Oscar season begins

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brian W., Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Well, Dave Poland has posted his first Oscar column of the season on Movie City News, so I guess it's that time of year again.

    If you'll recall, last year Poland was the one who claimed there was a groundswell of "hidden" support for "The Pianist." Many thought he was crazy, but when Oscar night came he turned out to be correct.

    He says Holly Hunter is probably a shoe-in for a nomination for "Thirteen" (which I've seen, and I completely agree).

    His early Best Picture rankings:

    1 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    2 Master & Commander
    3 21 Grams
    4 The Missing vs. Cold Mountain
    5 Love Actually vs Mona Lisa Smile vs Big Fish

    Runners-up

    Finding Nemo
    In America
    The Last Samurai
    Mystic River
    Seabiscuit

    His other early predictions and comments can be found at:

    http://www.moviecitynews.com/columni...ar/030813.html

    Mods, maybe it's time to start an official 2004 Oscar discussion thread?
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    "Nemo" is a lock for best animated picture, so I think that effectively takes it out of contention for best overall picture. Without trying to sound like a fanboy, I think 2004 will belong to ROTK.
     
  3. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I would agree with that... his inclusion as a possible BP nominee puzzles me. With the new category, I think we almost rule out any animated feature ever again being nominted for Best Picture.
     
  4. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Hmmm, maybe, and I totally agree with the Oscar logic on that. BUT, Oscar does like to have at least ONE film from before freaking October to bring into contention. Clearly Poland has put Seabiscuit in that position, but to be honest I think Nemo's enormous family success gives it much more strength to be that "early" film versus the mild reaction that Seabiscuit got.

    I'm not denying that pre-Oscar season films are often at a disadvantage, but if you go back and look (like I have done for several previous Oscar threads) an early film often finds its way into the nominations, and sometimes wins (like Gladiator).

    Nemo does represent good storytelling winning over audiences. Hollywood respects the hell out of that.

    However in debating my own point I would say that Oscar's previous track record with Pixar films leaves Nemo out in the cold for Best Pix discussion.



    And to jump on the "fanboy" bandwagon as one person who said that Two Towers had a very strong chance for last year's nominations, Return of the King seems to be facing very little MAJOR competition, at least at this point. Good films are one thing, good films that capture a rather large audience are another. Obviously Mr. Oscar Russell Crowe would appear to give M&C a good chance since the film looks to be something of a crowd pleaser, but it could be no deeper than Gladiator and without that "all by itself" benefit of summer that Glad got. But I need to see the film first before really judging it (as most of us still do).

    The 2nd thing is what type of story RotK is. It features some outstanding event turns that should really play up to Oscar tastes. It possibly could be the best of all 3 films in that regard. Of course PJ needs to deliver that on screen just like he had to with the other films.

    The 3rd thing is that "honor the series, honor PJ's effort" sentiment that has at least been rumored to be about. I sincerely think this was greatly helped by PJ's LACK OF LOBBYING last year. It might have cut down on Two Towers noms (maybe not), but it definitely got LOTR out from in front of everyone's faces when it came to Oscar season. It was mentioned, naturally, it got its noms, deserved I thought, but it was nowhere near as hyped as Chicago, Pianist, GONY, Adaptation, Hours, and maybe even About Schmidt were in terms of the Oscar machine. That breather had to help RotK IMO.


    Best thing about Oscar fights is that in the end some of us will be absolutely, definitely wrong and others will be right. Some films will get the noms and one will win, even if we said it could never happen. Its one of the few times around here that you can say "scoreboard" and end the debate. [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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  6. Topher

    Topher Stunt Coordinator

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    Is it just me, or am I the only one around here who doesn't really think about the oscars? It seems lately that films are released at certain times to be in the running for a nomination and thats all the media seems to talk about "oscar buzz this, oscar buzz that." A lot of films that are nominated never get shown in my movie theatres, so I know nothing about them and couldn't care less about them. I have never really cared if a film I loved was awarded anything accept a good showing at the box office and a nice review here and there, so other people will watch it. I just feel that sometimes the oscar thing overshadows the movies themselves. I am sure I am going to be flamed on this one, because oscar talk is a big passion around here, but I had to say it, just to get it off my chest.
     
  7. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    I'm sorry, but if the effects work in Matrix Reloaded is any indication of the quality of effects work in Matrix Revolutions than LOTR has absolutely nothing to worry about in that category, in terms of both artistry and execution.
     
  8. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    No, it's not just you, Topher. Lots of people, probably most people, don't think about the Oscars. That's why I started this thread for people who DO. [​IMG]
     
  9. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I read Poland's article a couple of days ago. Very interesting. There were some films he mentioned I had never even heard of, like 21 Grams & Big Fish.

    There's really an interesting situation with RotK. Even though it's an unseen film, it's a known quantity. Basically it's the third part of a LONG film whose first 2 parts have BP noms. The source book is well-known, and part 3 is almost universally considered to be the strongest dramatic material. Of course it's the front-runner at this point, and about as close to a lock for a BP nom as you can get. (Even the self-proclaimed "Rings-hater" Jeffrey Wells has RotK figured high in his "Oscar Balloon") PJ would have to MONUMENTALLY screw up for it to drop out, and I just can't see that happening. RotK makes the final five, and you can take that to the bank.

    The Academy has traditionally eschewed fantasy films, but they love historical epics, and I think one of the reason for the LotR films' Oscar success is that they are seen as being more in the latter category than as pure fantasy films. In interviews, PJ has stated that they deliberately made these films as if the events portrayed had actually happened. Two years ago, FotR stood alone in the "historical epic" category and made a strong run at the eventual winner, A Beautiful Mind. Last year, TTT shared the HE category with GoNY, and was never a serious threat to win. As pointed out above, the LotR team didn't do much campaigning for what will probably end up being the weakest film in the trilogy.

    This year will be different. RotK will face a LOT of competition in the "historical epic" category. Russell Crowe is back to revive another dead film genre with Master & Commander, which Fox is so high on they moved it from summer to Oscar season. The Alamo promises to bring the Saving Private Ryan/Black Hawk Down reality treatment to this much-filmed event. Tom Cruise's star power will boost The Last Samurai to contender status. RotK's nomination is pretty certain, but if one or more of these films is also nominated they could dilute the "historical epic" vote and cost RotK the win.

    There's two other films I feel right now will be in the final five. Cold Mountain is a dream project. Based on a critically-acclaimed best-seller, directed by an Oscar winner with a track record of bringing difficult books successfully to the screen, and featuring a killer cast, this feels like a slam dunk. And then there's the film that feels like this year's The Pianist - Jim Sheridan's In America. Poland says he loves this film but doesn't see it in the final five. But for several months I've been reading nothing but quiet raves about this one, and that's EXACTLY the way that Polanski's film built its momentum last year. I think it makes the cut.

    And then there's Ron Howard's The Missing, which is starting to get some buzz. Could we see Opie vs. PJ, part II?? [​IMG]
     
  10. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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  11. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    The BP nom for a very muted campaign for the TTT guarantees a BP nom for a more agressively marketed ROTK.

    I'm hoping ROTK will pick up a best picture win and still doubt Hollywood will not be able to get past the fantasy film stigma.

    What will be the bigger crime is if PJ does not win a best director nom for his work on these movies.

    He is able to juggle the big and the small effortlessly.

    He's been able to show and explain more dramatically through a character's glance than George Lucas has in 2 SW prequels.
     
  12. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    But then Lou, neither of the prequels were up for Oscars. His challenge is to compete with the big boys in the areas that matter. I think ROTK is fine. Nom is a lock, from there, it's up to the film. If ROTK is done right, I don't think it can lose.

    Make it ***Official***, I say!

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  13. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    ...and to overcome the fantasy stigma in Hollywood.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  15. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  16. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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  17. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  18. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    About Finding Nemo and a BP nomination...

    Does anybody think that a documentary will ever win a BP nod? Well, that's because there is a category for it. I think the same holds true for the Best Animated Film category. Finding Nemo is sure to win BAF.
     
  19. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It's not unprecedented. Several foreign films have been nominated in both categories.
     
  20. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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