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*** Official 2003 Academy Awards Discussion Thread
1250 replies to this topic
Posted March 03 2004 - 12:59 PM
"I think that there were more reasons than that: for one, actors are the single biggest block in the Academy and for all of its merits, the acting in Star Wars ranges from adequate to lamentable." I've got a BFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin. Many films have a range of quality of acting, it is almost unavoidable. Personally, I think Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, James Earl Jones, Peter Cushing, and even Mark Hamill did some fine work. Hamill was acting what was on the page -- whiny emotional brat. Yeah, he pushes it on occasion, but then, that's sort of the character of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars -- all heart, no head. He learns to find that "zen" through the course of the movie. He is still a hothead in Empire - the plot depends on it - but by Jedi, he has grown up. The only truly ripe performance in Star Wars for me was given by Carrie Fisher, with her faux-British accent appearing when she is in the presence of Peter Cushing, gone when she's hanging out with Harrison and Mark. Still, she has spunk and character to spare, something you can't say of Natalie Portman in the prequels so far, and she's fantastic in Empire (but then, everyone is fantastic in Empire).
Posted March 03 2004 - 02:27 PM
I think he was just joking around. He started off with... This thing is heavy. I'd like to thank the Academy for finally recognizing my films. Thank you so very, very, very much! I thought it would never happen. ...
The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind.
Posted March 03 2004 - 03:23 PM
To put this in context: Errol Morris is one of the acknowledged modern masters of the documentary, but before this year he had never even been nominated for an Oscar. It's just one example of the insularity that led to a reform of the nominating process several years ago. I don't even agree that Fog of War was the best of the nominees this year. Of the three I've seen -- all of them excellent -- my personal pick would have been My Architect. But Fog of War is a wonderful film, and recognition for Morris was long overdue. M.
Posted March 03 2004 - 04:26 PM
Morris may be the GREATEST documentary filmmaker ever, but to the masses he came across as if he knew he was. Never a good move in public relations terms. Ernest, congrats on your BFA, how's that working out for you? As for Fisher's accent, blame that on Lucas. Either she wanted to do it and Lucas let her, or Lucas didn't realize it was a bad idea.
Posted March 03 2004 - 04:32 PM
A couple of tidbits on why Annie Hall won over Star Wars for Best Picture: 1. AMPAS members were kind of desperate to find a way to honor Woody Allen, who had by then done increasingly better and better films. Annie Hall was an excellent film with that Oscar-winning performance by Diane Keaton, and in fact some people have said the movie was semi-autobiographical. 2. AMPAS members were kind of turned off by the excessive marketing for Star Wars. 3. AMPAS members probably felt Star Wars played like a modern version of the old 1930's and 1940's adventure serials (George Lucas admitted he was a bit influenced by the old Flash Gordon serials), which meant Star Wars had a "lightweight" quality.
Raymond in Sacramento, CA USA
Posted March 04 2004 - 02:23 AM
Of course a range of acting is nearly unavoidable. I’d agree with your assessment of Daniels, but Jones has to share his spot with David Prowse, so I’d give him an asterisk. The reason that I chose the word adequate, was that none of the performances you mention require any real depth in characterization. Now you rightly point out (in the case of Hamill, for example) that this is (at least partly) by design. That still does not change or raise their performances (in my assessment). And in the case of Hamill, we differ in our assessment of his performance. He is no doubt OK as the whiny brat, but in the few scenes where there is any demand made on him for something approaching tenderness, he is not convincing (at least to me). I will admit that some of the dialogue the actors are forced to recite, don’t help their cause very much. But regardless of what you or I might think about their performances, they were not seen (possibly excepting Ford) as much more than I describe, back in the day. It is my assumption (which may well be incorrect) that a good many actors (who were academy members) of the day, may have voted for films that had roles requiring more range. Probably though, the Academy just liked Woody (per Ray’s suggestion) and wanted to give him the honor.
¡Time is not my master!
Posted March 04 2004 - 04:09 AM
I think you're misunderstanding. The miniscule audience for documentaries won't get smaller. The audience simply won't expand.
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