I have been trying really hard not to talk about the Oscars and not to think about the injustice that will make me rant all night tonight. But it’s impossible. Once you go on your laptop and open any browser or go on any social network, you will be hooked with information you are trying to avoid. Oscar predictions, retrospects, analysis and dresses. Oscars history, Oscars future and Oscars’ chairs with big names. It is hard, especially because my name is Amelie Carmel and I am the Oscaroholic. I have been watching the ceremony for the last 13 years now and every year I get less and less interested in the films nominated and angrier and angrier with the ridiculous choice the Academy makes. Still, some masochistic part of me makes me stay up all night and miss Monday due to extreme exhaustion caused by all the negativity expressed towards the ceremony. I am Whip Whitaker of Oscarsand I simply cannot resist the temptation to hate them every year.
this might be fun, though
This time, however, I have decided not to predict. Every movie blog is raising the hopes and sharing predictions with their audience. I have done it in the previous years (I have even taken parts in official competitions and THAT’S a dedication), but now I really cannot be bothered. I am pretty sure that either way I will be both surprised and disappointed because even if I prepare myself for the worst (Lincoln), the Academy will come up with something that will beat even this nightmare (Beast of the Southern Wild). So, instead of praying for cinematic fairness, I encourage you to share your own views on Oscars in the comment box below. Hopefully our voices are loud enough to change this dreadful business and get Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar next year
Like every year, the Oscars bring excitement mixed with anxiety in the hearts of concerned audience. Although nowadays I watch the awards with greater skepticism and distance than ever, I can’t stop but wonder- what the fuck is wrong with the Academy?!
I know, I know…moaning about disappointing winners while our favourites are left with just a mere mention that will forever remind them of the failure in trailers for movies that rely only on big names, is nothing new really, however, it has been ages since my hope was ultimately lost and since I last agreed with the Academy’s choices. Although I have already written a large post about the general disappointment with the Oscars, I have realised these are not the winners and losers who bother me most this year. While ignorantly ranting about lack of award for David Fincher and way to many statuettes given to the King’s Speech, I missed the most crucial aspect of the Awards. The nominations.
You can’t deny it. It has been going on for ages now. The nominations suck. No…the nominations suck BIG TIME. Not only are they now introduced by stars so young and bright that their lack of recognition somehow deprives the ceremony of its prestigious status, but moreover, they are just pure rubbish. I am not sure what method is used by the Academy to pick the nominees, but this method must be worse than picking random names from a hat. It almost feels like the Academy is choosing the year’s biggest disappointments to represent the cinema. Les Miserables? Lincoln? Beast of the Southern Wild? I agree all these were suppose to be great movies, but if you’ve seen any of them, you’d know they look much better in the trailer than they do in their unbearable length. Of course there are cliches the Academy has been following since its existence, however, 3 hours is not a reason good enough to nominate a film in ten different categories. Also, is it just me or has the acting gone downhill in general in the recent years, because if we compare this year’s nominees with the nominees from…let’s say 2010, then we might as well end this little tea party and start nominating high school plays. I’m not saying that Bradley Cooper is a bad actor, but his performance in the Silver Linings Playbook is nowhere close to Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of “the Wrestler” or Sean Penn’s “Milk”. I like Anne Hathaway, but one performance doesn’t make another Meryl Streep, so it’s a slap in the face to nominate both her and Jennifer Lawrence when in the previous years the same category was occupied by Kate Winslet (for ‘The Reader”) and Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”). Ladies and gentlemen, this is all rubbish!
Unfortunately, nominating disappointing films doesn’t mean that there are no great films that should compete against each other. Somehow while choosing Beast of the Southern Wild and Lincoln, the Academy forgot about Cloud Atlas- the most cinematic film of the year. While watching Django Unchained, magically its members managed to miss two amazing performances (Samuel L. Jackson and OF COURSE Leonardo DiCaprio) and when going through documentaries, they forgot about the existence of the Imposter and the Queen of Versailles. Can somebody tell me how this can possibly be? And while you’re on it, how about explaining the reasons behind these 12 Academy’s Total Fuck-Ups that I listed below? There’s no sane person who wouldn’t see this madness…no sane person…
12.The Queen of Versailles
The Queen of Versailles is definitely one of the most underrated movies of 2012, but I still had hoped for it to be rewarded with nomination in Best Documentary category. It fits the bill perfectly by following extremely rich couple whose life changes dramatically after the economic crisis. It is warm, heart-touching and unbelievable, and yet- the Academy managed to miss it.
Let’s just shortly speak about the unspeakable- Lincoln isn’t a good movie. It is an extremely boring history lesson filled with facts and lacking human factor. And yet, Lincoln is Oscar’s favourite- the Academy nominated it in the majority of the main categories including the Best Film and the Actor in the Leading Role. Wonder why? Lincoln is the safest movie to nominate- it has Daniel Day Lewis, it is directed by Steven Spielberg and it discusses one of the most important moments of the history of the USA. And who cares if all of this failed? Oscar it is.
10. Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is nominated for cinematography (absolutely amazing) and production design (basically the same thing). And yet, somehow the Academy forgot about it when they were picking films for Best Editing category. Yes, the film which recreates the editing giving it a completely unique shape isn’t nominated for editing. Because?…
9. Mads Mikkelsen
I understand Oscars are American awards and foreign films are given a separate category. However, if Emanuelle Riva got the Best Actress nomination (and I keep my fingers crossed for her to win), I believe Mads Mikkelsen deserves it no less. For anything he did- just give him some recognition, for god’s sake!
8. Cabin in the Woods
This nomination would definitely be quite controversial and the Academy seems to hate surprises, so no wonder they stayed quiet when Cabin in the Woods revealed its incredibly original script. Who fits better in the Original Screenplay category? I’m happy with Moonrise Kingdom appearance there, but Cabin in the Woods could spice things up even more.
7. Holy Motors
Just like the Cabin in the Woods, Holy Motors is nothing like any other film. The lack of recognition it got from the Academy has been a topic of discussion since the official announcement, and I feel no different about it.
6. The Master
Nominated in acting categories, apparently the Master cannot hold its position next to Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Or at least, this is what the Academy believes
5. The Hunt
Although (like usually) the Foreign Film category brings together the best films the Oscars have to offer, I can’t understand why the Hunt (Jagten) isn’t there while another film from the same country might possibly get the award itself. The only way to explain my disappointment would be to show you how ingenious the Hunt is, so if you don’t plan on staying up late next Monday- I recommend you see it.
4. The Imposter
The Imposter is the best documentary of 2012…and it will not have any Oscars…
3. Quentin Tarantino
Like every year, Quentin Tarantino will leave the Academy awardless. This time simply because he isn’t even nominated in Best Director category. I’m not sure how it works, but I’ve always felt that if one can make a three hour long movie feel like it was 90 minutes one, he managed to make this movie absolutely engaging. That was the case with Django Unchained- a sort of contrapoint for Lincoln. Why isn’t Tarantino nominated when Django Unchained received the recognition in other categories (including the Screenplay) is one of the Academy’s biggest secret. But it’s nothing compared to…
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
I’m not going to die until DiCaprio finally gets his deserved Oscar.
1. Cloud Atlas
I remember laughing about Cloud Atlas getting all the Oscars and making the ceremony boring because of that…until the nominations were announced. The most cinematic experience of 2012 did not receive one nomination. It is the failure of criticism not to recognise the genius of Cloud Atlas (surprisingly-or not, it’s the Matrix story all over again). Shame on you, Academy! Shame on you!
Another year has already started, and another Oscar ceremony is behind us and with it: plenty of…well, actually plenty of mehs and whocares’. Although from the moment this year’s nominees have been announced, we, film geeks, have been constantly moaning about the rather ambiguous choices that the Academy made, especially in regards of those left behind (Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Drive…and don’t even get me started on Rampart); however, all hope lied in the Academy’s final words and if the winners were let us forget about the painful disappointment experienced until the moment they were spoken.
apart from this image- it really makes us happy
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to watch the ceremony live, so I was left alone with written update offered by IMDb and I could only imagine the lack of tension that didn’t grow when a nominee we didn’t care about won. It was supposed to be the big war between the Descendants and the Artist, and instead it turned out to be a charity-like attempt to make everyone happy. So, here they are, my top Oscars’ disappointments:
12. No Live Streaming Online for Free
I believe it should be a human right to be able to watch Oscars for free every year, even when one is outside the USA. I’m in Europe and with no freeview, I was pretty screwed.
11. The Pretentious Categories’ Names
How pretentious is it to rename all the understandable sounding category names into something so unnecessarily complex that one can’t be bothered to even check what each of them actually means. Could anyone tell me why is it Achievement in Directing rather than Best Director category and why is it Best Achievement in Music Written for MotionPictures, Original Score instead of the People vs John Williams? I believe it’s pointlessly pretentious and just makes the ceremony longer by making the hosts read more words.
10. THIS Actually Happened
And the oscar goes to….
“The truth is the greatest tragedy of all”…well, it would definitely be if it won this year
9. Midnight in Paris Gets the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published…you mean BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, right?
I used to be a devoted Woody Allen fan, so if this happened ten years ago, I would actually be happy. Nowadays, I tend to miss new films of his when they get released, but I watched Midnight in Paris and I enjoyed it…quite. It is a wonderful, nostalgic journey to the 20s Paris, but to be honest, there’s not really that much into it. Owen Wilson vedi vidi vici and that’s about it. So to me Midnight in Paris was an interesting concept, but with no actual story. So how come a film without a plot gets the award for the best script?
it’s because it’s Woody Allen
8. Oscar buzz
I think the fact that oscars can be now only watched by the users of private television is mainly to blame here, but to be honest, I still think that in comparison to the previous years, this year’s ceremony has lacked its typical buzz. Nobody was really betting, arguing or waiting impatiently for them. Is it maybe because nobody cared about most of the nominated films anyway? Or maybe because the Academy is becoming more and more commercial and marketable. Either way- the lack of usual atmosphere has definitely made this year’s Oscars less of the Oscars.
7. The Muppets
The Muppets, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is now one of the critics’ big favourite getting amazing reviews and making everyone who watches it extremely happy. I haven’t seen it yet, but like everyone who still hasn’t, I can’t wait to go and write a great review myself. It is clearly a great movie. And yet somehow the only category it appears in is the Best Song (in which it wins, but to be honest, the only competition was Rio- and I mean literally the ONLY- this category had only two nominees this year). If somehow Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close managed to get a nomination for the Best Picture, the film which gets much better reviews should have the same chances? Oh, wait…I forgot the choices of nominees were completely random…
6. Incredibly Loud & Extremely Close
One of the most controversial surprises at this year’s Academy. What? When? Why? Just Why? It has 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, 6.6 on IMDb and literally no reason to be nominated. And yet, here it was- came with nothing and left with nothing but at least it filled the hole which could have been filled with Drive, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Shame or Rampart.
5. Best Animated Feature of the Year
It seems like the category is occupied by the films that are there…just because they are animated. We have one sequel, one pretentious foreign film and one runt of a movie that already has three sequels and uncountable number of extras and one high movie. Although I have never been a die hard fan of the genre, I remembered it offered much more than left overs. Rango was literally the only film that had any chances winning the award without making the Academy lose all the respect and so it did. And since we are already on the topic of predictability and lack of competition…
4. The Academy is trying to make everyone happy
And as a result of that, instead of having a film that gets all the major awards proving at the same time that it clearly deserves to be called the best picture of the year, everyone gets an award. About ten years ago the Academy started being really obvious about the fact that most of their choices come from political correctness and this year was the evidence that this attitude has gone even worse. When both Anonymous and Transformers stand alongside the Descendants and the Artist, you know that something is not completely right. Oscars are becoming less about giving the awards for those who have in some way changed the cinema, and more about giving more money to the ones who already are making enough. Consequently, the ceremony ceases to excite us offering nothing more but random and pretty bland show. Let me show you what I mean…
3. Academy Awards then vs Academy Awards Now
There is a game you can play. Pick a year, it can be anything in the last 84 years. Now, find the list of all the winners and nominees from this year. Pick a category and find the films nominated as well as the winner of it. Have you seen it? Is it better than this year’s winner? That’s what I thought…
2. Ryan Gosling, Tilda Swinton and Micheal Fassbender
and also Carrey Mulligan, Pedro Almodovar, Woody Harrelson, Oren Moverman, David Fincher, Elizabeth Olsen, Shailene Woodley, Ezra Miller, Win Wenders…anyone can name at least ten other ones…
1. The Artist
Don’t get me wrong- I am the happiest reviewer ever being able to say that the film I wanted to win, won and congratulations to the Artist- I truly believe that it deserved the award it got. Even though I’d rather George Clooney got the award for the Best Actor, I am still happy that the Academy didn’t “surprise” us rewarding War Horse or Incredibly Close & Extremely Loud instead. However, no matter how good it feels that the Artist won the best picture, it is still disappointing that the film that is really just a great entertainment and has more of an aesthetic value than the actual message behind it, has literally no competition. The Artist is a good movie, but it should not be the best movie Oscars have to offer. I would be happier if it beat the competition, but instead, there was nothing to beat in the first place. So thank you, the Academy, for this paradoxical accent. My favourite wins, and I’m not even satisfied.