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Friday, February 03, 2006

Random Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations
It's a few days late, mostly because the movie world doesn't stop rolling for the Oscar nominations, but I've had some time to ruminte over the supposed list of the year's best in filmic achievement.

1) As expected, Brokeback Mountain topped the list, and will almost certainly win the big categories. All I have to say is this: if it truly were a groundbreaking work of art it would not be nominated at all. Rather, 30 years from now, Ang Lee would receive a lifetime achievement award. I was hoping that David Cronenberg -- a far better filmmaker -- would receive his first Oscar nomination this year, but instead I'll have to wait those 30 years to see him get his lifetime achievement award.

2) Speaking of Cronenberg, of the scant few nominations A History of Violence received, one of them was the most dubious: best screenplay. This screenplay was adapted from the graphic novel by a fellow named Josh Olson, who has in his filmography, among other items, movies called Infested, Hitman's Run and Instinct to Kill. Never heard of them? Neither had I. Neither has anyone else. So how does a screenplay of such high quality wind up on the resume of someone who has never written anything else nearly as good? Simply because Cronenberg re-wrote a good chunk of it himself, without credit. In the two times I've spoken to Cronenberg over the past few months, he's revealed to me some of the scenes he wrote, including the two sex scenes, and it sounds like he whipped the thing into shape. So, in truth, this nomination should be Cronenberg's. But in reality, Cronenberg still has no nominations to date and this guy Olson has one. The world is not fair.

3) Has anyone looked at the Best Editing category? I mean really looked at it? It's as if, as a joke, the Academy decided to nominate the worst editing jobs of the year. The Constant Gardener? I mean, come on! That's easily one of the sloppiest movies I've ever seen, this year or any year. What about Munich? Apparently the Academy was quite taken by the scene in which the hero sexually climaxes to images of the prisoners being killed. And Munich is actually the best of those five films.

4) Overall, this is the worst batch of nominees in years, though it's still not quite as bad as the year 2000. At least this year we've got Capote and Good Night, and Good Luck interspersed throughout the dreck. But let's talk about the one thing the Academy did right: it chose all three of the year's best animated films correctly. They ignored the awful Madagascar and Chicken Little and chose the hand-made, personalized Corpse Bride, Howl's Moving Castle and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. All three of those are winners, as far as I'm concerned.
:: posted by Jeffrey M. Anderson, 2/03/2006 Comments (2)
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At 2:22 PM, Michael Sporn said...

Getting nominated doesn't mean you're not an artist, just as not getting nominated doesn't mean you are. Ang Lee is a terrific film maker as is David Cronenberg. The Oscar's have no bearing on it one way or the other.

Orson Welles was nominated three times. Hitchcock was nominated five times.

You're definitely right about the animation feature nominees. Bravo, there.

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous said...

I would like to quote your comment about Brokeback Mountain, if you don't mind:"All I have to say is this: if it truly were a groundbreaking work of art it would not be nominated at all."

I don't know about the rest of the population of the world but I find that logic stupid. So if a movie gets nominated for awards, it can't be considered groundbreaking?
Okay, so when M*A*S*H came out in 1970, it was considered groundbreaking but because it got nominated for academy awards its not? I don't know where you got that logic but that's just insane.

P.S. on the one hand, you are still right about The Constant Gardner. Why it got nominated for best film editing will always remain a mystery to me.

P.S. I loved Brokeback Mountain and (your probably tired of hearing this) I consider it one of the best films of 2005.



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