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Oscars 2011: Announcing Best Picture – Building Suspense One Title at a Time

According to our good friend Damien Bona, the AMPAS will break with tradition this year and not show the number of pictures that will be nominated on the big board behind the announcer.

The other big change is that they won’t be alphabetical, so we can’t rule out a movie as its being announced.  I’ll never forget hanging on the phone with Kris Tapley as we waited to see if The Dark Knight would be announced.   Kris kept saying, “as soon as they say Frost/Nixon it’s over.”

So this either going to get ugly or it’s going to be really fun.  There is nothing quite like that feeling, though, after they’ve read the nominees.  Sometimes, it feels like the air has just been sucked out of the room, when someone truly worthy has been left off the list.  When a film like Dreamgirls or The Dark Knight is not read.  You always do your best to keep it in perspective, but someone you can’t help but feel yourself thrust back to the days when contests mattered – junior high and high school – when the reading off names picked out of a hat, or the choosing of cheerleaders or parts in plays or football teams mattered.  When you’re left standing there, unchosen, you know that emptied out feeling.

Perhaps some of us are hard-wired to care.

To my mind, the more nominees the better.  I know many people feel like five is really the magic number and that it keeps the Oscar race exclusive and suspenseful.  But I prefer more.  I prefer ten.  Last year’s ten was a perfect lineup of great films – two by women directors, one Black Swan, a Coen brothers, a Fincher, an animated film and a King.  The only thing missing was a foreign language film and a doc.  The possibilities seemed endless.

But then I remember why they changed out to ten in the first place – to find spots for more popular fare, not less.  Last year’s Best Picture five would have likely been:

King’s Speech
Social Network
Black Swan
True Grit
The Fighter

The films that were added were critically acclaimed but not exactly the kinds of movies the change to ten was designed for – there was Inception and Toy Story 3.  But there was also Winter’s Bone, the Kids Are All Right, 127 Hours.  I think we’ll look back on last year’s lineup and remember it the way we remember 1940 – the year Rebecca won, but also nominated: The Grapes of Wrath, The Philadelphia Story, The Great Dictator — what a year for Best Picture.

Last year, the Academy showed excellent taste in films.  They may never top that lineup.

On the other hand, let’s keep an open mind about the coming year.  One thing we now know is that War Horse could be read at any time, and once it’s read, if it’s read, that doesn’t mean all of the Best Pictures nominees have been announced.

 

152 Comments on this Post

  1. Dreamgirls?!

  2. Dreamgirls?!

  3. Tero Heikkinen

    Exciting. I think it’s better to read them non-alpabetically, and closer to 10 nominees suits me better than 5 – The Blind Side already is a nominee, it needs a friend. Plus the 10 nominees helps smaller films, too.

    The announcement is always such an exciting moment, and it airs here in the afternoon, so the time is great, too.

    Every year, it takes minutes and minutes until I realise things like: “wait, that DIDN’T get nominated? OH NOOOO”. I wonder what the nominees/hopefuls feel like.

    I wish they’d keep a little pause in between category announcements, so that I could let the previous five names sink in first. They go so fast. I also wish they’d show the rest of the nominees on the screen or something. Websites like this – they all crash (incl. Oscar’s official ones), and it takes minutes and minutes to find the rest of the nominees. Then there’s the counting: “oh, it got seven nominations? I just counted six”.

    Just a little pointless comment.

  4. Tero Heikkinen

    Exciting. I think it’s better to read them non-alpabetically, and closer to 10 nominees suits me better than 5 – The Blind Side already is a nominee, it needs a friend. Plus the 10 nominees helps smaller films, too.

    The announcement is always such an exciting moment, and it airs here in the afternoon, so the time is great, too.

    Every year, it takes minutes and minutes until I realise things like: “wait, that DIDN’T get nominated? OH NOOOO”. I wonder what the nominees/hopefuls feel like.

    I wish they’d keep a little pause in between category announcements, so that I could let the previous five names sink in first. They go so fast. I also wish they’d show the rest of the nominees on the screen or something. Websites like this – they all crash (incl. Oscar’s official ones), and it takes minutes and minutes to find the rest of the nominees. Then there’s the counting: “oh, it got seven nominations? I just counted six”.

    Just a little pointless comment.

  5. Count me in as supportive of this change as well. This opens the door for fun times by calling out beloved blockbusters that the general moviegoer is rooting for last, just to build the suspense. AMPAS should just take it a step further and do this for all the other categories which are announced live.

  6. Count me in as supportive of this change as well. This opens the door for fun times by calling out beloved blockbusters that the general moviegoer is rooting for last, just to build the suspense. AMPAS should just take it a step further and do this for all the other categories which are announced live.

  7. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    “But I prefer more. I prefer ten.”

    Sasha! Yes! Thank you for saying so.

    Makes me nauseous when I hear from insiders who say a lot of Academy members didn’t like the new system because they couldn’t think of 10 movies they liked.

    Any Oscar voter who can’t find 10 brilliant movies worthy of honor every year should lose their voting privileges. Forfeit, disbarred, kicked out.

    It’s a confession that either they don’t watch enough movies or else they don’t know a great movie when they see one.

  8. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    “But I prefer more. I prefer ten.”

    Sasha! Yes! Thank you for saying so.

    Makes me nauseous when I hear from insiders who say a lot of Academy members didn’t like the new system because they couldn’t think of 10 movies they liked.

    Any Oscar voter who can’t find 10 brilliant movies worthy of honor every year should lose their voting privileges. Forfeit, disbarred, kicked out.

    It’s a confession that either they don’t watch enough movies or else they don’t know a great movie when they see one.

  9. DREAMGIRLS?! What’s in the corn flakes, Sasha?

    Glad they warned us in advance – imagine the 911 calls if they called out War Horse second and we though there were just two nominees!

  10. DREAMGIRLS?! What’s in the corn flakes, Sasha?

    Glad they warned us in advance – imagine the 911 calls if they called out War Horse second and we though there were just two nominees!

  11. tclawren

    It looks like the academy might finally get their wish this year regarding more bigger films in the best picture race and less small ones.

    My top predicted top five so far are:

    War Horse
    The Descendants
    The Artist
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    The Help

    Out of the movies left that I believe have an actual shot of getting a nom are

    J. Edgar
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    Moneyball
    Midnight in Paris

    All fairly big films with big names attached to them.

    This is why I liked 10. Smaller films could get nominated and recognized. If it was 10 this year, films like Drive and Tree of Life could get nominated and get noticed. Maybe even HP could get in. But instead we’re left with just more helpings of the same old thing.

  12. tclawren

    It looks like the academy might finally get their wish this year regarding more bigger films in the best picture race and less small ones.

    My top predicted top five so far are:

    War Horse
    The Descendants
    The Artist
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    The Help

    Out of the movies left that I believe have an actual shot of getting a nom are

    J. Edgar
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    Moneyball
    Midnight in Paris

    All fairly big films with big names attached to them.

    This is why I liked 10. Smaller films could get nominated and recognized. If it was 10 this year, films like Drive and Tree of Life could get nominated and get noticed. Maybe even HP could get in. But instead we’re left with just more helpings of the same old thing.

  13. tclawren

    Remember that it was a big deal when Dreamgirls didn’t get nominated. Like HUGE.

    It won best comedy at the globes and an ACE. And it was also nominated for a PGA, DGA and the SAG ensemble. So yeah, it was a little bit of a surprise.

  14. tclawren

    Remember that it was a big deal when Dreamgirls didn’t get nominated. Like HUGE.

    It won best comedy at the globes and an ACE. And it was also nominated for a PGA, DGA and the SAG ensemble. So yeah, it was a little bit of a surprise.

  15. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Never forget:

    The AMPAS was originally conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer as a professional honorary organization to help improve the film industry’s image and help mediate labor disputes.

    Mayer commented on the creation of the awards “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them … If I got them cups and awards they’d kill them to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created”.

    yours truly,
    Debbie Downer

  16. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Never forget:

    The AMPAS was originally conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer as a professional honorary organization to help improve the film industry’s image and help mediate labor disputes.

    Mayer commented on the creation of the awards “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them … If I got them cups and awards they’d kill them to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created”.

    yours truly,
    Debbie Downer

  17. I’ll cry if “The Tree of Life” fails to get a BP nom. Well, I would yell, run around screaming fire! fire!, curl up in a corner, and then cry, but that wouldn’t be helping the issue.

    I really hope Fox Searchlight won’t use too much energy by campaigning the film’s actors (all of which are supporting? I think?) and focus more on getting nominations in the categories it has the biggest shot in (Picture, Director, Cinematography, Sound Mixing/Editing). And since it doesn’t look like there’s a truly bizzaro film aiming towards Oscar a la Black Swan or even The Piano, I think it’s perfectly reasonable that “The Tree of Life” will rack up some well-deserved nods.

  18. I’ll cry if “The Tree of Life” fails to get a BP nom. Well, I would yell, run around screaming fire! fire!, curl up in a corner, and then cry, but that wouldn’t be helping the issue.

    I really hope Fox Searchlight won’t use too much energy by campaigning the film’s actors (all of which are supporting? I think?) and focus more on getting nominations in the categories it has the biggest shot in (Picture, Director, Cinematography, Sound Mixing/Editing). And since it doesn’t look like there’s a truly bizzaro film aiming towards Oscar a la Black Swan or even The Piano, I think it’s perfectly reasonable that “The Tree of Life” will rack up some well-deserved nods.

  19. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    DREAMGIRLS?! What’s in the corn flakes, Sasha?

    You’d had to have been there. :-) the biggest BP (as in shocking) snubs since I’ve been covering the Oscars were: Almost Famous, The Dark Knight, Dreamgirls, Into the Wild, About Schmidt, Adaptation – this doesn’t mean what should have been nominated and wasn’t but just what people assumed would but didn’t.

  20. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    DREAMGIRLS?! What’s in the corn flakes, Sasha?

    You’d had to have been there. :-) the biggest BP (as in shocking) snubs since I’ve been covering the Oscars were: Almost Famous, The Dark Knight, Dreamgirls, Into the Wild, About Schmidt, Adaptation – this doesn’t mean what should have been nominated and wasn’t but just what people assumed would but didn’t.

  21. Yeah, didn’t you know, it’s racist to not say “Dreamgirls” was “robbed” of a Best Picture nod?

  22. Yeah, didn’t you know, it’s racist to not say “Dreamgirls” was “robbed” of a Best Picture nod?

  23. Well, at least we know that IF an animated film gets a nomination, it wont be Pixar this year. But if Tin Tin were to get a nomination for the token animated film slot, would it cancel out SS’s chances with War Horse winning? (assuming its that good)

  24. Well, at least we know that IF an animated film gets a nomination, it wont be Pixar this year. But if Tin Tin were to get a nomination for the token animated film slot, would it cancel out SS’s chances with War Horse winning? (assuming its that good)

  25. Sasha,

    Your original tagline, “Nobody knows anything,” seems all the more appropriate this year. We REALLY don’t know what’s going on in the heads of AMAPS this time.

  26. Sasha,

    Your original tagline, “Nobody knows anything,” seems all the more appropriate this year. We REALLY don’t know what’s going on in the heads of AMAPS this time.

  27. Dreamgirls was NOT a good film though it did lead the nominations that year with eight. Though no noms for picture or director…lol

  28. Dreamgirls was NOT a good film though it did lead the nominations that year with eight. Though no noms for picture or director…lol

  29. Actually when somebody undeserving gets nominated or wins, I always remind myself that the Academy isn’t all about buzz and momentum and sometimes gets it right – the snub of Dreamgirls, even though I wouldn’t call it a snub, is the best thing they’ve done in the past few years. It was simply a bad movie – really mediocre. And it didn’t make it for a reason. That was probably their best decision.

  30. Actually when somebody undeserving gets nominated or wins, I always remind myself that the Academy isn’t all about buzz and momentum and sometimes gets it right – the snub of Dreamgirls, even though I wouldn’t call it a snub, is the best thing they’ve done in the past few years. It was simply a bad movie – really mediocre. And it didn’t make it for a reason. That was probably their best decision.

  31. If the best picture nomination list last year was so great why change anything? They should stick to 10 nominees.

  32. If the best picture nomination list last year was so great why change anything? They should stick to 10 nominees.

  33. Excellent idea! After all, shouldn’t they milk this out for all the drama they can? This is the Oscars after all. Reading the nominees in alphabetical order took half the fun out of it. I don’t know why they didn’t do it like this to begin with! I also am in favor of more nominees than less.

  34. Excellent idea! After all, shouldn’t they milk this out for all the drama they can? This is the Oscars after all. Reading the nominees in alphabetical order took half the fun out of it. I don’t know why they didn’t do it like this to begin with! I also am in favor of more nominees than less.

  35. John Panama

    I know this is off topic but I felt compelled to post something about Paranormal Activity 3.

    I’ve been a fan of horror movies since I was 10 years old. The first movie that scared the crap out of me was John Carpenter’s Halloween, followed by the equally scary Halloween 2. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few of what many people consider to be a collection of the greatest horror movies of our time; The Shining, The Exorcist, Psycho, Poltergeist, The Silence of the Lambs, The Birds, Jaws, Blair Witch Project, The Ring, The Amityville Horror, The Grudge, etc.

    Notable horror movies I’ve not seen include Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby.

    So how scary is Paranormal Activity 3?

    Imagine the scariest moment of the scariest movie you’ve ever seen. You know, that moment when something appears and your entire body spasms? You might scream out something like “oh shit”. This physiological response is our bodies own natural defense/survival mechanism jolting us into action. We would see extremely high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in our blood at this level of fright. Based on my physiological response to this movie, I contend that Paranormal Activity 3 induces higher levels of cortisol production than any other movie in history. I firmly believe that a scientific experiment monitoring the cortisol levels of persons watching PA 3 would support my hypothesis.

    Note, I’m not contending that this movie is a good horror movie in the sense of being ‘oscar worthy’ like The Shining. I’m saying that it’s good if you’re operational definition of a good horror movie is degree of cortisol production. In other words, being scared shitless. ; )

  36. John Panama

    I know this is off topic but I felt compelled to post something about Paranormal Activity 3.

    I’ve been a fan of horror movies since I was 10 years old. The first movie that scared the crap out of me was John Carpenter’s Halloween, followed by the equally scary Halloween 2. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few of what many people consider to be a collection of the greatest horror movies of our time; The Shining, The Exorcist, Psycho, Poltergeist, The Silence of the Lambs, The Birds, Jaws, Blair Witch Project, The Ring, The Amityville Horror, The Grudge, etc.

    Notable horror movies I’ve not seen include Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby.

    So how scary is Paranormal Activity 3?

    Imagine the scariest moment of the scariest movie you’ve ever seen. You know, that moment when something appears and your entire body spasms? You might scream out something like “oh shit”. This physiological response is our bodies own natural defense/survival mechanism jolting us into action. We would see extremely high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in our blood at this level of fright. Based on my physiological response to this movie, I contend that Paranormal Activity 3 induces higher levels of cortisol production than any other movie in history. I firmly believe that a scientific experiment monitoring the cortisol levels of persons watching PA 3 would support my hypothesis.

    Note, I’m not contending that this movie is a good horror movie in the sense of being ‘oscar worthy’ like The Shining. I’m saying that it’s good if you’re operational definition of a good horror movie is degree of cortisol production. In other words, being scared shitless. ; )

  37. red_wine

    I remember exulting when Frost/Nixon was announced because I knew what that meant. I kind of jumped into the air and punched the air.

  38. red_wine

    I remember exulting when Frost/Nixon was announced because I knew what that meant. I kind of jumped into the air and punched the air.

  39. What’s going on in Academy Members’ heads right now? Confusion. Category and otherwise. All these changes, including now the alphabet…

    Wondering if this also applies to the Actors’ four categories…

  40. What’s going on in Academy Members’ heads right now? Confusion. Category and otherwise. All these changes, including now the alphabet…

    Wondering if this also applies to the Actors’ four categories…

  41. I like the ten films idea. It does present an opportunity for the smaller films to get some recognition. Winter’s Bone was my #2 pic behind Inception. It deserved to be in the Best Pic lineup.

    And yay! for the retrospective love for Dreamgirls.

  42. I like the ten films idea. It does present an opportunity for the smaller films to get some recognition. Winter’s Bone was my #2 pic behind Inception. It deserved to be in the Best Pic lineup.

    And yay! for the retrospective love for Dreamgirls.

  43. Nick Ray

    >>>>>>>> “All these changes, including now the alphabet… What’s going on in Academy Members’ heads right now? Confusion.”

    No. Any Academy member who’s confused in the head about this has a mental condition far worse than confusion.

  44. Nick Ray

    >>>>>>>> “All these changes, including now the alphabet… What’s going on in Academy Members’ heads right now? Confusion.”

    No. Any Academy member who’s confused in the head about this has a mental condition far worse than confusion.

  45. You know, I kinda believe Toy Story 3 and Inception would’ve gotten in if this rule had been effective last year (besides the five you mention, obviously). Toy Story 3 was a huge thing, with people naming it the best animated feature ever and a campaign that was directly aiming at getting a BP Win (remember those poster imitating Shakespeare in Love and The Return of the King?). And Inception, surprisingly, did much better with Oscar than we had imagined, winning Best Cinematography instead of the predicted True Grit.

    So I think last year we would’ve gotten seven nominees, maybe six, given that Black Swan scored worse than what everyone thought, with only five nods.

  46. You know, I kinda believe Toy Story 3 and Inception would’ve gotten in if this rule had been effective last year (besides the five you mention, obviously). Toy Story 3 was a huge thing, with people naming it the best animated feature ever and a campaign that was directly aiming at getting a BP Win (remember those poster imitating Shakespeare in Love and The Return of the King?). And Inception, surprisingly, did much better with Oscar than we had imagined, winning Best Cinematography instead of the predicted True Grit.

    So I think last year we would’ve gotten seven nominees, maybe six, given that Black Swan scored worse than what everyone thought, with only five nods.

  47. dinasztie

    You can say countless arguments for and against 10 Best Picture nominees.

    But I’m saying one thing:
    – The Blind Side

  48. dinasztie

    You can say countless arguments for and against 10 Best Picture nominees.

    But I’m saying one thing:
    – The Blind Side

  49. Nick Ray

    Inception — 8 Oscar nominations, 9 BAFTA nominations.

    Inception won as many Oscars as The King’s Speech

    (so what if TKS won the “big ones” …… When the AMPAS hands out a big one to Sandra Bullock it cheapens its value., so why are those worth any more than the others? It could be argued because the big ones are more corrupt they are worth LESS.)

  50. Nick Ray

    Inception — 8 Oscar nominations, 9 BAFTA nominations.

    Inception won as many Oscars as The King’s Speech

    (so what if TKS won the “big ones” …… When the AMPAS hands out a big one to Sandra Bullock it cheapens its value., so why are those worth any more than the others? It could be argued because the big ones are more corrupt they are worth LESS.)

  51. Nick Ray

    dinasztie – have to disagree.

    as if having only 5 nominees prevents the Academy from pulling a bonehead BP nominee out of its butt nearly every year in its history?

    What would you rather have? 10 nominees that include The Blind Side…. District 9 ..and Up?

    Or these 5 nominees:

    “Avatar”
    “The Blind Side”
    “The Hurt Locker”
    “Inglourious Basterds”
    “Precious”

    Don’t pretend that’s impossible.

    “The Blind Side” — Oscar winner for best actress.
    “Up in the Air” — winner of ZERO academy awards.

  52. Nick Ray

    dinasztie – have to disagree.

    as if having only 5 nominees prevents the Academy from pulling a bonehead BP nominee out of its butt nearly every year in its history?

    What would you rather have? 10 nominees that include The Blind Side…. District 9 ..and Up?

    Or these 5 nominees:

    “Avatar”
    “The Blind Side”
    “The Hurt Locker”
    “Inglourious Basterds”
    “Precious”

    Don’t pretend that’s impossible.

    “The Blind Side” — Oscar winner for best actress.
    “Up in the Air” — winner of ZERO academy awards.

  53. Jake G.!!!!

    Sasha in this years Best Picture race I really feel like they are going to nominate Martha Marcy May Marlene because its almost just like Winters Bone! What do you think?

  54. Jake G.!!!!

    Sasha in this years Best Picture race I really feel like they are going to nominate Martha Marcy May Marlene because its almost just like Winters Bone! What do you think?

  55. This is lame, I’m sorry. This is news? The order in which the Best Picture nominees are announced? I mean, announcing the Best Picture nominees takes minutes. How much suspense are they going to create with a non-alphabetical list that may or may not have 10 nominees? Please. This is becoming more and more comical, the little tweaks here and there. I think messing with the system highlights that 1) something’s wrong with the Oscars (that they feel the need to change it again) and 2) the Oscars are pretty much a reality show. And like a “reality” show, it seems very scripted. I never understood the announcement ceremony either. I mean, just release the nominees in a press release that morning. Send it out to the news outlets and call the nominated. The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO. So in this new, suspense-filled version of the announcement, we’re going to find out that a film, say “The Descendants,” is either in or out 5 minutes after we normally would, had the thing stayed alphabetical. Am I understanding this? Wow. Talk about awesome!

  56. This is lame, I’m sorry. This is news? The order in which the Best Picture nominees are announced? I mean, announcing the Best Picture nominees takes minutes. How much suspense are they going to create with a non-alphabetical list that may or may not have 10 nominees? Please. This is becoming more and more comical, the little tweaks here and there. I think messing with the system highlights that 1) something’s wrong with the Oscars (that they feel the need to change it again) and 2) the Oscars are pretty much a reality show. And like a “reality” show, it seems very scripted. I never understood the announcement ceremony either. I mean, just release the nominees in a press release that morning. Send it out to the news outlets and call the nominated. The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO. So in this new, suspense-filled version of the announcement, we’re going to find out that a film, say “The Descendants,” is either in or out 5 minutes after we normally would, had the thing stayed alphabetical. Am I understanding this? Wow. Talk about awesome!

  57. Tero Heikkinen

    Yes, Karen – you’re not an Oscar fan if you didn’t know this.

    1) something’s wrong with the Oscars (that they feel the need to change it again).

    Oscars have never been right. There has always been problems and always will be. At least 6 categories are completely fucked up.

    2) the Oscars are pretty much a reality show. And like a “reality” show, it seems very scripted.

    Yes, it IS a reality show – it’s the ULTIMATE reality show (watched by a billion people). Back in the day, people could never see big names like Bogart etc on TV – Academy Awards changed that.

    Yes, it is scripted, all camera angles and the likes – hey, they even have a teleprompter.

    Did you really think it’s “ALL LIVE”? Speeches are the ONLY part that is unscripted. And even those are controlled.

  58. Tero Heikkinen

    Yes, Karen – you’re not an Oscar fan if you didn’t know this.

    1) something’s wrong with the Oscars (that they feel the need to change it again).

    Oscars have never been right. There has always been problems and always will be. At least 6 categories are completely fucked up.

    2) the Oscars are pretty much a reality show. And like a “reality” show, it seems very scripted.

    Yes, it IS a reality show – it’s the ULTIMATE reality show (watched by a billion people). Back in the day, people could never see big names like Bogart etc on TV – Academy Awards changed that.

    Yes, it is scripted, all camera angles and the likes – hey, they even have a teleprompter.

    Did you really think it’s “ALL LIVE”? Speeches are the ONLY part that is unscripted. And even those are controlled.

  59. Tero Heikkinen

    “The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO.”

    If I lived in LA, I would DEFINITELY stay awake all night and see the nominees before going to bed.

    I am lucky, I get to see this at 3:30pm. The whole WORLD is interested in this, not just USA. That is why the press announcement takes place in the morning.

    Karen, I say this again, you know next to nothing about Oscars. You are British, right?

    USA is only 1/25 of Academy Awards -live show viewers.

  60. Tero Heikkinen

    “The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO.”

    If I lived in LA, I would DEFINITELY stay awake all night and see the nominees before going to bed.

    I am lucky, I get to see this at 3:30pm. The whole WORLD is interested in this, not just USA. That is why the press announcement takes place in the morning.

    Karen, I say this again, you know next to nothing about Oscars. You are British, right?

    USA is only 1/25 of Academy Awards -live show viewers.

  61. I don’t feel one way or another about this change, but if they were going to do it, then they shouldn’t have announced it beforehand. They would get more publicity and excitement if every site suddenly had a story about how they were tricked/confused/flustered/excited/shocked/amazed and the feelings that brought up for them.

    For the general public (or even those of us who watch the race intently but aren’t very fast with alphabetizing or creating charts), the extra 5 seconds to hear the end of the category won’t make much difference. But for those who are expert enough to make those few seconds count, wouldn’t it have been more dramatic to have is sprung on you as a surprise? Especially if maybe the first 4 or so looked like they were in alphabetical order, giving the impression that the possibilities were dwindling, and then choices 5 through 6/7/8/9/10 suddenly threw you a curve!

    To use the example you give in the beginning of the article, imagine that they read them in the same order they did that fateful day, got to Frost/Nixon, Sasha and Tapley think it’s all over, and then The Dark Knight gets read in the number 6 slot, as the first or only non-alphabetized entry. Now THAT would be a show!

  62. I don’t feel one way or another about this change, but if they were going to do it, then they shouldn’t have announced it beforehand. They would get more publicity and excitement if every site suddenly had a story about how they were tricked/confused/flustered/excited/shocked/amazed and the feelings that brought up for them.

    For the general public (or even those of us who watch the race intently but aren’t very fast with alphabetizing or creating charts), the extra 5 seconds to hear the end of the category won’t make much difference. But for those who are expert enough to make those few seconds count, wouldn’t it have been more dramatic to have is sprung on you as a surprise? Especially if maybe the first 4 or so looked like they were in alphabetical order, giving the impression that the possibilities were dwindling, and then choices 5 through 6/7/8/9/10 suddenly threw you a curve!

    To use the example you give in the beginning of the article, imagine that they read them in the same order they did that fateful day, got to Frost/Nixon, Sasha and Tapley think it’s all over, and then The Dark Knight gets read in the number 6 slot, as the first or only non-alphabetized entry. Now THAT would be a show!

  63. Wow. Of all the excellent films that deserved BP nods but missed in recent years, Dreamgirls was certainly not one of them.

  64. Wow. Of all the excellent films that deserved BP nods but missed in recent years, Dreamgirls was certainly not one of them.

  65. Dreamgirls was a bad film with the first thirty minutes being amazing. So what it’s going to be the order of the line up? Are they announcing the most voted first giving away the winner immediately? or is it going to be just random

  66. Dreamgirls was a bad film with the first thirty minutes being amazing. So what it’s going to be the order of the line up? Are they announcing the most voted first giving away the winner immediately? or is it going to be just random

  67. I never understood the announcement ceremony either. I mean, just release the nominees in a press release that morning. Send it out to the news outlets and call the nominated. The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO.

    Do you even go here?

  68. I never understood the announcement ceremony either. I mean, just release the nominees in a press release that morning. Send it out to the news outlets and call the nominated. The fact that people watch the announcement at 5am in the morning is ridiculous IMO.

    Do you even go here?

  69. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Sasha in this years Best Picture race I really feel like they are going to nominate Martha Marcy May Marlene because its almost just like Winters Bone! What do you think?

    Most likely not. If they’re going to go for esoteric they will go for Tree of Life. Behind that in the esoteric department would be Take Shelter. But what you’ll see this year, I’m guessing, are films that are more conventional in their storytelling. I don’t think you’re going to see consensus around movies that are that opaque. But we can’t know until the rest of the year’s movies have been seen. We just can’t know what is in and what is out.

  70. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Sasha in this years Best Picture race I really feel like they are going to nominate Martha Marcy May Marlene because its almost just like Winters Bone! What do you think?

    Most likely not. If they’re going to go for esoteric they will go for Tree of Life. Behind that in the esoteric department would be Take Shelter. But what you’ll see this year, I’m guessing, are films that are more conventional in their storytelling. I don’t think you’re going to see consensus around movies that are that opaque. But we can’t know until the rest of the year’s movies have been seen. We just can’t know what is in and what is out.

  71. Is the headline meant to read “ONE title at a time”?

  72. Is the headline meant to read “ONE title at a time”?

  73. The Great Dane

    No, Karen, announcing Best Picture doesn’t take minutes. It takes less than a minute. Have you ever SEEN the announcement that you’re trashing? It’s just a reading of names and titles in those 9-10 categories, and it’s all over in, like, 5 minutes.

  74. The Great Dane

    No, Karen, announcing Best Picture doesn’t take minutes. It takes less than a minute. Have you ever SEEN the announcement that you’re trashing? It’s just a reading of names and titles in those 9-10 categories, and it’s all over in, like, 5 minutes.

  75. Ellsworth

    I just saw Drive tonight – wow. It should be getting way more attention. Hopefully the critics will bring it back into the conversation.

  76. Ellsworth

    I just saw Drive tonight – wow. It should be getting way more attention. Hopefully the critics will bring it back into the conversation.

  77. dat feel when Stephen Daldry and Coen bros ;__;

  78. dat feel when Stephen Daldry and Coen bros ;__;

  79. http://bestlellersbuy.com
    Especially if maybe the first 4 or so looked like they were in alphabetical order&?
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    Especially if maybe the first 4 or so looked like they were in alphabetical order&?
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  82. http://bestsellersbuy.com
    Especially if maybe the first 4 or so looked like they were in alphabetical order&?
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  83. It’s really a delight to read your column Sasha… Very well written… You brought back lots of Oscar nominations memories with my friends… It was really lot of fun reminiscing that the skipped The Dark Knight after Benjamin Button… The bummed look of their faces is still very vivid… Same as when The Blind Side was announced… The “What the heck is happening on earth right now” look in my face!!!! haha…

  84. It’s really a delight to read your column Sasha… Very well written… You brought back lots of Oscar nominations memories with my friends… It was really lot of fun reminiscing that the skipped The Dark Knight after Benjamin Button… The bummed look of their faces is still very vivid… Same as when The Blind Side was announced… The “What the heck is happening on earth right now” look in my face!!!! haha…

  85. There aren’t even 5 worthy BP nominees this year. Next year’s Oscars are going to be one ginormous, glorious train wreck, honoring hardcore arthouse films that earn in their collective run what Paranormal Activity 3 made in its first day.

  86. There aren’t even 5 worthy BP nominees this year. Next year’s Oscars are going to be one ginormous, glorious train wreck, honoring hardcore arthouse films that earn in their collective run what Paranormal Activity 3 made in its first day.

  87. “Perhaps some of us are hard-wired to care.”

    It’s why this site is indispensable to all of us…….thank you always for caring enough…..

  88. “Perhaps some of us are hard-wired to care.”

    It’s why this site is indispensable to all of us…….thank you always for caring enough…..

  89. Jack Traven II

    I myself find it pretty interesting actually to see all those changes year after year. Whether it’s good or not. At least there’s something going on in the Academy. In contrast to the static and unworldly FIFA that still doesn’t even allow the video proof.

  90. Jack Traven II

    I myself find it pretty interesting actually to see all those changes year after year. Whether it’s good or not. At least there’s something going on in the Academy. In contrast to the static and unworldly FIFA that still doesn’t even allow the video proof.

  91. “There aren’t 5 worthy BP nominees this year.”

    Midnight in Paris
    Win Win
    Moneyball

    That’s three. There’s bound to be two more down the line.

  92. “There aren’t 5 worthy BP nominees this year.”

    Midnight in Paris
    Win Win
    Moneyball

    That’s three. There’s bound to be two more down the line.

  93. Bill_the_Bear

    Sasha, count me as one of those who wishes that the Academy had stayed with 10 nominees.

    As for those complaining that they have to get up at 5 AM to hear the nominees…all you have to do is to move to a more civilized time zone, like EST, where you can catch them as you arrive at work, as I do.

  94. Bill_the_Bear

    Sasha, count me as one of those who wishes that the Academy had stayed with 10 nominees.

    As for those complaining that they have to get up at 5 AM to hear the nominees…all you have to do is to move to a more civilized time zone, like EST, where you can catch them as you arrive at work, as I do.

  95. Jack Traven II

    And just as a side note:

    This back and forth with naming ten BP films of the respective year always appears a little strange to me.

    Actually, I would really like to know how often people who post such a list here did actually see their Top Ten films prior to the ‘Oscars.’ Or the Academy members for that matter. I just guess that it’s very seldom more than one time. (Unless, of course, someone bought the DVD of a beloved film that did come out early enough. But who really buys every DVD of a film she/he even liked a lot? … C’mon!)
    And that’s the problem in my eyes. Because a decision of whether a film is BP material or not cannot be based on having seen a film only one time. Because opinions can change very rapidly.
    In that case my personal example always is ‘Mulholland Drive.’ After having seen it for the first time in the movie theater I was impressed and fascinated. And therefore liked the film a lot. But: Most of all because of the second part of the film that concluded it. But nevertheless, I decided to see the film for a 2nd time. And strangely enough this time I was more intrigued by the first part. And therefore didn’t like the full movie as much as I did when I watched it for the 1st time.
    Ok, maybe ‘Mulholland Drive’ wasn’t the appropriate example but it ultimately showed me how fast my personal opinions can change after having seen a film for another time – and that just one week or so later.

    So, the fact that I neither liked last year’s audience’s favorite TKS nor the critic’s favorite TSN doesn’t mean anything. Because both films I only saw one time each. So, maybe it will enter my 2010 BP Top Ten the next time I see one of them. Or the next time after that. Or after that … Or …
    But until then each and every one of my personal Top Five/Ten Lists are subject to change.

  96. Jack Traven II

    And just as a side note:

    This back and forth with naming ten BP films of the respective year always appears a little strange to me.

    Actually, I would really like to know how often people who post such a list here did actually see their Top Ten films prior to the ‘Oscars.’ Or the Academy members for that matter. I just guess that it’s very seldom more than one time. (Unless, of course, someone bought the DVD of a beloved film that did come out early enough. But who really buys every DVD of a film she/he even liked a lot? … C’mon!)
    And that’s the problem in my eyes. Because a decision of whether a film is BP material or not cannot be based on having seen a film only one time. Because opinions can change very rapidly.
    In that case my personal example always is ‘Mulholland Drive.’ After having seen it for the first time in the movie theater I was impressed and fascinated. And therefore liked the film a lot. But: Most of all because of the second part of the film that concluded it. But nevertheless, I decided to see the film for a 2nd time. And strangely enough this time I was more intrigued by the first part. And therefore didn’t like the full movie as much as I did when I watched it for the 1st time.
    Ok, maybe ‘Mulholland Drive’ wasn’t the appropriate example but it ultimately showed me how fast my personal opinions can change after having seen a film for another time – and that just one week or so later.

    So, the fact that I neither liked last year’s audience’s favorite TKS nor the critic’s favorite TSN doesn’t mean anything. Because both films I only saw one time each. So, maybe it will enter my 2010 BP Top Ten the next time I see one of them. Or the next time after that. Or after that … Or …
    But until then each and every one of my personal Top Five/Ten Lists are subject to change.

  97. Tero Heikkinen

    You have info there, Jack.

    Learn to write in English and people will read. Tomorrow I will suffer through your text.

  98. Tero Heikkinen

    You have info there, Jack.

    Learn to write in English and people will read. Tomorrow I will suffer through your text.

  99. but it ultimately showed me how fast my personal opinions can change after having seen a film for another time – and that just one week or so later.

    But that’s you. I rarely change my opinion about a movie. I might like a movie the more I see it. For example, the more I watch Inception the more I like it. However, it was my favorite film last year. My opinion didn’t change but my fondness grew. And I can guarUNtee that I will hate Crash until the day I die. The only time I really change my opinion on a movie I like is if I watch another older film I hadn’t seen and the new one is a ripoff in some way. I hate thievery. And in terms of disliking a film and then liking it, I can only recall changing my mind on Velvet Goldmine. The first time I saw it, on video, I didn’t give it my undivided attention. If I’d seen it in the theater, I would have liked it right away. So, imo, you definitely should be able to judge a film on one viewing as long as you were paying attention.

  100. but it ultimately showed me how fast my personal opinions can change after having seen a film for another time – and that just one week or so later.

    But that’s you. I rarely change my opinion about a movie. I might like a movie the more I see it. For example, the more I watch Inception the more I like it. However, it was my favorite film last year. My opinion didn’t change but my fondness grew. And I can guarUNtee that I will hate Crash until the day I die. The only time I really change my opinion on a movie I like is if I watch another older film I hadn’t seen and the new one is a ripoff in some way. I hate thievery. And in terms of disliking a film and then liking it, I can only recall changing my mind on Velvet Goldmine. The first time I saw it, on video, I didn’t give it my undivided attention. If I’d seen it in the theater, I would have liked it right away. So, imo, you definitely should be able to judge a film on one viewing as long as you were paying attention.

  101. OMG some are you guys are a little on the slow side. She didn’t say Dreamgirls was the best movie ever she just said that people EXPECTED it to get nominated. So it was a shock to see it not nominated.

  102. OMG some are you guys are a little on the slow side. She didn’t say Dreamgirls was the best movie ever she just said that people EXPECTED it to get nominated. So it was a shock to see it not nominated.

  103. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    ouch, Tero, that’s a bit harsh!

    Jack Traven II, I have no trouble following your train of thought, and you make some great points. What you’re saying is especially relevant to the Oscars if we think about Academy members and the stacks of screeners they all get each year.

    Only a fraction of those screeners even get the security seal broken. They never even get a spin. Fewer still ever get watched from beginning to end. Unless a movie is exactly the right cup of tea to suit the exact mood of that voter on the day they give it a try, it’s far to easy to pull out midstream and sample another movie in the pile.

    And that’s a shame. It’s a tragedy, really. Because some of the best movies have deliberately rough patches that put the viewer through difficult challenges. The hard parts of built into the structure on purpose, right? The pieces might not all come together until the last few scenes — but how many voters ever go the whole distance?

    This is significant for movies like Shame or Tyrannosaur that have scenes in the beginning that could shock or even revolt sensitive viewers. Those scenes could be enough to cause some voters to give up too soon.

    It might not good Academy etiquette to get up and walk out of a movie theater halfway through. (though we have plenty of reports of voters who do just that.) But there’s no fear of reproach whatsoever for a voter to stop DVD and toss it aside in the privacy of his or her own screening room.

    There are performances that don’t reveal their full impact until a climax — and there are outstanding supporting performances in weaker movies that some voters never see because they don’t have time and patience to get to the good parts.

    Jack, I know this isn’t precisely what you meant — your main point is that some movies require a second and third viewing before their greatest strengths can be sorted out. And that’s absolutely true. (There was a topic on Twiiter this weekend with people confessing about movies they once hated and now love after they had time to reevaluate them — and Roger Ebert himself got that conversation going.)

    And. Jack, what you say is significant in light of the NYFCC announcing that they are moving up their awards to November — I wrote to Sasha that day: “There goes any chance that a critic has adequate time to let a movie marinate and sink in. Instant impulse snap judgements are what we’ll be getting.”

    And Jack, think about all the movies that make a fantastic first impression in the heat of the VIP screening excitement — and then quickly fade or evaporate after a few weeks. (I’m thinking of movies, for me, as diverse as Million Dollar Baby and Avatar.) But voters who have to make a quick decision in the space of two weeks (for last minute premieres) have no time to see whether a movie will get better or worse with age.

    So thanks, Jack for making those excellent points, and for prompting me to expand on your thoughts in my own words.

    And please don’t ever hesitate to contribute to the discussion here, any time, and more often! — because your English is just fine. Tero is a good friend of the site and a close personal pal, but sometimes Tero can be brusque and off-key in his own language.

    Good readers have patience for a slight slippage in the structure and tone of written comments — the same way good movie-lovers have patience for difficult movies.

  104. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    ouch, Tero, that’s a bit harsh!

    Jack Traven II, I have no trouble following your train of thought, and you make some great points. What you’re saying is especially relevant to the Oscars if we think about Academy members and the stacks of screeners they all get each year.

    Only a fraction of those screeners even get the security seal broken. They never even get a spin. Fewer still ever get watched from beginning to end. Unless a movie is exactly the right cup of tea to suit the exact mood of that voter on the day they give it a try, it’s far to easy to pull out midstream and sample another movie in the pile.

    And that’s a shame. It’s a tragedy, really. Because some of the best movies have deliberately rough patches that put the viewer through difficult challenges. The hard parts of built into the structure on purpose, right? The pieces might not all come together until the last few scenes — but how many voters ever go the whole distance?

    This is significant for movies like Shame or Tyrannosaur that have scenes in the beginning that could shock or even revolt sensitive viewers. Those scenes could be enough to cause some voters to give up too soon.

    It might not good Academy etiquette to get up and walk out of a movie theater halfway through. (though we have plenty of reports of voters who do just that.) But there’s no fear of reproach whatsoever for a voter to stop DVD and toss it aside in the privacy of his or her own screening room.

    There are performances that don’t reveal their full impact until a climax — and there are outstanding supporting performances in weaker movies that some voters never see because they don’t have time and patience to get to the good parts.

    Jack, I know this isn’t precisely what you meant — your main point is that some movies require a second and third viewing before their greatest strengths can be sorted out. And that’s absolutely true. (There was a topic on Twiiter this weekend with people confessing about movies they once hated and now love after they had time to reevaluate them — and Roger Ebert himself got that conversation going.)

    And. Jack, what you say is significant in light of the NYFCC announcing that they are moving up their awards to November — I wrote to Sasha that day: “There goes any chance that a critic has adequate time to let a movie marinate and sink in. Instant impulse snap judgements are what we’ll be getting.”

    And Jack, think about all the movies that make a fantastic first impression in the heat of the VIP screening excitement — and then quickly fade or evaporate after a few weeks. (I’m thinking of movies, for me, as diverse as Million Dollar Baby and Avatar.) But voters who have to make a quick decision in the space of two weeks (for last minute premieres) have no time to see whether a movie will get better or worse with age.

    So thanks, Jack for making those excellent points, and for prompting me to expand on your thoughts in my own words.

    And please don’t ever hesitate to contribute to the discussion here, any time, and more often! — because your English is just fine. Tero is a good friend of the site and a close personal pal, but sometimes Tero can be brusque and off-key in his own language.

    Good readers have patience for a slight slippage in the structure and tone of written comments — the same way good movie-lovers have patience for difficult movies.

  105. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Melissa, Thank YOU!

    I hate to be always butting in and coming to the defense of every little dispute, but it was hard to hold back and not get involved in such an obvious misinterpretation.

    You got it right. Nobody was bringing up Dreamgirls as a movie that was unfairly snubbed. The point — and plain simple fact — is that Dreamgirls was topping many of the lists of the best Oscar pundits as the movie to beat that year. So when it didn’t even get nominated, it threw a lot of smart people for a loop. Though, maybe not surprising for anybody who watched Dreamgirls with no prior expectations.

    Once a pundit gets attached to a favorite pony, it’s sometimes hard to give up on the bet — even when later that horse is seen to founder and stumble I think it was Tom O’Neil who went out furthest on the limb for Dreamgirls. One would think that might serve as a brutal lesson — but then he made the exact same mistake a couple of years later with Sweeney Todd.

    It’s not Tom’s fault that he loves musicals and sees them in a different light than those of us who are more cold-hearted. But it’s a fact that both those movies had big BP expectations that didn’t pan out.

  106. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Melissa, Thank YOU!

    I hate to be always butting in and coming to the defense of every little dispute, but it was hard to hold back and not get involved in such an obvious misinterpretation.

    You got it right. Nobody was bringing up Dreamgirls as a movie that was unfairly snubbed. The point — and plain simple fact — is that Dreamgirls was topping many of the lists of the best Oscar pundits as the movie to beat that year. So when it didn’t even get nominated, it threw a lot of smart people for a loop. Though, maybe not surprising for anybody who watched Dreamgirls with no prior expectations.

    Once a pundit gets attached to a favorite pony, it’s sometimes hard to give up on the bet — even when later that horse is seen to founder and stumble I think it was Tom O’Neil who went out furthest on the limb for Dreamgirls. One would think that might serve as a brutal lesson — but then he made the exact same mistake a couple of years later with Sweeney Todd.

    It’s not Tom’s fault that he loves musicals and sees them in a different light than those of us who are more cold-hearted. But it’s a fact that both those movies had big BP expectations that didn’t pan out.

  107. Goodness Gracious

    I’m still of the opinion that if you can’t come up with 10 movies worth calling the “Best of the Year” that you aren’t seeing enough movies.

    I’ve seen 31 released in 2011 as of this afternoon and I already have 11 on my list that I think are terrific films worthy of attention. Some are, admittedly, far too small to get any buzz or notice, but it isn’t even November and I have a solid top 10. Martha Marcy May Marlene doesn’t even make that list, it comes in at 13.

    Now sure, we can all say The Blind Side is a great example of why we shouldn’t have 10 nominees, but I had an amazing top 10 that year, too. That isn’t a case of there not being enough good movies to award, it’s a case of AMPAS handing out a nomination to the wrong film. That’s not a problem with 10 nominees, it’s a problem with your pool pf people who vote and make the decision.

    But anyone who says there aren’t 10 phenomenal movies out in a year isn’t seeing enough movies or is being intentionally over-critical.

  108. Goodness Gracious

    I’m still of the opinion that if you can’t come up with 10 movies worth calling the “Best of the Year” that you aren’t seeing enough movies.

    I’ve seen 31 released in 2011 as of this afternoon and I already have 11 on my list that I think are terrific films worthy of attention. Some are, admittedly, far too small to get any buzz or notice, but it isn’t even November and I have a solid top 10. Martha Marcy May Marlene doesn’t even make that list, it comes in at 13.

    Now sure, we can all say The Blind Side is a great example of why we shouldn’t have 10 nominees, but I had an amazing top 10 that year, too. That isn’t a case of there not being enough good movies to award, it’s a case of AMPAS handing out a nomination to the wrong film. That’s not a problem with 10 nominees, it’s a problem with your pool pf people who vote and make the decision.

    But anyone who says there aren’t 10 phenomenal movies out in a year isn’t seeing enough movies or is being intentionally over-critical.

  109. Tero Heikkinen

    I was only kidding, people.

    Jack HAD info in his post – unlike the rest of us.

  110. Tero Heikkinen

    I was only kidding, people.

    Jack HAD info in his post – unlike the rest of us.

  111. andrew Bell

    Sasha,
    For some reason I just totally disagree with you about the films this year.
    I think this has been one of the best years for films in decades. Moneyball,
    Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Artist, Descendants, Ides of March,
    Drive, and recently I was blown away by Margin Call. I feel as if you have
    this elegiac lament for the past which is not called for when in all honesty I think
    we have the potential with War Horse, Extremely Loud, Hugo and a slew of
    other potential gold mines to come, along with some historic films (Tree of Life)
    and others, to make this one of the best year of films in decades.

  112. andrew Bell

    Sasha,
    For some reason I just totally disagree with you about the films this year.
    I think this has been one of the best years for films in decades. Moneyball,
    Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Artist, Descendants, Ides of March,
    Drive, and recently I was blown away by Margin Call. I feel as if you have
    this elegiac lament for the past which is not called for when in all honesty I think
    we have the potential with War Horse, Extremely Loud, Hugo and a slew of
    other potential gold mines to come, along with some historic films (Tree of Life)
    and others, to make this one of the best year of films in decades.

  113. Tero Heikkinen

    Did Sasha say that the year is bad? I don’t know. All I know is that 2011 is ALREADY better than 2008 or 2009. This is going to be an awesome year when all is said and done.

    2010 was good, and this will beat that even. I think.

    We have so many great movies already. Maybe not in Hollywood, but who cares, lol. Maybe Hollywood will recognize independent this year – just like in 1996 (the year when they made them).

  114. Tero Heikkinen

    Did Sasha say that the year is bad? I don’t know. All I know is that 2011 is ALREADY better than 2008 or 2009. This is going to be an awesome year when all is said and done.

    2010 was good, and this will beat that even. I think.

    We have so many great movies already. Maybe not in Hollywood, but who cares, lol. Maybe Hollywood will recognize independent this year – just like in 1996 (the year when they made them).

  115. Newsflash! I had forgotten Tom Hiddleston, the young RISING British actor said this to me in an interview about “War Horse.” Yes, he’s in it, and he plays the nice, kind British officer Capt. Nichols who buys the horse from the boy and his family in the first half of the movie.

    Of course, he hasn’t seen it. He says “I’m just in it!” And in a big part I might add, then he reveals kind of accidentally a nugget of information that could really push this film beyond its’ family friendly comfort level.

    Spielberg has shot the film from the point of view…OF THE HORSE! Yes, Tom says this.

    And that could really give the whole epic Shee-bang the cinematic edge to put it into the winner’s circle for Best Picture.

    We see most of the movie through the EYES OF THE HORSE! That’s what Schabel did with “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”! The camera lens is the HORSE’S EYE!

    You can see my interview with Tom Hiddleston, who also played F. Scott Fitzgerald in “Midnight in Paris” and the abusive boy-friend who drives Rachel Weisz to suicide in Terence Davies “Deep Blue Sea” as well as having been in “Thor” and is the villain in the upcoming “The Avengers”!

    What a year he’s having! Just click on my name and you’ll see it in my main frame of my TV show. He says this in Part 2.

    Whoa, Nelly!

  116. Newsflash! I had forgotten Tom Hiddleston, the young RISING British actor said this to me in an interview about “War Horse.” Yes, he’s in it, and he plays the nice, kind British officer Capt. Nichols who buys the horse from the boy and his family in the first half of the movie.

    Of course, he hasn’t seen it. He says “I’m just in it!” And in a big part I might add, then he reveals kind of accidentally a nugget of information that could really push this film beyond its’ family friendly comfort level.

    Spielberg has shot the film from the point of view…OF THE HORSE! Yes, Tom says this.

    And that could really give the whole epic Shee-bang the cinematic edge to put it into the winner’s circle for Best Picture.

    We see most of the movie through the EYES OF THE HORSE! That’s what Schabel did with “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”! The camera lens is the HORSE’S EYE!

    You can see my interview with Tom Hiddleston, who also played F. Scott Fitzgerald in “Midnight in Paris” and the abusive boy-friend who drives Rachel Weisz to suicide in Terence Davies “Deep Blue Sea” as well as having been in “Thor” and is the villain in the upcoming “The Avengers”!

    What a year he’s having! Just click on my name and you’ll see it in my main frame of my TV show. He says this in Part 2.

    Whoa, Nelly!

  117. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Andrew — you know from reading Sasha’s reviews how much she adores Moneyball, The Artist, The Descendants — right? (if you’re not a frequent reader of the site, let me know, I can give you the links. — because I want to help you understand.)

    I think the premise of this post is only that critics are failing to anoint any movie as a unanimous masterpiece the way they’ve done in recent years. This article is all about the raw numbers on metacritic. It has nothing to do with Sasha’s personal affection and admiration for the great movies we’ve seen this year.

    Speaking for myself, I think one reason the scores are failing to top 90 this year is because most of the truly great movies have been divisive. It only takes one or two cranky critics giving a movie a score of 40 or 30 to drag down its average.

    In recent years critics have fallen in line more reliably behind movies they want to unmistakeably champion. This year every great movie has detractors.

    I’m not trying to be snarky by offering you links to Sasha’s reviews. — you can find them yourself byGoogling “Sasha Stone Telluride The Descendants” or “Sasha Stone Cannes The Artist”

    I just don’t like to see any confusion about which movies Sasha has already said are her favorite films of the year — because there will be plenty of time later in the season for us to get beat up over movies that we eventually honestly don’t like — so let’s be quick to agree on the ones we all love, ok?

  118. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Andrew — you know from reading Sasha’s reviews how much she adores Moneyball, The Artist, The Descendants — right? (if you’re not a frequent reader of the site, let me know, I can give you the links. — because I want to help you understand.)

    I think the premise of this post is only that critics are failing to anoint any movie as a unanimous masterpiece the way they’ve done in recent years. This article is all about the raw numbers on metacritic. It has nothing to do with Sasha’s personal affection and admiration for the great movies we’ve seen this year.

    Speaking for myself, I think one reason the scores are failing to top 90 this year is because most of the truly great movies have been divisive. It only takes one or two cranky critics giving a movie a score of 40 or 30 to drag down its average.

    In recent years critics have fallen in line more reliably behind movies they want to unmistakeably champion. This year every great movie has detractors.

    I’m not trying to be snarky by offering you links to Sasha’s reviews. — you can find them yourself byGoogling “Sasha Stone Telluride The Descendants” or “Sasha Stone Cannes The Artist”

    I just don’t like to see any confusion about which movies Sasha has already said are her favorite films of the year — because there will be plenty of time later in the season for us to get beat up over movies that we eventually honestly don’t like — so let’s be quick to agree on the ones we all love, ok?

  119. Ooops! Huge mistake! My name leads you to my blog. To see the Tom Hiddleston interviews you need to go to You Tube. SOOORRRY!

  120. Ooops! Huge mistake! My name leads you to my blog. To see the Tom Hiddleston interviews you need to go to You Tube. SOOORRRY!

  121. Tero Heikkinen

    I love the fact that Foreign Language is so good… When Le Havre even fails to get a nomination (still being in the Top 9), I feel good, cause Finland loses in a big game.

  122. Tero Heikkinen

    I love the fact that Foreign Language is so good… When Le Havre even fails to get a nomination (still being in the Top 9), I feel good, cause Finland loses in a big game.

  123. Jack Traven II

    Thanks Ryan. And you are absolutely right about the quick decisions the voters have to make.

    And by the way: I LOVE THE MOVIES.

    BUT: There are always times when I am almost afraid to lose that passion like I suddenly lost my passion for passenger ships 10 years ago.

    From time to time there is something that distracts from enjoying a movie. For example a particular scene in a particular film that – when watching the film – just reminds me of another film with a similar scene.

    In this case it was ‘Seven’ when Gwyneth Paltrow and Morgan Freeman are sitting on that table in the café. When watching that scene it suddenly reminded me of the scene in ‘Heat’ with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro sitting opposite to each other (a brilliant one by the way). I don’t know why but after that – whenever I saw a movie – I thought about that. ‘Did I see that scene already in another movie?’ I asked myself. Of course, it was only that sitting-opposite-to-each-other thing and something like that appears a lot in movies, but – the point is – something like that sometimes distracts me from enjoying (great) movies. But I think this is also just my problem. Maybe I just think too much.

    BUT: Somehow I got used to it. So until now I still LOVE the movies. And some of them I enjoy more and more the more I watch them. For example ‘Inception’ (one of my favorite 2010 films and therefore part of my BP Top Five).

  124. Jack Traven II

    Thanks Ryan. And you are absolutely right about the quick decisions the voters have to make.

    And by the way: I LOVE THE MOVIES.

    BUT: There are always times when I am almost afraid to lose that passion like I suddenly lost my passion for passenger ships 10 years ago.

    From time to time there is something that distracts from enjoying a movie. For example a particular scene in a particular film that – when watching the film – just reminds me of another film with a similar scene.

    In this case it was ‘Seven’ when Gwyneth Paltrow and Morgan Freeman are sitting on that table in the café. When watching that scene it suddenly reminded me of the scene in ‘Heat’ with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro sitting opposite to each other (a brilliant one by the way). I don’t know why but after that – whenever I saw a movie – I thought about that. ‘Did I see that scene already in another movie?’ I asked myself. Of course, it was only that sitting-opposite-to-each-other thing and something like that appears a lot in movies, but – the point is – something like that sometimes distracts me from enjoying (great) movies. But I think this is also just my problem. Maybe I just think too much.

    BUT: Somehow I got used to it. So until now I still LOVE the movies. And some of them I enjoy more and more the more I watch them. For example ‘Inception’ (one of my favorite 2010 films and therefore part of my BP Top Five).

  125. All of this is so ridiculous and unnecessary. They never should have tampered with the old system.

  126. All of this is so ridiculous and unnecessary. They never should have tampered with the old system.

  127. Scott (the other one)

    I’m just imagining an alphabetical listing where War Horse is not the last nominee. That would mean almost a certain Best Picture nomination for “What’s Your Number?”

  128. Scott (the other one)

    I’m just imagining an alphabetical listing where War Horse is not the last nominee. That would mean almost a certain Best Picture nomination for “What’s Your Number?”

  129. Rufussondheim

    “Once a pundit gets attached to a favorite pony, it’s sometimes hard to give up on the bet — even when later that horse is seen to founder and stumble.” – Ryan Adams, the blogger not the singer.

    Sounds like you and I are on the same fence about War Horse :)

    Actually, shooting from the horse’s point of view sounds like Spielberg is going to use some bait and switch trickery like he did at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan when he switched the shot to Tom Hanks arriving on the shores of Normandy.

    Never mind me, I find Spielberg to be a completely terrible storyteller, even though I agree he has some of the best images and sequences in film history. But as a storyteller, he’s manipulative, facile and even insulting.

    I always get pissed at the similarities between Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. I’ll name two, both share a shot of puddles in footprints/tire ruts showing impending danger. And the climax in both is the same, certain death only to be rescued in the final seconds by a deus ex machina (the TRex/American Planes). The climaxes, especially, are extremely cheap.

    I imagine that Spielberg equates WW2 and Dinosaurs and ranks them equally in importance in his mind.

    War movies shouldn’t be action pictures.

  130. Rufussondheim

    “Once a pundit gets attached to a favorite pony, it’s sometimes hard to give up on the bet — even when later that horse is seen to founder and stumble.” – Ryan Adams, the blogger not the singer.

    Sounds like you and I are on the same fence about War Horse :)

    Actually, shooting from the horse’s point of view sounds like Spielberg is going to use some bait and switch trickery like he did at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan when he switched the shot to Tom Hanks arriving on the shores of Normandy.

    Never mind me, I find Spielberg to be a completely terrible storyteller, even though I agree he has some of the best images and sequences in film history. But as a storyteller, he’s manipulative, facile and even insulting.

    I always get pissed at the similarities between Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. I’ll name two, both share a shot of puddles in footprints/tire ruts showing impending danger. And the climax in both is the same, certain death only to be rescued in the final seconds by a deus ex machina (the TRex/American Planes). The climaxes, especially, are extremely cheap.

    I imagine that Spielberg equates WW2 and Dinosaurs and ranks them equally in importance in his mind.

    War movies shouldn’t be action pictures.

  131. StandAloneMatt

    The problem wasn’t with the idea of nominating ten films, the problem was the films they chose.

    In 2009 had they expanded their horizons and considered films like “In the Loop”, “Ponyo”, “Moon”, “Sugar”, “The Cove”, “Un Prophète”, “Ajami” – there would have been no need for stuff like “The Blind Side” getting in.

    The problem has always been with the voters. They either have poor taste, or don’t take it seriously and treat it like a popularity contest. Changing the number of nominees makes for less egregious snubs, but also shows other weaknesses.

    I think the ignoring of Pixar (in their prime) will come to be more shameful for the academy than Dreamgirls, or the Dark Knight. Younger people don’t have the prejudice towards animation that some of the older people seem to, and many of these Pixar films will be considered all-time classics in the decades to come. When the younger generation takes over the voting rolls in the Academy, they will look back and wonder how they got it so wrong.

  132. StandAloneMatt

    The problem wasn’t with the idea of nominating ten films, the problem was the films they chose.

    In 2009 had they expanded their horizons and considered films like “In the Loop”, “Ponyo”, “Moon”, “Sugar”, “The Cove”, “Un Prophète”, “Ajami” – there would have been no need for stuff like “The Blind Side” getting in.

    The problem has always been with the voters. They either have poor taste, or don’t take it seriously and treat it like a popularity contest. Changing the number of nominees makes for less egregious snubs, but also shows other weaknesses.

    I think the ignoring of Pixar (in their prime) will come to be more shameful for the academy than Dreamgirls, or the Dark Knight. Younger people don’t have the prejudice towards animation that some of the older people seem to, and many of these Pixar films will be considered all-time classics in the decades to come. When the younger generation takes over the voting rolls in the Academy, they will look back and wonder how they got it so wrong.

  133. Let me get this straight. War Horse is shot from the perspective of the horse? Ok. Then how come we can see the horse in the trailers? I can understand if it’s from the horse’s point of view, but not if it’s from the horse’s POV (meaning a lens in it’s eyeball). If that were the case shouldn’t we only see people, and oats, and maybe some other horse’s butt?

  134. Let me get this straight. War Horse is shot from the perspective of the horse? Ok. Then how come we can see the horse in the trailers? I can understand if it’s from the horse’s point of view, but not if it’s from the horse’s POV (meaning a lens in it’s eyeball). If that were the case shouldn’t we only see people, and oats, and maybe some other horse’s butt?

  135. Rufussondheim

    maybe the Academy ignores the Pixar films because they are boring (the films, not the Academy)

  136. Rufussondheim

    maybe the Academy ignores the Pixar films because they are boring (the films, not the Academy)

  137. Rufussondheim

    I must add that the discussion last week with regards to Animal Kingdom made me realize I had neglected to see this film that I had really wanted to see, so I draggedit to the top of my Netflix queue and boy was I glad I did.

    This film was really quite spectacular, maybe even, when it all settles in, the best film of 2010. Great stuff.

    And the real reason I come to this site, the Oscars are shit, is that the quality of film discussion is definitely top-notch.

  138. Rufussondheim

    I must add that the discussion last week with regards to Animal Kingdom made me realize I had neglected to see this film that I had really wanted to see, so I draggedit to the top of my Netflix queue and boy was I glad I did.

    This film was really quite spectacular, maybe even, when it all settles in, the best film of 2010. Great stuff.

    And the real reason I come to this site, the Oscars are shit, is that the quality of film discussion is definitely top-notch.

  139. Alexandra

    The Oscars are NOT shit…They are a way of rewarding many people´s HARD work in respect of the very complicated art of making movies and telling stories and in this society at least,the most coveted and ultimate one…

  140. Alexandra

    The Oscars are NOT shit…They are a way of rewarding many people´s HARD work in respect of the very complicated art of making movies and telling stories and in this society at least,the most coveted and ultimate one…

  141. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Agreed, Alexandra — the Oscars as a concept are a wonderful tribute to film art.

    In concept.

    The same way — in concept — the Presidency of the United States is a tribute to public servants who have worked hard to attain that coveted position.

    In concept.

    In actual fact, the outcomes can often be fairly fuct.

  142. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Agreed, Alexandra — the Oscars as a concept are a wonderful tribute to film art.

    In concept.

    The same way — in concept — the Presidency of the United States is a tribute to public servants who have worked hard to attain that coveted position.

    In concept.

    In actual fact, the outcomes can often be fairly fuct.

  143. I wouldn’t spend my time on something I thought was shit. I don’t always agree with them. And my favorite movies often don’t make it. But so what? It’s different opinions in the end. I can respect other people’s opinions.

    There seem to be quite a few people around here lately who care nothing for the Oscar race, or the nominating process, etc. I had assumed they were just trolling and was ignoring them but calling the the Oscars shit on a site that’s whole purpose is to predict the Oscars? That’s a bit much.

  144. I wouldn’t spend my time on something I thought was shit. I don’t always agree with them. And my favorite movies often don’t make it. But so what? It’s different opinions in the end. I can respect other people’s opinions.

    There seem to be quite a few people around here lately who care nothing for the Oscar race, or the nominating process, etc. I had assumed they were just trolling and was ignoring them but calling the the Oscars shit on a site that’s whole purpose is to predict the Oscars? That’s a bit much.

  145. Alexandra

    Ryan,I do try to avoid the politics comparison if I can…Still, no process is without flaws,no outcome is without detractors,not everybody is equally satisfied at the same time…The Oscars are NOT “shit” and from what I´ve seen, very most often than not,a person winning one will feel immensely thankful and happy that his/her hard work was acknowledged( publicly, for this is not charity) by his colleagues…

  146. Alexandra

    Ryan,I do try to avoid the politics comparison if I can…Still, no process is without flaws,no outcome is without detractors,not everybody is equally satisfied at the same time…The Oscars are NOT “shit” and from what I´ve seen, very most often than not,a person winning one will feel immensely thankful and happy that his/her hard work was acknowledged( publicly, for this is not charity) by his colleagues…

  147. Rufussondheim

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Oscars for what they are, and I sit there on nomination morning hoping against hope that the films and actors I love somehow get a nomination. Their importance is not lost on me.

    But let’s be honest. Any award that allows people to vote on the outcome without having to show that they’ve seen any of the options loses all credibility. Sadly, the importance is lost on too many of the voters.

  148. Rufussondheim

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Oscars for what they are, and I sit there on nomination morning hoping against hope that the films and actors I love somehow get a nomination. Their importance is not lost on me.

    But let’s be honest. Any award that allows people to vote on the outcome without having to show that they’ve seen any of the options loses all credibility. Sadly, the importance is lost on too many of the voters.

  149. Jack Traven II

    By now I regard the ‘Oscars’ more as a good old friend with its own character and its own habits that sometimes comes up with a new annoying idea just to impress me. But in the end I don’t want to miss it, because it is dear to my heart after all those years.

  150. Jack Traven II

    By now I regard the ‘Oscars’ more as a good old friend with its own character and its own habits that sometimes comes up with a new annoying idea just to impress me. But in the end I don’t want to miss it, because it is dear to my heart after all those years.

  151. Jack Traven II

    And now let’s do some straight talking:

    Either we take it as it is or we stop the whining and seize the opportunity and occupy Hollywood.

    :-)

  152. Jack Traven II

    And now let’s do some straight talking:

    Either we take it as it is or we stop the whining and seize the opportunity and occupy Hollywood.

    :-)

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