Ryan, Craig Kennedy and I got together for another podcast, our 14th. I did one with Jeff Wells yesterday too on Hollywood-Elsewhere.com.

Have a listen!

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  • The Great Dane

    You and Jeff? Glad for you guys. Happy New Year! 🙂

  • Anyone who can’t see difference between Les Mis and Nine really does not understand the musical genre. Nine is awful except for the Cinema Italiano dance number and Fergie singing Be Italian and that doesn’t even take into consideration DDL’s hammy performance and total lack of identity in the role. Les Mis for all of its flaws – particularly the bad editing for time – is a wonderful film if for no other reason that Jackman’s amazing acting performance.

  • Patrick

    For Oscar predictions’ sake, I’d just like to throw in the current IMDb ratings from people over the age of 45:

    8.3 Lincoln
    8.1 Argo
    8.0 Life Of Pi
    7.9 Les Miserables
    7.9 Silver Linings Playbook
    7.7 Django Unchained

    I know IMDb isn’t the best way to go, but the 45+ crowd tend to rate movies with less hyperbole. For example, Django Unchained has a massive 8.8 overall right now, but the 45+ crowd are only giving it 7.7. So it can still be accurate in gauging which movies are generally more favored by people over 45.

    Make of that what you will.

  • Jerry

    Waterboarding does look like no big deal (at the beginning of SALT Angelina Jolie gets waterboarded), harmless, etc. when you see it done to someone else in a movie. There is a radio talkshow host/comedian who also said the same thing, saying he didn’t consider it was torture UNTIL he got some retired military guys to come in the studio and waterboard him. He no longer thought it wasn’t torture or no big deal. You have to watch his reaction before and after to see the affects. I can’t remember the guys name, it happened about 4 years ago or so when the torture debate was going on in the press and it should be on YouTube somewhere.

  • Oh and HFPA didn’t vote for Hooper because Weinstein had a comedy.

  • Jerry

    I agree with Ryan. Les Mis is a poorly made film. The performances by the actors were good but as a film it had bad direction, bad cinematography, poor editing, a meh score, and for those unlike us who aren’t familiar with the musical or book…poor character development. Go see the movie with friends or co-workers who know nothing about Les Mis and you will understand how bad the film is. I had to explain so much to my friends when we left the theater.

  • I’m not saying it’s not torture. I readily acknowledge that it is. I’m saying waterboarding is one of the milder things the US government has done with cavalier lack of concern throughout American history. I’m saying, yes, it’s a fucked up thing to do. But unlike an atom bomb or a land mine or napalm or smallpox infested blankets, innocent children can get up and walk away from waterboarding on legs that haven’t been blown off. In fact, the terrorist facilitators themselves will dry off in just a few minutes.

    Yes it’s torture. But it’s not like having your toenails pulled out. It’s not like having your head cut off — as a terrorist would be glad to do to you.

    I also don’t get the sympathy for people who have vowed to destroy America. Best way to avoid waterboarding is Do Not Pal Around With Terrorists, Bro, And if You Do, And We Catch You, Just Fess Up. There, see how easy? Problematic water in the nostrils averted.

    It’s a fucking war. Do we want to win it or not? These are people who will employ any means at their disposal in their attempt to cause mass devastation to Americans. And we’re going to be squeamish and worry we’re being too mean to enemy combatants?

    Look, Jerry, please understand: I don’t like waterboarding. I also don’t like maniacs flying airplanes into skyscrapers. The two things are not even remotely comparable in the degree of suffering and torment they cause.

    If somebody was threatening to do grievous lethal harm to people I love, I would waterboard the murderers’ friends myself if I thought it would stop them. Teach me how to do it right, and I’m ready to defend my family and friends at any cost. That’s that. That’s me. I don’t care who knows it. I don’t need or seek anyone’s understanding or approval.

  • @Jamie You’re saying that people don’t understand the musical genre but then you criticize DDL’s hammy performance in NINE and seem to be saying that Jackman’s acting in LES MIS is enough to elevate it to a great film. So it seems like you’re saying that understanding the musical genre has nothing to do with music and can be judged purely by the “acting”. Is that what you meant to say?

    ftr, I haven’t listened to the podcast. I’ll do it shortly.

  • Ryan, For the sake of those 3000 killed by madmen in an airplane, the US has killed, maimed, and dispossessed a half million or so people including thousands of American members of the military courtesy of a jingoistic reaction. So do I want to “win the war” – hell NO!! I want us to put down the weapons, get the hell out and let them sort it out for themselves before we break the country the way Afghanistan did to Russia.

  • Jerry

    You are assuming that Waterboarding does work and will give you the information you want. Which is highly debatable and I do believe doesn’t work to get the type of information needed to stop attacks. You are also assuming that everyone you catch is guilty and will be part of the terrorists. Some people get caught up in those nets who are innocent and have been sold down the river by rivals. Furthermore you think torturing someone is a one way deal but it’s not. Even if they are bad guys torturing and dehumanizing other humanbeings leaves it’s marks on you. You become less humane to even innocent people.
    <You can always get the information you need by remaining a civilized humanbeing and not descending to animals who torture other people. It requires human intelligence, good investigative work, bribes and patience. UBL was not found with torture but good investigative work.
    <ZD30 is a very well made movie not a documentary. A good deal of it is probably fiction just like any other movie. It's fine if you believe everything you see in a movie but that doesn't mean it's real.

  • I agree with everything you say about the horrific cost, Jamie.

    But it’s kind of nuts to say you don’t want to try to defeat the people trying to destroy us. You surely realize that if we just quit and come home, these terrorist are not going to say. “Whew! Glad that’s over! Now we can be friends!”

    No. Huge numbers of troops need to be out of Iran and Afghanistan, absolutely. That’s the wrong way to fight this thing. Taking out insane maniacs one by one is the way to win it.

  • Antoinette,

    Not exactly. I’m saying that the great acting in Les Mis actually contributes to the musicality which is totally different from the stage bravura singing and creates something totally different as a film, whereas the bad acting in Nine does the opposite. Nine has a fairly good score and a couple of really nice songs but nothing like the emotionalism of the songs of Les Mis that actually tells the story in the lyrics rather than just being interludes.

  • So do I want to “win the war” — hell NO!!

    You misunderstood what I meant by war, I think. And I agree, that’s the wrong word. My mistake for causing more confusion.

    I mean, do you want to defeat the individuals who are trying to kill your family and destroy your way of life? Because those enemies who have devoted their entire existence to wrecking the USA are not going away unless we stop them.

  • Ryan

    On that basis we agree if only to keep crazy Pakistan from nuking India.

  • You are assuming that Waterboarding does work and will give you the information you want.

    Nope, but I don’t have a lot of qualms about giving it a try. Because I also do not assume — as you seem to believe — that it never works.

    ZD30 is a very well made movie not a documentary. A good deal of it is probably fiction just like any other movie. It’s fine if you believe everything you see in a movie but that doesn’t mean it’s real.

    probably 25% – 30% of the film’s length revolves around scenes of waterboarding to some extent. I hope that you do not believe that 30% of our effort to find UBL was spent on waterboarding — just because you saw waterboarding given a lot of screen time. In a movie.

  • John

    Nine actually had 4 Oscar noms. I know, right!?

    Les Mis has a 72 on rottentomatoes while Nine has a 37.
    Les Mis will have 120 mill or more while Nine has 19 mill.
    Les Mis seems to have much more passion going for it than Nine.

    While Les Mis isn’t for everybody and is flawed, I don’t think it is near the same situation as Nine was in 09. No?

  • Some people get caught up in those nets who are innocent

    Good Gracious! You mean innocent people get hurt in global conflicts? Wow.

    Do people usually set their hair on fire on Twitter for every war movie where innocent people get hurt?

    Did you see the unarmed white lady in Django Unchained who was gleefully blown to smithereens with a hole in her stomach just because she happened to hang out with slave owners? Where’s the twitterpated outrage about that?

  • Are you guys sure Bigelow is a lock? Not really asking because of the controversy but because of the recent win.

  • Well when it comes to Tarantino, it’s hard to get twitterpated (lovely word from Bambi that doesn’t really fit what happens on Twitter). I mean he is so over the top with revenge and blood spatter that it has become hard to even consider him a director anymore. He just parodies his own films only the names have changed to protect the guilty. Of course with ZDT as a follow up to Hurt Locker, one more and you can start accusing the film makers of that one of the same thing – more war all the time. Maybe they can all get together and start their own cable channel.

  • Some people get caught up in those nets who are innocent

    Sorry to seem like I’m battling you Jerry — I know you mean well and your heart is in the right place.

    But do you think the CIA is so inept that they would choose to spend a lot of time waterboarding a guy who doesn’t know what the hell is going on? Some Afghan Carey Grant Wrong Man situation? How often do you think that happens?

    You accuse me of making absurd assumptions. You’re coming up with some really baseless arguments yourself. All these hypothetical innocent guys who just happened to be standing on the wrong street corner when the CIA Torture Van pulled up to the curb. Are you serious?

  • Did you see the unarmed white lady in Django Unchained who was gleefully blown to smithereens with a hole in her stomach just because she happened to hang out with slave owners? Where’s the twitterpated outrage about that?

    I might have felt bad if it wasn’t so damn funny.

  • That bit was comical to the point of being cartoonish, so for me it failed on so many levels. What the hell did he shoot her with? A rocket-propelled grenade?

  • That bit was comical to the point of being cartoonish, so for me it failed on so many levels. What the hell did he shoot her with? A rocket-propelled grenade?

    A goddamn hand cannon. 😛 Besides she was pretty skinny.

    I mean he is so over the top with revenge and blood spatter that it has become hard to even consider him a director anymore. He just parodies his own films only the names have changed to protect the guilty.

    That’s kinda who he is. I mean unless you expect him to wake up one day and be Jane Champion, that’s what you’re gonna get. But he’s definitely a director. Unless you think the movie made itself.

  • Jerry

    9/11 shook this country and our leaders. They felt guilty and humiliated. So I understand they were trying every and anything under the sun to try and prevent a recurrence. Not all those methods worked though, no matter how good it might have felt to beat up on the scum of the earth. People like the IDEA of torture because it feels manly, painful, and is as much a punishment as it is a hope for results. They like the idea of this imaginary ticking time bomb and being the hero who saves the day at the last minute. However people who work on this stuff say that never happens. Again it always comes down to good investigative work, human intelligence and patience. That is the most precise and reliable method. That is why UBL was found during the Obama administration after years and years of the “let’s beat the truth out of them medieval style” method failed. Cheney kept claiming he stopped a lot of attacks with torture but no one from the CIA or military ever backed him up and no evidence was found to back him up either. Those who engaged in torture have to make themselves believe it was helpful otherwise they would have to face the truth that they descended into animals for nothing. They have a skin in the game.
    >Have you ever seen local police under pressure to solve the murder of an important member of the community? Innocent people do get caught up in the web and shit happens because they are under a lot of pressure. The CIA are human, they make mistakes like all of us. I rather have them use reliable methods that work than get their man-on with unreliable torture techniques.

  • Jerry

    “Do people usually set their hair on fire on Twitter for every war movie where innocent people get hurt?”
    When did I defend the over the top outrage from twitter? Never. It’s just a movie, part truth part fiction. No reason to have a cow over it. The outrage over the movie exists for only about 0.000003% of the population. Everyone else has moved on to the Kate Middleton and Kim Khardian gestating fetus’.

  • JJ

    My friend and I just saw Zero Dark Thirty at the arclight. We both liked it. Neither loved it. We agreed that Argo was the better foreign mission movie this year. And with its Hollywood-adjacent storyline, felt it was more honest in admitting it was, at the end of the day, a movie – which Bigelow and Boal don’t seem to want to do. Argo > Zero Dark Thirty > Lincoln because Argo is the one film where they hero really engages in the third act conflict. Instead of watching from the sidelines or an oval office.

  • phantom

    First of all thanks Ryan and Craig for bringing up two (so far) widely overlooked films, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Cloud Atlas respectively, both are in my (so far) top5 and it’s nice to hear neither has been completely forgotten just yet. Great podcast as always, the ZD30-part was particularly interesting. Having said that, there are a few things I don’t get/agree with.

    For example, Sasha, how is Silver Linings Playbook still a threat for BP and a strong contender for the BD-nod, when you say Les Miserables isn’t either of those things because it didn’t receive a GG-BD nod ? I mean…neither did Silver Linings Playbook. The actual quote is : “Les Mis is not gonna win but Silver Linings might.” I understand there seems to be a lot of SLP-love around town, but then again, LesMis has probably THE most passionate fanbase this year and apparently its Academy-screenings were smash hits, as well, and though I do see why you say that since HFPA has a musical category, the Hooper-omission is huge, then again, that musical category is also a comedy category, so Russell should have been just as much a surefire GG-nominee as Hooper, don’t you think ? I said this once and I’ll say it again : I think Hooper is the next Daldry. Until he keeps making remarkably Academy-friendly films, the Academy will keep embracing those films even if critics won’t. For the record I still don’t see any other viable scenario but a Lincoln-sweep (12-14 nods and then 6-10 wins), but I do think Tom Hooper WILL sneak in. Also, I could be wrong, but IMO Ben Affleck could be a VERY viable threat for the Best Director Oscar.

    I agree with your take on the The Dark Knight Rises , I think it has a VERY good shot at being a strong guild-player with the DGA-Nolan lovefest and all the disqualified WGA-players. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it pulled off the PGA-DGA-WGA trifecta…and then wouldn’t be shocked at all when that once again didn’t result REAL Oscar-love (Inception, The Dark Knight).

    Also, a few days ago I felt Life of Pi might be fading, but then I learned how well it has been doing worldwide (it has an actual shot at 500M (100M DOM + 400M OS), and that combined with Lee’s popularity might just be enough for the picture, director, screenplay nominations, hell, if those nods happen, even the lead could be a very viable surprise in Best Actor. Although, if the studio really doesn’t support it as much as they should, it could just end up with the almost obligatory BP-nod and a bunch of tech nominations.

    The film that could still deliver a big surprise is The Sessions which you considered for a WGA-nod : if the Academy likes it enough to nominate it in two acting categories AND maybe even writing (adapted), could a BP-nod be really that far-fetched in this new completely crazy ”up-to-10-slot-5% #1” system ?

    I agree with Sasha, Les Misérables had beautiful/brilliant moments, but it was remarkably flawed as a whole. I think my main problem was the fact that I am simply not used to watching musical film adaptations therefore the whole genre concept with the nonstop singing and sung-through dialogues, was just too unusual for me to begin with, and I firmly believe a lot of people who didn’t like the film, had the same issue, even if they won’t admit it. Basically, I was slightly uncomfortable long before the flaws started appearing on the screen, and frankly ANYONE complaining about the nonstop-singing should admit that they had a problem with the musical concept long before they started disliking the film. At times it felt like a merciless sit and I do believe there are people out there who thought THAT was because it was a bad film, and though that could have been easily the case for some, I think there were people who just didn’t realize that they are not hating the film, they are hating the genre, one we are simply not used to anymore therefore we are probably not that keen on appreciating it, either. I mean…how many succesful musical dramas were released in the last few decades ? Exactly. And I don’t even consider Chicago a musical DRAMA, it was full of comedic elements.

    Having said that, I think you are underestimating the Oscar-potential of Les Misérables. First of all, you are expecting bad WOM to kick in soon, but in reality it seems to be an audience favorite (rare ‘A’ Cinemascore, 8.2 IMDB based on 20K votes) and even if BO starts declining as you think it will, it WILL end with 120-130M the very least in the US (and well over 200M overseas), so it’s unlikely it would be considered a disappointment in the long run even if its legs turn out to be bad (IMO, it will end with 150M DOM and 250 OS). Also, in spite of the flaws of the film, I genuinely believe it did feature SEVERAL of the best performances of 2012. Hathaway is getting most of the praise, but in my opinion Hugh Jackman was absolutely brilliant. He clearly gave it his all and taking into consideration how hard it is to play an iconic lead role that not only demands physical transformation but also very specific and difficult genre requirements (he had to pull off the singing just as much as the acting), I consider his performance just as impressive as Day-Lewis’s. Of course Redmayne and Barks were the revelations, but to me Seyfried was the big surprise, she was VERY good. And as much crap as he is getting at the moment, I think Crowe was great, too, clearly he wasn’t hired for his non-existent Broadway-pipes, but he still excelled the acting part.

    Also, the Nine -comparison won’t fly. As Sasha said, that was a HUGE bomb…Les Misérables isn’t. It is making a lot of money and though definitely not raves, at the end of the day, it DID receive GOOD reviews (scores similar to ‘The Help’, and that was a textbook-crowdpleaser, meanwhile LesMis is a risky, divisive genre film). Clearly on paper those reviews are not good enough for a BP-win, but they are probably good enough NOT to hurt it that much in the nomination-stage. It is a divisive film for sure, but still a well-received one, just not AS well-received as expected based on the unrealistic early hype.

  • Adam

    Why is it that you guys criticize Naomi Watts for just sitting in a hospital bed and dying when Emmanuel Riva basically sits there in her movie slowly dying the whole way through? At least be consistent.

    And does Ryan Adams have ANY thoughts of his own or does is just Sasha’s parrot? You both like the same films, same performances, hate the same films and performances.

  • Alex Brando

    It’s not about whether Zero Dark Thirty’s torture narrative is fiction or not – it’s the fact that it is out there on the big screen, in a blockbuster and generating a lot of buzz! Already having extreme torture in such popcorn narrative serves the purpose to common-ize it, to make it acceptable! A huge number of people who’ve watched in terror the towers go down won’t even bother to get some information for themselves after the movie. They’ll just believe it, and that’s the sad part.

    If there isn’t a strong and clear opposition to this kind of torture in the film’s screenplay (and from what I gather there isn’t) – then there is no point for people to say there are elements that make it controversial. We’re talking about de-humanizing treatment here, and its glorification in a movie about “how-finally-got-the-bad-guy”!!

  • phantom

    Ugh, sorry, I didn’t realize I wrote such a long comment.

  • The Japanese Viewer

    [Brokeback] I am hoping those (voters) who’d been torn first between Brokeback and another film, whichever it might be, but decided to vote for anything out of the five save for Brokeback, did so because for artistic reasons they preferred it to Brokeback rather than the so-called fear of gay western movie. I mean it’s not fair. But I tend to agree, in reality some of them (voters) might not be ready for Brokeback in that sense, probably — as you’ve mentioned in the Cast — some elderly voters included.

    And thanks for sharing briefly about how your sister may have been feeling about 0D30.

    Anyway, not sure if Bob Dylan’s quote is true or not in this sense; I hope it’s not true – after all, we are discussing critics (and voters) here. They were not supposed to follow the pack save for their own minds professionally; or, there is no point to read their reviews in general.

    Side note: This is my first time for your Podcast, Sasha. Your voice is so sexy and sounds very delicious LOL. And you sound like Aimee Maan, too. XD

  • Sasha Stone

    Phantom – here’s what I know for sure. 1) Les Mis has the highest negative review count on Rotten Tomatoes:

    Negative review count:
    Argo – 11
    Zero Dark Thirty – 6
    Silver Linings Playbook – 16
    Lincoln – 17
    Les Miserables – 50

    50 is a huge number for negative reviews. Les Mis is a film many people in the whole world are going to love. Loving a film, though, doesn’t mean it wins. It has to have broad support throughout the Academy not just love from a very specific group of people.

    The Golden Globes are the ONLY MAJOR AWARDS BODY that honors the musical. For Tom Hooper to get left off means they didn’t like Les Mis as much as they liked Sweeney Todd or Evita. Not good.

    Silver Linings and Les Mis both have SAG ensemble nods – that means they are definitely getting nominated for Best Picture. But without director neither film can win. Probably there is only one slot for either of them. I have my money on Silver Linings because it is the more BROADLY LIKED film in the bunch.

    I understand how much you guys love Les Mis. I totally get it. Maybe you will get lucky and it WILL win everything and you can shit in my mouth and dance on my corpse. But I’ve never seen a movie that divisive win with a weighted ballot. The system is not designed to reward love it/hate it movies, but those that appeal broadly across the entire Academy.

    Does that explain it better?

  • Alice

    “[Waterboarding] is not as if we’re pulling somebody’s fingernails out. It’s something that happens to somebody […] for 10 or 15 minutes or even less than that […] there’s only maybe a matter of seconds and then they’re released from it and they’re okay and they can get up and walk away which to me is no comparison to a lot of other atrocities that go on all the time and go on throughout history”

    Wow. What in the blueblazes type of solipsistic nonsense is this? I get wanting to defend the film or handwave aside the controversy directed towards the movie but don’t do it by diminishing waterboarding as somehow not as torturous as it could be.

  • JJ

    I think people will panic and Lincoln will sweep. Argo and Zero Dark cancel each other out. Miz gets its consolation with Tracey flick Hathaway.

  • John

    Consensus, divisive, liked, loved, hated, I just love that we still really don’t know anything yet.

  • gee, Alice, I’m not gonna apologize for seeing a big difference between burning the skin off innocent Vietnamese babies with napalm and how I view the relatively death-free temporary fright of pouring water in the nose holes of prisoners who are actively engaged and complicit with murderous maniacs who want to destroy America.

    Wring your hands all you want if you think that makes you a better person than I am.

    When I want to worry about America’s behavior I have 1000 more serious things to worry about. That’s what I said. That’s what I meant.

    If you don’t think America’s military has been recklessly inflicting far more severe pain and suffering on innocent children in Afghanistan for years with nary ever a peep from Twitter and now everybody freaks out with wails of sympathy for terrorist associates — Men Who Would Slit YOUR Throat in a heartbeat if you got in their way — then your opinion of my opinion is low on my list of worries too.

  • Alice

    Not wringing my hands. I just don’t know why you think you need to compare one form of torture to other war atrocities in a conversation about this movie about this particular war and this period in the US military. Especially a form of torture that has a history of being played down as “not that bad” by the US government at the time to skirt around the legality of their actions. It’s a contorted perspective to have and a pretty poor mode of rhetoric, reading more like those kids who try to deflect and derail consequences by pointing to their older brother and yelling “but they did this other thing that was worse!!”

    Certainly, there are ways you can bring up America’s military history to give context to the approach and reactions to this movie, but by bringing it up just to diminish the effect of the torture indicates to me that your MO here is to disengage with and play down that element, which, from all accounts, is against the film’s intentions.

  • phantom

    Sasha, I guess I only have two questions now :

    1. Since when do you care about the completely useless Rottentomatoes ?
    2. Why would you think I am a LesMis-fan when I wrote I could barely sit through it ?

  • Sasha Stone

    1. Since when do you care about the completely useless Rottentomatoes ?

    As I wrote a week or so back in a column about it, RT is incredibly useful showing divisiveness and that’s about all the good it does for my purposes. That anyone would give any film a rotten tomato on there means it has to be a REALLY Bad review, since they give positive tomatoes to almost anything. Mixed always flips to positive. So you get a really good idea of extreme dislike, something you don’t get on metacritic because they don’t have enough critics. I think there is value only in that negative number. People throw the positives at me and they’re meaningless.

    2. Why would you think I am a LesMis-fan when I wrote I could barely sit through it ?
    Because only a Les Mis fan would think it had a good shot at the win right now.

  • phantom

    Sasha, with all due respect, you might want to read the whole comment even if it is unfortunately a long one, and then PLEASE quote the part where I said anything remotely close to the film having “a good shot at the win right now” or anything that could have resulted a response like “I understand how much you guys love Les Mis”. For future reference, you can call me a LesMis-fan all you want, but that will be rather confusing in the long run, considering I didn’t like the film, something you would know if you read the comment you snapped at. I also didn’t insinuate it has a realistic shot at a Best Picture win, I said Playbook is NOT a BP-threat and that it is perfectly conceivable the Academy will nominate Hooper…and it is, even you keep him in consideration. So frankly, I don’t see the conflict here.

  • jorge

    Now, I know that Les Miserables ain’t winning best picture (I guess Lincoln will win, given the Zero Dark Thirty controversy and given the fact that comedies rarely win Best Picture, so it would seem Silver Linings Playbook is out) but, what bad word of mouth for Les Miz are you talking about? It’s certainly not a bomb given the excellent box office both here and abroad, more than surpassing studio estimates…the cinemascore for the film from audiences is an A (a rarity for musicals) and as far as “industry perception”, well, isn’t the report from academy screenings in New York that it got standing ovations? And what about the AFI pick, or the national board of review award, or the SAG cast nomination? Critics don’t vote for Oscars, otherwise the Academy wouldn’t have the “colorful” history that it has.

  • Sasha, HFPA also nominated T Burton over PT Anderson for There Will Be Blood, and A Parker over M Leigh for Secrets & Lies. 2012 is probably the most competitive year for directer in years.

    You have:
    -Two-time winning Titan, regarded as the industry measure for mainstream directing
    -Winner from 2005, whose movie was overlooked for BP possibly due to politics
    -FEMALE Winner from 2009, the only one ever
    -Nominee from 2009, who has been nominated before, and is one of the only dependable filmmakers that produces the films he wants to make and audiences show up in droves (oh yeah, and thank you Harvey Weinstein)
    -New superstar actor/director whom Hollywood wants to shower with love

    Who got left off?
    Winner from 2010: Object of Derision, because thanks for directing Weinstein’s baby from two years ago, observed as having “stolen” the Oscar from David Fincher. None of those directors from above are viewed as having “stolen” anything from anybody. When they were nominated for GG, Parker, Burton, Luhrmann, Marshall, weren’t viewed as having “stolen” an Oscar from anybody. Right now, Hooper is considered the biggest “thief” in modern Oscar history.

  • Not in AMPAS’ eyes, Vince. They regarded that Oscar as Tom Hooper’s. They didn’t want to risk David Fincher ‘stealing’ it. Notice that they never let Stanley Kubrick ‘steal’ an Oscar. Nor Alfred Hitchcock. Nor will they let Paul Thomas Anderson, either. I have a feeling that, should the cards never fall overwhelmingly in his favour (and they already have been, with The Social Network), David Fincher will never win a competitive Oscar.

  • Shawshank

    Rotten tomatoes scores are vague, too. Almost all 2.5/4 star films (which I consider mixed, but more positive than negative) show up AS negative. So it’s actually pretty difficult to gauge with any of these “scoring” movie sites.

    Just saw Django Unchained. Fun times.
    Liked Foxx, although Django is one boring character.
    Waltz, great. And he’s lead.
    DiCaprio, superb.
    Jackson, hysterical.

    I defintiely felt the length of this movie; quite a few scenes could have been trimmed, some of the slow-motion stretches lacked purpose.

    But I enjoyed the chemistry between Foxx and Waltz. I laughed at the humor. I grimaced at the violence (way too much of that, here, by the way). And I’m sad that Kerry Washington had a nothing role. And so, while it’s not on the same level as Inglourious or some of Tarantino’s other greats, I was still entertained.

    Nice to see that audiences are checking this out, though it came in quite a bit behind Les Miserables on Monday after being on top of it during the weekend. I expect those two films to do very, very well. Word of mouth is good for both.

  • Alex Brando

    Well Sasha, we do love Les Mis, cause which normal person wouldn’t?! :)) But it’s mostly the songs and the combination of Jackman/Crowe/Hathaway’s acting. I do see how you and ohers are right that it is a flawed movie, because the narrative is not clear and well presented. And the camera centerig on each character sucks. But it’s beautiful, with great decors and costumes, and such. Overall, I’m sure I can find a lot more imperfectnes in Lincoln or Silver Linings, so at the end, it’s all about believing!!

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It isn’t that people weren’t predicting Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by…