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Old 12-02-2008, 11:38 AM   #16
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Kristen Scott Thomas has done much better work than "I have loved you so long." The movie is over rated. Yes, the big scene at the end has impact, but the set up, the whole rest of the movie is a bit tedious.
I don't base her performance in the film on 'one explosive scene' or 'one particular moment' - it was the characterisation throughout that made her performance oscar worthy. I've never seen anyone take on such a daring role - the no makeup thing was symbolic and brutal, but not the only reason why I consider it daring - and turn such a bare script into a gripping piece of film. I felt that way about the whole film though - and I suppose the subtle catalysts and underlying angst bubbling beneath each situation could be perceived by some as tedious. And wrongly so.


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My shortlist so far:

Synecdoche, New York
The Dark Knight
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
My Blueberry Nights
Man on Wire
Tell No One
The Fall
Pineapple Express
Snow Angels
Tell No One - would that make it into next years oscars? Wasn't that released quite a while ago now?
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:52 AM   #17
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It's not a weak year for film. A weak year for mainstream cinema. There's been a lot of great documentary, foreign & art house stuff.

You can't really boast about The Dark Knight being liked by the average viewer. If that had any play than some turd like 300 would've been nominated for Best Picture. Also, it's Metascore & Rotten Tomatoes aren't like that amazing. It'll be lucky to even stay in the year's Top 20 on Metacritic or even make my top ten. It's a great comic book movie, but it's still merely a comic book movie. It really didn't do anything new artistically.
Documentaries and foreign films aren't nearly as much of a factor in the Academy Awards though. And where exactly are all these triple-A art house flicks anyway? Last year we had No Country, TWBB, Jesse James, I'm Not There, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Bourne Ultimatum (apparently, since it took a lot of minor awards) etc... all of which are extremely strong pictures in any perspective. Apparently Milk is pretty great, but I can't say for myself. What else has really made a huge critical impression this year that stands a chance at wide oscar recognition? Again, there are a few more this month, but there's no way of knowing how they'll perform yet.

As GAF said, a movie doesn't have to do anything particularly groundbreaking to get major nominations. And you brush off those RT and Meta scores like they don't mean anything... even though they're high enough to signify that strong critical response you seem to dismiss. It's easily comparable to many past Best Picture nominees, and even winners. I personally don't think The Dark Knight is all that and a bag of chips, but most people do. It will very likely get nominations.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #18
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the only predictions i'll make are Heath Ledger and Anne Hathaway.

i just haven't seen enough this year to make any more predictions.

i'd guess "Rachel" will get a screenplay nod as well.

i think that's the best movie i've seen so far this year, though i admit i haven't seen much.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:27 PM   #19
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I don't base her performance in the film on 'one explosive scene' or 'one particular moment' - it was the characterisation throughout that made her performance oscar worthy. I've never seen anyone take on such a daring role - the no makeup thing was symbolic and brutal, but not the only reason why I consider it daring - and turn such a bare script into a gripping piece of film. I felt that way about the whole film though - and I suppose the subtle catalysts and underlying angst bubbling beneath each situation could be perceived by some as tedious. And wrongly so.




Tell No One - would that make it into next years oscars? Wasn't that released quite a while ago now?
Funny, that you mention Tell No One

I almost included in my post that I believed she was better in that
though it would be Supporting Actress.

I think women will like I've Loved You..., more than men.



spoilers below.

I just found the plot too contrived.

that the husband would testify aginst her

that the story, did not get back to anyone, friends or family?

that her shame was so great she would / could not talk about it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:29 PM   #20
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Funny, that you mention Tell No One

I almost included in my post that I believed she was better in that
though it would be Supporting Actress.

I think women will like I've Loved You..., more than men.



spoilers below.

I just found the plot too contrived.

that the husband would testify aginst her

that the story, did not get back to anyone, friends or family?

that her shame was so great she would / could not talk about it.

I don't think she was better in Tell No One - for a start, she was barely in it, and her character was horrifically flat. She worked well with what she had but she didn't have much. Saying that, I did love the film. If I was going to say anything I thought she was just as good in I'd say Chromophobia comes close.

I think I've loved you so long was kept abstractly vague, as is typical with a lot of French films, to prevent it from becoming too bogged down by the ins and outs. And it was dealing with this idea of Euthanasia being so taboo - particularly in Europe, the issue still causes much division. We're not told the facts with her sons illness, and we don't know if what she did was the right thing to do or not. But I liked that, because it was all about the regret and inability to express all of that. That's what made the film great - that awkward, oppressive shame and how it got in the way of relationships and justifying things.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:40 PM   #21
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Angelina Jolie better get a nom for Changeling. That was a great movie and a great performance.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:49 PM   #22
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despite it's status as a genre picture, it's the quality of the filmmaking on display in TDK that might elevate it to a Best Picture nomination. it's hardly that art is a prerequisite for getting a nomination. it's much more to do with execution, cultural impact, and just whether nor not the people who decide these things 1) like the film, and 2) feel as if that film is among the "best" that their industry has to offer and thus should be the representation of what the industry has achieved in any given year.

there's nothing too artistic or groundbreaking (even from a SFX standpoint, as opposed to, say, LOTR) about, say, "Radiers," but the film got a BP nod due to it's superlative, flawless action filmmaking. i don't think TDK is quite the landmark that Raiders was, but i think that some nominations will cement Nolan's place as an A-list director, and rightly so.
I agree with much of your reasoning here.

However, The Dark Knight is better than Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Yes, I said it. Raiders is a tribute to adventure serials of the 30's. It's a hell of a lot of fun. It's perfectly cast, acted, and directed. But it has ZERO depth. And I don't know why you'd call it a landmark, because it didn't exactly usher in a slew of knockoffs or break any kind of cinematic ground--conversely, it's actually a pastiche of films that had been done over and over again for the last 40 years. How does it stand apart from Jaws, for instance, as a blockbuster or an adventure film?

On the flipside, The Dark Knight is also perfectly cast, and while not directed as well (or consistently as well), has set pieces that are up there with ANYTHING in modern action films, and raises some very serious moral and ethical questions. Not anything that hasn't been probed deeper in other films, but for something as big and pop as this, it's a major achievement. It also reflects things in our current (read: pre-Obama) political situation without beating you over the head. There's SO much to take away from it, and I don't think it will lessen its appeal over time, either.

In my opinion, when they've already nominated genre fare like Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders, Close Encounters, The Fugitive, Silence of the Lambs, etc. for Best Picture, the argument that TDK doesn't fit is ludicrous. It's not as shallow as any of those, and wouldn't be an embarrassment to the Academy in the slightest.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:02 PM   #23
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Carried over from the Random Talk thread...

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We're seriously crossing threads here, but keep in mind that Return of the King won Best Picture. Over a Clint Eastwood awards-bait film. With two performances that won Oscars. The whole argument about the award being for all three films--so what? They were ALL nominated for BP. That's impressive. And obviously they weren't just swayed by all the money the films made. They found something deeper, something moving, in the story.

And while I don't think Jackson's films are the greatest thing since sliced celluloid, it was certainly worthy of recognition. But the point is that if they can get over the fantasy hump in terms of Best Picture Winners, then anything is really possible. Except maybe horror.
Definitely, just because they're out to be entertaining doesn't mean that they're "lesser" films, per se... they're among my favorites, for sure. I'm just skeptical that something I really, really love, like TDK, could actually win.

I took the LOTR sweep as recognition for the series as a whole... if anything, Fellowship is the best of the bunch, but that's just me, a non-fan of the series.

Yeah, true. Silence of the Lambs may be the only thriller I can think of that has won.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:13 PM   #24
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The Exorcist was nominated, but that's it. Without the presence of The Sting, could it have won in '73? Possibly. I doubt Cries and Whispers or American Graffiti would have taken it. The Exorcist had an Oscar-winning actress and director, huge bestseller source material...

But the likelihood of those elements coming together again in that genre isn't something I would hold my breath on.

And I can't believe you haven't responded to my Raiders remarks.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:24 PM   #25
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The Exorcist was nominated, but that's it. Without the presence of The Sting, could it have won in '73? Possibly. I doubt Cries and Whispers or American Graffiti would have taken it. The Exorcist had an Oscar-winning actress and director, huge bestseller source material...

But the likelihood of those elements coming together again in that genre isn't something I would hold my breath on.

And I can't believe you haven't responded to my Raiders remarks.
That's all I could draw, too... and as much as that movie scares the shit out of me, it's one of the best horror films and films of the '70s bar none.

The Shining deserved a nom in '80, too.

RE: Raiders... I agree with most of what you said, but I think it did a lot to revitalize the spirit of action/adventure films since. And it did have knock-offs afterward, too: Romancing the Stone, King Solomon's Mines, to name a few. It's not that most films were directly copying the style of Raiders, since it was a pastiche to begin with, like you said, but it certainly had an impact on entertainment in the '80s. For better or for worse, I think it really defines the New Hollywood era that took over during the '80s and marks a significant time in film history.

Great films mark the time, and Raiders is one of them. There's a specific "Before Raiders" and "After Raiders" timeline which can be made... I think that can be applied to any landmark film.

Now by comparing to The Dark Knight, yeah, it may feel like a "lesser" film in what it has to say thematically and whatnot, but it's not aiming to be as dense of a film as TDK. I agree with your comparison between the two, but don't think there's a right answer to say which is "better" or "worse." I love both films and can't separate one from the other in that regard.

Like I said in the Random Talk thread, TDK has its faults that keep it from being an absolute "masterpiece," in that sense, but couple that with Wall-E, for example, and you've got two of the best major releases I've ever seen and they deserve to be acknowledged accordingly. And to see these films have the level of care and craftsmanship put into them and make shit-tons of money is great, since it convinces studios to support more creative and adventurous filmmakers, you know? We can get something like Kenneth Branaugh directing Thor, or Guillermo Del Toro essentially revitalizing Gothic Horror. However, I still remain skeptical that when TDK is nominated that it stands a good chance of winning because of the track record of Academy voters.

There you go.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:47 PM   #26
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RE: Raiders... I agree with most of what you said, but I think it did a lot to revitalize the spirit of action/adventure films since. And it did have knock-offs afterward, too: Romancing the Stone, King Solomon's Mines, to name a few. It's not that most films were directly copying the style of Raiders, since it was a pastiche to begin with, like you said, but it certainly had an impact on entertainment in the '80s. For better or for worse, I think it really defines the New Hollywood era that took over during the '80s and marks a significant time in film history.

Now by comparing to The Dark Knight, yeah, it may feel like a "lesser" film in what it has to say thematically and whatnot, but it's not aiming to be as dense of a film as TDK. I agree with your comparison between the two, but don't think there's a right answer to say which is "better" or "worse." I love both films and can't separate one from the other in that regard.

There you go.
Well, you're right, there were some Raiders-inspired films that followed (I forgot to mention Tom Selleck in High Road to China, where he attempted to avenge turning down the Indiana Jones role), but if anything marked the "New Hollywood Era" it was the one-two punch of Jaws and Star Wars, which came 4 years earlier. The combined forces of Lucas and Spielberg proved their domination with Raiders, but it was already obvious, no? Especially with the success of Close Encounters and Empire after their first big hits.

I know TDK aimed higher and it's hard to classify it as better because of that. But I was really taking issue with Irvine511's original post, which posited Raiders as more of a landmark film, which I disagree with. I'd argue that TDK could be looked on as more of a landmark, because from this point on, we can't necessarily write off a studio franchise, or a comic book film, as child's play anymore. The film hit on all levels, and had resonance. It's something that hopefully Watchmen will validate when it comes out.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:55 PM   #27
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Well, you're right, there were some Raiders-inspired films that followed (I forgot to mention Tom Selleck in High Road to China, where he attempted to avenge turning down the Indiana Jones role), but if anything marked the "New Hollywood Era" it was the one-two punch of Jaws and Star Wars, which came 4 years earlier. The combined forces of Lucas and Spielberg proved their domination with Raiders, but it was already obvious, no? Especially with the success of Close Encounters and Empire after their first big hits.

I know TDK aimed higher and it's hard to classify it as better because of that. But I was really taking issue with Irvine511's original post, which posited Raiders as more of a landmark film, which I disagree with. I'd argue that TDK could be looked on as more of a landmark, because from this point on, we can't necessarily write off a studio franchise, or a comic book film, as child's play anymore. The film hit on all levels, and had resonance. It's something that hopefully Watchmen will validate when it comes out.
Yeah, those films did for sure, just saying that Raiders is, like you said, affirming that the new Hollywood paradigm was there to stay. Those films were the start of that Era, but it was still that weird mesh of Old and New Hollywood, you know? Raiders, to me, was when the balance of power firmly shifted over for good. Its success was a measure of their consistency more than anything.

Oh most definitely. It's a testament to the quality of the source material and respect an awesome director like a Christopher Nolan can do. I hope Watchmen does deliver, because I'm afraid if it "bombs" or doesn't fulfill a studio's expectations that we may regress back into the Fantastic Four/Ghost Rider/Daredevil-level of B-movie cinema, at least for DC/Warners, who are still trying to solidify their comic fanbase.

I think that the real wild card is that proposed Green Arrow: SuperMax film, which will supposedly ignite the rest of the DC universe into action. With the shaky status of a Justice League film, it may be the boost that DC needs to get going.

Marvel's so fucking set it's ridiculous... a proposed Dr. Strange directed by Del Toro, Edgar Wright doing Ant-Man... shee-it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:53 PM   #28
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Eventually it's going to peter out. I doubt they'll get the public interested in the nerdier, more obscure stuff. For example, look at the aforementioned Daredevil and Ghost Rider. And the Hulk sequel didn't do well, and that's one of Marvel's prime properties. Also, had Iron Man not starred Robert Downey Jr, it probably would have tanked too.

Maybe someone like Del Toro (from the director of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy!) can pull in a crowd, but I don't even think Thor is going to make money.

As far as I'm concerned Marvel can burn in hell for allowing the Fantastic Four (my favorite thing from that company) to be treated with such disrespect. Fuck 'em.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:02 AM   #29
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The Hulk reboot did about the same business as Ang Lee's, but I think it has more kudos from the fanbase and people who eventually did see it than that one. If it were the first Hulk film made, I think it would've done significantly better... at least closer to $150-175 mil than anything else.

The way Marvel's handling the build-up to The Avengers is nothing short of awesome. I think that'll help more people to see Thor than anything else.

If Marvel could reclaim all of its outsourced properties, especially Fantastic Four and X-Men, I'm sure they could do some great stuff with them. The reason Sony's rushing to do Spidey 4 (and possibly 5) is because Marvel can retake the rights in 2011 or 2012 or something.

The Fantastic Four have gotten no respect at all and that sucks.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #30
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I'd contribute something with "depth", but I'm still rotfl-ing all over my room from Laz's masturbatory Dark Knight joy-rant comparison.
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