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Oscar season begins


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#1 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 14 2003 - 09:21 AM

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.moviecity....ar/030813.html

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

#2 of 681 Ricardo C

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Posted August 14 2003 - 10:21 AM

"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.
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#3 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 14 2003 - 12:10 PM

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 of 681 Seth Paxton

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:40 PM

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. Posted Image

#5 of 681 Bill J

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:43 PM

Quote:
Without trying to sound like a fanboy, I think 2004 will belong to ROTK.
I doubt it, unless The Last Samurai, Mystic River, Mystic River, and Cold Mountain turn out to be disappointments. According to Roger Ebert, Mystic River was greatly appreciated by audiences.

I can't see ROTK winning too many awards. It usually wins a lot of technical awards (sound, visual effects), but this year it has to compete with The Matrix films, which did very well a few years ago.

As I said in another thread, The Last Samurai could be a frontrunner for best cinematography considering the extremely talented John Toll is the director of photography.

And I don't see ROTK doing well in any of the acting categories...

#6 of 681 Topher

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Posted August 15 2003 - 12:31 AM

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.
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#7 of 681 Sean Laughter

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Posted August 15 2003 - 01:36 AM

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 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 15 2003 - 01:51 AM

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. Posted Image

#9 of 681 Craig S

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Posted August 15 2003 - 01:56 AM

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?? Posted Image
Quote:
Is it just me, or am I the only one around here who doesn't really think about the oscars?
Not a flame, but if you don't think or care about the Oscars, why did you even open this thread, let alone post in it? Posted Image

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#10 of 681 Craig S

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Posted August 15 2003 - 02:21 AM

Quote:
I can't see ROTK winning too many awards. It usually wins a lot of technical awards (sound, visual effects), but this year it has to compete with The Matrix films, which did very well a few years ago.
What Sean said. The technical work in Matrix: Reloaded was not the benchmark event it was touted to be before its release. Frankly, I thought the effects in Pirates Of The Caribbean were more effective and more artfully executed. It would be my choice right now for best VFX. Of course, the Wachowski's still have another shot this year with Reloaded.

Of the craft awards, the two I REALLY hope RotK wins this year are Art Direction & Costumes. Grant Major, Ngila Dickson, & their talented teams really deserve the recognition. However, with all the historical epics in the mill this year (see my post above) the competition will be especially stiff.

The best studio film released thus far is Finding Nemo. As all of you point out, it probably has no chance at BP. It would seem a lock for Best Animated Feature, but that's only if that category is active this year. There need to be 7 eligible animated features released to activate the category. So far we have Nemo, Rugrats Go Wild, Jungle Book 2, Sinbad, and Disney's Brother Bear is coming. I hope I'm missing two other eligible animated films that have been released or are coming...

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#11 of 681 Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 15 2003 - 06:30 AM

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.
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#12 of 681 Chuck Mayer

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Posted August 15 2003 - 06:42 AM

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!

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#13 of 681 Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 15 2003 - 08:55 AM

...and to overcome the fantasy stigma in Hollywood.
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#14 of 681 Holadem

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Posted August 15 2003 - 09:00 AM

Quote:
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.

Please do so outside of this thread.

My god, it never fails.

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#15 of 681 Bill J

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Posted August 15 2003 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
What Sean said. The technical work in Matrix: Reloaded was not the benchmark event it was touted to be before its release. Frankly, I thought the effects in Pirates Of The Caribbean were more effective and more artfully executed. It would be my choice right now for best VFX. Of course, the Wachowski's still have another shot this year with Reloaded.
Wow. I thought the visual effects in Pirates of the Caribbean were among the worst I have seen this year. I wouldn't be surprised if it earned a nom though.

I really haven't seen any true contenders so far this year, since the visual effects in The Hulk were a huge disappointment for me.

#16 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 15 2003 - 09:21 AM

Quote:
Of the craft awards, the two I REALLY hope RotK wins this year are Art Direction & Costumes


Mmm, I doubt it will even be nominated for costumes. Although the BP nom is almost a given, I expect it to follow last year's trend: to get fewer and fewer technical noms each year.

Remember that article in The Hollywood Reporter last year, a day or two after the Oscars nominations? It was called, "How the Towers Fell," and it was looking at why TTT only got 6 noms compared to FOTR's 13, even though it was better reviewed and made more money than the first film. The concensus was they were seen as one movie, and the nominating committes for the tech-type awards likes completely original work.

I think we will see this phenomenon again with ROTK. If it does win BP, it may shape up to be the the BP winner with the fewest overall nominations in many years. And starting this year, it is not even eligible for a Best Score nomination.

And I think their openness about the use of digital grading on over 70% of FOTR is what was responsible for TTT not receiving a cinematography nom. Understandably so... What is Andrew Lesnie's work and what is the work of a computer technician? I expect that snub to be repeated this year. They should have kept their mouths shut.

The short version: I think costume, cinematography, and score nominations are almost out of the question. The sets are mostly new, so art direction is a strong possibility.

#17 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 15 2003 - 09:26 AM

Quote:
the visual effects in The Hulk were a huge disappointment for me


Oh, I know, and ILM was just tooting its horn, positive they were going to be the best digital effects ever. I love to see people get their wings clipped... especially when they have any connection to George Lucas.

#18 of 681 Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 15 2003 - 09:59 AM

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 of 681 Chad R

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Posted August 15 2003 - 10:10 AM

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.


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

#20 of 681 Brian W.

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Posted August 15 2003 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
It's not unprecedented. Several foreign films have been nominated in both categories.


Good point.


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