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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Feb 27, 2005.
Not just you Seth. ~Edwin
Let's not go down that path here. M$Baby was still a top film to me though not my choice either of the noms or just in general. Other than Best Pix I closely agree with the other wins (well, I thought Owen was close to Morgan).
Non intended. So here's what's wrong with the Oscars according to USA Today. ~Edwin
Seth You really enjoyed the '53 version of Titanic?? I saw it years ago and recall it being horrible. A badly acted soap opera aboard the Titanic. I know it won the Oscar for screenplay, but I was terribly disappointed. Maybe I'll revisit it.
If it was up to the US top critics to pick the 5 best films of 2004 it would have looked a bit different from the Academy's Best Picture choices: 1)Sideways 2)Eternal Sunshine 3)The Incredibles 4)Million Dollar Baby 5)House of Flying Daggers As compiled by Premiere magazine, Aviator was tied 15th place with Ray. Kill Bill Vol.2 was 11th place and Spiderman 2 8th, Hero was at 18.
A Night to Remember is very good. Cameron even copied one shot precisely (the young lovers coming across Mr. Andrews fixing the clock), as homage I assume.
I haven't seen Night to Remember to compare but I understand it to be a quite better film than Titanic 53. For the 53 version I think its just the power of the situation, that's what compels us. People did stay behind, people were noble even if not all of them were, and at some point that ship hauled ass straight into the ocean. So seeing people deal with that still got to me. Funny that the 53 version tried a lot of the similar things that JC did, building a core story that will then have more power in the context of the sinking (father and son relationship) and had that snob girl meets common man (from Purdue baby ). But your comments could match what I saw so I don't know that your in for some new insight with the film. I prefer the 97 version by far and expect that NtRem will be more impressive as well. How big an upset was M$Baby? I was trying to think of films that had the most noms AND most wins, yet lost Best Pix. Did that happen to FOTR? Not quite. It TIED for most wins, though they were also "techs" while ABM had Pix, Dir, S Actress, Script. However, ABM won the GG over FOTR for drama, whereas Aviator beat M$Baby here. There is a reason my formula had Aviator so strong. Looking at the results it starts to look a bit more like Annie Hall or something. AH was weaker in its year, but M$Baby was flying moderately low this year. I'm not knocking the film, I love that Annie Hall won for example. Just stepping back to take a look at what has just happened, what sort of win it was. I know fans here might feel like "no shit it won" but come on, this was an impressive "come back" late in the evening. Aviator had been strong, took off early in the night with the "win it all" sort of tailcoat wins and then M$Baby threw the punchers chance knockout blow. Reflecting on it I think its a pretty dramatic moment.
How about The Silence Of The Lambs? It too had only seven nominations but did win the big awards. Two films had more nominations : Bugsy with 10 and JFK with 8. Don't remember how it did at the GG or other awards though.
A Night To Remember is an excellent film. It's this film that began my fascination with all things Titanic. Powerful and moving and extremely accurate, except for the Titanic sinking in one piece. The Criterion DVD is exceptional with a great transfer (albeit NOT anamorphic), fascinating one hour documentary, and above all, mesmerizing commentary by Titanic historians Don Lynch and Ken Marshcall. Funnily enough, I popped my copy in the other day and apparently it has gone bad. Wouldn't play on any of my players. Sent an email to Criterion Co. and they are replacing it free of charge. I also prefer Cameron's version although ANTR is very close.
Powerful and moving and extremely accurate, except for the Titanic sinking in one piece. There are a few reasons why so many films prior to Cameron's movie all showed the Titanic sinking in one piece, going down by the head. a) During the American court inquiry into the Titanic disaster, testimony from survivors claimed that the Titanic cracked in half. Testimony from this inquiry was extremely emotional and sensationalized in the press -- this is when Bruce J. Isme was turned into the Snidely Whiplash of the Titanic disaster by the American media. The British held their own inquiry, and in typical Anglophile fashion, most people saw the British investigation as the official version of events. The British Govt. was cheesed off at the idea of the Americans investigating the event to begin with (it was seen by the British as a British tragedy). For decades the "official" record was the British inquiry, held some time after the emotional and sensationalized American inquiry. b) During both inquiries, testimony from the British naval engineers disputed claims that the Titanc broke apart prior to sinking, saying it was impossible. Most experts believed the British engineers, not the testimony of eye witnesses who swore under oath that the ship and split in two. That's why, in every movie or TV special about the Titanic from the early silents on up to the modern era, you see the Titanic go down by the head all in one piece. c) In the defense of the British engineers, during the investigations, one witness was obviously so traumatized, she remembered the fact of the ship breaking in half, but had the image flopped in her brain. She testified that in broke in half in a " V " shape, with both ends of the ship sticking up in the air and the middle submerged in the water. It wasn't until the Titanic was found at the bottom of the sea, and in two pieces hundereds of yards apart, that the survivors' testimony was re-visited again, and the testimony of the Naval Engineers rejected. What we see in James Cameron's film is the (mostly) accepted version of how Titanic met her doom. Anyway, A Night to Remember is a recreation of the sinking of the Titanic, based on the book of the same name, which was itself based on the British investigation of the disaster.
Ehh, don't bother. It IS a "badly acted soap opera". As I say in my review: "So what does the 1953 Titanic have to offer? Beyond the sight of Robert Wagner as he sings and dances an absurd tune called “The Navajo Rag”, not much." Here's the link if anyone's curious: http://www.dvdmg.com/titanic1953.shtml
All of what Ernest mentions can be found in that documentary on the 53 DVD, which as I said gave me re-affirmed appreciation over just how powerful of an iconic event it is. And as I said, JC wasn't the first to depict it this way. A year before Hallmarks TV mini-series did the first visualization (in film/TV) of a split Titanic. Now doesn't all the discussion and fascination with it help validate why Titanic had so much Oscar support. Silence of the Lambs to M$Baby - that does seem like a pretty accurate comparison. Did Silence have the most WINS that year though? Man, I hate to do more research at this point (now there IS a first Tino ).
I believe it did, Seth. It won the top five Oscars. Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, and screenplay. The first film to do that since One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. How that '53 version of Titanic won the screenplay Oscar, and James Cameron's version wasn't even nominated boggles my mind. Btw, Ernest is absolutely right in his post about the Titanic sinking. Here is an excerpt from the American Senate subcommittee's final report on the Titanic disaster, dated May 28, 1912: Ship Sinking The ship went down gradually at the bow, assuming an almost perpendicular position just before sinking at 12:47 A.M., New York time, April 15. There have been many conflicting statements as to whether the ship broke in two, but the preponderance of evidence is to the affect that she assumed on almost end-on position and sank intact. [The conclusion was refuted after the ships remains were found in 1985]