The Big Picture: Oscars: The Grouse

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Not really. It's incredibly cliched, has almost every major Oscar motif/theme/plot device, and it's completely over the top in terms of melodrama. As if we haven't ever seen a film about a rich guy who ends up living a more enriched life by getting the help of someone of another class, or a film about some dude with a "loveable" impediment that he has to overcome in order to achieve something important, etc.

Stammer and stage fright are not "loveable" impediments. The reason why 'The King's Speech' won Oscars was because it was a good film. It was popular with audiences, if you strip away the stuff about class, monarchy and everything else it is about two people who become friends through overcoming difficulty. The film managed to convey that through a good script, most notably in the scene with the model airplane. George is no longer a royal, he is just a man talking to a friend about his problems.

Also, on a personal level I found the opening scene of that film incredibly well-made. As someone who has acted on-stage I am all too familiar with that awful wrack of nerves before performing. That scene masterfully recreated that feeling by increasing the tension through the image of the blinking light and the extended silence before the disastrous speech, close-up shots of the speaker making it seem large and domineering. Also, Colin Firth was totally convincing in his portrayal of utter fear. I've seen people backstage, nervous about their imminent performance and it was haunting how similar Colin Firth's face was to those people backstage.

Also, here's to hoping'The Artist' wins Best Picture. I must admit I was rather sad to hear it got 10 nominations because then it will get a load of undeserved hate.

It's "lovable" in the sense that it's real enough to invoke sympathy, but not serious enough to make the average viewer uncomfortable, or to give the average viewer reason to feel ambiguous about the character and how his impediment affects him. For example, the difference between Sean Penn in I Am Sam and Tom Hanks in Forest Gump; the latter is "loveable," the former was not. The latter got an Academy Award; the former did not. Or Natalie Portman in Black Swan versus Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind; they inject a ton of unnecessary sentimentality into the character's predicament in the latter and it gets Best Picture; the directors of the former allow the character's actions to speak for themselves, and it doesn't get the award. I could go on.

As if we haven't seen that trope countless times in other movies. But at least other (arguably better made) films don't bury that story in heaps of cliches and over-used symbolism. The opening scene doesn't make up for an otherwise uninspired plot that's only saved from utter banality due to the ability of the actors to vagely breathe life into a made-for-Hollywood story.

I don't know about you, but I felt plenty uncomfortable with numerous scenes in The King's Speech. Especially when Firth had to make the first opening talk and failed, miserably. There was also plenty of ambiguity whether or not Firth's character even deserved the sympathy, just look at the stiff upper lip scenes in the beginning between him and Rush. He comes off as an ass.

Also, Penn didn't win that year because I am Sam was terrible, he did get a nomination though, so it's not like he was just brushed by and forgot. You might remember that Crowe didn't win either, but Denzel did (totally undeservingly, mind. That year should have gone to Will Smith for Ali, in which he was amazing).

Natalie Portman also won best actress for her role in Black Swan, so I'm not exactly sure what your point here is that you're trying to make?


EDIT and to add insult to injury they only picked Nine films for best Picture as if there were not any other good films this year, cretins the bloody lot of them...

Just all part of the fun of modern Hollywood. They cry and wring their hands because the box office was down again last year but then they turn around and only nominate nine films because apparently they couldn't name ten films worth the title of best picture. Ah Hollywood, you got to love a place that doesn't get the irony of their situation.


No wonder Albert Brooks was ticked he didnt get a nomination in a category that included Jonah Hill, Christ!

I will say that Jonah Hill is almost completely unrecognizable in Moneyball, mostly because the role was actually serious and he didn't do his normal semi-improv style because they had an Aaron Sorkin script to work with. He's admitted that he did this movie a lot differently because the script was so good that there was no reason to depart from it.

Long story short, he's not really recognizable as Jonah Hill in that movie.

Oh certainly, its Jonah HIll's best performance to date and Moneyballs a fine film, I just didnt consider it Oscar worthy. He's perfectly fine but considering some of the performances that were snubbed it just seems odd that his first legitimate role gets an Oscar Nom straight out of the gate.

Although The Oscars love baseball and boxing films, most likely because the voters are all fans of said sports

I don't have a problem with you telling me to stick around and watch, as long as you cover new ground. I think you've said everything in this episode before.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Does not deserv it nomination at all! It have a rotten status on Rotten Tomeatos as of this moment and it scream OSCAR BAIT all over it.

Easily the most WTF?!?! nomination of this year.

Fascist wannabes! The oscars wouldn't even exist if it weren't for Mussolini.

The Marx Brothers reference made my day. Thanks, Bob.

Out of time...
This sends me into an unbridled rage which the only those fans of the hulk can imagine on the grandest of scales. Why per say do those few lines send me into said rage? Because this is the internet, were never out of time nor out of content, I am sick and tired of all of the best of the internet doing it's very best to turning to the past which I came to the internet to escape, for those of you wondering what past I am writing about, it's TV. We were "out of time for this hour" and will "just cut to another ad break". In fact it is becoming worse than TV what show could only have five minutes of air time before ads start rolling out and what show wouldn't show you any content until you watch an ad?

I don't come to the escapist with an exact five minute stop watch and look at 30 seconds over and say pfft way over I am going to have trim another activity! This comment just enraged me so much not because it is impossible to wait but because of the ludicrous idea of time restraints on internet shows. I understand Podcasts wanting to not go over the hour mark for people wanting to put it on CD's or some other device with a limit but come on five more minutes is out of the question? It's the big picture not the chunky easily divided compartmentalized picture. Be grandiose! Be epic! But out of time...
There is nothing big about that.

One week, one theater, just in LA, by the 31st...Thats it?! Holy cripes I didnt know it was that f-ed! That answers alot of questions.

However this years crop seems to be better than previous. War Horse, MoneyBall, Hugo(Havent seen it yet, maybe eventually but its not exactly my cup of tea, Ill take Bob's word for it though), and Midnight in Paris which was absolutly brilliant In everyway. Saw it recently after Escape to the Movies ep"Best of 2011" and I was completly blown away. Smart, witty, thought provoking, all the while keeping you rolling. I may have actually watch Woddy Allen movies now 0_0. Not mention the best(as well as his smartest, and wisest) performance of Owen Wilson's career! If "Midnight" doesnt walk away with an armload of awards, they need their heads examined.

The Artsist...I could give a crap about, looks lazy and boring from the trailers, only heard about it last week, I was wondering how it slid in their till this ep. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be busy watching all the actualy good movies that came out this month till Oscar goes bye-bye.

I like The Artist, it was a great change from the norm

I think you're confusing the Oscars with the People's Choice Awards. The Oscars are for the industry, by the industry. Nominees are voted on by their peers. If you want to watch it, that's fine, but it's not trying to tell which movies to watch, it's saying which movies that other film makers admired most and judged as better by their peers. Don't say the award ceremony is broken just because (a) film fans put so much weight on who gets what when it's a really just an overblown industry event (b) you're still judging the art of film through adolescent eyes.

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