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The State of the Race — The Directors: Gods & Demigods

(Top: Spielberg, Scorsese, De Palma, Lucas, and Coppola, 1994. Bottom: Hooper, Russel, Aronofsy, Nolan, and Fincher, 2010)

Last year’s slate of Best Directors was one of the most impressive lineups ever. Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Joel and Ethan Coen, David O. Russell and of course, the winner, Tom Hooper. I’m not going to go over this each and every time I write about the Oscars this year, but you have to know that in the 13 years I’ve been doing this I’ve never seen a less experienced, out of nowhere winner like Tom Hooper beat someone like Fincher, who not only has built an esteemed career, who not only won every critics award he came up for (more than any director in awards history, recent or not), but was a homegrown director our film industry here in America should celebrate up one side and down the other.  Some films have tremendous power to move us and The King’s Speech was one of those. It was like Slumdog Millionaire (minus Danny Boyle’s brilliant career behind it), or Million Dollar Baby (minus Clint Eastwood’s brilliant career behind it). And so, we are forgetting (as we pause to remember!) and moving forward with the notion that the Academy — and we can throw in the DGA now — will never vote for a movie that pundits and critics are telling them they SHOULD vote for if they didn’t “like” that movie as much as they liked the one that moved them.

Give Oscar voters a choice, most of the time they will go with the admirable character over the darker one. That was why, believe it or not, when No Country for Old Men came out, there was doubt it would even get nominated, doubt it could even win – why, because it was too dark and it had an ambiguous (albeit brilliant) ending. Back then, no one ever thought the Academy could take their swinging balls and make a brave choice like that. Now, of course, it seems silly that anyone ever imagined any other film winning that year. The same sort of scenario played out with The Departed. When The Hurt Locker came around, there was some similar discussion, but since we’d already seen films with darker themes winning, the question revolved around box-office clout, of which the Hurt Locker had little.

I asked my twitter followers to pick the best film in five year grouping.  And this is how it went down – in a totally non-scientific grouping – with maybe fifteen responders each time, so perhaps it doesn’t tell you much):

First group:
The King’s Speech
The Hurt Locker
Slumdog Millionaire
No Country for Old Men
The Departed

The clear winner was No Country for Old Men, which is such a good movie in retrospect, and was recognized as such, across the board that year, it could probably be in the running for best Best Picture winner of the last twenty years.  The Departed and The Hurt Locker wrestled for second.  Not a lot of love for the two heartlight pics, Slumdog and The King’s Speech – that’s because those kinds of movies can sometimes last (It’s a Wonderful Life) but most of the time do not.  And that’s because the people that write about films, and those who immerse themselves in film history, aren’t necessarily the kinds of people who appreciate those kinds of movies. But ask any Joe Schmoe on the street and they will always pick the films that moved them most.

Next group:
Crash
Million Dollar Baby
Return of the King
Chicago
A Beautiful Mind
This was an easy call – the answers came back Return of the King by a long way.  That’s a film that probably anyone would say was the best of those five.  It was not only a monumental achievement in and of itself but it capped off that exceptional trilogy.  No other film got a mention except Crash, which one person tweeted was their favorite.

Final Group:
Gladiator
American Beauty
Shakespeare in Love
Titanic
The English Patient
This was slightly more divided, with the winner coming out as American Beauty, followed by The English Patient, weirdly enough.  If we’re talking about films that have staying power, Titanic certainly fits that bill.  Ask the majority of Americans which of these five is best and they’d come back with Titanic.

These selections of years for Oscar represent the time I’ve spent watching the race.  I remember each and every one of these years and I’ve seen the Oscar race go from being a representation of films the public liked to being a much more insular representation of artful films the critics, and occasionally the public, liked.  The King’s Speech, The Departed and Slumdog Millionaire are films beloved by both the public and the critics.  With No Country for Old Men and The Departed we start to see a much narrower sampling of people who appreciate them.

The Academy has mostly mirrored the public’s attitude over the cinephiles except that they’ve had a harder and harder time doing so, what with the big studios opting for films aimed at 13 year-old boys: sequels, comic book movies, remakes — rinse, repeat.  The changes have resulted in lower ratings for the Oscar telecast and a general disconnect between the AMPAS and the public.

But when the Oscars honor mainstream big studio films (as they might have done last year with The Social Network or True Grit, despite the undeniable popularity of The King’s Speech and Black Swan) that in turn motivates the big studios to continue to put out better and better films.  And they do that by fortifying their great directors while also taking chances on new blood.

Up until last year, it could be safely argued that the director was the star of the Best Picture race. Career span mattered. Their ability to stretch as artists mattered. Their prestige within the industry mattered. But last year wiped that slate clean. The upside of Hooper’s win is that it showed that if a movie is good enough even a mostly unknown director can still take home the Best Director Oscar, even up against the most brilliant directors working in the industry, up against Joel and Ethan Coen for goddsakes.

Sure, we’ve seen virtual unknowns (usually British) win before, but somehow it seemed like a pattern was being set with Scorsese, the Coens, Boyle and Bigelow. That pattern was shattered last year – in a good way and in a not so good way: last year rendered the unanimous opinion of critics irrelevant when it comes to the Oscars. Some might say The King’s Speech was going to win no matter what kind of forces opposed it. Others say that the unanimous pressure by the critics turned voters off.   But you won’t find many who would not be bothered by the way the Best Director race turned out.  On the other hand, with Hooper’s win, it gives hope to newbies that they too can win among such heavyweights.

To that end, this year, we can still celebrate the visionaries, the veterans and the breakthrough directors who, on the upside, should have hope that they too can win an Oscar coming out of nowhere (but it helps if they are British).

The All Stars
*Won at least one Oscar for directing
Martin Scorsese for Hugo*
Clint Eastwood for J Edgar*
Steven Spielberg for War Horse*
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris*
Steven Soderbergh for Contagion*
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
David Fincher for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Terrence Malick for Tree of Life
Cameron Crowe for We Bought a Zoo
David Cronenberg for A Dangerous Method
Roman Polanski for Carnage*

The Reliables / They Elevate the Genre
Stephen Daldry for Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close
JJ Abrams for Super 8
Bennett Miller for Moneyball
Bill Condon, Twilight Breaking Dawn
David Yates, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Deathly Hallows, Pt 2
Rupert Wyatt, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Outsider Wunderkinds / Auteurs
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Steve McQueen for Shame
Thomas Alfredson for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Lars Von Trier for Melancholia
Lynn Ramsay for We Need to Talk About Kevin
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive
Oren Moverman for Rampart
Gavin O’Connor for Warrior
Joe Cornish for Attack the Block
Rordrigo Garcia for Albert Nobbs
Anrea Arnold for Wuthering Heights

The Tom Hooper model/out of nowheres
Tate Taylor for The Help
Simon Curtis for My Week with Marilyn

Actors/musicians-turned-directors
Proven:
George Clooney for The Ides of March (working his way up to All Stars)
Sarah Polley for Take This Waltz
Jodie Foster for The Beaver

BETA:
Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground
Angelina Jolie for In The Land of Blood and Honey
Madonna for W.E.

The only reason anyone should care about the Oscars at all – most have long since checked out – is because they’re meant to represent our own highest honor in the Hollywood film industry, which is supposed to give a prize to the best achievement in filmmaking every year. We believe them to take this honor very seriously. But what (some of us, sometimes) forget is that these are not critics voting, despite evidence of great taste in the past few years. They are craftspeople and grandparents. Many are upper middle class retirees just trying to make it to 80. A few of them may be tired.  Most of them just want to sit back and let a great movie take them away.  That is why, if they love the film, they also love the director most of the time.  You have to be good at what you do to make a film that so many people liked.  So why not Tom Hooper?

All the same, we can expect our Big Five to be pulled from, I’m going to bet, the All Stars list.  One or two might be plucked from the other groups but for the most part, it’s still a game played by the big boys.

We’re also looking at a scenario where there will be five directors chosen for, we have to assume, the five strongest Best Picture candidates.  4 out of 5 directors would likely see their film nominated for Best Picture if there were still only five Best Picture nominees.

Right now, if you don’t count the movies that haven’t yet been seen (which is essentially all of the Big Oscar Movies) Best Director might look something like this:

Alexander Payne,  The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, Tree of Life
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive or Steve McQueen for Shame

But if all goes according to plan, and your Oscar prognosticators would likely choose something more like:

Alexander Payne, The Descendants
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris or Terrence Malick for Tree of Life

But it’s really too soon to say anything for sure.  This is spitballing of the highest order.  However, it seems safe to say that, right now, the only sure bet is Alexander Payne for The Descendants.

This is the reason we keep coming back for more, we Oscar watchers.  The thrill of the chase, the definition of art, the emerging masterpiece, the celebration of cinema.  It’s all here, trapped in this hamster wheel, this circus, this treacherous game.

It is still only September.  We’ve months yet.  And so we wait.  We wait.

0 Comments on this Post

  1. Hey, not to nitpick, but I think that’s David O’Russel second from the left, not Danny Boyle…

  2. Hey, not to nitpick, but I think that’s David O’Russel second from the left, not Danny Boyle…

  3. I want an up and coming auteur like Steve McQueen to be nominated, or an established talent like Lynne Ramsay or Nicolas Winding Refn to join the shortlist of nominees. Best director used to be my favourite category for curve ball lone nominations, which I think the screenplay categories seem to be good for nowadays. I want the director race to be at least a little bit exciting because you’d expect the branch to be a little bit daring, right?

    On a slightly unrelated note, Melancholia is my favourite film I have seen from the list you have provided and I only wish it had a snowballs chance of recognition by at least some critics groups this year. I really liked that movie a lot more than I thought I would!

  4. I want an up and coming auteur like Steve McQueen to be nominated, or an established talent like Lynne Ramsay or Nicolas Winding Refn to join the shortlist of nominees. Best director used to be my favourite category for curve ball lone nominations, which I think the screenplay categories seem to be good for nowadays. I want the director race to be at least a little bit exciting because you’d expect the branch to be a little bit daring, right?

    On a slightly unrelated note, Melancholia is my favourite film I have seen from the list you have provided and I only wish it had a snowballs chance of recognition by at least some critics groups this year. I really liked that movie a lot more than I thought I would!

  5. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Lukas, thank you! That’s entirely my fault. I was putting the caption together without even looking at the photo because I was in too much of a hurry. Appreciate your help!

  6. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Lukas, thank you! That’s entirely my fault. I was putting the caption together without even looking at the photo because I was in too much of a hurry. Appreciate your help!

  7. thespirithunter

    Roman Palnski has won for The Pianist (2002)

  8. thespirithunter

    Roman Palnski has won for The Pianist (2002)

  9. thespirithunter

    Polanski

  10. thespirithunter

    Polanski

  11. I look at that ‘Outsider Wunderkind’ list and sigh…if only…Imagine von Trier, McQueen, Winding Refn, Arnold, Ramsay, Hazanavicius, Alfredson all in the running for an Oscar nomination…

    Sasha, I would also say that The Departed is a public favourite. It performed well at the box office, and is well regarded among many people I know.

    I still disagree with you about Tom Hooper though. I loved his direction of The King’s Speech. Surely a director’s prior career ought not to matter when it comes to voting for the best directing job in one film each? I would have loved to have seen David Fincher or Darren Aronofsky walk off with an Oscar, but their prior work means nothing when putting a name on a ballot for the best work in a specific year. And maybe Hooper will prove himself again and again in the future. I’d also say that he’s by no means the least experienced director since you started covering the race to win that award. Sam Mendes was a debut director with American Beauty.

  12. I look at that ‘Outsider Wunderkind’ list and sigh…if only…Imagine von Trier, McQueen, Winding Refn, Arnold, Ramsay, Hazanavicius, Alfredson all in the running for an Oscar nomination…

    Sasha, I would also say that The Departed is a public favourite. It performed well at the box office, and is well regarded among many people I know.

    I still disagree with you about Tom Hooper though. I loved his direction of The King’s Speech. Surely a director’s prior career ought not to matter when it comes to voting for the best directing job in one film each? I would have loved to have seen David Fincher or Darren Aronofsky walk off with an Oscar, but their prior work means nothing when putting a name on a ballot for the best work in a specific year. And maybe Hooper will prove himself again and again in the future. I’d also say that he’s by no means the least experienced director since you started covering the race to win that award. Sam Mendes was a debut director with American Beauty.

  13. Tom Hooper winning over Fincher, Aranofsky, Russel and the Coens was weird, but not as shamefull as Ron Howard winning an Oscar over David Lynch, Peter Jackson, Robert Altman & Ridley Scott. Besides, Tom Hooper didn’t came from nowhere. His work won the Golden Globe for best TV-drama three years in row (a record!) and he directed the biggest Emmy-winner of all time. If that’s nowhere, than nowhere is the place where I want to be.

  14. Tom Hooper winning over Fincher, Aranofsky, Russel and the Coens was weird, but not as shamefull as Ron Howard winning an Oscar over David Lynch, Peter Jackson, Robert Altman & Ridley Scott. Besides, Tom Hooper didn’t came from nowhere. His work won the Golden Globe for best TV-drama three years in row (a record!) and he directed the biggest Emmy-winner of all time. If that’s nowhere, than nowhere is the place where I want to be.

  15. Profile photo of Beth Stevens

    Currently I’m predicting Cronenberg, Hazanavicius, Malick, Payne, Spielberg… though I realize A Dangerous Method may be on life support at the moment. Still, it has a very creditable 79 at RT, and Cronenberg is waaaay overdue, and when will he ever make such an Oscar-friendly film again? Also, ADM has potential for support across many branches – acting, writing, art direction, costumes, score, cinematography – which never hurts when it comes to BP/BD noms.

    Alfredson might emerge as a major player if Tinker Tailor really wows people. Having trouble believing in Fincher this year, but maybe. A remake of Dragon Tattoo so soon after the Euro version just seems an uncertain prospect, awards-wise. Box office success could help it immensely.

    The Tree of Life and The Artist both look like they’ll be popular in the techs as well as the Big 8. But that BFCA score of 78 for ToL is somewhat troubling. No recent film with a BFCA rating under 85 has managed to land a BP nom. Still, with the new voting system, maybe Malick passion will count for more. We know he has a contingent of fans in the Academy, as evidenced by the surprising strength of The Thin Red Line. Woody’s movie just feels too light for BP, much less director, especially in competition with The Artist.

    As for Payne, AMPAS has never really embraced him the way the critics have. Sideways got the BP/BD combo but couldn’t win much, couldn’t even score a nom for Giamatti, and About Schmidt disappointed by failing to get the expected BP, BD and screenplay noms. The Descendants looks Oscary and seems a shoo-in for BP, Payne, Clooney… will it stay the course, or fade away like Up in the Air?

    LOL, I’m probably dead wrong on all of this.

  16. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Currently I’m predicting Cronenberg, Hazanavicius, Malick, Payne, Spielberg… though I realize A Dangerous Method may be on life support at the moment. Still, it has a very creditable 79 at RT, and Cronenberg is waaaay overdue, and when will he ever make such an Oscar-friendly film again? Also, ADM has potential for support across many branches – acting, writing, art direction, costumes, score, cinematography – which never hurts when it comes to BP/BD noms.

    Alfredson might emerge as a major player if Tinker Tailor really wows people. Having trouble believing in Fincher this year, but maybe. A remake of Dragon Tattoo so soon after the Euro version just seems an uncertain prospect, awards-wise. Box office success could help it immensely.

    The Tree of Life and The Artist both look like they’ll be popular in the techs as well as the Big 8. But that BFCA score of 78 for ToL is somewhat troubling. No recent film with a BFCA rating under 85 has managed to land a BP nom. Still, with the new voting system, maybe Malick passion will count for more. We know he has a contingent of fans in the Academy, as evidenced by the surprising strength of The Thin Red Line. Woody’s movie just feels too light for BP, much less director, especially in competition with The Artist.

    As for Payne, AMPAS has never really embraced him the way the critics have. Sideways got the BP/BD combo but couldn’t win much, couldn’t even score a nom for Giamatti, and About Schmidt disappointed by failing to get the expected BP, BD and screenplay noms. The Descendants looks Oscary and seems a shoo-in for BP, Payne, Clooney… will it stay the course, or fade away like Up in the Air?

    LOL, I’m probably dead wrong on all of this.

  17. Tom Hooper won the god-damn DGA which Fincher lost. So it wasn’t a wtf at all when he won the Oscar, it was an expected outcome and none the worse for that. I don’t mind that Hooper won at all, he did a pretty good job with a pretty good film.

  18. Tom Hooper won the god-damn DGA which Fincher lost. So it wasn’t a wtf at all when he won the Oscar, it was an expected outcome and none the worse for that. I don’t mind that Hooper won at all, he did a pretty good job with a pretty good film.

  19. “Last year’s slate of Best Directors was one of the most impressive lineups ever.”

    Really? Um, no Sasha. The Nolan snub pretty much invalidates that statement and the lineup could have been far better given all the top-notch directors who put out films last year. Something more like this for instance…

    Chris Nolan
    Martin Scorcese
    Joel and Ethan Coen
    Peter Weir
    Roman Polanski

  20. “Last year’s slate of Best Directors was one of the most impressive lineups ever.”

    Really? Um, no Sasha. The Nolan snub pretty much invalidates that statement and the lineup could have been far better given all the top-notch directors who put out films last year. Something more like this for instance…

    Chris Nolan
    Martin Scorcese
    Joel and Ethan Coen
    Peter Weir
    Roman Polanski

  21. yeah… i’m not going to say hooper wasn’t an underdog- or going against bigger more proven (and still i think more talented and accomplished) names… but its hard to say he came out of nowhere… he had 3 archiveable films prior to “the king’s speech” if you count “the damn united”, “longford” and “john adams” as films (which i do).

    also… i don’t know if i see clooney as “working his way up to all-stars”… he’s essentially 1 for 3 as a director and the early reviews on “ides” aren’t exactly glowing…

  22. yeah… i’m not going to say hooper wasn’t an underdog- or going against bigger more proven (and still i think more talented and accomplished) names… but its hard to say he came out of nowhere… he had 3 archiveable films prior to “the king’s speech” if you count “the damn united”, “longford” and “john adams” as films (which i do).

    also… i don’t know if i see clooney as “working his way up to all-stars”… he’s essentially 1 for 3 as a director and the early reviews on “ides” aren’t exactly glowing…

  23. Oops, I forgot Fincher, lol. Well that was copied from a list I’d made at the beginning of last season and at the time I was highly doubting a “Facebook Movie” :p Of course there was also Eastwood but his film ended up probably the biggest disappointment of the big name directors. Hopefully he’ll turn things around with J. Edgar.

  24. Oops, I forgot Fincher, lol. Well that was copied from a list I’d made at the beginning of last season and at the time I was highly doubting a “Facebook Movie” :p Of course there was also Eastwood but his film ended up probably the biggest disappointment of the big name directors. Hopefully he’ll turn things around with J. Edgar.

  25. I think the most awesome superstar line-up for last year could have been something like

    Gasper Noe
    Olivier Assayas
    Alain Resnais
    Jacques Audiard
    Manoel de Oliveira

    : ) : )

  26. I think the most awesome superstar line-up for last year could have been something like

    Gasper Noe
    Olivier Assayas
    Alain Resnais
    Jacques Audiard
    Manoel de Oliveira

    : ) : )

  27. Never heard of ‘em

  28. Never heard of ‘em

  29. “I want an up and coming auteur like Steve McQueen to be nominated, or an established talent like Lynne Ramsay or Nicolas Winding Refn to join the shortlist of nominees. ”

    lol, not with The Help in the running.
    Jason Reitman’s new crapfest
    and Spielberg, and Eastwood making prestige pics
    The Descendents

    all safe crowd-pleasing oscar pics.
    You can count out anything with a single drop of art

  30. “I want an up and coming auteur like Steve McQueen to be nominated, or an established talent like Lynne Ramsay or Nicolas Winding Refn to join the shortlist of nominees. ”

    lol, not with The Help in the running.
    Jason Reitman’s new crapfest
    and Spielberg, and Eastwood making prestige pics
    The Descendents

    all safe crowd-pleasing oscar pics.
    You can count out anything with a single drop of art

  31. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Tom Hooper won the god-damn DGA which Fincher lost.

    The god-damn DGA award was the first and pretty much only god-damn award Hooper won before the Academy Awards. He did win the god-damn Indie Spirit Award the night before the Oscars. But he couldn’t even win the god-damn British Independent Film Award or the god-damn BAFTA — which he lost to Fincher.

    What Sasha is saying is what I thought had been engraved in all our brains by now — even when we saw the tide of popular opinion turning in favor of The King’s Speech for BP, very few people could imagine that Fincher might lose the Oscar for BD. There were grave doubts and valid hopes right up to the minute the envelope was opened.

    Hooper’s Oscar win was not expected. It was dreaded.

  32. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Tom Hooper won the god-damn DGA which Fincher lost.

    The god-damn DGA award was the first and pretty much only god-damn award Hooper won before the Academy Awards. He did win the god-damn Indie Spirit Award the night before the Oscars. But he couldn’t even win the god-damn British Independent Film Award or the god-damn BAFTA — which he lost to Fincher.

    What Sasha is saying is what I thought had been engraved in all our brains by now — even when we saw the tide of popular opinion turning in favor of The King’s Speech for BP, very few people could imagine that Fincher might lose the Oscar for BD. There were grave doubts and valid hopes right up to the minute the envelope was opened.

    Hooper’s Oscar win was not expected. It was dreaded.

  33. I would like to see Refn to get a nomination. He was the star of the film, aside from the excellent acting. I’m still baffled that Hooper won the DGA over Fincher or Aronofsky. I get him winning the Oscar, but DGA usually goes for a bolder choice. My theory is that Fincher is not well liked amongst many within the industry. He has a pedigree of films to rival anyone. But it is what it is.

    No Country for Old Men is one of the greatest films to be honored with the top awards. The fact that the Academy nominated that along with There Will Be Blood was great. I don’t know if we will ever see two divisive films be honored, in the same year again. I with they would do that more often.

  34. I would like to see Refn to get a nomination. He was the star of the film, aside from the excellent acting. I’m still baffled that Hooper won the DGA over Fincher or Aronofsky. I get him winning the Oscar, but DGA usually goes for a bolder choice. My theory is that Fincher is not well liked amongst many within the industry. He has a pedigree of films to rival anyone. But it is what it is.

    No Country for Old Men is one of the greatest films to be honored with the top awards. The fact that the Academy nominated that along with There Will Be Blood was great. I don’t know if we will ever see two divisive films be honored, in the same year again. I with they would do that more often.

  35. Profile photo of Beth Stevens

    Although this may not give us much clarity on the BP/BD race, the rather amusing Hollywood Film Awards have begun their kudo announcements.

    Ensemble – The Help
    Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki (Tree of Life)
    Editing – Stephen Mirrione (Contagion, Ides of March)
    Visual Effects – Scott Farrar (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)
    Animated Film – Rango
    Production Design – James Murakami (I can’t find that he’s made any films in recent years, so I’m wondering if they mean James McAteer for A Dangerous Method – or maybe it’s a Career Achievement thingy??)

  36. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Although this may not give us much clarity on the BP/BD race, the rather amusing Hollywood Film Awards have begun their kudo announcements.

    Ensemble – The Help
    Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki (Tree of Life)
    Editing – Stephen Mirrione (Contagion, Ides of March)
    Visual Effects – Scott Farrar (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)
    Animated Film – Rango
    Production Design – James Murakami (I can’t find that he’s made any films in recent years, so I’m wondering if they mean James McAteer for A Dangerous Method – or maybe it’s a Career Achievement thingy??)

  37. Scott (the other one)

    I’d like to see a real DIRECTOR with this year, someone who excels in using the art of film, and not just someone who tells a good story that happens to be on film.

    Whatever one thinks of The Tree of Life, Malick is a visionary and original director who deserves recognition for the daring achievement of that film. There’s more invention and art in five minutes of The Tree of Ligfe than in all of Clint Eastwood’s last few utterly dreary and conventional films put together.

    The same goes for Steve McQueen. although I haven’t seen Shame yet, it was clear from Hunger that this is someone doing something very inventive with film, from the gorgeous tableaux of the cop being shot and falling into his mother’s lap, the power-washing of the feces from the cell walls, the overhead shot of Fassbender after he has been beat up and is thrown back into his cell, to the astounding 25 minute sequence in the middle, the first 20 minutes of which is composed of a single tense and brilliantly acted scene between two actors.

    These are two daring, risk-taking, imaginative directors who should be recognized with nominations, if not wins. Instead, I fear, we’ll get more Spielberg, Eastwood and a completely tapped-out Martin Scorsese.

  38. Scott (the other one)

    I’d like to see a real DIRECTOR with this year, someone who excels in using the art of film, and not just someone who tells a good story that happens to be on film.

    Whatever one thinks of The Tree of Life, Malick is a visionary and original director who deserves recognition for the daring achievement of that film. There’s more invention and art in five minutes of The Tree of Ligfe than in all of Clint Eastwood’s last few utterly dreary and conventional films put together.

    The same goes for Steve McQueen. although I haven’t seen Shame yet, it was clear from Hunger that this is someone doing something very inventive with film, from the gorgeous tableaux of the cop being shot and falling into his mother’s lap, the power-washing of the feces from the cell walls, the overhead shot of Fassbender after he has been beat up and is thrown back into his cell, to the astounding 25 minute sequence in the middle, the first 20 minutes of which is composed of a single tense and brilliantly acted scene between two actors.

    These are two daring, risk-taking, imaginative directors who should be recognized with nominations, if not wins. Instead, I fear, we’ll get more Spielberg, Eastwood and a completely tapped-out Martin Scorsese.

  39. The Academy will never live down the shame and disgrace of picking Hooper over Fincher.

    The directors branch occasionally makes a smart, bold nomination, i.e. Lynch for MD, so
    Fassbender, Refn, etc. could make it.

    Interesting how the talk of Eastwood has cooled a bit since that clunky J. Edgar trailer came out today.

  40. The Academy will never live down the shame and disgrace of picking Hooper over Fincher.

    The directors branch occasionally makes a smart, bold nomination, i.e. Lynch for MD, so
    Fassbender, Refn, etc. could make it.

    Interesting how the talk of Eastwood has cooled a bit since that clunky J. Edgar trailer came out today.

  41. Profile photo of Beth Stevens

    Okay, someone just informed me that James Murakami is the production designer on J. Edgar. Whew, now it makes sense!

  42. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Okay, someone just informed me that James Murakami is the production designer on J. Edgar. Whew, now it makes sense!

  43. Hooper over Fincher, Aronofsky, the Coens and O. Russell is still one of the most ridiculous decisions the Academy has ever made.

    I’d like to see Best Director shape up like this:

    Terrence Malick, The Tree of Live
    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
    David Fincher, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    I think Scorsese is going to blow everybody away with Hugo. It’s not a film anybody is taking too seriously right now, but I suspect it’s going to be a rousing, fascinating and very popular film. Watch the trailer again – this time ignoring the goofy music that almost certainly won’t be in the movie – and tell me that it doesn’t look wonderful.

    We would have: a brilliant new talent (Refn), three deserving directors who have never won (Malick, Fincher, Payne) and one legendary director who has won but undoubtedly deserves to win again (Scorsese).

  44. Hooper over Fincher, Aronofsky, the Coens and O. Russell is still one of the most ridiculous decisions the Academy has ever made.

    I’d like to see Best Director shape up like this:

    Terrence Malick, The Tree of Live
    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
    David Fincher, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    I think Scorsese is going to blow everybody away with Hugo. It’s not a film anybody is taking too seriously right now, but I suspect it’s going to be a rousing, fascinating and very popular film. Watch the trailer again – this time ignoring the goofy music that almost certainly won’t be in the movie – and tell me that it doesn’t look wonderful.

    We would have: a brilliant new talent (Refn), three deserving directors who have never won (Malick, Fincher, Payne) and one legendary director who has won but undoubtedly deserves to win again (Scorsese).

  45. himynameiscole

    one thing i have been hearing from people who watched drive and didn’t like it so much is that they all believed it was well-made. i am hoping that refn will be able to make it in, as well as malick. i haven’t seen shame yet, but if the academy somehow nominated these five this year, i would be estatic:

    alfredson
    cronenberg
    fincher
    malick
    refn

    what a nice list this would make. i would be happy if any of them won.

  46. himynameiscole

    one thing i have been hearing from people who watched drive and didn’t like it so much is that they all believed it was well-made. i am hoping that refn will be able to make it in, as well as malick. i haven’t seen shame yet, but if the academy somehow nominated these five this year, i would be estatic:

    alfredson
    cronenberg
    fincher
    malick
    refn

    what a nice list this would make. i would be happy if any of them won.

  47. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I wonder how old is Murakami, Beth?
    from IMDb looks like his credits extend with Art Department work all the way back to the first (brief) days of Zoetrope.

  48. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I wonder how old is Murakami, Beth?
    from IMDb looks like his credits extend with Art Department work all the way back to the first (brief) days of Zoetrope.

  49. Profile photo of Beth Stevens

    Ryan – I have no idea. Should have remembered that Murakami was Eastwood’s Production Designer on Iwo Jima and everything following that, but IMDb faked me out. For some reason I couldn’t get the PD drop-down menu to work, so all I saw were his Art Direction credits from 1978-2005. A good 33 years in the business, at any rate.

  50. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Ryan – I have no idea. Should have remembered that Murakami was Eastwood’s Production Designer on Iwo Jima and everything following that, but IMDb faked me out. For some reason I couldn’t get the PD drop-down menu to work, so all I saw were his Art Direction credits from 1978-2005. A good 33 years in the business, at any rate.

  51. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Beth, as far I can see, Murakami has only 7 films on which he was credited as Production Designer. (6 Clint Eastwood pictures, and 1 for Alison Eastwood)

    before 2006, he got Art Director credit. First 3 films after 1978 were Hammett, Comes a Horseman, and One From the Heart — all of them visually stunning.

  52. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Beth, as far I can see, Murakami has only 7 films on which he was credited as Production Designer. (6 Clint Eastwood pictures, and 1 for Alison Eastwood)

    before 2006, he got Art Director credit. First 3 films after 1978 were Hammett, Comes a Horseman, and One From the Heart — all of them visually stunning.

  53. Ryman Lloyd

    Sorry to say this… wait no I’m not. The Academy should be sorry for snubbing Nolan from last year’s directors nominations. Yes I’m still mad about that. Tom Hooper in the lineup was not as impressive as Christopher Nolan could’ve been. I did think Tom Hooper did a good job directing The King’s Speech, but COME ON! Over Nolan? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences never had a clear look at the ARTS and SCIENCE. How could Inception NOT fall under that category? It was new and inventive. The King’s Speech had none of that except great acting, nice looking ALREADY DONE sets, and tolerable cinematography. Inception influenced a whole new era of filmmaking, and the man responsible for it was not given as much recognition as he should have received.

    I’m only saying this because I’m only hoping that the Academy doesn’t make the same mistake this year as they did last year. Fincher should’ve won and Nolan should’ve been nominated. I myself wouldn’t have considered Hooper as a better director than them. He creates great adaptations, but Fincher and Nolan create new techniques. I would think that the AMPAS would stick to techniques because it’s not as special if we’ve already seen that type of movie before. Sure you can 1-UP it, but you can’t reinvent it. Most of last year was a disappointment in films and in Oscar winners. The only good surprises that happened were Inception winning cinematography and The Social Network winning Best Score. That at least gave me hope that the AMPAS had respect for the “modern” films in certain areas that I thought would never be awarded. That is until Hooper won Director and I pouted at the television pointing up my middle finger at the screen.

    I will end this hissy fit on a good note though. I think this year in films is excellent and a whole lot better than last years. We have a good, if not, GREAT line of directors (including my favorite of all time, Steven Spielberg) this year and I’m happy to say I’ve seen and thankfully enjoyed as many films this year as I did in 2008, and that was a GREAT year for films. Sure last year had a few great gems like Inception, The Social Network and Toy Story 3, but not as many charismatic films or films that are entertaining enough to watch over and over (except for the three I listed above).

    This year I’ve seen Terrence Malick bring another brilliant piece of his mind to the screen after 6 years; a terrific comedy starring an all female ensemble (except for the cop) that definitely shows women can be as funny as men can; Woody Allen put out his best work in years in expressing a true passion for the city of Paris going all the way back to the 1920s; a perfect Spielberg inspired story of kids making a movie and discovering existence of another species in their hometown, the best Harry Potter film since the third one; and finally what I believe to be the best film of this year (so far, though I doubt it could be topped), Drive. I can’t think of any other film that can top Drive at the moment unless it’s from a previous year because that movie is the type of film I’ve always wanted to see be made to where the main character shows off his true character by saying very little. A perfect analogy of actions can speak louder than words. Refn’s best work he’s ever done and I do hope that he can score a Best Director nomination and won’t be overlooked like Nolan and Boyle were last year (even though he still is new when it comes to big name recognition, though he could pull a Julian Schnabel).

    I still have yet to see The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Contagion; along with upcoming releases as well, but overall I’ve already seen enough to where I can call it better than last year. Especially if we’re still on the tip of the iceberg for Oscar contenders, there’s still a whole lot more to be seen. Anyways I certainly hope that this year’s nomination for directors will be all deserving and fairly judged, though (in my personal opinion) would love to see Spielberg get a director’s nom for War Horse which I’m sure will be fantastic.

  54. Ryman Lloyd

    Sorry to say this… wait no I’m not. The Academy should be sorry for snubbing Nolan from last year’s directors nominations. Yes I’m still mad about that. Tom Hooper in the lineup was not as impressive as Christopher Nolan could’ve been. I did think Tom Hooper did a good job directing The King’s Speech, but COME ON! Over Nolan? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences never had a clear look at the ARTS and SCIENCE. How could Inception NOT fall under that category? It was new and inventive. The King’s Speech had none of that except great acting, nice looking ALREADY DONE sets, and tolerable cinematography. Inception influenced a whole new era of filmmaking, and the man responsible for it was not given as much recognition as he should have received.

    I’m only saying this because I’m only hoping that the Academy doesn’t make the same mistake this year as they did last year. Fincher should’ve won and Nolan should’ve been nominated. I myself wouldn’t have considered Hooper as a better director than them. He creates great adaptations, but Fincher and Nolan create new techniques. I would think that the AMPAS would stick to techniques because it’s not as special if we’ve already seen that type of movie before. Sure you can 1-UP it, but you can’t reinvent it. Most of last year was a disappointment in films and in Oscar winners. The only good surprises that happened were Inception winning cinematography and The Social Network winning Best Score. That at least gave me hope that the AMPAS had respect for the “modern” films in certain areas that I thought would never be awarded. That is until Hooper won Director and I pouted at the television pointing up my middle finger at the screen.

    I will end this hissy fit on a good note though. I think this year in films is excellent and a whole lot better than last years. We have a good, if not, GREAT line of directors (including my favorite of all time, Steven Spielberg) this year and I’m happy to say I’ve seen and thankfully enjoyed as many films this year as I did in 2008, and that was a GREAT year for films. Sure last year had a few great gems like Inception, The Social Network and Toy Story 3, but not as many charismatic films or films that are entertaining enough to watch over and over (except for the three I listed above).

    This year I’ve seen Terrence Malick bring another brilliant piece of his mind to the screen after 6 years; a terrific comedy starring an all female ensemble (except for the cop) that definitely shows women can be as funny as men can; Woody Allen put out his best work in years in expressing a true passion for the city of Paris going all the way back to the 1920s; a perfect Spielberg inspired story of kids making a movie and discovering existence of another species in their hometown, the best Harry Potter film since the third one; and finally what I believe to be the best film of this year (so far, though I doubt it could be topped), Drive. I can’t think of any other film that can top Drive at the moment unless it’s from a previous year because that movie is the type of film I’ve always wanted to see be made to where the main character shows off his true character by saying very little. A perfect analogy of actions can speak louder than words. Refn’s best work he’s ever done and I do hope that he can score a Best Director nomination and won’t be overlooked like Nolan and Boyle were last year (even though he still is new when it comes to big name recognition, though he could pull a Julian Schnabel).

    I still have yet to see The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Contagion; along with upcoming releases as well, but overall I’ve already seen enough to where I can call it better than last year. Especially if we’re still on the tip of the iceberg for Oscar contenders, there’s still a whole lot more to be seen. Anyways I certainly hope that this year’s nomination for directors will be all deserving and fairly judged, though (in my personal opinion) would love to see Spielberg get a director’s nom for War Horse which I’m sure will be fantastic.

  55. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Great contribution to the discussion, Ryman. I really enjoyed reading that.

    I’ve always wanted to see be made to where the main character shows off his true character by saying very little.

    Have you seen Alain Delon in Jean Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai? If not, check it out sometime. Sounds like you might like it.

  56. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Great contribution to the discussion, Ryman. I really enjoyed reading that.

    I’ve always wanted to see be made to where the main character shows off his true character by saying very little.

    Have you seen Alain Delon in Jean Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai? If not, check it out sometime. Sounds like you might like it.

  57. Ryan,

    What does BETA mean (jolie, madonna, etc.)
    Thanks

  58. Ryan,

    What does BETA mean (jolie, madonna, etc.)
    Thanks

  59. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    That’s Sasha’s cute coinage, Mark.

    You know when software or another untried product is in the Beta testing phase? Beta testers sometimes find unexpected bugs, hiccups and glitches… maybe a few kinks need to be ironed out before it’s ready for exposure in wide release. Like that.

    (did I hear rumors this morning that Madonna is willing to work with someone to recut W.E.? or was that only a twitter tease?)

  60. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    That’s Sasha’s cute coinage, Mark.

    You know when software or another untried product is in the Beta testing phase? Beta testers sometimes find unexpected bugs, hiccups and glitches… maybe a few kinks need to be ironed out before it’s ready for exposure in wide release. Like that.

    (did I hear rumors this morning that Madonna is willing to work with someone to recut W.E.? or was that only a twitter tease?)

  61. When I saw “Hooper” I thought “Tobe Hooper,” and then I was like, “Tobe Hooper is making Oscar movies? He needs to go back to making awesome movies about white trash cannibals.” Anyway, Tobe Hooper>>>>>> Tom Hooper.
    The movie I am most excited about is “Flowers of War,” although that doesn’t have distribution yet, I hope it gets it. Zhang Yimou is my favoriter.

  62. When I saw “Hooper” I thought “Tobe Hooper,” and then I was like, “Tobe Hooper is making Oscar movies? He needs to go back to making awesome movies about white trash cannibals.” Anyway, Tobe Hooper>>>>>> Tom Hooper.
    The movie I am most excited about is “Flowers of War,” although that doesn’t have distribution yet, I hope it gets it. Zhang Yimou is my favoriter.

  63. Love the regrouping approach, Sasha

    A Malick/Payne/Refn/Hazanavicius/McQueen/Fincher ticket would be a dream (6, I know, but not gonna happen even if I whittle down to 5).

    Further to Ryan’s comment (“Hooper’s Oscar win was not expected. It was dreaded.”) Those few seconds last year when the Best Director envelope was opened – and it was looking like there was a sliver of hope – was one of the most excruciatingly tense Oscar moments I’ve experienced in decades.

    Betch y’all can’t wait for Hooper’s version of Les Mis, which should be a visionary and artistic leap. Hathaway, Jackman, Crowe, HBC, Rush….oh, just shoot me now!

  64. Love the regrouping approach, Sasha

    A Malick/Payne/Refn/Hazanavicius/McQueen/Fincher ticket would be a dream (6, I know, but not gonna happen even if I whittle down to 5).

    Further to Ryan’s comment (“Hooper’s Oscar win was not expected. It was dreaded.”) Those few seconds last year when the Best Director envelope was opened – and it was looking like there was a sliver of hope – was one of the most excruciatingly tense Oscar moments I’ve experienced in decades.

    Betch y’all can’t wait for Hooper’s version of Les Mis, which should be a visionary and artistic leap. Hathaway, Jackman, Crowe, HBC, Rush….oh, just shoot me now!

  65. Astarisborn

    Apparently per the Post, there will be an edit for W.E.
    The films has so many good qualities about it- cinematography, costume, art direction, score, and of course Andrea Riseborough.
    The scrip is what bogs it down. 10 minutes is reported to be cut.

  66. Astarisborn

    Apparently per the Post, there will be an edit for W.E.
    The films has so many good qualities about it- cinematography, costume, art direction, score, and of course Andrea Riseborough.
    The scrip is what bogs it down. 10 minutes is reported to be cut.

  67. don’t you mean deathly hallows? :)
    haven’t seen enough of these to have a very useful opinion, but based on what i have seen, i’m behind woody allen all the way! seeing tree of life tomorrow FINALLY.

  68. don’t you mean deathly hallows? :)
    haven’t seen enough of these to have a very useful opinion, but based on what i have seen, i’m behind woody allen all the way! seeing tree of life tomorrow FINALLY.

  69. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    om Hooper didn’t came from nowhere. His work won the Golden Globe for best TV-drama three years in row (a record!) and he directed the biggest Emmy-winner of all time. If that’s nowhere, than nowhere is the place where I want to be.

    It’s considered “nowhere” if it’s from TV. Here in Hollywood anyway. Although I guess that’s changing. And anyway, I guess it isn’t TV, it’s HBO. None of that would have mattered if The King’s Speech was THAT good, to my mind. But water under the bridge by now.

  70. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    om Hooper didn’t came from nowhere. His work won the Golden Globe for best TV-drama three years in row (a record!) and he directed the biggest Emmy-winner of all time. If that’s nowhere, than nowhere is the place where I want to be.

    It’s considered “nowhere” if it’s from TV. Here in Hollywood anyway. Although I guess that’s changing. And anyway, I guess it isn’t TV, it’s HBO. None of that would have mattered if The King’s Speech was THAT good, to my mind. But water under the bridge by now.

  71. Tero Heikkinen

    Right now I am feeling:

    -Clint Eastwood
    -Michel Hazanavicius
    -Alexander Payne
    -Steven Spielberg
    -Nicolas Winding Refn

  72. Tero Heikkinen

    Right now I am feeling:

    -Clint Eastwood
    -Michel Hazanavicius
    -Alexander Payne
    -Steven Spielberg
    -Nicolas Winding Refn

  73. Mi ideal list would include:
    Refn
    Cronenberg ( he deserves it)
    Malick
    McQueen
    Fincher

    One can dream no?

  74. Mi ideal list would include:
    Refn
    Cronenberg ( he deserves it)
    Malick
    McQueen
    Fincher

    One can dream no?

  75. fincher has made better films than social network and will make better films in future. they just awarded hooper for because they liked his film more than social network and it was a better film than social network. social network was just about screenplay like JUNO it didn’t have much to direct when fincher had a flawless script in hand and which was awarded.

  76. fincher has made better films than social network and will make better films in future. they just awarded hooper for because they liked his film more than social network and it was a better film than social network. social network was just about screenplay like JUNO it didn’t have much to direct when fincher had a flawless script in hand and which was awarded.

  77. and ron howard deserved to win because:
    1 half of the members might have not understood mulholland drive they way they should have. i remember being relieved that year for lynch to be nominated even since i thought he wouldn’t be considered for his intricate and complex masterpiece. if members would have gripped the film the way they were supposed to they would have nominated it for best screenplay and best picture instead of moulin rouge.
    2 the best in the lot was peter jackson for LOTR but they wanted to wait for the film to be completed and then award it which they did.
    3 black hawk down lacked the tight screenplay and memorable characters like saving private ryan and hurt locker and thus ended up being a combat movie.
    4 golden globe winner altman was closest in line but i think ABM was a better made and deeply realized film than gosford park which i personally adore from 2001 and placed it 3rd that year on my top ten.

  78. and ron howard deserved to win because:
    1 half of the members might have not understood mulholland drive they way they should have. i remember being relieved that year for lynch to be nominated even since i thought he wouldn’t be considered for his intricate and complex masterpiece. if members would have gripped the film the way they were supposed to they would have nominated it for best screenplay and best picture instead of moulin rouge.
    2 the best in the lot was peter jackson for LOTR but they wanted to wait for the film to be completed and then award it which they did.
    3 black hawk down lacked the tight screenplay and memorable characters like saving private ryan and hurt locker and thus ended up being a combat movie.
    4 golden globe winner altman was closest in line but i think ABM was a better made and deeply realized film than gosford park which i personally adore from 2001 and placed it 3rd that year on my top ten.

  79. Curious if anyone will top Refn’s direction for me. It isn’t just his technical expertise, but the way he effortlessly paces the film with the first hour dreamlike, but building of tension with moments leading to something psychologically dark and morally muddled. The second hour of course is a nightmare.

    I think Refn and Gosling could be the new Scorsese/De Niro team on their mediatation on identity and violence.

  80. Curious if anyone will top Refn’s direction for me. It isn’t just his technical expertise, but the way he effortlessly paces the film with the first hour dreamlike, but building of tension with moments leading to something psychologically dark and morally muddled. The second hour of course is a nightmare.

    I think Refn and Gosling could be the new Scorsese/De Niro team on their mediatation on identity and violence.

  81. Sasha, I will wager you 1000 dollars that Fincher and Alfredson will definitely be nomianted

    as far as the other suspects, I would love to see Winding Refn and McQueen make it to the Oscars.

  82. Sasha, I will wager you 1000 dollars that Fincher and Alfredson will definitely be nomianted

    as far as the other suspects, I would love to see Winding Refn and McQueen make it to the Oscars.

  83. Gentle Benj

    The way I see it, there are thirteen top-level contenders, in five categories:

    Belles of the Ball (the nod is theirs to lose)

    Michel Hazanavicius
    Alexander Payne

    Cannes They or Can’t They? (hey, it worked for David Lynch)

    Terence Malick
    Nicholas Winding Refn

    Something Like a Phenomenon (but will the directors take their films seriously?

    Woody Allen
    Tate Taylor
    David Yates

    Sight Unseen-ema (the smart money is not against them)

    Stephen Daldry
    David Fincher
    Steven Spielberg

    The Dark Horses (we know the movies are good, but maybe too corny/weird/remakey?)

    Tomas Alfredson
    Sean Durkin
    Bennett Miller

    I’d put money on the final five coming from among those thirteen. And if you’d told me six months ago that I’d be making a list of thirteen 2011 contenders that didn’t include Clooney, Eastwood, or Scorsese…

  84. Gentle Benj

    The way I see it, there are thirteen top-level contenders, in five categories:

    Belles of the Ball (the nod is theirs to lose)

    Michel Hazanavicius
    Alexander Payne

    Cannes They or Can’t They? (hey, it worked for David Lynch)

    Terence Malick
    Nicholas Winding Refn

    Something Like a Phenomenon (but will the directors take their films seriously?

    Woody Allen
    Tate Taylor
    David Yates

    Sight Unseen-ema (the smart money is not against them)

    Stephen Daldry
    David Fincher
    Steven Spielberg

    The Dark Horses (we know the movies are good, but maybe too corny/weird/remakey?)

    Tomas Alfredson
    Sean Durkin
    Bennett Miller

    I’d put money on the final five coming from among those thirteen. And if you’d told me six months ago that I’d be making a list of thirteen 2011 contenders that didn’t include Clooney, Eastwood, or Scorsese…

  85. The Hurt Locker did not have a tight screenplay, or memorable characters. Black Hawk Down blows that movie away in every aspect, and is the best modern war film so far.

    Look at the movie brats. Haven’t seen a rush of talent like that since.

  86. The Hurt Locker did not have a tight screenplay, or memorable characters. Black Hawk Down blows that movie away in every aspect, and is the best modern war film so far.

    Look at the movie brats. Haven’t seen a rush of talent like that since.

  87. I’m glad someone finally mentioned David Yates…and Sasha once again you prove your lack of Potter knowledge/support because Sorcerer’s Stone was a decade ago and Yates didn’t direct it, lol. Anyways, it would be a shame if the director of the best reviewed film of the year so far wasn’t nominated…

  88. I’m glad someone finally mentioned David Yates…and Sasha once again you prove your lack of Potter knowledge/support because Sorcerer’s Stone was a decade ago and Yates didn’t direct it, lol. Anyways, it would be a shame if the director of the best reviewed film of the year so far wasn’t nominated…

  89. Gentle Benj

    Scott, I think Yates’ chances have gotten better in the months since the movie’s release, actually. The movie is pretty much guaranteed a spot on the BFCA’s top ten list, and from there it’s all dominoes. A BP nod is more likely than BD, but it’s got a great shot at both.

  90. Gentle Benj

    Scott, I think Yates’ chances have gotten better in the months since the movie’s release, actually. The movie is pretty much guaranteed a spot on the BFCA’s top ten list, and from there it’s all dominoes. A BP nod is more likely than BD, but it’s got a great shot at both.

  91. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    and Sasha once again you prove your lack of Potter knowledge/support because Sorcerer’s Stone was a decade ago

    Scott, try to understand the difference between a slip-up, a typo, and “lack of knowledge”

    Do you honestly think Sasha doesn’t know the title of the last installment of the Harry Potter series?

    We make mistakes when we post things, ok? I’m supposed to proofread and skim for minor misspellings and absent apostrophes– and I thought I looked at this article carefully. But I missed the mistake too.

    Sasha and I both saw Deathly Hallows this summer. Like everybody else on planet Earth, we are both well aware that Sorcerer’s Stone was the first book and first movie.

    It’s just weird that you would take this opportunity to suggest either one of us lacks knowledge about Harry Potter. It’s insulting, ok?

    3 years ago, time after time, I kept posting articles about “Justin Lance Black.” Because the first guy I had sex with in college was named Justin, not Dustin. Maybe that repeated Freudian slip makes me ignorant. Or maybe it makes me human.

  92. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    and Sasha once again you prove your lack of Potter knowledge/support because Sorcerer’s Stone was a decade ago

    Scott, try to understand the difference between a slip-up, a typo, and “lack of knowledge”

    Do you honestly think Sasha doesn’t know the title of the last installment of the Harry Potter series?

    We make mistakes when we post things, ok? I’m supposed to proofread and skim for minor misspellings and absent apostrophes– and I thought I looked at this article carefully. But I missed the mistake too.

    Sasha and I both saw Deathly Hallows this summer. Like everybody else on planet Earth, we are both well aware that Sorcerer’s Stone was the first book and first movie.

    It’s just weird that you would take this opportunity to suggest either one of us lacks knowledge about Harry Potter. It’s insulting, ok?

    3 years ago, time after time, I kept posting articles about “Justin Lance Black.” Because the first guy I had sex with in college was named Justin, not Dustin. Maybe that repeated Freudian slip makes me ignorant. Or maybe it makes me human.

  93. It’s more lack of support then knowledge. The glaring mistake to me revealed further bias. I mean why the f else would you remove it from the contender tracker?! it’s still the best reviewed film of the year so far! (/rant)

  94. It’s more lack of support then knowledge. The glaring mistake to me revealed further bias. I mean why the f else would you remove it from the contender tracker?! it’s still the best reviewed film of the year so far! (/rant)

  95. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    It’s more lack of support then knowledge

    what’s “then” ? ignorance? or lack of support for grammar?

    or is it just insignificant human error with no real meaning?

  96. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    It’s more lack of support then knowledge

    what’s “then” ? ignorance? or lack of support for grammar?

    or is it just insignificant human error with no real meaning?

  97. Well I guess it’s a good thing I’m an engineering major, not english :p Ironically one of my friends just made the opposite error, lol. This is what he just messaged me with on skype…

    “take eric and tammys
    than bob tucker
    than myles and tessa”

  98. Well I guess it’s a good thing I’m an engineering major, not english :p Ironically one of my friends just made the opposite error, lol. This is what he just messaged me with on skype…

    “take eric and tammys
    than bob tucker
    than myles and tessa”

  99. Anyways, what will it take for you guys (and the Academy) to recognize that Harry Potter is on top by every possible quantitative measure? Last I checked it’s #1 for the year in regards to RT, Meta, BFCA, IMDB, and box office!

  100. Anyways, what will it take for you guys (and the Academy) to recognize that Harry Potter is on top by every possible quantitative measure? Last I checked it’s #1 for the year in regards to RT, Meta, BFCA, IMDB, and box office!

  101. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    No big deal Scott, and I never would’ve mentioned it if the debate hadn’t been raised about a simple slip-up

    In fact, you know what? I usually correct about 20 typos in comments per day without even being asked to fix little slips like that. It happens invisibly, no need to point them out, because I don’t want to embarrass anyone.

    We rely on the sharp eye of readers to catch mistakes when we flub up. Some readers are nicer about it than others. I appreciate it!

  102. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    No big deal Scott, and I never would’ve mentioned it if the debate hadn’t been raised about a simple slip-up

    In fact, you know what? I usually correct about 20 typos in comments per day without even being asked to fix little slips like that. It happens invisibly, no need to point them out, because I don’t want to embarrass anyone.

    We rely on the sharp eye of readers to catch mistakes when we flub up. Some readers are nicer about it than others. I appreciate it!

  103. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    what will it take for you guys (and the Academy) to recognize that Harry Potter is on top by every possible quantitative measure?

    There’s more to it than “quantitative measure” though, right?

    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives had soaring scores on RT, Metacritic and BFCA ,too — nobody was nagging us to have it on the contender tracker for Best Picture.

    Because if this was all about numbers, you’d be able to engineer the Oscars.

  104. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    what will it take for you guys (and the Academy) to recognize that Harry Potter is on top by every possible quantitative measure?

    There’s more to it than “quantitative measure” though, right?

    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives had soaring scores on RT, Metacritic and BFCA ,too — nobody was nagging us to have it on the contender tracker for Best Picture.

    Because if this was all about numbers, you’d be able to engineer the Oscars.

  105. James Francis McAnderson

    War Horse is going to clean up Oscar. When was the last time a war epic didn’t do well at the Oscars?

  106. James Francis McAnderson

    War Horse is going to clean up Oscar. When was the last time a war epic didn’t do well at the Oscars?

  107. Unlikelyhood

    This is really two posts in one, separated by the paragraph that begins “but when the oscars honor”. It’s a testament to how much we all love sasha’s writing (notwithstanding contrarian commentary) that everyone replied to the second part and not to the twitter consensus stuff (in other words, everyone read to the end).

    I don’t have much at this time. But I’m surprised We Need…Kevin isn’t getting more love.

  108. Unlikelyhood

    This is really two posts in one, separated by the paragraph that begins “but when the oscars honor”. It’s a testament to how much we all love sasha’s writing (notwithstanding contrarian commentary) that everyone replied to the second part and not to the twitter consensus stuff (in other words, everyone read to the end).

    I don’t have much at this time. But I’m surprised We Need…Kevin isn’t getting more love.

  109. “Look at the movie brats. Haven’t seen a rush of talent like that since.”

    Yep, no doubt. Who would be on that picture if it was modern times? PT Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Nolan
    I dont know, they are all good, to great, but not going to shatter film history as much as the ‘brats’

  110. “Look at the movie brats. Haven’t seen a rush of talent like that since.”

    Yep, no doubt. Who would be on that picture if it was modern times? PT Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Nolan
    I dont know, they are all good, to great, but not going to shatter film history as much as the ‘brats’

  111. @ Ryan

    And did you also not have Titanic, Return of the King, and Avatar on the contender tracker in their respective years? What makes Harry Potter so different? In many respects it’s surpassed those films achievements even.

  112. @ Ryan

    And did you also not have Titanic, Return of the King, and Avatar on the contender tracker in their respective years? What makes Harry Potter so different? In many respects it’s surpassed those films achievements even.

  113. I’ll re-quote the rundown one of my friends on a Potter forum gave-

    “it’s the biggest film of the year and the third best of all-time right after the Cameron films. Both Titanic and Avatar were major frontrunners and Titanic even won Best Picture. The forth most successful film is the Return of the King which also won Best Picture. Now, we’re not talking about winning Best Picture, but it seems that all the massive critically-acclaimed blockbusters have been nominated before. Why not the final Potter?
    Another advantage is that DH2 has received critical acclaim beyond any other film of the series so far. 97% on RT, 100% from top critics, 87% on Metacritic, 93% on BFCA and 8.3 on IMDb (currently the 133th best film of all-time, according to their list. It’ll drop but it’ll stay in top 250 easily). It’s also the best received film of the year. Actually, its ratings are even higher than Return of the King, Avatar and Titanic’s! Hell, the RT ones are even higher than last year’s Best Picture winner ‘The King’s Speech’! Surprisingly or not, Deathly Hallows 2 seems to have a massive support by the critics.
    Finally, let’s not forget WB’s promise to campaign the film extremely hard for the Oscars. It seems that, after the continuous reviews that praise Alan Rickman’s acting and with the support of the British members of the Academy, Alan Rickman could also be a major contender. So, we have WB’s campaign, the finale of the phenomenal saga, the massive box office, the support of the critics and the British Academy wanting to support their ‘child’. People write Potter off easily, saying that it won’t be noticed, but I feel that it’s still a major Best Picture-nominee contender.”

  114. I’ll re-quote the rundown one of my friends on a Potter forum gave-

    “it’s the biggest film of the year and the third best of all-time right after the Cameron films. Both Titanic and Avatar were major frontrunners and Titanic even won Best Picture. The forth most successful film is the Return of the King which also won Best Picture. Now, we’re not talking about winning Best Picture, but it seems that all the massive critically-acclaimed blockbusters have been nominated before. Why not the final Potter?
    Another advantage is that DH2 has received critical acclaim beyond any other film of the series so far. 97% on RT, 100% from top critics, 87% on Metacritic, 93% on BFCA and 8.3 on IMDb (currently the 133th best film of all-time, according to their list. It’ll drop but it’ll stay in top 250 easily). It’s also the best received film of the year. Actually, its ratings are even higher than Return of the King, Avatar and Titanic’s! Hell, the RT ones are even higher than last year’s Best Picture winner ‘The King’s Speech’! Surprisingly or not, Deathly Hallows 2 seems to have a massive support by the critics.
    Finally, let’s not forget WB’s promise to campaign the film extremely hard for the Oscars. It seems that, after the continuous reviews that praise Alan Rickman’s acting and with the support of the British members of the Academy, Alan Rickman could also be a major contender. So, we have WB’s campaign, the finale of the phenomenal saga, the massive box office, the support of the critics and the British Academy wanting to support their ‘child’. People write Potter off easily, saying that it won’t be noticed, but I feel that it’s still a major Best Picture-nominee contender.”

  115. I just hope J. Edgar won’t steal the WB thunder…

  116. I just hope J. Edgar won’t steal the WB thunder…

  117. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Titanic, Return of the King, and Avatar on the contender tracker in their respective years? What makes Harry Potter so different?

    Scott, no point haggling over this. I hate to rub it in, but: The difference between Titanic, Return of the King, Avatar and Deathly Hallows is the first three won Golden Globes for Best Picture and the last one will not.

  118. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Titanic, Return of the King, and Avatar on the contender tracker in their respective years? What makes Harry Potter so different?

    Scott, no point haggling over this. I hate to rub it in, but: The difference between Titanic, Return of the King, Avatar and Deathly Hallows is the first three won Golden Globes for Best Picture and the last one will not.

  119. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Scott, I love the Harry Potter series. I think Sasha does too.

    I love a lot of movies that got completely ignored by the Oscars. It’s not an insult to a movie to say “it’s not an Oscar Movie.” It’s a compliment.

  120. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Scott, I love the Harry Potter series. I think Sasha does too.

    I love a lot of movies that got completely ignored by the Oscars. It’s not an insult to a movie to say “it’s not an Oscar Movie.” It’s a compliment.

  121. James Francis McAnderson

    Harry Potter won’t be nominated for best picture. It was too uneven, the screenplay was adequately adapted but not nomination worthy, and I found it not as good as it could have been mainly due to sloppy editing and a weak score.

  122. James Francis McAnderson

    Harry Potter won’t be nominated for best picture. It was too uneven, the screenplay was adequately adapted but not nomination worthy, and I found it not as good as it could have been mainly due to sloppy editing and a weak score.

  123. But it got 100 fucking percent from Top Critics! Are Oscar voters really going to view it so different than the “experts”?

  124. But it got 100 fucking percent from Top Critics! Are Oscar voters really going to view it so different than the “experts”?

  125. James Francis McAnderson

    Well, Scott, yes. The Blind Side, The Reader, Crash, Chocolat.

  126. James Francis McAnderson

    Well, Scott, yes. The Blind Side, The Reader, Crash, Chocolat.

  127. James Francis McAnderson

    Never underestimate the power of a strong score. Look at The King’s Speech with that one single solemn note flickering like his heartbeat….. all that easy persuasion ooozes into Oscar votes. Harry Potter 7.2 put out quite a weak score and at points when I was looking for that emotional persuasion, I didn’t have anything.

  128. James Francis McAnderson

    Never underestimate the power of a strong score. Look at The King’s Speech with that one single solemn note flickering like his heartbeat….. all that easy persuasion ooozes into Oscar votes. Harry Potter 7.2 put out quite a weak score and at points when I was looking for that emotional persuasion, I didn’t have anything.

  129. Bob Burns

    Good piece. interesting that Eastwood didn’t make the final list. I trust Sasha’s hunches, though. Eastwood’s missed a nod for a few years now, but they may feel they’ve honored him enough, no matter what.

  130. Bob Burns

    Good piece. interesting that Eastwood didn’t make the final list. I trust Sasha’s hunches, though. Eastwood’s missed a nod for a few years now, but they may feel they’ve honored him enough, no matter what.

  131. Having been just bowled over by “The Help” and I mean WOWED. I can’t stop thinking about it. And here’s a newsflash Tate Taylor will be nominated for Best Director. That film has momentum in spades, er, no, I didn’t it mean it like that. A plenty is more correct. Where is that cross-out icon?

    And while he may not WIN, I think if they nominate the film and Viola Davis for Best Actress and perhaps as many as THREE supporting actresses, they are gonig to nominate THE MALE director of an all female flick. THAT ALSO MAKES A TON OF MONEY.

    And Tom Hooper’s “John Adams” is a masterpiece. I’ve watched it over and over and over again, so he did not come out of no-where. He came out of HBO, which is the coolest, best, most consistent place to work these days.

    Darren Aronofsky STILL can’t believe he was nominated for an Oscar, BTW, and praised HBO to me as “The only place that is run by the creatives not the suits.”

    And “John Adams” had a cast of 1000s on both sides of the camera, so all those people who voted for him, KNEW him and had worked with him, most likely. And all those TV people have the dream of “cross-over.” Hooper himself said to David Karger that he sees both TV and film to be equally valid mediums these days. HBO especially.
    And of course, Tom Hooper(and Colin Firth, etc. etc.) also had HARVEY behind him.
    I still stay Scott Rudin does not know how to run an Oscar campaign. And “Dragon Tattoo” is his this year…
    Harvey’s “The Artist” did not win the People’s or the Audience Choice award this year at TIFF. It should have. Or “the Descendants” which leaves the race wide open for “War Horse” or even Woody.
    Scott Rudin’s “Book of Mormon” swept the Tonys this year, but the Tonys and the Oscars are two totally different, er, war horses.

  132. Having been just bowled over by “The Help” and I mean WOWED. I can’t stop thinking about it. And here’s a newsflash Tate Taylor will be nominated for Best Director. That film has momentum in spades, er, no, I didn’t it mean it like that. A plenty is more correct. Where is that cross-out icon?

    And while he may not WIN, I think if they nominate the film and Viola Davis for Best Actress and perhaps as many as THREE supporting actresses, they are gonig to nominate THE MALE director of an all female flick. THAT ALSO MAKES A TON OF MONEY.

    And Tom Hooper’s “John Adams” is a masterpiece. I’ve watched it over and over and over again, so he did not come out of no-where. He came out of HBO, which is the coolest, best, most consistent place to work these days.

    Darren Aronofsky STILL can’t believe he was nominated for an Oscar, BTW, and praised HBO to me as “The only place that is run by the creatives not the suits.”

    And “John Adams” had a cast of 1000s on both sides of the camera, so all those people who voted for him, KNEW him and had worked with him, most likely. And all those TV people have the dream of “cross-over.” Hooper himself said to David Karger that he sees both TV and film to be equally valid mediums these days. HBO especially.
    And of course, Tom Hooper(and Colin Firth, etc. etc.) also had HARVEY behind him.
    I still stay Scott Rudin does not know how to run an Oscar campaign. And “Dragon Tattoo” is his this year…
    Harvey’s “The Artist” did not win the People’s or the Audience Choice award this year at TIFF. It should have. Or “the Descendants” which leaves the race wide open for “War Horse” or even Woody.
    Scott Rudin’s “Book of Mormon” swept the Tonys this year, but the Tonys and the Oscars are two totally different, er, war horses.

  133. Hey Scott, lemme boil it down for you:
    Guess what the past 108/110 best picture nominees (past 20 years) have in common? They all had at least one writing, directing, or acting nomination to their name – HP7B will not.
    The two that didn’t? Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

    And HP7B needs 5% #1 votes. An eight part series where the previous seven installments never scored one win let alone one nod in the top eight categories is suddenly a slam-dunk best picture nominee? No.
    Nomination under the previous system, sure. This system, probably not.

  134. Hey Scott, lemme boil it down for you:
    Guess what the past 108/110 best picture nominees (past 20 years) have in common? They all had at least one writing, directing, or acting nomination to their name – HP7B will not.
    The two that didn’t? Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

    And HP7B needs 5% #1 votes. An eight part series where the previous seven installments never scored one win let alone one nod in the top eight categories is suddenly a slam-dunk best picture nominee? No.
    Nomination under the previous system, sure. This system, probably not.

  135. Well I dunno about being a “compliment” Ryan, but the fact that Rear Window wasn’t nominated for Best Picture still dumbfounds me…

  136. Well I dunno about being a “compliment” Ryan, but the fact that Rear Window wasn’t nominated for Best Picture still dumbfounds me…

  137. or since we’re talking directors, the fact that Alfred Hitchcock never won Best Director, say what?!

  138. or since we’re talking directors, the fact that Alfred Hitchcock never won Best Director, say what?!

  139. Scott, Potter was a HUGE cultural phenomenon, no denying it. The books actually got kids to read again, however briefly, and they managed to translate each onto the screen successfully, none more so probably that the last installment. Hence the high positive ratings which translate to a community agreement of “well done!”

    Now we have the end of the year approaching and every critic (and AMPAS member) starts to think about what defines this year on screen. Some will include Potter in their year end lists, but many will opt for other work that they feel advanced storytelling, changed our way of looking at things or blasted us with a performance we weren’t expecting. That does nothing to diminish the impact of the Potter series. Does DH2 define filmmaking in 2011? It wouldn’t surprise me if DH2 does better come awards season than its predecessors. We haven’t seen but a fraction of this year’s releases yet, but it appears to be a bumper crop this year, so even making a top 10 list is going to be tough – and DH2 is probably not what most are looking for to make the cut.

  140. Scott, Potter was a HUGE cultural phenomenon, no denying it. The books actually got kids to read again, however briefly, and they managed to translate each onto the screen successfully, none more so probably that the last installment. Hence the high positive ratings which translate to a community agreement of “well done!”

    Now we have the end of the year approaching and every critic (and AMPAS member) starts to think about what defines this year on screen. Some will include Potter in their year end lists, but many will opt for other work that they feel advanced storytelling, changed our way of looking at things or blasted us with a performance we weren’t expecting. That does nothing to diminish the impact of the Potter series. Does DH2 define filmmaking in 2011? It wouldn’t surprise me if DH2 does better come awards season than its predecessors. We haven’t seen but a fraction of this year’s releases yet, but it appears to be a bumper crop this year, so even making a top 10 list is going to be tough – and DH2 is probably not what most are looking for to make the cut.

  141. You’re probably right Bryce…it’s going to boil down to this new stupid fucking system which supposedly they think is going to further help “popular” fare make it in and increase their viewing ratings…but they are delusional. What it’s going to do is bring about the most embarrassing omission in Oscar history! Under the 10 film system of the last 2 years it’d be a lock for the “Blockbuster” slot that previously went to Avatar and Inception…but now, sigh I fear not. Still maybe there’s enough British support and voters in the tech departments to squeeze it in. We can hope.

  142. You’re probably right Bryce…it’s going to boil down to this new stupid fucking system which supposedly they think is going to further help “popular” fare make it in and increase their viewing ratings…but they are delusional. What it’s going to do is bring about the most embarrassing omission in Oscar history! Under the 10 film system of the last 2 years it’d be a lock for the “Blockbuster” slot that previously went to Avatar and Inception…but now, sigh I fear not. Still maybe there’s enough British support and voters in the tech departments to squeeze it in. We can hope.

  143. James Francis McAnderson

    If The Help is nominated I will ingest my hair.

  144. James Francis McAnderson

    If The Help is nominated I will ingest my hair.

  145. First of all the pattern was shattered by Kathryn Bigelow’s win for The Hurt Locker not by Tom Hoopers win for The King’s Speech. If anything changed the dynamics of the Best Director’s category Bigelow’s win did that and if you want to compare resumes then us Bigelow’s resume.

    ” will never vote for a movie that pundits and critics are telling them they SHOULD vote for if they didn’t “like” that movie as much as they liked the one that moved them.” Why should anyone vote for a movie because some critic or pundit or blogger told them they should? The Oscars were never designed to be a critics, pundits, or bloggers arena.

    And it’s consider from nowhere if it originates on TV? Are you serious? If that’s the case then Glenn Close better hang up her skirt cause her TV resume looks a lot healthier than her film resume. Not too mention the various productions that originated on Television in the fifties and then made their way to the big screen. Where do you come with this stuff? Damn and what if it originates in a real live Theater? Is Broadway now another planet? :SMH:

  146. First of all the pattern was shattered by Kathryn Bigelow’s win for The Hurt Locker not by Tom Hoopers win for The King’s Speech. If anything changed the dynamics of the Best Director’s category Bigelow’s win did that and if you want to compare resumes then us Bigelow’s resume.

    ” will never vote for a movie that pundits and critics are telling them they SHOULD vote for if they didn’t “like” that movie as much as they liked the one that moved them.” Why should anyone vote for a movie because some critic or pundit or blogger told them they should? The Oscars were never designed to be a critics, pundits, or bloggers arena.

    And it’s consider from nowhere if it originates on TV? Are you serious? If that’s the case then Glenn Close better hang up her skirt cause her TV resume looks a lot healthier than her film resume. Not too mention the various productions that originated on Television in the fifties and then made their way to the big screen. Where do you come with this stuff? Damn and what if it originates in a real live Theater? Is Broadway now another planet? :SMH:

  147. Gentle Benj

    it appears to be a bumper crop this year

    I dunno… some the long-expected contenders are already starting to drop out of serious contention. When you look at the last three months of the year and think “how will we choose among such an embarrassment of riches?”, the answer is “you won’t have to, because a good half of those movies will disappoint.”

  148. Gentle Benj

    it appears to be a bumper crop this year

    I dunno… some the long-expected contenders are already starting to drop out of serious contention. When you look at the last three months of the year and think “how will we choose among such an embarrassment of riches?”, the answer is “you won’t have to, because a good half of those movies will disappoint.”

  149. James Francis McAnderson

    I’m sorry but Tom Hooper’s John Adams wasn’t just some old TV show. It may be one of the best biography’s ever made.

  150. James Francis McAnderson

    I’m sorry but Tom Hooper’s John Adams wasn’t just some old TV show. It may be one of the best biography’s ever made.

  151. julian the emperor

    It’s quite depressing how most of you seem to take spent forces like Eastwood and Scorsese as valid contenders for best director in any given year. They are creatively bankrupt both of them, now, face the truth!
    To me, Payne is the obvious frontrunner alongside Haznavicius for the simple reason that we know both movies to be critically applauded awards-type movies backed by a most probable great campaign effort. Spielberg and Daldry are the great unknowns of this game. I don’t for a minute automatically count them in, they have to release strong efforts to stay in the game. Right now, I would say:
    Alfredson, Haznavicius, Payne, Spielberg and I hope the fifth spot goes to something rather more artful (preferably McQueen, Refn or Malick…wishful thinking, huh?)

  152. julian the emperor

    It’s quite depressing how most of you seem to take spent forces like Eastwood and Scorsese as valid contenders for best director in any given year. They are creatively bankrupt both of them, now, face the truth!
    To me, Payne is the obvious frontrunner alongside Haznavicius for the simple reason that we know both movies to be critically applauded awards-type movies backed by a most probable great campaign effort. Spielberg and Daldry are the great unknowns of this game. I don’t for a minute automatically count them in, they have to release strong efforts to stay in the game. Right now, I would say:
    Alfredson, Haznavicius, Payne, Spielberg and I hope the fifth spot goes to something rather more artful (preferably McQueen, Refn or Malick…wishful thinking, huh?)

  153. @julian

    “Spent forces like Eastwood and Scorsese”? “Creatively bankrupt”? How are we supposed to take anything you say seriously after that? Eastwood fizzled a little bit the last few years, it’s true, but “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby”, and “Letters from Iwo Jima” were three of the most highly regarded films of the decade. And as for Scorsese, his absolute finest films (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas) might be behind him, but The Aviator, The Departed and the (to my mind) highly underrated Shutter Island remain the products of an absolutely gargantuan talent. Perhaps neither is at their absolute apex, but each absolutely remain amongst the 10ish best directors on the planet. They’ve certainly each done more quality work over the past decade than any of the filmmakers you listed (none of whom I am defaming with this entirely reasonable claim).

  154. @julian

    “Spent forces like Eastwood and Scorsese”? “Creatively bankrupt”? How are we supposed to take anything you say seriously after that? Eastwood fizzled a little bit the last few years, it’s true, but “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby”, and “Letters from Iwo Jima” were three of the most highly regarded films of the decade. And as for Scorsese, his absolute finest films (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas) might be behind him, but The Aviator, The Departed and the (to my mind) highly underrated Shutter Island remain the products of an absolutely gargantuan talent. Perhaps neither is at their absolute apex, but each absolutely remain amongst the 10ish best directors on the planet. They’ve certainly each done more quality work over the past decade than any of the filmmakers you listed (none of whom I am defaming with this entirely reasonable claim).

  155. @ matt and julian

    I’ve got to agree with Matt here (i know you already know that julian- we’ve had our debate). He’s right on on pretty much every word. Their resumes are utterly fantastic in the 21st century even as they age. Julian, forget about me or matt… why do you think you differ from so many of the critics both domestically and internationally on this? Eastwood has made 10 features since 2000 with an average rating on metacritic of 74… Scorsese has made 4 features (not counting documentaries and re-releases) with an average metacritic rating of 74.5. It’s quite challenging to find other directors that have been as prolific and well-reviewed in the past 10-11 years.

    this website compiles and archives critics lists… it has listed the top directors of the 21st century and has both of these guys in the top 25… it has eastwood #2!! http://www.theyshootpictures.com/21stcentury_directorstop50.htm . Eastwood has 4 films represented in the top 250 films of the 21st century, Scorsese has 3 (both amongst the most represented).

    i will agree with you that i hope a slot is reserved for someone more off the radar such as refn or malick.

  156. @ matt and julian

    I’ve got to agree with Matt here (i know you already know that julian- we’ve had our debate). He’s right on on pretty much every word. Their resumes are utterly fantastic in the 21st century even as they age. Julian, forget about me or matt… why do you think you differ from so many of the critics both domestically and internationally on this? Eastwood has made 10 features since 2000 with an average rating on metacritic of 74… Scorsese has made 4 features (not counting documentaries and re-releases) with an average metacritic rating of 74.5. It’s quite challenging to find other directors that have been as prolific and well-reviewed in the past 10-11 years.

    this website compiles and archives critics lists… it has listed the top directors of the 21st century and has both of these guys in the top 25… it has eastwood #2!! http://www.theyshootpictures.com/21stcentury_directorstop50.htm . Eastwood has 4 films represented in the top 250 films of the 21st century, Scorsese has 3 (both amongst the most represented).

    i will agree with you that i hope a slot is reserved for someone more off the radar such as refn or malick.

  157. just as a comparison… cause i know you’re a fan of fincher, he has an average rating on metactic of 77 since 2000… he has 2 movies in the top 250 of TSPDT.com and is rated as the 12th best director of the 21st century.

  158. just as a comparison… cause i know you’re a fan of fincher, he has an average rating on metactic of 77 since 2000… he has 2 movies in the top 250 of TSPDT.com and is rated as the 12th best director of the 21st century.

  159. Tero Heikkinen

    Nicolas Winding Refn must learn that UK (not just USA) is also very strick about using the f-word on television. The look on Carey Mulligan’s face is priceless.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQIp2ydZhAo

  160. Tero Heikkinen

    Nicolas Winding Refn must learn that UK (not just USA) is also very strick about using the f-word on television. The look on Carey Mulligan’s face is priceless.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQIp2ydZhAo

  161. I’m just going to throw out there that No Country For Old Men isn’t as good as There Will Be Blood and yet it probably could still be the best of the BPs from the last twenty years. Which is saying something about how good 2007 was.

  162. I’m just going to throw out there that No Country For Old Men isn’t as good as There Will Be Blood and yet it probably could still be the best of the BPs from the last twenty years. Which is saying something about how good 2007 was.

  163. Scorsese should have been nominated as Best Director as Shutter Island? Smoking whose crack pipe?

  164. Scorsese should have been nominated as Best Director as Shutter Island? Smoking whose crack pipe?

  165. Also, Jason Reitman got the short straw again, not meriting a mention. There’s a pattern here.

    Sasha, are you not a fan? Do you not think Young Adult will be a player? I’m genuinely curious. He’s already got two BD noms and three great films; he’s surely got to be up there as a Reliable/Wunderkid.

  166. Also, Jason Reitman got the short straw again, not meriting a mention. There’s a pattern here.

    Sasha, are you not a fan? Do you not think Young Adult will be a player? I’m genuinely curious. He’s already got two BD noms and three great films; he’s surely got to be up there as a Reliable/Wunderkid.

  167. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    TSPDT.com — what is that, drake?

    and don’t forget Fincher has 3 films in the IMDb Top 250. (2 of them in the top 30) No matter what anyone thinks of IMDb voter demographics, I consider every one of those 250 films to be essentials. And, man, the top 30 of the top 250 are out and out genius. Those 30 films are masterclass time-capsule pinnacles of cinema history.

  168. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    TSPDT.com — what is that, drake?

    and don’t forget Fincher has 3 films in the IMDb Top 250. (2 of them in the top 30) No matter what anyone thinks of IMDb voter demographics, I consider every one of those 250 films to be essentials. And, man, the top 30 of the top 250 are out and out genius. Those 30 films are masterclass time-capsule pinnacles of cinema history.

  169. With the kind of reviews moneyball is having it should be part of the talk,so far 93% rotton tomatoes,100 % top critics plus a good online buzz

  170. With the kind of reviews moneyball is having it should be part of the talk,so far 93% rotton tomatoes,100 % top critics plus a good online buzz

  171. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    ^
    judging from her Twitter reaction after last night’s screening, I think we can look forward very soon to seeing Sasha set Moneyball on one of the Ten Pedestals of Lockity-Locks.

  172. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    ^
    judging from her Twitter reaction after last night’s screening, I think we can look forward very soon to seeing Sasha set Moneyball on one of the Ten Pedestals of Lockity-Locks.

  173. @ ryan i will see it friday,am not a baseball fan but will keep an open mind,I think this years oscar race is very solid at the end of the day some good movies will have to be snubbed,certain categories are already overcrowded

  174. @ ryan i will see it friday,am not a baseball fan but will keep an open mind,I think this years oscar race is very solid at the end of the day some good movies will have to be snubbed,certain categories are already overcrowded

  175. julian the emperor

    Frankly, Matt and Drake, I am not all that interested in how certain stats and lists place Scorsese’s or Eastwood’s work from 2000-2010. I am not a big fan of that sort of bowing down to “objective” criteria for what constitutes great art. I can only tell you what I think. And I have said this before: I find Letters from Iwo Jima a late-career peak of Eastwood, for which I admire him. But at look at everyone else he has made the last ten years (prolific? Indeed!). Changeling, Hereafter, Invictus, Million Dollar Baby and Flags Of Our Fathers are poor efforts in my book. I detest MDB, for one thing. The other three are just really lazy and lacks narrative focus and compelling screenplays. Scorsese? I love the guy! That’s why I think movies like Shutter Island (a below-par b-movie disaster), The Aviator, Gangs Of New York etc. are really disappointing. It is populist, conventional filmmaking without any artistic impetus about them. The Departed is a fine movie, nothing special, by the book, but as a genre movie I found it quite enjoyable.
    The best director of the last ten-fifteen years? Michael Haneke, no contest!

  176. julian the emperor

    Frankly, Matt and Drake, I am not all that interested in how certain stats and lists place Scorsese’s or Eastwood’s work from 2000-2010. I am not a big fan of that sort of bowing down to “objective” criteria for what constitutes great art. I can only tell you what I think. And I have said this before: I find Letters from Iwo Jima a late-career peak of Eastwood, for which I admire him. But at look at everyone else he has made the last ten years (prolific? Indeed!). Changeling, Hereafter, Invictus, Million Dollar Baby and Flags Of Our Fathers are poor efforts in my book. I detest MDB, for one thing. The other three are just really lazy and lacks narrative focus and compelling screenplays. Scorsese? I love the guy! That’s why I think movies like Shutter Island (a below-par b-movie disaster), The Aviator, Gangs Of New York etc. are really disappointing. It is populist, conventional filmmaking without any artistic impetus about them. The Departed is a fine movie, nothing special, by the book, but as a genre movie I found it quite enjoyable.
    The best director of the last ten-fifteen years? Michael Haneke, no contest!

  177. julian the emperor

    Ok, should have said: “But look at everything else he has made….”

  178. julian the emperor

    Ok, should have said: “But look at everything else he has made….”

  179. @ ryan

    TSPDT.com is “they shoot pictures, don’t they?” … its a fabulous website…. http://www.theyshootpictures.com/index.htm the creator of the site, Bill, is a nice guy who i correspond with every once in awhile. His tastes are questionable, but the site he maintains and updates annually is fantastic and he keeps his opinions to himself almost entirely. The site is a dream for those that like cinema- specifically auteur/director theory. He also does a “best 1000″ of all time (this is not his opinion but a compilation of the best critics, as well as best 250 of the 21st century. I’d check it out.

  180. @ ryan

    TSPDT.com is “they shoot pictures, don’t they?” … its a fabulous website…. http://www.theyshootpictures.com/index.htm the creator of the site, Bill, is a nice guy who i correspond with every once in awhile. His tastes are questionable, but the site he maintains and updates annually is fantastic and he keeps his opinions to himself almost entirely. The site is a dream for those that like cinema- specifically auteur/director theory. He also does a “best 1000″ of all time (this is not his opinion but a compilation of the best critics, as well as best 250 of the 21st century. I’d check it out.

  181. @julian

    i can’t wait for a haneke topic to come up on this website so we can agree on something. I’m a huge fan of his work and admit that after “cache” and “the white ribbon” he is at the height of his powers! haha it will be fun to agree on something finally!

    as for scorsese and eastwood you are definitely entitled to your opinion… but if i were you it would bug me tremendously that i agree with critics so much on say haneke and fincher but disagree so adamantly with them on eastwood and scorsese… are those same 40 critics all each individually wrong on those two latter directors? or is it you? that is the question i would be asking myself.

    everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is art so its not an exact objective science… you are wrong to think consensus doesn’t matter though. You could say Ryan Gosling is a great actor, and i could say that Paul Walker (this is a total joke- i love gosling and hate walker) is a better one. We both have an opinion. I would be wrong in this instance- there is a right and wrong. Its why tours of art museums are given by experts and not dumb tourists (again i don’t mean you here, this is just a drastic example to make a point), the tourist could think the renoir painting is a piece of junk and the expert giving the tour could “know definitively” that it isn’t. They both have an opinion here- they are not equal.

  182. @julian

    i can’t wait for a haneke topic to come up on this website so we can agree on something. I’m a huge fan of his work and admit that after “cache” and “the white ribbon” he is at the height of his powers! haha it will be fun to agree on something finally!

    as for scorsese and eastwood you are definitely entitled to your opinion… but if i were you it would bug me tremendously that i agree with critics so much on say haneke and fincher but disagree so adamantly with them on eastwood and scorsese… are those same 40 critics all each individually wrong on those two latter directors? or is it you? that is the question i would be asking myself.

    everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is art so its not an exact objective science… you are wrong to think consensus doesn’t matter though. You could say Ryan Gosling is a great actor, and i could say that Paul Walker (this is a total joke- i love gosling and hate walker) is a better one. We both have an opinion. I would be wrong in this instance- there is a right and wrong. Its why tours of art museums are given by experts and not dumb tourists (again i don’t mean you here, this is just a drastic example to make a point), the tourist could think the renoir painting is a piece of junk and the expert giving the tour could “know definitively” that it isn’t. They both have an opinion here- they are not equal.

  183. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    nice to see drake & julian sparring like gentleman
    here’s part 1 of a 5-part Eastwood profile that’s launching today

  184. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    nice to see drake & julian sparring like gentleman
    here’s part 1 of a 5-part Eastwood profile that’s launching today

  185. Nothing against newcomers. Fresh blood is good. My only problem with Hooper is he winning over Fincher. That is absolutely ridiculous.

    @ Sijmen – you’ve said it all, my friend. Ron Howard’s Oscar is as unfair as Gwyneth’s.

  186. Nothing against newcomers. Fresh blood is good. My only problem with Hooper is he winning over Fincher. That is absolutely ridiculous.

    @ Sijmen – you’ve said it all, my friend. Ron Howard’s Oscar is as unfair as Gwyneth’s.

  187. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I’m not a fan of Ron Howard either but I resisted posting this wider shot of the photo we used to top Sasha’s post because it just felt too cruel to show why everybody else at the table looks like, “who invited this dweeb?

  188. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I’m not a fan of Ron Howard either but I resisted posting this wider shot of the photo we used to top Sasha’s post because it just felt too cruel to show why everybody else at the table looks like, “who invited this dweeb?

  189. julian the emperor

    Well, drake, if you didn’t like Haneke, you would be out of your mind…;)
    But again, I don’t care about being in the minority when it comes to movie preferences, why is it necessary to bow down to any form of consensus (outside of the political realm, that is)? I don’t see why, when it comes to aesthetic judgements, I (or anybody else) should be bogged down by consensus. As i have been saying earlier (in a discussion with ryan) Flaubert’s masterpiece, Madame Bovary, was deemed a perverse, tasteless piece of junk when it appeared in 19th century France, but that doesn’t make it junk to you or me or anybody with a contemporary perspective on the history of literature. I’m quite confident that when all is said and done, Scorsese, as the most prominent example, will be held in high esteem for his 70s output as well as his early 90s output. And The Departed will be named solely on the basis of it earning him an Oscar (too little, too late!) The period we are discussing (2000-2010) cannot be regarded exclusively on the basis of how most critics feel in the year 2011, methinks! I need a larger frame for discussion and comparative analysis. Let’s wait until the year 2041, perhaps?;)
    Until then, I have to stand by my own opinions, not worrying whether I’m “wrong” in the minds of the majority.

  190. julian the emperor

    Well, drake, if you didn’t like Haneke, you would be out of your mind…;)
    But again, I don’t care about being in the minority when it comes to movie preferences, why is it necessary to bow down to any form of consensus (outside of the political realm, that is)? I don’t see why, when it comes to aesthetic judgements, I (or anybody else) should be bogged down by consensus. As i have been saying earlier (in a discussion with ryan) Flaubert’s masterpiece, Madame Bovary, was deemed a perverse, tasteless piece of junk when it appeared in 19th century France, but that doesn’t make it junk to you or me or anybody with a contemporary perspective on the history of literature. I’m quite confident that when all is said and done, Scorsese, as the most prominent example, will be held in high esteem for his 70s output as well as his early 90s output. And The Departed will be named solely on the basis of it earning him an Oscar (too little, too late!) The period we are discussing (2000-2010) cannot be regarded exclusively on the basis of how most critics feel in the year 2011, methinks! I need a larger frame for discussion and comparative analysis. Let’s wait until the year 2041, perhaps?;)
    Until then, I have to stand by my own opinions, not worrying whether I’m “wrong” in the minds of the majority.

  191. You made my day with that photo, Ryan. Thanks! :D

  192. You made my day with that photo, Ryan. Thanks! :D

  193. Sasha, that’s an awesome quote you ended with there. It’s going down as one of my favorites.

  194. Sasha, that’s an awesome quote you ended with there. It’s going down as one of my favorites.

  195. @ julian

    haha glad we agreed to disagree so peaceably again. I’ll be looking for your name on comments from now on hoping we can find something to agree soon :) If i did say Haneke was overrated (i love him and his work so i’m not) you’d feel frustrated just like Matt and I are with your minority opposition to Eastwood and Scorsese’s 21st century output. i’m sure you’d have steam coming from your ears (and rightly so) if someone insulted haneke’s work and called him “creatively bankrupt” and couldn’t see the clear aesthetic beauty that so many others grasp quite easily. To me its not about “preferences” and “tastes”, its about evaluative skill and knowledge and grasp of film aesthetics, style, form, and appreciation of the auteur theory…. and i think, at least in the case of eastwood and scorsese, you are lacking.

  196. @ julian

    haha glad we agreed to disagree so peaceably again. I’ll be looking for your name on comments from now on hoping we can find something to agree soon :) If i did say Haneke was overrated (i love him and his work so i’m not) you’d feel frustrated just like Matt and I are with your minority opposition to Eastwood and Scorsese’s 21st century output. i’m sure you’d have steam coming from your ears (and rightly so) if someone insulted haneke’s work and called him “creatively bankrupt” and couldn’t see the clear aesthetic beauty that so many others grasp quite easily. To me its not about “preferences” and “tastes”, its about evaluative skill and knowledge and grasp of film aesthetics, style, form, and appreciation of the auteur theory…. and i think, at least in the case of eastwood and scorsese, you are lacking.

  197. If I had to pick five now, I’d have to go with:

    Tree of Life- Terrence Malick
    Drive- Thomas Winding Refn
    J Edgar- Clint Eastwood
    War Horse- Steven Spielberg
    Carnage- Roman Polanski

    My next pick would be Woody Allen!!! Gosh, I hope he gets in this year!! He really deserves it…but I’m not sure if there’s room for him?!

    Midnight in Paris is still playing in theatres since May, so it has to be doing well :) We will see in the next few months how the state of the race shapes up. Would love to see Cronenberg make it in there too.

    Such a great year for movies!! All the auteurs have come out! Old and new :)

  198. If I had to pick five now, I’d have to go with:

    Tree of Life- Terrence Malick
    Drive- Thomas Winding Refn
    J Edgar- Clint Eastwood
    War Horse- Steven Spielberg
    Carnage- Roman Polanski

    My next pick would be Woody Allen!!! Gosh, I hope he gets in this year!! He really deserves it…but I’m not sure if there’s room for him?!

    Midnight in Paris is still playing in theatres since May, so it has to be doing well :) We will see in the next few months how the state of the race shapes up. Would love to see Cronenberg make it in there too.

    Such a great year for movies!! All the auteurs have come out! Old and new :)

  199. The thing is, Julian, the consensus is just evidence, it’s not the ‘proof’. We’re not thought police here. :p

    I just struggle to come to terms with any sort of evaluative schema someone could employ that would lead them to your conclusions on Scorsese and Eastwood. It certainly cannot be an aesthetic (formal/stylistic) schema, as all of the films I have mentioned are superlative in that regard. Nor can it be any sort of thematic (relavant to auteur interests) schema, because each artist continues to grapple with the key issues that are at the heart of them as artists.

    So yeah, all I can conclude is you’ve got a “I want to be different for the sake of being different” mentality. Towards which I simply shrug and turn away.

  200. The thing is, Julian, the consensus is just evidence, it’s not the ‘proof’. We’re not thought police here. :p

    I just struggle to come to terms with any sort of evaluative schema someone could employ that would lead them to your conclusions on Scorsese and Eastwood. It certainly cannot be an aesthetic (formal/stylistic) schema, as all of the films I have mentioned are superlative in that regard. Nor can it be any sort of thematic (relavant to auteur interests) schema, because each artist continues to grapple with the key issues that are at the heart of them as artists.

    So yeah, all I can conclude is you’ve got a “I want to be different for the sake of being different” mentality. Towards which I simply shrug and turn away.

  201. julian the emperor

    Well, matt, if a movie is good only if it conforms to your “schema”, count me out. I much prefer movies who doesn’t try to emulate any preconceived notion of how to make a story work etc. Scorsese’s late efforts have been painfully lacking in that regard. They are well-produced, slick, beautifully shot etc. etc., but you know what? So is the latest Lady Gaga video…

  202. julian the emperor

    Well, matt, if a movie is good only if it conforms to your “schema”, count me out. I much prefer movies who doesn’t try to emulate any preconceived notion of how to make a story work etc. Scorsese’s late efforts have been painfully lacking in that regard. They are well-produced, slick, beautifully shot etc. etc., but you know what? So is the latest Lady Gaga video…

  203. julian the emperor

    drake, it troubles me that you need to refer to “auteur theory” in order to decide whether or not you like certain movies. Much easier to just use your senses, buddy…!:)

  204. julian the emperor

    drake, it troubles me that you need to refer to “auteur theory” in order to decide whether or not you like certain movies. Much easier to just use your senses, buddy…!:)

  205. You missed my point entirely. It has nothing to do with “conforming” to anything. I am (to a fault) extremely open to taking films on their own terms. Determining what exactly is being attempted, and how, and then evaluating accordingly. You are the one who seems to have some extremely restrictive “schema”… and I’m just trying to come to terms with what it is… because it has nothing to do with artistic merit as far as I can tell and more to do with simply preferring raw, unpolished works. Your preferences are your preferences of course, and you’re welcome to them, but you have to understand that when your preferences fly in the face of all evidence to the contrary, including, yes, “consensus”, then you’re not exactly in a position to be declaring revered artists “creatively bankrupt”.

  206. You missed my point entirely. It has nothing to do with “conforming” to anything. I am (to a fault) extremely open to taking films on their own terms. Determining what exactly is being attempted, and how, and then evaluating accordingly. You are the one who seems to have some extremely restrictive “schema”… and I’m just trying to come to terms with what it is… because it has nothing to do with artistic merit as far as I can tell and more to do with simply preferring raw, unpolished works. Your preferences are your preferences of course, and you’re welcome to them, but you have to understand that when your preferences fly in the face of all evidence to the contrary, including, yes, “consensus”, then you’re not exactly in a position to be declaring revered artists “creatively bankrupt”.

  207. julian the emperor

    Revered artists can certainly be “creatively bankrupt”! Why not? That only speaks to them once delivering the goods in their glory days, as far as I’m concerned. Paul McCartney is one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century, but is his present-day incarnation not “creatively bankrupt”? The same goes with Stevie Wonder or Lou Reed, just to name other popular music icons. Yes, admittedly, it is a harsh judgement, and if I was a professional critic, I would have made a much more subdued statement concerning especially Eastwood (whose Letters from Iwo Jima I actually admire). Ok?
    BUT, still, Scorsese these days work within a very schematic, formulaic framework, where he is doing mere genre movies or biopics or children’s movies. Nothing more, nothing less. That is ok with me, but he cannot expect everybody to fall flat on their knees for doing something that certainly looks stunning and brilliant, but is none the less formulaic and stale and lifeless. He has turned into a victim of his own legendary status, where everything has to be big, bold and beautiful (in that order), instead of genuine or gripping or, well, great for being true to its vision.

  208. julian the emperor

    Revered artists can certainly be “creatively bankrupt”! Why not? That only speaks to them once delivering the goods in their glory days, as far as I’m concerned. Paul McCartney is one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century, but is his present-day incarnation not “creatively bankrupt”? The same goes with Stevie Wonder or Lou Reed, just to name other popular music icons. Yes, admittedly, it is a harsh judgement, and if I was a professional critic, I would have made a much more subdued statement concerning especially Eastwood (whose Letters from Iwo Jima I actually admire). Ok?
    BUT, still, Scorsese these days work within a very schematic, formulaic framework, where he is doing mere genre movies or biopics or children’s movies. Nothing more, nothing less. That is ok with me, but he cannot expect everybody to fall flat on their knees for doing something that certainly looks stunning and brilliant, but is none the less formulaic and stale and lifeless. He has turned into a victim of his own legendary status, where everything has to be big, bold and beautiful (in that order), instead of genuine or gripping or, well, great for being true to its vision.

  209. With some of your examples Julian I would say it’s not so much “creatively bankrupt” as it is as sign of the times and people having different tastes now…

  210. With some of your examples Julian I would say it’s not so much “creatively bankrupt” as it is as sign of the times and people having different tastes now…

  211. And actually when it comes to Scorsese I think he’s the very opposite of “creatively bankrupt”…to the contrary he’s branching out and trying to diversify his work. Shutter Island was a new direction for him, Hugo will be a new direction for him, etc

  212. And actually when it comes to Scorsese I think he’s the very opposite of “creatively bankrupt”…to the contrary he’s branching out and trying to diversify his work. Shutter Island was a new direction for him, Hugo will be a new direction for him, etc

  213. julian the emperor

    Ok, scott, yes, that’s the positive interpretation, that he is merely “diversifying his work”…;) I like that euphemism…

  214. julian the emperor

    Ok, scott, yes, that’s the positive interpretation, that he is merely “diversifying his work”…;) I like that euphemism…

  215. Well personally I much prefer modern day Scorsese. I mean I really despise Taxi Driver for one thing. Thank God he’s taken his films in a new direction since the 70’s.

  216. Well personally I much prefer modern day Scorsese. I mean I really despise Taxi Driver for one thing. Thank God he’s taken his films in a new direction since the 70’s.

  217. julian the emperor

    Taxi Driver is my favorite American movie of the last 35 years…just goes to show! Diversity, indeed;)

  218. julian the emperor

    Taxi Driver is my favorite American movie of the last 35 years…just goes to show! Diversity, indeed;)

  219. Wow. Here I was…just letting the others feed the Scorsese-hating troll. WE GET IT: YOU DON’T THINK HE’S AS GOOD AS THE SCORSESE OF OLD.
    But this line: “Paul McCartney is one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century, but is his present-day incarnation not ‘creatively bankrupt’?”
    NO, IT ISN’T.
    Anyone that thinks the McCartney of the 70s and 80s is a better incarnation than his present day incarnation hasn’t listened to enough of his Flaming Pie-onwards career. The high points of his 70s and 80s career…namely Band on the Run, feel free to add…fuck, I don’t know Venus and Mars or McCartney I/II…don’t come close to the levels set by Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Electric Arguments, 1/2 of Flaming Pie, 1/2 of Driving Rain. Get out of the 70s dude: McCartney AND Scorsese are far better now then they were back then.

  220. Wow. Here I was…just letting the others feed the Scorsese-hating troll. WE GET IT: YOU DON’T THINK HE’S AS GOOD AS THE SCORSESE OF OLD.
    But this line: “Paul McCartney is one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century, but is his present-day incarnation not ‘creatively bankrupt’?”
    NO, IT ISN’T.
    Anyone that thinks the McCartney of the 70s and 80s is a better incarnation than his present day incarnation hasn’t listened to enough of his Flaming Pie-onwards career. The high points of his 70s and 80s career…namely Band on the Run, feel free to add…fuck, I don’t know Venus and Mars or McCartney I/II…don’t come close to the levels set by Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Electric Arguments, 1/2 of Flaming Pie, 1/2 of Driving Rain. Get out of the 70s dude: McCartney AND Scorsese are far better now then they were back then.

  221. Scorsese hasn’t really done anything 100% satisfying since Good Fellas; that, along with Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, are 3 of the best American movies ever made. Patches of GoNY and Shutter Is were interesting, and I enjoyed The Departed, but they didn’t rattle your psyche like those other three did. Here’s hoping he gets a second (third?) wind.

  222. Scorsese hasn’t really done anything 100% satisfying since Good Fellas; that, along with Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, are 3 of the best American movies ever made. Patches of GoNY and Shutter Is were interesting, and I enjoyed The Departed, but they didn’t rattle your psyche like those other three did. Here’s hoping he gets a second (third?) wind.

  223. julian the emperor

    ha! Bryce h, that tirade of yours was priceless!…

  224. julian the emperor

    ha! Bryce h, that tirade of yours was priceless!…

  225. “Scorsese, as the most prominent example, will be held in high esteem for his 70s output as well as his early 90s output.”

    Really? In. What. World? TAXI DRIVER, hell yes. MEAN STREETS, I’m not particularly fond of it, but I’ll give you that too. But BOXCAR BERTHA? ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE? NEW YORK, NEW YORK? These films, no scratch that, movies, are universally considered worse than THE DEPARTED. Scorsese will not be held in high esteem in 2041 for his 70s work, if anything it will/should be his 80s work: RAGING BULL, KING OF COMEDY, AFTER HOURS, LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. THE COLOR OF MONEY and LIFE LESSONS are pretty damn decent too. Early 90s: GOODFELLAS, CAPE FEAR, AGE OF INNOCENCE. I don’t understand how the hell you can be high on CAPE FEAR and not SHUTTER ISLAND: you’re gonna have to explain that line of thinking. And THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is like THE KING OF COMEDY, one of those little gems for those who spend time going through Scorsese’s filmography. Everything after: CASINO, KUNDUN, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED, SHUTTER ISLAND. True, objectively these aren’t masterpieces like Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, and Raging Bull, but they ARE well above what 95% of the output other filmmakers.

    “And The Departed will be named solely on the basis of it earning him an Oscar (too little, too late!)… I need a larger frame for discussion and comparative analysis. Let’s wait until the year 2041, perhaps?;)”
    COMPARISON TIME: Here, in 2011, we look back 30 years at the BP winner and think, “How the fuck did Raging Bull lose to Ordinary People and Reds to Chariots of Fire?” 30 years after The Departed’s win, people won’t be thinking “Oh, that was just a career achievement award because LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and THE QUEEN deserved it that year,” they’ll be thinking THE DEPARTED and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA were damn fine films that represented those directors’ late career peaks.

  226. “Scorsese, as the most prominent example, will be held in high esteem for his 70s output as well as his early 90s output.”

    Really? In. What. World? TAXI DRIVER, hell yes. MEAN STREETS, I’m not particularly fond of it, but I’ll give you that too. But BOXCAR BERTHA? ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE? NEW YORK, NEW YORK? These films, no scratch that, movies, are universally considered worse than THE DEPARTED. Scorsese will not be held in high esteem in 2041 for his 70s work, if anything it will/should be his 80s work: RAGING BULL, KING OF COMEDY, AFTER HOURS, LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. THE COLOR OF MONEY and LIFE LESSONS are pretty damn decent too. Early 90s: GOODFELLAS, CAPE FEAR, AGE OF INNOCENCE. I don’t understand how the hell you can be high on CAPE FEAR and not SHUTTER ISLAND: you’re gonna have to explain that line of thinking. And THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is like THE KING OF COMEDY, one of those little gems for those who spend time going through Scorsese’s filmography. Everything after: CASINO, KUNDUN, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED, SHUTTER ISLAND. True, objectively these aren’t masterpieces like Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, and Raging Bull, but they ARE well above what 95% of the output other filmmakers.

    “And The Departed will be named solely on the basis of it earning him an Oscar (too little, too late!)… I need a larger frame for discussion and comparative analysis. Let’s wait until the year 2041, perhaps?;)”
    COMPARISON TIME: Here, in 2011, we look back 30 years at the BP winner and think, “How the fuck did Raging Bull lose to Ordinary People and Reds to Chariots of Fire?” 30 years after The Departed’s win, people won’t be thinking “Oh, that was just a career achievement award because LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and THE QUEEN deserved it that year,” they’ll be thinking THE DEPARTED and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA were damn fine films that represented those directors’ late career peaks.

  227. I gotta go back and read everyone else’s comments because I missed all of this. So forgive me if I repeat anything.

    I also missed those tweets. What I find interesting is that in every grouping I hate two of them. XD My choices would have been The Departed, Return of the King, and Titanic. That totally makes me seem like a Leo fangirl but I’m not. I gravitate to the epic type classic movies they made back in the day, casts of thousands, big sweeping scenes, unforgettable soundtracks/scores, etc. I usually dislike Scorsese movies.

    As far as director go, I don’t know what the Academy is on. My best directors last year were Nolan, Polanski, and Affleck. I wouldn’t have let Tom Hooper direct a duck parade. I had prepared myself for The King’s Speech to win on the back of great performances but unless we were going by “the best directors cast the right actors and let them do their thing” philosophy, I still don’t understand it.

    This year? I don’t know. As you say, we can’t count on the body of work meaning anything. And since I’ve seen only a couple of those in the running, I can’t give a good guess.

    A question though. What happened to Almodovar? Or is that another one of those foreign deals where it’s the wrong year for director but the right one for picture? I forget how that works.

  228. I gotta go back and read everyone else’s comments because I missed all of this. So forgive me if I repeat anything.

    I also missed those tweets. What I find interesting is that in every grouping I hate two of them. XD My choices would have been The Departed, Return of the King, and Titanic. That totally makes me seem like a Leo fangirl but I’m not. I gravitate to the epic type classic movies they made back in the day, casts of thousands, big sweeping scenes, unforgettable soundtracks/scores, etc. I usually dislike Scorsese movies.

    As far as director go, I don’t know what the Academy is on. My best directors last year were Nolan, Polanski, and Affleck. I wouldn’t have let Tom Hooper direct a duck parade. I had prepared myself for The King’s Speech to win on the back of great performances but unless we were going by “the best directors cast the right actors and let them do their thing” philosophy, I still don’t understand it.

    This year? I don’t know. As you say, we can’t count on the body of work meaning anything. And since I’ve seen only a couple of those in the running, I can’t give a good guess.

    A question though. What happened to Almodovar? Or is that another one of those foreign deals where it’s the wrong year for director but the right one for picture? I forget how that works.

  229. julian the emperor

    Ok, bryce h, calm down. It’s not like I’m calling your mother a bitch, is it?
    Raging Bull, ok, yes, I tend to think of it as 70s film, maybe it’s the greatness of it that makes me link it to the golden age of Hollywood. I’m not too keen about the rest of his 80s stuff, even though I find King Of Comedy interesting and partly engrossing and Last Temptation a flawed, but daring piece of work. I love Goodfellas (who doesn’t?), I think Age of innocence is underrated and Casino, ditto. So to me Scorsese had a good run in the early to mid90s.
    And concerning The Departed? It was a fairly ok winner that year, which was a weak one overall (when it comes to Oscar films, there were PLENTY of more deserving films if you look outside of America, I hasten to add). And, of course, it was heartwarming to see Marty go up on that stage and receive that Oscar.
    You call me a “Scorsese-hating troll”, based on my actual opinions, don’t you think that’s a bit of a stretch, huh?

  230. julian the emperor

    Ok, bryce h, calm down. It’s not like I’m calling your mother a bitch, is it?
    Raging Bull, ok, yes, I tend to think of it as 70s film, maybe it’s the greatness of it that makes me link it to the golden age of Hollywood. I’m not too keen about the rest of his 80s stuff, even though I find King Of Comedy interesting and partly engrossing and Last Temptation a flawed, but daring piece of work. I love Goodfellas (who doesn’t?), I think Age of innocence is underrated and Casino, ditto. So to me Scorsese had a good run in the early to mid90s.
    And concerning The Departed? It was a fairly ok winner that year, which was a weak one overall (when it comes to Oscar films, there were PLENTY of more deserving films if you look outside of America, I hasten to add). And, of course, it was heartwarming to see Marty go up on that stage and receive that Oscar.
    You call me a “Scorsese-hating troll”, based on my actual opinions, don’t you think that’s a bit of a stretch, huh?

  231. Julian, the Golden Age of Hollywood does not include the 70’s far as I’m aware…and rightly so since it was one of the worst decades. The best were the late 30’s, the 40’s, 50’s and some of the 60’s and that’s what we consider the “Golden Age”

  232. Julian, the Golden Age of Hollywood does not include the 70’s far as I’m aware…and rightly so since it was one of the worst decades. The best were the late 30’s, the 40’s, 50’s and some of the 60’s and that’s what we consider the “Golden Age”

  233. @julian

    haha i’m getting a kick out of this now. i’m not sure if we’ve moved off this thread, if we have, so be it. but you can’t possibly mean that being aware of or subscribing to the auteur theory is a bad thing? your kidding, right? any hack with control of their faculties can drone into a movie theater with his/her eyes open, ears open, and watch a movie (and even most of them can tell scorsese or eastwood are doing good work still- haha :) ) … excuse me for trying to rise above that. I think if you used more than your senses it may get some more consistency (right on haneke and fincher but missing scorsese and eastwood) and enhance your enjoyment/appreciation.

  234. @julian

    haha i’m getting a kick out of this now. i’m not sure if we’ve moved off this thread, if we have, so be it. but you can’t possibly mean that being aware of or subscribing to the auteur theory is a bad thing? your kidding, right? any hack with control of their faculties can drone into a movie theater with his/her eyes open, ears open, and watch a movie (and even most of them can tell scorsese or eastwood are doing good work still- haha :) ) … excuse me for trying to rise above that. I think if you used more than your senses it may get some more consistency (right on haneke and fincher but missing scorsese and eastwood) and enhance your enjoyment/appreciation.

  235. I don’t like Goodfellas.

  236. I don’t like Goodfellas.

  237. Sorry, the all-caps of the film titles probably gave the impression I was pissed. But yeah, you pretty much are a Scorsese-hating troll relative to what everyone else thinks. And while I agree that there usually are better films outside of America in any given year, I think ’06 was an exception.
    But even if there are better foreign films, most of them can’t even be seen by many till the following year and plenty aren’t eligible and it’s rather pointless to bring them up since they’re rarely nominated, are they?

  238. Sorry, the all-caps of the film titles probably gave the impression I was pissed. But yeah, you pretty much are a Scorsese-hating troll relative to what everyone else thinks. And while I agree that there usually are better films outside of America in any given year, I think ’06 was an exception.
    But even if there are better foreign films, most of them can’t even be seen by many till the following year and plenty aren’t eligible and it’s rather pointless to bring them up since they’re rarely nominated, are they?

  239. julian the emperor

    Drake, now you are using a different tactic; called condescension, frankly, it doesn’t suit you…you can be absolutely 100 % sure that I meant what I said; of course, it is stupid to assign your feelings about a film to whether it fits into a theory. You sound like a goddamn marxist, for christ’s sake!
    Trust your instincts, is all I’m saying. A theory should never be used to form an opinion. It should be the other way around, let your opinion of a film decide how you approach (or confront) the theory.
    I would like you to tell me a contemporary, renowned, director, that does nothing for you (either because of your theoretic affiliation or your personal tastes), just so I can get a perspective on where you’re coming from. Or is all directors who have had a critical hit, automatically great according to you?

  240. julian the emperor

    Drake, now you are using a different tactic; called condescension, frankly, it doesn’t suit you…you can be absolutely 100 % sure that I meant what I said; of course, it is stupid to assign your feelings about a film to whether it fits into a theory. You sound like a goddamn marxist, for christ’s sake!
    Trust your instincts, is all I’m saying. A theory should never be used to form an opinion. It should be the other way around, let your opinion of a film decide how you approach (or confront) the theory.
    I would like you to tell me a contemporary, renowned, director, that does nothing for you (either because of your theoretic affiliation or your personal tastes), just so I can get a perspective on where you’re coming from. Or is all directors who have had a critical hit, automatically great according to you?

  241. Wow, Scott. You make me want to agree the emperor. HP7B lovefest in multiple threads that have nothing to do with HP7B and hating on the 70s. And were you the one that was complaining about The Artist being silent and that that must mean film is regressing or something? Apologies if you weren’t, but if you were…wow. I’ll take Leo and Marty bashing any day.

    Oh, emperor, I don’t love GoodFellas by the way.

  242. Wow, Scott. You make me want to agree the emperor. HP7B lovefest in multiple threads that have nothing to do with HP7B and hating on the 70s. And were you the one that was complaining about The Artist being silent and that that must mean film is regressing or something? Apologies if you weren’t, but if you were…wow. I’ll take Leo and Marty bashing any day.

    Oh, emperor, I don’t love GoodFellas by the way.

  243. julian the emperor

    bryce h…”yeah, you pretty much are a scorsese-hating troll relative to what everyone else thinks”…you sure have a twisted mind, dude! This debate is closed, you are not worth it. I adore Scorsese. He is a hero of mine. For fuck’s sake. Besides I find him extremely sympathetic as a human being. I have the highest degree of respect for him in that respect, as well. Go figure.

    scott: you should know that the late sixties/start seventies are usually referred to as the second golden age of Hollywood. At least, that’s what I was taught….maybe you have a different definition across the pond, but I doubt it! Well, you despise Taxi Driver, right? Go figure.

  244. julian the emperor

    bryce h…”yeah, you pretty much are a scorsese-hating troll relative to what everyone else thinks”…you sure have a twisted mind, dude! This debate is closed, you are not worth it. I adore Scorsese. He is a hero of mine. For fuck’s sake. Besides I find him extremely sympathetic as a human being. I have the highest degree of respect for him in that respect, as well. Go figure.

    scott: you should know that the late sixties/start seventies are usually referred to as the second golden age of Hollywood. At least, that’s what I was taught….maybe you have a different definition across the pond, but I doubt it! Well, you despise Taxi Driver, right? Go figure.

  245. @the emperor: If the following aren’t examples of condescension then I don’t know what is…

    “Ok, scott, yes, that’s the positive interpretation, that he is merely “diversifying his work”…;) I like that euphemism…”

    “Taxi Driver is my favorite American movie of the last 35 years…just goes to show! Diversity, indeed;)”

  246. @the emperor: If the following aren’t examples of condescension then I don’t know what is…

    “Ok, scott, yes, that’s the positive interpretation, that he is merely “diversifying his work”…;) I like that euphemism…”

    “Taxi Driver is my favorite American movie of the last 35 years…just goes to show! Diversity, indeed;)”

  247. julian the emperor

    You don’t love Goodfellas, Bryce? My God, you are per definition a Scorsese-hating troll, then! Right?

  248. julian the emperor

    You don’t love Goodfellas, Bryce? My God, you are per definition a Scorsese-hating troll, then! Right?

  249. “I adore Scorsese. He is a hero of mine. For fuck’s sake.”
    Well if you ever meet your hero on the street be sure not to tell him how you think he’s been creatively bankrupt since the early-mid 90s. Sends off a bit of a mixed message.

  250. “I adore Scorsese. He is a hero of mine. For fuck’s sake.”
    Well if you ever meet your hero on the street be sure not to tell him how you think he’s been creatively bankrupt since the early-mid 90s. Sends off a bit of a mixed message.

  251. GoodFellas is a solid 100 for me in all the parts that don’t have Joe Pesci. And a solid 70 for the parts that do. Pesci almost single-handedly ruined every scene he was in in Raging Bull, GoodFellas, Casino, and Once Upon a Time in America for me, though I don’t deny that they’re all spectacularly well directed/written/photographed/acted pieces of cinema.

  252. GoodFellas is a solid 100 for me in all the parts that don’t have Joe Pesci. And a solid 70 for the parts that do. Pesci almost single-handedly ruined every scene he was in in Raging Bull, GoodFellas, Casino, and Once Upon a Time in America for me, though I don’t deny that they’re all spectacularly well directed/written/photographed/acted pieces of cinema.

  253. julian the emperor

    Ha! If I meet him I will probably claim to love ALL his work. I easily get starstruck, you know? From one Scorsese-hating troll to another…

  254. julian the emperor

    Ha! If I meet him I will probably claim to love ALL his work. I easily get starstruck, you know? From one Scorsese-hating troll to another…

  255. julian the emperor

    You have an irrational relationship with Joe Pesci, Bryce. Talk to your therapist. That can be cured, I’m sure. Then you won’t have to be a Scorsese-hating troll anymore. You will feel cleansed, trust me.

  256. julian the emperor

    You have an irrational relationship with Joe Pesci, Bryce. Talk to your therapist. That can be cured, I’m sure. Then you won’t have to be a Scorsese-hating troll anymore. You will feel cleansed, trust me.

  257. julian,

    I honestly didn’t mean to condescend. You said to use senses and senses only and i think we can all do better than that (I know i can and have for years). I don’t think there is anything wrong (quite the opposite actually) with being well versed or studied in film, different film theories (film form is a great place to start if you haven’t started), film history, etc. If you don’t have this knowledge, then you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide and frankly you shouldn’t be giving such heavy-handed opinions. These don’t drive my final evaluation of a film but they sure give me some sort of consistency, credibility, and validity to my evaluation. Perhaps this is why we differ so much here. I must, like Matt, conclude you have some sort of biased to these two directors which is detracting you from actual films; which are, at least to those who subscribe to similar background and knowledge of film as myself, good art- that ship has sailed, that consensus has been built and solidified. I’m not saying we can’t agree in areas (we obviously agree on fincher and haneke) and you aren’t entitled to your opinion, you definitely are. But my brother is also entitled to his opinion, and he thinks “Step Brothers” is the best movie of all time… he also uses the “go with your gut” type of evaluation process you go with. I think my opinion on film is worth more than his.

  258. julian,

    I honestly didn’t mean to condescend. You said to use senses and senses only and i think we can all do better than that (I know i can and have for years). I don’t think there is anything wrong (quite the opposite actually) with being well versed or studied in film, different film theories (film form is a great place to start if you haven’t started), film history, etc. If you don’t have this knowledge, then you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide and frankly you shouldn’t be giving such heavy-handed opinions. These don’t drive my final evaluation of a film but they sure give me some sort of consistency, credibility, and validity to my evaluation. Perhaps this is why we differ so much here. I must, like Matt, conclude you have some sort of biased to these two directors which is detracting you from actual films; which are, at least to those who subscribe to similar background and knowledge of film as myself, good art- that ship has sailed, that consensus has been built and solidified. I’m not saying we can’t agree in areas (we obviously agree on fincher and haneke) and you aren’t entitled to your opinion, you definitely are. But my brother is also entitled to his opinion, and he thinks “Step Brothers” is the best movie of all time… he also uses the “go with your gut” type of evaluation process you go with. I think my opinion on film is worth more than his.

  259. @the emperor
    The difference between you and me is that when I say I don’t love a Scorsese film, it isn’t because I believe he’s creatively bankrupt, it’s because Joe Pesci plays the same character with varying degrees of psycho. Much the same as when I say that I don’t love Punch-Drunk Love because of Adam Sandler’s attachment, yet I can still admire PTA’s vision for the film.

  260. @the emperor
    The difference between you and me is that when I say I don’t love a Scorsese film, it isn’t because I believe he’s creatively bankrupt, it’s because Joe Pesci plays the same character with varying degrees of psycho. Much the same as when I say that I don’t love Punch-Drunk Love because of Adam Sandler’s attachment, yet I can still admire PTA’s vision for the film.

  261. julian the emperor

    drake, all very good. But do you really feel that we would have a better discussion of movies if everybody was due versed in film theory? that is an absurd elitist claim, that has nothing to do with either a appreciation of movies or appreciation of debate and discussion.
    “you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide”. That’s downright arrogant, my friend.
    But hey, Of course you have a valid point, somehow. For example I would not like to read reviews of movies by “regular Joe’s”, for that professional critics can set a higher bar, that will be helpful in securing a qualified debate on movies.
    But I think you are wrong when you assume that you have to read film theory in order to feel like “the tour guide in the museum”. How many great critics have studied film theory, do you think? Have they had the time? Not likely.
    A basic schooling in aesthetic philosophy (reading Gadamer is always a good place to start), comparative analysis, phenomenology etc. could be just as helpful. Movies exist within a large cultural frame, you know.
    And please consider this (and excuse me for repeating myself from the earlier post): A theory should never be used to form an opinion. It should be the other way around, let your opinion of a film decide how you approach (or confront) the theory.
    That’s what I believe, because being a dogmatist is so very boring…

  262. julian the emperor

    drake, all very good. But do you really feel that we would have a better discussion of movies if everybody was due versed in film theory? that is an absurd elitist claim, that has nothing to do with either a appreciation of movies or appreciation of debate and discussion.
    “you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide”. That’s downright arrogant, my friend.
    But hey, Of course you have a valid point, somehow. For example I would not like to read reviews of movies by “regular Joe’s”, for that professional critics can set a higher bar, that will be helpful in securing a qualified debate on movies.
    But I think you are wrong when you assume that you have to read film theory in order to feel like “the tour guide in the museum”. How many great critics have studied film theory, do you think? Have they had the time? Not likely.
    A basic schooling in aesthetic philosophy (reading Gadamer is always a good place to start), comparative analysis, phenomenology etc. could be just as helpful. Movies exist within a large cultural frame, you know.
    And please consider this (and excuse me for repeating myself from the earlier post): A theory should never be used to form an opinion. It should be the other way around, let your opinion of a film decide how you approach (or confront) the theory.
    That’s what I believe, because being a dogmatist is so very boring…

  263. julian the emperor

    bryce, to quote your compadre, drake: the “creatively bankrupt” statement was a “heavy-handed opinion” on my behalf and to repeat myself: If I was a professional critic (which, thankfully I’m not, apparently) I would never have used that term. Ok? It was a stretch, for sure.

    Ok, good night. See you around…;)

  264. julian the emperor

    bryce, to quote your compadre, drake: the “creatively bankrupt” statement was a “heavy-handed opinion” on my behalf and to repeat myself: If I was a professional critic (which, thankfully I’m not, apparently) I would never have used that term. Ok? It was a stretch, for sure.

    Ok, good night. See you around…;)

  265. @ julian

    i didn’t mean this “you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide” towards you personally…and i certainly didn’t mean i should be the tour guide… i was just championing having a background knowledge and appreciation of film, film theories, and film history… to me a person who possesses this knowledge should be the tour guide, and not someone who is against film knowledge (how can you be against that?) and prefers to “shoot from the hip”

  266. @ julian

    i didn’t mean this “you are the tourist in the museum and not the tour guide” towards you personally…and i certainly didn’t mean i should be the tour guide… i was just championing having a background knowledge and appreciation of film, film theories, and film history… to me a person who possesses this knowledge should be the tour guide, and not someone who is against film knowledge (how can you be against that?) and prefers to “shoot from the hip”

  267. julian the emperor

    drake, I’m not AGAINST film knowledge, where do you get that from?? I was just saying something obvious: that having been academically schooled in film theory does not equate with being a great critic. And that having that knowledge is not an EXCLUSIVE route to form sound opinions on movies. Ok?
    Jesus.
    Furthermore, I think that a schooling inside different branches of cultural theory and the arts in general secures a better frame for a fruitful discussion on movies, than for example a narrow “auteur theory” mindset can provide. That is hopefully obvious to you as well…?

  268. julian the emperor

    drake, I’m not AGAINST film knowledge, where do you get that from?? I was just saying something obvious: that having been academically schooled in film theory does not equate with being a great critic. And that having that knowledge is not an EXCLUSIVE route to form sound opinions on movies. Ok?
    Jesus.
    Furthermore, I think that a schooling inside different branches of cultural theory and the arts in general secures a better frame for a fruitful discussion on movies, than for example a narrow “auteur theory” mindset can provide. That is hopefully obvious to you as well…?

  269. julian the emperor

    Besides, this is a debate forum. We are both shooting from the hips, buddy. Or rather, not just the two of us: all users of this forum! That’s what it’s about, right? We are not in the world of academia, you know.

  270. julian the emperor

    Besides, this is a debate forum. We are both shooting from the hips, buddy. Or rather, not just the two of us: all users of this forum! That’s what it’s about, right? We are not in the world of academia, you know.

  271. @Julian

    You keep seeming to suggest that whenever someone brings up a theoretical framework for evaluating movies (formalism, auteur theory, etc.) that they become slaves to their theory and cut themselves off from some sort of “purer” appreciation of cinema. I’m sorry, but it simply doesn’t work that way. Being aware of these things better equips you to engage with works in a more sophisticated manner. That’s all. There’s still nothing that prevents you from following your instincts. If nothing else, having this background helps you to hone and sharpen those instincts as well as equipping you with a critical vocabulary for the more effective expressing of your opinions.

    When someone mentions auteur theory, they are simply looking for points of consistency (aesthetic, thematic, etc.) within a director’s body of work. It doesn’t limit you, to the contrary it gives you tools towards a fuller, more significant appreciation of the artist, and the art.

  272. @Julian

    You keep seeming to suggest that whenever someone brings up a theoretical framework for evaluating movies (formalism, auteur theory, etc.) that they become slaves to their theory and cut themselves off from some sort of “purer” appreciation of cinema. I’m sorry, but it simply doesn’t work that way. Being aware of these things better equips you to engage with works in a more sophisticated manner. That’s all. There’s still nothing that prevents you from following your instincts. If nothing else, having this background helps you to hone and sharpen those instincts as well as equipping you with a critical vocabulary for the more effective expressing of your opinions.

    When someone mentions auteur theory, they are simply looking for points of consistency (aesthetic, thematic, etc.) within a director’s body of work. It doesn’t limit you, to the contrary it gives you tools towards a fuller, more significant appreciation of the artist, and the art.

  273. julian the emperor

    Matt, I’m not arguing the usefulness of a theoretic approach. I think it is impossible to separate your theoretical insights from your gut feelings. If you are whole individual, your theoretical and emotional reactions are probably entwined to the point of being un-recognizable from each other. My gut feeling towards an aesthetic object is formed by having spent eight years in university learning stuff! And it is informed with my emotional self in various other ways, that have to do with who I am and how I got to be that way.
    To me, you don’t have to resort to a notion of auteur theory or courses on film form in order to feel equipped to talk or write about movies. That is the sole purpose for me of this part of the discussion (the other part being my “heavy-handed opinions” on late-career Scorsese…) Knowledge of films is hardly reducible to a definition that is concerned purely with academic knowledge, is it? Because if it is, we have to sack a hell of a lot of prominent critics!
    So what I am resisting is this tendency to bow down to a strictly formal set of criteria for what functions as valid critique. Ok? Otherwise you can always end any discussion with a knowing shrug: well, how many courses have you been assigned to on film theory. And the loser of the discussion will be the one with the fewest or none. There is no need to use it as a trump card. Just use arguments, is all I’m saying. Based on gut feeling or theory, i don’t care. State your case, and let others do the same. That’s called the art of discussion. That’s also something you can do academic courses in, btw.

  274. julian the emperor

    Matt, I’m not arguing the usefulness of a theoretic approach. I think it is impossible to separate your theoretical insights from your gut feelings. If you are whole individual, your theoretical and emotional reactions are probably entwined to the point of being un-recognizable from each other. My gut feeling towards an aesthetic object is formed by having spent eight years in university learning stuff! And it is informed with my emotional self in various other ways, that have to do with who I am and how I got to be that way.
    To me, you don’t have to resort to a notion of auteur theory or courses on film form in order to feel equipped to talk or write about movies. That is the sole purpose for me of this part of the discussion (the other part being my “heavy-handed opinions” on late-career Scorsese…) Knowledge of films is hardly reducible to a definition that is concerned purely with academic knowledge, is it? Because if it is, we have to sack a hell of a lot of prominent critics!
    So what I am resisting is this tendency to bow down to a strictly formal set of criteria for what functions as valid critique. Ok? Otherwise you can always end any discussion with a knowing shrug: well, how many courses have you been assigned to on film theory. And the loser of the discussion will be the one with the fewest or none. There is no need to use it as a trump card. Just use arguments, is all I’m saying. Based on gut feeling or theory, i don’t care. State your case, and let others do the same. That’s called the art of discussion. That’s also something you can do academic courses in, btw.

  275. Don’t mean to open the HP can of worms again, but I I’m going to anyway:

    I loved Deathly Hallows: Part II, and I think it’s one of the best movies of 2011. In a normal year (a year in which there was a field of 10) this would be lock for its first (and long-awaited) Best Picture nomination. Now, with the rule change of earning 5% of #1 votes, I just don’t see it happening, unless “J Edgar” gets mixed ink from the critics and/or the Brits and the studio pull out all the stops campaigning it, and i’m sure that’s how Sasha and Ryan are viewing it. If you want to bitch to anyone about why HP may not get in this year, tell it to Warner Bros. or to AMPAS, for the unnecessary rule change two years after expanding the BP race to 10.

  276. Don’t mean to open the HP can of worms again, but I I’m going to anyway:

    I loved Deathly Hallows: Part II, and I think it’s one of the best movies of 2011. In a normal year (a year in which there was a field of 10) this would be lock for its first (and long-awaited) Best Picture nomination. Now, with the rule change of earning 5% of #1 votes, I just don’t see it happening, unless “J Edgar” gets mixed ink from the critics and/or the Brits and the studio pull out all the stops campaigning it, and i’m sure that’s how Sasha and Ryan are viewing it. If you want to bitch to anyone about why HP may not get in this year, tell it to Warner Bros. or to AMPAS, for the unnecessary rule change two years after expanding the BP race to 10.

  277. believe me, Woddy Allen won’t be nominated for best director, perhaps screenplay. and Midnight in Paris won’t be nominated for best pic. believe me :) and the girl with the dragon tattoo doesn’t look like a lock so i don’t understand why you are so strongly rooting for it. regarding out of nowhere newbie directors winner over more established ones, tom hooper is not the firt. i could think of william friedkin for the the french connection who won over the great stanley kubrick as an example. so this “abberant phenomenon” is not new. thanks

  278. believe me, Woddy Allen won’t be nominated for best director, perhaps screenplay. and Midnight in Paris won’t be nominated for best pic. believe me :) and the girl with the dragon tattoo doesn’t look like a lock so i don’t understand why you are so strongly rooting for it. regarding out of nowhere newbie directors winner over more established ones, tom hooper is not the firt. i could think of william friedkin for the the french connection who won over the great stanley kubrick as an example. so this “abberant phenomenon” is not new. thanks

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