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Oscars 2011 nominations!

Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 2:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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The 2011 Oscar nominations have been announced! The full list can be found over at Empire Online.

Let the discussions commence!

Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 2:23pm

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PhilWesson

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After viewing the list, i'm ashamed to say that I've seen maybe 1/10 of the nominees for best picture.

However, I paid close attention to the best visual effects category:

Best Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland –Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian
Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter – Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 – Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

To me, its a toss up between Alice in Wonderland and Inception, not to say that the rest of them weren't spectacular, as they were all pretty unbelievable!

Sad that Scott Pilgrim wasn't nominated though.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 2:26pm

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Simon K Jones

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While getting upset over Oscar nomination snubs is an entirely pointless past-time, it's also fun, so I'm going to have a quick moan:

No Scott Pilgrim ANYWHERE?

No VFX or score nominations for TRON Legacy?

This is madness!
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 2:52pm

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danielgwood

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Tarn wrote:

No VFX or score nominations for TRON Legacy?

This is madness!
+10000
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:15pm

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Staff Only

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Sorry Tarn, forgot to check the News. wink


No Tron for VFX...again. -.-
No Nolan for direction...again.
No Inception for editing. Wtf?
No Tron for cinematography. Just, eh-
No Tron for art direction.
No Tron for costume design.
And of course no Daft Punk for music.

Well done Academy. Now go to he-
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:17pm

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Aculag

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I still think it's a bit daft to have 10 best picture nominees. There's no way that more than half of them are being seriously considered... Winter's Bone was amazing, and Toy Story 3 was touching and beautifully rendered, but they don't belong on that list.

It's the same as last year. Throw in an animated film so people don't get upset that their favorite Pixar movie didn't get a best picture nom. Throw in a creative genre film so people don't get upset that the academy is snubbing genre films... Throw in a Coen Bros. movie, and a touching family dramedy, as well as the four or five films they're actually considering (King's Speech, Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter,) and you have your list.

But anyway, if King's Speech doesn't win Best Art Direction, and Colin Firth for Best Actor, there's something wrong. I have no real preferences other than that. Firth's performance was one of the all-time greats, as far as I'm concerned, and that film is spectacularly designed. From lens choice, to color palettes, it's damn near perfect.

Last edited Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 4:19pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:19pm

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Pooky

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No The Town anywhere, either.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:29pm

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danielgwood

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Pooky wrote:

No The Town anywhere, either.
Best Supporting Actor
...
Jeremy Renner – The Town
...


Well, there was one.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:35pm

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Simon K Jones

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What's this Hereafter film? It's somehow entirely passed me by...maybe it hasn't come out in the UK yet? I'm curious as to how it snuck onto the VFX list.

As our Man In The Industry tweeted: "The VFX Oscar committee must have not seen Tron : Legacy, Black Swan or Scott Pilgrim vs the world then..."
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:45pm

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My sentiments exactly to Tarn and Hybrid-Halo's tweet.

I don't get how they manage to snub people every other year in the VFX category. It must be a piece of cake to choose. If I, a run-of-the-mill 19 year old nerd, can see which films deserve the nom, how can't The Academy?
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 3:51pm

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Pooky

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Because The Academy is old, elitist and losing relevance?
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 4:23pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Black Swan for best picture, just saw it a couple of days ago and it was amazing. I haven't enjoyed a film that much in a long time.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 5:36pm

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ben3308

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Outside of no Tron for art direction, which seems like a misnomer to me, all nominations this year make a lot of sense. No Nolan for director? That's probably because the Academy customarily nominates actor's directors, which Nolan in 'Inception' was not - especially compared to David O. Russel, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky or the like. No Scott Pilgrim for anything? Well, it'd only really be up for visual effects, wouldn't it. What else?

Honestly, these nominations are pretty even. Having seen just shy of 100 movies in theaters in 2010 I feel at total liberty to judge these candidates evenly (except I haven't seen Winter's Bone yet) and I think they're pretty fair. Would liked to have seen DiCaprio up for Shutter Island for Best Actor, but the movie itself was popular or Academy-Awards-y enough for any nominations to rise from it - which is a shame, considering his performance was hauntingly good, particularly the bits by the lake.

Good nominations, generally. Tron in art direction and Inception in editing are kind of WTF absences, but then again you've got The King's Speech in there and The Social Network for editing, both of which will probably win in their respective categories. So it's not a big deal, really. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:08pm

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Aculag

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ben3308 wrote:

Outside of no Tron for art direction, which seems like a misnomer to me,
Then I'm not sure you know what misnomer means. wink

Even though I don't think Tron is Oscar caliber, it is pretty baffling that Iron Man 2 is up for VFX and it isn't... Makes total sense that it isn't up for Art Design, though. But maybe that's just because I think The King's Speech had the best art design of the decade, if not longer. smile
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:34pm

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Atom

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I can't believe I'm saying this.....but it's sad to see the forgettable and 'meh' True Grit up for Best Picture and director (even though the Coens are my favorite directors) and not see Ben Affleck and The Town.

That easily could've and should've been an addition. And with the ridiculous 10-Best-Picture-nominations, too, and no The Town?

Kinda sad- it totally deserved it, and most wouldn't disagree with that. Other than that, a really solid list with some fine performances and many deeply talented people on it. No Dicaprio, which is sort of a shame considering Shutter Island and Inception, but it's less of a snub than The Town.

Overall a pretty great list from a pretty great year for movies.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:36pm

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ben3308

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Aculag wrote:

ben3308 wrote:

Outside of no Tron for art direction, which seems like a misnomer to me,
Then I'm not sure you know what misnomer means. wink
"Misapplied designation"? No, I think I know exactly what it means....Tron was lacking designation as an art direction contender. That phrasing was pretty obvious...?
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:49pm

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Sollthar

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Here we go again with people disagreeing and then the next step: completely discounting the credibility of the ones who chose since they can't know anything about what they're doing (otherwise, they'd have made the choices YOU want surely). Always the same. smile

Most films on that list will start their swiss cinema run within the next 2 months. So I'm looking forward to seeing some of them myself. cool
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:51pm

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Serpent

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Online on a plane for the first time, to Hollywood actually, and some of the nominations let me down on this paid internet experience. Damn you Academy, but at least I've got my gin. Their choices in the visual department have really let me down too much, I'm done, faith is lost there. I knew they wouldn't recognize Daft Punk, but the fact that they lived up to that pessimism is disappointing.

The Kids Are All Right for best picture? Really? It was alright... See what I did there?

Alright whatever, always fun to watch, and I love catching up on the year in film. Great bunch of films, and in most respects they've nominated the deserved (some devastating exceptions), in addition to some others that don't deserve it quite so much. But a great year in film nonetheless.

My current predictions are here if anyone cares: http://cpogallery.com/blog/2011/01/2011-academy-awards-upsets-predictions/

Last edited Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 7:01pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 6:53pm

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Aculag

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ben3308 wrote:

"Misapplied designation"? No, I think I know exactly what it means....Tron was lacking designation as an art direction contender. That phrasing was pretty obvious...?
Not exactly. Misnomer applies to a word or phrase having an incorrect designation. Calling a place or a thing by an incorrect name. Like how aluminum foil is still called tin foil, even though it isn't made of tin. It's an oversight that Tron was not on the list. It's not a misnomer. No one has called Tron anything that it isn't. Your phrasing was obvious, yes, and I knew what you meant, but that word doesn't work the way you think it does. Not in this case, anyway.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 7:00pm

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Atom

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I was gonna complain about not seeing Andrew Garfield or, dare I say it, Justin Timberlake on the Supporting Actor list- till oh snap, I eyed Mark Ruffallo making an appearance in the nominations.

Awesome. He's such an underrated, fantastic actor. Happy to see him get nominated- as that sorta came out of nowhere based on the previous awards racing.

Mark Wahlberg I can understand why there's no nomination, I suppose, or why he could've got boxed-out (zing!) by other nominees- but it's still sad to see the movie he developed, produced, and starred in (trying, really, his best just to make 'great') get nom'd for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and two times for Supporting Actress- and see him get left out of that.

I mean, he's a fantastic actor in it, yeah. But I can understand why he wasn't nom'd. Just sorta bittersweet, considering he found the director, recruited Bale, etc. to make The Fighter happen (a truly great movie) and get no acting love from it. biggrin

And before anyone gets all in a bind- can anyone else appreciate how awesome of a nominee list this is for a minute?

A Christopher Nolan film is up for Best Picture! David Fincher for Best Director! David O. Russel! And the edgy creator of The Fountain is a top draw for all awards!

Would anyone have thought 4 years ago we'd see such game-changing, visionary, and modern directors whose films are so different (and much more) than Academy Award fare all be the top contenders against eachother in the Oscars?

Not I, not I. And that's really awesome. David O. Russel, Nolan, Fincher, Aronofsky- all come from artsy-er, 'mind head trippy' backgrounds, and yet they're all against eachother here. That's just........hopeful and refreshing to see.

And of course, The King's Speech was just delightful on all fronts, too. smile
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 7:27pm

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Aculag

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I think that just means that there were a lot of really good movies by really good directors last year. smile
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 7:33pm

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ben3308

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Aculag wrote:

No one has called Tron anything that it isn't.
It was not amongst the films named to be contenders for Best Visual Effects. What's the latin definition of nomination? Oh, right, that'd be 'the naming of candidates'. 'Misnomer', as it were, applies to things given incorrect naming or designation. A nomination is both a naming and a designation.

Tron wasn't named when it, in likelihood, should've been. It may also have been an oversight that Tron was not on the list, but this is not exclusive of its status being rendered a misnomer by not being named a nominee. Therefore, misnomer. I'd glad you wanted to correct me here, but I knew exactly the words I was saying in the context I was saying them. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 8:17pm

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

I think that just means that there were a lot of really good movies by really good directors last year. smile
And isn't that exactly what the Academy Awards should and has been criticized for not reflecting sometimes in the past?

A big-budget summer blockbuster is probably the #3-4 contender for Best Picture. That hasn't happened in a long time.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 8:28pm

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RodyPolis

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Glad Inception didn't totally get ignored!
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 8:31pm

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Serpent

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ben3308 wrote:

Aculag wrote:

No one has called Tron anything that it isn't.
It was not amongst the films named to be contenders for Best Visual Effects. What's the latin definition of nomination? Oh, right, that'd be 'the naming of candidates'. 'Misnomer', as it were, applies to things given incorrect naming or designation. A nomination is both a naming and a designation.

biggrin
Not to get in the middle of things, but you can't just apply Latin to any context. A misnomer would be more like "'Tron Legacy,' more like 'Tron Heresy,' am I right?" When a label itself is misleading.
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 8:35pm

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Aculag

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^^^ Serpent gets it.

ben3308 wrote:


Tron wasn't named when it, in likelihood, should've been. It may also have been an oversight that Tron was not on the list, but this is not exclusive of its status being rendered a misnomer by not being named a nominee. Therefore, misnomer. I'd glad you wanted to correct me here, but I knew exactly the words I was saying in the context I was saying them. biggrin
So by this logic, a spoon that has been accidentally thrown away instead of being placed into the spoon drawer, is a misnomer... You're stretching the definition to fit your usage.

Anyway, this thread is not about literacy, it's about Academy Awards, so I will drop the matter at once! smile You win this round, simply because continuing the conversation in this thread would be a waste of time (not like it wouldn't be anyway...)
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 8:44pm

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ben3308

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Nomination, nominal, nominee all apply, directly to the naming of something. Not just in Latin, but by pure definition. To nominate is to hence name.

I wouldn't apply it to spoons in a drawer, because they aren't objects of nomination. When a film is nominated for an Academy Award, it receives the award of having been named. Were spoons involved in a process wherein naming was the context of discussion, they could be misappropriated in naming, yes. That'd be a misnomer.

The absent thought here is the assumption that misnomer applies only directly to nouns in common usage - that's just not true. I understand what the common usage of misnomer is, given a blunt misnaming, but that's not what I'm referencing. To misapply a name - or, conversely, fail to apply such a name - renders the nominal object misnamed and therefore a misnomer.

Anyhow, I don't mean to detract too much from discussion, but we've come to this problem before from my own use of 'alas', which I intended to use in the right context then as well. I think the issue is that such words are commonly used in the incorrect context, so it makes sense to 'call someone' on it when it looks commonly misused. But that's not the case then, and it isn't here, either.

Also, very excited about the Academy Awards. Good to see The Social Network getting even deeper exposure - for reasons that may or may not be directly related to my own interests. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 25th Jan 2011, 11:32pm

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A blog that I like had this neat paragraph:

Oscar, America's favorite naked golden statuette, bestowed its shiny favor on a handful of films this morning, honoring the fighter in all of them, their true grit. From their inception and through the more than 127 hours of their making, they've inspired us, enthralled us and occasionally even depressed us. They've toyed with us, told us stories and cut us to the bone. But whatever their purpose, Oscar has now told them that, hey, you're all right.

http://www.focusonlinecommunities.com/blogs/pluggedin/2011/01/25/oscar-the-movie-worlds-kingmaker
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 12:17am

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Atom

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I still think it's sort of funny how off-base I find lots of British magazines/journalism, specifically relating to film.

Not just opinion, but in buzz- Empire's got almost laughable calls based on, what? I dunno, who does? I mean reading the article you've got:

The King's Speech is definitely the front-runner given that it has the highest number of nominations, but let's not discount The Social Network just yet.
Seriously? Are they joking? As good of a movie as The King's Speech is, The Social Network is clearly the frontrunner- with the biggest buzz, considered the 'best' movie by many critics, winning the Golden Globe, and finally- getting 98 nominations and wins combined for Best Picture leading into the Oscars. That's more than any other movie by far.

Then this:
Firth is the runaway favourite, and if it isn't him it'll probably be Bridges
What? No. It'll, again, clearly be Jesse Eisenberg if it isn't Colin Firth.

Small grievances, I know- just adds to my frustration with UK journalism's (mis)information. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 1:59am

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Bryce007

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I doubt Eisenberg is going to win, considering he was playing the exact same "character" he played in Zombieland, albeit with better dialogue. Not exactly a stretch for that guy.


Firth's performance was uncomfortably good. Although, if you saw his speech at the VH1 Critics choice awards, it's almost like his character hadn't worn off yet, because his speech was remarkably stilted and filled with stuttering and an odd loss of words. So Maybe that character came naturally to him as well.


I personally think It's a travesty that Nolan got snubbed on the best director nom.


(Also, "The kids are all right" (Aka: Lesbians drinking wine and having pretentiously witty chats with Mark Ruffalo" hopefully doesn't win, because let's face it, that looks retarded)
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 2:21am

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As long as Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop" wins best documentary, I'll be happy. I'm just going to ignore the snubs.
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 6:38am

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Serpent

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Acting and public speaking are certainly two different ball games. He was far from his character on 'The Daily Show,' easily kept up with Jon Stewart to the point where it was more awkward to watch Stewart try to keep up with Firth's confidence and intellect on his own show. Not knocking down Stewart here, but just saying, did not get that impression at all, not remotely, from Firth. Anyone can really relate to the jitters, but that's a bit different than a psychological barrier like a stuttering problem. One of my good friends has a stutter when he speaks to anyone he doesn't know well, especially in front of any kind of group. So just sayin', a role like that would be a stretch for most people, and he nailed it.

As for 'The Kids are All Right," it's far from 'pretentiously witty chats: the movie'. I don't watch commercials, and can't remember seeing a trailer, but I don't know where you got that, much more about the characters/people, relationships, and family. There are actually very few scenes with those three characters on screen at the same time... It literally has no chance though, so you've got nothing to worry about. Simply isn't best-picture material, remotely, this is just what you get with 10 noms and politics. Interesting concept, well-told, some good writing, characters, and performances. But that's it. Very standard fare.
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 9:20am

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

No Scott Pilgrim for anything? Well, it'd only really be up for visual effects, wouldn't it. What else?
Best adapted screenplay? Best director? Best score? Best song? Best film?

Irrelevant, really, as it's just my opinion, but there it is. Neither of us are in the Academy, so our opinions have nowt to do with the Oscars.

Oh, and that was a highly, highly dubious use of the word misnomer, no matter how much you try to retcon your own meaning onto an already established word. smile
Posted: Wed, 26th Jan 2011, 9:43pm

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Paradox Pictures

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I'm constantly amazed that the general public still watches the Oscars. It seem that every year, so many people are upset by the winners. I know there will most likely be a huge backlash when Inception doesn't win Best picture like I'm sure many of us want it to.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 5:38am

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Sollthar

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Personally, I'm surprised Inception is even on the list for "best picture". It was a fun and clever ride, sure. But best picture? Hm...

I'm looking forward to watching the oscars. I've always rather enjoyed the show. Allthough it's much more fun when I've actually seen all the contestants and have my favorite, which I this year don't - from those I've seen, it would no doubt be The Social Network.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 4:38pm

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Aculag

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Sollthar wrote:

Personally, I'm surprised Inception is even on the list for "best picture".
It might APPEAR that it is on the list, but there are really only five nominees, and Inception isn't one of them. wink
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 4:49pm

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Personally I care the least for the "Best Picture" category. The Academy gets to decide what "Best Picture" means, and to them it means "American drama-film that we approve of" 90% of the time.

The other categories should be about craftsmanship alone, and therefore, to me, mean more. But we know the Academy are not honest about who actually deserves to win. Sometimes they get it (like when Fellowship won Best Director), but most of the time they like giving the sound awards to Slumdog over Wall-E, nominating Narnia over Revenge of the Sith for VFX and passing over Tron: Legacy for everything. I really wasn't that angry this year. I have stopped expecting anything from the Academy. I stopped watching or caring about the ceremony when they started pretending the Prequels didn't exist even though The Prequels were in the Top 3 most technically impressive every year. This year is the first time I don't even care about the final awards at all. The nominations in the technical categories were somehow stupider than usual.

I think the Oscars have become even more pointless and obsolete after the "everyone's a critic" Internet age than professional critics have. I'm in no way for that depraved basement-dwellers get to decide the critical success of a film, but I'm now fully behind that the Oscars can go and die. They've failed to adapt to the 2000s blockbuster-craze, and must pay the prize of being irrelevant.

Aculag wrote:

It might APPEAR that it is on the list, but there are really only five nominees, and Inception isn't one of them. wink
This is true, and their gesture of nominating 10 films certainly doesn't count as "adapting to the 2000s blockbuster-craze" as everyone can see the transparency of what they are doing. It's like how "Best Animated Film" is an insult to animated films and has excluded them from the "Best Film" category. I think the Oscars big chance at giving people a little jolt would be to give Best Picture to Toy Story 3. I haven't seen it (yet, I have no monitor to watch it on right now even though I have had TS3 on Blu-ray since it came out before Christmas), and don't know if it deserves is, but it would certainly prove a point. (Like last year when they went for the Best Picture winner that has made the least money at the Box Office in history, the same year that the movie that made the most money at the box office in history was nominated.)
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 5:11pm

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Sollthar

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On the contrary. I'd say especially because they nominate the non blockbusters and dont adapt to the taste of the masses they are still relevant. It'll agonize the fanboys, as usual. But thats about it.

I see we've reached phase 2, "complete disregard for the competence of someone based solely on disagreeing". smile
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 5:27pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, half the point of awards shows is to award things that don't get blockbuster recognition. A blockbuster's award is at the box office. Other films get rewarded through critical reception and at awards shows.

That's generally how it is supposed to go - obviously you sometimes get a blockbuster that is also award-worthy. And there are also lots of non-blockbusters that are just crap films. biggrin

This is why I don't get the point of MTV/People's Choice/public vote-based awards shows. Utterly, utterly pointless. The public have ALREADY voted and shown their choice through the box office sales. Having an awards show based on public opinion is entirely superfluous. I'm sure those awards shows are a useful exercise in ratings and advertising for the broadcaster, though. smile
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 5:45pm

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Yeah, I see your point.

But shouldn't "Best Visual Effects" go to the person with best visual effects? I think I overdid it in my original post, but my point is that The Oscars think they can bend the nominations to fit their idea of "films that deserve Oscar recognition". To me, the Academy could only retain credibility if they selflessly nominated the actual best, regardless of how many razzies that particular movie was nominated for. By that I mean: even Twilight should be able to win Best Cinematography if it deserves it.

I definitely see your point about bringing "award movies" to the front, but then they think of better names for the categories. "Best Visual Effects" or "Best Sound" can only mean one thing.

EDIT: On a side-note, Tarn, I couldn't agree more about the awards shows chosen by the public. They aren't really that interesting. Generally I prefer the awards given by dedicated sources who don't have an "image" to uphold like the Academy does. My favorite awards are the Visual Effects Society awards. There even Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was nominated. I just think it's wrong that the Academy clearly look at the movie itself in all categories. The VES don't.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:04pm

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

Sollthar wrote:

Personally, I'm surprised Inception is even on the list for "best picture".
It might APPEAR that it is on the list, but there are really only five nominees, and Inception isn't one of them. wink
Errr- what?

Inception was a fantastic film- and I myself wasn't even the biggest fan initially. I thought it was clearly one of the top 5 films of the year. Not even to personal taste, but the critic consensus, acclaim, and the legacy the film will leave.

The Social Network
Black Swan
The King's Speech
Inception
Winter's Bone/The Fighter/True Grit

But Inception is definitely a major consideration, I'm sure. I absolutely agree with Tarn's sentiments- and there's quite a bit of truth that the Academy Awards, rightfully so, award recognition to films that may not have gotten their just desserts at the box-office. And I champion that, no doubt. But Inception, despite being a huge blockbuster, was also a very finely-crafted movie that was, in many ways, unforgettable in the territory that BP noms tend to be. It had an end with an air and sense of being profound, but it wasn't vacuous or shoe-horned in the way blockbusters can gravitate towards. Instead, it seemed like genuine inspiration and conclusion, and that's something I thought the moment after seeing it, although I wasn't 'blown away' as many people were, that the Academy would likely recognize.

And they did.

And if there were only 5 nominees, I think you'd be hard-pressed to bet against it being on that list.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:24pm

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You make a strong case, Atom. It is really the reason I'm against the expanding of the Best Picture nominations. Now we know that the most critically acclaimed blockbuster will be nominated every year. What's to set Nolan's best efforts (Inception) apart from a year Tim Burton got lucky? It cheapens the whole gesture.

It would mean a lot more if Inception bumped some Oscar-bait film off the 5 nominee list as Inception probably won't win. Then we would be able to tell that it wasn't just "the most talked about big movie nomination" like Avatar was last year. The same goes for nominating the most critically successful animated film every year now that they have the space. It means nothing (or very little).

Last edited Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:34pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:32pm

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:


The Social Network
Black Swan
The King's Speech
The Fighter
Winter's Bone
Based on what I know of the Academy, I believe this is their real list of nominations. The rest are only there because they were expected to be, or because they did extremely well at the box office (like Avatar last year.)

Inception is this year's District 9. It's a damn good movie, but the Academy would never seriously consider it because it's a creative genre film. You can't kid yourself that it is in serious consideration with these others, because there's just no way the Academy would get behind a film like Inception when there are films like The Social Network, The King's Speech, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, and The Fighter also up for nomination. I think The Social Network is the clear standout as far as Best Picture goes.

Don't get me wrong, I really did love Inception, and it's definitely in my top five of the year as well, but I guarantee you that the Academy members didn't love it. It has nothing to do with my own personal taste, nothing to do with critical acclaim, and everything to do with looking at patterns of Oscar winners and nominees, and the Academy's taste. And since these people are a bunch of old salts with a very specific idea of what "Best Picture" means, a film like Inception will never win a Best Picture Oscar, just like a film like District 9, Toy Story 3, The Dark Knight, Avatar, etc. etc. etc. won't. But now thanks to having 10 nominees, they can at least get some empty recognition on the side.

I certainly think it deserves to be on the nominations list, though. But I'm not fooling myself into thinking it has even a small chance of winning against the other noms. I'm a pessimist. wink Just so you know, I'm not trying to diss Inception, or any of the nominees, or start any arguments, I'm just giving my own opinion on what the Academy is up to, based on my own understanding of the way they operate, for the sake of discussion.

Last edited Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:42pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:41pm

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Sollthar

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if they selflessly nominated the actual best
But here's the thing: There's no actual best. There's just a choice. A personal choice. And the members of the academy have their choices, you have yours, I have mine. Sometimes they might be similar, sometimes they might be opposites. There's nothing more to it.

From all films I've seen this year, only the Social Network stroke me as a truly remarkably great film. Inception was very good, but nowhere near Social Network. But I'd give it some technical awards.

I guess we'll see what the academy choses. Who knows, maybe they will chose it. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:45pm

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Atom

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No way. Inception is so much more than District 9, mostly-notably because it never falls apart into action-movie-ending territory. If anything, The Town would've been like District 9. But oh well, look- it wasn't even nom'd.

But Inception falling into action-movie-ending territory? Not terribly. And when it does, it redeems itself, much in the way, say, The Departed or No Country For Old Men does. It's not that stoic or quiet, of course, but it is a very grand, profound-feeling movie. And that's more Academy awards fare than anything.

Hell, the entire reason I ended up loving The Fighter was because of how anti-Oscar it was. It wasn't uplifting or gritty through-and-through. It was, in many ways, a very well-directed, well-acted black comedy. And it's because of that that I wouldn't necessarily consider it a first bet over Inception.

Just as I wouldn't with True Grit. Both are thoroughly entertaining and supremely crafted, sure- but I feel, as a reflection of how I gauge the Academy, Inception fares far better than those two. Because it never trails off into carefree or comedic territory within a gritty setting, the way both do, and it's this somewhat 'super-serious' payoff that makes it one of the top 5 contenders. It's got all the makings of an Academy Award piece, plus some genre ingenuity. District 9 was drama ingenuity with that could've been little bits of Academy-territory, though. Not the other way around.

I dunno- I'm not trying to be ga-ga over Inception, I just think we should give it it's just desserts. It was one of the best films of the year, it is being recognized as such, and it deserves to be considered a serious contender. Because it is.

There's a reason we made parodies for The Social Network and Inception, here, folks. Both are undoubtedly the two biggest, most buzzed-about, wholly-satisfying movies of the year. biggrin

Sollthar wrote:

From all films I've seen this year, only the Social Network stroke me as a truly remarkably great film. Inception was very good, but nowhere near Social Network. But I'd give it some technical awards.
This. Totally agree. Although The King's Speech was also quite fantastic- nothing really reaches the 'defines a generation' or 'completely unforgettable' territory that The Social Network hits. And that (and its unprecedented 98 pre-Oscar wins and nominations for BP) is why I think it's the clear and cold-cut winner for the Oscar. But like I said, Inception touches close to that, even if there are more finely-crafted, precise, or better-written movies than it- it hits a certain chord no other really can. (Save The Social Network)

And that's my case for Inception, I suppose. I want to see and hear it be validated. Because it deserves it, as much naysaying as I might've done previously. Nolan deserves it.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 6:59pm

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

No way. Inception is so much more than District 9, mostly-notably because it never falls apart into action-movie-ending territory.
You're misunderstanding me. I'm not comparing Inception to District 9 in any way but to say that the Academy doesn't like that kind of creative sci-fi film, no matter how good it is. Inception is by far a better film than District 9, but I don't think that will make a difference come award time. Last year, I really wanted to see Moon on the list, but it wasn't even submitted. That's just how it goes.

Atom wrote:


I dunno- I'm not trying to be ga-ga over Inception, I just think we should give it it's just desserts. It was one of the best films of the year, it is being recognized as such, and it deserves to be considered a serious contender. Because it is.
I don't think anyone here will deny that, and most everyone here who saw it has loved it, or at least LIKED it, but none of us are members of the Academy, so there's not much we can do. We could make a thread with a poll and say "what SHOULD have won Best Picture?" wink

Atom wrote:

There's a reason we made parodies for The Social Network and Inception, here, folks. Both are undoubtedly the two biggest, most buzzed-about, wholly-satisfying movies of the year.
And again, you're not a member of the Academy, and unfortunately, your personal opinion, and the fact that you parodied this film, doesn't make a difference to the people who ARE members. If Inception wins, that's f*cking great. If not, it's a shame, but not an unexpected one. It got nominated, and really, that's validation enough for me, because I didn't think it was the best picture of the year. From the sound of things, you didn't either.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 7:29pm

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Atom

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Haha, I guess to me saying 'Yeah, Inception got nominated. But it's not one of the five real contenders' is sorta invalidating the nomination, though. At least the clout surrounding it.

Sort of like people saying 'Yeah, Ben Affleck won an Oscar for writing. But everyone knows Matt Damon is one who really wrote it.' And that used to be the funniest running joke in Hollywood, too- completely invalidated Affleck.

Which is both sad and ironic now, since he's proven himself to be both a fantastic writer and director two-for-two. (Gone Baby Gone and The Town)

I guess that's what I mean. Sure, we're not the Academy- but by buzzing ourselves about how Inception isn't really what the Academy would've picked- what are we doing if not insulting it? After all, like you said, we don't know. We're not the Academy. biggrin

And I know I've said this before, but I really think the Oscars do have a good compass of quality and decision-making, as I saw a behind-the-scenes thing on them a few years ago and it showed Michael Bay voting on Best Cinematography and Brad Bird voting on Best Original Screenplay. And I thought both of those were really strong, interesting people to show vote in those categories. People who might not be nominated for those fields, but certainly know large amounts about them and be good discerning judges of 'the best', if there is such a thing.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 7:38pm

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Sollthar wrote:

if they selflessly nominated the actual best
But here's the thing: There's no actual best. There's just a choice. A personal choice. And the members of the academy have their choices, you have yours, I have mine. Sometimes they might be similar, sometimes they might be opposites. There's nothing more to it.
Yeah, but I subscribe to the school of thought that nearly every part of filmmaking is technical. The very fact that you have made such an extensive filmmaking guide proves that you know this. Filmmaking is a craft. You can learn it, like you learn to build a building. And when a building is taller than another; it's taller than another. When a car is faster than another; it's faster than another. It's the same with visual effects (and any technical part of filmmaking). There wasn't a chance that the perfectly executed visual effects in Star Trek held a candle to those in Avatar last year, because Avatar just had taller and faster visual effects.

When it comes to best picture and acting for example I understand that it all becomes subjective and more creative. But sound, visual effects, editing and to some extent cinematography is all about who had the most impressive craftsmanship. Therefore the people with the biggest crew, most time, most money and most importantly: the industry's most revered names in their respective fields on the credits usually deserve the award.

It is just a fact that even if the sound designer for Slumdog Millionaire spent 5 years working relentlessly with all his heart and mind on every minor aspect of the sound design on the film, Ben Burtt was always going to put his work to shame because he is Ben Burtt working for Skywalker Sound on a $180 million animated film where the whole first act is nothing but sound.

My point was just that in Hollywood you make blockbusters by throwing anything over $100 million at a project, hiring all the best in the industry to work on it and hope the trailer kicks a**. Therefore the biggest and baddest blockbusters (this year it was Tron: Legacy, followed by Inception when measured visual effects alone) invariably have the best audio and visuals. I just wish the Academy would get off their high horse and admit it. But they still cling to the method of nominating the blockbusters they like and ignoring the rest regardless of who really deserves the award.

Last edited Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 7:53pm; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 7:38pm

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

Haha, I guess to me saying 'Yeah, Inception got nominated. But it's not one of the five real contenders' is sorta invalidating the nomination, though. At least the clout surrounding it.
Again, it's nothing against Inception. Me saying that I don't believe it's one of the real contenders is to say that I think the Academy is lame, and that in their eyes it's not a real contender (although I could of course be way off, but I doubt it.) It's not to say that Inception doesn't deserve to be one of the real ones. smile

Atom wrote:

Which is both sad and ironic now, since he's proven himself to be both a fantastic writer and director two-for-two. (Gone Baby Gone and The Town)
I really had no interest in The Town based on the trailers, but I did love Gone Baby Gone, so I should snatch it up.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 7:53pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +2

every part of filmmaking is technical. The very fact that you have made such an extensive filmmaking guide proves that you know this.
Yeah, that doesn't make it objective though. But opposing to your "faster" car example, there's no clear objective factor to judge them on such as "faster" when it comes to technical awards. What would that be? The rendering time of a visual effect? The storage size of it's texture? The hours put in? The polygons used? The numbers of lines in the shader code? All of these would be objective, but also pointless factors to judge on.
Same goes for sound. Is it the number of soundeffects applied? The sample rate? The compression rate and vibration levels? How about cinematography? Is it how exact you're using the rule of thirds? The number of pixels light at a certain degree? The number of shots? The steadyness of motion?

Even a visual effect has only one goal: To sell a story to the audience. Sound has only one goal, to pull you in. I mean what good is a perfect rendering with the latest rendering nicknacks of a robot or alien in a story that doesn't engage me (I'm looking at you, transformers) compared to say, some maybe even highly dodgy shots that still manage to take me into another world (I look at you now, return of the king).

I don't claim to know exactly what it is they're voting on as god knows I would have made many other decisions as well and probably would have again this year. But I know one thing: It isn't objective. And even if you'd for some strange reason apply an objective mathematical factor like the "faster" car the choice of the factor is again subjective as I'd immediately argue "Speed doesn't matter. I like my cars comfortable" and we go again.

Film might be technical, but the end result is magic. Sometimes, for some, it becomes something truly great. Sometimes, for others, it's meaningless. You can't put creativity into numbers and you never should.

I know this too. smile
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 9:00pm

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swintonmaximilian

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So, most expensive film wins then? I see... it's actually really easy when you know how to judge films properly. Most expensive = best. Great. Well, now I know what I like.


Guys, I think I know who's going to win the Oscar for every category, except I need to find out what each of the nominated actors earned for their roles, then I can be certain.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 9:11pm

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Aculag

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swintonmaximilian wrote:

So, most expensive film wins then? I see... it's actually really easy when you know how to judge films properly. Most expensive = best. Great. Well, now I know what I like.
This is an extension of Worthington's Law. (More money = Better than)
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 9:16pm

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

I really had no interest in The Town based on the trailers, but I did love Gone Baby Gone, so I should snatch it up.
Ohhhhh, you really should. The cast alone makes the movie incredibly watchable, saving the fact that it's also just a really, really well-made movie. Jeremy Renner is probably the scene-stealer of the entire thing.

But I would watch it again simply to see the late Peter Postlethwaite in it. In his small screen-time, to me he's clearly the high is fantastic, and creepy in every regard as 'the florist'. Academy-Award caliber 'good', too. Entertainment Weekly predicted a week or two ago he might come in as a darkhorse nomination.

Rent it, definitely.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 9:53pm

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Pooky

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Atom wrote:

Aculag wrote:

I really had no interest in The Town based on the trailers, but I did love Gone Baby Gone, so I should snatch it up.
Ohhhhh, you really should. The cast alone makes the movie incredibly watchable, saving the fact that it's also just a really, really well-made movie. Jeremy Renner is probably the scene-stealer of the entire thing.

But I would watch it again simply to see the late Peter Postlethwaite in it. In his small screen-time, to me he's clearly the high is fantastic, and creepy in every regard as 'the florist'. Academy-Award caliber 'good', too. Entertainment Weekly predicted a week or two ago he might come in as a darkhorse nomination.

Rent it, definitely.
Yeah, The Town was a great crime drama! It's no The Departed, but it's well worth watching.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 10:59pm

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Bryce007

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(POSSIBLE SPOILER FOR THE TOWN)

Oh man, towards the middle point of The Town when Postlethwaite talks to Ben Affleck about his mom and goes on that monologue, It was seriously chilling.
Posted: Thu, 27th Jan 2011, 11:33pm

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Aculag

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Oh wow, I didn't even know Postlethwaite was in it. Yeah, I'll definitely be watching that, then.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 12:29am

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jawajohnny

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Yeah, I'm extremely disappointed The Town didn't get nominated. It's an awesome movie, with absolutely the greatest level of realism I've ever seen put to film. And it's not just because I've been to many of the locations shown in the movie. razz It's also incredibly well-acted... I'd fully expect to meet any of the characters walking through Charlestown. Jeremy Renner is definitely a scene-stealer, and his Boston accent is disturbingly good.... easily the best one I've heard. Heck, even Blake Lively was outstanding, and I didn't think that was possible. smile And the action scenes are second only to Inception. I mean.... how can you beat a Fenway Park heist? Taking down the cathedral of Boston? Priceless.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 2:50am

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ben3308

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Staff Only wrote:

Yeah, but I subscribe to the school of thought that nearly every part of filmmaking is technical.
I lol'ed pretty hard at this. And I am a veeeeeeeeeery technical person. wink
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 3:43am

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Pooky

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ben3308 wrote:

Staff Only wrote:

Yeah, but I subscribe to the school of thought that nearly every part of filmmaking is technical.
I lol'ed pretty hard at this. And I am a veeeeeeeeeery technical person. wink
Is there even such a school of thought? I don't think I've ever talked to a single person who thought art was objective.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 8:45am

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Serpent

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Well, while I disagree too, to be fair he did say "nearly" and "technical" (rather than objective). That school of thought does exist, clearly, don't know how large it is. But I certainly don't subscribe, seems misguided.

Sure, a lot of "magic makers" are more researchers/executors, even in aspects that are perceived as more creative. And successful creatives have to be very technical. But it's a right-brain/left-brain thing, I think, and not black and white at all. Not acknowledging the right-brained philosophy, hardly, is a narrow/not-true way of looking at it, kind of a sad/pessimistic way, too. Film is so romantic. I think even the people who may be more technically focused are still very very much using the right brain a lot, like directors who thrive more on knowledge rather than personal experience. And vice-versa, as mentioned. Only exceptions would be certain set gophers maybe. But I find creative thoughts that pop into the brain to be very "magical," and the collaboration of all those in film is just sooo magical. I can't relate to that school of thought whatsoever. I think it's just, well, wrong. To look at the whole thing as just a craft seems silly, it's so much more than that. And if that's ignored, I don't really see the draw.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 9:28am

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Simon K Jones

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'Best visual effects' might be a more defined category than 'Best movie' (which is entirely subjective) but it's still a very vague concept.

Do you judge it on the quantity of effects? The amount of work in something like Phantom Menace or Avatar is astounding, and an incredible achievement. Or do you judge it based on the quality of a single effect, perhaps the face tech in Benjamin Button? What about a super low budget film that nevertheless does great work, like Moon? What about a film that has some incredible VFX and some dodgy VFX, like Pirates of the Caribbean? What about films that have visual effects so invisible you don't ever realise they're there, like Social Network?

It's by no means as 'scientific' as it might first appear.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 11:37am

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Well I am a notorious left-brainer. I agree with the things that have been said. Especially that which Sollthar, Serpent and Tarn said. I started thinking this way when I realized that Lucas would still be a nerd god if he just gave the crowd what they wanted (like directors like Cameron, Nolan and Abrams make absolutely sure they do every time) in the Preqeuls instead of making whatever it was the artist in him told him to do (which turned out to be Jar Jar Binks among other things).

I also like convincing myself that I have “control” as an artist. But I clearly see the irony in my thinking as Lucas is proof of the exact opposite. If he played it safe and made films that he knew would be critically accepted (like Abrams does) we wouldn't have Star Wars (which is my favourite film solely because of “film-magic”). So yeah. But as a potential director I would definitely go the left-brain way and make doubly sure I was making a critical success. I guess I'm not brave like “true artists”.

To Tarn's last post I always back the film with the “hardest to make” visual effects. This is the same as “most impressive” to me. So that means films like: King Kong, Pirates 3, Avatar, Tron: Legacy, The Lord of the Rings, The Prequels etc. to me deserve the award every time. I think The Phantom Menace has “better” visual effects than The Matrix for instance. But now we're definitely getting subjective. As you've pointed out the Oscars are vague about what “Best Visual Effects” means. I just think that since the Visual Effects Supervisor(s) pick up the award, it's pretty obvious that the award should go to the supervisor who had the most impressive/biggest vfx that year. Anyway, not gonna hijack this thread any more. Carry on, gents. smile
Posted: Fri, 28th Jan 2011, 6:32pm

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Serpent

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I could be mistaken, but I think some of their criteria is in "achievement" in that field. In other words: which film's visuals would progress the field of visual effects in new things the team achieved. Same is true of cinematography, I think. But I could be misconstruing the wording. If you look at it like that though, it's like what you're saying: which is most difficult, or which things are accomplished in which "no man has boldly gone before."

Also it's been quite a time since Lucas has been an artist. I don't really know what he was thinking with the prequels. He's just lost it.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jan 2011, 4:29am

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Aculag

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Cross-posting this from the Best/Worst Movies of 2010 thread, for the sake of Oscar discussion.

Aculag wrote:

Just saw Black Swan, and by the time the credits ran, it was officially my new favorite film. I am practically speechless. It was a psychological thriller masterpiece, Aronofsky's best work, and Portman's performance-of-a-lifetime. Truly amazing film, and one of the most inspiring and intense pieces I've seen in a long, long time. The third act is simply breathtaking, in more ways than one.
So basically, if Natalie doesn't win an Oscar for that performance, it will be one of the only times I've ever felt that someone was truly robbed of an award. Out of the other nominees for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone was the only other one I saw, and she was great, but Natalie nailed it so hard that it collapsed in on itself, and became a black hole. "It" being the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. I don't think there's any contest.

And I know there has been SOME discussion about the cinematography in Black Swan, which I thought was pure genius. The camerawork appears casual, but there is some real technical precision at work at times, particularly during the ballet sequences. The opening scene stands out to me. It looks so effortless, but you just know that it was run through time and time again to get it just right. The whole sequence is flawless. The way the film introduces and progresses through color, not only through the lighting and set design, but the wardrobe as well, also struck me. Just so well done.

Because I saw Serpent's NOTORIOUS post in the HDSLR thread about Aronofsky using a 7D to shoot the subway scenes, I knew what to look for, but those scenes matched well, and were short enough that you never got time to think "that's a different camera." I don't think I would have noticed it had I not known ahead of time. And I loved, loved, LOVED the blown up 16mm grain. There's a shot in the third act that really highlights the grain, when Natalie enters an empty stage, backlit, with the camera in the seats. This goes with what I said before about the color shifting. The grain in that shot has such variance in greys and whites, it fits so well with the flurry and confusion of the scene. I couldn't help but speak aloud, "Wow". That shot will stick with me, as well as a multitude of others. Oh, fantastic use of mirrors, as well.

So as far as I'm concerned, the Cinematography award is an extremely close race this year. It really could be any one of them (maybe not Deakins because of that one really awful shot in True Grit that probably could have been easily avoided), but since I am now officially biased towards this film, my vote is for Black Swan. It's butifal.* I could easily see it getting best director and editing too, and in my eyes, it's the best picture of 2010, but I won't hold my breath for that one. I think in the big picture, The Social Network is a more important film, anyway. It's hard to say which is a better film, since they're both so different, and so amazing, and unique, but I think The Social Network will bag it.

Anyway, this is a film that I will watch again and again, and I can't wait to analyze it frame-by-frame on BluRay. wink I feel like you could teach an entire course about this film, so I have a lot to say about it, but that's enough for now.

In summary, and to reiterate: 10/10, and my new favorite film. A beautiful, dense, taut, intelligent, sexy, terrifying psychological thriller masterpiece. Psychological thriller/horror is probably my favorite genre, and one that I think is one of the most difficult to do right, and I personally believe that the final line of Black Swan is Aronofsky's version of the Inglourious Basterds coda. It was perfect.

*What up acproductions!
Posted: Sat, 29th Jan 2011, 7:21am

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

I saw Serpent's NOTORIOUS post in the HDSLR thread about Aronofsky
This. I lol'd.

(maybe not Deakins because of that one really awful shot in True Grit that probably could have been easily avoided)
And this.

Although I think Deakins is a fantastic cinematographer, I really hope Wally Pfister gets it. Although he's not nearly as overdue as Deakins is, Inception (especially against True Grit) is a masterwork- and as he was also nom'd for The Prestige and The Dark Knight (deserving to win, in my opinion, for The Prestige), it'd be nice to see him get his due on Inception. It's masterful, and he lends himself to that award because of it.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jan 2011, 1:09pm

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swintonmaximilian

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I completely agree with Aculag about Black swan. It was incredible, absolutely stunning. Portman deserves the Oscar, her performance was just perfect. The whole experience of watching the film for the first time was exhilarating, and the third act, like Aculag said, had me in chills. Amazing.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2011, 2:01am

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miker

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Seriously, no nominations for Shutter Island at all? How disappointing.. I think it was definitely a runner for best picture.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2011, 2:15am

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Atom

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Way too early of a release, is all. A huge shame, considering how fantastic it was, but dems da breaks. Everyone knew that from day 1 when it was released in February.

It absolutely would've killed at the 2010 Oscars, though. Where The Hurt Locker (a good movie, don't get me wrong) and Avatar are the top contenders? Forget about it, a Scorsese film would've dominated.

The real tragic shame, I think, is for DiCaprio. Shutter Island has probably some of the most believable, wrenching, and just all-around outstanding acting I've ever seen- and the best of Leo's career. It's a shame not to see a nod in either Inception or that in the list.

Of course, he does this to himself in some ways- take projects the way he does where they end up as big wide releases in the same year. Same thing to a lesser extent happened in 2006, where he was nom'd for Blood Diamond (a so-so movie with a 'meh' good performance) and not for The Departed, his best movie up to that point.

But like I said, dems da breaks.

Also, in shamelessplugunrelated news, Atomic now has two spoofs of the two of the top Oscar contenders for your perusal and enjoyment,

Inebriation and The Brocial Network.
Posted: Sat, 26th Feb 2011, 10:41am

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Sollthar

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Having seen almost all of the nominess by now I change my favorite from Social Network to the kings speech, which was just downright flawlessly fantastic and just clicked more with me then any of the other contender. Rush and Firth were both great.

Saw True Grit yesterday and loved it's Coen-esque characters and the Coens truly are directing geniuses and I adore their sense of humour. I laughed so hard at times and had a fun, gritty and intense time. BUT it's no best film material to me because I think the ending drags it down. Not only does it have one of the worst greenscreen shots I've seen in recent history, but also writing-wise does the ending appear to have little connection to the rest, feels constructed and just somewhat lacking. Still a damn great film.

Black Swan was very interestingly directed and Portman definately deserves awards for her performance. But the film was just too strange for me to really love it as much as Kings Speech or Social Network or even Inception and True Grit.
Posted: Sun, 27th Feb 2011, 5:40pm

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DX6channel

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Sollthar wrote:


Saw True Grit yesterday and loved it's Coen-esque characters and the Coens truly are directing geniuses and I adore their sense of humour. I laughed so hard at times and had a fun, gritty and intense time. BUT it's no best film material to me because I think the ending drags it down. Not only does it have one of the worst greenscreen shots I've seen in recent history, but also writing-wise does the ending appear to have little connection to the rest, feels constructed and just somewhat lacking. Still a damn great film.
What shot was that?
Posted: Sun, 27th Feb 2011, 5:58pm

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Aculag

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DX6channel wrote:

What shot was that?
The one at the end when they're "riding" the "horse".
Posted: Sun, 27th Feb 2011, 6:02pm

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Sollthar

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Yeah, the closeups of the "riding". Totally threw me out of the film. They're really bad and obvious.
Posted: Sun, 27th Feb 2011, 6:06pm

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ben3308

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If you check out Roger Deakins' website, you'll find he talks a bit more about those composited shots, the intention there, and the result. Some quotes about the ending (which I, too, thought actually ruined the movie in a big way):

Roger Deakins wrote:

All the galloping shots of both Mattie and Rooster on Blackie, during the final ride to Bagby's store, were done green screen. If it is what I see, the effect you are seeing is the movement of the background plate not being in sync with the live action foreground. There are one or two or three or four or ..... many many shots that make me cringe too!

Roger Deakins wrote:

There was a thought that the sequence should look like rear projection, or at least something artificial and a little dream like. That was an aesthetic choice but, to be quite practical, there was not much else we could have done given our resources.
We were after a stylized look to the sequence, as if it were Mattie's memory of the time rather than it being clear reality, but that is in no way an excuse for the way the shots look!
So basically, the compositing is not really Deakins' style, it wasn't something he really wanted to go with, and he admits it looks bad. With the Coens it's always a lower budget, so the 'effect' of the greenscreen shots were half budget-concerned, half creative liberty. There are other threads and conversations on Deakins' website where he goes into greater detail as to how sequences in True Grit were shot, and the differences in shooting practices between the composited studio bits and the on-location-at-night real shots.

Very interesting stuff, really. But was very, very surprised to see such a talented, "I only shoot for directors whose vision is clearly mirrored in my own" mantra (has noted that he would never shoot, by angle or setup, anything he thought was 'bad' just because a director wanted it, although in the case of True Grit he may have) director-of-photography such as Deakins get poor visuals in a feature film.

You win some, you lose some, I suppose.
Posted: Sun, 27th Feb 2011, 6:17pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Yeah, some of those shots were rather shoddy really. But, I actually really liked the riding at night scene on the whole, it felt appropriate. I kind of read it as Roosters last ride in the old west, and the whole landscape was sort of shifting into myth as he tried to out ride it. Also, his line of I have grown old made up for any technical failings. However, the film should have ended there as the whole bit with Mattie as an older woman felt tacked on and overly sentimental.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 4:38am

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Pooky

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Dear god I don't think I've ever agreed more with Oscars winners! Well, save for Black Swan not winning Best Picture, maybe, but The King's Speech is brilliant nonetheless, and hey, at least it's not The Social Network!

Particularly happy about Inception for VFX, Portman for Actress, Social Network for Score and of course, Firth for Actor.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 5:26am

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Atom

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Fincher robbed, The Social Network probably more-deserving. Sad that it lost both, and that The King's Speech won both.

I felt, if ever there was a time to split wins to give movies their due- it was this year. The King's Speech was fantastic, and entirely deserving (overwhelmingly) for Colin Firth's win.

But The Social Network was one of those defining movies. Transcendental of the year it was in, and utterly unforgettable.

The King's Speech was probably my second or third favorite movie of the year, but I felt largely founded in the spectating the performances, and not genius as a monumental movie overall. Watching The Social Network's behind-the-scenes, I tend to get even more sour that Fincher didn't win, if not his movie with him.

His attention to meticulous detail, the consistency of quality and idiosyncrasies in his work- and just the sheer fantasticness of what he's come out of with The Social Network.

Well, it just sort of makes me feel as though The King's Speech came out a winner because it was the more popular choice with gained momentum over the past 2-3 weeks, as fever around Social Network drew to a faint murmur.

James Franco was fantastic (and probably high) the whole way through, hamming it up at every opportunity and playing the nice-guy-Oscar-loser extremely unapologetically and funny the entire time.

My grievances are, in some part, saved by Wally Pfister's win for Inception and Trent Reznor's for The Social Network.

But even that doesn't make up for Tom Hooper winning, Inception not even getting nominated for Best Editing, and The Town getting snubbed altogether.

Fantastic year of film, well-reflected in the Academy nominees this year, though- and a true joy to watch play out. Following a year where Avatar was the top contender and a so-so, forgettable military drama won- 2010 was a sharp, competitive, genre-defining, unforgettable year.

Nolan, Fincher, O. Russel, Aronofsky- these are the auteurs of this generation- and it really has been awesome to see their work up at it's highest-caliber with greatest exposure.

The King's Speech may not have deserved it's Best Director win at all, and it may be the most conservative of choices to pick for Best Picture- but it was also a fine, fine film that I really did absolutely love- amongst a slew of other wrenching and unforgettable movies.

And that's a pleasant rarity I haven't really had since probably 2007's No Country/Michael Clayton/There Will Be Blood/Atonement mix. So I guess that's that.

Not a disappointing year, but certainly a surprising one.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 6:04am

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Pooky

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Mind serving up another classic Atom Wall-O-Text™ explaining why The Social Network was so unforgettable and amazing to you? While I definitely enjoyed it and saw a lot of skill and cultural relevance in it, I wasn't particularly blown away, and in fact was hoping it didn't win.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 6:25am

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Atom

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I'd rather just let the 90% of 'Best Of' lists and awards ceremonies it tops the past three months explain that one.

To me it fills in the way Fight Club did, combining a haunting mix of expert technical and visual direction with thematic strength in illustrating the 'generation' that it is in (in this case, the social media generation), pitch-perfect casting and acting, and unflincingly cool, witty, and original writing.

I had my doubts before I saw it, but The Social Network has for me remained the best film of last year by a pretty large margin, and for good reason. Maybe it's because I'm in my twenties, maybe it's because I'm in college, maybe it's because I'm American. But to me the film does something awesome: It reflects the world we live in, it reflects my generation, and it's entertaining and tragic and every way I couldn't have believed a movie about Facebook could be.

Really, do I need to give a lengthy response? Look to basically any critic for why The Social Network is a fantastic, unforgettable movie. Or 90% of the audience that's seen it. I mean, seriously.

The King's Speech was a fantastic film, well-acted and well-made. But it didn't deserve direction, and it isn't anything that won't fade out of remembrance by this time next year.

I guess I just think The Social Network wasn't/isn't that. It's a genuinely important, important-feeling, self-reflexive filmmaking achievement.

But maybe (unlikely) that's just me. Up until the second week of February, it had won absolutely everything and was the most-talked-about movie by a long, long shot. I truthfully believe the popularity and more-current wide release of The King's Speech is what gave it momentum to win the Academy Award. The Social Network came out the first day of October. It's momentum just couldn't last long enough, I think.

If we were going by performance without timeliness, then Leonardo DiCaprio would've killed Colin Firth's masterclass performance with a more-chilling and higher-caliber one in Shutter Island himself.

But time and momentum of release are always factors. And though I do believe The King's Speech was one of the top 2 or 3 films of last year:

It wasn't a 'The Social Network'. And I think you'll hear a large group of people echo that in the coming weeks.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:07am

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Arktic

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I'd just like to mention that I quit watching The Social Network about half way through. It really bored me, the cinematography wasn't anything particularly inspired, and I wasn't engaged by the characters (other than Andrew Garfield, but that's because it's Andrew freaking Garfield and I could probably watch him watching paint dry and still be thoroughly entertained) - so basically I'm glad it didn't win.

Maybe, like you say, lots of people will be sad about that; but I think that there's also a fairly large percentage of the audience who were pretty apathetic about it. I'd say that it's one of those things where some people have been shouting pretty loud about it, making it seem like more people were blown away by it than actually were, imho.

In other news, I'm in LA at the moment. Didn't bother going to hang around outside the Oscars this evening, but I had a quick look at them setting up yesterday, and it's been pretty fun seeing all the celebs coming and going around our hotel in Beverly Hills. Oh, and I went to a party last night at the Playboy mansion, with about 800 girls and 200 guys. Free bar, limo ride up to the mansion, VIP area with the DJs... It was kinda awesome. Just thought it was important that I shared that with you guys wink

But back to the Oscars... yeah, I think from what I've seen, I pretty much agree with all this years winners smile

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:17am

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Atom

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Arktic wrote:

but I think that there's also a fairly large percentage of the audience who were pretty apathetic about it. I'd say that it's one of those things where some people have been shouting pretty loud about it, making it seem like more people were blown away by it than actually were, imho.
Reeeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllllly not thinking this is at all the case. Hopefully someone I classically butt heads with like Serpent or Evman will come and back this up as not just a matter of 'loud Atom singing praises'.

I'm shocked you didn't watch the whole film, in all honesty. Seriously, that's kind of sad.

But whatever, you're entitled to your own opinion and taste. Just really thinking that (most) people wanted/thought The Social Network would win. Everyone I've talked to, everyone I hate talking to, people I know who never see movies, every awards show I've kept up with, and every critic I read- they all pretty much sung The Social Network's praises not only as a fantastic film, but as the best picture of the year.

Though I could see how, not being a part of the American college system- or living around it as some point in your life- the defining characteristics of the movie could go over some people's heads/not register as all that important.

But still- pretty surprising, you guys reactions on Social Network. Definitely the most-buzzed-about movie of the year besides Inception. Easily.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:32am

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Arktic

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Atom wrote:

Reeeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllllly not thinking this is at all the case. Hopefully someone I classically butt heads with like Serpent or Evman will come and back this up as not just a matter of 'loud Atom singing praises'.
Heh, nothing personal about you at all - I think it's a case of lots of critics and vocal bloggers being very taken by it, but a sizable (probably not the majority, but still sizeable) percentage of the audience not being totally overwhelmed-and-nearly-brought-to-tears-at-the-majesty-of-it-all-isn't-it-incredible-and-so-defining-for-our-time-ness of it. I think most people who watched it probably enjoyed it; just not as much as it's been made out.

Atom wrote:

I'm shocked you didn't watch the whole film, in all honesty. Seriously, that's kind of sad.
Yeah, it's probably just me - but I can't stand Aaron Sorkin's dialogue (I detest the West Wing because I JUST CAN'T FRICKIN FOLLOW WHAT THEY'RE SAYING), the look of the whole thing was bland and boring, the characters were unlikable and un-engaging (and downright dislikable in the case of Zuckeberg), and not a lot happened. So yeah, I just gave up, didn't want to waste more of my time on something that I just wasn't enjoying - which I'm sure wasn't the case for most people.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:41am

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Atom

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Arktic wrote:

but a sizable (probably not the majority, but still sizeable) percentage of the audience not being totally overwhelmed-and-nearly-brought-to-tears-at-the-majesty-of-it-all-isn't-it-incredible-and-so-defining-for-our-time-ness of it. I think most people who watched it probably enjoyed it; just not as much as it's been made out.
What are you basing this off of? Because, seriously- everyone I talked to- everyone- even my parents, even my grandparents- absolutely loved The Social Network. Thought it was fantastic.

I feel like you're one of those cynics of Fight Club at the start, but instead here in the case of The Social Network. Maybe in ten years you'll think differently. wink
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:49am

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Sollthar

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Everyone one I talked to or know loved the Kings Speech way more. smile

Really nice list of winners I pretty much fully agree with or at least don't disagree with. Didn't watch the show as I couldn't be bothered to stay up all night, but might watch some outtakes of it today.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 8:04am

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Arktic

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Atom wrote:

Arktic wrote:

but a sizable (probably not the majority, but still sizeable) percentage of the audience not being totally overwhelmed-and-nearly-brought-to-tears-at-the-majesty-of-it-all-isn't-it-incredible-and-so-defining-for-our-time-ness of it. I think most people who watched it probably enjoyed it; just not as much as it's been made out.
What are you basing this off of? Because, seriously- everyone I talked to- everyone- even my parents, even my grandparents- absolutely loved The Social Network. Thought it was fantastic.
Most of my friends - they almost all enjoyed it, but I don't think any of them went mad for it quite like the critics seem to have done. One or two thought it was incredible; one or two, like me, didn't get it at all - but for the most part, people I know thought it was good, but not a WOW THAT WAS AMAZING I'M GOING TO SEE IT TWICE kinda thing.

I agree with Sollthar, people I know have raved more about the King's Speech (and to some extent The Black Swan), to be honest.

It's odd, because I like everything else Fincher has done - even Alien³. I can't imagine that I'll change my mind. I think, for me, the Sorkin dialogue is just a barrier to me enjoying it at all...
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 9:29am

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Atom

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Gonna have to go ahead and pull rank on the 'American' card, here. smile

The Social Network is an American movie that illustrates, in part, the American college system. The King's Speech is a British Royalty period piece from Europe. They're bound to be favored by their national roots. No? wink

In other intriguing news- did anyone keep up with James Franco's excellently devil-may-care-style hosting? He live-tweeted videos and photos the entire time- even as far as walking his entrance onto stage carrying his phone and recording it, and I thought it was not only really, really cool- but kind of surreal and indicative of the social media internet age we live in. (Another testament to a generation that should've helped The Social Network win. biggrin)

I just thought that was entirely, really really cool; and added another welcome dimension to this year's Academy Awards show.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 9:52am

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Joshua Davies

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Unlike Arktic it would seem, I'm a massive Aaron Sorkin fan - the West Wing is my second favourite TV show of all time. I did really enjoy The Social Network, and I was truly surprised by how they could make an interesting and compelling film out of what could have been a very boring subject. Still, I found it a little slow compared to some of his other writing and know a few people who just found it boring.

Having said that, I don't think it gets close to The King's Speech which was an absolutely fantastic film - the best I've seen in a long time. From the people I've spoken to I was under the impression it was held in the same high regard the world over - not just in the UK. Sorry, but to me The Social Network is just another pretty solid film (defining? come on! crazy) where The King's Speech is a true classic.

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Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 9:55am

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danielgwood

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Atom wrote:

Gonna have to go ahead and pull rank on the 'American' card, here. smile

The Social Network is an American movie that illustrates, in part, the American college system. The King's Speech is a British Royalty period piece from Europe. They're bound to be favored by their national roots. No? wink
Odd then, that the American-dominated Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn't vote The Social Network. Just sayin'
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:00am

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Simon K Jones

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The Social Network was my favourite film of last year...but then I haven't managed to see King's Speech yet.

This is the first year I haven't really paid much attention to the Oscars. Not sure why that is, as 2010 was the best year for films that we've had in a long time.

Maybe it's because the Oscars just seem a little inconsequential compared to the FXhome Awards. wink
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:01am

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Atom

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It's not a hard pill of logic to swallow:

Old people make up the Academy's Board of Governors. Old people love period pieces and old stuff with older, more-established actors. The King's Speech was The King's Speech. The Social Network was a fast-talking movie about kid's creating something on the internet.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:05am

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Joshua Davies

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The King's Speech also had a better script, stronger characters throughout and better standard of acting. It is the only flawless film I've seen in some time. I don't know where I would place The Social Network in respect to other films I've seen this year but it would be well behind Toy Story 3 for a start and probably Inception as well.

I remember getting a text from someone after they saw The Kings Speech saying "I've just seen the best film I've ever seen!". That might be pretty full on, but I can believe they felt that. If someone had said that about The Social Network I would have called them on it! razz

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Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:07am

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Sollthar

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Social Network was great, I really really liked it and it was my favorite before I saw Kings Speech, which was just better in every single way. Better script, better actors, better acting, better camerawork, better everything. And it made me care about what I saw. The social network made me glad I'm not an american twen living in such a superficial college evironment. Hehe.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:08am

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Joshua Davies

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Hehehe
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:09am

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Simon K Jones

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Bottom line is that the Oscars is the accumulated opinion of a bunch of people.

2010 was the best year I've had at the cinema for a long time. Scott Pilgrim, Inception, Social Network, Toy Story 3, How To Train Your Dragon, Kick Ass...all great films. What the Academy thinks of any of them isn't terribly important to me. smile
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:10am

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Joshua Davies

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NEED TO SEE HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON!!!
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:11am

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Sollthar

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So do I. I've managed to completely miss that film as I thought the dragon looked really stupid in the trailer... And it seemed to be made for kids. But so far, everyone who's seen it said it's great. So, I'll watch it.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 10:11am

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Simon K Jones

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Yes, you must! It's not on the same artistic/technical level as Toy Story 3, and the voice accents are bizarre, but it's a wonderful story and huge amounts of fun.

Edit: Oh, and possibly my favourite score of the year, too.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 3:18pm

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Pooky

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Tarn wrote:

Edit: Oh, and possibly my favourite score of the year, too.
Really? Better than Incept- BWUUUUUUUUUH
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 3:26pm

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Aculag

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I'm glad The King's Speech won, because it was a very good film. Not my personal favorite, but I'm not outraged. I'm quite pleased with the results, actually. To me, The Social Network would have been a big victory for "our generation" of filmmakers. It's digital, it's about the Web 2.0 era, it's young, it's hip, etc. But The King's Speech was by far the most "traditional" of the nominees, and I do think it had the best technicals of any of the rest. It was superb.

Black Swan was my favorite of the year, so I'm very glad Natalie got the acting award for it, and I'm glad Inception got cinematography. Toy Story 3 was great, but I'm a little tired of the Best Animated Feature category existing solely to worship Pixar...
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 3:36pm

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Simon K Jones

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Pooky wrote:

Tarn wrote:

Edit: Oh, and possibly my favourite score of the year, too.
Really? Better than Incept- BWUUUUUUUUUH
Not necessarily better, no, but I prefer it as a listening experience.

The most interesting and exciting scores of the year for me were Inception, TRON Legacy and Social Network. But if I'm going to listen to something outside of the film, HTTYD wins it for me.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 3:53pm

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ben3308

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A really quick note on How to Train Your Dragon, I actually thought it might win the award when they showed a clip from each of the three nominees and it was clearly the best/most dramatic clip. I would say that besides the scenes denoting existential subplot in Toy Story 3 (the 'acceptibg death' bits towar the end) the dramatic/emorional parts of How to Train Your Dragon were more frequent in the film, if not as potent.

But the clip of putting the hand out to touch the dragon with the score they showed was probabpy the best 'movie segment' they showed all night, in terms of describing the mood of the movie.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 4:45pm

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Aculag

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I think it should have won. That category is far too predictable.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 5:04pm

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jawajohnny

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Ready for my long analysis? smile

In general, I'm a lot happier with the winners this year than I was the last few years. While I don't necessarily agree with some of the winners this year, I'm mostly content with the Academy's decisions. Unlike last year, where an insultingly bad film won Best Picture and Director, I don't mind The King's Speech winning. I'd say it was my third favorite film of the year, right behind Inception and The Social Network. It was an absolutely flawless film, with truly amazing performances from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, but.... it did seem a tad too ordinary.... like it could have been a glorified Masterpiece Theater special on PBS. While I do think Firth's win is very well-deserved, I didn't see anything in the directing or the technical categories that would merit wins. That said.... I thoroughly enjoyed the film, so I'm quite content with it winning. I also think they should strongly consider moving the show to sometime earlier in the year... in order to combat the show being utterly boring and predictable. The way it is now, I think the countless other awards shows are stealing some of the Academy's thunder.

When it comes to say... the top three or four films of the year, it's darn near impossible to claim that one is "better" than the other. To be in that top three, each film would absolutely have to be flawless, and trying to pick apart what one film did "better" would be like splitting hairs. At this point, it comes down to personal preference or taste. Do you pick the technical masterpiece (Inception), the "Citizen Kane" of the informational age (The Social Network), the wonderfully uplifting period piece (The King's Speech), or the emotionally poignant and satisfying conclusion to the world's finest animated franchise (Toy Story 3)? Each of these films is more than deserving of the win, so it's all down to preference. Personally, I tend to favor the technical achievements (generally speaking, the films that are the most challenging to make), so this year, I'd have chosen Inception. But again, I could also make a valid argument for any of the above movies.

A few winners I vehemently disagree with:

In the only acting category I don't agree with... Melissa Leo as Best Supporting Actress. I can't help but think her performance in The Fighter was more than a little over-the-top. I just didn't "buy it" as much as Christian Bale's masterful (did I say masterful?) turn as Dickey Ward. I dunno if has to do with the fact that I'm more familiar with the local Massachusetts flavor, but for some reason, her performance didn't seem genuine to me. And that's not mentioning the absolute classless way she handled the awards tour. Her acceptance speeches, including last night's were all self-indulgent (and inappropriate) as heck, and I wasn't too fond of her personal "consider" ads. I dunno... it seems like she wanted the awards a bit too much, and when she got them, she "relished in the spotlight" for too long. My choice for Best Supporting Actress would have been Hailee Steinfeld, far and away. She easily gave the best performance in the category, not to mention that she was really a "leading" actress. Her acting completely carried True Grit... and elevated it from "just another western" to "my favorite western".

Best Film Editing: Uh.... Inception wasn't even nominated? Should have won. Same with Chris Nolan for Directing.

Best Original Score: The Social Network score was a little too "soft" or "ambient" for me. Same goes for The King's Speech, which I could barely hear in the theater. Hans Zimmer's score for Inception was his best in a very long time, so I would have given it to him.

Best Art Direction: I'm kind of getting sick of Tim Burton's weird/creepy visual style (which i really didn't like in the first place). If not Inception, I'd have chosen Harry Potter for it's first Oscar win... but I'll gladly wait for Part II to get its deserved due.

I'll also say the hosting, and the show itself was just dreadful. I didn't laugh at anything James Franco and Anne Hathaway said. For the most part, the awkward presentation of it all just made me squirm uncomfortably. The only thing I laughed at was when they "auto-tuned" Harry Potter, Toy Story, and The Fighter into musicals.... and even that wasn't that funny. Next year, the Academy needs to find some better writers, as well as a real comedian host. My vote's for Conan O'Brien. He couldn't be worse than Baldwin/Martin or Franco/Hathaway.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:17pm

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Serpent

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I was very pleased with the results. Kind of surprised Hooper won director, I figured they would have split it the way it played out. Not that he didn't deserve it, but this category seems odd to me.

The King's Speech and The Social Network were both important films. I like Aculag's take on the results, I too preferred Black Swan, knew it wouldn't win, and hoped one of the other two films would take it. I am surprised The Social Network didn't. The King's Speech is pretty damn flawless and awesome, but The Social Network was an interesting film for our generation. Like Atom's, my grandparents also enjoyed it quite a lot, and had a lot to talk and think about after the credits rolled. In that sense I think The Social Network is just very impressive, and think it got snubbed of an award.

But I like what Spielberg said at the end in regards to nominated films, and that the final win doesn't *really* matter considering. I think I just would have rather seen The Social Network go down with the win. Though subjectively for me, on a film/film level, it's truly a tossup, the two are *very* level on "my list." With 10 nominations, The Social Network doesn't deserve to be next to The Kids are All Right, True Grit, Winter's Bone, or 127 Hours, though. It should be 6 or 8 or something.

I was pleased by everything else, really glad Inception got the cinematography award, really glad Bale and Portman got theirs, glad Alice got recognized in those departments, and the other deserved got theirs.

Except best documentary. Exit Through the Gift Shop is the best documentary I've ever seen--an amazing piece of work about the nature of art, and fascinating from beginning to end. Admittedly haven't seen the others yet, but I highly doubt they will impress me as much. I usually love nature/science or philosophy/religion driven documentaries, but when the filmmaker can bring character into the equation while creating something so important, in such a way: I can't see anything else competing. So I may be biased against socio-political/economic documentaries, but I can't stand that Exit didn't win. Inside Job better be real good, just sayin'.

And still sad about Tron in visual effects, it should have not only have been nominated, it probably should have won. Inception was the next best choice though, some mind boggling work.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 7:59pm

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Thrawn

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Serpent wrote:


Except best documentary. Exit Through the Gift Shop is the best documentary I've ever seen--an amazing piece of work about the nature of art, and fascinating from beginning to end. Admittedly haven't seen the others yet, but I highly doubt they will impress me as much. I usually love nature/science or philosophy/religion driven documentaries, but when the filmmaker can bring character into the equation while creating something so important, in such a way: I can't see anything else competing. So I may be biased against socio-political/economic documentaries, but I can't stand that Exit didn't win. Inside Job better be real good, just sayin'.
Came here to say this. Thank you, I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Posted: Mon, 28th Feb 2011, 11:39pm

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pdrg

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The Social Network was enjoyable, but will it be remembered in 5 years? Probably less than Kings Speech or Black Swan would be. It is certainly of-the-moment, adventurous, a bit gimmicky (wall of text in dialogue form), but that doesn't necessarily mean enduring appeal. TKS is a well produced example of a classic story construct (man overcomes adversity). BS is also pegged to a classic story (that of Swan Lake itself), and is a great performance of a girl going nuts. And has the best soundtrack of those three too...

I saw Exit Through... - enjoyable, but it feels more assembled than constructed to me. If Banksy's name wasn't on it, it would have been a TV slot. I like Banksy (he lives not so far away, my local comic shop still has his early work on the walls), but this was not an Oscar-worthy film, in my humble...
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 1:21am

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ben3308

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I saw Exit Through the Gift Shop and thought while it was very cathartic and it well-illustrated something an audience really hadn't seen before, other documentaries had truly superior technicals and more meaningful, worldly 'agendas'. A documentary being both timely AND timeless is vital, I think that agendas in documentaries can sometimes bring them down, but Exit Through the Gift Shop was too all-over-the-place in message positioning. I'm aware there was a sort of sarcastic meaning in the end, but it was incomparable to the other nominees.

The film that won was greatly informative/compelling/meaningful and timely with the financial crisis. Restrain was really good, and Exit Through the Gift Shop was just amusing; which made it the popular choice, not the best one.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 1:33am

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Thrawn

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Really? Having not seen the other particular documentaries (though I have seen my fair share of them) I may not be the best judge, but Exit Through the Gift Shop was utterly fantastic and honestly ranks among my favorite films. Partly, I think, was because I wasn't expecting much out of it. If there was any type of hype behind it, I completely missed it. But the film completely captured me. Even some of my rather closed minded friends (in terms of "art", especially when it comes to street art) found themselves caught up in the message. It was totally out of the box, unpredictable, and just plain enjoyable. More so than any documentary I've seen to date.

Maybe it's just personal preference. Also, you can't really compare Exit Through a Gift Shop to other documentaries in terms of technical achievement.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 3:56am

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ben3308

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Can't compare? Yes, you can.

There are hundreds of 'found footage' documentaries out there that augment photos with 2.5D, add effects and infographics, and have polished, professionally lit interviews.

I get that Exit Through The Gift Shop was a good, 'footage from all over' doc, but the elements separate of that were indeed TV quality. Even good stock footage (like Artbeats flythru's of LA to transition between interviews when the movie is taking place in LA) could've been used to augment the technicals.

I'm not saying that the documentary really needed this at all, just that it was an option; and more polished/cathartic/technically proficient documentaries accomplish this frequently.

Also, what's with everyone thinking The King's Speech was anything 'great' outside of acting/themes/direction? The editing and cinematography were exceedingly bland if not solid, and it did very much feel like I was watching a BBC America or PBS Masterpiece Theatre made-for-TV film. The film's quality as a narrative
made this 'non-standard cinema look' negligible, but the achievement both technically and artistically wasn't close to Pfister's ingenuity in Inception or the meticulous editing in The Social Network. Also, pdrg, I think you're totally wrong. I doubt in 5 years people will specifically remember The King's Speech other than it was an Academy Awards-esque biopic/drama. The Social Network, very much like Fight Club, will be remembered (vividly!) for decades to come, both by virtue of it's cinematic cultural importance and it's succinct style.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 5:30am

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Serpent

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The end-product of Exit is an artistic decision. It might not agree with you, but it wouldn't be the same film if Artbeats-type footage was spliced in, or if it had graphical interludes (something Banksy would be more than capable of). I think the execution was fitting.

Not many films like that (The King's Speech) will be forgotten that quickly. I'd like to think film is a more lasting medium. And "themes," when they are presented in such a way, are themes about humanity. Taste in film is subjective, it just impacted people differently. Superlatives are arbitrary when it comes down to it, and The King's Speech surely deserved it. That doesn't mean it really is 'the best picture.'
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 5:53am

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Aculag

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ben3308 wrote:

The editing and cinematography were exceedingly bland if not solid
*ahem*


Also, Social Network is great, but it's no Fight Club.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 7:38am

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ben3308

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Yeah, cinematography, not production design. Askew frames and off-center compositions for the sake of looking creative (which is how I feel most of the intercutting in the dialog scenes in The King's Speech worked) aren't the same as a careful attention to both framing in context of cinematic sense and lighting, specifically. Lighting and low-key, source-inspired drab-ness was key in The Social Network, and the technical proficiency of framing and lighting in Inception was really unmatched by any film I've seen other than 2001 or Citizen Kane.

I normally call Wally Pfister 'scientific', which is a euphemism for his work being very unartistic or inventive, but the compositions in Inception, coupled with the camera movements and the precision to which the camera matched the setting was just too good. Roger Deakins, too, has a body of work that far exceeds anything accomplished in The King's Speech, True Grit included (and I thought that was his worst-shot movie ever).

I can detail further why I think The King's Speech, although an excellent film deserving of Best Picture (not so much Best Director), is very made-for-TV in its cinematographic process, although I think that would just start a larger, unsolvable argument. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 9:25am

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Simon K Jones

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I've not seen KS yet, so won't comment on that, but I'd be very surprised if Social Network is 'forgotten' any time soon. I imagine it is a film that will only grow in importance as time passes and the long-term impact of Facebook (and the internet in general) starts to become clear.

With the internet becoming an increasingly powerful political toolbox, it'll be fascinating to have a film that charts the origins of one of the most enabling of those tools and shows that its inception was as a hedonistic, popularity-driven site for bored teenagers.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 9:37am

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Joshua Davies

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While I've not yet seen Black Swan, I've watched all the other nominees for Best Cinematography and of those Inception was by far the obvious winner.

I totally agree that cinematography wasn't a stand out point in The King's Speech (not that it was bad, but it did have a bit of a HBO/BBC TV feel). I also wasn't overly impressed with the look of The Social Network which seemed almost lazy in places. I rather liked True Grit until, a couple of days after seeing it, I watched 3:10 to Yuma again which is a vastly better film.

INCEPTION FTW! smile

As a side note, it makes me really happy to see so many people discussing the Oscar results this year in such a friendly manner. This is what FXhome should be! biggrin
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 11:29am

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pdrg

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In terms of 5, 10 years etc I'm open to finding out, and happy to be wrong - and I guess it comes down to which metrics/axes we use. More remembered by Ben and his demographic, or in the larger societal context? All I know is gimmicks in films tend to get a lot of love at the time, and that falls away over the years. Timecode had a good gimmick, but isn't a big draw any more. But then Blair Witch still has some endurance, so we'll have to see!

I guess the proof will be to see if the gimmick is absorbed into the wider culture or not - will TSN be seen as pioneering new territories in art, or an experiment that went pretty well but doesn't need repeating (like Timecode). My gut says it will be the latter, although I can't say I paticularly care...
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 11:55am

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Simon K Jones

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Mm, I agree about the short longevity of gimmicks, but I don't really see how that applies to TSN. What was gimmicky about it? It seemed like a very solid, very self-aware drama to me, with some very clever and subtle filmmaking.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 5:09pm

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pdrg

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Tarn wrote:

... how that applies to TSN. What was gimmicky about it?
I found the speedreading of walls fo text if not gimmicky, heavily stylised, and I'm not sure I'd want to see it again in another film.

Also Facebook is a recent and potentially transient phenomenon. A few years earlier it was all about MySpace, a few years before that 'FriendsReunited', etc., you can see how many bubbles there have been online. Maybe Facebook is forever and this is an important historical document, or maybe it'll be usurped presently by a new fad. I know quite a lot of people who did facebook a lot, and are now somewhat over it, could go either way. IMHO, of course...
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 5:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

No other social network has reached anywhere near the number of active users that Facebook currently has, AFAIK.

More importantly, MySpace never played a part in multiple political revolutions around the world. While the role of social media may well have been exaggerated in the events in the Middle East, and we won't know for sure for a while yet, it definitely did play a role of some sort. That alone makes Facebook and Twitter very important to history, even if they both disappeared tomorrow.

This isn't really about Facebook though, and I didn't feel like TSN was just about the Facebook entity. It's about a shift in how humans communicate with each other on a global scale, and about the resultant shift of power and influence as the channels of information are rewired in ways that history has never seen before. Facebook is a platform (and one I don't particularly like, personally), but it's the concepts that it represents which are important. Same with TSN film, for me.

Regardless of where Facebook itself is going, the world has begun a change that we can't go back from - and I don't think any of us can predict just how massive a shift it's going to prove in the next 50-100 years.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 5:47pm

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Aculag

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ben3308 wrote:

I can detail further why I think The King's Speech, although an excellent film deserving of Best Picture (not so much Best Director), is very made-for-TV in its cinematographic process, although I think that would just start a larger, unsolvable argument. biggrin
Sure, it's not as innovative or technical as Inception, and it's bland in comparison, but it was the Oscar darling, so of course it won. I agree that what struck me was mostly the production design, but I did find the lighting and cinematography to be quite brilliant at moments, (especially some of the later scenes in Westminster Abbey,) although subdued and subtle. It's a historical bio-pic, so it's hard to compare it to Inception in terms of cinematography, because they're so different in style. Inception demanded epic shots and intense precision, and King's Speech required much more personal and quaint shooting.

I don't think you'd be able to argue, however, that the look of The King's Speech fit its subject matter perfectly. It's an excellently shot film, it's just nothing particularly innovative, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad cinematography... At least, not to me. You have far different standards and ideals about this kind of thing than I do.

I would have probably chosen Black Swan for best cinematography, personally. But as you say, there's no real reason in arguing this, because it all comes down to taste, and it's a never-ending argument. I think we can both agree that Inception is a far better looking film, and more technically precise, and more creatively shot. But, the award has come and gone, and we have no say in it, unfortunately. I'm sure if FXhomers were to take a vote, Inception would win by a landslide.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 6:24pm

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pdrg

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Tarn wrote:

...the world has begun a change that we can't go back from - and I don't think any of us can predict just how massive a shift it's going to prove in the next 50-100 years.
Absolutely. Civilisations come and go, ask the Mayans or Egyptians! I'm sure they seemed like they'd last forever at the time, so for all we know t'web and this information moment may be just a blink too...
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 7:12pm

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Sollthar

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Personally, I really enjoyed the cinematography in "The Kings Speech" and it seemed to most memorable of all the films. The Social Network seemed to look rather standard to my eye, Inception I remember to have some really great shots, True Grit was looking very high profile apart from the last shot and Black Swan was appropriate, though I disliked it's cinematography greatly - too handheld, too wobbly, too ugly. I see how that fits the film perfectly, but I just don't like that kind of cinematography one bit and it takes me out of movies all the time.
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 7:27pm

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Atom

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pdrg wrote:

Also Facebook is a recent and potentially transient phenomenon.
Heh. Lawl.

Tarn wrote:

It's about a shift in how humans communicate with each other on a global scale, and about the resultant shift of power and influence as the channels of information are rewired in ways that history has never seen before. Facebook is a platform (and one I don't particularly like, personally), but it's the concepts that it represents which are important. Same with TSN film, for me.
Bingo.