The Master tops Peter Travers’ Top Ten

1. The Master
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Lincoln
5. Argo
6. Silver Linings Playbook
7. Les Miserables
8. Life of Pi
9. Moonrise Kingdom
10. The Dark Knight Rises

Peter Travers’ top ten list is an annual event here at Awards Daily, so we’re thanking longtime reader Jack for sending it to us.  His tastes can often mirror Oscar’s, matching anywhere from three to five (back when there were five Best Picture nominees). In 2010, all ten Best Picture nominees were on Travers’ list! Going way back, he’s always had Oscar’s Best Picture winner on his list.  His top ten are the exact ten I am predicting to get nominated for Best Picture except that I have Flight on mine in the place of The Master (well, not at number one but on the list).

2011:

1. Drive
2. The Artist**
3. The Descendants
4. Moneyball  
5. Midnight in Paris  
6. Hugo 
7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
8. Margin Call
9. The Tree of Life
10. War Horse, The Help, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

2010:

  1. The Social Network
  2. Inception
  3. The King’s Speech**
  4. True Grit
  5. The Kids Are All Right
  6. 127 Hours
  7. Black Swan
  8. The Fighter
  9. Winter’s Bone
  10. Toy Story 3

2009:

  1. Precious
  2. Up in the Air
  3. The Hurt Locker**
  4. An Education
  5. Up
  6. Where the Wild Things Are
  7. A Serious Man
  8. District 9
  9. (500) Days of Summer
  10. The Messenger

2008

1. Milk
2. Slumdog Millionaire**
3. The Dark Knight
4. Frost/Nixon
5. WALL-E (won animated)
6. Revolutionary Road
7. The Visitor
8. Doubt
9. Rachel Getting Married
10. Man on Wire (won Doc)

2007:
1 No Country for Old Men**
2 Atonement
3 Into the Wild
4 Eastern Promises
5 Sweeney Todd
6 American Gangster
7 There Will Be Blood
8 Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
9 I’m Not There
10 Knocked Up
(tie) Juno

2006:

1 The Departed**
2 Dreamgirls
3 (tie) Letters from Iwo Jima
(tie) Flags of our Fathers
4 Volver
5 Babel
6 United 93
7 The Queen
8 Borat
9 Little Miss Sunshine
10 A Prairie Home Companion

2005:
1 A History of Violence
2 Brokeback Mountain
3 Syriana
4 Good Night, and Good Luck.
5 Munich
6 Capote

7 The Squid and the Whale
8 The Constant Gardener
9 Crash**
10 (tie) King Kong
(tie) Wedding

2004
1 Sideways

2 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
3 Milliion Dollar Baby**
4 The Aviator
5 The Incredibles
6 Kinsey
7 Closer
8 Finding Neverland
9 Kill Bill: Volume 2
10 Fahrenheit 9/11

2003
1. Mystic River

2. Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King**
3. Lost In Translation
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World

5. Cold Mountain
6. American Splendor
7. Big Fish
8. A Mighty Wind
9. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
10. Angels In America [HBO]

2002
1. Gangs of New York
2. Far From Heaven
3. Adaptation
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
5. Y Tu Mama Tambien
6. Chicago**
7. Talk To Her
8. Road To Perdition
9. About Schmidt
10. 8 Mile

2001 (two lists)

01. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (Peter Jackson)
02. Ali (Michael Mann)
03. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)
04. Shrek (Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson)
05. Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe)
06. Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann)
07. Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott)
08. A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard)**
09. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg)
10. Ocean’s Eleven (Steven Soderbergh)

List 2
01. Memento (Christopher Nolan)
02. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)
03. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)
04. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)
05. Hedwig And The Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell)
06. Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer)
07. In The Bedroom (Todd Field)
08. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel Coen)
09. Gosford Park (Robert Altman)
10. Am√©lie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

2000

01a. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)
01b. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
02. Gladiator (Ridley Scott)**
03. Traffic (Steven Soderbergh)

04. Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry)
05. Croupier (Mike Hodges)
06. You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonegran)
07. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies)
08. State and Main (David Mamet)
09. Best in Show (Christopher Guest)
10. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)

1999
01. American Beauty (Sam Mendes)**
02. Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh)
03. Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze)
04. The Insider (Michael Mann)
05. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)
06. Three Kings (David O. Russell)
07. Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce)
08. The Straight Story (David Lynch)
09. The Winslow Boy (David Mamet)
10. The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shyamalan)

I’m going to take a guess that these titles will make the cut:

Where the Wild Things Are
Up
Up in the Air
Avatar
Inglourious Basterds

EW’s Top Ten Best Films of the Year

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Ann Hornaday’s Ten Best Films of 2012

61 Comments

  1. Chris138
    December 6, 2012

    The Tree of Life was nominated last year.

  2. Ken
    December 6, 2012

    I am 100% convinced that for the past 4 years his list is an attempt to predict every single film in the Oscar lineup and not an honest attempt to craft a top 10. Nobody is that mainstream. He’s creating a self-fulfilling prophecy here..

  3. Joe
    December 6, 2012

    i agree with Ken. Are we sure he’s not just predicting Oscars?

  4. Chris138
    December 6, 2012

    It’s also kind of interesting to note that Django Unchained didn’t make his top 10, considering how big of a Tarantino fan he has been in the past. Perhaps he’ll end up giving it a three star review, like he did with Inglourious Basterds.

  5. Dylan
    December 6, 2012

    2 years in a row he picks a film i didnt like as his #1 hopefully like Drive, The Master doesn’t get a best picture nomination

  6. Eve
    December 6, 2012

    You’re on drugs if you think The Dark Knight Rises is making it in BP. Skyfall has a better chance (as it should, since TDKR is only OK when it’s at its best and downright hideous for most of the rest). No foreign films on the list? In fact, noe since 2006??????? Totally pointless as a critic.

  7. Bball_Jake
    December 6, 2012

    Happy to see The Dark Knight Rises on here! What scares me is the absence of The Hobbit! I wanted the film to do so great and the first reviews are showing that you either love it or dont really like it. Even if the reviews arent there, im hoping it can pull off the bp nod like ELIC because they love Lotr so much.

  8. phantom
    December 6, 2012

    Well, he hasn’t reviewed two of those 10, so considering he gave his No1 and No3 perfect scores, and his No4-No10 the almost perfect scores, 3,5 *, I guess that means another crucial **** rave for Zero Dark Thirty (No2) and the first important rave(ish) review for Les Miserables (No7) which will get 3,5 * (88/100 on MC) from Travers. Great, now I can’t wait for the FINAL scores of these 2 films. ZD30 has 98 (!!!) at the moment on MC based on 9 reviews, so I guess it has an excellent shot at becoming THE highest reviewed BP-contender this year (the others are at 78-86). I think it’s safe to say that even if Les Miserables will be a serious player in the end, it won’t have that kind of unanimous critical acclaim or at least I would be very surprised if it could still pull off 80s on MC.

  9. December 6, 2012

    For whatever reason, I thought Amour would make an appearance for sure.

  10. LSUduck
    December 7, 2012

    Les Mis also has a couple raves from the UK papers waiting out there. Unfortunately, those papers only get counted on metacritic once in a while. Travers’ review will help the film a lot.

  11. Ian Adge
    December 7, 2012

    LOL at TDKR getting in Best Picture over Django Unchained. Ridiculous.

  12. Denni
    December 7, 2012

    Ughhh here we go again with the TDKR vs. SKYFALL crap!

  13. Filipe
    December 7, 2012

    Just remembered, 2010 was an EXCELLENT Best Picture line-up. Loved them all!

  14. rodrigojp
    December 7, 2012

    no way dark knight rises is getting BP nomination over django, for example.

    Had I been chosen to predict the 10 movies that will be nominated, I’d say :

    -Django Unchained
    -Life of Pi
    -Flight
    -Silver Linings Playbook
    -Lincoln
    -zero dark thirty
    -Les Mis
    -Beasts of the southern wild
    -Amour
    -Argo

    I just saw Amour, and was mesmerized by it.Never ever have a love story been so agonizing and painful to watch.And it surely deserves a BP nomination.

    Sasha, do you think Amour stands a chance?

  15. Calvin
    December 7, 2012

    Les Misérables has 59 on Metacritic. It has the perfect timing, and I DO believe it’s too big to ignore, but… I’m starting do doubt if it’ll EVEN show up on the nominees list. Hathaway is almost a lock for a nomination, but not a lock for a win anymore. However, even those who didn’t like the movie praised her perfomance, and those who gave it positive reviews LOVED the whole damn thing.

  16. LSUduck
    December 7, 2012

    Yeah Filipe, 2010 was an excellent year yet a predictable one when it came to the Best Picture lineup because so many pundits and critics had those 10 films as their top ten. There was no drama when it came to the BP nominees because it was a 10 film year. Absolutely no drama at all.

  17. Christophe
    December 7, 2012

    @Calvin
    Who cares if a bunch of musical-hating-critics pooh-poohed Les Misérables? Those who loved it, LOVED it, so it’s highly likely that the film will reach the 5% 1st-place-votes threshold required to get in the BP race. When in doubt, you can always count on the British mafia…

    Let me remind you that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Boring did get in last year with a below 50 score on both RT and MT and a dismal box office, and it didn’t even have much support from the acting, craft and technical branches, which Les Miz most certainly has.

    So of course Les Miz is no longer the frontrunner (which might actually be a good thing in the long run), but it sure is still in the race, and it might even win by surprise.

  18. Mattoc
    December 7, 2012

    Well, it’s his list…But he doesn’t seem to get out much though.

  19. Calvin
    December 7, 2012

    @Christophe

    I know the British will all align behind it (and they are many), I was just saying that it’s not the frontrunner anymore. Also, EL&IC was nominated in a warm year. This year, we have lots of excelent movies. Les Mis will end up being nominated? Highly likely, but not as high as we were expecting.

  20. Christophe
    December 7, 2012

    @Calvin
    I couldn’t agree more. Nevertheless, when it comes to critics, I feel so far there has been way too much raving on one side and scathing on the other side, for them to be honest. There might be an agenda behind this urge to publish such strong opinions and be the first at it, or it might be a backlash against the hype that used to surround Les Miz. In any case, we won’t truly know where to stand until more objective/moderate critics come along, and usually they publish their reviews during the final days before release. So at the end of the day, the best thing we can do is watch the movie and forge our own opinion.

  21. Pete
    December 7, 2012

    Maybe the critics bagging on Les Mis are basing their opinions on the fact that it seems to be a unique combination of self importance, awards pandering, and relentless presentation.

  22. phantom
    December 7, 2012

    Pete

    “…a unique combination of self importance, awards pandering, and relentless presentation.”

    But then again, couldn’t we accuse basically EVERY Best Picture contender with that ?

  23. PaulH
    December 7, 2012

    Sorry, folks, but there’s no frakkin’ way a JAMES BOND MOVIE gets into best picture over TDKR. Of course, it won’t get in either, due to the Aurora, CO massacre and the Academy’s continued irrational bias toward Christopher Nolan.

  24. Pete
    December 7, 2012

    Phantom, I would argue that a film like the Departed succeeded because it was more organic and Scorcese wasn’t trying so hard to make an epic statement. Same for No Country.

  25. Kane
    December 7, 2012

    Has anyone else noted that since 2002 every film that won the best picture showed up in his top 3 (excluding 2005? Also since 2002 every film that won best director was in his top 3 as well. I think this spells good news for Zero Dark Thirty.

    I am starting to think he’s predicting the Oscars…

  26. Joseph
    December 7, 2012

    Les Miserables will get nominated even if people don’t see it with ballots going out soon and back shortly after Christmas. It’s the pre-release buzz like Extremely Loud last year (even War Horse). If the ballot period was later, those films may not have made the Best Picture cut.

  27. JP
    December 7, 2012

    @rodrigojp

    I have this same top 10 but think Amour barely misses. I’m predicting 9 right now. And Moonrise Kingdom comes in 11 and The Impossible in 12.

    As much as I love the film/ trilogy, I really don’t see them feeling the need to nominate a blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises when they have frontrunners making more than 100 million dollars domestically.

  28. Sasha Stone
    December 7, 2012

    What scares me is the absence of The Hobbit! I

    It has no shot.

  29. Sasha Stone
    December 7, 2012

    Has anyone else noted that since 2002 every film that won the best picture showed up in his top 3 (excluding 2005? Also since 2002 every film that won best director was in his top 3 as well. I think this spells good news for Zero Dark Thirty.

    That’s a hell of a stat. The reason being, the top choices show, perhaps, more LOVE than LIKE. The years where they weren’t in his top three were split years. If you were to construct an argument for Les Miserables you would go that way, that’s in the vein of Crash and Chicago, so it wouldn’t win Director but would win Picture. The only possible reason for a break in pattern is that Bigelow has won recently. If that can be overcome, it seems like Zero Dark Thirty could win the whole thing.

    Worth noting: Travers is predicting Les Miz to win.

  30. Nic V
    December 7, 2012

    Well if Travers is predicting Les Miz to win it better start getting a lot better reviews than the ones that are trickling into print. Even the better reviews are not raves and seem conditional at best. Les Miz is begining to look like this year’s Extremely Loud. I actually enjoyed Extremely Loud to a point and then the kid got annoying and it didn’t really keep me riveted. What it is crucial here is the one note in the reviews that kinda slaps around the singing and the decibal levels of the film itself. The members of AMPAS are not stupid and this is a damn good year for film and I could easily see Les Miz maybe getting nominations but walking home empty handed if it doesn’t resonate more with the critics. Even Justin Chang at Variety gave it a very lukewarm review. Zero and Lincoln had better opening reviews than Les Miz. And actually Les Miz’s reviews seem to be mirroring the reviews for The Hobbit. I think for me the lackluster reviews for The Hobbit are more dissappointing than the ones for Les Miz.

  31. Sasha Stone
    December 7, 2012

    Les Miz is begining to look like this year’s Extremely Loud. Right. Probably. Even if New York and LA raves about it, it’s clocking in as too divisive for a big crowd consensus. They’re banking on it being a crowdpleaser but it is a film that appeals to a very select group of people. Like Loud and Close, actors will likely push it through to a BP nomination. Hooper probably not in for director. I don’t even know what the bigger crafts categories will do since it’s mostly in closeup it’s hard to notice anything else. Costumes, probably, original song, most definitely, sound? Sound editing? But I would probably not predict it in editing, cinematography. Maybe art direction.

    Hathaway still has a really good chance to win but I have been surprised by the negative notices she’s been getting…Hugh Jackman appears to be the one critics like best. Weird. Actors, though, they’ll likely nominate Hath and Jackman. Maybe Barks.

  32. Bryce Forestieri
    December 7, 2012

    Peter Travers is no film critic, at least there’s nothing in his reviews indicating that he is. He’s in it for the Oscars, the hack. Get his name on FYC ads as much as possible, and try to predict/influence the race as much as he thinks he can. I mean not a single foreign title? Nikka please…

  33. Jerry Grant
    December 7, 2012

    Go Peter Travers! We should not criticize him for being in line with the Academy. I think the Academy’s had a pretty great track record this last decade, and so has Travers.

    But he really thinks Les Miz will win?

    “ZDT” still looking clearly the strongest to me, but “Lincoln” is still close. Remember “Social Network” won all the precursors and was #1 on his list, but his #3–more accessible, broader voting base–ended up winning the Oscar. That could be “Lincoln”?

  34. Nic V
    December 7, 2012

    I think Hathaway will get a nomination but I wouldn’t count her taking it home. She’s done better work from the sound of this and some of it in The Dark Knight Rises. The reviews might be better for Jackman Sasha because he’s got more time on screen and therefore the ability to make more of what he’s bringing to the film than Hathaway had. I’m still not sure that he’ll pull off a nomination but he’s got one thing going for him and that’s his popularity with his fellow actors. He has to buck Hawkes, Lewis, Phoenix, Washington, and Cooper now. Those five don’t bode well for him if he’s in a mediocre musical adaption. I haven’t seen Les Miz and I’ll be honest when I was seeing a lot of Broadway Musicals Les Miz was never on my list. I’ve seen so many dramatic versions of Les Miserables that I don’t think a musical tempted my attention much.

    As for Zero and Lincoln I’m kinda disappointed by the critical reaction to Lincoln so far with NYC and NBR. I can’t figure out for the life of me what the critics want Speilberg to do. On one hand they call him out for being an old fashioned sentimentalist or a special effects teller of children’s stories. The man can’t win. He finally delivers a film that exceeds anything he’s ever done before and is really being ignored. I think that might cause a backlash within Ampas. He’s a pretty popular man in the business.

    And I’m not commenting on Zero only because I haven’t seen it and personally I’m so sick of hearing about the middle east right now that I just can’t get into the idea of sitting down to see that film and I loved the Hurt Locker. Dunno maybe with all the insanity I’m looking for something a little more uplifting this season.

  35. mecid
    December 7, 2012

    Yeah, Nic V. I am also wondering what Spielberg can do to get love of critics. His film wins 3 major awards but film or director is not on conversataton? How can this be? I think in general they will always ignore him somehow.

  36. Nic V
    December 7, 2012

    And you wanna know the truth there’s not a damn thing wrong with sentimentality. I’m so sick of seeing slasher, comic book characters bashing each’s other’s heads in, women being portrayed as nothing more than cheap whores that a little sentimentality goes a very long way. God give me a damn good film by someone who can direct like Frank Capra or Billy Wilder and I’d be in heaven right now. Even the musicals look depressing. I think Hollywood has been watching too many episodes of “Whoever’s Wives are Bitches this week” for their own good.

  37. KT
    December 7, 2012

    Well, maybe the critics honestly didn’t think Lincoln was the best directed film of the year. That is certainly a fair assessment. Just because Steven Spielberg hasn’t been selected before does not mean he should automatically win this time around. I found the awards Lincoln did win from the New York Film Critics to be really encouraging citations, especially Sally Field’s. Remember what J. Hoberman said of the NYFCC voting: Spielberg didn’t get a single first place vote. I don’t think that that is because the film isn’t well directed. It’s a very strong effort and definitely demonstrates an approach–focusing on actors and intimate personal spaces–he has never pursued before. Bravo!

    BUT, and this is how I think the film is viewed in the critics and academic communities, Lincoln is NOT viewed as a director’s movie nor has a single overriding vision like Kathryn Bigelow or Paul Thomas Anderson or Michael Haneke show in their films. The director is not king here, and is overshadowed by the contributions of the actors. Sometimes I think Spielberg does indeed struggle with what exactly he wants his films to say, his overriding argument if you will, seen most clearly in his “important” historical dramas. If you look back, the same can be said of Schindler’s List and most obviously Saving Private Ryan, and might explain why he has never been cited as NY’s Best Director. Both Jane Campion’s The Piano and Terrence Malick’s Thin Red Line those years speak more to a singular artistic vision…they know exactly what their films want to say about their subjects and succeed powerfully. There’s a reason those films are cited by Sight and Sound. Of course, the strongest Spielberg films following this train of auteur thought–I would argue E.T. and Close Encounters–are, as Nic V said, examples of Spielberg the special effects/teller of children stories. SO what has been said is really quite true: a conundrum that exists and will always exist when evaluating how Spielberg’s films have been received…

    BUT that’s not to say the decisions of the critics have been wrong. I’m especially encouraged by Kathryn Bigelow’s notices and think her career at this moment could be highly regarded in the future for its definitive and powerful contributions to advancing the war film genre AND being on the vanguard of American filmmaking (with respect to the work of female directors).

  38. mecid
    December 7, 2012

    KT, but The Social Network is also performance driven, Fincher hasn’t showy direction style there and I think Lincoln is visually more beautiful than it. But Fincher won tonns of awards for it.

  39. Jerry Grant
    December 7, 2012

    Spielberg has been consistently underappreciated by the Academy, but at the end of the day, that has meant essentially nothing.

    He was not nominated for “Jaws,” the biggest movie of that year by far. He got appropriately nominated for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Close Encounters,” but his nomination (and BP nom) for “E.T”–the biggest movie of that year–lost to “Gandhi.” “The Color Purple” didn’t win a single award. “Saving Private Ryan” lost Best Picture to the lesser (still good) film, “Shakespeare in Love.” 37 years after his first (of probably 7) game-changing pictures, he can only point to 2 Oscar successes: “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Still, Spielberg’s influence and legacy are unmatched.

    Haven’t seen “ZDT” yet, and am confident it’s pretty extraordinary. But my passion for “Lincoln” is strong strong strong, and a part of me will continue to root for Spielberg recognition no matter what.

  40. Jerry Grant
    December 7, 2012

    (BTW, “Tree of Life” should be in bold above!)

  41. December 7, 2012

    thanks Jerry.

  42. Free
    December 7, 2012

    “His top ten are the exact ten I am predicting to get nominated for Best Picture except that I have Flight on mine in the place of The Master.”

    So you think both Dark Knight Rises AND Moonrise Kingdom are getting nominated? That seems like a tall order, especially with MK, which I loved, but does it have ANY buzz right now? I suppose if the Academy tries to nominate ten they may have a shot, though I feel that this year, the nominees will mirror how weak 2012 was and we’ll likely have somewhere between 5 and 7 BP choices. I also don’t get why so many (Feinberg included) think “Flight” is a BP possibility. Washington, and, maybe, Goodman I see getting in, but not the film.

    One criticism I always have of Travers’ lists is that he never seems to lists foreign films or documentaries, even when they’re easily among the year’s top five movies.

  43. PaulH
    December 7, 2012

    Phantom: “ZD30 has 98 (!!!) at the moment on MC based on 9 reviews, so I guess it has an excellent shot at becoming THE highest reviewed BP-contender this year (the others are at 78-86).”

    Well, who’s gonna actually in the critic community be the one who pans a film about the killing of the world’s most wanted criminal? Imagine the lumps of coal in his/her stocking that would follow. Just saying.

  44. Nic V
    December 7, 2012

    You know Paul that’s a very valid point. Like I said I haven’t seen it yet so I’m being very careful about what I say about it and basing my opinion right now on it’s acclaim on what I’m reading. I mean you can’t really argue with all of the praise. So for now I won’t. I think Bigelow is the luckiest woman in the world to be championed as she is for films that certainly wouldn’t normally find themselves directed by women. So I applaud her not for the achievement so much as for the unbridled talent she obviously has. However I also wonder how much of the acclaim is politically motivated. But that’s “wonder”. I’ll know when I see it. Well I’ll know from my own perspective.

    And that doesn’t mean that my own perspective is something I would call a benchmark knowing how I feel about politics right now. But I was right behind The Hurt Locker. I doubt seriously however that anything will move me from being right behind Lincoln right now. I’m not even sure that I could be objective about Les Miz.

  45. KT
    December 7, 2012

    mecid: KT, but The Social Network is also performance driven, Fincher hasn’t showy direction style there and I think Lincoln is visually more beautiful than it. But Fincher won tonns of awards for it.

    The Social Network was assuredly a director-driven film. Fincher has a uniquely cohesive filmography and is respected for his vision and technical prowess. His style percolated the entire movie. Why do you think so many people made a big deal when he lost Best Director??

    Lincoln was my favorite experience at the cinema yet this year. I was really looking forward to it and was utterly moved at the end. BUT I accept that it’s NOT the best directed movie of the year. That may directly be a product of how it was filmed. Spielberg ran a method set to accommodate Daniel Day-Lewis. Pleasing him to get a timeless performance was paramount. While There Will Be Blood remained a director’s film, a beast of Paul Thomas Anderson’s creation, I don’t think Lincoln follows in this vein. According to an interview of Spielberg posted on Deadline Hollywood yesterday, Day-Lewis would ONLY SPEAK to him…and during production completely ignored Kathleen Kennedy and Tony Kushner and the innumerable crew to stay in character. While I don’t have any qualms about his process, it bothers me that Spielberg was willing to play this game and provide so much special attention while at the same time sacrificing his utmost authority as the director in shaping the film. Others may not see it like this, but I believe the singular vision of the director should reach over all.

    That’s why I don’t really have an objection to Spielberg not winning those critics awards. Quite frankly others were more deserving. Some people might see Spielberg as somewhat underappreciated at the Oscars, as Nic V said (and I agree!); more importantly though, I don’t think he is viewed this way by a majority of voters. Some might see him as overbearing and be put off by the Lincoln screener, which screams Oscar with its bound full-size script book, gift-wrapped soundtrack, and coffee table book. Voting for Kathleen Kennedy and Lincoln for Best Picture may be the more popular route to honor the film.

    Regarding Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s finished product is not only a bravura example of directing but an extremely personal work of art, synonymous with her own personal journey as a director in Hollywood. I find this extremely compelling (and voters will too!) and I can’t help but think of Hitchcock, who not only defined a genre himself (the thriller) but infused so much of himself in his films. Will Zero Dark be seen as such an accomplishment? Travers, Corliss, McCarthy, the EW critics certainly make me think so. That being said, I really don’t think a critic will refrain from panning the movie because it’s about getting Bin Laden. Only 21 reviews are on RT now–it’s only a matter of time before a few negative reviews come in.

  46. Reno
    December 7, 2012

    pt anderson’s got lots of fans within the academy, the master will secure a bp nom

  47. zazou
    December 7, 2012

    Travers opinions are okay and his lists make more sense than some other critics these days.As for the negative critical takes on Les Miserables, well that was to be expected given the strong reaction against Hooper for having the audacity to be voted best director for TKS and not handing over the award to Fincher.Some critics are still smarting over that loss,are they not? Then there are the critics who don’t like the story or the music, Shoard of the U.K. was particularly unpleasant, which makes me not take that review seriously or McCarthy’s charming musical diarrhea comment.Hey, bias is bias no matter who wrote it,and it is not pearls of wisdom.

  48. Linc4Jess
    December 7, 2012

    Finally, a film critic top ten list that matches mine. Who says its not minding that counts. Oops, I know.

  49. Free
    December 7, 2012

    “Well, who’s gonna actually in the critic community be the one who pans a film about the killing of the world’s most wanted criminal?”

    That’s not a very good point. That’s like saying no critic will trash Lincoln because of what he did, or World Trade Center because it paid homage to the lives lost on 9/11. Even if the intentions are good, if the execution’s poor, it’s still as likely to get ripped apart as anything else.

  50. Filipe
    December 7, 2012

    I’m not as crazy as some people for The Social Network, but I have to say, it’s not director-driven, or performance-driven, everything aligns in it. The actors shine, the screenplay is just fucking awesome and David Fincher amazes, also the editing and the score are just superb. Really good movie, well-crafted and well-acted.

    You should relax about the 59 on MC for Les Mis, it’s just a few reviews, when the big ones come out, that number should change, I believe it will be on 70s-ish.

  51. steve50
    December 7, 2012

    Gotta say “hats-off” to KT – you make your points extremely well and I enjoyed reading them.

    Yes, Travers has been drifting to the mainstream as he gets older, as indicated by that stat of BP winners residing in his top 3, plus the noticeable lack of anything really “out there” that would attract a critic watching the artform as much as the industry.

    As for,”Well, who’s gonna actually in the critic community be the one who pans a film about the killing of the world’s most wanted criminal?”, all I can say is “huh?”

  52. houstonrufus
    December 7, 2012

    Well said, KT. Very well said, actually.

  53. JP
    December 7, 2012

    “Well, who’s gonna actually in the critic community be the one who pans a film about the killing of the world’s most wanted criminal? Imagine the lumps of coal in his/her stocking that would follow. Just saying.”

    Well… my answer is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Enough said.

  54. KT
    December 7, 2012

    Nic V: I think Bigelow is the luckiest woman in the world to be championed as she is for films that certainly wouldn’t normally find themselves directed by women. So I applaud her not for the achievement so much as for the unbridled talent she obviously has.

    —–
    The funny thing is I strongly believe a man could not have made the same film (ZDT) + have it reflect the deeply personal level of the artist who made it as Bigelow did.

  55. steandric
    December 8, 2012

    “….a remarkable visual achievement, made more affecting by the depth the actors bring to their characters….in particular the layering Naomi Watts brings to her leading role is an acting triumph.”

    - Review of The Impossible by Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

  56. Nic V
    December 8, 2012

    “The funny thing is I strongly believe a man could not have made the same film (ZDT) + have it reflect the deeply personal level of the artist who made it as Bigelow did.”

    I wouldn’t argue with that position but you missed my point. I was referring to the “Hollywood” machine which rarely would even consider a woman for a such a film as a director. Show me one place where any woman has been given the opportunity to direct such a film. And I’m sure you’re not disputing her talent are you? Even having not seen ZD30 I have seen The Hurt Locker and the woman has talent. The only other woman who even achieved being given and Oscar Nomination as Best Director was Lina Wertmuller. I think that speaks for the comment I made.

  57. Nic V
    December 8, 2012

    KT my apologies I misread your comment. So scratch my reply.

  58. Julius
    December 8, 2012

    Life of Pi
    Lincoln
    zero dark thirty
    Beasts of the southern wild
    Amour
    Argo
    The Dark knight Rises
    Cabin in the Woods
    Perks of Being a wallflower
    Skyfall

    are currently my favorite films of the year…

    Django Unchained
    Flight
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Les Mis

    but these 4 films are films I have not watched or thought they were overrated. Django, I have yet to see (But I have no doubt it will not make it in my top 10 pretty soon. I love QT). Flight was great but I dunno . . . Something about it did not match with me. But nonetheless, a great movie and certainly will become a nominee. Silver Linings Playbook was entertaining enough for me but I thought Perks was way better. Les Mis, in my oh so humble opinion, thought it was pretty uninteresting and overrated.

    But for Oscar noms… The Dark knight Rises, Cabin in the Woods, Perks of Being a wallflower, and Skyfall are just dark horses . .. Excluding Cabin cus cabin’s never gonna get a nom
    But for Perks, TDKR, and even Skyfall, there is a slim chance of BP/BD nom cus of the love it is getting from many voters.

    If I had to vote I’d definitely pick my top 10 favorites. (maybe not Cabin cus that’s a bit too ridiculous for the Oscars even for me)

  59. PaulH
    December 8, 2012

    NicV: ”
    Nic V: I think Bigelow is the luckiest woman in the world.”
    *
    That she is. Supremely lucky.

  60. edgar
    December 30, 2012

    i knew it, instead of actually reviewing the movie for what it is he has gazed his eyes upon the master all because it was directed by paul thomas anderson who i like and christopher nolan who i like as well but i for one can dissapointingly say the dark knight rises was not a good film. peter travers was just too busy edjaculating inside his brain about another paul thomas anderson movie that he has not reviewed it normally he might as well done it blindfolded…. man this pisses me off its impossible to get an honest opinion when a critics favorite filmaker makes a movie for the first time in 5 years he just goes in with a boner and keeps it the entire movie.

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