The State of the Race: The Wide Open Landscape of the Best Picture Race

This year, there are only a handful of films that have run the gauntlet and came out the other side. As we head into the season of the critics awards, more favoritism and preference will fall into place. As of today, though, Best Picture is anyone’s game.

The critics, an ever-changing and growing chorus, seem not to agree this year on any one film. There is no Social Network, Hurt Locker, No Country for Old Men, or even a King’s Speech – there is certainly no Slumdog Millionaire. Each new film that comes out has its supporters and its detractors, passionate detractors, in fact, who are maybe a little less inclined to agree with their peers after last year’s unanimous push for one film. Perhaps they didn’t like being lumped into one big group aligning behind one film.

Either way, things feel like they’re all over the place. So unless we’re talking about Harry Potter or Rise of the Planet of the Apes, any film could take the lead right now and it wouldn’t be that surprising. The Descendants and The Artist seem to be the two most popular choices among films that can win. But we’re not even at that stage; strangely enough, we’re still wondering what might get nominated.

When the Academy took away the assurance of ten slots for Best Picture most of scattered like barnyard chicks. We’d grown accustomed to imagining a ten picture race where just about anything was possible. The original expansion to ten was designed to include popular films but it was discovered that the Academy was just as oriented towards great films, be they big or small, as the critics were. The change failed to do what they wanted it to do. Now we’re back to a scenario that is more similar to their Big Five. There will be five strong films and those films will likely find matching nominations in acting, writing, directing, and possibly editing. The Academy has always felt secure in the notion that the branches could share the wealth with no problem. Big, effects-heavy movies that lacked good writing and acting could sit comfortably in the tech categories, but the more preferred films — the dramas, the period war movies — would take the “top” categories. It shouldn’t matter that a film “only gets” art direction and cinematography nominations. But it does, somehow. It does.

The “best” that count most are best writing, acting and directing. Editing gets to go along for the ride too. When the planets align a movie comes along and takes it all because it is a good story, epic in scope, with many branches vibing its greatness. But this year, things feel very strange. Nothing is lining up. Where is that movie everyone loves? Even films that seem like they should be up in the 90s are pulled back down to the 80s on Metacritic by one or two strong, negative reviews. It can’t be agreed that everyone loves Hugo or The Descendants or The Artist — there are one or two or three holdouts who don’t.

This could be because Metacritic is using a stricter scoring system than they’ve used in previous years, or the critics just can’t allow themselves to all fall in love with one movie, or the movies just haven’t been up to snuff. Me, I’m scratching my head at, say, Kenneth Turan’s negative take on Hugo. I expect that from the critics who like to be contrary but Turan has never been one of those. Of all people, I expected him to love the film. Then again, at the Q&A for the film he didn’t stay to see Thelma Schoonmaker chat with Paul Thomas Anderson — I knew then that he wouldn’t give the film a rave.

A word about critics, their reviews, and Metacritic. When I met Joe Morgenstern in Telluride and asked him what his favorite film of the year was he answered Midnight in Paris. Metacritic has Morgenstern’s review of that film scored at 90. Wouldn’t it be 100 if it was his favorite of the year? Well, apparently not. This is something to keep in mind when looking at the way reviews are scored, subjectively. But I’ll still take it over Rotten Tomatoes which only gives you a thumbs up/thumbs down collective.

In the end, all things inevitably drift back to two movies. Only two have hit the highest score at Metacritic, tied with a conservative 87, and have been tested with audiences — Moneyball and Harry Potter.

Both films, if the critics are being honest about their reviews, should do well with the critics awards. Then again, you have to wonder about scoring reviews in the first place. What does it mean if most of the prominent critics gave a film a 100 but a few select critics, like the Descendants’ main detractors, Dana Stevens of Slate and Stephanie Zacharek of Movieline, hate the film? What does it mean if Kenneth Turan gives Hugo a middling score while Manohla Dargis, Ebert, TIME magazine all praise it?

It means, like everything else in life, there is nothing unanimous about the critics awards. This was the predicament I feared after last year came to a crashing end. That the industry had wholly shut out the critics’ darling so thoroughly and completely it had to mean that the following year would offer no such alignment. It feels like a free-for-all now, not a Presidential election where you take sides in order to push forth one candidate. And what it might mean is an unpredictable Oscar race ahead.

Right now, the field is so wide open, in fact, that if any of the films that haven’t yet opened hit really big, there is room now for a juggernaut to take hold. And if there is one coming it will either have to be War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If one of these films aims straight, hits big, and dings the box-office gong, it’s all over.

But what if none of them do? Does that mean Moneyball and Harry Potter are the two frontrunners heading into the Oscar race? The stories for Shame, The Descendants and The Artist are still unfinished; too soon to count them out. We do know that none of them have thus far gotten a Wall-E seal of approval with many scores of 100. The Oscar race this year, we have to conclude, might not be driven by critics at all. I’ve always gotten the sense, despite the push last year for one film, that tThe critics like to be on the other side of the party, across the room from the Oscar voters. (And the Oscar voters don’t want to mingle either.)

Spend some time with Academy members and critics and you can see why. Critics actually love movies. They love watching them. They have to watch a lot of them every year. They see more movies than Academy members do. They see more movies than most people in the general public do. They care about the future of cinema.

Academy members, on the other hand, probably watch a lot more TV. HBO is where all of the good filmmakers and writers have exiled themselves to – there, they are not imprisoned by the bottom line. They aren’t necessarily focused-grouped to death. They don’t have to be subjected to the gauntlet of critics and Twitter before their films ever even open. That’s where most of the great filmmaking is happening in America now: on cable TV.

Walking through the Academy when they screened The Artist it was clear that these aren’t people who are going to fall all over themselves to check out the latest Von Trier film. They’re lucky, most of them, if they can manage to stay awake during a screening of any film, let alone one that is supposed to be hailed as the greatest film of the year. Not to generalize but their voting proves how they think. The movie has to be exceptionally entertaining, like Slumdog Millionaire, or I suppose The King’s Speech, to pull them out of their comfortable coma cocoon to pay attention.

That brings us back to this year — our headless horseman of an Oscar year with so many wonderful films getting slaughtered, needlessly, by critics who, frankly, think too much. Many of them could do with a dose of the Academy’s attitude: is it a good picture or not? Perhaps it’s that there are just too many of them now. Too many opinions floating around out there. And studios think that if they co-opt the bloggers they can somehow control how their movie is perceived. But it doesn’t quite work that way, does it? The critics still matter. The public still matters. The Oscar race isn’t decided by twenty bloggers who went to Telluride.

So what happens now? We cluck about waiting for something significant to happen. It’s about to happen. The clock is ticking. The votes are going to have to be counted in about a week as the New York Film Critics hand in their choice for the year’s best. I’m going to bet that the Los Angeles Film Critics, which comes a week later after New York, doesn’t align. I’m going to bet that this year, the awards will be all over the place and there will be no consensus.

What is Oscar buzz? Oscar buzz used to be something tangible and real. It used to be “this is the movie all of the Academy members are talking about.” That was Crash. That was Slumdog Millionaire. That was The King’s Speech. But publicists and studios have gotten so good at manipulating what is thought of as buzz (starting back in the days of Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare in Love, when it became more obvious that the system could be manipulated) it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t real. With so many mouthpieces speaking FOR the Academy who can we really trust? This year, everyone will body-flop towards those who were “right” about the King’s Speech. Fair enough. You will never lose too badly by aligning with popular thinking, and by underestimating the the willingness to always choose the safe crowd-pleaser.

However, films that cut through the safe zone this year will mostly ignored. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is still one of the best films I saw this year. The critics didn’t agree and neither will the Academy. I still love that movie. I personally need no validation from either group. The only reason I care what the critics think is because I do believe they influence the awards. I only care what the Academy thinks when they step outside their comfort zone and reward true cinematic greatness: No Country for Old Men, The Departed, The Hurt Locker, All About Eve, Casablanca, The Silence of the Lambs. It happens.

If I had to pick a top ten right now, without seeing the films that are still yet to open it would be easy to find ten. It would be easy to find 20. My ten would look like this:

Hugo
Moneyball
Shame
The Artist
The Descendants
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Rampart
Tree of Life
Project Nim

And the next tier would be:
Drive
The Ides of March
Bridesmaids
J. Edgar
A Dangerous Method
The Help

It won’t matter what I think, I know. But I can end the year with the comfortable knowledge that we must always remember to love the movies we love, no matter what the critics think, no matter how the Academy decides.

But let’s take yet another look at the films as they stand now. The box office story is not yet told for The Descendants and The Artist. How much money people pay to see those movies will impact their position in the race for Best Picture, even though they’re currently considered the frontrunners.

Moneyball
Box office: $72 million
Metacritic score: 87
Metacritic user score: 7.9
Metacritic scores of 90-100: 15
Rotten Tomatoes: 95

Moneyball — when I think of this film I see the last shot of the movie. I see a closer look at Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt whose face has finally loosened around the edges, with fatherly pride and worry all competing for his state of being. I see the fear from his failure as a young, promising player, his missed opportunity to study at Stanford under a full scholarship, and his innocent optimism about changing the game of baseball. His putting the “moneybag” practice into play DID change baseball. Some think not for the better. Some think it plays the game the right way, by taking away the concept of star players. But me, knowing not a lot about economics or the statistics of anything, can see only the film – a script sculpted by many hands over the years, honed and dissected and eventually refined into something meaningful. I see the ensemble cast, led by Pitt in a career best performance but supported beautifully by Jonah Hill and the unknowns cast as baseball players. I see the almost-win in the last act, the last hurdle before the big World Series win and maybe it reminds me once again that winning everything isn’t everything. When Billy Beane hears his daughter singing to him, when he remembers that life is short and our children grow up so fast, sometimes it isn’t that moment when you step up and accept the trophy that matters. Sometimes it’s what’s right in front of you right now. Nothing lasts. Billy Beane could have left California and missed out on his daughter’s growing up. Maybe that would have made him a success. Maybe people wouldn’t think him such an eternal loser. But to me, when he made that decision to stay, when he stopped looking ahead to find his happiness and saw it, briefly but undeniably, right in front of him? That is what makes Moneyball one of the best films of the year.

In any other year Moneyball might be just one of the good movies released but not the best reviewed. Somehow, though, by some fluke, there it sits. Moneyball seems in line for a PGA, WGA, SAG and perhaps a DGA nomination. It will be nominated, most likely, for a Golden Globe, and it should sail through the top ten lists for AFI and National Board of Review.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Box office: $381 million
Metacritic score, 87
Metacritic user score, 7.8
Metacritic scores of 90-100: 15
Rotten Tomatoes score, 96

The FYC ads for Harry Potter say “attention must be paid,” and this is how the Harry Potter fans feel too. All of those movies, watching that cast grow up before our eyes, all of them successful, a tribute to readers and fans everywhere. And yet, and yet…Harry Potter makes little sense to anyone who hasn’t read the books, especially tired old adults. It’s hard to see Best Picture prestige in stories about pre-teens who just end up married by the end of it. The real problem with Harry Potter, to my mind, is not the films’ fault but the source material. You can’t really argue with all of the money the franchise has made, but after all of that, Harry just didn’t seem like an interesting enough character to me to warrant all of that drama with Voldemort. I’m willing to admit to being wrong and out of touch on this. I can’t really sell Harry Potter the story for Oscar’s Best Picture. But I can sell, or argue, the notion that when you’re talking about taking stock of the best films of any year, attention must be paid to one that made that kind of money, entertained that many fans and closed out a very successful series which never got any awards recognition in the major categories. I can argue that 2011 could remember Harry Potter as one of its best. I could also argue that Inception didn’t really make sense either and that didn’t prevent it from being nominated.

But I know deep down that with ten slots, Harry Potter’s inclusion would be a cake walk. With the new voting system, it has to not only earn 50 or 60 number one votes – which is possible if supporter can rally and put that film at number one. It then has to pass the second test, where it really needs to be a 2 and a 3 movie. This is where I think it can’t cut it. I don’t see members putting it high on their ballots. Not with films like Midnight in Paris, The Artist, The Descendants — these films are going to crowd the top of the ballot.

Theoretically I agree with the “attention must paid” notion. But I don’t know where it goes from there.

The Descendants
Box office: too soon to know
Metacritic score: 84
Scores of 90-100: 17 (might have the most 100s)
Rotten Tomatoes: 90

In another of the “strong men also cry” films from 2011, it’s not to appreciate the pitch-perfect mastery at play in The Descendants, Alexander Payne’s unapologetically sincere love story. It’s easy to hold back sloppy emotions, to pretend that because you show them it makes you somehow weaker. The tenderness evident in this film stripped away snark and cynicism to dissolve us down to our primal emotions — fear of death, need for love — was surprising coming from Payne. Again, how any critic can judge this film harshly is one of the mysteries I’ll never understand, except to say that we all have different ideas of what makes a great film great. The Descendants is a film I will watch repeatedly, like Sideways, which is a film I’ve seen so many times I sometimes think whole cells in my body carry around particles from it.

The Descendants seems to have everything it takes to not just be nominated for Best Picture but to win. And it could be the frontrunner as we speak, especially if most of the Oscar peeps turn out to be right. Payne is certainly one of the most celebrated directors never to have won an Oscar. And yet, what if another movie comes along that hits stronger? That ending isn’t written yet.

Hugo
Box office: too soon to know
Metacritic score: 84
Scores of 90-100: 11 (still waiting on a few reviews)
Rotten Tomatoes: 96

Again, but for a couple of middling to negative-ish reviews, Hugo would be your high-scorer. That Martin Scorsese made a movie that moves people to tears all the while digging into 3-D technology is, to my mind, a gift. How anyone could complain about this film boggles my mind and yet they do complain. Not only do they complain but they nitpick. Hugo is, to me, one of the great films of this past year. But it’s a family film, too. And perhaps the nitpicking will worm its way into the Academy.

The Help
Box office: $168 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 75
Metacritic score: 62
Scores of 90-100: 2

The critics didn’t like this one but the public did. Hopefully it will go a long way towards convincing studios that films with women in the lead can make a lot of money. That a black woman, in that big cast of white actresses, is being discussed to actually win Best Actress is one of the exceptional things about this year that most people don’t seem to be noticing. I think because people generally bristle at the notion of the “affirmative action” Oscars. That argument only works if you think Viola Davis is the frontrunner because she’s black, but it’s much more than that. She’s the frontrunner because she is the only female who might be nominated for Best Actress who is in a film that might be nominated for Best Picture. The only Best Actress contender in a Best Picture contender. The only one. The Help is full of great performances and is, hopefully, a film Academy members will vote for despite it not having cool street cred.

Midnight in Paris
Box office: 55 million – the highest grossing Woody Allen film of all time.
Metacritic Score: 81
User score: 7.9
Metacritic scores of 90-100: 9
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93

It is the time to celebrate Woody Allen once again. With the American Masters series and the upcoming documentary, and Midnight in Paris being the most profitable and beloved Woody Allen movie to come out in a very long time, it’s hard to imagine it being forgotten by year’s end. I also think Woody Allen will probably be nominated for Best Director. Midnight in Paris is an easy watch. It doesn’t ask you to do much but sit back and enjoy the show. And that could go a long way in a year with so many films that want more from you than that.

The Tree of Life:
Metacritic Score: 85
Metacritic scores of 90-100:21 (the most)
Rotten Tomatoes: 84
Box office: $13 million

Oh, The Tree of Life. I still think this one is kicking around the conversation. I don’t know if it will make the Best Picture cut – it might. The power of Malick and all. But something tells me Sean Penn’s negative comments about the screenplay might have altered perception ever so slightly. You won’t see a film more ambitious, more thoroughly realized about the life of a baby boomer than The Tree of Life, which is one of the reasons it could hit big with Academy members. It does strike a chord when it strikes a chord and those who love it really really really love it. In the realm of “films that don’t make any sense” you have Harry Potter on the one hand and The Tree of Life on the other. One made a lot of money, one made a little money. One is wholly original. One is the end of a very long, very beloved series. Again, let it be said that if there were ten nominees both of these films might stand a better chance. As it stands now, it’s still a mystery.

Other films not counted out yet:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (RT score: 97)
Margin Call (RT score: 85)
The Ides of March (RT score: 85)

We’re flying blind. Destination unknown. In a couple of weeks the picture will become a little more clear as to what films are going to be favorited the various groups, which films will unite voters and which films will split them apart.

330 Comments on this Post

  1. alan of montreal

    I’m just wondering–with the new voting system, would it be possible for there to be more than 10 nominees? or fewer than 5?

  2. alan of montreal

    I’m just wondering–with the new voting system, would it be possible for there to be more than 10 nominees? or fewer than 5?

  3. alan of montreal

    And shouldn’t Judi Dench and Naomi Watts be on your Best Supporting Actress list? I haven’t seen J Edgar yet, but everything I’ve heard suggests that they are quite stellar in their roles.

  4. alan of montreal

    And shouldn’t Judi Dench and Naomi Watts be on your Best Supporting Actress list? I haven’t seen J Edgar yet, but everything I’ve heard suggests that they are quite stellar in their roles.

  5. “if there is one (juggernaut) coming it will have to be War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

    Well, I doubt it will be War Horse and I just read where any viewings for critics of ELIC have been refused because the film’s STILL not ready; can you spell s-t-i-n-k-e-r? Anyway, that leaves the juggernaut role open to Tattoo. What we have is a bunch of horse-drawn wagons lining up for the starting gun and the jetplane hanger doors are starting to open. (one can dream)

  6. “if there is one (juggernaut) coming it will have to be War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

    Well, I doubt it will be War Horse and I just read where any viewings for critics of ELIC have been refused because the film’s STILL not ready; can you spell s-t-i-n-k-e-r? Anyway, that leaves the juggernaut role open to Tattoo. What we have is a bunch of horse-drawn wagons lining up for the starting gun and the jetplane hanger doors are starting to open. (one can dream)

  7. Saw “The Descendants” last night and was utterly and completely underwhelmed. Can’t believed it’s received Best Picture buzz.

  8. Saw “The Descendants” last night and was utterly and completely underwhelmed. Can’t believed it’s received Best Picture buzz.

  9. some of these we know wont get in because they are too indie/obscure.

    also war horse arent lots of people saying it is excellent. it could be this years big dumb horse movie, like seabiscuit

  10. some of these we know wont get in because they are too indie/obscure.

    also war horse arent lots of people saying it is excellent. it could be this years big dumb horse movie, like seabiscuit

  11. Bob Burns

    The brilliance of the Harry Potter films is how they compliment, heighten, the books…… and that is why they are deserving of all awards. They are part of a much larger work of art.

    The films as a whole are an unmatched accomplishment of the film industry. They would bring far, far more luster to Oscar than any possible choice the Academy might make.

  12. Bob Burns

    The brilliance of the Harry Potter films is how they compliment, heighten, the books…… and that is why they are deserving of all awards. They are part of a much larger work of art.

    The films as a whole are an unmatched accomplishment of the film industry. They would bring far, far more luster to Oscar than any possible choice the Academy might make.

  13. I don’t really think the lack of consensus this year is a direct result of what happened last year. THE SOCIAL NETWORK was an event for filmlovers–one of the best films we have seen in the last decade (at least) so, of course, critics aligned themselves with that masterwork (even the dodgy Hollywood Foreign Press). There is no SOCIAL NETWORK this year. The closest think thing I have seen to a true work of art is SHAME. Ergo, we will see varying choices (which makes for a more exciting season)…

  14. I don’t really think the lack of consensus this year is a direct result of what happened last year. THE SOCIAL NETWORK was an event for filmlovers–one of the best films we have seen in the last decade (at least) so, of course, critics aligned themselves with that masterwork (even the dodgy Hollywood Foreign Press). There is no SOCIAL NETWORK this year. The closest think thing I have seen to a true work of art is SHAME. Ergo, we will see varying choices (which makes for a more exciting season)…

  15. thing not think…apologies for the typo! (prob due to nerves about being the same room with my family tomorrow!)

  16. thing not think…apologies for the typo! (prob due to nerves about being the same room with my family tomorrow!)

  17. Tero Heikkinen

    I hope ELIC is great. So that those critics have to think again wanting to be the first out of the gate. It’s ridiculous to announce Top Ten lists in late November. Mid-December I could understand.

    Let them finish ELIC, they don’t have to rush it for these critics.

  18. Tero Heikkinen

    I hope ELIC is great. So that those critics have to think again wanting to be the first out of the gate. It’s ridiculous to announce Top Ten lists in late November. Mid-December I could understand.

    Let them finish ELIC, they don’t have to rush it for these critics.

  19. Have YOU seen Melancholia yet Sasha? If so, what are your thoughts?

    I’m glad you posted a top ten – always interesting to know what your are favourites of the year!

  20. Have YOU seen Melancholia yet Sasha? If so, what are your thoughts?

    I’m glad you posted a top ten – always interesting to know what your are favourites of the year!

  21. The public still matters.

    Uhh…. no we don’t. I know I live in Nowheresville, USA but I’m experiencing something I never have before. J. Edgar did not play here. I can’t understand it. Hugo is not playing here. My choices are The Muppets, Jack and Jill, Arthur Christmas, Puss in Boots…. I think you can see where I’m going with this. I’m a grown up for crying out loud. Why with 24 screens near me can’t I see a grown up movie? Oh wait. There’s stillThe Immortals. *kills self*

    This is ridiculous. This has never happened before. What’s with the f*cked up releases? It’s not a matter of them getting here later. I don’t think they’re going to get here at all. I look at box office mojo and I don’t understand why movies that should be huge are being released on so few screens. Looking ahead I really need someone to explain to me why Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is being released in select cities on December 9th? It’s alone. Alone amongst a bunch of kiddie movies. Why not release it even kinda wide? Are they waiting for the clusterf*ck that is Christmas or January when everyone is paying off their credit cards? This makes no sense. Do they want to put real spies up against Dragon Tattoo and Mission Impossible? Or are they just going to release it to be eligible and then let it die? You didn’t even include it in your article. I thought this was going to be THE movie, now it’s mostly forgotten and it didn’t even come out yet. WHAT THE F*CK HAPPENED? The ads are up on the site but apparently they don’t want anyone to actually see it. Except for the people who go to the premiere or the guy who will get the winning bid on Colin Firth? lol I am going to haul my cookies to Boston on the 9th, assuming that it’s opening in Boston. Can I even do that? It’s like they’re all scared. It just telegraphs to me that these people are not confident in their films. ‘Well gee maybe it sucks. Let’s not let anyone know about it. I hope we win some awards. Let’s just not make copies and send them out. Let’s just spend our money on FYC ads instead.’ I think Hollywood’s turned yellow. Whatever the real reason is, I feel the same as you. I have no idea what’s going on. You might as well put my head in a bag until the Oscar ceremony.

    Harry just didn’t seem like an interesting enough character to me to warrant all of that drama with Voldemort.

    Oh no you didn’t. lol

  22. The public still matters.

    Uhh…. no we don’t. I know I live in Nowheresville, USA but I’m experiencing something I never have before. J. Edgar did not play here. I can’t understand it. Hugo is not playing here. My choices are The Muppets, Jack and Jill, Arthur Christmas, Puss in Boots…. I think you can see where I’m going with this. I’m a grown up for crying out loud. Why with 24 screens near me can’t I see a grown up movie? Oh wait. There’s stillThe Immortals. *kills self*

    This is ridiculous. This has never happened before. What’s with the f*cked up releases? It’s not a matter of them getting here later. I don’t think they’re going to get here at all. I look at box office mojo and I don’t understand why movies that should be huge are being released on so few screens. Looking ahead I really need someone to explain to me why Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is being released in select cities on December 9th? It’s alone. Alone amongst a bunch of kiddie movies. Why not release it even kinda wide? Are they waiting for the clusterf*ck that is Christmas or January when everyone is paying off their credit cards? This makes no sense. Do they want to put real spies up against Dragon Tattoo and Mission Impossible? Or are they just going to release it to be eligible and then let it die? You didn’t even include it in your article. I thought this was going to be THE movie, now it’s mostly forgotten and it didn’t even come out yet. WHAT THE F*CK HAPPENED? The ads are up on the site but apparently they don’t want anyone to actually see it. Except for the people who go to the premiere or the guy who will get the winning bid on Colin Firth? lol I am going to haul my cookies to Boston on the 9th, assuming that it’s opening in Boston. Can I even do that? It’s like they’re all scared. It just telegraphs to me that these people are not confident in their films. ‘Well gee maybe it sucks. Let’s not let anyone know about it. I hope we win some awards. Let’s just not make copies and send them out. Let’s just spend our money on FYC ads instead.’ I think Hollywood’s turned yellow. Whatever the real reason is, I feel the same as you. I have no idea what’s going on. You might as well put my head in a bag until the Oscar ceremony.

    Harry just didn’t seem like an interesting enough character to me to warrant all of that drama with Voldemort.

    Oh no you didn’t. lol

  23. Harry Potter… I guess Warner Bros. has a backup for J. Edgar and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    I would love to chip in, but given that I live in a relatively conservative area so I get none of these movies. No Shame, Artist, Descendants, etc.

  24. Harry Potter… I guess Warner Bros. has a backup for J. Edgar and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    I would love to chip in, but given that I live in a relatively conservative area so I get none of these movies. No Shame, Artist, Descendants, etc.

  25. would it be possible for there to be more than 10 nominees? or fewer than 5?

    that would be great. alas, not possible. 5-10 is the range.

  26. would it be possible for there to be more than 10 nominees? or fewer than 5?

    that would be great. alas, not possible. 5-10 is the range.

  27. I dont see why they cant just give Harry Potter a special Oscar, like they did Pixar in 1995 when Toy Story was not nominated for Best Picture (yes even back then with the five system, the first TS should have made it). If anything really, Harry Potter deserves this. Not much else in the varied system.

  28. I dont see why they cant just give Harry Potter a special Oscar, like they did Pixar in 1995 when Toy Story was not nominated for Best Picture (yes even back then with the five system, the first TS should have made it). If anything really, Harry Potter deserves this. Not much else in the varied system.

  29. ELIC have been refused because the film’s STILL not ready; can you spell s-t-i-n-k-e-r?

    remember the last movie Stephen Daldry directed that wasn’t going to be ready in time? Then it was. Then it wasn’t. Then it was.

    Was, wasn’t, was.

    The Reader. 5 Oscar nominations.

  30. ELIC have been refused because the film’s STILL not ready; can you spell s-t-i-n-k-e-r?

    remember the last movie Stephen Daldry directed that wasn’t going to be ready in time? Then it was. Then it wasn’t. Then it was.

    Was, wasn’t, was.

    The Reader. 5 Oscar nominations.

  31. One thing is for sure though…if Harry Potter not only got a Pic nom, but most other categories as well…editing, screenplay adap (that would be a WTF moment though), score, etc, I think along with Billy Crystal, the Oscars might pull in record ratings. Just sayin.

  32. One thing is for sure though…if Harry Potter not only got a Pic nom, but most other categories as well…editing, screenplay adap (that would be a WTF moment though), score, etc, I think along with Billy Crystal, the Oscars might pull in record ratings. Just sayin.

  33. Andrew Sidhom

    Sasha, why do you insist on ignoring RT’s average rating? It’s not a Thumbs up/thumbs down system (the Tomatometer is). I know, it’s a small number on the RT pages and it’s not given too much importance even by the site itself, but it’s there. I think it’s better than metacritic for two reasons:
    1. The thing you mention about Joe Morgenstern. Joe doesn’t rate his reviews. Metacritic assigns a number to it according to how positive the review reads, which can be very misleading. You can mention a number of negative things in your review which would make metacritic lower its score but they may have little impact on your appreciation of the film. RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.
    2. The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.

  34. Andrew Sidhom

    Sasha, why do you insist on ignoring RT’s average rating? It’s not a Thumbs up/thumbs down system (the Tomatometer is). I know, it’s a small number on the RT pages and it’s not given too much importance even by the site itself, but it’s there. I think it’s better than metacritic for two reasons:
    1. The thing you mention about Joe Morgenstern. Joe doesn’t rate his reviews. Metacritic assigns a number to it according to how positive the review reads, which can be very misleading. You can mention a number of negative things in your review which would make metacritic lower its score but they may have little impact on your appreciation of the film. RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.
    2. The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.

  35. Oversight to have left Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy out of the “still to come” summary. (Thanks, Antoinette )

    It’s now been added, along with acknowledging its 97 score on Rotten Tomatoes. But since TTSS has yet to be reviewed by the full range of US critics, we don’t have enough metrics to really take a good reading on its pulse.

  36. Oversight to have left Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy out of the “still to come” summary. (Thanks, Antoinette )

    It’s now been added, along with acknowledging its 97 score on Rotten Tomatoes. But since TTSS has yet to be reviewed by the full range of US critics, we don’t have enough metrics to really take a good reading on its pulse.

  37. The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.

    By that logic,we could try to find 5,000 people online who have an opinion on a scale of 1-10, and say their numbers are more reliable. Personally I like metacritic because why should I trust the numbers of 300 writers I don’t know whose reviews I never read?

    RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.

    Exactly. So how the heck do they arrive at their “average rating”?

  38. The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.

    By that logic,we could try to find 5,000 people online who have an opinion on a scale of 1-10, and say their numbers are more reliable. Personally I like metacritic because why should I trust the numbers of 300 writers I don’t know whose reviews I never read?

    RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.

    Exactly. So how the heck do they arrive at their “average rating”?

  39. Just like Sasha said in a lot of articles If I were the Academy I would have stayed with the Top 10 from 2009-2010.

    In this case, Harry Potter and Hugo would probably be nominated along with:

    – War Horse
    – The Descendants
    – The Artist
    – Extremely Loud…
    – The Help
    – Midnight In Paris
    – Moneyball
    – Girl With Dragon Tattoo or Tinker Taylor

  40. Just like Sasha said in a lot of articles If I were the Academy I would have stayed with the Top 10 from 2009-2010.

    In this case, Harry Potter and Hugo would probably be nominated along with:

    – War Horse
    – The Descendants
    – The Artist
    – Extremely Loud…
    – The Help
    – Midnight In Paris
    – Moneyball
    – Girl With Dragon Tattoo or Tinker Taylor

  41. “The real problem with Harry Potter, to my mind, is not the films’ fault but the source material.”

    Oh no you didn’t…

    Seriously? You’re gonna blame J.K. Rowling?! You’ve got it sooo wrong. The source material has already started being considered classic literature. The problem with the Harry Potter films is that there just hasn’t been enough time to translate all the richness of the source material to the screen. However, they got it soo right with this last one…

    “When the planets align a movie comes along and takes it all because it is a good story, epic in scope, with many branches vibing its greatness. But this year, things feel very strange. Nothing is lining up. Where is that movie everyone loves?”

    Dunno about you but if you pull your head out of your ass that sounds a lot like Deathly Hallows to me! Perhaps you missed the 100% fucking percent from Top Critics and the Top scores still from other review aggregates…how much more “movie everyone loves” consensus do you need? LOL.

  42. “The real problem with Harry Potter, to my mind, is not the films’ fault but the source material.”

    Oh no you didn’t…

    Seriously? You’re gonna blame J.K. Rowling?! You’ve got it sooo wrong. The source material has already started being considered classic literature. The problem with the Harry Potter films is that there just hasn’t been enough time to translate all the richness of the source material to the screen. However, they got it soo right with this last one…

    “When the planets align a movie comes along and takes it all because it is a good story, epic in scope, with many branches vibing its greatness. But this year, things feel very strange. Nothing is lining up. Where is that movie everyone loves?”

    Dunno about you but if you pull your head out of your ass that sounds a lot like Deathly Hallows to me! Perhaps you missed the 100% fucking percent from Top Critics and the Top scores still from other review aggregates…how much more “movie everyone loves” consensus do you need? LOL.

  43. But of course this is all going to get brushed aside and it probably won’t make many critics Top 10’s because nobody is going to wants to fess up to loving Harry Potter for whatever stupid reasons…and they just going to look like a bunch of stupid fucking hypocrits who will have embarrased themselves when they don’t put the highest reviewed film of the year on their list.

  44. But of course this is all going to get brushed aside and it probably won’t make many critics Top 10’s because nobody is going to wants to fess up to loving Harry Potter for whatever stupid reasons…and they just going to look like a bunch of stupid fucking hypocrits who will have embarrased themselves when they don’t put the highest reviewed film of the year on their list.

  45. I should say they won’t fess up to it at the end of the year at least…they’ll pretend it didn’t happen and try to ignore it because it was released during summer blockbuster season.

  46. I should say they won’t fess up to it at the end of the year at least…they’ll pretend it didn’t happen and try to ignore it because it was released during summer blockbuster season.

  47. I’ll also say that anyone who hasn’t read the series probably doesn’t understand why the story has such universal appeal and became the worldwide phenomenon that it is. Now I won’t go as far as my friend in saying that it will be/is the greatest film of all time but I’ll share with you something that was written prior to the film’s release that really hits the nail on the head concerning WHY-

    “the greatest motion picture ever will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. No matter what anyone says, films are meant as the next means of storytelling. Childhood fairy tales of heroic self-sacrifice, love overcoming fear and courage in the face of adversary are the hallmarks of the ideals of all societies. We base our lives around stories. All religions have narratives that people LIVE on. All governments are based on a piece of writing spawned from the observations, the dreams and the idealistic imaginations of the minds of human beings.

    What Harry Potter does is blend reality with fantasy and make the mythic more intimate than ever before. It is the great story of OUR time. Lord of the Rings was a story from the past, Star Wars is timeless, but Harry Potter is the story that marks our story at this point in time. Harry Potter is our definitive modern myth and Deathly Hallows will see it close.

    The greatest motion picture of all time has to appeal to everyone. Child to senior citizen alike. It needs to be assessable to everyone. A perceptive and intelligent person will see all the depth and complexity and mind-numbing revelations, while a simpler person can dazzle at the colors and feel the surface story. A great motion picture needs to combine tradition with innovation. Inception will be just too different.

    There is a great fallacy in labeling a film deep and amazing when it’s so obviously TRYING to be that. The true deep and thought-provoking don’t claim to be deep or thought-provoking. True psychological revelation comes not so much in the intent of the author or directer but in the natural organic process of the audience experiencing the film. When your story is modeled after Joseph Cambell’s Hero’s Journey which is the impetus behind every culture of the world, you’re going to automatically have a deeper story than any superficial forced ‘depth’.

    Harry Potter is the next step in updating the old myths, it’s the true and proper successor to Star Wars. The old stories that shape us as human beings. A movie about corrupt mobsters, mysterious words uttered by dying journalists, a woman being widowed countless times and a movie about dreams cannot even hold a candle to the universal and animal-like reception to the epic myths of old being transformed into the story of our time.

    The insults labeled at this notion that it simply being childish or blinded by fandom are childish and narrow-minded in themselves.

    Scoff at children stories all you want, but until you stop and realize that we were all once children and the stories we read when were young unconsciously shaped our perception of the world, you’ll never see the value and true depth of house-elves and children stories.

    A story tells a message (or a few messages) that are relevant to society. All societies. The more people it reaches, the more successful which is why I feel the best movie needs to be mass popular and appeal each and every demographic. of-course you can’t please every human being on this earth, but if you reach every demographic, you’ve come as close as possible.

    The greatest movie of all time must be a fantasy in some way. The medium of films provides tools like special effects and CGI that enable you to have believable fictional worlds. The greatest film of all time must take full advantage of the medium, otherwise it could be a stage-play. At the same time, it can’t go overboard. It needs to retain a sense of reality. HP combines a rich fantasy world with mundane modern times so it’s the best balance.

    The greatest film of all time must cross genre. Genre films are silly marketing ploys. A truly great film encompasses elements of all genres. Not just a single genre. It needs to have romance, drama, action, adventure, comedy, etc etc etc. It needs to appeal to everyone and utilize every device of story-telling.

    The greatest film of all time would strike a healthy balance between style/technique and substance. It has to be timeless yet reflect a certain period of the world at the same time. It needs to be real and yet fantasy, different yet similar, familiar yet innovative and most importantly, grandly epic yet deeply intimate.”

  48. I’ll also say that anyone who hasn’t read the series probably doesn’t understand why the story has such universal appeal and became the worldwide phenomenon that it is. Now I won’t go as far as my friend in saying that it will be/is the greatest film of all time but I’ll share with you something that was written prior to the film’s release that really hits the nail on the head concerning WHY-

    “the greatest motion picture ever will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. No matter what anyone says, films are meant as the next means of storytelling. Childhood fairy tales of heroic self-sacrifice, love overcoming fear and courage in the face of adversary are the hallmarks of the ideals of all societies. We base our lives around stories. All religions have narratives that people LIVE on. All governments are based on a piece of writing spawned from the observations, the dreams and the idealistic imaginations of the minds of human beings.

    What Harry Potter does is blend reality with fantasy and make the mythic more intimate than ever before. It is the great story of OUR time. Lord of the Rings was a story from the past, Star Wars is timeless, but Harry Potter is the story that marks our story at this point in time. Harry Potter is our definitive modern myth and Deathly Hallows will see it close.

    The greatest motion picture of all time has to appeal to everyone. Child to senior citizen alike. It needs to be assessable to everyone. A perceptive and intelligent person will see all the depth and complexity and mind-numbing revelations, while a simpler person can dazzle at the colors and feel the surface story. A great motion picture needs to combine tradition with innovation. Inception will be just too different.

    There is a great fallacy in labeling a film deep and amazing when it’s so obviously TRYING to be that. The true deep and thought-provoking don’t claim to be deep or thought-provoking. True psychological revelation comes not so much in the intent of the author or directer but in the natural organic process of the audience experiencing the film. When your story is modeled after Joseph Cambell’s Hero’s Journey which is the impetus behind every culture of the world, you’re going to automatically have a deeper story than any superficial forced ‘depth’.

    Harry Potter is the next step in updating the old myths, it’s the true and proper successor to Star Wars. The old stories that shape us as human beings. A movie about corrupt mobsters, mysterious words uttered by dying journalists, a woman being widowed countless times and a movie about dreams cannot even hold a candle to the universal and animal-like reception to the epic myths of old being transformed into the story of our time.

    The insults labeled at this notion that it simply being childish or blinded by fandom are childish and narrow-minded in themselves.

    Scoff at children stories all you want, but until you stop and realize that we were all once children and the stories we read when were young unconsciously shaped our perception of the world, you’ll never see the value and true depth of house-elves and children stories.

    A story tells a message (or a few messages) that are relevant to society. All societies. The more people it reaches, the more successful which is why I feel the best movie needs to be mass popular and appeal each and every demographic. of-course you can’t please every human being on this earth, but if you reach every demographic, you’ve come as close as possible.

    The greatest movie of all time must be a fantasy in some way. The medium of films provides tools like special effects and CGI that enable you to have believable fictional worlds. The greatest film of all time must take full advantage of the medium, otherwise it could be a stage-play. At the same time, it can’t go overboard. It needs to retain a sense of reality. HP combines a rich fantasy world with mundane modern times so it’s the best balance.

    The greatest film of all time must cross genre. Genre films are silly marketing ploys. A truly great film encompasses elements of all genres. Not just a single genre. It needs to have romance, drama, action, adventure, comedy, etc etc etc. It needs to appeal to everyone and utilize every device of story-telling.

    The greatest film of all time would strike a healthy balance between style/technique and substance. It has to be timeless yet reflect a certain period of the world at the same time. It needs to be real and yet fantasy, different yet similar, familiar yet innovative and most importantly, grandly epic yet deeply intimate.”

  49. Oh, reading through it again I’m reminded that it was also written prior to Inception being released and he was a bit of a sceptic/hater of that one and all the hype, lol

  50. Oh, reading through it again I’m reminded that it was also written prior to Inception being released and he was a bit of a sceptic/hater of that one and all the hype, lol

  51. Tero Heikkinen

    I can’t remember who are these critics that release their annual Top Ten lists. Could someone dig up their names from last year, for example? Then we could take a look at their scores for this years films and see if they were consistent and true to themselves. I’m thinking about Harry Potter, naturally. Whether or not they gave the film top scores and if they keep it on their list when the year ends.

    Ebert, Turan, Scott, Thompson? Who?

  52. Tero Heikkinen

    I can’t remember who are these critics that release their annual Top Ten lists. Could someone dig up their names from last year, for example? Then we could take a look at their scores for this years films and see if they were consistent and true to themselves. I’m thinking about Harry Potter, naturally. Whether or not they gave the film top scores and if they keep it on their list when the year ends.

    Ebert, Turan, Scott, Thompson? Who?

  53. It should also probably be explained that that elegant fabulous posting was written in a thread discussing what is/can be considered “The Greatest Film Ever”

  54. It should also probably be explained that that elegant fabulous posting was written in a thread discussing what is/can be considered “The Greatest Film Ever”

  55. The Help is on the bubble for a nomination and I think it will be a miss.

  56. The Help is on the bubble for a nomination and I think it will be a miss.

  57. From what I’ve seen so far, I would be perfectly content with The Artist, Hugo, or The Deathly Hallows Part 2 walking off with the Best Picture oscar, and to a slightly lesser extent Moneyball. In my eyes, however, the oscar buzz surrounding The Descendants is pretty baffling. A film about a contemptuous father and an arrogant teenage girl flying around Hawaii to solidify their snap judgements about adulterers while a woman is stuck in a permanent coma and about to be pulled off life support? If this is humanism, cover me in vats of misanthropy.

    I have come to like The Help quite a bit, a lot more so in retrospect now that all the hooplah surrounding fried chicken and racial politics has died down. While it’s not quite Driving Miss Daisy as far as writing and acting goes (I would take the duo of Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman over The Help’s sprawling ensemble any day), it still has it’s moments and I would probably live if it won Best Picture.

    Overall, I think this is a pretty weak year as far as Best Picture goes. That the few films I’ve seen for the first time in the past few days alone (Sweetie, House, Breaking The Waves, The Decalogue IV-VII) struck a chord with me more than any of these films being discussed as possible Best Picture contenders speaks volumes.

  58. From what I’ve seen so far, I would be perfectly content with The Artist, Hugo, or The Deathly Hallows Part 2 walking off with the Best Picture oscar, and to a slightly lesser extent Moneyball. In my eyes, however, the oscar buzz surrounding The Descendants is pretty baffling. A film about a contemptuous father and an arrogant teenage girl flying around Hawaii to solidify their snap judgements about adulterers while a woman is stuck in a permanent coma and about to be pulled off life support? If this is humanism, cover me in vats of misanthropy.

    I have come to like The Help quite a bit, a lot more so in retrospect now that all the hooplah surrounding fried chicken and racial politics has died down. While it’s not quite Driving Miss Daisy as far as writing and acting goes (I would take the duo of Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman over The Help’s sprawling ensemble any day), it still has it’s moments and I would probably live if it won Best Picture.

    Overall, I think this is a pretty weak year as far as Best Picture goes. That the few films I’ve seen for the first time in the past few days alone (Sweetie, House, Breaking The Waves, The Decalogue IV-VII) struck a chord with me more than any of these films being discussed as possible Best Picture contenders speaks volumes.

  59. I’m getting a kind of Hurt Locker vibe from Midnight in Paris. A film everyone assumes will be nominated but doesn’t take seriously until BAM it’s the frontrunner. That was mainly due to the critics though. I guess we’ll see.

    I think the theory that being in a Best Picture nominee is super beneficial to winning Best Actress is being overweighed. Sure, it is helpful, but not that important, IMO. Sandra Bullock would have won regardless of The Blind Side being nominated. That was clear when its gross passed $200million. I think this year’s Best Actress race could be comparable to 1985, when the nominees were:

    Anne Bancroft – Charlize Theron
    Whoopi Goldberg – Viola Davis
    Jessica Lange – Michelle Williams
    Geraldine Page – Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep – Meryl Streep

    Only Meryl and Whoopi were in Best Picture nominees and neither won. Whoopi’s win would have made history, as Halle Berry hadn’t robbed Sissy Spacek yet. And Berry is only half-black too. Page did, because she was the overdue veteran. I guess that means Close is winning ;)

  60. I’m getting a kind of Hurt Locker vibe from Midnight in Paris. A film everyone assumes will be nominated but doesn’t take seriously until BAM it’s the frontrunner. That was mainly due to the critics though. I guess we’ll see.

    I think the theory that being in a Best Picture nominee is super beneficial to winning Best Actress is being overweighed. Sure, it is helpful, but not that important, IMO. Sandra Bullock would have won regardless of The Blind Side being nominated. That was clear when its gross passed $200million. I think this year’s Best Actress race could be comparable to 1985, when the nominees were:

    Anne Bancroft – Charlize Theron
    Whoopi Goldberg – Viola Davis
    Jessica Lange – Michelle Williams
    Geraldine Page – Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep – Meryl Streep

    Only Meryl and Whoopi were in Best Picture nominees and neither won. Whoopi’s win would have made history, as Halle Berry hadn’t robbed Sissy Spacek yet. And Berry is only half-black too. Page did, because she was the overdue veteran. I guess that means Close is winning ;)

  61. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like Hugo as much as you Sasha. I’d maybe give it a 60 or 65 on Metacritic. Wonderful last 1/3, but the first 2/3 was bloated, slow, and I wasn’t a big fan of Butterfield or Moretz.

    I respect the film and its message but I’m afraid that I can’t agree with the raves it’s getting.

  62. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like Hugo as much as you Sasha. I’d maybe give it a 60 or 65 on Metacritic. Wonderful last 1/3, but the first 2/3 was bloated, slow, and I wasn’t a big fan of Butterfield or Moretz.

    I respect the film and its message but I’m afraid that I can’t agree with the raves it’s getting.

  63. To me, the books are not very well written. Very average in fact. I do however think they deserve recognition for getting kids to read and enjoy reading – that can only be a good thing.

    The filmed series on the other hand is all over the place and had brought nothing new to the cinema world. It’s not offensive and I wasn’t bored but – it’s MOTR. It’s a franchise, a franchise for hire and it shows.

    Maybe they should have split the last few minutes of HP into seven movies…

  64. To me, the books are not very well written. Very average in fact. I do however think they deserve recognition for getting kids to read and enjoy reading – that can only be a good thing.

    The filmed series on the other hand is all over the place and had brought nothing new to the cinema world. It’s not offensive and I wasn’t bored but – it’s MOTR. It’s a franchise, a franchise for hire and it shows.

    Maybe they should have split the last few minutes of HP into seven movies…

  65. Hey Evan, that’s okay! A lot of people seem to agree with you. To me, it’s just sheer joy from start to finish.

  66. Hey Evan, that’s okay! A lot of people seem to agree with you. To me, it’s just sheer joy from start to finish.

  67. unlikelyhood

    The Harry-lovers can wank into their sorting hat all they want, but that film was nothing like the book, especially the showdown of Voldy and Harry. Check p. 591-596 in the original hardcover again, ya Gryffindorks. What of that survived to the film? None of it. If they weren’t going to keep the emotional climax of the literature, what was the point of breaking up the final film into two? Oh right, to make money.

    Argue that Harry is fun/epic/deserving if you like, just don’t base your argument on this film’s fealty to its source.

    Frankly, I *like* this wide-open feeling. It reminds me of 1998 or 2002, when all of the Best Picture nominees had come out in December. (Okay, Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth came out Nov. 22.) I know we’re not supposed to like that, and I understand we cheer when the Academy remembers films that have already peaked on video (Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator, Hurt Locker, etc)…but it’s not all bad. 1998 and 2002 were still fun. Sasha, Ryan, everyone, picture yourself like ocean fishermen, like George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly at the beginning of that Wolfgang Peterson film. Now picture that the season has started slowly, far fewer fish than usual. But you know those fish are coming, and you’re just gonna have a more frenetic, pulse-pounding ride when they do get here.

    The perfect storm is coming.

  68. unlikelyhood

    The Harry-lovers can wank into their sorting hat all they want, but that film was nothing like the book, especially the showdown of Voldy and Harry. Check p. 591-596 in the original hardcover again, ya Gryffindorks. What of that survived to the film? None of it. If they weren’t going to keep the emotional climax of the literature, what was the point of breaking up the final film into two? Oh right, to make money.

    Argue that Harry is fun/epic/deserving if you like, just don’t base your argument on this film’s fealty to its source.

    Frankly, I *like* this wide-open feeling. It reminds me of 1998 or 2002, when all of the Best Picture nominees had come out in December. (Okay, Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth came out Nov. 22.) I know we’re not supposed to like that, and I understand we cheer when the Academy remembers films that have already peaked on video (Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator, Hurt Locker, etc)…but it’s not all bad. 1998 and 2002 were still fun. Sasha, Ryan, everyone, picture yourself like ocean fishermen, like George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly at the beginning of that Wolfgang Peterson film. Now picture that the season has started slowly, far fewer fish than usual. But you know those fish are coming, and you’re just gonna have a more frenetic, pulse-pounding ride when they do get here.

    The perfect storm is coming.

  69. @christiannnw – the single greatest achievement in cinema history Dekalog was never nominated for anything.
    I don’t think any AMPAS members saw it or even know it exists. They should release it again, and it qualifies on the grounds that they were too stupid to ignore it in the first place.

    It’s just my opinion but no other film has scaled those heights.

    Actually, I don’t think it was ever released theatrically, just parts of it were. May be wrong…

  70. @christiannnw – the single greatest achievement in cinema history Dekalog was never nominated for anything.
    I don’t think any AMPAS members saw it or even know it exists. They should release it again, and it qualifies on the grounds that they were too stupid to ignore it in the first place.

    It’s just my opinion but no other film has scaled those heights.

    Actually, I don’t think it was ever released theatrically, just parts of it were. May be wrong…

  71. unlikelihood, you are the right…the ending was the one thing I didn’t like. Unfortunately they changed the 1 v 1 because they were afraid just a battle of words and one exchange of spells wouldn’t cut it for audiences. Anyone who’s seen enough films knows that a battle of words can be very gripping, but the significance of the conversation in the book would be lost given all that didn’t make it in to the prior films and those who don’t understand the series might have found it “anti-climactic”, so maybe it was a good decision, idk…I would have preferred them taking the risk as opposed to having the two duel all around the castle and whatnot, but cleary it worked for the critics and audiences alike *shrug*

  72. unlikelihood, you are the right…the ending was the one thing I didn’t like. Unfortunately they changed the 1 v 1 because they were afraid just a battle of words and one exchange of spells wouldn’t cut it for audiences. Anyone who’s seen enough films knows that a battle of words can be very gripping, but the significance of the conversation in the book would be lost given all that didn’t make it in to the prior films and those who don’t understand the series might have found it “anti-climactic”, so maybe it was a good decision, idk…I would have preferred them taking the risk as opposed to having the two duel all around the castle and whatnot, but cleary it worked for the critics and audiences alike *shrug*

  73. I think I need some help understanding why so many people (especially readers of this site…whom I usually side with) think this Harry Potter was so great. I love the books, haven’t been a fan of the movies, agree this movie was better, but … there is no WAY they did it soo right. As a stand alone movie, it’s not really that great and makes no sense. As a finale of a mediocre series of films, it is good, but definitely not Best Picture material, in my opinion. I dunno…I love HP, but the extreme praise for this film baffles me. If you want specifics from me, let’s talk about the ending and how the director made all poor choices (not the epilogue, before that).

    Also, I think all of Harry Potter should have been made into HBO miniseries, not films from big-time studios.

  74. I think I need some help understanding why so many people (especially readers of this site…whom I usually side with) think this Harry Potter was so great. I love the books, haven’t been a fan of the movies, agree this movie was better, but … there is no WAY they did it soo right. As a stand alone movie, it’s not really that great and makes no sense. As a finale of a mediocre series of films, it is good, but definitely not Best Picture material, in my opinion. I dunno…I love HP, but the extreme praise for this film baffles me. If you want specifics from me, let’s talk about the ending and how the director made all poor choices (not the epilogue, before that).

    Also, I think all of Harry Potter should have been made into HBO miniseries, not films from big-time studios.

  75. Let me be clear that I never believed the films could fully do justice to the richness and depth of J.K. Rowling’s work anyways but a few minor quibbles aside the finale came pretty damn close and you couldn’t ask for a better reception. I never dreamed it would be sitting #1 across the board into Nov.

  76. Let me be clear that I never believed the films could fully do justice to the richness and depth of J.K. Rowling’s work anyways but a few minor quibbles aside the finale came pretty damn close and you couldn’t ask for a better reception. I never dreamed it would be sitting #1 across the board into Nov.

  77. Wow, the time it took me to write this, two other comments side with me. Thanks unlikelihood and Scott…….the ending was terrible.

    Sasha, thanks for your list. Also, I’m still hurting Social Network lost.

  78. Wow, the time it took me to write this, two other comments side with me. Thanks unlikelihood and Scott…….the ending was terrible.

    Sasha, thanks for your list. Also, I’m still hurting Social Network lost.

  79. “…Page did, because she was the overdue veteran…”

    Geraldine Page won in 1985 because she gave the best performance.
    That overdue veteran stuff doesn’t always work (see Peter O’Toole); it helps when the work is worthy, as was Page’s.

    Watch it again.

  80. “…Page did, because she was the overdue veteran…”

    Geraldine Page won in 1985 because she gave the best performance.
    That overdue veteran stuff doesn’t always work (see Peter O’Toole); it helps when the work is worthy, as was Page’s.

    Watch it again.

  81. FRONTRUNNERS
    (the ones that could actually win)

    1. The Artist (A critically acclaimed Weinstein-crowdpleaser…rest my case.)
    2. The Descendants (The Academy could easily go for their beloved Clooney-Payne duo.)
    3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Very Oscary material…Daldry’s year ?)
    4. War Horse (On paper, THE most obvious pick)
    5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Could Fincher pull a ‘Departed’ ? After last year ? YES)
    6. Hugo (It has the reviews…but it was expensive, so it has to make money, too !)
    7. Midnight in Paris (Could it go all the way ? I’m starting to think it MIGHT.)
    8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (BP could happen, BD will be the dealbreaker here.)
    9. Moneyball (It is definitely a solid contender (reviews, BO, star power). )
    10. We bought a Zoo (Early whispers suggest it might be Crowe’s big Oscar-comeback.)

    STRONG THREATS
    (the ones that could have viable shots at that crucial 5% AND a nod, but not enough for a win)

    11. The Help. (It needs some serious girlpower to pull off that 5% No1.)
    12. Young Adult (The Academy loves Reitman’s dramedies, but this one might be too divisive.)
    13. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Great early word and ensemble, but the competition is tough.)
    14. My Week with Marilyn (Better-than-expected reviews + Weinsteins = possible bp-nod)
    15. A Dangerous Method (Good to great reviews, Oscary material, Cronenberg…)
    16. Coriolanus (I could see this one break out in a big way.)
    17. The Tree of Life (The new rule helps the “name” directors”, even if their films faded.)
    18. The Ides of March (Ditto.)
    19. J. Edgar (Ditto.)
    20. Carnage (Ditto.)

    DARK HORSES
    (the potential not-so-surprising surprises)

    21. Shame (One of the best films of 2011…but it is probably not for the Academy.)
    22. Bridesmaids (If ‘The Hangover’ didn’t make it with THAT BO and GG bp-victory…)
    23. The Iron Lady (As, always…all about Streep…the film doesn’t seem strong enough.)
    24. We need to talk about Kevin (If there is any justice, this will emerge as a serious contender.)
    25. Jane Eyre (Focus started campaigning, it is remarkably Oscary, so it COULD have a comeback.)
    26. Take Shelter (Oh, if only…LOVED this one, but probably too small for the Academy.)
    27. 50 / 50 (Great reviews and performances but probably too “light” and early, maybe GG ?.)
    28. Beginners (Ditto.)
    29. In the Land of Blood and Honey (Big question mark…could she do it ?)
    30. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Too “genre” for the main categories.)

  82. FRONTRUNNERS
    (the ones that could actually win)

    1. The Artist (A critically acclaimed Weinstein-crowdpleaser…rest my case.)
    2. The Descendants (The Academy could easily go for their beloved Clooney-Payne duo.)
    3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Very Oscary material…Daldry’s year ?)
    4. War Horse (On paper, THE most obvious pick)
    5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Could Fincher pull a ‘Departed’ ? After last year ? YES)
    6. Hugo (It has the reviews…but it was expensive, so it has to make money, too !)
    7. Midnight in Paris (Could it go all the way ? I’m starting to think it MIGHT.)
    8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (BP could happen, BD will be the dealbreaker here.)
    9. Moneyball (It is definitely a solid contender (reviews, BO, star power). )
    10. We bought a Zoo (Early whispers suggest it might be Crowe’s big Oscar-comeback.)

    STRONG THREATS
    (the ones that could have viable shots at that crucial 5% AND a nod, but not enough for a win)

    11. The Help. (It needs some serious girlpower to pull off that 5% No1.)
    12. Young Adult (The Academy loves Reitman’s dramedies, but this one might be too divisive.)
    13. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Great early word and ensemble, but the competition is tough.)
    14. My Week with Marilyn (Better-than-expected reviews + Weinsteins = possible bp-nod)
    15. A Dangerous Method (Good to great reviews, Oscary material, Cronenberg…)
    16. Coriolanus (I could see this one break out in a big way.)
    17. The Tree of Life (The new rule helps the “name” directors”, even if their films faded.)
    18. The Ides of March (Ditto.)
    19. J. Edgar (Ditto.)
    20. Carnage (Ditto.)

    DARK HORSES
    (the potential not-so-surprising surprises)

    21. Shame (One of the best films of 2011…but it is probably not for the Academy.)
    22. Bridesmaids (If ‘The Hangover’ didn’t make it with THAT BO and GG bp-victory…)
    23. The Iron Lady (As, always…all about Streep…the film doesn’t seem strong enough.)
    24. We need to talk about Kevin (If there is any justice, this will emerge as a serious contender.)
    25. Jane Eyre (Focus started campaigning, it is remarkably Oscary, so it COULD have a comeback.)
    26. Take Shelter (Oh, if only…LOVED this one, but probably too small for the Academy.)
    27. 50 / 50 (Great reviews and performances but probably too “light” and early, maybe GG ?.)
    28. Beginners (Ditto.)
    29. In the Land of Blood and Honey (Big question mark…could she do it ?)
    30. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Too “genre” for the main categories.)

  83. Ugh, I meant Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Damn, I miss the edit-button.

  84. Ugh, I meant Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Damn, I miss the edit-button.

  85. Mattoc, that sounds very interesting. A 10 Part series on the 10 Commandments, hmm.

    In regards to that “Greatest Film” discussion that I mentioned I came across an article that listed 9 “Super Films” which are Top 100 for Box Office, AFI, and IMDb.com

    Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    The Godfather
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    Star Wars
    Rear Window
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Forrest Gump

  86. Mattoc, that sounds very interesting. A 10 Part series on the 10 Commandments, hmm.

    In regards to that “Greatest Film” discussion that I mentioned I came across an article that listed 9 “Super Films” which are Top 100 for Box Office, AFI, and IMDb.com

    Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    The Godfather
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    Star Wars
    Rear Window
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Forrest Gump

  87. LOL, yeah no kidding Phantom considering Goblet of Fire was probably the worst of the franchise…

  88. LOL, yeah no kidding Phantom considering Goblet of Fire was probably the worst of the franchise…

  89. unlikelyhood

    Scott – Who is your 1000-word quote from?

    This part interested me:

    Harry Potter is the next step in updating the old myths, it’s the true and proper successor to Star Wars. The old stories that shape us as human beings. A movie about corrupt mobsters, mysterious words uttered by dying journalists, a woman being widowed countless times and a movie about dreams cannot even hold a candle to the universal and animal-like reception to the epic myths of old being transformed into the story of our time.

    So…what you’re saying is The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, and…dreams?…I’ll guess Casablanca, since it’s the missing part of the set you’ve built of the top 4 in AFI’s original Top 100 list (from 1998) – those four films can’t hold a candle to the Harry Potter films?

    Sorry, but I can’t just let that pass.

    I’ve read all the HP books, usually the week they came out. Ditto seeing the films. I’ve lingered on many of the fan sites. I’m a fan, a big one.

    Your statement is preposterous. Even the die-hardiest Citizen Kane fan doesn’t say that those other films don’t hold a candle to it. I mean, I could sit here and break down what’s great about each of the four films you chose. But let’s say we’re a LONG way from knowing which one will be more rented by netflix customers in, say, 2040. Why do you have to crap all over the AFI Top 4 – the ones that HAVE stood the test of time – to say that HP will stand it better? At best, your ludicrous comparison is apples v oranges v pomegranites v kiwis v cantaloupes. At worst, you make yourself look silly and your argument worse than it would have been.

    But you don’t get off that easy. Myths are one thing – like, you could say Steve Jobs is mythologized, or you could say Joseph Campbell’s 17-point schema holds up for westerns and documentaries too – but you’re not just defending myths here, you’re defending fantasies, and fantasies are fantasies. They are based in a world where things can’t happen. I find it fascinating that you would choose four films that take place in the real world, without angels or demons or human-size rabbits or 1919 Black Sox in Iowa or whatever. You would dare to infer that films are all made up anyway, so always better to see hocus-pocus than human focus. Well, I gotta disagree.

    Did you ever hear someone react to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with – yeah, but who ages backwards? Did you have *any* sympathy for that reaction at all? Okay, now if you can, extend that sympathy to half the Academy when they watch fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Because they are old, and they – not unlike some young people – are usually more interested in stories that could happen, that represent real human problems that won’t be wished away by magic. Probably stories like Descendants, Artist, EL&IC, maybe War Horse. I realize that HP has kernels of realism or obviously we’d tune out. But you make it sound like, I dunno, say, Clint Eastwood is an idiot for not putting zombies in his films. You sound like someone that they made the fourth Indiana Jones movie for – Lucas to Spielberg: “hmm…will Scott like this thing if we just keep it in the real world? Nah, better stick some aliens in there!”

    Yeah, I know LOTR:ROTK won. You kinda have to win when you sweep all the technical awards – when you sweep all 10 of the non-BP noms you got. If Harry Potter 7.2 wins 10 Oscars, email me your address and I’ll send you $1000. That’s not a bet, that’s a promise.

    Personally, I have room in my heart for fantasy and reality. I don’t have to malign the AFI top 4 to enjoy HP. I respect what Rowling did, and I *do* think you can make a great case that her liberal but Manichean worldview captures the 21st-century zeitgeist perfectly. But instead of making that case, you crapped all over Kane, Rick and Ilsa, Rhett and Scarlett, and the Corleones. Take that crap elsewhere, I’m not gonna let it just sit here.

  90. unlikelyhood

    Scott – Who is your 1000-word quote from?

    This part interested me:

    Harry Potter is the next step in updating the old myths, it’s the true and proper successor to Star Wars. The old stories that shape us as human beings. A movie about corrupt mobsters, mysterious words uttered by dying journalists, a woman being widowed countless times and a movie about dreams cannot even hold a candle to the universal and animal-like reception to the epic myths of old being transformed into the story of our time.

    So…what you’re saying is The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, and…dreams?…I’ll guess Casablanca, since it’s the missing part of the set you’ve built of the top 4 in AFI’s original Top 100 list (from 1998) – those four films can’t hold a candle to the Harry Potter films?

    Sorry, but I can’t just let that pass.

    I’ve read all the HP books, usually the week they came out. Ditto seeing the films. I’ve lingered on many of the fan sites. I’m a fan, a big one.

    Your statement is preposterous. Even the die-hardiest Citizen Kane fan doesn’t say that those other films don’t hold a candle to it. I mean, I could sit here and break down what’s great about each of the four films you chose. But let’s say we’re a LONG way from knowing which one will be more rented by netflix customers in, say, 2040. Why do you have to crap all over the AFI Top 4 – the ones that HAVE stood the test of time – to say that HP will stand it better? At best, your ludicrous comparison is apples v oranges v pomegranites v kiwis v cantaloupes. At worst, you make yourself look silly and your argument worse than it would have been.

    But you don’t get off that easy. Myths are one thing – like, you could say Steve Jobs is mythologized, or you could say Joseph Campbell’s 17-point schema holds up for westerns and documentaries too – but you’re not just defending myths here, you’re defending fantasies, and fantasies are fantasies. They are based in a world where things can’t happen. I find it fascinating that you would choose four films that take place in the real world, without angels or demons or human-size rabbits or 1919 Black Sox in Iowa or whatever. You would dare to infer that films are all made up anyway, so always better to see hocus-pocus than human focus. Well, I gotta disagree.

    Did you ever hear someone react to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with – yeah, but who ages backwards? Did you have *any* sympathy for that reaction at all? Okay, now if you can, extend that sympathy to half the Academy when they watch fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Because they are old, and they – not unlike some young people – are usually more interested in stories that could happen, that represent real human problems that won’t be wished away by magic. Probably stories like Descendants, Artist, EL&IC, maybe War Horse. I realize that HP has kernels of realism or obviously we’d tune out. But you make it sound like, I dunno, say, Clint Eastwood is an idiot for not putting zombies in his films. You sound like someone that they made the fourth Indiana Jones movie for – Lucas to Spielberg: “hmm…will Scott like this thing if we just keep it in the real world? Nah, better stick some aliens in there!”

    Yeah, I know LOTR:ROTK won. You kinda have to win when you sweep all the technical awards – when you sweep all 10 of the non-BP noms you got. If Harry Potter 7.2 wins 10 Oscars, email me your address and I’ll send you $1000. That’s not a bet, that’s a promise.

    Personally, I have room in my heart for fantasy and reality. I don’t have to malign the AFI top 4 to enjoy HP. I respect what Rowling did, and I *do* think you can make a great case that her liberal but Manichean worldview captures the 21st-century zeitgeist perfectly. But instead of making that case, you crapped all over Kane, Rick and Ilsa, Rhett and Scarlett, and the Corleones. Take that crap elsewhere, I’m not gonna let it just sit here.

  91. At the same time I’m hating the new rule because it doesn’t make Potter a sure bet like 10 slots would I’m loving how many questions it brings to the table…it should make for an exciting race-

    One such question is can Reitman pull off the 3peat? I haven’t heard anything about Young Adult yet…

  92. At the same time I’m hating the new rule because it doesn’t make Potter a sure bet like 10 slots would I’m loving how many questions it brings to the table…it should make for an exciting race-

    One such question is can Reitman pull off the 3peat? I haven’t heard anything about Young Adult yet…

  93. Scott

    …and would probably have a hard time getting any traction in this year’s Oscar-race 6 years after its release…

  94. Scott

    …and would probably have a hard time getting any traction in this year’s Oscar-race 6 years after its release…

  95. unlikelyhood

    Oh and Scott thanks for answering about the HP 7.2 ending! Hadn’t read that answer when I wrote my jeremiad there. Fair enough. (See I can be cheerful too)

  96. unlikelyhood

    Oh and Scott thanks for answering about the HP 7.2 ending! Hadn’t read that answer when I wrote my jeremiad there. Fair enough. (See I can be cheerful too)

  97. Well the problem unlikelihood is that the films are not the books. What I think my friend meant to say is the STORY of those others doesn’t hold a candle to the STORY of Harry Potter…and if the film did justice to the source material then you could extend to make the same suggestion for the film.

  98. Well the problem unlikelihood is that the films are not the books. What I think my friend meant to say is the STORY of those others doesn’t hold a candle to the STORY of Harry Potter…and if the film did justice to the source material then you could extend to make the same suggestion for the film.

  99. As I said, I thought it was a vast exaggeration to suggest that Deathly Hallows the film could be/would be the Greatest Film of All Time, especially prior to it being made, lol…but he had high hopes.

  100. As I said, I thought it was a vast exaggeration to suggest that Deathly Hallows the film could be/would be the Greatest Film of All Time, especially prior to it being made, lol…but he had high hopes.

  101. Also, my friend’s 2nd love is Star Wars (which he considers not sci-fi but an epic space “fantasy”) if that helps to understand where he’s coming from on the fantasy thing.

  102. Also, my friend’s 2nd love is Star Wars (which he considers not sci-fi but an epic space “fantasy”) if that helps to understand where he’s coming from on the fantasy thing.

  103. unlikelyhood

    Ah, ok, well, you give us a long quote from your friend, so at that point you sorta have to defend it.

    I can see what you/he mean/s about STORY, though you may want to read Margaret Mitchell and Mario Puzo before you’re certain that J.K. Rowling stomped them like Nadal stomping Federer. Anyhoo, I love Star Wars too, but I think there will always be a sizable contingent of audience members who put anything fantasmic at a sort of arm’s length. Enjoyable yes, but they’re like the Bill Paxton character in Titanic before he listens to Rose’s story – “I never got it. I never let it in.” They don’t let it in. I had to convince my wife how great the Pixar movies are – now she’s a fan, but before, she just thought they were cartoons and thus negligible. I think a lot of Academy members are like her.

  104. unlikelyhood

    Ah, ok, well, you give us a long quote from your friend, so at that point you sorta have to defend it.

    I can see what you/he mean/s about STORY, though you may want to read Margaret Mitchell and Mario Puzo before you’re certain that J.K. Rowling stomped them like Nadal stomping Federer. Anyhoo, I love Star Wars too, but I think there will always be a sizable contingent of audience members who put anything fantasmic at a sort of arm’s length. Enjoyable yes, but they’re like the Bill Paxton character in Titanic before he listens to Rose’s story – “I never got it. I never let it in.” They don’t let it in. I had to convince my wife how great the Pixar movies are – now she’s a fan, but before, she just thought they were cartoons and thus negligible. I think a lot of Academy members are like her.

  105. And if it’s not clear by now unlikelihood that 1000 word quote was not my own. Here are my own (more sceptical) thoughts…

    http://www.cosforums.com/showpost.php?p=5525824&postcount=22

  106. And if it’s not clear by now unlikelihood that 1000 word quote was not my own. Here are my own (more sceptical) thoughts…

    http://www.cosforums.com/showpost.php?p=5525824&postcount=22

  107. Yeah, it about the 10 commandments…like The Social Network is about Facebook, and The Silence of the Lambs is about throwing semen at people faces…

    It doesn’t have any wands but it’s still rewarding…

  108. Yeah, it about the 10 commandments…like The Social Network is about Facebook, and The Silence of the Lambs is about throwing semen at people faces…

    It doesn’t have any wands but it’s still rewarding…

  109. It’s funny you say that Scott, as I found Deathly Hallows Part 2 underwhelming, while feel like Goblet of Fire was the best. This is from the perspective of someone who has never touched the books and is rating them only as movies. I love the movie visually, with it’s bright colors contrasting the impending doom, and the finale is pretty fantastic. I also think it’s by far the funniest Potter movie and think it has just the right balance in terms of mood.

  110. It’s funny you say that Scott, as I found Deathly Hallows Part 2 underwhelming, while feel like Goblet of Fire was the best. This is from the perspective of someone who has never touched the books and is rating them only as movies. I love the movie visually, with it’s bright colors contrasting the impending doom, and the finale is pretty fantastic. I also think it’s by far the funniest Potter movie and think it has just the right balance in terms of mood.

  111. Patryk: Page was good, but she didn’t win because she gave the best performance. She won because she was overdue. Barely any actresses ever win Best Actress by giving the best performance. In recent years:
    Kidman > Portman
    Streep > Bullock
    Leo > Winslet
    Streep > Mirren
    ANYONE > Witherspoon
    Winslet > Swank
    Moore > Kidman
    Spacek > Berry
    Blanchett > Paltrow
    Dench > Hunt
    Watson > McDormand
    Shue > Sarandon

    And that’s just going back 15 years. The only winners who were truly the best of the field were Swank (1st), Theron, and Cotillard. It’s all about the campaign, the performance is just the cherry on top. Page was great, but I thought Streep (Out of Africa) and Goldberg were better.

  112. Patryk: Page was good, but she didn’t win because she gave the best performance. She won because she was overdue. Barely any actresses ever win Best Actress by giving the best performance. In recent years:
    Kidman > Portman
    Streep > Bullock
    Leo > Winslet
    Streep > Mirren
    ANYONE > Witherspoon
    Winslet > Swank
    Moore > Kidman
    Spacek > Berry
    Blanchett > Paltrow
    Dench > Hunt
    Watson > McDormand
    Shue > Sarandon

    And that’s just going back 15 years. The only winners who were truly the best of the field were Swank (1st), Theron, and Cotillard. It’s all about the campaign, the performance is just the cherry on top. Page was great, but I thought Streep (Out of Africa) and Goldberg were better.

  113. unlikelyhood

    Love phantom’s list.

  114. unlikelyhood

    Love phantom’s list.

  115. Mike, WOW, there isn’t ONE line I don’t agree with…ok, maybe one (2006), but other than that, I agree with everything you said : Swank (1999), Theron, Cotillard were the only BA-winners in the last 15 years, who I also considered THE best, Kidman indeed should have won for Rabbit Hole and Moore should have gotten her effin Oscar in 2002, as well…oh damn you, Mike, you got me hooked on the “what if” game, my (non-existent) therapist will kill me :)

    Thanks, unlikelyhood !

  116. Mike, WOW, there isn’t ONE line I don’t agree with…ok, maybe one (2006), but other than that, I agree with everything you said : Swank (1999), Theron, Cotillard were the only BA-winners in the last 15 years, who I also considered THE best, Kidman indeed should have won for Rabbit Hole and Moore should have gotten her effin Oscar in 2002, as well…oh damn you, Mike, you got me hooked on the “what if” game, my (non-existent) therapist will kill me :)

    Thanks, unlikelyhood !

  117. Damn, I just wrote out a long reflection and it somehow didn’t post…

  118. Damn, I just wrote out a long reflection and it somehow didn’t post…

  119. @Mike – Ahh Melissa Leo, that makes sense.

    I’m thinking surely Winslett didn’t win for Titanic, and surely Leo wasn’t nominated – albeit in the same category!?

  120. @Mike – Ahh Melissa Leo, that makes sense.

    I’m thinking surely Winslett didn’t win for Titanic, and surely Leo wasn’t nominated – albeit in the same category!?

  121. Arthur Melo

    Lol. This comments box has turned in a conversation between Scott and Scott. And sometimes between Scott and unlikelyhood

  122. Arthur Melo

    Lol. This comments box has turned in a conversation between Scott and Scott. And sometimes between Scott and unlikelyhood

  123. Why is my comment not showing up? I just re-typed it…

  124. Why is my comment not showing up? I just re-typed it…

  125. Tero Heikkinen

    I have nothing against the wins of Sarandon and McDormand. Maybe they were overdue, but won for truly great performances. Roberts was an awful winner against Burstyn and the non-nominated Björk (!!!).

  126. Tero Heikkinen

    I have nothing against the wins of Sarandon and McDormand. Maybe they were overdue, but won for truly great performances. Roberts was an awful winner against Burstyn and the non-nominated Björk (!!!).

  127. It is a mistake to downplay Hugo’s chances at nominations. This is a great film and one that only Scorsese could make. I see nominations for BP, direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, costume design, original score and possibly for Ben Kingsley and special effects.

    This one will grow in the minds of the Academy members.

  128. It is a mistake to downplay Hugo’s chances at nominations. This is a great film and one that only Scorsese could make. I see nominations for BP, direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, costume design, original score and possibly for Ben Kingsley and special effects.

    This one will grow in the minds of the Academy members.

  129. Beth Stevens

    Adding to the chaos, a bunch of new BFCA scores have just dropped. Some of these are preliminary and subject to change, but here’s how we stand at the moment.

    Tomboy – 100 (not a BP movie, but it’s surprising – Me & Orson Welles redux?)
    Harry Potter – 93
    The Descendants – 92
    Martha Marcy May Marlene – 92
    Drive – 91
    The Ides of March – 91
    Moneyball – 91
    The Help – 89
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – 87
    The Artist – 86
    Hugo – 86
    Midnight in Paris – 85
    My Week with Marilyn – 85
    Rampart – 80
    The Tree of Life – 78
    J. Edgar – 76
    Take Shelter – 76
    A Dangerous Method – 73
    Another Happy Day – 64
    Tyrannosaur – 60

  130. Beth Stevens

    Adding to the chaos, a bunch of new BFCA scores have just dropped. Some of these are preliminary and subject to change, but here’s how we stand at the moment.

    Tomboy – 100 (not a BP movie, but it’s surprising – Me & Orson Welles redux?)
    Harry Potter – 93
    The Descendants – 92
    Martha Marcy May Marlene – 92
    Drive – 91
    The Ides of March – 91
    Moneyball – 91
    The Help – 89
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – 87
    The Artist – 86
    Hugo – 86
    Midnight in Paris – 85
    My Week with Marilyn – 85
    Rampart – 80
    The Tree of Life – 78
    J. Edgar – 76
    Take Shelter – 76
    A Dangerous Method – 73
    Another Happy Day – 64
    Tyrannosaur – 60

  131. “Damn, I just wrote out a long reflection and it somehow didn’t post…”
    “Why is my comment not showing up? I just re-typed it…”
    I think Voldemort is afoot, Scott.

  132. “Damn, I just wrote out a long reflection and it somehow didn’t post…”
    “Why is my comment not showing up? I just re-typed it…”
    I think Voldemort is afoot, Scott.

  133. “the potential is there…but everyone needs to step it up and/or bring their A game!

    For instance, I would say Dan needs to finally nail emotional scenes and Day needs to improve his editing (hopefully with the extra time he can make the movie flow better then his past couple attempts) An award winning score out of Desplat and some breathtaking cinematography from Serra on par with what Delbonnel gave us would certainly help too

    I’m not worried about Kloves because his original drafts of the script are usually excellent and stick close to the book. It’s only when the director and studio step in and hack it all to pieces to fit the time contraint that we end up with problems…and this shouldn’t be an issue this time And I’m not worried about Yates either. He’s shown true devotion to the franchise and as Vince said, he keeps getting better

    The potential problem areas I see with the finale are the folllwing

    Acting- our young stars have grown immensely in their abilities, but they haven’t quite reached the fringes of Award winning performances…yet. If Deathly Hallows is to have a shot at winning Best Picture and/or being considered the greatest film ever, some award winning performances from the leads sure would help. They’ve had 10 years now to get into character…

    Editing- I dunno what else to say here…I think I’ve ragged on Mark Day enough ”

    Ok, let’s give this another try. Reflecting back on what I said, did everyone bring their A game, enough to make it a viable Best Picture contender?

    Cinematography
    Original Score
    Art Direction
    Visual Effects
    Sound Editing
    Sound Mixing

    They are an absolutely yes for me…and I think if you read back through the critic’s reviews you’ll see they agree. I recall reading much praise for Serra, Desplat, and Craig in particular and all 3 are more then deserving of nomination

    Now the more questionable…

    Best Director

    While I love the devotion that David Yates gave to the series and do believe he gave it his all and was perhaps even the best choice possible to see it to the end I’m afraid his name just doesn’t hold enough prestige compared to the rest in the race. But hey, if that unknown who directed the Artist is being considered, why not?

    Best Actor/Actress

    I do feel Dan, Rupert, and Emma really stepped up their game and gave their best but even so it doesn’t seem quite award worthy. There’s just too much competition with veteran actors to see a nomination being possible here.

    Best Supporting Actor/Actress

    While very limited in their roles you could make a case for many…in particular Alan Rickman or Ralph Fiennes, but Maggie Smith and others were wonderful as well. If considering the entire series ensemble that has been a part of it is like no other and it’s a shame none of these great Brits have been recognized by the Academy yet.

    Best Screenplay

    It seems they fucked with Kloves vision yet again but the changed ending notwithstanding I believe it merits nomination.

    Best Editing

    Nah. While Mark Day certainly improved and there are some really quite masterful sequences (ie The Prince’s Tale) it’s still got the ocassional choppiness that we’ve been complaining about since he came on board for OotP. I would have liked to seen him fired long ago in favor of someone like Lee Smith, but he’s one of Yate’s pals so I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. Just gotta live with it.

  134. “the potential is there…but everyone needs to step it up and/or bring their A game!

    For instance, I would say Dan needs to finally nail emotional scenes and Day needs to improve his editing (hopefully with the extra time he can make the movie flow better then his past couple attempts) An award winning score out of Desplat and some breathtaking cinematography from Serra on par with what Delbonnel gave us would certainly help too

    I’m not worried about Kloves because his original drafts of the script are usually excellent and stick close to the book. It’s only when the director and studio step in and hack it all to pieces to fit the time contraint that we end up with problems…and this shouldn’t be an issue this time And I’m not worried about Yates either. He’s shown true devotion to the franchise and as Vince said, he keeps getting better

    The potential problem areas I see with the finale are the folllwing

    Acting- our young stars have grown immensely in their abilities, but they haven’t quite reached the fringes of Award winning performances…yet. If Deathly Hallows is to have a shot at winning Best Picture and/or being considered the greatest film ever, some award winning performances from the leads sure would help. They’ve had 10 years now to get into character…

    Editing- I dunno what else to say here…I think I’ve ragged on Mark Day enough ”

    Ok, let’s give this another try. Reflecting back on what I said, did everyone bring their A game, enough to make it a viable Best Picture contender?

    Cinematography
    Original Score
    Art Direction
    Visual Effects
    Sound Editing
    Sound Mixing

    They are an absolutely yes for me…and I think if you read back through the critic’s reviews you’ll see they agree. I recall reading much praise for Serra, Desplat, and Craig in particular and all 3 are more then deserving of nomination

    Now the more questionable…

    Best Director

    While I love the devotion that David Yates gave to the series and do believe he gave it his all and was perhaps even the best choice possible to see it to the end I’m afraid his name just doesn’t hold enough prestige compared to the rest in the race. But hey, if that unknown who directed the Artist is being considered, why not?

    Best Actor/Actress

    I do feel Dan, Rupert, and Emma really stepped up their game and gave their best but even so it doesn’t seem quite award worthy. There’s just too much competition with veteran actors to see a nomination being possible here.

    Best Supporting Actor/Actress

    While very limited in their roles you could make a case for many…in particular Alan Rickman or Ralph Fiennes, but Maggie Smith and others were wonderful as well. If considering the entire series ensemble that has been a part of it is like no other and it’s a shame none of these great Brits have been recognized by the Academy yet.

    Best Screenplay

    It seems they fucked with Kloves vision yet again but the changed ending notwithstanding I believe it merits nomination.

    Best Editing

    Nah. While Mark Day certainly improved and there are some really quite masterful sequences (ie The Prince’s Tale) it’s still got the ocassional choppiness that we’ve been complaining about since he came on board for OotP. I would have liked to seen him fired long ago in favor of someone like Lee Smith, but he’s one of Yate’s pals so I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. Just gotta live with it.

  135. [Scott, don’t know why your comment took a wrong turn, but I found it in the spam folder, rescued it.]

  136. [Scott, don’t know why your comment took a wrong turn, but I found it in the spam folder, rescued it.]

  137. Did you ever hear someone react to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with – yeah, but who ages backwards? Did you have *any* sympathy for that reaction at all?

    Do those people exist? I don’t want to know them if they do. I’d have to slap them once and say “Mork” and then slap them again and say “Mearth”. XD I have no sympathy for those with no imagination. They’re the ones running the world into the ground.

    I’ll pipe in on Potter. The movies sucked compared to the books. I think David Yates is horrible. However, the point in why it should be considered in the race is about its critical reception which was through the roof. I don’t think it deserved that reception but it did get it. And the fact that this has turned into such a weak year, unless things suddenly change at the end, means it should have a good shot, a better than average shot, at a nomination. In a normal year does it deserve it? Hell no. But with the lack of anything decent you might as well give a shout-out to the enormous group of people who spent the better part of the last decade entertaining us with these stories. What do movies mean to you? I think that’s what it’s about.

    My point about TTSS was not to reprimand anyone here for forgetting it. It’s about why we’re all forgetting it. I understand that they want to make a late push but a lot of these moves the studios are making seem to be backfiring.

    About Midnight in Paris, all watching the Allen doc did was remind me how much he doesn’t give a sh*t about the Oscars. Wouldn’t it be adorable if the capper to this random and wacky awards season is them giving Best Picture to a guy whose reaction will be “eh, whatever”? lol

  138. Did you ever hear someone react to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with – yeah, but who ages backwards? Did you have *any* sympathy for that reaction at all?

    Do those people exist? I don’t want to know them if they do. I’d have to slap them once and say “Mork” and then slap them again and say “Mearth”. XD I have no sympathy for those with no imagination. They’re the ones running the world into the ground.

    I’ll pipe in on Potter. The movies sucked compared to the books. I think David Yates is horrible. However, the point in why it should be considered in the race is about its critical reception which was through the roof. I don’t think it deserved that reception but it did get it. And the fact that this has turned into such a weak year, unless things suddenly change at the end, means it should have a good shot, a better than average shot, at a nomination. In a normal year does it deserve it? Hell no. But with the lack of anything decent you might as well give a shout-out to the enormous group of people who spent the better part of the last decade entertaining us with these stories. What do movies mean to you? I think that’s what it’s about.

    My point about TTSS was not to reprimand anyone here for forgetting it. It’s about why we’re all forgetting it. I understand that they want to make a late push but a lot of these moves the studios are making seem to be backfiring.

    About Midnight in Paris, all watching the Allen doc did was remind me how much he doesn’t give a sh*t about the Oscars. Wouldn’t it be adorable if the capper to this random and wacky awards season is them giving Best Picture to a guy whose reaction will be “eh, whatever”? lol

  139. The Artist is dropping in at only 86? Interesting, I was bracing for a 95+ given all I’d been hearing…

  140. The Artist is dropping in at only 86? Interesting, I was bracing for a 95+ given all I’d been hearing…

  141. Sasha brought up one film that I believe, if executed correctly, could put this competition to rest. And that is Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If anyone has seen the original film (I have), it was really intriguing. I have also read the book, and from what I have read, Fincher has included some additional info that the original did not show. Plus, this subject is the type where Fincher absolutely excels. This film looks to be more inline with Seven and Zodiac; which is for me his two best films. I have an inkling that the Academy may try to make up for not giving Fincher the Oscar last year. I’m telling you people, just wait and see.

  142. Sasha brought up one film that I believe, if executed correctly, could put this competition to rest. And that is Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If anyone has seen the original film (I have), it was really intriguing. I have also read the book, and from what I have read, Fincher has included some additional info that the original did not show. Plus, this subject is the type where Fincher absolutely excels. This film looks to be more inline with Seven and Zodiac; which is for me his two best films. I have an inkling that the Academy may try to make up for not giving Fincher the Oscar last year. I’m telling you people, just wait and see.

  143. My predictions are:

    1. The Artist

    Let me say that I’m not a big fan of the film. Actually, it’s a very charming lovely film that pays tribute to the black-and-white silent era of cinema. The performances from the two leads are great and it’s fun, entertaining and visually interesting, but the script is, in my opinion, very restricted. When the film ended everyone in my theater was like: ‘Aw that was nice’. And that was it. I don’t see any Best Picture material, really.
    But my opinion doesn’t mean anything at all, because the Oscars are all about politics and we know that very well. The film is a crowd-pleaser a la ‘The King’s Speech’ and even ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. The critics adore it and the Weinsteins really campaign the crap out of it. So I’m sure it will be a surefire Best Picture nominee and a possible frontrunner for the prize.

    2. The Descendants

    The family drama of the year. Emotional, subtle, poignant. The Clooney/Payne collaboration is another plus and the critics love the film. I liked the film a lot and I think it’s a definite Best Picture nominee with all the positive buzz and the strong campaign, but I don’t think it’s winning.

    3. War Horse

    Typical Spielberg. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s cheesy. It’s too sentimental. It’s emotional with the usual John Williams score cues. It’s grand and epic with sequences similar to ‘Saving Private Ryan’. It’s exactly what the Academy loves. I don’t see them awarding a film with a horse as the protagonist (truth be told), but the scope is grand and the emotion is strong, so it will be a definite Best Picture nominee.

    4. Midnight in Paris

    I could see Midnight in Paris becoming a surprise frontrunner. Its buzz keeps building up. It’s indeed the most successful Allen film and the film is loved by the critics. It’s nostalgic, it’s fun, it’s beautiful to look at. But seriously is the film even going to be nominated for anything except Picture, Directing and Screenplay? Yes they’re all major categories but does the film have the strength to actually win Best Picture? The ensemble cast was great but there was no one award-worthy. The techs were very good, but not mind-blowing to win any tech category or something. Also, is this an Allen film that deserves a Best Picture win? After Annie Hall? Not quite. It’s a great entertaining film, but it doesn’t reach the depths of Allen’s older BP-nominated films. The nomination, though, is a sure bet.

    And then the chaos.

    5. Moneyball

    Why at #05? Because I think the film will get major love. I’d be shocked to see Moneyball not getting a Best Picture nomination, while the terribly mediocre The Blind Side did.The film was loved by critics, it did a solid business at the box office, it has Brad Pitt’s probably best performance to date and Sorkin has written an exceptional screenplay, right after his win for The Social Network. I think it’s getting in.

    6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    I can see this being very very polarizing. The material might annoy some people (the 9/11 attack etc.) but it might be loved by others. The delay is suspicious, though. I mean, they knew it, didn’t they? They knew when the critics awards season begins. Having zero precursors is not a good thing. Some might mention The Reader’s case, but that was only Kate Winslet’s Best Actress win film. She was adored by the critics, the ‘Holocaust’ material is always respected and 2008 was an even more random year than 2011. I don’t know what to say about ELIC, but I have it at #06 and I think it’ll get in.

    7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

    Yes, I think it will be nominated. If ELIC does indeed disappoint (and I have to say that the absolute lack of WB’s campaign and the focus on Potter, especially after J.Edgar’s massive disappointment is extremely suspicious that this is the case), then it’s going to be a surefire nominee. Now, the film was indeed loved by the audiences. It’s the third highest-grossing film of all-time and that’s a very impressive thing to say for the eighth installment of a 10-year series. It also has the benefit of the finale factor. Its nomination spot will be a reward for the entire series. But it’s not as if the film was not liked by critics. It’s still the best reviewed film of the year. Critics love it. And that’s a fact. Prisoner of Azkaban which is the second best reviewed film of the year made it in many critics’ top lists, despite being a summer blockbuster and not having nearly the buzz that Deathly Hallows Part II has. The NBR, PGA and BAFTA love is to be expected and with the strong campaign of WB and the inclusion in several Top 10 critics lists, I can see it getting in.

    Also: The ending of the film was much appreciated by general audiences and critics. Yes, it’s different than the book version because it doesn’t have that dialogue scene, but cinematically it works better. Not to mention that that dialogue showed that Voldemort was a complete idiot, which was also my main complaint about the book. Potter suddenly knows everything about defeating Voldemort and Voldemort is reduced to a moron. Boom. The end. No. It doesn’t work, sorry. Especially for cinema fans waiting so long to see a more climactic duel. Finally, Sasha, the film does make sense, but it should be watched by people who have followed the series and have recently seen Deathly Hallows Part 1 in order to understand the details. Because the main plotline is quite simple. Inception was a mess, that’s true.

    8. The Help

    Could it really be The Help? Let’s see. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are locks for a Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress nomination, the Academy likes the film, it was a very big box office success and its only problem is that the critics were kind of ‘meh’ towards it. But the ensemble is strong, Oprah is working her magic, the campaign is already strong and the Academy loves this sort of sappy light-hearted dramas that deal with racism. When it gets tougher and more revealing and dark, they stay away. So, yes, I think that ‘The Help’ will also be nominated.

    9. Hugo

    You know, I wouldn’t have been so sure about this if you had asked me a few weeks ago, but the general consensus is strong. The critics do love it, but is it enough for a Best Picture win? Nah, it’s a children’s film and, to be honest with you, I think the two acts were silly and uninteresting and the final 30 minutes or so made the film. Yes, technically it’s a beautiful film and the finale is great, but I don’t think that the film has the strength to be a BP frontrunner. A nomination might very well happen, though, so I have it in my top 10.

    10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    I am not sure. Yes, it has Fincher and it looks bloody awesome, but is this the Academy’s sort of taste? Definitely not. If it’s too dark (and it looks very dark), kind of raw and edgy, I see it following the Fight Club/Se7en/Zodiac route. A great dark somber thriller, but not the Academy’s cup of tea. It will become a classic, though we still can’t know without any official reviews, but I really don’t know. It’s also a remake. I know that not many Academy members have seen the Swedish film, but, hell, Noomi Rapace was nominated for a BAFTA last year. Some might feel like ‘yes, it’s great, but wasn’t there a Swedish version of this last year? Um, whatever’. I have it in my top 10, but it has dropped significantly these days.

    Also in talks:
    The Tree of Life (too polarizing and too abstract, but might get in to recognize Malick’s work)
    The Ides of March (a solid political thriller but there’s literally no buzz at all)
    My Week with Marilyn (not great reviews, still looks cute and entertaining)
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (too european, dark and confusing and the buzz has died)
    I think that, eventually, the nominees will be:
    The Artist
    The Descendants
    War Horse
    Midnight in Paris
    The Help
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Moneyball

  144. My predictions are:

    1. The Artist

    Let me say that I’m not a big fan of the film. Actually, it’s a very charming lovely film that pays tribute to the black-and-white silent era of cinema. The performances from the two leads are great and it’s fun, entertaining and visually interesting, but the script is, in my opinion, very restricted. When the film ended everyone in my theater was like: ‘Aw that was nice’. And that was it. I don’t see any Best Picture material, really.
    But my opinion doesn’t mean anything at all, because the Oscars are all about politics and we know that very well. The film is a crowd-pleaser a la ‘The King’s Speech’ and even ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. The critics adore it and the Weinsteins really campaign the crap out of it. So I’m sure it will be a surefire Best Picture nominee and a possible frontrunner for the prize.

    2. The Descendants

    The family drama of the year. Emotional, subtle, poignant. The Clooney/Payne collaboration is another plus and the critics love the film. I liked the film a lot and I think it’s a definite Best Picture nominee with all the positive buzz and the strong campaign, but I don’t think it’s winning.

    3. War Horse

    Typical Spielberg. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s cheesy. It’s too sentimental. It’s emotional with the usual John Williams score cues. It’s grand and epic with sequences similar to ‘Saving Private Ryan’. It’s exactly what the Academy loves. I don’t see them awarding a film with a horse as the protagonist (truth be told), but the scope is grand and the emotion is strong, so it will be a definite Best Picture nominee.

    4. Midnight in Paris

    I could see Midnight in Paris becoming a surprise frontrunner. Its buzz keeps building up. It’s indeed the most successful Allen film and the film is loved by the critics. It’s nostalgic, it’s fun, it’s beautiful to look at. But seriously is the film even going to be nominated for anything except Picture, Directing and Screenplay? Yes they’re all major categories but does the film have the strength to actually win Best Picture? The ensemble cast was great but there was no one award-worthy. The techs were very good, but not mind-blowing to win any tech category or something. Also, is this an Allen film that deserves a Best Picture win? After Annie Hall? Not quite. It’s a great entertaining film, but it doesn’t reach the depths of Allen’s older BP-nominated films. The nomination, though, is a sure bet.

    And then the chaos.

    5. Moneyball

    Why at #05? Because I think the film will get major love. I’d be shocked to see Moneyball not getting a Best Picture nomination, while the terribly mediocre The Blind Side did.The film was loved by critics, it did a solid business at the box office, it has Brad Pitt’s probably best performance to date and Sorkin has written an exceptional screenplay, right after his win for The Social Network. I think it’s getting in.

    6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    I can see this being very very polarizing. The material might annoy some people (the 9/11 attack etc.) but it might be loved by others. The delay is suspicious, though. I mean, they knew it, didn’t they? They knew when the critics awards season begins. Having zero precursors is not a good thing. Some might mention The Reader’s case, but that was only Kate Winslet’s Best Actress win film. She was adored by the critics, the ‘Holocaust’ material is always respected and 2008 was an even more random year than 2011. I don’t know what to say about ELIC, but I have it at #06 and I think it’ll get in.

    7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

    Yes, I think it will be nominated. If ELIC does indeed disappoint (and I have to say that the absolute lack of WB’s campaign and the focus on Potter, especially after J.Edgar’s massive disappointment is extremely suspicious that this is the case), then it’s going to be a surefire nominee. Now, the film was indeed loved by the audiences. It’s the third highest-grossing film of all-time and that’s a very impressive thing to say for the eighth installment of a 10-year series. It also has the benefit of the finale factor. Its nomination spot will be a reward for the entire series. But it’s not as if the film was not liked by critics. It’s still the best reviewed film of the year. Critics love it. And that’s a fact. Prisoner of Azkaban which is the second best reviewed film of the year made it in many critics’ top lists, despite being a summer blockbuster and not having nearly the buzz that Deathly Hallows Part II has. The NBR, PGA and BAFTA love is to be expected and with the strong campaign of WB and the inclusion in several Top 10 critics lists, I can see it getting in.

    Also: The ending of the film was much appreciated by general audiences and critics. Yes, it’s different than the book version because it doesn’t have that dialogue scene, but cinematically it works better. Not to mention that that dialogue showed that Voldemort was a complete idiot, which was also my main complaint about the book. Potter suddenly knows everything about defeating Voldemort and Voldemort is reduced to a moron. Boom. The end. No. It doesn’t work, sorry. Especially for cinema fans waiting so long to see a more climactic duel. Finally, Sasha, the film does make sense, but it should be watched by people who have followed the series and have recently seen Deathly Hallows Part 1 in order to understand the details. Because the main plotline is quite simple. Inception was a mess, that’s true.

    8. The Help

    Could it really be The Help? Let’s see. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are locks for a Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress nomination, the Academy likes the film, it was a very big box office success and its only problem is that the critics were kind of ‘meh’ towards it. But the ensemble is strong, Oprah is working her magic, the campaign is already strong and the Academy loves this sort of sappy light-hearted dramas that deal with racism. When it gets tougher and more revealing and dark, they stay away. So, yes, I think that ‘The Help’ will also be nominated.

    9. Hugo

    You know, I wouldn’t have been so sure about this if you had asked me a few weeks ago, but the general consensus is strong. The critics do love it, but is it enough for a Best Picture win? Nah, it’s a children’s film and, to be honest with you, I think the two acts were silly and uninteresting and the final 30 minutes or so made the film. Yes, technically it’s a beautiful film and the finale is great, but I don’t think that the film has the strength to be a BP frontrunner. A nomination might very well happen, though, so I have it in my top 10.

    10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    I am not sure. Yes, it has Fincher and it looks bloody awesome, but is this the Academy’s sort of taste? Definitely not. If it’s too dark (and it looks very dark), kind of raw and edgy, I see it following the Fight Club/Se7en/Zodiac route. A great dark somber thriller, but not the Academy’s cup of tea. It will become a classic, though we still can’t know without any official reviews, but I really don’t know. It’s also a remake. I know that not many Academy members have seen the Swedish film, but, hell, Noomi Rapace was nominated for a BAFTA last year. Some might feel like ‘yes, it’s great, but wasn’t there a Swedish version of this last year? Um, whatever’. I have it in my top 10, but it has dropped significantly these days.

    Also in talks:
    The Tree of Life (too polarizing and too abstract, but might get in to recognize Malick’s work)
    The Ides of March (a solid political thriller but there’s literally no buzz at all)
    My Week with Marilyn (not great reviews, still looks cute and entertaining)
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (too european, dark and confusing and the buzz has died)
    I think that, eventually, the nominees will be:
    The Artist
    The Descendants
    War Horse
    Midnight in Paris
    The Help
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Moneyball

  145. MIKE: Oh no! All of a sudden I get sucked into the if game as well. Well If and if and if I don´t agreed with you on all of them:

    Portman
    Swindon > Bullock
    Scott Thomas > Winslet
    Dench > Mirren
    ANYONE > Witherspoon
    Winslet > Swank
    Moore > Kidman
    Spacek > Berry
    Blanchett > Paltrow
    Dench > Hunt
    Watson > McDormand
    Stone > Sarandon

  146. MIKE: Oh no! All of a sudden I get sucked into the if game as well. Well If and if and if I don´t agreed with you on all of them:

    Portman
    Swindon > Bullock
    Scott Thomas > Winslet
    Dench > Mirren
    ANYONE > Witherspoon
    Winslet > Swank
    Moore > Kidman
    Spacek > Berry
    Blanchett > Paltrow
    Dench > Hunt
    Watson > McDormand
    Stone > Sarandon

  147. Antoinette, I sorta have to agree with you. Part of why I’m championing Harry Potter so much is because the critics threw their weight behind it. To be perfectly honest though the failure of the third act for me had me questioning why it received so much praise. I was left with a bittersweet taste at the end. Now the ending wasn’t so horrible as to ruin everything that came before it but…well I dug up my thoughts after a 3rd viewing to remember just what I actually thought about the film-

    “LCbaseball22 August 16
    Posts: 3,897
    One of my friends who hadn’t seen the movie yet asked me if I wanted to go with him to see it again and naturally I accepted. My friend’s afterthoughts were much the same as my first viewing and these thoughts have become more solidified with each viewing, so here goes…

    The ending was poorly handled. I believe from the time Harry returns until the epilogue they should have stuck to the book. Now this has nothing to do with being a purist or anything…the changes just quite simply are not very good. Neville’s speech is awkward, the cliff jump and merging heads is just silly, and Voldemort floating away as pieces of like paper mache is just wtf? Also, no crowd or celebration afterwards? Um hello, did they not realize the magnitude of what had just happened? Harry saved the Wizarding World for Christ sakes. I realize they were probably trying to avoid being cliche but it just felt like it ended on such a downbeat. The ending should be bittersweet yes, but in the film it comes off mostly bitter…which is unfortunate to be one of the last impressions after such a fantastic film up through King’s Cross. Nevertheless it’s still best of the year so far. Just wish they would have put more sense and emotion into the ending…”

    Also note this-

    “Richard said:
    Its the best film of the year like you said.

    Thats all that matters.

    Yes, but only because no other films have yet managed to put together a complete package. For instance Super 8 and The Adjustment Bureau have weak endings as well. If there’s a film that manages a consistently high level throughout then I’m afraid I won’t be able to place Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in the top spot at the end of the year.”

  148. Antoinette, I sorta have to agree with you. Part of why I’m championing Harry Potter so much is because the critics threw their weight behind it. To be perfectly honest though the failure of the third act for me had me questioning why it received so much praise. I was left with a bittersweet taste at the end. Now the ending wasn’t so horrible as to ruin everything that came before it but…well I dug up my thoughts after a 3rd viewing to remember just what I actually thought about the film-

    “LCbaseball22 August 16
    Posts: 3,897
    One of my friends who hadn’t seen the movie yet asked me if I wanted to go with him to see it again and naturally I accepted. My friend’s afterthoughts were much the same as my first viewing and these thoughts have become more solidified with each viewing, so here goes…

    The ending was poorly handled. I believe from the time Harry returns until the epilogue they should have stuck to the book. Now this has nothing to do with being a purist or anything…the changes just quite simply are not very good. Neville’s speech is awkward, the cliff jump and merging heads is just silly, and Voldemort floating away as pieces of like paper mache is just wtf? Also, no crowd or celebration afterwards? Um hello, did they not realize the magnitude of what had just happened? Harry saved the Wizarding World for Christ sakes. I realize they were probably trying to avoid being cliche but it just felt like it ended on such a downbeat. The ending should be bittersweet yes, but in the film it comes off mostly bitter…which is unfortunate to be one of the last impressions after such a fantastic film up through King’s Cross. Nevertheless it’s still best of the year so far. Just wish they would have put more sense and emotion into the ending…”

    Also note this-

    “Richard said:
    Its the best film of the year like you said.

    Thats all that matters.

    Yes, but only because no other films have yet managed to put together a complete package. For instance Super 8 and The Adjustment Bureau have weak endings as well. If there’s a film that manages a consistently high level throughout then I’m afraid I won’t be able to place Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in the top spot at the end of the year.”

  149. Granted I also haven’t had much time for watching movies this year. The last few years I’ve watched 50+ (including all the Oscar Best Pic contenders) but this year I’ve currently only seen a measly 10, lol

  150. Granted I also haven’t had much time for watching movies this year. The last few years I’ve watched 50+ (including all the Oscar Best Pic contenders) but this year I’ve currently only seen a measly 10, lol

  151. My pathetic list so far…

    1. Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 95
    2. Moneyball- 91
    3. Super 8- 88
    4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes- 87
    5. No Strings Attached- 86
    6. The Way Back- 85
    7. Tower Heist- 85
    8. The Adjustment Bureau- 82
    9. Source Code- 80
    10. Sucker Punch- 70

  152. My pathetic list so far…

    1. Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 95
    2. Moneyball- 91
    3. Super 8- 88
    4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes- 87
    5. No Strings Attached- 86
    6. The Way Back- 85
    7. Tower Heist- 85
    8. The Adjustment Bureau- 82
    9. Source Code- 80
    10. Sucker Punch- 70

  153. And in the book, the ending read like a movie. I was turning the pages so fast I felt like I was in the mad dash with them at that last battle for Hogwarts/the fate of the world. (For those who haven’t read the books it was very much like one of the endings of the original Star Wars trilogy where you had different showdowns/escapes happening simultaneously with quick cuts and lots of action.) In HP7pt2, it was sort of slow and the Harry/Voldy battle was botched. I thought splitting it into two films meant they would keep the ending of the book intact. That’s why I’m like nominate it for the sake of the series, but don’t give it anything. lol

  154. And in the book, the ending read like a movie. I was turning the pages so fast I felt like I was in the mad dash with them at that last battle for Hogwarts/the fate of the world. (For those who haven’t read the books it was very much like one of the endings of the original Star Wars trilogy where you had different showdowns/escapes happening simultaneously with quick cuts and lots of action.) In HP7pt2, it was sort of slow and the Harry/Voldy battle was botched. I thought splitting it into two films meant they would keep the ending of the book intact. That’s why I’m like nominate it for the sake of the series, but don’t give it anything. lol

  155. @Mattoc: The Decalogue is quite a remarkable series. I came upon the after seeing the Three Colors Trilogy (of which Red, a work I hold as the gold standard when watching films, is part of) and The Double Life of Veronique; I was quite enamored by those so I persisted in the Kieslowski filmography and came upon The Decalogue. It’s a shame these works aren’t consistently celebrated as some of cinema’s finest.

  156. @Mattoc: The Decalogue is quite a remarkable series. I came upon the after seeing the Three Colors Trilogy (of which Red, a work I hold as the gold standard when watching films, is part of) and The Double Life of Veronique; I was quite enamored by those so I persisted in the Kieslowski filmography and came upon The Decalogue. It’s a shame these works aren’t consistently celebrated as some of cinema’s finest.

  157. Agreed, the the critics clearly thought otherwise…as John noted the ending was actually much praised.

  158. Agreed, the the critics clearly thought otherwise…as John noted the ending was actually much praised.

  159. unlikelyhood

    Antoinette and Scott – YES! Now we’re on the same page about HP7.2’s finale. Don’t get me wrong – as I said – I’m a huge fan. But as I said upthread – now agreeing with Antoinette – why split it into two movies only to jettison the epic conclusion?

    And to respond, I *do* know people who reacted to Benjamin Button with a Why Should We Care If This Can’t Happen? If we go to its page on Rotten Tomatoes I bet at least four of the name critics say something to that effect.

    I agree, nominate it, but give it nothing.

    I like John’s list. I still say We Need…Kevin is gonna surprise y’all. When that happens I better get some credit around here.

  160. unlikelyhood

    Antoinette and Scott – YES! Now we’re on the same page about HP7.2’s finale. Don’t get me wrong – as I said – I’m a huge fan. But as I said upthread – now agreeing with Antoinette – why split it into two movies only to jettison the epic conclusion?

    And to respond, I *do* know people who reacted to Benjamin Button with a Why Should We Care If This Can’t Happen? If we go to its page on Rotten Tomatoes I bet at least four of the name critics say something to that effect.

    I agree, nominate it, but give it nothing.

    I like John’s list. I still say We Need…Kevin is gonna surprise y’all. When that happens I better get some credit around here.

  161. I’ve seen We Need to Talk About Kevin and it’s in my top 3 for the year. Such a great great throught-provoking intense beautifully-directed film. And Swinton won’t leave my #01 spot for Best Actress. If only the Academy could embrace films like this, Shame, Melancholia, A Separation, Drive, Martha Marcy May Marlene etc. in their Best Picture nominees. Brilliant films.

  162. I’ve seen We Need to Talk About Kevin and it’s in my top 3 for the year. Such a great great throught-provoking intense beautifully-directed film. And Swinton won’t leave my #01 spot for Best Actress. If only the Academy could embrace films like this, Shame, Melancholia, A Separation, Drive, Martha Marcy May Marlene etc. in their Best Picture nominees. Brilliant films.

  163. Andrew Sidhom

    @ Ryan

    “The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.”
    “By that logic,we could try to find 5,000 people online who have an opinion on a scale of 1-10″

    It’s difficult to gather the opinion of 5,000 people who you can garantee are serious film fans, (and not 5 year olds, schizophrenics or film company executives, all of whom can vote on a site like IMDb for example). If there was a place online that did that, I would use it.
    Maybe you don’t like to read reviews from the 300 RT critics (the top critics are definitely better writers for one thing), but I think we can agree that these people have a serious interest in film and have seen enough movies to be able to have an educated opinion. At least, that’s how I see it. I personally think that allowing only 30-40 persons to have an opinion is a little too elitist. I mean, we can have a handful of ritics that we like to follow, but when we want to come up with numbers that reflect a consensus, I think we should allow more people in. I also think that most Academy members are more casual filmgoers than the top of the top film critics so I expect their tastes would align better with a larger sample.

    “RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.”
    ” Exactly. So how the heck do they arrive at their “average rating”?”

    They only include the graded reviews in the calculation, which constitute about 80-90% of total reviews in general, so it’s not a big problem.

  164. Andrew Sidhom

    @ Ryan

    “The sample is larger, which means more reliable numbers.”
    “By that logic,we could try to find 5,000 people online who have an opinion on a scale of 1-10″

    It’s difficult to gather the opinion of 5,000 people who you can garantee are serious film fans, (and not 5 year olds, schizophrenics or film company executives, all of whom can vote on a site like IMDb for example). If there was a place online that did that, I would use it.
    Maybe you don’t like to read reviews from the 300 RT critics (the top critics are definitely better writers for one thing), but I think we can agree that these people have a serious interest in film and have seen enough movies to be able to have an educated opinion. At least, that’s how I see it. I personally think that allowing only 30-40 persons to have an opinion is a little too elitist. I mean, we can have a handful of ritics that we like to follow, but when we want to come up with numbers that reflect a consensus, I think we should allow more people in. I also think that most Academy members are more casual filmgoers than the top of the top film critics so I expect their tastes would align better with a larger sample.

    “RT doesn’t pretend to know what unrated reviews are worth.”
    ” Exactly. So how the heck do they arrive at their “average rating”?”

    They only include the graded reviews in the calculation, which constitute about 80-90% of total reviews in general, so it’s not a big problem.

  165. @Scott: Care to explain why you like No Strings Attached? It’s easily one of the most insulting, absurd films I’ve seen in a long time. Thank god it didn’t cost Portman her Oscar.

    Anyway, I just finished watching Super 8, and frankly I don’t get the hype. It’s entertaining, and the child actors are wonderful, but the plot is very obscure and the pacing is as clumsy as this final Harry Potter at times.

    My favorite of the year so far is Win Win, so hopefully Fox Searchlight will put out a campaign for it. I loved Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, and The Tree of Life as well.

    Here’s my ranking for Best Picture winners of the past five years:

    1.The Hurt Locker
    2.The King’s Speech
    3.No Country for Old Men
    4.Slumdog Millionaire
    5.The Departed

    I gave all of these films a 10/10. So I can’t complain about the Academy too much.

  166. @Scott: Care to explain why you like No Strings Attached? It’s easily one of the most insulting, absurd films I’ve seen in a long time. Thank god it didn’t cost Portman her Oscar.

    Anyway, I just finished watching Super 8, and frankly I don’t get the hype. It’s entertaining, and the child actors are wonderful, but the plot is very obscure and the pacing is as clumsy as this final Harry Potter at times.

    My favorite of the year so far is Win Win, so hopefully Fox Searchlight will put out a campaign for it. I loved Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, and The Tree of Life as well.

    Here’s my ranking for Best Picture winners of the past five years:

    1.The Hurt Locker
    2.The King’s Speech
    3.No Country for Old Men
    4.Slumdog Millionaire
    5.The Departed

    I gave all of these films a 10/10. So I can’t complain about the Academy too much.

  167. No Strings Attached-

    Verdict- I highly enjoyed this film. Pretty much everything clicked in this rom-com. It had heart, it was hilarious, and it was fairly original for a film of its genre; it almost veered toward some rom-com cliches (ie love triangle) but for the most part they kept it restrained with the focus on the “sex friends”, played by Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, who are both wonderful. I applaud Natalie for stepping into new/risky territory (she’s surprisingly a perfect fit for the role actually) and I think Ashton is better then people give him credit for.

  168. No Strings Attached-

    Verdict- I highly enjoyed this film. Pretty much everything clicked in this rom-com. It had heart, it was hilarious, and it was fairly original for a film of its genre; it almost veered toward some rom-com cliches (ie love triangle) but for the most part they kept it restrained with the focus on the “sex friends”, played by Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, who are both wonderful. I applaud Natalie for stepping into new/risky territory (she’s surprisingly a perfect fit for the role actually) and I think Ashton is better then people give him credit for.

  169. “Super 8

    Verdict- I loved the film within a film and the mystery aspects of the story and how it all came together…however, what was up with the ending? I realize J.J. Abrams was trying to pay homage to E.T. but it just feels so cheesy in this movie. There was also a few too many contrived moments…but the acting of the kids was surprisingly good, I loved the soundtrack, and it was visually quite impressive. The good far-outweighed the bad. I initially had no interest in seeing this, but I am glad I did

    I could see a Best Pic nom for it even, but hopefully it doesn’t steal away Potter’s opportunity for the Blockbuster spot…”

  170. “Super 8

    Verdict- I loved the film within a film and the mystery aspects of the story and how it all came together…however, what was up with the ending? I realize J.J. Abrams was trying to pay homage to E.T. but it just feels so cheesy in this movie. There was also a few too many contrived moments…but the acting of the kids was surprisingly good, I loved the soundtrack, and it was visually quite impressive. The good far-outweighed the bad. I initially had no interest in seeing this, but I am glad I did

    I could see a Best Pic nom for it even, but hopefully it doesn’t steal away Potter’s opportunity for the Blockbuster spot…”

  171. alan of montreal

    I’m not sure Martha Marcy May Marlene or Take Shelter should be completely ruled out. They’re both among the most well-reviewed films of the year, and they have gotten enough sufficient buzz to warrant Dark Horse status, I think.

  172. alan of montreal

    I’m not sure Martha Marcy May Marlene or Take Shelter should be completely ruled out. They’re both among the most well-reviewed films of the year, and they have gotten enough sufficient buzz to warrant Dark Horse status, I think.

  173. Rufussondheim

    I’m having a hard time reconciling with the fact that Harry Potter is the story of our time.

    Here, I thought the story of our time was Infinite Jest.

  174. Rufussondheim

    I’m having a hard time reconciling with the fact that Harry Potter is the story of our time.

    Here, I thought the story of our time was Infinite Jest.

  175. Rufussondheim

    Oh. The Descendants will win.

    It’s basic math.

    Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser = Win.

  176. Rufussondheim

    Oh. The Descendants will win.

    It’s basic math.

    Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser = Win.

  177. Um, and Harry Potter doesn’t fit that formula? Try Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser + Massive B.O.

  178. Um, and Harry Potter doesn’t fit that formula? Try Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser + Massive B.O.

  179. Beth, where did you get the BFCA scores for The Artist and A Dangerous Method? All I see on their site for these 2 are “voting-in-progress”

  180. Beth, where did you get the BFCA scores for The Artist and A Dangerous Method? All I see on their site for these 2 are “voting-in-progress”

  181. God, this really is amazing…we all know HP7B got 100% approval from RT’s “Top Critics”, but I just looked over the Metacritic scores again and Deathly Hallows is also the only film to received ALL positive reviews. Not a one mixed or negative. Something that Hugo can’t say, nor The Artist, nor Moneyball, nor The Tree of Life, nor The Descendants, nor…should I continue? :p

    Basically if there was no bias and you could follow logic then Harry Potter is the film that Sasha says doesn’t exist this year, the one that everyone loves. Sure, it doesn’t have a 90+ score but it’s hard to argue there are any holdouts when every review from any critic that has supposed worth is positive.

  182. God, this really is amazing…we all know HP7B got 100% approval from RT’s “Top Critics”, but I just looked over the Metacritic scores again and Deathly Hallows is also the only film to received ALL positive reviews. Not a one mixed or negative. Something that Hugo can’t say, nor The Artist, nor Moneyball, nor The Tree of Life, nor The Descendants, nor…should I continue? :p

    Basically if there was no bias and you could follow logic then Harry Potter is the film that Sasha says doesn’t exist this year, the one that everyone loves. Sure, it doesn’t have a 90+ score but it’s hard to argue there are any holdouts when every review from any critic that has supposed worth is positive.

  183. Also, I feel like we’re all expecting a Social Network to come along this year (though even this had 1 mixed) but do you realize how rare it is that a film receives as unanimous praise as that one did? It’s a nearly impossible feat to please everyone (and there’s a lot of the general public that didn’t agree with the critics last year) and even those that all 40 some critics (or 200 or whatever) throw their weight behind happen one in a blue moon…

  184. Also, I feel like we’re all expecting a Social Network to come along this year (though even this had 1 mixed) but do you realize how rare it is that a film receives as unanimous praise as that one did? It’s a nearly impossible feat to please everyone (and there’s a lot of the general public that didn’t agree with the critics last year) and even those that all 40 some critics (or 200 or whatever) throw their weight behind happen one in a blue moon…

  185. Bob Burns

    Harry Potter makes little sense to anyone who hasn’t read the books, especially tired old adults. ”

    I would bet that HP is by far the most widely read book among Academy members and that substantial numbers of them are big fans.

    ****

    Sasha, if you don’t care much for Harry as a character, that’s your business, but I am curious whether you mean Harry as a film character, or Harry as a character overall. If the former, I agree…..the books devote hundreds of pages to Harry’s inner debate. And the films assume that we viewers bring our understanding of Harry’s struggles along with us to the movie theater.

    *****

    The connections between Harry and Voldemort are the central mysteries of the narrative. At the simplest level Voldemort is obsessed with Harry because Harry is the boy who lived.

  186. Bob Burns

    Harry Potter makes little sense to anyone who hasn’t read the books, especially tired old adults. ”

    I would bet that HP is by far the most widely read book among Academy members and that substantial numbers of them are big fans.

    ****

    Sasha, if you don’t care much for Harry as a character, that’s your business, but I am curious whether you mean Harry as a film character, or Harry as a character overall. If the former, I agree…..the books devote hundreds of pages to Harry’s inner debate. And the films assume that we viewers bring our understanding of Harry’s struggles along with us to the movie theater.

    *****

    The connections between Harry and Voldemort are the central mysteries of the narrative. At the simplest level Voldemort is obsessed with Harry because Harry is the boy who lived.

  187. More critics thought Harry Potter was “pretty good” than any other film this year, but where it falls short is in the extent of the raves. Potter only had 10 100s and 15 90+ reviews. By contrast Hugo already has 11 100s and 18 90+ reviews, and the true “best reviewed film of the year” Tree of Life has 14 100s and 22 90+s. When the critics lists start coming out Tree of Life is going to be #1 by a shockingly (to some, not to me) wide margin. Hugo will also fair very well. I’m not sure if Potter will register to a significant degree.

  188. More critics thought Harry Potter was “pretty good” than any other film this year, but where it falls short is in the extent of the raves. Potter only had 10 100s and 15 90+ reviews. By contrast Hugo already has 11 100s and 18 90+ reviews, and the true “best reviewed film of the year” Tree of Life has 14 100s and 22 90+s. When the critics lists start coming out Tree of Life is going to be #1 by a shockingly (to some, not to me) wide margin. Hugo will also fair very well. I’m not sure if Potter will register to a significant degree.

  189. Bob, I greatly doubt more Academy members have read Harry Potter than for example Lord of the Rings or even most early Stephen King or Tom Clancy novels. They mostly are not in the generation that grew up on those books.

  190. Bob, I greatly doubt more Academy members have read Harry Potter than for example Lord of the Rings or even most early Stephen King or Tom Clancy novels. They mostly are not in the generation that grew up on those books.

  191. So Matt, how do you explain the 8.8/10 Top Critics rating on RT for Potter? :p

    Sounds like a lot more then “pretty good” to me. Incidentally it’s also a higher average rating then both Hugo and Tree of Life!

  192. So Matt, how do you explain the 8.8/10 Top Critics rating on RT for Potter? :p

    Sounds like a lot more then “pretty good” to me. Incidentally it’s also a higher average rating then both Hugo and Tree of Life!

  193. I don’t have much interest in RT scores Scott. I do know that if I knew you in real life I would bet you $1000 that Tree of Life will finish above Harry Potter in the year end compiled critics lists, and I would do so with absolute 100% certainty.

  194. I don’t have much interest in RT scores Scott. I do know that if I knew you in real life I would bet you $1000 that Tree of Life will finish above Harry Potter in the year end compiled critics lists, and I would do so with absolute 100% certainty.

  195. Tero Heikkinen

    Not a completely true statement, but close: Academy members don’t read books, they read screenplays.

  196. Tero Heikkinen

    Not a completely true statement, but close: Academy members don’t read books, they read screenplays.

  197. “I don’t read the script. script reads me.”

  198. “I don’t read the script. script reads me.”

  199. Tero Heikkinen

    I want to say something about the actors. Radcliffe has always been the weakest link in the series, Maybe it’s the fault of the directors, but he’s acting talent is incredibly limited. I can only think that they could not know how he will do when he was, what, 10 when they cast him. Grint – on the other hand – was excellent casting. Watson is irritating, but that is due to the character being annoying.

    Potter -films succeeded to me (aka kept me interested) due to supporting actors which were Britain’s finest. Not naming anyone in particular, cause they are so many. Even if the roles were short, they were still enjoyable. The appeal on DH2 was that they brought almost everyone back – even for a few seconds.

    Rickman, Fiennes and Smith stood out, but I don’t see the fuss. i would be pissed if any of them got nominated. And surely that will not happen.

    Biggest letdown in the series has been the drama. Everytime some character died (and very few did in the movies) or fell in love or whatever, I couldn’t care any less. If I don’t care about the characters, something is wrong. Having said that, the most interesting character – Sirius – didn’t have much screen time. Oldman did good job.

    In general, I feel like the movies (can’t say anything about the books) would’ve been better if they only made like 4 or 5 films. Nothing happens in between (except in Azkaban). The beginning and the ending had something. DH1 was the worst of the series and DH2 and Azkaban the best. Therefore, it’s very hard for me to endorse Part 2 when Part 1 only had material for some 45 minutes. The finale should’ve been a near three hour film in ONE part. It could’ve been something truly great.

    Now, I predict that HP8 gets only 4 nominations (both sounds, visual effects and makeup). Why would they nominate art direction when most of it is recycled from previous parts? Score is a possibility, but Desplat (=annual nominee by default) has better scores in 2011. I congratulate him for keeping Williams’ main theme in minimum. It’s not his.

  200. Tero Heikkinen

    I want to say something about the actors. Radcliffe has always been the weakest link in the series, Maybe it’s the fault of the directors, but he’s acting talent is incredibly limited. I can only think that they could not know how he will do when he was, what, 10 when they cast him. Grint – on the other hand – was excellent casting. Watson is irritating, but that is due to the character being annoying.

    Potter -films succeeded to me (aka kept me interested) due to supporting actors which were Britain’s finest. Not naming anyone in particular, cause they are so many. Even if the roles were short, they were still enjoyable. The appeal on DH2 was that they brought almost everyone back – even for a few seconds.

    Rickman, Fiennes and Smith stood out, but I don’t see the fuss. i would be pissed if any of them got nominated. And surely that will not happen.

    Biggest letdown in the series has been the drama. Everytime some character died (and very few did in the movies) or fell in love or whatever, I couldn’t care any less. If I don’t care about the characters, something is wrong. Having said that, the most interesting character – Sirius – didn’t have much screen time. Oldman did good job.

    In general, I feel like the movies (can’t say anything about the books) would’ve been better if they only made like 4 or 5 films. Nothing happens in between (except in Azkaban). The beginning and the ending had something. DH1 was the worst of the series and DH2 and Azkaban the best. Therefore, it’s very hard for me to endorse Part 2 when Part 1 only had material for some 45 minutes. The finale should’ve been a near three hour film in ONE part. It could’ve been something truly great.

    Now, I predict that HP8 gets only 4 nominations (both sounds, visual effects and makeup). Why would they nominate art direction when most of it is recycled from previous parts? Score is a possibility, but Desplat (=annual nominee by default) has better scores in 2011. I congratulate him for keeping Williams’ main theme in minimum. It’s not his.

  201. MikeScott

    Really hope 10 films are nominated this year. Would love to see Martha Marcy May Marlene, Shame, and Drive get nominated, though that seems unlikely. I do like that the race is pretty wide open so far this year. Makes things interesting. Though I’ll be pleased to just see Gosling be nominated for Drive and Elizabeth Olsen for Martha. Shame I’d like to see get as many noms as possible so more theaters may reconsider their policy on NC-17 movies and end up showing it. Would be fantastic if the film was a mini-breakout success.

  202. MikeScott

    Really hope 10 films are nominated this year. Would love to see Martha Marcy May Marlene, Shame, and Drive get nominated, though that seems unlikely. I do like that the race is pretty wide open so far this year. Makes things interesting. Though I’ll be pleased to just see Gosling be nominated for Drive and Elizabeth Olsen for Martha. Shame I’d like to see get as many noms as possible so more theaters may reconsider their policy on NC-17 movies and end up showing it. Would be fantastic if the film was a mini-breakout success.

  203. Alexandra

    You can still find the love you want and need at Mugglenet…

  204. Alexandra

    You can still find the love you want and need at Mugglenet…

  205. Alexandra

    The love for Harry, I mean…

  206. Alexandra

    The love for Harry, I mean…

  207. Well that’s true perhaps true Tero…I wondered myself from the moment the split was announced how it would affect it’s Academy Award chances. I was supportive of the split but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have rather had a Titanic length 1 shot finale.

  208. Well that’s true perhaps true Tero…I wondered myself from the moment the split was announced how it would affect it’s Academy Award chances. I was supportive of the split but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have rather had a Titanic length 1 shot finale.

  209. Beth Stevens

    Beth, where did you get the BFCA scores for The Artist and A Dangerous Method? All I see on their site for these 2 are “voting-in-progress”.

    Scott, click on “All in Theatres” and you’ll find them. The Artist has climbed to 90 now, and Dangerous Method to 75.

  210. Beth Stevens

    Beth, where did you get the BFCA scores for The Artist and A Dangerous Method? All I see on their site for these 2 are “voting-in-progress”.

    Scott, click on “All in Theatres” and you’ll find them. The Artist has climbed to 90 now, and Dangerous Method to 75.

  211. @christiannnw – ‘Red’ was my first experience of Kieslowski which I saw at the movies. I was young then and didn’t have much exposure to foreign films. I wouldn’t say it opened my eyes – Bergman did that, but at the time it was the most beautifully filmed movie I had ever seen.

    They still make movies likes is, I wish more people sought them out…

  212. @christiannnw – ‘Red’ was my first experience of Kieslowski which I saw at the movies. I was young then and didn’t have much exposure to foreign films. I wouldn’t say it opened my eyes – Bergman did that, but at the time it was the most beautifully filmed movie I had ever seen.

    They still make movies likes is, I wish more people sought them out…

  213. Scott, this link shows the recent updates
    http://www.criticschoice.com/in-theatres/

    I have to stop looking at these till Hugo settles and sticks at a number. Making me crazy watching the score jump around.

  214. Scott, this link shows the recent updates
    http://www.criticschoice.com/in-theatres/

    I have to stop looking at these till Hugo settles and sticks at a number. Making me crazy watching the score jump around.

  215. My list from what i saw this year, so far…

    *****
    1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    2. Red State
    3. Habemus Papam (We have a Pope)
    4. The Adventures of Tintin
    5. Melancholia

    **** 1/2
    6. Midnight in Paris
    7. Another Earth
    8. Thor
    9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    10. Attack the Block
    11. The People vs. George Lucas
    12. Cinema Verité
    13. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

    ****
    14. Paul
    15. Contagion
    16. Captain America: The First Avenger
    17. Source Code
    18. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
    19. Troll Hunter
    20. The Adjustment Bureau
    21. Scream 4
    22. Super 8

    *** 1/2

    23. Rubber
    24. X-Men: First Class
    25. Los Ojos de Julia (Julia’s Eyes)
    26. The Ward

    Thos are the “fresh” films I’ve seen this year.

    Bottom 10, as a curiosity…

    10. Sucker Punch (the 1st Snyder film that completely bores me)
    9. Phineas & Ferb movie (even thought I love the show, they should never have tried to translate it to a full lenght feature, while I have The Powerpuff Girls movie as one of my fave animated TV to movie translations, they could have learnt from that one)
    8. Ironclad (if it was less gory and more “meaty” it would have been awesome, but this is just an empty gorefest)
    7. Hall Pass (ONE good laugh – the jacuzzi/hot tub one – in a whole movie for the Farrellys is completely unforgivable)
    6. Quarantine 2: Terminal (even thought the set up is a good idea, it is a mess)
    5. Konferenz der Tiere (Animals United) (if this is Europe’s alternative to American CGI animation I think we should just give up and focus in what we do best)
    4. Hop (tries so hard to be Shrek that I almost puked at it… plus the hard endevour to try to understand a film that obviously relates only to the USA, the Easter bunny is an all-american tradition which is cute but makes no sense abroad… too infantile, even thought I can’t complain about Marsden, but on his role choice)
    3. 11-11-11 (SOOOOOO BADDDDDLY WRITTEN, EDITED AND ACTED… AND DIRECTED… still here and there provokes enough tension to avoid the “worst of the year” in the last minute… also rips off “Darkness”, “Poltergeist” and so many so often)
    2. Your Highness (I mean, WTF? Tempted of asking Portman’s Oscar back)
    1. Battle: Los Angeles (nausea inducing propaganda… I love Aaron Eckhart when he does Thank You for Smoking or The Dark Knight – two snubs at Oscars – and he’s good in this movie, BUT can’t save this disaster that makes Skyline looks like a masterpiece).

  216. My list from what i saw this year, so far…

    *****
    1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    2. Red State
    3. Habemus Papam (We have a Pope)
    4. The Adventures of Tintin
    5. Melancholia

    **** 1/2
    6. Midnight in Paris
    7. Another Earth
    8. Thor
    9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    10. Attack the Block
    11. The People vs. George Lucas
    12. Cinema Verité
    13. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

    ****
    14. Paul
    15. Contagion
    16. Captain America: The First Avenger
    17. Source Code
    18. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
    19. Troll Hunter
    20. The Adjustment Bureau
    21. Scream 4
    22. Super 8

    *** 1/2

    23. Rubber
    24. X-Men: First Class
    25. Los Ojos de Julia (Julia’s Eyes)
    26. The Ward

    Thos are the “fresh” films I’ve seen this year.

    Bottom 10, as a curiosity…

    10. Sucker Punch (the 1st Snyder film that completely bores me)
    9. Phineas & Ferb movie (even thought I love the show, they should never have tried to translate it to a full lenght feature, while I have The Powerpuff Girls movie as one of my fave animated TV to movie translations, they could have learnt from that one)
    8. Ironclad (if it was less gory and more “meaty” it would have been awesome, but this is just an empty gorefest)
    7. Hall Pass (ONE good laugh – the jacuzzi/hot tub one – in a whole movie for the Farrellys is completely unforgivable)
    6. Quarantine 2: Terminal (even thought the set up is a good idea, it is a mess)
    5. Konferenz der Tiere (Animals United) (if this is Europe’s alternative to American CGI animation I think we should just give up and focus in what we do best)
    4. Hop (tries so hard to be Shrek that I almost puked at it… plus the hard endevour to try to understand a film that obviously relates only to the USA, the Easter bunny is an all-american tradition which is cute but makes no sense abroad… too infantile, even thought I can’t complain about Marsden, but on his role choice)
    3. 11-11-11 (SOOOOOO BADDDDDLY WRITTEN, EDITED AND ACTED… AND DIRECTED… still here and there provokes enough tension to avoid the “worst of the year” in the last minute… also rips off “Darkness”, “Poltergeist” and so many so often)
    2. Your Highness (I mean, WTF? Tempted of asking Portman’s Oscar back)
    1. Battle: Los Angeles (nausea inducing propaganda… I love Aaron Eckhart when he does Thank You for Smoking or The Dark Knight – two snubs at Oscars – and he’s good in this movie, BUT can’t save this disaster that makes Skyline looks like a masterpiece).

  217. BrandStrategyGuru

    @Steve50
    I have seen a screening of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” about 2 months ago, and we were told the music/effects were not ready and to not judge the film on them. Trust me, the film is NOT a stinker, it’s very good. We all cried, every single person in the audience. Major tear jerker. Many people will have a strong emotional reaction to it. (And Sandra Bullock contender for supporting actress).

    IN MY EYES, here is the current list for Best Picture nominations (If I don’t specifically mention I didn’t see a film, it means I saw it):

    Definite Nominees
    1. The Artist (current front-runner for winning)
    2. The Descendants

    Likely Nominees
    3. War Horse (Didn’t see it yet)
    4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    5. Midnight in Paris
    6. The Help

    Possible Nominees
    7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Didn’t see it yet)
    8. Moneyball
    9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Didn’t see it yet)

    Not likely
    11. The Tree of Life
    12. Hugo (Didn’t see it yet)
    13. The Ides of March
    14. J. Edgar
    15. Young Adult (Didn’t see it yet)
    16. Carnage (Didn’t see it yet)
    17. Drive

    By the way – and this is not related to the BP discussion – I saw “A Dangerous Method” today (very good), and Keira Knightley kinda blew me away. If enough voters see this film, she could get nominated. She definitely deserves it, in my eyes. Both Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen were excellent, but Knightley has the most showy role, followed by Mortensen.

  218. BrandStrategyGuru

    @Steve50
    I have seen a screening of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” about 2 months ago, and we were told the music/effects were not ready and to not judge the film on them. Trust me, the film is NOT a stinker, it’s very good. We all cried, every single person in the audience. Major tear jerker. Many people will have a strong emotional reaction to it. (And Sandra Bullock contender for supporting actress).

    IN MY EYES, here is the current list for Best Picture nominations (If I don’t specifically mention I didn’t see a film, it means I saw it):

    Definite Nominees
    1. The Artist (current front-runner for winning)
    2. The Descendants

    Likely Nominees
    3. War Horse (Didn’t see it yet)
    4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    5. Midnight in Paris
    6. The Help

    Possible Nominees
    7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Didn’t see it yet)
    8. Moneyball
    9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Didn’t see it yet)

    Not likely
    11. The Tree of Life
    12. Hugo (Didn’t see it yet)
    13. The Ides of March
    14. J. Edgar
    15. Young Adult (Didn’t see it yet)
    16. Carnage (Didn’t see it yet)
    17. Drive

    By the way – and this is not related to the BP discussion – I saw “A Dangerous Method” today (very good), and Keira Knightley kinda blew me away. If enough voters see this film, she could get nominated. She definitely deserves it, in my eyes. Both Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen were excellent, but Knightley has the most showy role, followed by Mortensen.

  219. If I was to award already…

    Picture:
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    runner up: Red State

    Director:
    Kevin Smith, Red State
    runner up: Lars von Trier, Melancholia

    Actor: Michael Parks, Red State
    runner up: Michel Piccoli, Habemus Papam

    Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
    runner up: Brit Marling, Another Earth

    Supp. Actor: Alan Rickman, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    runner up: John Goodman, Red State

    Supp. Actress: Melissa Leo, Red State
    runner up: Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris

    Film not in English: Habemus Papam
    runner up: Troll Hunter

    Documentary: The People vs. George Lucas
    runner up: Zeitgeist 3: Moving Forward

    Animated: The Adventures of Tintin
    runner up: Cars 2, but at soooo much distance…

  220. If I was to award already…

    Picture:
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    runner up: Red State

    Director:
    Kevin Smith, Red State
    runner up: Lars von Trier, Melancholia

    Actor: Michael Parks, Red State
    runner up: Michel Piccoli, Habemus Papam

    Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
    runner up: Brit Marling, Another Earth

    Supp. Actor: Alan Rickman, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    runner up: John Goodman, Red State

    Supp. Actress: Melissa Leo, Red State
    runner up: Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris

    Film not in English: Habemus Papam
    runner up: Troll Hunter

    Documentary: The People vs. George Lucas
    runner up: Zeitgeist 3: Moving Forward

    Animated: The Adventures of Tintin
    runner up: Cars 2, but at soooo much distance…

  221. I haven’t seen much…

    Midnight in Paris
    Drive
    Tree of life
    Melancholia

    …in that order. Drive I realize is basically a crap film, but done very well. Midnight is light entertainment, but perfectly done. Tree of life is the Tree of life, and Melancholia is frustrating to watch, but very rewarding sans the ending which I think less would have been more.

    I honestly can’t think of anything else I would put up there at the moment.

  222. I haven’t seen much…

    Midnight in Paris
    Drive
    Tree of life
    Melancholia

    …in that order. Drive I realize is basically a crap film, but done very well. Midnight is light entertainment, but perfectly done. Tree of life is the Tree of life, and Melancholia is frustrating to watch, but very rewarding sans the ending which I think less would have been more.

    I honestly can’t think of anything else I would put up there at the moment.

  223. I feel embarrassed to see that the towering performances by Michael Parks, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Melissa Leo aren’t being discussed even as contenders, and that Alan Rickman’s 8 movies tour de force of ambiguity while bringing the character to a coherent heart-breaking end is just a longshot.

    Also, I’m aware Red State won’t be equally aprecciated for the masterpiece it is and most will probably be turned off by it and even avoid it or think it is crap. A film painful to watch, full of dread, a wake up call, full of subtext and layers, a film that inmediately claims its spot with films like Cruising, Dog Day Afternoon, Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men… I’m 100% sure that 10-20 years from now, this movie will have a classic status and people will wonder – a la Blade Runner – why it didn’t make a huge splash not only among audiences and critics but also in the Awards Race (Pic, Dir, Actor, Supp. Actor, Supp. Actress, Ensemble, Original Screenplay, Film Editing).

  224. I feel embarrassed to see that the towering performances by Michael Parks, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Melissa Leo aren’t being discussed even as contenders, and that Alan Rickman’s 8 movies tour de force of ambiguity while bringing the character to a coherent heart-breaking end is just a longshot.

    Also, I’m aware Red State won’t be equally aprecciated for the masterpiece it is and most will probably be turned off by it and even avoid it or think it is crap. A film painful to watch, full of dread, a wake up call, full of subtext and layers, a film that inmediately claims its spot with films like Cruising, Dog Day Afternoon, Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men… I’m 100% sure that 10-20 years from now, this movie will have a classic status and people will wonder – a la Blade Runner – why it didn’t make a huge splash not only among audiences and critics but also in the Awards Race (Pic, Dir, Actor, Supp. Actor, Supp. Actress, Ensemble, Original Screenplay, Film Editing).

  225. Plus, I honestly feel The People vs. George Lucas deserves 3 noms: Original Screenplay, Film Editing and Documentary Feature. As “Man on Wire”, the film trascends in many ways the initial proposal and develops in more trascendent ways than simply a pop-culture phenomenom.

  226. Plus, I honestly feel The People vs. George Lucas deserves 3 noms: Original Screenplay, Film Editing and Documentary Feature. As “Man on Wire”, the film trascends in many ways the initial proposal and develops in more trascendent ways than simply a pop-culture phenomenom.

  227. Tero Heikkinen

    “…a film that inmediately claims its spot with films like Cruising…”

    Seriously? Cruising? What an offensive piece of shit that movie was. Disgraceful.

  228. Tero Heikkinen

    “…a film that inmediately claims its spot with films like Cruising…”

    Seriously? Cruising? What an offensive piece of shit that movie was. Disgraceful.

  229. @BrandStrategyGuru
    Thanks for the tip. It just seems strange to not make it available to the first TWO critics groups (if NBR can be called a critic’s group). How much can you tweak the music, anyway?

  230. @BrandStrategyGuru
    Thanks for the tip. It just seems strange to not make it available to the first TWO critics groups (if NBR can be called a critic’s group). How much can you tweak the music, anyway?

  231. Tero Heikkinen

    Often these early screenings have the score taken from another movie, maybe BSG didn’t hear any of the actual EL&IC score.

  232. Tero Heikkinen

    Often these early screenings have the score taken from another movie, maybe BSG didn’t hear any of the actual EL&IC score.

  233. People are underastimating Extremely Loud… Stephen Daldy… 9/11… Tom Hanks… Sandra Bullock. If it gets good (good is enough just like The Reader), it will be a hurricane and mess things up in the race.

    And I don’t see The Descendants winning the top prize. If they go for tear jerker, it’s ELIC or War Horse. If they go for sentimentalism over a tribute for films, it’s The Artist.

  234. People are underastimating Extremely Loud… Stephen Daldy… 9/11… Tom Hanks… Sandra Bullock. If it gets good (good is enough just like The Reader), it will be a hurricane and mess things up in the race.

    And I don’t see The Descendants winning the top prize. If they go for tear jerker, it’s ELIC or War Horse. If they go for sentimentalism over a tribute for films, it’s The Artist.

  235. Bob Burns

    My position is that HP is worthy of honors. When Karger includes it in any of his predictions we can talk about an actual possibility of it getting into the race. HP’s an unusual fit for Oscar and will need a lot of hands on campaigning, which hasn’t happened so far. Web ads and billboards won’t do it, IMO.

    Film by itself does not have nearly the cultural impact it once enjoyed….. they have become like novels. Oscar is becoming the National Book Awards for film. The Descendants is an ideal choice for Oscar as the National Book Awards.

    The power of the Potter films is the way they compliment and expand the impact of the Potter narrative – elegantly. Books, films, games, theme parks, museum shows, commentary, social media… the Potter films are woven into much larger cultural phenomena than any film could achieve by itself. We know more and are more involved with Harry than any other character.

  236. Bob Burns

    My position is that HP is worthy of honors. When Karger includes it in any of his predictions we can talk about an actual possibility of it getting into the race. HP’s an unusual fit for Oscar and will need a lot of hands on campaigning, which hasn’t happened so far. Web ads and billboards won’t do it, IMO.

    Film by itself does not have nearly the cultural impact it once enjoyed….. they have become like novels. Oscar is becoming the National Book Awards for film. The Descendants is an ideal choice for Oscar as the National Book Awards.

    The power of the Potter films is the way they compliment and expand the impact of the Potter narrative – elegantly. Books, films, games, theme parks, museum shows, commentary, social media… the Potter films are woven into much larger cultural phenomena than any film could achieve by itself. We know more and are more involved with Harry than any other character.

  237. Rufussondheim

    Harry Potter won’t get nominated.

    There’s no prestige.

    I can’t wait to say “I told you so”

    And believe me, I will say it.

  238. Rufussondheim

    Harry Potter won’t get nominated.

    There’s no prestige.

    I can’t wait to say “I told you so”

    And believe me, I will say it.

  239. Tero Heikkinen

    Maybe, but since I have only seen the movies (no books, theme parks etc…), I know very little of Harry Potter. He’s quite a mystery character that was probably well introduced in the books, but not in the movies. I know more about Hannibal Lecter than about Harry Potter.

  240. Tero Heikkinen

    Maybe, but since I have only seen the movies (no books, theme parks etc…), I know very little of Harry Potter. He’s quite a mystery character that was probably well introduced in the books, but not in the movies. I know more about Hannibal Lecter than about Harry Potter.

  241. Rufussondheim

    I guess I have to modify my equation to this

    Prestige * (Critical Raves + Corwdpleaser) = Win

    ANd since Harry Potter’s prestige = 0 then Win = 0

    You can throw out metacritic average and rotten tomatoes scores. They are meaningless. You show me one member of the Academy that uses them as a foundation for filling out their ballot and I will show you a Republican willing to raise a rich person’s taxes.

  242. Rufussondheim

    I guess I have to modify my equation to this

    Prestige * (Critical Raves + Corwdpleaser) = Win

    ANd since Harry Potter’s prestige = 0 then Win = 0

    You can throw out metacritic average and rotten tomatoes scores. They are meaningless. You show me one member of the Academy that uses them as a foundation for filling out their ballot and I will show you a Republican willing to raise a rich person’s taxes.

  243. I don’t think we are really flying blind at this point. I think we have two very strong contenders that the critics have put out in front of most of the others. The Descendants and Hugo. If you look at Metacritic The Descendants with 42 reviews has 16 reviews with a score of 100 and 2 in the 90 range with no negatives and only five mixed. Hugo with 36 reviews has 11 with 100 7 in the 90 range and 4 mixed. To me that is solid base for both films. I think both will do well at the box office based on word of mouth and the buzz. Hugo is probably going to be a blockbuster.

    As for Tree of Life yes those who love it truly love it and those who hate it truly hate it. I said earlier that Sean Penn was totally wasted in that piece of drivel. I think it’ll make top ten lists but even if it does the producers should send a gift basket too the critics who include it.

    I think The Descendants and Hugo are the frontrunners right now with a handful that we haven’t seen open yet. War Horse, Extremely Loud, Tin Tin, Tinker Tailor and Dragon Tattoo. I know everyone is waiting with bated breath for Dragon Tattoo I think the outcome of that film remains to be seen critically but on a box office level I think it’ll do well. The Artist I think falls behind The Descendants and Hugo now as everyone is obviously “not in love” with it and it has quite a few reviews that really miss pushing it into the same category as The Descendants and Hugo.

    I do tend to agree that with the remainder of the pack or the other potential BP nominees that it could be all over the place. Personally I think War Horse is the one to watch at this point and what if really interesting is how guarded everyone is being about War Horse, Extremely Loud, Tinker Tailor and Dragon Tattoo. The one thing interesting about War Horse is that there are now and have been for a short time ads hitting the media too keep spurs the interest for it when it opens. And certainly the Broadway ads aren’t hurting either.

    What I think is even more interesting however is how all over the place the acting nominations may be. Films that haven’t garnered great critical success are still harboring performances that have certainly received the critic’s blessings. I’m still watching MWWM and with 36 reviews now in it have only reached a score of 66 not a good sign. J Edgar seems to still be attracting business which I find interesting and I wonder how much of that will fall off in the next few weeks. Even more interesting is how many of these films will be pulled back waiting on the results of the Oscars nominations and Critics top ten lists too boost their box office.

    In some respects this year is all over the place but I think clearly that right now The Descendants and Hugo have control of the race.

  244. I don’t think we are really flying blind at this point. I think we have two very strong contenders that the critics have put out in front of most of the others. The Descendants and Hugo. If you look at Metacritic The Descendants with 42 reviews has 16 reviews with a score of 100 and 2 in the 90 range with no negatives and only five mixed. Hugo with 36 reviews has 11 with 100 7 in the 90 range and 4 mixed. To me that is solid base for both films. I think both will do well at the box office based on word of mouth and the buzz. Hugo is probably going to be a blockbuster.

    As for Tree of Life yes those who love it truly love it and those who hate it truly hate it. I said earlier that Sean Penn was totally wasted in that piece of drivel. I think it’ll make top ten lists but even if it does the producers should send a gift basket too the critics who include it.

    I think The Descendants and Hugo are the frontrunners right now with a handful that we haven’t seen open yet. War Horse, Extremely Loud, Tin Tin, Tinker Tailor and Dragon Tattoo. I know everyone is waiting with bated breath for Dragon Tattoo I think the outcome of that film remains to be seen critically but on a box office level I think it’ll do well. The Artist I think falls behind The Descendants and Hugo now as everyone is obviously “not in love” with it and it has quite a few reviews that really miss pushing it into the same category as The Descendants and Hugo.

    I do tend to agree that with the remainder of the pack or the other potential BP nominees that it could be all over the place. Personally I think War Horse is the one to watch at this point and what if really interesting is how guarded everyone is being about War Horse, Extremely Loud, Tinker Tailor and Dragon Tattoo. The one thing interesting about War Horse is that there are now and have been for a short time ads hitting the media too keep spurs the interest for it when it opens. And certainly the Broadway ads aren’t hurting either.

    What I think is even more interesting however is how all over the place the acting nominations may be. Films that haven’t garnered great critical success are still harboring performances that have certainly received the critic’s blessings. I’m still watching MWWM and with 36 reviews now in it have only reached a score of 66 not a good sign. J Edgar seems to still be attracting business which I find interesting and I wonder how much of that will fall off in the next few weeks. Even more interesting is how many of these films will be pulled back waiting on the results of the Oscars nominations and Critics top ten lists too boost their box office.

    In some respects this year is all over the place but I think clearly that right now The Descendants and Hugo have control of the race.

  245. Scott (the other one)

    “Rufussondheim said:

    Oh. The Descendants will win.

    It’s basic math.

    Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser = Win.”

    The Descendants has an 84 on Metacritic.

    Remember Up in the Air? Another George Clooney gets serious in small, touching movie that hinged on acting and the writing rather than directorial or visual flair or grandeur.

    Up in the Air had an 83 on Metacritic. Virtually indistinguishable from The Descendants.

    Number of Oscars nominations for Up in the Air: Six.
    Number of wins: Zero.

    I enjoyed The Descendants. I laughed. I smiled. I nodded knowingly. I cried. But am I the only one who left the theatre feeling that the whole thing was essentially a nice little TV movie, with a very smug message about how incredibly rich people are just the same as the rest of us, and don’t live lavish lifestyles but just live on their employment income, and don’t spoil their children, and love the environment. The whole thing seemed constructed to foster the image of George Clooney, beautiful rich superstar, as an ordinary humble guy.

  246. Scott (the other one)

    “Rufussondheim said:

    Oh. The Descendants will win.

    It’s basic math.

    Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser = Win.”

    The Descendants has an 84 on Metacritic.

    Remember Up in the Air? Another George Clooney gets serious in small, touching movie that hinged on acting and the writing rather than directorial or visual flair or grandeur.

    Up in the Air had an 83 on Metacritic. Virtually indistinguishable from The Descendants.

    Number of Oscars nominations for Up in the Air: Six.
    Number of wins: Zero.

    I enjoyed The Descendants. I laughed. I smiled. I nodded knowingly. I cried. But am I the only one who left the theatre feeling that the whole thing was essentially a nice little TV movie, with a very smug message about how incredibly rich people are just the same as the rest of us, and don’t live lavish lifestyles but just live on their employment income, and don’t spoil their children, and love the environment. The whole thing seemed constructed to foster the image of George Clooney, beautiful rich superstar, as an ordinary humble guy.

  247. And I’m beginning to hate spell check and the grammar check thing on my comp. It looks like a third grader wrote that. Ugh.

    But another note this discussion is really quite good. Great intercourse between everyone with solid opinions and favorites. Nice to see we can all participate without the bashing that sometimes creeps into these threads. Nicely done everyone.

  248. And I’m beginning to hate spell check and the grammar check thing on my comp. It looks like a third grader wrote that. Ugh.

    But another note this discussion is really quite good. Great intercourse between everyone with solid opinions and favorites. Nice to see we can all participate without the bashing that sometimes creeps into these threads. Nicely done everyone.

  249. Rufussondheim

    I don’t think Up in the Air is a crowdpleaser. It’s got a kind of downbeat ending. From what I am hearing The Descendants has a happier ending. Plus it has that big “emotional release scene” that Up in the Air chose (thankfully) not to have. Based on the little I’ve heard about The Descendants (I am trying to skip over any plot points in the reviews) the film that it recalls to me in structure is Terms of Endearment. We didn’t have blogs back then so I can’t be 100% sure I am correct, but I think that was the overwhelming favorite to win as soon as it was seen.

    So if you want to compare the two.

    Prestige – Up in the Air – 7 – The Descendants – 8 (Based on Director)
    Critical Raves – I’d give both a 9
    Crowdpleaser – Up in the Air – 5, The Descendants – 8 or 9 (my best guess)

    Win clearly goes to The Descendants here.

  250. Rufussondheim

    I don’t think Up in the Air is a crowdpleaser. It’s got a kind of downbeat ending. From what I am hearing The Descendants has a happier ending. Plus it has that big “emotional release scene” that Up in the Air chose (thankfully) not to have. Based on the little I’ve heard about The Descendants (I am trying to skip over any plot points in the reviews) the film that it recalls to me in structure is Terms of Endearment. We didn’t have blogs back then so I can’t be 100% sure I am correct, but I think that was the overwhelming favorite to win as soon as it was seen.

    So if you want to compare the two.

    Prestige – Up in the Air – 7 – The Descendants – 8 (Based on Director)
    Critical Raves – I’d give both a 9
    Crowdpleaser – Up in the Air – 5, The Descendants – 8 or 9 (my best guess)

    Win clearly goes to The Descendants here.

  251. Rufussondheim

    I should perhaps define the term “crowdpleaser” because I think that can be interpreted many ways. Part of it is having a happy ending, part of it is having an emotional release moment that makes the audience feel something. If a movie is too restrained or too subtle or too downbeat or too intellectual, then it’s less of a crowdpleaser.

    “How did The Hurt Locker win then?” you may ask – Because it’s Prestige was a 10. Critical Raves were a 10. Avatar’s Prestige was a 7 or an 8 at best. And it wasn’t as much of a crowdpleaser as you would think.

  252. Rufussondheim

    I should perhaps define the term “crowdpleaser” because I think that can be interpreted many ways. Part of it is having a happy ending, part of it is having an emotional release moment that makes the audience feel something. If a movie is too restrained or too subtle or too downbeat or too intellectual, then it’s less of a crowdpleaser.

    “How did The Hurt Locker win then?” you may ask – Because it’s Prestige was a 10. Critical Raves were a 10. Avatar’s Prestige was a 7 or an 8 at best. And it wasn’t as much of a crowdpleaser as you would think.

  253. Scott (the other one)

    Hey Rufusondheim:

    I definitely agree that Up in the Air was less feelgood-y than The Descendants. It overall had a more sour message and it did end on a downbeat note.

    I have this feeling that The Descendants reached its peak, and it is now going to start declining in interest and will become one of the “also-rans”. I think people will see it as too small and understated a film, against the other competitors — the sheer novelty and daring nature of The Artist, the grand moviemaking gthrill of Hugo, or the big sentimental and sweeping story of War Horse. Clooney may still win actor, but I think The Descendants is a classic “screenplay” film that won’t win BP.

    I love that for the first year in quite a few, it seems right now that all of the six major awards are up for grabs. It makes debating the outcome, and predicting winners, much more fun. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a single shoo-in in any category. Maybe Plummer as Supporting is the one who has the strongest chances. Things will change as the critics and other awards come out — we may start to see trends for and against certain films and performances, but Oscar is so much more fun when the outcome is unclear.

  254. Scott (the other one)

    Hey Rufusondheim:

    I definitely agree that Up in the Air was less feelgood-y than The Descendants. It overall had a more sour message and it did end on a downbeat note.

    I have this feeling that The Descendants reached its peak, and it is now going to start declining in interest and will become one of the “also-rans”. I think people will see it as too small and understated a film, against the other competitors — the sheer novelty and daring nature of The Artist, the grand moviemaking gthrill of Hugo, or the big sentimental and sweeping story of War Horse. Clooney may still win actor, but I think The Descendants is a classic “screenplay” film that won’t win BP.

    I love that for the first year in quite a few, it seems right now that all of the six major awards are up for grabs. It makes debating the outcome, and predicting winners, much more fun. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a single shoo-in in any category. Maybe Plummer as Supporting is the one who has the strongest chances. Things will change as the critics and other awards come out — we may start to see trends for and against certain films and performances, but Oscar is so much more fun when the outcome is unclear.

  255. @Jesus Now you’re making me want to see Red State. I was ignoring it. Maybe I’ll pick it up later.

    @Tero I had avoided Cruising for years. I knew it was supposed to be vile and horrible and just stayed away. Then a few years ago I was working my way through Pacino movies I hadn’t seen and I decided to watch it. At the end my reaction was, “Wow. I really liked that. What was supposed to be wrong with it again?” So I watched some of the behind the scenes stuff and looked it up online and I can see how people would be offended, especially back then. But I really think it comes down to your interpretation of the movie. I don’t like to talk about spoilers of a movie around people who may not have seen it so if you want to discuss it elsewhere, I’d be happy to. But I thought Friedkin made a great serial killer mystery that just happened to be set in that community at that time. I know there are different cuts so maybe that has something to do with it too. The one I watched was on DVD and it had a director commentary.

  256. @Jesus Now you’re making me want to see Red State. I was ignoring it. Maybe I’ll pick it up later.

    @Tero I had avoided Cruising for years. I knew it was supposed to be vile and horrible and just stayed away. Then a few years ago I was working my way through Pacino movies I hadn’t seen and I decided to watch it. At the end my reaction was, “Wow. I really liked that. What was supposed to be wrong with it again?” So I watched some of the behind the scenes stuff and looked it up online and I can see how people would be offended, especially back then. But I really think it comes down to your interpretation of the movie. I don’t like to talk about spoilers of a movie around people who may not have seen it so if you want to discuss it elsewhere, I’d be happy to. But I thought Friedkin made a great serial killer mystery that just happened to be set in that community at that time. I know there are different cuts so maybe that has something to do with it too. The one I watched was on DVD and it had a director commentary.

  257. Great a post about the state of the race. And 3/4 of the comments are about Harry Potter (with 90% of them by Scott). How exciting. If every post in the following month is polluted like that, I’m off. I’ll be back on nomination day when the trolls are away. See you then.

  258. Great a post about the state of the race. And 3/4 of the comments are about Harry Potter (with 90% of them by Scott). How exciting. If every post in the following month is polluted like that, I’m off. I’ll be back on nomination day when the trolls are away. See you then.

  259. Red State was a bit like an episode of NCIS – watchable and predictable.
    Performances are cartoony and over the top in some cases.

    I cannot see any scenario where this film would be considered for major awards. It seems like a waste of time writing this comment, but did so for people who may feel like they are missing out on a sleeper. By all means watch it just lower your expectations.

  260. Red State was a bit like an episode of NCIS – watchable and predictable.
    Performances are cartoony and over the top in some cases.

    I cannot see any scenario where this film would be considered for major awards. It seems like a waste of time writing this comment, but did so for people who may feel like they are missing out on a sleeper. By all means watch it just lower your expectations.

  261. “As for Tree of Life yes those who love it truly love it and those who hate it truly should be lobotomized.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Nik. Well done! :-P

  262. “As for Tree of Life yes those who love it truly love it and those who hate it truly should be lobotomized.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Nik. Well done! :-P

  263. Rufussondheim

    I think Best Supporting Actress will go to Octavia Spencer unless Viola Davis gets put in that category (which is a definite possibility), Otherwise the other categories are definitely wide open. I don’t think anyone can challenge The Help in that category (unless, somehow 3 or more of the nominees are from that movie)

    I don’t think The Descendants has peaked yet. Up in the Air would have never “peaked” early if it won a lot of critics awards. I would say it was eclipsed by The Hurt Locker.

    Last year, when the critics awards were all going to The Social Network, people were saying The King’s Speech had peaked after all the buzz it received from TIFF. People just forgot my simple equation (which is not their fault since I didn’t articulate it yet.)

    I totally discount the notion of “peaking.” I think it’s a term people use who have the inability to articulate complex thoughts.

  264. Rufussondheim

    I think Best Supporting Actress will go to Octavia Spencer unless Viola Davis gets put in that category (which is a definite possibility), Otherwise the other categories are definitely wide open. I don’t think anyone can challenge The Help in that category (unless, somehow 3 or more of the nominees are from that movie)

    I don’t think The Descendants has peaked yet. Up in the Air would have never “peaked” early if it won a lot of critics awards. I would say it was eclipsed by The Hurt Locker.

    Last year, when the critics awards were all going to The Social Network, people were saying The King’s Speech had peaked after all the buzz it received from TIFF. People just forgot my simple equation (which is not their fault since I didn’t articulate it yet.)

    I totally discount the notion of “peaking.” I think it’s a term people use who have the inability to articulate complex thoughts.

  265. Rufussondheim

    About The Artist – While I think it got a ton of critical raves and it’s a definite crowdpleaser, it’s Prestige is pretty low. It has no pedigree nor is it about an important subject. It’s also not epic in scope nor is it based on a prestigious work.

    When filling out their final ballots I think the voters will say to themselves “Hmm, they are probably happy enough just getting nominated.”

  266. Rufussondheim

    About The Artist – While I think it got a ton of critical raves and it’s a definite crowdpleaser, it’s Prestige is pretty low. It has no pedigree nor is it about an important subject. It’s also not epic in scope nor is it based on a prestigious work.

    When filling out their final ballots I think the voters will say to themselves “Hmm, they are probably happy enough just getting nominated.”

  267. Waitasec. Ever since you saw Midnight in Paris at Cannes you’ve been saying it’s a surefire nominee – but now it’s not in your top 10 for the year, nor is it even in your damn second-tier?

    Huh?

    That’s ridiculous.

    I hereby vow never to read anything else written by Sasha Stone, whose credibility has now dropped to the level of a lobotomised muskrat.

  268. Waitasec. Ever since you saw Midnight in Paris at Cannes you’ve been saying it’s a surefire nominee – but now it’s not in your top 10 for the year, nor is it even in your damn second-tier?

    Huh?

    That’s ridiculous.

    I hereby vow never to read anything else written by Sasha Stone, whose credibility has now dropped to the level of a lobotomised muskrat.

  269. @fielding – Who said
    I hereby vow never to read anything else written by Sasha Stone, whose credibility has now dropped to the level of a lobotomised muskrat.

    Balderdash, Anyone who would write something like that obviously would. That’s what floats ya boat!

    Opinions change, just like hairstyles…

  270. @fielding – Who said
    I hereby vow never to read anything else written by Sasha Stone, whose credibility has now dropped to the level of a lobotomised muskrat.

    Balderdash, Anyone who would write something like that obviously would. That’s what floats ya boat!

    Opinions change, just like hairstyles…

  271. Scott (the other one)

    Rufussondheim said: “I totally discount the notion of “peaking.” I think it’s a term people use who have the inability to articulate complex thoughts.”

    Gee, I guess I don’t have the ability to articulate complex thoughts.

    Speaking of failing to articulate complex thoughts, Rufus, it is not clear what you mean by this “Prestige” factor, which you have elevated to some objective principle that all of us are too stupid to recognize and that definitively determines what will win best picture.

    On Nov. 24 at 6:36 a.m. you yourself define “Prestige” as “(Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser)”. Remember, that is YOUR defintion, not mine. And you repeat it many times in your posts.

    I’ll leave aside the issue of what on earth “Crowdpleaser” has to do with the prestige of a film (in fact, very often the most popular films are junk and have the least “prestige” in any conventional understanding of that term). In any case, you then go on to state that Harry Potter — a huge critical success (i.e. critical raves) and a huge box office hit (i.e. crowdpleaser), lacks “prestige”. Huh????

    In the same posting, just after identifying “critical raves” as an essential component of your “Prestige” concept, you suggest that we are all fools for daring to look at Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes and that those sites — which compile and assess critics reviews and tell us what the critical consensus on a film is, and give us an indication of what films are getting raves or pans — are meaningless. Again, huh? So how exactly does one assess and define the concept of “critical raves”, if not to look at the critics’s reviews and try to discern the consensus????

    Then, on Nov. 24 at 8:22 a.m., you try to define your notion of “Crowdpleaser” by saying it means films that have a happy ending and emotional release, and that aren’t too subtle, restrained, intellectual or downbeat. You present these definitions as if they are objective concepts capable of mathematical calculation, but they aren’t — they are often quite subjective. In any case, if this is now what “Crowdpleaser” means, then once again why does Harry Potter have “O” chance of winning? It meets all these criteria, and, moreover, was a true “Crowdpleaser” by the one truly objective standard — box office.

    And in the same post, you also say The Hurt Locker had a Prestige rating of 10. If Prestige = Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser (once again, this is YOUR definition), then in what way did The Hurt Locker have the second essential component? It was not a huge box office hit, it was downbeat, had a very disturbing ending, etc.

    Finallly, on Nov. 24 at 2:04 p.m., you completely contradict everything you have said before by stating that The Artist has “pretty low” Prestige … even though you expressly acknowledge that it has “critical raves”and is a “crowdpleaser”!! Huh???? You then redefine what you mean by Prestige, for the first time referring to the “pedigree” of the film, whether it deals with an “important subject”, is “epic” and comes from a “presitgious work”.

    Seems like I am perhaps not the only one who has an “inability to articulate complex thoughts”.

    It’s no wonder all of us are too stupid to understand your supposedly obvious “mathematical” concept of “Prestige”. You keep changing and modifying the definition and how it applies, depending on your subjective views of the particular film being discussed. Then, having twisted and tortured your supposedly objective formula once again, you announce that its obvious Prestige factor is precisely “X”, and it all makes so much sense and we are all idiots for not seeing it so lucidly.

  272. Scott (the other one)

    Rufussondheim said: “I totally discount the notion of “peaking.” I think it’s a term people use who have the inability to articulate complex thoughts.”

    Gee, I guess I don’t have the ability to articulate complex thoughts.

    Speaking of failing to articulate complex thoughts, Rufus, it is not clear what you mean by this “Prestige” factor, which you have elevated to some objective principle that all of us are too stupid to recognize and that definitively determines what will win best picture.

    On Nov. 24 at 6:36 a.m. you yourself define “Prestige” as “(Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser)”. Remember, that is YOUR defintion, not mine. And you repeat it many times in your posts.

    I’ll leave aside the issue of what on earth “Crowdpleaser” has to do with the prestige of a film (in fact, very often the most popular films are junk and have the least “prestige” in any conventional understanding of that term). In any case, you then go on to state that Harry Potter — a huge critical success (i.e. critical raves) and a huge box office hit (i.e. crowdpleaser), lacks “prestige”. Huh????

    In the same posting, just after identifying “critical raves” as an essential component of your “Prestige” concept, you suggest that we are all fools for daring to look at Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes and that those sites — which compile and assess critics reviews and tell us what the critical consensus on a film is, and give us an indication of what films are getting raves or pans — are meaningless. Again, huh? So how exactly does one assess and define the concept of “critical raves”, if not to look at the critics’s reviews and try to discern the consensus????

    Then, on Nov. 24 at 8:22 a.m., you try to define your notion of “Crowdpleaser” by saying it means films that have a happy ending and emotional release, and that aren’t too subtle, restrained, intellectual or downbeat. You present these definitions as if they are objective concepts capable of mathematical calculation, but they aren’t — they are often quite subjective. In any case, if this is now what “Crowdpleaser” means, then once again why does Harry Potter have “O” chance of winning? It meets all these criteria, and, moreover, was a true “Crowdpleaser” by the one truly objective standard — box office.

    And in the same post, you also say The Hurt Locker had a Prestige rating of 10. If Prestige = Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser (once again, this is YOUR definition), then in what way did The Hurt Locker have the second essential component? It was not a huge box office hit, it was downbeat, had a very disturbing ending, etc.

    Finallly, on Nov. 24 at 2:04 p.m., you completely contradict everything you have said before by stating that The Artist has “pretty low” Prestige … even though you expressly acknowledge that it has “critical raves”and is a “crowdpleaser”!! Huh???? You then redefine what you mean by Prestige, for the first time referring to the “pedigree” of the film, whether it deals with an “important subject”, is “epic” and comes from a “presitgious work”.

    Seems like I am perhaps not the only one who has an “inability to articulate complex thoughts”.

    It’s no wonder all of us are too stupid to understand your supposedly obvious “mathematical” concept of “Prestige”. You keep changing and modifying the definition and how it applies, depending on your subjective views of the particular film being discussed. Then, having twisted and tortured your supposedly objective formula once again, you announce that its obvious Prestige factor is precisely “X”, and it all makes so much sense and we are all idiots for not seeing it so lucidly.

  273. Rufussondheim

    I think you are misunderstanding my equation

    Prestige is not Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser

    First take a critical raves number from 1 to 10 and then add it to crowdpleasing ability (again from 1 to 10) – So you get a sum total from 2 to 20

    Now take that number and multiply it by the prestige factor (again from 1 to 10) –

    So your final result is from 2 to 200 – the nominee with the highest number will probably win.

    As for discounting metacritic and rotten tomatoes, it’s pretty obvious. People here were looking at the numbers with a fine-tooth comb. “Oh HP is a better movie than Midnight in Paris because it got an 87 vs 84″ and then actied like if Academy members had any integrity they would have to vote for HP. My point is that no one gives a crap about such fine distinctions and so talking about them is a waste of time.

    Let me expand a little bit on my equation (which, after testing it, is a really good guide, I think.)

    Prestige – this is a difficult concept to define, and an Academy Voter will likely define it differently than a non-Academy voter. A lot of things go into Prestige, the reputation of the stars, the director are key here. Also the subject matter and setting, if a movie is historical in scope that counts for more than if it’s a contemporary family drama. But most importantly, is the movie something the Academy would want to put forth as the best of the year. A movie like The King’s Speech had high prestige even though the director was not well known. It’s rooted in history, it’s got a respected cast which pushes it up the prestige ladder. The Social Network was about Facebook. Even though it had a Great Director, it’s prestige factor was slightly lower.

    Critical Raves – This is something, again, that you just can’t get off a website. It’s more ephemeral than that. For me, assigning any number, now, to a film is premature. I’d give all the contenders an 8 or so at this point (maybe The Help a 7) When films go to 9 or 10, it’s because they start winning prizes. So the Social Network got to a 10, while The King’s Speech rated an 8.
    I think Voters want to vote on a film that is respected and is seen as a good film, and once it is seen as worthy, that’s all they need. Giving a film like The Social Network a 10 in the equation as important because some people will vote for the Best film, they will simply agree with the critics.

    Now the Crowdpleaser quotient is important because many people vote with their emotions. They don’t deconstruct films and look at each part. No one does except film studies academicians. Most voters vote on how the movie makes them feel, how much they love the movie, how much they want to talk about it with their friends afterwards. I’d rate the King’s Speech very high here, so many people told me to watch it, that I would love it. (I still haven’t watched it) – So I would rate it at least an 8, up to a 10 – so I will give it a 9. The Social Network, on the Other Hand, was an intellectual exercise. Yeah, some geeky people who really like to sink their teeth into a movie and the subtleties of human behavior loved it. But for most people it was simply too dense, too intellectual. I’d give it a 6 on the Crowdpleaser scale. Not one person I know told me I had to watch The Social Network (although I told a lot of people they needed to see it.)

    So let’s look

    Social Network – Prestige – 8, critcs – 10, crowdpleaser – 6

    8*(10+6)= 128

    KIng’s Speech – Prestige – 9, critics 8, crowdpleaser 9

    9*(8+9) = 153

    Hopefully that’s more clear.

  274. Rufussondheim

    I think you are misunderstanding my equation

    Prestige is not Critical Raves + Crowdpleaser

    First take a critical raves number from 1 to 10 and then add it to crowdpleasing ability (again from 1 to 10) – So you get a sum total from 2 to 20

    Now take that number and multiply it by the prestige factor (again from 1 to 10) –

    So your final result is from 2 to 200 – the nominee with the highest number will probably win.

    As for discounting metacritic and rotten tomatoes, it’s pretty obvious. People here were looking at the numbers with a fine-tooth comb. “Oh HP is a better movie than Midnight in Paris because it got an 87 vs 84″ and then actied like if Academy members had any integrity they would have to vote for HP. My point is that no one gives a crap about such fine distinctions and so talking about them is a waste of time.

    Let me expand a little bit on my equation (which, after testing it, is a really good guide, I think.)

    Prestige – this is a difficult concept to define, and an Academy Voter will likely define it differently than a non-Academy voter. A lot of things go into Prestige, the reputation of the stars, the director are key here. Also the subject matter and setting, if a movie is historical in scope that counts for more than if it’s a contemporary family drama. But most importantly, is the movie something the Academy would want to put forth as the best of the year. A movie like The King’s Speech had high prestige even though the director was not well known. It’s rooted in history, it’s got a respected cast which pushes it up the prestige ladder. The Social Network was about Facebook. Even though it had a Great Director, it’s prestige factor was slightly lower.

    Critical Raves – This is something, again, that you just can’t get off a website. It’s more ephemeral than that. For me, assigning any number, now, to a film is premature. I’d give all the contenders an 8 or so at this point (maybe The Help a 7) When films go to 9 or 10, it’s because they start winning prizes. So the Social Network got to a 10, while The King’s Speech rated an 8.
    I think Voters want to vote on a film that is respected and is seen as a good film, and once it is seen as worthy, that’s all they need. Giving a film like The Social Network a 10 in the equation as important because some people will vote for the Best film, they will simply agree with the critics.

    Now the Crowdpleaser quotient is important because many people vote with their emotions. They don’t deconstruct films and look at each part. No one does except film studies academicians. Most voters vote on how the movie makes them feel, how much they love the movie, how much they want to talk about it with their friends afterwards. I’d rate the King’s Speech very high here, so many people told me to watch it, that I would love it. (I still haven’t watched it) – So I would rate it at least an 8, up to a 10 – so I will give it a 9. The Social Network, on the Other Hand, was an intellectual exercise. Yeah, some geeky people who really like to sink their teeth into a movie and the subtleties of human behavior loved it. But for most people it was simply too dense, too intellectual. I’d give it a 6 on the Crowdpleaser scale. Not one person I know told me I had to watch The Social Network (although I told a lot of people they needed to see it.)

    So let’s look

    Social Network – Prestige – 8, critcs – 10, crowdpleaser – 6

    8*(10+6)= 128

    KIng’s Speech – Prestige – 9, critics 8, crowdpleaser 9

    9*(8+9) = 153

    Hopefully that’s more clear.

  275. Scott (the other one)

    Ok that is clearer. As a general rule, I think no one would disagree that the elements of what makes a BP winner could be considered to be how much the public likes it (box office, happy and easy to digest), how much the film seems to have critical support (like it or not, critics influence how films are regarded in the public sphere and in Hollywood) and the “prestige” factors (Oscar should go to respectable movies with honourable sources, name directors, dealing with important issues etc.). So it is easy to identify those factors, but assigning numbers to each is very very difficult, especially the prestige factor (one can sort of semi-objectively assess critical support by generally looking at ratings on metacritic and rotten tomatoes, without slavishly following them; and one can semi-objectively assess crowdpleaser status by looking at box office). But what is prestige is pretty subjective — downbeat vs upbeat, “quality director” vs. not, etc.

    Also, it is easy now that we know the results last year to plug in these numbers and come up with a result that makes it seem like your formula objectively and clearly determined what would win last year. Hindsight is 20/20. Two people could argue for days about whether TSN had a higher prestige value than TKS. It depends on what a person regards as prestige, and how he or she weighs each element of what makes up prestige. Knowing that TKS won, you assign a higher prestige rating to it, and the multiplier factor that you give prestige then means that TKS “clearly” becomes the winner. I don’t think it was so clear last year that TKS had higher prestige than TSN. Actually, I would have said the opposite. TSN had a more famous and respected director, told a truly relevant and compelling story in a very complex and sophisticated way (as opposed to the very conventional filmmaking of TKS), had one of the top notch screenwriters in the world. What TKS had was snob appeal and “name actors” — which is a factor in prestige, I admit.

    Do you really think The Artist has no prestige? I would have thought that it got prestige points from being B&W and silent, that those elements make it seem sophisticated, and aware of film history. Perhaps not enough prestige points to make it a winner, though.

    Why do you think The Descendants is still the front runner, under your formular, rather than Hugo? Let’s assume Hugo is going to be a big financial success (a pretty safe bet), isn’t it likely to rank at least the same as The Descendants in prestige and critical raves?

    Wondering what you think about a year like

  276. Scott (the other one)

    Ok that is clearer. As a general rule, I think no one would disagree that the elements of what makes a BP winner could be considered to be how much the public likes it (box office, happy and easy to digest), how much the film seems to have critical support (like it or not, critics influence how films are regarded in the public sphere and in Hollywood) and the “prestige” factors (Oscar should go to respectable movies with honourable sources, name directors, dealing with important issues etc.). So it is easy to identify those factors, but assigning numbers to each is very very difficult, especially the prestige factor (one can sort of semi-objectively assess critical support by generally looking at ratings on metacritic and rotten tomatoes, without slavishly following them; and one can semi-objectively assess crowdpleaser status by looking at box office). But what is prestige is pretty subjective — downbeat vs upbeat, “quality director” vs. not, etc.

    Also, it is easy now that we know the results last year to plug in these numbers and come up with a result that makes it seem like your formula objectively and clearly determined what would win last year. Hindsight is 20/20. Two people could argue for days about whether TSN had a higher prestige value than TKS. It depends on what a person regards as prestige, and how he or she weighs each element of what makes up prestige. Knowing that TKS won, you assign a higher prestige rating to it, and the multiplier factor that you give prestige then means that TKS “clearly” becomes the winner. I don’t think it was so clear last year that TKS had higher prestige than TSN. Actually, I would have said the opposite. TSN had a more famous and respected director, told a truly relevant and compelling story in a very complex and sophisticated way (as opposed to the very conventional filmmaking of TKS), had one of the top notch screenwriters in the world. What TKS had was snob appeal and “name actors” — which is a factor in prestige, I admit.

    Do you really think The Artist has no prestige? I would have thought that it got prestige points from being B&W and silent, that those elements make it seem sophisticated, and aware of film history. Perhaps not enough prestige points to make it a winner, though.

    Why do you think The Descendants is still the front runner, under your formular, rather than Hugo? Let’s assume Hugo is going to be a big financial success (a pretty safe bet), isn’t it likely to rank at least the same as The Descendants in prestige and critical raves?

    Wondering what you think about a year like

  277. Scott (the other one)

    Sorry, was gonna ask about what you think of Crash winning over Brokeback. I would have thought that Brokeback totally trounced Crash on both prestige and critical raves. The conventional wisdom is that Brokeback lost because of its subject matter. I’m wondering if that is part of your prestige factor (loses points for controversial subject matter) or there is an additional element that results in a deduction for “controversial/edgy subject matter”.

    Mind you, Crash winning was such an anomaly that I don’t think any rules applied that year.

    Fun discussion.

  278. Scott (the other one)

    Sorry, was gonna ask about what you think of Crash winning over Brokeback. I would have thought that Brokeback totally trounced Crash on both prestige and critical raves. The conventional wisdom is that Brokeback lost because of its subject matter. I’m wondering if that is part of your prestige factor (loses points for controversial subject matter) or there is an additional element that results in a deduction for “controversial/edgy subject matter”.

    Mind you, Crash winning was such an anomaly that I don’t think any rules applied that year.

    Fun discussion.

  279. It’s hard to see Best Picture prestige in stories about pre-teens who just end up married by the end of it. The real problem with Harry Potter, to my mind, is not the films’ fault but the source material.

    HA! I agree, I do NOT want to see HP take the best picture award, I don’t think it deserves it. But I swear to God, if you honestly think the source material is faulty, then you better read the books again. Or have you read them at all? The story is not about “pre-teens who end up married by the end of it”. To say that shows a serious lack of understanding of the concept of Harry Potter. This is not Twilight we’re talking about. I understand the Academy views HP in the same league as Twilight, and that they probably do see it as pre-teen shit, but don’t talk shit about the source material. I didn’t think this site was a book critic’s blog.

  280. It’s hard to see Best Picture prestige in stories about pre-teens who just end up married by the end of it. The real problem with Harry Potter, to my mind, is not the films’ fault but the source material.

    HA! I agree, I do NOT want to see HP take the best picture award, I don’t think it deserves it. But I swear to God, if you honestly think the source material is faulty, then you better read the books again. Or have you read them at all? The story is not about “pre-teens who end up married by the end of it”. To say that shows a serious lack of understanding of the concept of Harry Potter. This is not Twilight we’re talking about. I understand the Academy views HP in the same league as Twilight, and that they probably do see it as pre-teen shit, but don’t talk shit about the source material. I didn’t think this site was a book critic’s blog.

  281. “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
    ― Stephen King

  282. “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
    ― Stephen King

  283. I just thought of something. What if all the Best Picture nominees are set in the past? Maybe it’s happened before, maybe even often. But I think that would say something awful about where we’re at as a people. If that were the case, Midnight in Paris would have to win, since that’s what it’s all about.

  284. I just thought of something. What if all the Best Picture nominees are set in the past? Maybe it’s happened before, maybe even often. But I think that would say something awful about where we’re at as a people. If that were the case, Midnight in Paris would have to win, since that’s what it’s all about.

  285. “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
    ― Stephen King

    That’s a great quote, Scott.

    Let’s remember though, Stephen King has written over 70 novels. Seems like about half of them half been adapted for films, but only 5 have ever received any Oscar nominations.

    I think something like 15 or 16 nominations, total, for The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand By Me, Carrie, and Misery. Kathy Bates won the only Oscar I can think of from anything Stephen King ever wrote. None of the movies made from his books have ever been nominated for Best Picture.

    So while he’s a brilliant storyteller, give great quotes, and he’s an all-around smart fellow, Stephen King and the Oscars don’t mesh.

    (Before anybody rushes to check: The Shining got no Oscar nominations at all)

    So it’s not about how beloved the books are, or even how great the movies made from his books may be.

    It’s about the Academy’s taste. Which has a narrow focus. Stephen King and JK Rowling usually find themselves outside the scope of Oscar focus.

  286. “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
    ― Stephen King

    That’s a great quote, Scott.

    Let’s remember though, Stephen King has written over 70 novels. Seems like about half of them half been adapted for films, but only 5 have ever received any Oscar nominations.

    I think something like 15 or 16 nominations, total, for The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand By Me, Carrie, and Misery. Kathy Bates won the only Oscar I can think of from anything Stephen King ever wrote. None of the movies made from his books have ever been nominated for Best Picture.

    So while he’s a brilliant storyteller, give great quotes, and he’s an all-around smart fellow, Stephen King and the Oscars don’t mesh.

    (Before anybody rushes to check: The Shining got no Oscar nominations at all)

    So it’s not about how beloved the books are, or even how great the movies made from his books may be.

    It’s about the Academy’s taste. Which has a narrow focus. Stephen King and JK Rowling usually find themselves outside the scope of Oscar focus.

  287. Um, Shawshank was nominated for Best Picture and so was The Green Mile…

  288. Um, Shawshank was nominated for Best Picture and so was The Green Mile…

  289. ooh! and that would’ve been so easy to look up if I didn’t have some sort of food poisoning right now.

    You’re right, Scott.
    So now I’m really looking forward to a JK Rowling novel adapted into a movie by Frank Darabont.

  290. ooh! and that would’ve been so easy to look up if I didn’t have some sort of food poisoning right now.

    You’re right, Scott.
    So now I’m really looking forward to a JK Rowling novel adapted into a movie by Frank Darabont.

  291. Well I don’t know about that…but it looks like we might get a Stephen King novel adapted into a movie by David Yates!

  292. Well I don’t know about that…but it looks like we might get a Stephen King novel adapted into a movie by David Yates!

  293. Yes! The Stand. And we have every reason to expect those films (a trilogy?) to be epic.

  294. Yes! The Stand. And we have every reason to expect those films (a trilogy?) to be epic.

  295. Oh, nevermind, I didn’t check closely enough either…Yates has turned it down and Ben Affleck has been signed on instead. Hmm

  296. Oh, nevermind, I didn’t check closely enough either…Yates has turned it down and Ben Affleck has been signed on instead. Hmm

  297. ah, I forgot too. Too fuzzy headed to be debating tonight. Affleck directing is equally interesting. My own point revolved around King, not Yates.

    (And just to be clear, there’s no lack of respect for Stephen King in this house.)

  298. ah, I forgot too. Too fuzzy headed to be debating tonight. Affleck directing is equally interesting. My own point revolved around King, not Yates.

    (And just to be clear, there’s no lack of respect for Stephen King in this house.)

  299. Rufussondheim

    I think even if I assigned Prestige of The Social Network to a 10, one higher than The King’s Speech, it still would have a lower score.

    Yes, I totally agree about 20/20 Hindsight. It’s easy to assign values.

    The Brokeback/Crash year is a bit of a dilemma, but, I think the ‘crowdpleaser” aspect is where you would have to see is the major differentiation. – Crash had the ability to make people think they were being thoughtful about race, which makes people feel smart and good about themselves. People love to claim “I’m not a racist” and Crash allows people to do that in spades. (Me, I like movies that point out our racist selves, I like to be persuaded to think in new ways.) – Brokeback was a crowdpleaser for many, but for many more it was definitely not.

    The one recent example that really goes against 20/20 Hindsight for me is Gladiator over Traffic. I think Traffic has considerably more Prestige, and higher critical reviews. I guess maybe the “crowdpleaser” number goes heavily towards Gladiator, but even then. But then I hated Gladiator so maybe that’s why I can’t see it clearly. Chicago winning over THe Pianist is also close and maybe goes against the formula.

    Clearly, the formula is only a starting point.

    As foir The Artist having low Prestige, I say that because the actors and director are unknowns. Plus the subject material isn’t weighty or important to make up for that. Yes, you are right, the prestige it does have is because of it being completely original in today’s marketplace. Plus it’s reception at Cannes adds to the Prestige factor. If I had to assign a number to it, I would give it a five or a six, which is pretty low compared to others.

    It will be fun to look at all of the potential nominees and assign them numbers after Christmas when all of the unknowns become knowns. And I’m tending to agree with you, Hugo is looking better and better all the time. Good Prestige, Good Critical Raves, and it’s quite the Crowdpleaser too. I think the Box Office will be good, people I work with that never go to the movies are talking about going to see this one. I think that bodes well for its success.

  300. Rufussondheim

    I think even if I assigned Prestige of The Social Network to a 10, one higher than The King’s Speech, it still would have a lower score.

    Yes, I totally agree about 20/20 Hindsight. It’s easy to assign values.

    The Brokeback/Crash year is a bit of a dilemma, but, I think the ‘crowdpleaser” aspect is where you would have to see is the major differentiation. – Crash had the ability to make people think they were being thoughtful about race, which makes people feel smart and good about themselves. People love to claim “I’m not a racist” and Crash allows people to do that in spades. (Me, I like movies that point out our racist selves, I like to be persuaded to think in new ways.) – Brokeback was a crowdpleaser for many, but for many more it was definitely not.

    The one recent example that really goes against 20/20 Hindsight for me is Gladiator over Traffic. I think Traffic has considerably more Prestige, and higher critical reviews. I guess maybe the “crowdpleaser” number goes heavily towards Gladiator, but even then. But then I hated Gladiator so maybe that’s why I can’t see it clearly. Chicago winning over THe Pianist is also close and maybe goes against the formula.

    Clearly, the formula is only a starting point.

    As foir The Artist having low Prestige, I say that because the actors and director are unknowns. Plus the subject material isn’t weighty or important to make up for that. Yes, you are right, the prestige it does have is because of it being completely original in today’s marketplace. Plus it’s reception at Cannes adds to the Prestige factor. If I had to assign a number to it, I would give it a five or a six, which is pretty low compared to others.

    It will be fun to look at all of the potential nominees and assign them numbers after Christmas when all of the unknowns become knowns. And I’m tending to agree with you, Hugo is looking better and better all the time. Good Prestige, Good Critical Raves, and it’s quite the Crowdpleaser too. I think the Box Office will be good, people I work with that never go to the movies are talking about going to see this one. I think that bodes well for its success.

  301. Stephen King is the fucking man. He has written 8 of my favorite books of all time

    The Stand
    It
    Salems Lot
    Bag of Bones
    The Dead Zone
    Pet Semetary
    The Shining
    The Long Walk

    Lucky for you Ryan you meant no disrespect…. We would have to have had it out :p

  302. Stephen King is the fucking man. He has written 8 of my favorite books of all time

    The Stand
    It
    Salems Lot
    Bag of Bones
    The Dead Zone
    Pet Semetary
    The Shining
    The Long Walk

    Lucky for you Ryan you meant no disrespect…. We would have to have had it out :p

  303. Ps Ryan. Your cat is fat.

    Oh snap!

    Also my fat dog could out lazy your fat cat any day.

  304. Ps Ryan. Your cat is fat.

    Oh snap!

    Also my fat dog could out lazy your fat cat any day.

  305. Frank Darubount is also the man. Just needed to be said.

  306. Frank Darubount is also the man. Just needed to be said.

  307. Taji fat?! 19 lbs isn’t big for a panther.

  308. Taji fat?! 19 lbs isn’t big for a panther.

  309. Yeah and my dog is a wolf

  310. Yeah and my dog is a wolf

  311. About Harry Potter having a 0 prestige level, I’d disagree. I think it’d be around 5. It has the whole finale thing going for it, has a wide cast of famed British actors and the box office (that of which I believe weighs to the prestige). Also, by your logic Winter’s Bone, a tiny indie with minimum prestige, attention, or “crowdpleasing” wouldn’t have gotten nominated. That combined with the the supposition that it’ll pick up quite a few nominations (and some wins) at the precursors (especially anything taking place in Britain, i.e., the series has 28 BAFTA noms to its 9 Oscar noms), along with it’s likely getting nominated for tons of technical categories (Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Artistic Direction, Makeup, Visual Effects, Cinematography and maybe Score) makes it a decent bet for a nomination for Best Nom. It’s not sure, but it has a fair chance.

    As for winner, I’m betting on The Artist. It’s still too wide to call one, but it edges out Descendants just slightly in my mind.

    Also, as to Hugo getting good box office, all of the experts are betting against it due to its stiff competition. (Arthur Christmas, The Muppets, and last week’s Breaking Dawn) It might not even make its production cost.

  312. About Harry Potter having a 0 prestige level, I’d disagree. I think it’d be around 5. It has the whole finale thing going for it, has a wide cast of famed British actors and the box office (that of which I believe weighs to the prestige). Also, by your logic Winter’s Bone, a tiny indie with minimum prestige, attention, or “crowdpleasing” wouldn’t have gotten nominated. That combined with the the supposition that it’ll pick up quite a few nominations (and some wins) at the precursors (especially anything taking place in Britain, i.e., the series has 28 BAFTA noms to its 9 Oscar noms), along with it’s likely getting nominated for tons of technical categories (Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Artistic Direction, Makeup, Visual Effects, Cinematography and maybe Score) makes it a decent bet for a nomination for Best Nom. It’s not sure, but it has a fair chance.

    As for winner, I’m betting on The Artist. It’s still too wide to call one, but it edges out Descendants just slightly in my mind.

    Also, as to Hugo getting good box office, all of the experts are betting against it due to its stiff competition. (Arthur Christmas, The Muppets, and last week’s Breaking Dawn) It might not even make its production cost.

  313. Winter’s Bone won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize as well as the Sundance Waldo Salt Screenplay Award. It was adapted from a novel by one of America’s most distinguished if lesser known authors. I don’t know what crowd wouldn’t be pleased with a young girl who’s struggling single-handedly to keep her home and family together and who triumphs against all odds. It pleased the hell out of me.

    For the record, I never said Harry Potter doesn’t have its own brand of prestige. But we don’t all have the same definition of prestige — and Academy members have their own ideas about what it constitutes. How do we know the Academy viewed Winter’s Bone as a prestige film? 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

    That might be inconceivable to some people, but there it is.

  314. Winter’s Bone won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize as well as the Sundance Waldo Salt Screenplay Award. It was adapted from a novel by one of America’s most distinguished if lesser known authors. I don’t know what crowd wouldn’t be pleased with a young girl who’s struggling single-handedly to keep her home and family together and who triumphs against all odds. It pleased the hell out of me.

    For the record, I never said Harry Potter doesn’t have its own brand of prestige. But we don’t all have the same definition of prestige — and Academy members have their own ideas about what it constitutes. How do we know the Academy viewed Winter’s Bone as a prestige film? 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

    That might be inconceivable to some people, but there it is.

  315. The Academy has often nominated a commercial, blockbuster oriented film, I.E., Babe, Seabiscuit, The Blind Side, Inception… etc. It’s not realy that far of a shot to think that HP7 would get a nomination. Speaking of which, Babe. That’s something whose prestige level (in Academy terms) I’d consider low. It has the reviews and the crowd pleasing though (both of which would be 9 or 10.)

  316. The Academy has often nominated a commercial, blockbuster oriented film, I.E., Babe, Seabiscuit, The Blind Side, Inception… etc. It’s not realy that far of a shot to think that HP7 would get a nomination. Speaking of which, Babe. That’s something whose prestige level (in Academy terms) I’d consider low. It has the reviews and the crowd pleasing though (both of which would be 9 or 10.)

  317. Jordan B.

    Scott, call up your friend, and tell him he’s f***ing crazy. He should be checked for some sort of psychotic issue. Harry Potter as “the greatest motion picture ever?” You’ve got to be kidding me. I saw it, both of the final two back to back. They were alright, decent I’d say, and at best, pretty good and entertaining. But best ever? Part of the reason for the film’s excellent reception is because it was the last film in a long series, based off of a beloved set of novels. Here’s the part that I have the largest problem with:

    “What Harry Potter does is blend reality with fantasy and make the mythic more intimate than ever before. It is the great story of OUR time. Lord of the Rings was a story from the past, Star Wars is timeless, but Harry Potter is the story that marks our story at this point in time. Harry Potter is our definitive modern myth and Deathly Hallows will see it close.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the film. And while I have only read a couple of the books, I remember finding them quite good. But I have seen the earlier HP films, and the last two really couldn’t have gone anywhere but up from where that series left it. Harry Potter is the “greatest story of our time?” It is creative, yes, but is it really as all-encompassing as your friend says? It had a lot of box-office appeal, but it’s opening weekend was 1/2 of it’s entire domestic box-office take. This tells me one thing: there a lot of people who DIDN’T see it. Many of the fans of the books, and those who have seen all the prior films, went to see it. And then, suddenly, everyone that wanted to see it saw it on the first day/weekend, and everything dropped from there. Clearly, the film didn’t have as much appeal as your friend states if its massive opening weekend couldn’t turn into a more substantial box-office run.

    I’m sorry, but I just cannot see myself ever calling the Harry Potter films the greatest series ever, or Deathly Hallows 1&2 the best films ever. They are creative stories, but their mass appeal is simply not that great, and the filmmaking and production was good at best. But it needs to be more than good to be considered anywhere near the best. And just because Harry Potter is, as your friend says, “our definitive modern myth,”, perhaps he should focus on the MODERN there and see what he really said. Modern? Yes. Myth? Yes. Definitive? No. No. Absolutely not.

  318. Jordan B.

    Scott, call up your friend, and tell him he’s f***ing crazy. He should be checked for some sort of psychotic issue. Harry Potter as “the greatest motion picture ever?” You’ve got to be kidding me. I saw it, both of the final two back to back. They were alright, decent I’d say, and at best, pretty good and entertaining. But best ever? Part of the reason for the film’s excellent reception is because it was the last film in a long series, based off of a beloved set of novels. Here’s the part that I have the largest problem with:

    “What Harry Potter does is blend reality with fantasy and make the mythic more intimate than ever before. It is the great story of OUR time. Lord of the Rings was a story from the past, Star Wars is timeless, but Harry Potter is the story that marks our story at this point in time. Harry Potter is our definitive modern myth and Deathly Hallows will see it close.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the film. And while I have only read a couple of the books, I remember finding them quite good. But I have seen the earlier HP films, and the last two really couldn’t have gone anywhere but up from where that series left it. Harry Potter is the “greatest story of our time?” It is creative, yes, but is it really as all-encompassing as your friend says? It had a lot of box-office appeal, but it’s opening weekend was 1/2 of it’s entire domestic box-office take. This tells me one thing: there a lot of people who DIDN’T see it. Many of the fans of the books, and those who have seen all the prior films, went to see it. And then, suddenly, everyone that wanted to see it saw it on the first day/weekend, and everything dropped from there. Clearly, the film didn’t have as much appeal as your friend states if its massive opening weekend couldn’t turn into a more substantial box-office run.

    I’m sorry, but I just cannot see myself ever calling the Harry Potter films the greatest series ever, or Deathly Hallows 1&2 the best films ever. They are creative stories, but their mass appeal is simply not that great, and the filmmaking and production was good at best. But it needs to be more than good to be considered anywhere near the best. And just because Harry Potter is, as your friend says, “our definitive modern myth,”, perhaps he should focus on the MODERN there and see what he really said. Modern? Yes. Myth? Yes. Definitive? No. No. Absolutely not.

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