited—as she should be. And Kirk Douglas flirted with her on stage. How else should she react? I like it. I think she’s genuinely talented and has the right cheery, breezy and self-deprecating disposition for hosting duties.
So, when someone says lol The Wolfman has an Oscar and Winter’s Bone doesn’t! Or Alice in Wonderland?! but that movie sux!
It’s like, okay, but those movies didn’t win Best Picture. If you don’t think Rick Baker’s astonishing work on The Wolfman didn’t deserve to win, you can kindly get the fuck out of this blog. I know maybe a lot of people didn’t see The Wolfman, but do you even know what a master craftsman Rick Baker is? Do you even know he’s the greatest living special effects makeup man? An American Werewolf in London, Thriller…This man’s makeup is a work of art. It was the most terrifying aspect of The Wolfman and all the CGI in the world can’t do what Rick Baker can do with his hands.
And yeah, Alice in Wonderland was a bit of a clusterfuck but did you see those costumes? Did you see the Red Queen’s castle? Works of art. Amazing, evocative creations that constitute the best work of hundreds of designers and craftsmen.
So, yes, these movies deserved to win. Please recognize that there are different categories for a reason and it’s not all about actors or directors. Movies are collective efforts and certain elements of lesser films can be just as spectacular as the Best Picture winner.
Of those who were nominated, I’m assuming? Although it wasn’t Fincher’s best work, and he didn’t entirely succeed in making computer hacking look interesting, he was probably the sharpest of the directing nominees. A lot of the success of The Social Network is in editing, but Fincher’s a part of that, so I’d go with that.
My second choice would be Aronofsky, partly just because I love his commitment to going totally batshit with Black Swan and not giving a single fuck. Whole lotta mirror imagery? Check. Back of the head shots? Oh, you betcha that’s a check. Fucking psycho breakdowns? Yep. Shameless, blatant ripoffs of other films? That’s a check and a distinct lack of fucks given. I kind of just love how obvious he got with everything (oh, my God, the use of black and white, don’t even get me started). It was just like: here is all the imagery and visual signifiers and camera moves and everything you need to get what I’m trying to say in .2 seconds, but for two hours. Enjoy!
I have nothing personally against Tom Hooper. I thought his direction served its purpose in The King’s Speech. Even the exaggerated and distorted camera angles and close-ups served their narrative purpose. I think some of the backlash against his win is somewhat unfounded though because part of a director’s job is to direct actors and he got several fine performances out of his actors, which, more than the visual element, was what that picture needed. I think there’s a tendency to equate great direction with what is the flashiest, most noticeable (either in sweeping camera moves or great visuals) and to ignore the skill that goes in to directing an actor’s picture, which is what The King’s Speech is.
I'm not even going to try and defend myself at this point. You are very correct and I am very hot headed and there will probably a lot of holes in my argument and I apologize but I'm just really emotional.
lol it’s cool don’t worry about it
I understand emotions, I’m not a robot. It’s just that the “it’s not historically accurate” argument doesn’t hold too much water with me, as long as the changes make for a dramatically satisfying film. I mean, personally, I thought The Social Network would be have been just as powerful, or even more powerful, if it was all about Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition and didn’t just turn him into a lovesick revenge-seeker, which is a weak and kind of pathetic position. The King’s Speech isn’t about appeasing Hitler, it’s about the King. Giving a speech. You know? That’s the story.
“In a moment, one of these ten movies will join a list that includes On The Waterfront, Midnight Cowboy, The Godfather and The Deer Hunter. The other nine will join a list that includes The Grapes Of Wrath, Citizen Kane, The Graduate and Raging Bull.”—
STEVEN SPIELBERG, introducing the nominees for the Best Picture Oscar, and reminding us it ain’t such a bad thing to lose. (via inothernews)
The man speaks of what he knows. There is wisdom here.