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Oscars and Other Movie Awards


#1133

Yeah this decade has been a ball of shite, but that doesn’t mean we should hope shite continues. It’s been a terrible decade for the Oscars though, in an age where we’re making more movies than ever. It feels like something went wrong somewhere.


#1134

I watched 10 minutes of it last year. It’s insufferably naff.


#1135

At some point we did a thread, or maybe just an exercise, as to what we thought should have won the Oscar in every year, and that was pretty interesting, and much different.

Although these were not my favorite films each year, a decade in which the winners were The Social Network, Moneyball, Lincoln, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hell or High Water, Spotlight, Moonlight, and Get Out, tells a much different story of the decade, while retaining the diversity and historical perspective, and is a lot stronger.


#1136

Yes, but it’'s not an easy watch.

The battle scenes, yes, mostly for work, they’re still a benchmark. The story isn’t up to the same level as the rest of the filmmaking.


#1137

Just wanted to say I don’t agree with you on this assessment. The critique of some of the cartoonish performances is definitely fair (although when are the KKK portrayed with subtlety?), but aside from some of the Trump stuff it’s not a leftist movie at all. The idea that racism can be solved by law enforcement is a right-wing perspective, and Spike fudged some facts to accentuate that perspective (Stallworth spied on black activists for years, not just one meeting; there was never a moment where he wore a wire to expose racism within the force).

I love Spike Lee but he’s not the director you hire if you want nuance. What he did deliver was a crowd-pleaser; at the screening I went to, people in the audience laughed, cheered, cried, and there was some food for thought as well, even if you thought it was just full of shit. It’s pretty rare to witness all of those audience reactions in one film.

EDIT: I do think Spike will win the best director, partly as a mea culpa for passing him over for his superior work (Driving Miss Daisy over Do the Right Thing was a snub that the Academy has never totally lived down—it still gets brought up all the time).


#1138

The battle scenes were incredible. But the scene that has the most impact is the one where Damon’s character as an old man falls to his knees and asks his wife if he earned the life he was given. There are so many scenes that are fantastic.


#1139

It’s a very important question, the film leaves it to the viewer what the answer is?

Of the squad, I identify most with Reiben, who believes that the beating the Nazis is worth fighting for, but that Ryan may not be.


#1140

That’s interesting. I don’t share this opinion but a lot of people hate that scene and think it almost ruins the movie.


#1141

Really? I think that scene defines the whole movie. The guy is surrounded by (apparently) a loving family and is successful enough for all of them to go to France on vacation. On the surface he seems to have had a good life but he still struggles with the sacrifices given for him and still doesn’t know if he did enough to earn it.


#1142

Reiben’s right, Ryan knows it and struggles with that his entire life. That’s what makes that scene so crucial.


#1143

It defines the movie, it’s the purpose of the story. The sacrifice all these soldiers made so that others could live. There’s no way Ryan’s life was worth more than any other in the squad, but Ryan is a symbol for America. Did the country, did the world prove worthy for all the lives sacrificed so it could continue. That’s the question and the message.


#1144

Yeah, I put together those threads in the previous boards. Maybe we should catch it up for the 2010’s?


#1145

Out of curiosity, I looked up a populist version of the Oscars for the decade (my method: the highest grossing domestic film of each year that isn’t animated, horror, a shameless disney remake, or part of a huge franchise) and it would look like this: Inception, The Help, Lincoln, Gravity, American Sniper, The Martian, Hidden Figures, Dunkirk, and A Star is Born.

I definitely didn’t love all of those films but that would be an interesting list of Oscar winners for the decade, reflecting a nice range of stuff for a range of audiences and also checks off a lot of the diversity boxes as well.

Maybe the people have it right.


#1146

I know you love American Sniper for some reason but there’s no way it should ever be on any list for best picture. Bradley Cooper did a great job - I think that’s due more to him being Bradley Cooper than it being a good role - but it was a bad movie.


#1147

I’ve never seen American Sniper.

When I was looking up the list I wasn’t wild about that year (2014) also because Sniper is so American centric. The next ones down that fit my weird criteria are Interstellar and Gone Girl. It was kind of a sucky year. Let’s just give it to Guardians of the Galaxy.


#1148

I recall you saying you’d never see it, I was just joking.


#1149

Yeah, the scene isn’t about Ryan, as such. It’s about everyone who made it out of the war alive, whether they participated in it or not, and all of the people who came after.

Tom Hanks wasn’t saving Private Ryan, he was saving me. And you. And everyone on this board. And our familes. And everyone who wakes up not speaking German and wearing swastikas.

Personally, I thought that ending was too heavy-handed. It’s a message that should have been subtle and subliminal and not spelled out in big letters.

All in all, I found SPR to be a mixed bag. The battle scenes were harrowing and made you feel like you were. The stuff between fight scenes was a slog to get through.

Of course that’s probably an accurate way to portray warfare. I have heard war described as 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror, and it always seemed like something that was on the nose.


#1150

Both great films! Interstellar is tied for me with Dunkirk as Nolan’s best; a film that really affected me. And Gone Girl is so taut, so stylish. I saw it twice at the cinema.

No, and the moment they get Hanks to sit with his trembling hand hinting at some semblance of character is so transparent; I rolled my eyes.

Definitely one of the most worthy films to have not won in the past decade.

I caught some of it too for the first time in ages - it’s quite entertaining, but may be wiped from the records now on account of the Geoffrey Rush stuff.

Here’s an interesting look at the “genre” films that have made the Oscar cut:


#1151

#1152

Returning to the Oscars, there was a screening last night of ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ with Richard E. Grant doing a Q&A afterwards.

He’s up for a Best Supporting Oscar of course, and was very excited about it. It’s been compared to his performance as Withnail a lot, because they’re both flamboyant drunks and quite untrustworthy, but he rightly pointed out that Withnail is horribly entitled and selfish person, whereas Jack (the man in this film) is much more generous and helpful. As people they would not get along.

The film is very good, he’s very good and so is Melissa McCarthy, who is also nominated.

The film isn’t nominated, but the screenplay is (adapted from the book written by the real person the story is about).

It’s interesting how these separations are made, the story is very well structured, the scenes work, the dialogue rings true and is often funny and emotional without being forced. It’s a good nomination.

So why not picture or director?

Personally, I think the film’s well made, but that the direction doesn’t draw attention to itself, the way something like ‘The Favourite’ does. It’s solid professional work, but not distinctive.

So screenplay and actors get the attention, not how they are presented.