Tag Archives: Academy Award for Best Picture

Birdman: Really Short Impressions

It’s been awhile since my last post here. Unfortunately, as much as I want to continuously update this blog, it won’t be happening at least for a couple of months. Once I find time to update this, then you guys will be the first to know. As such,

BIRDMAN.

It sucks. Well, not really. However, I find it extremely amusing how utterly shallow and pretentious that piece of tripe was. Definitely not something to win Best Picture, but then, the Oscars have been steadily losing its credibility since 2000 anyway.

I guess I shouldn’t be too harsh on it, though, as it has indeed some pretty good moments, but no, those aren’t enlightening moments. In the end, watching the film is tantamount to watching a director tell two hours worth of fart jokes; super crass, super un-intellectual, but told in such an interesting way that you’ll forget whatever “profound” message it attempts to convey as there really isn’t one. Another Emperor’s New Clothes in all its “best”.

Oscars 2012 Rants and Hopefuls

The live telecast of the 2012 Academy Awards will be tomorrow (it’s currently a hot and sunny Sunday morning here in the Philippines, Feb. 26). Unfortunately,  unlike last year’s broadcast, there won’t be any live updates from my Tumblr as I’m no longer a part of the 99%.

It’s not that much of a deal for this year, though. I haven’t seen much from this year’s batch of Best Picture nominees, and the films which my friend, A.g. and I were hoping to be nominated were snubbed (Drive for example). Ryan Gosling was snubbed for the Best Actor nomination, as well as Albert Brooks for his role as the main antagonist from Drive.

On a side note, however, I guess that this year is actually quite special in the sense that A.g. and I finally had the same opinion of a film. For the first time in a long while, both of us agree that David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a piece of shit film. He found Rooney Mara‘s acting as very “Filipino”, while I thought that it was nothing but a splendid looking grind-house feature. Thus, for those whining about  Dragon Tattoo getting snubbed for the Best Picture film, chill-out. It deserved the snub coz it’s a shit movie.

I wouldn’t know much about the Acting Nominations as I haven’t seen much of the performances save two: Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spyand Rooney Mara for Dragon Tattoo. I thought Gary Oldman playing a lead protagonist role is refreshing to see. He plays the role with such restraint that it’s a pleasure seeing him mellow unlike his usual hammy but effective performances for his villainous roles from The Professional and The Book of Eli. As for Rooney Mara, does she deserve the nomination and should she win? In a sense, yes: her nomination is well earned. She underwent an extensive physical change, and appeared naked on film. That alone should be Oscar worthy. *wink*wink*

Regarding my Oscar hopefuls, some nominees from the technical categories of the films seemed interesting. My money’s on Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects. Those are some of the best performance capture scenes I’ve seen since Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. The visual effects of Transformers 3D is pretty awesome too, definitely something you’d expect from a Michael Bay film. But is it mindblowing enough for an Oscar win? I’m not entirely too sure. The same would be for Deathly Hallows 2‘s Visual Effects nomination: though it looks pretty on screen, it isn’t as groundbreaking as Rise of the Apes’ visual candy. I haven’t seen Hugo and Real Steel yet though, so I cannot say much about that. I find it strange that The Tree of Life wasn’t nominated for its Visual Effects as they were indeed one of 2011’s prettiest visual effects on film (not to mention that it wasn’t a blockbuster film)

But as for the Best Picture and Best Directing nominees, who is on my hopefuls list? Straight up, I want Terrence Malick to win Best Directing for The Tree of Life. It is definitely one of the best movies of 2011, and the direction alone for the coming-of-age scenes is one of the history books. And kudos to Malick for narrowly navigating the film away from pretentiousness. In the hands of a lesser talented director, this film would be standing high and mighty alongside Satan’s Alley in winning the coveted Crying Monkey award. Knowing the Oscar, however, I’m sure that the Best Picture film will be given to a film which nobody in the general movie-going audience knows and cares about.

Cheers to the current pretentiousness of the Academy! May next year be a better one!

Oscar Profile: Martin Scorsese

It’s just been two days since Oscar Night, and again, I found myself researching on past “winners” of the coveted Oscar, to try to find a pattern regarding films which we consider “Oscar Bait”. But upon discovering a whole bunch of filmmakers who’ve been “robbed” of the Oscar, I decided to simply focus on one guy. A filmmaker who, next to John William’s who is one the biggest losers in Oscar history (I don’t care if he was nominated for 45 Oscars, he only won 5 of those).

Director Martin Scorsese’s first film to be nominated for Best Picture was Taxi Driver. He lost to Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky. This was in 1976.

His next film to be nominated for Best Picture was Raging Bull, where he also received his first nomination for Best Director. He lost the Oscar to Robert Redford, who made the film Ordinary People (and which also happens to be Redford’s directorial debut).

His next nomination was for The Last Temptation of Christ. And,  well, let’s not go there…

Then one film came where the people thought that Scorsese was sure to bag that elusive Oscar. It was Goodfellas, a gangster film which some considered to be best ganster film since The Godfather, and which many also considered to be Scorsese’s best film in his career. Come Oscar night, he lost, again to another first-time director named Kevin Costner, for his film Dances with Wolves (which would later be imitated by The Last Samurai, to an extent Brother Bear, and James’ Cameron’s Avatar).

Just when will Scorsese ever bag that Oscar? Well, for a while there, he was again nominated for Gangs of New York in 2002, but then lost to Roman Polanski for his work in The Pianist. Then came 2004 where Scorsese was again nominated for The Aviator, which many again considered to be one of his best films. It was also considered the Oscar favorite of the year. Then Clint Eastwood pulled the rug under Scorsese’s feet when he won the Oscar for his work on Million Dollar Baby. My goodness, Scorsese will never win the Oscar now.

Then in 2006, Scorsese directed a remake of the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, titled The Departed. It was practically Infernal Affairs transplanted to a Boston setting. Now, on the surface, it was a decent film and, at times, quite intense. People die left and right, and the tension was delivered properly. But it was still a remake of a Hong Kong film at it’s core, and Scorsese did nothing new with the story.

He wins that elusive “Best Directing” Oscar that year. His fellow nominees that year were the following: Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima), Paul Greengrass (United 93), Stephen Frears (The Queen), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel). The Departed is a weak film as compared to the films that year (Eastwood’s offering was certainly the best, next to the powerful United 93). Yet, Scorsese bagged that Oscar.

Fifteen years, losing to less than stellar films, only to win that coveted Oscar for a less than stellar film.

Updates (2-28-11)

For one thing, I’m glad to update this blog after that 6-Word Review of Kinatay. Also, for upcoming articles, watch out for an essay about movies which are most likely to win the coveted “Best PictureOscar. As for movie reviews, well, to be honest, I haven’t watched a movie in the big screen since The Rite. And since that film is no longer playing in cinemas in the Philippines, I doubt it would be of any use to review that film still. But then we’ll never know.

Oh, and as a cheat, I might include a short review of The King’s Speech in the “Best Picture Essay”…Hmm, better yet, let’s make a 6 WORD REVIEW RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

A 6-Word Review of The King’s Speech

“A Beautiful Mind” with a king.

’nuff said…

The 83rd Oscars (impressions and other rants)

Okay, so the verdict.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech

Best Director: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler (The King’s Speech)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

Best Actor: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Best Actress: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Musical Score: Nine Inch Nails and Atticus Ross (The Social Network)

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Who should’ve won?

David Fincher (Best Director for The Social Network): I kinda agree with what Dr. Paul Dumol said regarding The King’s Speech, that the director didn’t have to do much for it. It already had a simple enough story, really great actors, etc. It’s pretty much like what Ron Howard did for A Beautiful Mind; the script practically did the director’s job for him.

Now, what David Fincher did for The Social Network is nothing short of amazing. Aaron Sorkin’s script is a very dialogue-heavy script which would be boring in the hands of a mediocre director. Fincher was able to turn the script’s inherent weakness around, making a very talkie film into a visually interesting movie about the founding of Facebook.

 

Inception (Best Picture): This is probably Hollywood’s most original film in recent years. ‘Nuff said.

Oh, and I kinda find it funnny that Nine Inch Nails won the Oscar for Best Original Score together with Atticus Ross. Just saying. Though I was hoping that Hans Zimmer should have won the Oscar instead. But well, you can’t have everything in this world.

So, the figures…

Inception: winner of four Academy Awards for the following: Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Cinematography

The Social Network: winner of three Academy Awards for the following: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score

The King’s Speech: winner of four Academy Awards for the following: Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay

Oh, could somebody please fire the Academy member who’s responsible for Nolan being snubbed at the Oscars?