Gold Bugged

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Gold Bugged

MovieBob takes a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of this year's Academy Awards nominations.

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I find the lack of Cloud Atlas really, really sad.

I said it on your blog and I will say it again; at least ParaNorman got a best animated feature nomination (that it won't win).

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

In some ways I agree with the Academy when it comes to Cloud Atlas and makeup/effects. Maybe it deserved a nod over Hitchcock (lol), but the makeup was really, really, REALLY obvious and it broke immersion. Saying it's "part of the message/artistic delivery" is a cheap and lazy cop-out, as anyone can make up any message to Cloud Atlas they want. Something tells me it would have been a much better movie had they just nixed the gimmick of using the same actors in every story, putting them in cross-racial makeup that looked weird and non-human and expected no one to have a problem with it. It was a bad idea that dragged the movie down and injected completely predictable controversy. In any case, The Hobbit deserves it more than Cloud Atlas and will win. Every other nominee this year for Best Costume Design actually had a lot better costumes, and the visual effects felt flat and uninspired at times, the only memorable effects being the cafe in the Neo-Seoul. It did deserve a nod for editing, though. I did really like Cloud Atlas but there is a difference between true artistry and pretentiousness.

I don't think Zero Dark Thirty or Chastain are really out of the picture due to the controversy, though. I think the Academy was mostly just punishing Bigelow over, once again, injecting needless controversy into the film. It's trumped up, perhaps, but there's evidence to believe that either the CIA lied or the filmmakers lied, and I don't think they want to be giving her an Oscar as the scandal continues to unfold. I don't think they'll block Chastain or the movie as a whole from winning anything, though, especially since Chastain was leagues ahead of all the other nominees.

I think the love for Silver Linings Playbook is mostly a misguided attempt at trying to become relevant to younger audiences who didn't see/care about any of the other historical movies. It won't win anything big.

It says a lot for inertia that the Oscars are still taken seriously at all. It seems every other awards show is either of trivial niche interest or a farcical waste of time. Yet people still spend a couple months every year discussing the Oscars, even if it's just to complain about how out of touch with mainstream movie audiences they are.

Sixcess:

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

This, oh so very much this.

OT: I honestly stopped paying attention to the Oscar's a long time ago, they tend to give a lot of (often unmerited awards) to thin and shallow attempts at pandering to them. Its kind of sad, really.

I'm not surprised or even upset that the Hobbit hasn't gotten as many nominations as previous (obviously it was never gonna come close to RotK's record) but not even a nomination for costumes? Come on!

hentropy:
I think the love for Silver Linings Playbook is mostly a misguided attempt at trying to become relevant to younger audiences who didn't see/care about any of the other historical movies. It won't win anything big.

Did those audiences care anything about THAT movie?

I am baffled by the lack of Cloud Atlas, especially for make-up/ effects. Maybe they just didn't watch the movie?

Safaia:
I said it on your blog and I will say it again; at least ParaNorman got a best animated feature nomination (that it won't win).

And there I was about to make a standard 'Don't want to/havn't seen any of these' comment (except for Django but thats not out in the UK till next week) when you tell me they actually reckonised that amazing film!

Whats it up against:
Brave
Wreck-It Ralph
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

...hrrrm, 'Wreck-It Ralph' is STILL not out here in the UK and 'Frankenweenie' was out for all of one week so I missed it *annoyed mumbling*, id like to think the academy better then to just go for Pixar what with it being the safe option as 'Brave' had alot of issues but still... ParaNorman was freaking amazing.

Hitchmeister:

hentropy:
I think the love for Silver Linings Playbook is mostly a misguided attempt at trying to become relevant to younger audiences who didn't see/care about any of the other historical movies. It won't win anything big.

Did those audiences care anything about THAT movie?

It doesn't matter if the Academy believes they did. I mean, it did make 48 mil at the box office, and the only people I can imagine who saw it were young hip couples.

coheedswicked:
I am baffled by the lack of Cloud Atlas, especially for make-up/ effects. Maybe they just didn't watch the movie?

In film school we were taught that things like makeup should be unnoticeable/realistic/believable looking if they're meant to be human. Did anyone with makeup on in Cloud Atlas look like it could actually be a human being? There's you answer. It should have been snubbed and it was snubbed.

Sixcess:

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

The thought that the Academy, who are still kind of looked up to as the authority on film would be THAT out of touch with society is a worrying sentiment.

Just another reason for me not to give a shit about the Academy Awards.

I think I may have said the same thing last year, too.

I've suddenly become unable to stand the snarky asides, why now? Okay maybe it was a little bit poor to make the age reference twice in the same article, or to combine a snarky aside about age along with pointing out that a beloved one dying of a stroke might be relevant to old people. And then your also snarking films I liked in that assuming 'we' . I'm sorry I guess I'm being worse by making these comments, but still, normally I'd just go away and stop reading your stuff, but you are for me the most interesting opinion writer on the Escapist and I enjoy your stuff the most so I don't want to stop reading it. Ultimately you've got a large fanbase and yourself to please and my opinion isn't representative, but I don't want to be quiet either in case you decide to look at yourself and maybe you'll agree with me (Or maybe you won't =D)

Well, if nothing else, we can hope that what usually happens when the Academy makes a bunch of stupid decisions will happen again, and all the mediocrity that they chose to shower with rewards will be forgotten about by next year, and the stuff they snubbed will end up still being fondly remembered 2 decades from now.

Rainboq:

Sixcess:

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

This, oh so very much this.

OT: I honestly stopped paying attention to the Oscar's a long time ago, they tend to give a lot of (often unmerited awards) to thin and shallow attempts at pandering to them. Its kind of sad, really.

I don't think it's so much that they're offended by Wachowski, as much as it is they don't want anybody else to be if they nominate her. Mustn't rustle the jimmies
image

No cloud Atlas, No avengers, No Hobbit, No Dark knight... I'm wondering since the Academy keeps not inducting young people if it will eventually just die out? Are they all old or are the younger voters not picking good Blockbusters because "they're not suppose to"?

incidentally as Bob said alcohol will be needed for the night of the 24th. Has anyone drawn up a drinking game for this year's awards? usually some are made after nominations have been released.

RJ Dalton:
Just another reason for me not to give a shit about the Academy Awards.

I think I may have said the same thing last year, too.

Did you have the same avatar last year? Because I think I remember you saying that...

Sixcess:

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

You would not believe how much it pisses some of us transgendered folk off. As much as I love film, the Academy is one of those things that really needs a modernization. They're just barely gripping the idea that women can direct good movies and the like. I think that the thought of giving Lana any awards made some of their heads explode.

Hitchmeister:

hentropy:
I think the love for Silver Linings Playbook is mostly a misguided attempt at trying to become relevant to younger audiences who didn't see/care about any of the other historical movies. It won't win anything big.

Did those audiences care anything about THAT movie?

That's what i'm wondering. I hadn't even heard of this movie until nominations.

I somewhat agree with the choices that the Academy made this year, especially towards Lincoln. But, as Movie Bob put it in the article, that there is a lack of The Hobbit, Dark Knight Rises, or the Avengers. I REALLY would have liked to see both Nolan and Jackson for the nominations for director. As for Joss Whedon, it's a GOD DAMN SHAME that he's not getting any love for director or screenplay. He should have been at least considered for one of those categories with how well he made the Avengers. Maybe this is the geek in me that I love his works (with HEAVY emphasis towards Firefly and Serenity which is my favorite film). I just hope that within my lifetime that the Academy would stop looking down upon box office summer films (and not just for supporting actors for Heath Ledger).

PsychedelicDiamond:
I find the lack of Cloud Atlas really, really sad.

I was checking a ballot and I was shocked that there wasn't even a nomination for best make up (there's only three choices where every other category has five).

That said, much like Zero Dark Thirty, the Academy appears to want to avoid controversy if it can. Cloud Atlas was a "love it or hate it" film with a lot of concerns over the casting in terms of race. Giving them a nod in the form of a nomination, especially for make-up, would likely set a very negative precedent for future movie makers ("hey, you don't need minority actors, just good ones you can make-up into minorities, and you may even snag a pity Oscar for your troubles"). The lack of a Oscar nomination for that film is not too surprising for me upon further reflection.

Looking at the other non-headline nominations, best animated feature is still a Disney versus everybody else (3/5 nominations are Disney movies), although it's still a fairly good your if you don't count The Pirates! Band of Misfits (yet to see it after I felt a little burned by Flushed away and simply hadn't had time). Amour will almost certainly get foreign language film. Hobbit and Avengers pop up in Visual Effects (no surprise there and the new high-speed projection is what will make that an contest instead of a Hobbit throwaway), while Skyfall got nods for Original Score, Original Song, and Cinematography. Ted got a nod for best song as well.

My big surprise was both Snow White movies (Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman) competing against each other in Costume Design (only to loose to either Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, or, my bet, Lincoln).

So it appears that this year will be a Lincoln coronation ceremony with the most nominations and the least competition. Not that it's undeserving of the awards, but I don't expect there will be any surprises when I open the paper the next day.

What has always frustrated me is the release schedule of Oscar films. In Bob's review of Gangster Squad (which is out in the UK) he mentions it being a film in a dry spell of January. In the UK and what can I assume as being the rest of Europe to however is that most of these films are coming out only right now or soon enough. I think it must make some films more marketable in Europe with "AWARDS" all over the trailers and posters. The only major award film I am 100% set on seeing is Lincoln. Other than that there's Wreck-it-Ralph in FEBRUARY!? *sigh* Nevermind...

...also I liked Silver Linings Playbook. Awards worthy? Not really although since I don't care about the Oscars I kind of want to see it win big now just to see Bob's reaction.

Sixcess:
I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

Very much exactly my first thought, too.

Bob probably should've reviewed Silver Linings Playbook since, now that it's nominated, it's the first time I ever heard of it.

Overall, the academy shows once more that you don't have to or simply cannot take their awards seriously any more.

rayen020:
No cloud Atlas, No avengers, No Hobbit, No Dark knight... I'm wondering since the Academy keeps not inducting young people if it will eventually just die out? Are they all old or are the younger voters not picking good Blockbusters because "they're not suppose to"?

If you're referring to Dark Knight Rises, then there should be no surprise there. It's a good movie to watch with rose-tinted glasses and definitely above average for the target audience, but I can't think of a single award it even deserved to be nominated with.

As I noted above, both Avengers and the Hobbit got a nod in visual effects (alongside Prometheus) and Hobbit likely got nudged out of the Best Adapted Screenplay due to a large competition and not being as good as the original trilogy. It did, however, get nods for make-up (which it'll probably take home if the Academy doesn't feel like tossing a pity Oscar to Hitchcock) and production design (probably going to go to Lincoln).

I don't end up seeing many movies the year they are released, but you know what movie I really liked that was not nominated for anything? Perks of Being a Wallflower.

I learned a long time ago that The Academy (I'd take out the capitals if I could) no longer represented my tastes when they largely snubbed The Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers only to completely capitalize on the titanic zeitgeist of Return of the King to lavish it in praise. It seemed a bit uneven.

It was as though they said "Ok, first movie down... you did fine, we'll reward you a little, now keep it up and you'll get a bigger treat at the end. Ok, two movies down... you did well enough I suppose, but we're not going to acknowledge it because we want our cold disdain to make you desperate to do better. Ok, last movie is down... apparently, everyone though you did so well I guess it's only fitting to reward you. We don't want you think we ourselves are rewarding you, but everyone would make a scene if we didn't make it look like we're proud of you. Here's a slew of awards; a few are even top awards but there's no top actor nominations. We don't want you to get too haughty and we still want you to try harder on your next trilogy." It was the cold and stern parent of many of our childhoods that occasionally would deign to show their love for us or show us they were proud if only because the other parent was giving them a look: the "A- isn't good enough" households.

So yeah, I don't really invest too much in what the Academy says any more. They like to give praise if they think everyone is watching or that they should be watching. I'm tempted to say it is a home to a lot of "old people". There's nothing wrong with older people so long as they don't act like cliches or stereotypes. Unfortunately the seem to be timorous, unimaginative and ruled by groupthink. Sometimes they get it right, despite their best efforts, but mostly they follow predictable patterns. There's too much old guard and not enough new blood; too much imitation not enough innovation. Other buzzwords.

Bottom line, we all know what films would win our own personal Oscars so who cares what anyone else thinks.

PunkRex:

RJ Dalton:
Just another reason for me not to give a shit about the Academy Awards.

I think I may have said the same thing last year, too.

Did you have the same avatar last year? Because I think I remember you saying that...

This has always been my avatar, so probably.

hentropy:

In film school we were taught that things like makeup should be unnoticeable/realistic/believable looking if they're meant to be human. Did anyone with makeup on in Cloud Atlas look like it could actually be a human being? There's you answer. It should have been snubbed and it was snubbed.

Agreed. It looked ridiculous and was actually kind of distracting.

OT: I actually agree with a lot of their nominations. There are a large number of movies that I haven`t seen up there but for the most part, I like their choices. The only one I don`t really agree with being up there in any of the major categories is Life of Pi. I`m with Bob that the message was pretty much shouted at the audience (not to mention that I don`t even agree with the message). But hey, when is anyone ever going to agree with EVERY nomination?

I do agree with Christopher Waltz being nominated over the other supporting characters in Django. Dicaprio was amazing and really stole the scenes that he was in (except for the end on between him and Waltz. There they were pretty much equal I thoughy) but he was only in about a quarter of the movie. Jackson was hilariously amazing too but again, he was barely in the movie. Waltz on the other hand probably had the most lines (even more than the main character) and was fantastic throughout the whole film. In my mind, he was more of a main character than Django until near the end. Also, winning an Oscar recently shouldn`t mean that you get exempted from the ones in the near future...

As far as best picture goes, I am hoping for Django. One of the few years where my favourite movie of the year is actually nominated for best picture (although my second favourite: Skyfall, wasn`t nominated but oh well). I`m betting that Lincoln will win though and that`s okay because the movie was great and Day-lewis was phenomenal as usual. Not as good as he was in There Will Be Blood but that was the best acting I`ve ever seen so it`d be pretty hard to top it. I`ll be pissed if Bradley Cooper wins...

I`m hoping that Brave doesn`t win best animated film. I love Pixar but this is their worst movie IMO. It was just mediocre. Still, I can't say I liked the others in the category much more so I guess I'll understand if it wins.

Also, even though this is a pretty minor category, I feel like I need to say that Django had brilliant sound editing and should definitely win that category.

Overall, I`m actually pretty happy with the Oscars this year. I know a lot of people are upset about Bigelow`s snub but I haven`t seen Zero Dark Thirty so I can`t really comment. I will say this though, I didn`t think The Hurtlocker was all that amazing. It was good and tense but I didn`t think it was even close to best picture (no I didn`t think Avatar was either) so going off of that, I`ll just say that maybe her snub has more to do with the actual quality of the film rather than the controversy (probably a bit of both).

Edit: Why is everyone so butthurt over Cloud Atlas? It's one movie that other people had a different opinion of than you. I completely agree with it being absent but if it was up there I wouldn't be whining. People have opinions, if yours don't align, it's not the end of the world and it doesn't mean the other people's opinions are bad. I swear people on these forums are so quick to remember this on most things but award shows are probably the one area where they forget.

All my love to Moonrise Kingdom!

Sixcess:

MovieBob:
Still, not only would I say a nomination would be utterly deserved, it would've been of tremendous historical note as Lana Wachowski would've become the first transgendered Oscar nominee.

I can't shake the ugly suspicion that this is at least part of why Cloud Atlas has been so thoroughly snubbed. Oh, the Wachowskis have enough clout in Hollywood that noone in the business is going to say it to her face, but I'm sure there there are some amongst the older and/or more conservative elements of the Academy who don't want to give 'that sort of person' the recognition of even a nomination.

This makes me sad. I don't want to believe it's true, but the hugely cynical part of me knows that there's a ring of truth to this.

crazy_coug99:
I somewhat agree with the choices that the Academy made this year, especially towards Lincoln. But, as Movie Bob put it in the article, that there is a lack of The Hobbit, Dark Knight Rises, or the Avengers. I REALLY would have liked to see both Nolan and Jackson for the nominations for director. As for Joss Whedon, it's a GOD DAMN SHAME that he's not getting any love for director or screenplay. He should have been at least considered for one of those categories with how well he made the Avengers. Maybe this is the geek in me that I love his works (with HEAVY emphasis towards Firefly and Serenity which is my favorite film). I just hope that within my lifetime that the Academy would stop looking down upon box office summer films (and not just for supporting actors for Heath Ledger).

Having seen all three movies, there is not a single thing that surprises me about any lack of nods. Nolan wasn't going to get nods for creating a loud action movie (which wasn't THAT great, and I'll even cop to liking that damn movie).

The Hobbit just...wasn't that good. It was pretty, but it was long and tedious, and frankly, at many points in the film, silly (seriously, every melee ends up with everyone not only living but practically tethered together the whole time?).

The Avengers was about putting all your action figures in your dream battle and going "Pow! Pow! Pow! Hulk SMAAAAASH!" all afternoon. And THAT is supposed to get Academy love for writing? And the directing isn't anything we haven't seen in tons of other superhero movies.

I mean, I'd like to see "comic book" movies get better (in the Nolan sense of distilling characters down to what they are rather than slavish attention to detail from the original texts). But I'm not going to fault the Academy for snobbery on this front. There isn't anything unique or innovative going on there. And no, I don't consider tying a bunch of movies together - extremely loosely, I might add - "innovative".

The Gentleman:

PsychedelicDiamond:
I find the lack of Cloud Atlas really, really sad.

I was checking a ballot and I was shocked that there wasn't even a nomination for best make up (there's only three choices where every other category has five).

That said, much like Zero Dark Thirty, the Academy appears to want to avoid controversy if it can. Cloud Atlas was a "love it or hate it" film with a lot of concerns over the casting in terms of race. Giving them a nod in the form of a nomination, especially for make-up, would likely set a very negative precedent for future movie makers ("hey, you don't need minority actors, just good ones you can make-up into minorities, and you may even snag a pity Oscar for your troubles"). The lack of a Oscar nomination for that film is not too surprising for me upon further reflection.

[snip]

So it appears that this year will be a Lincoln coronation ceremony with the most nominations and the least competition. Not that it's undeserving of the awards, but I don't expect there will be any surprises when I open the paper the next day.

As much as Hollywood thinks it's soooooo far to the left, it's surprisingly conservative, and scared of pissing people off. Which applies to both ZDT and CA.

And I've got two words about Lincoln: Oscar Bait.

I guess there's something satisfying that immediately upon watching Argo I knew it was going to get snubbed in spite of turning out to be my favorite movie last year, but yeah...Was not ready for Silver Linings Playbook to be considered anything but garbage. Then again, I exactly didn't go see it because it involves Christianity, dancing and a sheet of character traits that authors masturbate to every night with a pair of boobs stapled to it.

Daria.Morgendorffer:

And I've got two words about Lincoln: Oscar Bait.

It's extremely well acted and portrays Lincoln in a way that is not very common. Yes it shows him as a person with good ideals but the way he goes about fulfilling them in the film is actually kind of monstrous. So no, staining the character (in the movie at least, I have no idea if the stuff that happened is actually true) of one of America's most beloved people is not Oscar bait.

I usually try to refrain from these kinds of comments but have you actually seen the movie?

I am positively shocked that they did not give Michael Sheen a nom for Twilight!

Seriously though, the noms this year are just sterile and boring. There's nothing like a nom for TDKR that would at least put SOME tension in the air as the last time the Academy snubbed a superhero film they were damn near CRUCIFIED. And there's also the exclusion of Looper. Just another boring year for a bunch of old men that are 30 years behind the times.

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