Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Post Oscar Thoughts - 2012

As you all should know, the Oscars were this past week. Yes, I did give a few of my thoughts on a facebook post, but I decided to go beyond that and dedicate a blog post to my thoughts about the Oscars now that they are over and I have had a bit of time to stew over the results. Giving out awards to movies is quite honestly a hard thing to do because it is one hundred percent opinion based. No matter what wins, someone is going to be upset because we all have different opinions. So of course I disagree with some of the decisions made. And in analyzing this, of course you are going to disagree with some of the stuff I say, so no need to make a huge racket about it. It's just my opinion. But nonetheless these are some thoughts I have about this year's Oscars. And no, I'm not going to go over every category because there are a lot of smaller categories that I don't pay attention to or don't know enough about to make a judgement on which movie was best in that category. Best makeup? Best Costume Design? Best Documentary? Yeah, I will just hit the bigger categories that are fun to talk about and discuss.

Best Picture- The Artist won this award. Most people knew it was going to happen. If there was one thing we learned at this year's Oscars it is that if you make a movie that is a tribute to movie history and you do it well, the Academy is going to love you. The Artist and Hugo both did that and they both took dominated the Oscars with a million nominations each and five wins each. The Artist is a black and white silent film and you really don't see those any more. The reason for that is obvious. A long time ago, they learned how to make movies in color and put sound and audible dialogue into movies. Most people take advantage of that technology. Now personally, I prefer this new technology of sound and color, but I think its a cool idea to take us on a trip down memory lane. I didn't grow up in the Silent film era, but with this movie I will have a little taste of what it was like to do this, so I don't really have a huge problem with this movie being commemorated, but I personally wouldn't have given it best picture. "But Adam, you haven't seen it yet. You can't say that." Ok, you got me there. I haven't had a desire to pay 8 bucks to see it. I'm waiting for the Dollar theater or RedBox. However, I don't envision myself changing that opinion after I see it. Yes, Black and White / Silent films are a huge part of movie history and its great that the Artist made a tribute to that, but I just don't personally enjoy those movies when I sit down and watch them. Yes, shoot me if you want,  but that's me. What movie would I have given the award to? Well, besides the Artist, I really think there were only three other movies that deserved the nomination: The Help, Moneyball, and Hugo. I think The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Warrior, and We Bought a Zoo are a few movies that deserved to be nominated instead of the likes of War Horse, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Out of the movies nominated, Hugo is my choice. Now if I get to pick out of every movie from last year and not just the ones nominated, my personal choice is Warrior. The Warrior is a movie that due to a poor advertising campaign and poor time of release went completely under the radar, but it was fantastic.

Best Director- No, I'm not going to bore everyone by writing a big long paragraph about each category. Best Picture is the topic that's the most popular subject to talk about. Michel Hazanavicius won best director for the Artist. I would've given the award to Martin Scorsese for Hugo.

Best Actor-  With this award, given the actors nominated, I can't argue with the choice of Jean Dujardin from the Artist. That probably would've been my choice out of the five that were nominated. Brad Pitt and George Clooney are great actors that will get nominated every time they are in a movie it seems. And Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors, so I can't dis on him. But I think there were some outstanding actors this year that stood out to me that didn't get nominated at all. I will name three. James Franco from Planet of the Apes, Tom Hardy from Warrior, and Matt Damon from We Bought a Zoo. With those names added, I give the award to Matt Damon. We Bought a Zoo was such an inspiring movie that Matt Damon did such a good job in. Now I've liked him in most every movie he's been in, but this performance solidified the fact that he may be my favorite actor.

Best Actress- Now I'm not sure why, but I don't think that this category was the strongest this year. Out of the movies I saw, I didn't leave the theater too many times with the overall impression that a certain actress in the movie did an amazing job. I think one movie that would change that idea is if I saw The Help. Don't know why I haven't seen this one yet. Viola Davis would be a safe pick if I was choosing. But I can't argue with Meryl Streep winning. She is a great lady and a great actress that has performed wonderfully in so many movies and yet doesn't have a lot of Oscars to show for it. Her winning may have been a lifetime achievement award, but she deserves it.

Best Supporting Actor- Here is a category that saw the Warrior's only nomination. Christopher Plummer got the nod for Beginners, but I think Nick Nolte deserved the win.

Best Supporting Actress- No argument here. A deserved win for Octavia Spencer from the Help

Best Original Screenplay- This is one that given the nominees, I would give to the Artist. Funny that in one of the categories that I would be fine with them winning is one that they didn't win. Now there were a lot of good screen plays, so I'm glad they didn't ask me to pick any nominees. I guess they decided that Midnight in Paris needed to win something.

Best Adapted Screenplay- Another category that maybe they thought that since the Descendants was nominated for 5 Oscars, they needed to win something. I'd probably give Hugo another win here. This is also a category that I would give Moneyball something. Poor Moneyball got nominated for 6 Oscars but won nothing.

Best Cinematography- Now this is a category I can judge. Hugo won this award and it was well deserved. The Cinematography was excellent. War Horse wasn't my favorite movie, but in terms of Cinematography, it was excellent as well and I actually would favor it just a touch more than Hugo in that category, but not by much.

Best Visual Effects- This one was a tough one to call. Harry Potter and Transformers were both nominated. The Planet of the Apes was nominated. Real Steel got nominated. Hugo got nominated and won. Any of these movies could've won and I would've been fine with that. Hugo's visual effects were stunning and so I have no problem with them getting the award. However, if I were forced to pick the movie that I think should've won, I would've gone with the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Did you know that none of the apes in that movie were actual animals? They were all CGI. That is very impressive. I watched the movie without knowing that and when told afterwards I didn't believe it at first, but its true. That deserves an Oscar for visual effects in my eyes.

Best Original Score- You can look at my Best Picture category to get my thoughts on the Artist. There are several categories that I would be fine with them winning. This is not one of them. John Williams had two scores and both were fantastic. Hugo's score was great and was also nominated. I would've rather seen any of those three win. My pick would be John Williams War Horse score. The music in that was beautiful. I liked it so much that I sat in the theaters until the credits were over just because of the music. John Williams got robbed.

Best Original Song- Man or Muppet was a great song and I was happy it won. It was one of my favorite parts of the movie when Jim Parsons showed up to participate in that song. However, the thing I  wasn't happy with is that it only got one song to compete against. Surely the Academy could've come up with two or three more songs to nominate for this.

Best Animated Feature- When I saw Rango back in March I was blown away. I thought it was such a good movie and my immediate reaction was that it needs to win animated feature of the year. However, I was given opposition to this opinion because ever since Tintin was announced, everyone and there dog pretty  much had it marked down that it would win. When Tintin came out at the end of the year I saw it and thought it was good, but not as good as Rango. For that matter I thought Kung Fu Panda 2, Arthur Christmas, and Puss in Boots were also better animated movies. I prepared myself for the disappointment that would come if it won, because everyone was still sure it was going to win. Then the nominations came out. Tintin was left out and everyone was shocked. I wasn't expecting that to happen, but for once in my life the Academy agreed with me and disagreed with everyone else. Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2, and either Puss in Boots or Arthur Christmas were the movies I was hoping would get the nominations with Rango winning. That is exactly what happened and I am happy.

Best Editing / Best Art Direction / Best Costume Design / Best Makeup / Best Sound / Best Sound Editing / Best Foreign Language Picture / Best Documentary - Feature / Best Documentary - Short Subject / Best Animated Short / Best Live Action Short - 
I'm not going to deal with these categories. I'm sorry if that offends you

1 comment:

  1. Adam, the thing about the Artist, is to really be true to the spirit of the film, it needs to be seen in a theater. Silent films are just like that, I suppose. But coming from a person who devours Charlie Chaplin films, and loved the silent era (I love movies in general, but the 20's and 30's are my favorite era for just about everything, especially music - and movies, too.) , I might be a little biased.