lincoln12

The State of the Race: You Can’t Stop What’s Coming

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“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” ― Mark Twain

Once again it appears that the Weinstein Co. could very well be headed for the big prize, their third consecutive Best Picture win with their scrappy little movie that could.

The recent trend away from more challenging fare towards more sentimental, feelgood films really started with Fox Searchlight’s Slumdog Millionaire. Its Oscar backstory was that it had almost gone straight to video but was suddenly discovered on the festival circuit — so when it started winning stuff, the shock of that added to the miraculous way the film itself turned out. There have been many feelgood movies that never won Best Picture leading up to 2008 — in fact, you could comb through Oscar history and find that voters used to think that happily-ever-after wasn’t a substantial enough ingredient to award a film Best Picture. But that changed with Slumdog. Though The Hurt Locker won the following year, the Slumdog model would return with a vengeance with The King’s Speech — an unlikely, British-born underdog that offered up a happy ending. It wasn’t a bad film but it was one many people “just loved.” Sure, it was about history, Britain in the 1930s, but it was really about a triumph of the male ego.

After all, having a stutter, while embarrassing, is no reason to shrink from the only important duty a crown requires, to rally the country in time of strife — in fact, one could argue that giving that important speech WITH the stutter would have gone a long way towards helping people with stutters, and and shown a strength of personal resolve to solider bravely forth in the face of feeble insecurities. But seeing Colin Firth weep, and then snap out of it with a great, moving performance, finally give his speech to convince the country to go to war to fight the Nazis? Wow. Pat him on the back for a job well done. But what was really at stake for the King? Embarrassment.

The Artist was a similar kind of thing — foreign production made on a shoestring, a brilliantly made film about a man’s withering ego — what was at stake? Embarrassment, loss of a career, but mostly embarrassment. But that movie had much more going for it — it was a magic trick that left people with the glow of happiness because the character found success at last. With the charming Jean DuJardin and little Uggie making the rounds, voters loved the movie and loved seeing them win. The Artist, though, unlike The King’s Speech was really winning everything dutifully down the line. The King’s Speech was what can happen when a lot of people get together to vote, like in the thousands.

Finally we get to Silver Linings Playbook, another film about a man whose down on his luck after he catches his wife cheating on him. After throwing around a few punches here and there, enough to add “recently incarcerated for jealous rage” to his match.com profile, he puts on a trash bag to lose weight and begrudgingly allows the world’s most beautiful woman to lure him into her loving arms. He finally agrees to go on meds (though sometimes just sucks the flavor off a pill and spits it out), is coached by his football-loving therapist (yes, everything rounds down to football in this movie). They flail towards a dance contest and the film, from the mid-point on, is as predictable as any romantic comedy you’ve ever seen. What saves it is David O. Russell’s smart-alecky dialogue and Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. But more importantly — male ego is spared and you leave the theater with that familiar sticky afterglow of love. It goes down easy, gives back more than it takes and might be the only kind of film that can win in 2012. Even though we don’t yet know the outcome of this race, the emotional pull of Silver Linings has been a threat since it first won in Toronto. It even beat Argo.

After Toronto, so many great movies hit theaters — Lincoln, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained. It seemed impossible that a relatively weak but lovable film could actually win against those majestic films. Doubts seemed to be confirmed when David O. Russell failed to get a Globe nod for director (only Driving Miss Daisy has ever won Best Picture in the musical/comedy category without a nomination for director), and more importantly, a DGA nomination. The DGA is 14,000 voters — that many people decided there were five better movies this year. Again, you must invoke the Driving Miss Daisy rule, as it must also be invoked for Argo.

But everything turned around with the Oscar nominations. Four acting nominations for Silver Linings Playbook plus a director nomination for David O. Russell. Though the directors nominated Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke, they also picked Russell over Bigelow and Affleck. Suddenly, Silver Linings emerged as Lincoln and Life of Pi’s biggest challenger.

Mind you, if either Silver Linings or Argo wins Best Picture they will have to make Academy history to do so. A rule will have to be broken. Where the heart is concerned, a rule is meaningless. But I do still wonder about those 14,000 DGA voters. That’s a lot of people to say your movie isn’t good enough to win Best picture.

From this point, the Oscar race can go a couple of different ways — it can split up all over the place, with a different movie winning every guild or one movie will rule them all.

The one award Silver Linings Playbook can’t win, though, is the DGA. If it gets momentum this weekend from the PGA and SAG, its momentum will then be stopped cold at the DGA. It goes head to head with Argo, Lincoln and Life of Pi in the adapted screenplay awards upcoming, both the Scripter and the WGA. If Lincoln wins both of those, Tony Kushner’s chances for winning the Oscar increase dramatically. To win Best Picture against Lincoln, Life of Pi and Argo, Silver Linings really needs to win Adapted Screenplay; after all, Crash won the WGA and the Oscar for screenplay.

If we are headed for a split like Saving Private Ryan vs. Shakespeare in Love, Spielberg might win the DGA. Who else could win there? Ben Affleck, if the Argo momentum is a real thing.

Argo could win the PGA, SAG and DGA but it still can’t win the Best Director Oscar. Life of Pi could win the PGA and the DGA but it can’t win the SAG.

Lincoln can win the PGA, the SAG, the DGA and the Oscar. But it doesn’t mainline the feelgood love drug.

I still think the numbers back Lincoln. And I think that means Lincoln will win the PGA, not Silver Linings Playbook. The passionate vote for Silver Linings might be overtaken by the passionate vote for Argo and the group overall will prefer Lincoln, I figure. I also think Stephen Spielberg will win the DGA. I do think Silver Linings will take SAG ensemble.

My prediction of the guilds upcoming:

PGA–Lincoln
SAG–Silver Linings Playbook-3, Lincoln-1
DGA–Lincoln
WGA–Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty (because the only other two nominees also nominated for Oscar are Moonrise Kingdom and Flight — Boal has to win it, right?) and Tony Kushner for Lincoln
Scripter–Lincoln
Eddie–Argo, Silver Linings

I will be watching to see what changes are made to this list. If Lincoln loses the Scripter or the WGA it probably can’t win Best Picture. Lincoln is driven by three major forces — acting, writing and directing. It really has to win all three areas to win Best Picture. I think it can and I think it will.

But it is the turning point in the Oscar race in the coming days. As much as I complain about them I have to tip my hat to the Weinstein Co. for being the smartest players in the game – they cracked the Oscar code and the formula works.

If Silver Linings manages to beat Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour and Les Miserables it’s probably not going to go down very easily, and will likely be looked upon as a Rocky-like win. A lot of people liked Rocky and a lot of people love Silver Linings.

Argo builds up much cred for Ben Affleck who will have an easier time being nominated, and winning, if he gets another chance. The Oscar race has changed Benh Zeitlin’s career. In such a rich year of original, vivid films we saw Michael Haneke’s Amour named one of the best pictures of the year. That’s really something.

What happened this year was that American storytellers came roaring back. In the past it looked like we had lost the ability to be daring – that the need to top the box office had overtaken the need to tell a good story. They told great stories and were rewarded at the box office. If Lincoln, Silver Linings, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild or Argo wins this year they will win one for the home team. At the same time, the Oscars are infused with international filmmakers too. Though the ending of it all might feel anticlimactic, we must never forget the road we’ve traveled so far, and what an array of talent we’re lucky enough to judge like a horse race, something none of these films deserve.

We remind ourselves to remember that films are works of art – they are put in a contest to be voted on like roses at a pageant show. Losing the consensus vote ultimately means nothing. It doesn’t change how good a movie is; great works of great art make them look good that they had the wisdom of mind to choose rightly.

Sneak Trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis

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The State of the Race: Argo Takes Back the Lead

248 Comments

  1. Miley
    January 24, 2013

    I honestly don’t see any evidence to support a Silver Linings surge. It didn’t win the Globe. Most of my friends in SAG voted for Les Miserables or Lincoln for best Ensemble and if anything Argo seems to have the late race heat on it for The big prize at the Oscars. Frankly most of my industry friends are fairly apathetic towards it outside of Jennifer Lawrence.

  2. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    “…will likely be looked upon as a Rocky-like win. A lot of people liked Rocky and a lot of people love Silver Linings.”

    You just jolted my memory – SLP is one of the very few movies I’ve walked out on, before the end, since…Rocky!

  3. Astarisborn
    January 24, 2013

    I believe it will go this way:
    SAG- Silver Linings Playbook
    PGA- Lincoln
    DGA- Ang Lee for Life of Pi

    Oscar…..???

  4. PJ
    January 24, 2013

    Miley, did you happen to miss the 4 acting nominations at the Oscar and nominations in every major category?

    Globes voting was completed before that. I could go ahead and say the same thing about Lincoln. Lincoln was frontrunner before Oscar noms were announced yet both Critics Choice and Golden Globes went with Argo. Where is the evidence anyone cares about Licnoln other then DDL?

  5. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    What is your evidence that the Globes and Critics Choice matter at all?

  6. Bobby C
    January 24, 2013

    Not counting SAG and WGA, I’m betting PGA, DGA and the Oscars for Lincoln!

  7. RJ
    January 24, 2013

    I really don’t understand ALL the love for Lincoln. . . yea, it was a great movie, but other then DDL, it has won nothing leading up to the Guild Awards.

    This is how I see it. . .

    SAG – Les Miz
    PGA – Argo
    DGA – Argo
    Oscar – Argo for BP, Ang Lee for Director

  8. Astarisborn
    January 24, 2013

    I hope Les Mis blocks Siver Linnings at SAG. Lincoln, Argo, anything but SLP.

  9. Robbie
    January 24, 2013

    Honestly, I see Ben Affleck winning the DGA this year. It could be a consolation prize for not having been nominated for an Oscar (Like Ron Howard in ’95 with Apollo 13, and Spielberg himself with The Color Purple in ’85).

  10. The Japanese Viewer
    January 24, 2013

    My SAG prediction for Best Ensemble: ARGO.

    My PGA prediction for Best Picture: LINCOLN.

    I never trash-talked SLP here or elsewhere (not Wells’) no matter what level, but it’s impalpable for the film to garner the SAG Ensemble win or be the PGA BP winner in the end. I need to see/hear it to believe it (to win or lose) one way or another come this weekend.

    Thanks for a great read, Sasha.

  11. Mina
    January 24, 2013

    I believe Argo and SLP will dominate. Rather than stats, I would simply go with what my guts are telling me, which is:
    PGA – Argo (or Lincoln)
    SAG – SLP
    DGA – Argo

    Lincoln might get PGA but Argo will win DGA IMO. If that happens, it’s Argo which will benefit the max because the DGA is the last momentum indicator and then the BAFTA which Argo will also get. Heading to Oscars, it will be in great shape. I loved this movie because it’s one of the few films this year that made me really tense till the end. I watched it at the Doha Tribeca film festival with 2,000 people. What a reaction this film got!

  12. SeattleMoviegoer
    January 24, 2013

    this is getting nuts. and depressingly so. why even have an Oscars or an ultimate prize for movies if one man can rig and manipulate the system in such a way? it seems as though this one man (size-wise he could be two–sorry, couldn’t resist) holds more sway over the Academy than the whole ancient studio system accomplished when Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn or the Warners would have their whole studios vote in a block for certain titles.

  13. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Agreed with Robbie – Affleck will get the everything but the Oscar treatment this year, and not being nominated actually keeps his nom/win ratio surprisingly pristine. Next film he does, if it’s even halfway decent, will net him the nomination.

    As for SLP – it is an incredibly well-written, directed, and acted film, with universally moving performances, astonishing momentum that Lincoln and Life of Pi lack, and amazing appeal. Lincoln only has momentum because it’s about Honest Abe. As a film and story, it’s boring to many. Life of Pi only has momentum because it’s supposed to make me believe in God, I think. Other than that, I’ll repeat again, it’s a 2-hour screensaver.

    The reason why the same people who nominated Michael Haneke nominated Russell is because his direction is anomalous, thoroughly singular, and yet somehow lets the film breathe.

    Also, Sasha, to counter your point about the male ego – I don’t see that really in this film. If anything it’s about the male id.

  14. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    Hey people, cans we stop calling Lincoln boring since it made more than 162 million and counting?

    or is it only flag you have on your hand?

  15. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Hey people, cans we stop calling Lincoln boring since it made more than 162 million and counting?

    or is it only flag you have on your hand?

    Woot woot!

  16. Fuller
    January 24, 2013

    Every actor I know is voting Les Miz for SAG ensemble. Regardless, a SAG ensemble win does not correlate to Best Picture. Also, when it gets right down to it, I don’t see Oscar voters putting SLP at #1 above films they know are better and more “important” like Lincoln, Argo and Life of Pi. So I really, really hope you’re wrong.

  17. Fuller
    January 24, 2013

    Also, just realized–are you changing your previous PGA prediction post back to Lincoln?

  18. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    “Life of Pi only has momentum because it’s supposed to make me believe in God, I think. ”

    Easy to tell when someone hasn’t seen something.

  19. CB
    January 24, 2013

    I find Transformers boring and it’s made much more than that.

    If Lincoln were actually fun, more people would see it a second time. $162 million after over two months, massive prestige, lots of Oscar nominations, and a massive marketing budget means a lot of people are going ONCE.

  20. Diego
    January 24, 2013

    I will be incredibly happy for Silver Linings to win all of its nominations at the Oscars

    Does a SAG award really matter?

  21. dinasztie
    January 24, 2013

    I really disagree on Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of the best movies recently. The problem is that people think that a movie “with a silver lining” can be a masterpiece, which this one really is. It’s an extremely realistic, touching piece of work and one of the greatest, most sensitive portrayals of mental illness I’ve ever seen in my life (I’m not just talking, I’m bipolar myself). Bradley Cooper’s performance is just astonishing and in an ideal world, this orginal creation wouldn’t lose to a theatrical biopic performance. But there we go. I’m not even mentioning Jennifer. She’s just awesome. I’ve never really wanted an Oscar win as much as I do with Best Picture for SLP.

  22. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Dina, I completely agree. I have never been pro or anti Bradley Cooper. Frankly, I thought he was just a Matthew McConaughay Jr. for awhile (though I was wrong about him, too!). He gives an astonishing performance and sadly will lose to biopics like all original performances now do (Heath Ledger’s Ennis Del Mar will always be the greatest sin in my Oscar lifetime). SLP is a masterpiece, agreed.

  23. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    “cans we stop calling Lincoln boring since it made more than 162 million and counting?”

    It is a proven Law Of Film that the more money a movie makes the less it is able to be considered boring. Example: it is physically impossible for anyone to call Avatar b*ring.

  24. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    So CB, your answer is 2nd.

  25. Someone
    January 24, 2013

    If “Silver Linings Playbook” wins, it would be the first best picture winner without DGA nomination since “Driving Miss Daisy” – and apart from this film – since “An American in Paris” (1951). Still – both of those movies didn’t win best director award at the Oscars (“Driving Miss Daisy” wasn’t even nominated) – so Russell’s win is even less probable.

  26. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    A note to the people who found Lincoln to be boring – I suggest you start using the word “engaging” instead. It’s the acceptable word for critics to use in this situation.

    A bad example: “I didn’t find the film to be very engaging.”

    Another, better example: “The book was not very engaging.”

    Another example (for experts only): “Clearly, the director chose to not engage his audience, preferring to amuse himself instead.”

    As I’ve shown it’s adaptable to many situations! But more importantly, it places the blame on the creator of the work in question, and not on you.

  27. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    this orginal creation wouldn’t lose to a theatrical biopic performance.

    Yeah, good think Abraham Lincoln was around so Daniel Day-Lewis could model his voice after Abe’s, walk like Abe walked…yeah, I see where you’re going with this.

    [eyeroll]

  28. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Also, just realized–are you changing your previous PGA prediction post back to Lincoln?

    I am. I think any of the three could win: Argo, SLP or Lincoln but since I’m currently predicting Lincoln to win BP I have to predict Lincoln to win PGA since it also operates from a preferential ballot, which is key; passion won’t serve you well in a race like this – general consensus does.

  29. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Well, Mecid, you act like the only thing non-Lincoln fans have is calling it boring. As I’ve said before, it’s not only boring, but it’s not particularly well-written, directed, and other than DDL, the acting is just…ok. Sally Fields is one-note, and Tommy Lee Jones is in the Alan Arkin school: perfectly likable and way way over-praised. Frankly, DDL is over-praised. His performance didn’t really stick with me at all to be honest. Not in the way that Daniel Plainview did, or My Left Foot, or even Gangs of New York. He looked like Lincoln, was stalwart, and come to think of it had a voice that crossed Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. The direction was astonishingly dull, and the script was god-awful. The first and last ten minutes were both completely poor judgments – beginning with an historically implausible recitation, then ending in with a bait-and-switch of the assassination, sort of like the showers in Schindler’s List.

    Ultimately, had it not been about Lincoln, it would be seen for what it is: a dull if competent nice try. And a very unambitious try at that. Costumes and set details are intricate and well researched – yes, I know all that. But the story is probably the safest and most dramatically unappealing one of Lincoln’s fascinating life.

  30. Alec
    January 24, 2013

    CB,
    How many historical dramas can you name that made anywhere near as much money as Lincoln has so far? The fact that it was released wide over two months ago and has been in the top 10 for the vast majority of that time indicates that it has played very well with audiences. While that doesn’t make it a good film by itself(as your Transformers reference indicates), it does show that audiences like it more than you are giving it credit for. SLP is the supposed feel-good movie of the Oscar season and will not gross anywhere near as much as Lincoln despite having Bradley Cooper(The Hangover movies) and Jennifer Lawrence(The Hunger Games).

  31. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    I really disagree on Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of the best movies recently. The problem is that people think that a movie “with a silver lining” can be a masterpiece, which this one really is. It’s an extremely realistic, touching piece of work and one of the greatest, most sensitive portrayals of mental illness I’ve ever seen in my life (I’m not just talking, I’m bipolar myself). Bradley Cooper’s performance is just astonishing and in an ideal world, this orginal creation wouldn’t lose to a theatrical biopic performance. But there we go. I’m not even mentioning Jennifer. She’s just awesome. I’ve never really wanted an Oscar win as much as I do with Best Picture for SLP.

    The heart does not know from logic.

  32. James
    January 24, 2013

    Well I certainly appreciate it when people can love the flick without the mention of Lawrence since everyone seems to have a hard on for her. Yes, she’s young. Yes, she’s talented. Yes, she’s now a movie star. We get it. Lawrence this and Lawrence that. I still feel like she should be campaigned in supporting, but she’s a movie star so I get the lead push now. Still it’s a supporting role where she doesn’t seem to exist within her own universe. She exists strictly for the male character.

    I don’t know about this realism deal. Forget the realism to bipolar circumstance for a sec. In a movie, writing a fake letter is a romantic gesture. In real life, it would make the guy’s head explode. Self-centered jerk meets manipulative woman who is needy and will give too much love to her man and never get it back. These two will last a lifetime.

  33. phantom
    January 24, 2013

    I don’t know the stats, but how many Comedy contenders failed to win the Golden Globe Best Picture and then still managed to pull off the Oscar Best Picture ? I don’t think there were many…if any ? My biggest fear isn’t that Silver Linings Playbook wins Best Picture (although it is high on my ‘fear list’), it is that David O. Russell wins Best Adapted Screenplay…now THAT would be a travesty, well, anyone really who isn’t Tony Kushner winning, would be just ridiculous, his screenplay is so high above anyone else’s in his category. Having said that, as deserving winner as Daniel Day-Lewis will be, I firmly believe Hugh Jackman delivered a difficult, complex performance on the same level of brilliance, so even though he won’t come close, I would like to put it out there that I believe he would be a great pick, as well. It’s not his fault his film isn’t as strong as his ‘rival’s’. His individual work was truly stunning. Anyway :

    PGA – Lincoln (alt. Silver Linings Playbook)
    DGA - Lincoln (alt. Argo)
    SAG ENSEMBLE – Lincoln (alt. Silver Linings Playbook)
    WGA ADAPTED - Lincoln (alt…well I would love to think there isn’t one)
    WGA ORIGINAL – Zero Dark Thirty (ditto)

    Yes, I think the Guilds will provide a kingsspeechesque sweep for Lincoln…and since Silver Linings Playbook seems to be its biggest competition, I sure hope Lincoln will pull these off. What didn’t I GET with SLP, I still don’t know, I just don’t think it was anything but a generic romcom with the unoriginal ‘characters with issues’ twist and a few great performances. i don’t see how the writing, directing, editing could have been possibly considered Oscar top5 worthy, but I guess I will have to watch it AGAIN (I gave it a second viewing already) to see what I’m missing.

  34. The Dude
    January 24, 2013

    ” Life of Pi only has momentum because it’s supposed to make me believe in God, I think. ”

    In other words, you haven’t seen it.

    Sometimes I think Harvey pays trolls to spread hate in the internet against other candidates. I wouldn’t put it past him honestly…

  35. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Alec, I don’t care how much money a movie makes, and as for Lincoln making more money than SLP – what do you expect? SLP is an adult romantic comedy/drama with sex, mental illness, and an R rating.

    Lincoln is a generally a-political (unless you’re pro-slavery) family friendly “AMERICAN MASTERPIECE” with Spielberg and all the gravitas that appeals to middle America and the coasts. It has all the free press of Obama praising it, the Senate showing it, Oprah extolling its virtues, not to mention a much larger marketing machine behind it. Lincoln is a 50-state sell, a bland pseudo-virtuosic ‘masterpiece’. I’m surprised it’s only made $162M in 75 days. As I said, it means people are going once, not twice.

  36. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Dude, I have seen Life of Pi.

  37. James
    January 24, 2013

    CB you’re not a Silver Linings Playbook fan are ya?

  38. Rhetoric Teacher
    January 24, 2013

    I am an expert in American History and American Cinema. I have PhDs in both fields. One of my primary areas of research has been the intersection of these two fields of study.

    So, naturally, I was excited to see Lincoln. Spielberg has a penchant for making historical films with such accuracy, such poignancy that I’ve used his films as inspiration for my successful career.

    With that said, I found Lincoln to be a disappointment. Unlike his other films, Spielberg fails to ask any big questions or investigate any topic that challenges him. Clearly, Spielberg chose not to engage his audience on any substantive issue, preferring to get lost in historical details merely so he can say his film is accurate.

    Accuracy, while commendable, shouldn’t be a director’s primary goal in filmmaking, it should be capturing the essence of its subjects, and in that way, Spielberg failed to capture Lincoln’s soul. It’s fascinating to see what the White House would have looked like in 1865, but that’s not why we go to the movies, is it? Consequently, Lincoln will continue to remain a stranger to viewers of this film.

    ——

    See how easy it is to call a film “boring” but not have people jump down your throat for it!

  39. KT
    January 24, 2013

    If Silver Linings Playbook wins the Oscar, it would be a better winner than the past two years. This film, though many here may fail to see it, is incredibly well directed and includes many stylistic flourishes in the photography. David O. Russell exhibits a strong vision in his film and executes it quite adeptly through his writing and direction. Hell I even thought it was worthy of the editing nom. Does that mean it is a more deserving winner than other films? That’s up for debate surely. Just saying that this film and the degree of difficulty in pulling it off with the tone and mental illness are no small accomplishments on the part of the filmmakers. Not sure what will happen regarding its awards chances—SAG ensemble definitely the most doable—but I think I’d be interested in reading a piece on Harvey (and his team), his influence, what happened in the years he was coming back (Departed, No Country, even Hurt Locker–difficult films winning), what he does behind closed doors, whether he bullies people to bite, etc. etc. Could be an idea for a column Sasha.

  40. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    CB, are you kidding or wasting your time here?

    These are the “Highest grossing presidental films ever” in USA.

    1 Independence Day Fox $306,169,268
    2 Air Force One Sony $172,956,409
    3 Lincoln BV $162,325,035
    4 Fahrenheit 9/11 Lions $119,194,771
    5 Vantage Point Sony $72,266,306
    6 JFK WB $70,405,498
    7 Dave WB $63,270,710
    8 The American President Sony $60,079,496
    9 Absolute Power Sony $50,068,310
    10 Mars Attacks! WB $37,771,017

    As you see Lincoln is gonna to be 2d highest grossing film here. And look what is in 1st place. Sci-fi action film. I think we know the difference between genres and can stop comparisons between Transformers and Lincoln.

    And can you just say I hate Lincoln and rooting for SLP instead of using “boring” and comparing hitorical drama with action sci-fi?

  41. AnthonyP
    January 24, 2013

    Spielberg gets Best Director Oscar
    Argo wins Best Picture Oscar

    Nuff said

  42. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Actually, the Weinsteing piece would be a good idea for a “Kindle Single”

  43. January 24, 2013

    @Rhetoric Teacher
    Wow thx! That’s exactly how I feel abt Lincoln, except I didn’t really know how to put it into words. Also, welcome to AD! But be careful you’ve got the exact same avatar as rufussondheim so you might want to change it before he gets pissed and jumps down at your throat for it…

  44. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Mecid, you should use inflation-adjusted box office totals. Otherwise, you just look kind of stupid.

  45. January 24, 2013

    @mecid
    mars attacks is only 10th :( too bad it’s the best of the bunch, by far!

  46. January 24, 2013

    inflation-adjusted mars attack is still #10 and Lincoln still #3 far behind air force one…

  47. PJ
    January 24, 2013

    What is your evidence that the Globes and Critics Choice matter at all?

    Half the experts who picked Lincoln jumping ship to Argo after the Globes on gold derby.

  48. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    rufus, when people make list of highest grossing films they use actual gross and then adjusted for inflation. even with a-inflation Lincoln is still 3rd there.

  49. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Taylor Kinney is so gorgeous here, I’m shocked more people don’t use this Avatar, Christophe.

  50. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Half the experts who picked Lincoln jumping ship to Argo after the Globes on gold derby.

    You mean all of those experts who picked Lincoln for the Globe except one (me)? “Experts” don’t know anymore than you or me. The Globes are 100 voters, don’t use a preferential ballot love to slurp Clooney. BFCA are around 100 or 200 again, not a preferential ballot (as far as I know) critics who didn’t “like” Lincoln. The PGA is 4,500 members who use a preferential ballot. It COULD be Argo but you should not necessarily use the Globes or BFCA (both picked TSN) as your reasoning. Think about Oscar’s best picture and work back from there. If you think Argo can win BP pick Argo. I think it’s either Lincoln or SLP. But I could be totally wrong too. The only thing I think is reliable the Globes is their director category.

  51. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Mecid: I DON’T CARE ABOUT BOX OFFICE TOTALS. And you’re ignoring *my* point which is that no one is seeing it twice, so to say that because people are going means it is ‘embraced’ by audiences is erroneous. I see tons of movies, I embrace few.

  52. alan of montreal
    January 24, 2013

    I seriously hope it doesn’t win–it’s so contrived, and doesn’t even come close to Russell’s best work. I like Jennifer Lawrence in it (to the extent that I wouldn’t have a problem with her winning an Oscar), and I was entertained, but it just feels so fluffy and forgettable in comparison to its competition.

  53. January 24, 2013

    Taylor is fine but James Frecheville or Monty Clift are more to my taste.

  54. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    With that said, I found Lincoln to be a disappointment. Unlike his other films, Spielberg fails to ask any big questions or investigate any topic that challenges him. Clearly, Spielberg chose not to engage his audience on any substantive issue, preferring to get lost in historical details merely so he can say his film is accurate.

    Well your opinion and you’re entitled to it but you’re wrong about Spielberg “not choosing” to engage his audience. Plenty of his audience have been engaged – up one side and down the other. Or I might paraphrase Rilke in saying “if you find life boring don’t blame it, blame yourself — you are not poet enough to call forth its riches” It is not always what you see that is wrong; sometimes it is from the lens you look at things from that is closed.

  55. Fuller
    January 24, 2013

    The performances in SLP are good but the technical directing–the overuse of whip pans and steadicam–were really distracting. I don’t blame the DGA for not nominating it, and I really don’t think when it comes down to it, people will vote for it for best picture. Especially if “Lincoln” is a lock for screenplay, which people seem to think it is. And I’m tired of people calling “Lincoln” boring. I will take a dozen well-written and powerfully delivered speeches over all the shouting in SLP any day.

  56. January 24, 2013

    Half the experts who picked Lincoln jumping ship to Argo after the Globes on gold derby.

    Many of the same experts who said Les Mis was going to sweep.

  57. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Well, mecid, the final tallies for Hyde Park on Hudson aren’t in yet, so your list might be premature!

    On a serious note, I hate this discussion of box office. Why do Lincoln people constnatly feel the need to pull out these numbers? It’s kind of pathetic in my opinion.

    Box office, this year, is pretty much a non-issue as all of the films have done well. All are considered a success, but none is considered an overwhelming success that it can’t be ignored (such as Titanic or Return of the King).

    Give it a rest, please, and save yourself some time.

  58. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    CB, how you know people don’t see the film twice? Please tell me. I want to know what you use to know it. Is it something new technique or what?

  59. Rhetoric Teacher
    January 24, 2013

    Um, Sasha, I’m not a real person.

  60. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    “Many of the same experts who said Les Mis was going to sweep.”

    Ha – that was a hysterical scramble when they abandoned that ship. Lucky somebody didn’t get hurt.

  61. January 24, 2013

    Matt says: “Show some class and maybe I’ll come back as a reader.”

    Come back as a reader whenever you want. You’ll be back as a commenter when I stop being tired of your insulting comments.

  62. James
    January 24, 2013

    After Silver Linings won the Toronto audience award….

    Weinstein: Holy shit! Getting this guy on the phone right now.
    Russell: Hello?
    Weinstein: Yea David. It’s me. How would you like to an Oscar winner?
    Russell: Get the f*ck out of here. Really? I was just trying to make a mainstream middle America flick with still my love for dysfunctional families so I could make something I really wanted to make in the future.
    Weinstein: Well it’s got Oscar potential buddy. We got all bases covered. Weaver for women 55 and older. De Niro for older audiences. Cooper for The Hangover crowd and Lawrence who is now a movie star. Their attractive two leads. They don’t do anything that’s too alienating as characters within the film. We got a token black guy and a tidy ending that blends football and dance competitions. Nothing more American than that. To think I was gonna push PTA or Tarantino this year.
    Russell: I’d like to be a winner, but I just don’t know.
    Weinstein: David, David, David….so naive. I got this. Last year was an easy sweep, but the year before that I took down The Social Network. In several months I’m gonna make this comfortable cliched and contrived fluff piece a winner. Just you wait. Alright buddy. I’ll call ya later. Don’t worry. I got this.

  63. KT
    January 24, 2013

    Oops…I ment “bullies people to vote.” We talk so much about Harvey…think it would be interesting to read all you know about him in a column. How sooooo many people are afraid of him…. what exactly does he do to make sure he gets the votes he needs?? Whether he had a hand in propagating the Zero Dark Thirty controversy??

    I would vote Lincoln for Best Ensemble. A truly amazing ensemble cast brought together. But, as another academic, I have to agree with some of the comments “Rhetoric Teacher” brings up. I think Spielberg accomplishes the atmosphere, the mise-en-scene in technical filmmaking terms particularly well. But the air of how important passing the 13th Amendment was, this particular moment in history, was surely not being emphasized by the participants at the time, as it is in the dialogue of the movie. Only when we look back in hindsight do we realize how significant that amendment was–an event that was barely covered in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book and perhaps overemphasized through the entire movie in how “difficult” it was too get passed. The scene between Lincoln and Gloria Rueben’s character outside the White House–a moment I loved–probably would have never taken place. In taking this approach, which may not be historically accurate, the film puts forth its views as gospel, as THIS was what happened. Now sometimes this approach works, sometimes it doesn’t. That is the opinion of the viewer, whether they appreciate this kind of didactic storytelling. What I value most in Lincoln are the extraordinarily rendered and intimate mise-en-scene, and towering performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

  64. January 24, 2013

    I still think Les Mis is going to sweep! Feels good to have the boat all to myself, not even a tiger to scare the s*** out of me.

  65. JJ
    January 24, 2013

    All you SAG people voting for Les Mis have no taste. Theater queens!

  66. January 24, 2013

    Oh brother. In a few weeks, this is all going to look ridiculous. Weinstein crests and falls. It was overkill with the artist. This year is way too competitive for SLP to creep in. SLP may have won in 2007 … But fortunately a decent movie did. And one uncharacteristic of the AMPAS to boot.

    Lincoln is winning the Oscar for BP along with at least three more golden men. But the wins are so precarious right now that to boast too much confidence removes it from the underdog position. Reminds me of obama’s victory.

    I’ve resigned myself to Lincoln winning. I’m okay with it too. I actually kind of does as far as these things go. But, my horse doesn’t stand a chance either.

    There are no surprises this year if Lincoln takes one of the next three big precursors (PGA, sag, DGA) and no other film takes two or more. Unless this proves to be false, the next four weeks are going to be a big snoozer. Zzzzzz …. D30!

  67. CB
    January 24, 2013

    My take is largely empirical, but no one I know has seen it twice and the way its numbers come in do not indicate people are seeing it more than once. Most movies don’t get repeat viewers, but your argument that it has been embraced by the public was wrong – it has been seen by many in the public, but embraced, well, prove that to me.

    Ultimately your whole reasoning being that it’s better because it’s made a lot of money is empty to begin with.

  68. Drew
    January 24, 2013

    NGNG: Best pic goes to Argo and best director goes to Affleck by way of write-in-vote.

  69. Alfredo
    January 24, 2013

    It’s that time of year again where everyone’s claws come out ready to defend their horse in the race. Interesting how we take these silly awards to heart. As if the Academy not choosing your #1 all of a sudden makes it invalid.

    In regards to the Weinstein Co. I would like to know what dark arts Harvey and his team are using to get his films winning.

    I liked Silver Linings Playbook…scratch that I LOVED Silver Linings Playbook…it was well directed and acted. I have a few problems with the script’s third act but overall the movie entertained and told a story that engaged it’s audience to root for a man that has many issues (bi-polar disorder is the least of his problems really…) Is it technically the “Best” film…no…but all of the films nominated have faults that would lead someone not to like it. So can we stop with the whole if Silver Linings Playbook wins it’ll be a travesty talk. It’ll be a fine winner. The world won’t end.

    Anyway, here I am rambling on like good ol’ Abe Lincoln…

  70. January 24, 2013

    People who refuse to at least consider Hugh jackman’s acting in les Mis, as well as the singing of barks and tveit, as well as the efforts of an entire cast who sang their way through a film (well, at least, those whose names appeared by the selves in the opening credits?), and, yes, even Ms. Anne who was quite excellent when she wasn’t indulging her hammy propensity to indicate and look lost, may not have taste. Just a theory.

  71. Freddy Ardanza
    January 24, 2013

    …The King’s Speech — an unlikely, British-born underdog that offered up a happy ending. It wasn’t a bad film but it was one many people “just loved.” Sure, it was about history, Britain in the 1930s, but it was really about a triumph of the male ego.

    Metacritic Score:

    The King’s Speech: 88
    Lincoln: 86

  72. January 24, 2013

    @vince
    or may just be hypocritical! it’s all part of the awards game after all: choose your horse and break its rivals’ legs.

  73. Max G
    January 24, 2013

    [deleted]

  74. mikeyone
    January 24, 2013

    i loved SLP and ZDT but i have a strange feeling that Life of Pi is going to sweep the oscars.

  75. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Critics loved The King’s Speech but look at the Social Network’s score.

  76. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Can we all now agree that ‘The Artist’ was just a glorified Youtube video? And all that LIKABLE Jean DeSomething and the damn dog being marched around to create the sense that it was some lovable duo. Ugh, that felt so phony to me.

  77. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Show some class and maybe I’ll come back as a reader.

    I should be so lucky to never have to deal with you again, pal.

  78. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    The Weinsteins grow weary of this Oscar game. For the 2013 ceremony they escalating the thrill, entering their Trick Shot phase where they do shit like do a SLP sweep without aid of a DGA nomination.

    Next year they run a successful write-in campaign for a 0 nominations film released with bare-minimum Oscar qualifying run.

    The 2015 Academy Awards swept by a Weinstein home video of Harvey and Bob playing checkers with Oscars statues as pieces.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine Harvey Weinstein clapping on ABC – forever.

  79. January 24, 2013

    I wouldn’t argue that a film is better because it made more money, but I would argue that a film that exceeds financial expectations has resonated with audiences somehow in a way that suggests quality on some level. If you told me a year ago that a film about lincoln, especially one with few war scenes, might threaten to hit $200M, I might have put money down that it wouldn’t happen.

    Lincoln has many flaws and indulges in hero worship, but I give it props, just as I give all the BP nominees props this year, even Django. I hated that movie, but it too resonated with audiences and critics in a way that is undeniable. In an era of franchises and sequels, there are much worse things. The key is for Hollywood to build on the success of these movies that buck the system and audiences are willing to show up for.

  80. Kane
    January 24, 2013

    Mecid, just because Lincoln made that much money doesn’t mean a majority of the people didn’t think it was boring. I was partially bored by it but I was able to tell it is a fascinating film. There have been plenty of movies out there that were hyped, made a lot of money in the 1st week and dropped off because people were underwhelmed. Obviously Lincoln isn’t one of those but you can’t go off numbers. 10 people can see Lincoln, love it and tell 10 others to go see it. The 2nd group of 10 can go see it and be flat out bored. And calling Lincoln boring isn’t always a bad thing. Being bored can mean not being stimulated. The dialogue was fantastic but there were a lot of quiet scenes. But again, calling Lincoln a bit boring doesn’t translate to being a bad film. When things are fast paced it’s naturally a bit more stimulating.

  81. Matt
    January 24, 2013

    I love Awards Daily!

  82. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    So CB, people you know seen it once means millions of people seent it once?

    If you think 160 million grossed Lincoln is seen once by people then it means 60 million gorssed SLP isn’t even seen or is seen by “halfman”?

    In your theory SLP is “boring” not Lincoln.

  83. PJ
    January 24, 2013

    How actors view the PGA and SAG: Backstage predicts SLP for ensemble(with Les Mis as alt) and Argo for PGA(with Lincoln as alt).

    http://www.backstage.com/news/pga-awards-prediction/
    http://www.backstage.com/news/sag-award-predictions-14979/

  84. Max G
    January 24, 2013

    Alright, as it seems you don’t want criticism in the even weakest form I’ll restrain from making any. Quite dissappointing as I at least hoped you would stay true to what you preach, Sasha. But if you want the good comments only I’ll shut it.

  85. January 24, 2013

    Freddy, Ryan schooled me weeks ago on the critical response between speech and network. Yes, their MC and RT scores have little disparity. However, if you look at the breakdown of all of the top 10 lists, a result emerges that clearly creates a chasm between the love of those two particular movies. I don’t know how it ended up with Lincoln and the 2012 movies (I imagine ZD30 did well), but there are major nuances that these simple percentages can’t address.

  86. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    Nobody has seen either Lincoln or SLP. It’s literally just Spielberg & Kushner vs. The Weinsteins buying tons of tickets for their own films.

  87. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    “just because Lincoln made that much money doesn’t mean a majority of the people didn’t think it was boring.”

    Doesn’t work like that. Word of mouth is the biggest killer/promoter going and it spreads like fire. If a majority of people thought it was boring, free toasters wouldn’t entice them to see it.

  88. Derek 8-Track
    January 24, 2013

    “But what was really at stake for the King? Embarrassment.”

    Remember how terrible Obama’s first debate went against Romney. That performance made it difficult to rally behind him. It was a total face palm moment. “Oh my goodness, this is the guy I’m voting for, ughhh.” luckily his unembarrassing followup debates fixed things and we had a man we could confidently vote for. There was a lot at steak. You want a strong leader.
    But, any movie can be reduced to garbage… even Lincoln, and any simple movie can be built up to greatness if you have the right person talking about it.

  89. phantom
    January 24, 2013

    JJ

    The SAG people vote for acting and Les Misérables featured excellent acting performances. I’m glad the Academy members came to their senses and didn’t nominate it in director, screenplay and editing BUT if there is one award it would actually deserve, it’s the SAG Ensemble in my opinion. And by ‘deserve’ I mean it could be a deserving winner, but probably not as deserving as Lincoln…but DEFINITELY more deserving than Silver Linings Playbook and Argo. And for the record I LOVED Argo, I just don’t think it featured any outstanding performances, let alone enough to warrant this award. My two cents.

  90. January 24, 2013

    It will be interesting to see how Harvey’s 2013 baby will do. Acting/writing-driven heightened southern family drama. Not directed by an established cinema Titan, so I wonder how much it will be tinkered with by the studio, but I hope it’s not to the point of serving the male ego!

  91. Derek 8-Track
    January 24, 2013

    …and by steak i obviously meant stake.

  92. mecid
    January 24, 2013

    I know Kane but this “boring” term is becoming the only thing people use to describe how bad is Lincoln and why voters wouldn’t vote for it.

  93. Armando
    January 24, 2013

    Will there be a (third) major meltdown around here in 30 days from today? Stay tuned!!

  94. danemychal
    January 24, 2013

    Vince Smetana – The collection of top 10 lists has ZDT at #1. But Lincoln is at #5, which is not bad at all. SLP I believe hovers at around #9-10. The Master, Amour, Holy Motors, BOTSW and Pi are all top 10 I believe.

  95. Jerry Grant
    January 24, 2013

    “If Silver Linings Playbook wins the Oscar, it would be a better winner than the past two years.”

    ^agreed. Still am rooting for Lincoln all the way though.

  96. January 24, 2013

    Watermelons! On fire today!

    (miss you on twitter)

  97. Jerry
    January 24, 2013

    I don’t see how any Obama supporter can downplay the importances of good oratory in politics or fail to see how detrimental a stutter would be to a public official. It’s really not about ego. It’s about being able to perform your job well even with an impairment. The King didn’t hide from his duty he went for help knowing good oratory skills were crucial to his efficiency at moving the public on the edge of a great war. I also don’t see Pat’s problem in SLP as only a male ego thing. The guy has real mental health issues that impair his ability to function in life and not be a public menace. Both these roles require a viewer to step in the shoes of the protagonist and have empathy for another humanbeing who may not share your gender, race or economic situation. That both films were embraced show that most people are capable of doing just that thanks to fine acting from Firth and Cooper.

  98. January 24, 2013

    Considering the subject matter, none of the BP nominees underperformed at the box office. Though the highest grossers have benefitted from brand recognition more so than the others. So, there’s that.

  99. January 24, 2013

    The King didn’t hide from his duty he went for help knowing good oratory skills were crucial to his efficiency at moving the public

    That would’ve been a great slant, but that’s not the slant Hooper took. Not a hint of that. All the first half was petulant king needing to be coaxed and prodded into doing something about his problem besides cry about it.

  100. Alfredo
    January 24, 2013

    I liked Lincoln, I just didn’t LOVE it. I don’t know, it was a very well written, acted and directed film (I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of restraint Speilberg used in this film in not beating me over the head with what he wanted me to feel…well except for the end…). In any case, when I left the theater I just thought to myself well that was nice and historically accurate…for the most part (I’m kind of a history geek)at no point did I think man I gotta tell my friends to go see Lincoln! (that may speak more about the kinds of people I surround myself with than the film)

    In contrast, after seeing Silver Linings Playbook and Django I couldn’t wait to talk to people about the films. I wanted everyone I knew to watch it so I can have a discussion about it. This kind of passion is why I feel that Lincoln, for as well made as it is, will not win Best Picture. But what do I know…I’m just a guy shouting in a room full of screaming people.

  101. January 24, 2013

    I could have sworn I was using a mild diplomatic tone. :)

  102. January 24, 2013

    I really don´t see SLP winning Best Picture.
    But I see it winning SAG Emsemble – I said SAG Emsemble, not a award who seems Best Picture from SAG.
    I really don´t see SAG Emsemble being a BP award. Never. Sometimes it happens – like that piece of shit called Crash. But they also awarded The Birdcage Sideways, The Help. There´s no a Best picture Award as SAG, there´s a Emsemble award.
    For me, it´s two things apart.

    Said this, what I really see:

    SAG: SLP, Best Emsemble
    PGA: Argo
    DGA: Ben Affleck, Argo
    WGA: Original: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom; Adapted: Chris Terrio, Argo ou Tony Kushner, Lincoln

    And then on 24th Feb… :D

  103. January 24, 2013

    @fabinho
    yet another reason why there should be two more acting awards at the oscars: best ensemble and best juvenile actor. I would gladly get rid of the docu and short films categories to make room for them.

  104. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Even though I never watch any of the short films across those three categories, I would hate to see them eliminated. I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, but I suspect that many of these films get funding simply because they have a shot at getting an Oscar. And I also suspect that many young filmmakers get their starts in making these short films and that many major talents in Hollywood spent some time making short films before they graduated into feature films.

  105. January 24, 2013

    OMFG per Deadline jj abrams to direct Star Wars’ sequel for Disney!! there’s a chance they might be good then!

  106. January 24, 2013

    The birdcage would never win today. How sad. I don’t know if it could even get nominated. THAT was a true ensemble.

  107. January 24, 2013

    I don’t know if there’s a chance SW7 will be good, but there’s a good chance lens flares will be amply employed.

  108. Kate
    January 24, 2013

    It is always interesting to read the comments here and see the many and varied the reactions to the films. For me, SLP was just OK. Nothing special. Completely forgettable. The DeNiro character was an overwritten caricature which really spoiled it for me and I couldn’t wait for his scenes to end. (Flame me now!)

    Have no idea who is going to win what, but I would consider an SLP win a travesty.

    The BP of the year: Lincoln. Hands down.

  109. January 24, 2013

    Christine Lahti is an Oscar winner because of the shorts. Which is cool.

  110. Jerry Grant
    January 24, 2013

    Prediction: Contrary to AD, I think Silver Linings will NOT win any of the big SAG awards. It’s the Nate Silver argument: stay steady, focus on the big picture. The narrative will all return away from crazy-land SLP bashing and fear, and towards “ok, this makes sense.” Maybe some day Sasha and Ryan will wake up and realize what a unique and special movie SLP is (not a typical rom-com AT ALL) and will realize why it will influence many young filmmakers (yes, it will) … That will only happen if it DOESN’T win Best Picture, which will only provoke irrational fury. Go Lincoln!

    SAG ensemble: Lincoln
    PGA: Lincoln
    DGA: Affleck
    Oscars: LINCOLN

  111. Zach
    January 24, 2013

    Random thoughts and questions:

    (1) It is Sally FIELD. Not Sally Fields. Everyone is doing this wrong. I’ve seen Quvenzhané Wallis’s name spelled correctly more often.

    (2) I will never understand why someone would say that Sally Field was terrible in Lincoln. I thought she was magnificent. I’m not saying Anne Hathaway shouldn’t win, but with Lincoln and Les Mis being two very different beasts (of the southern wild), if there were ever another tie it should be in Best Actor and Supporting Actress. Considering Sally’s best work is still Sybil, not Norma Rae, I think this comes close to toppling the latter as her greatest work in film.

    (3) Lincoln was not boring. In fact, I want to watch it again when I get the chance, instead of watching something new like Moonrise Kingdom or Looper. That it was so talky, arguably stagy, and still as absorbing as it was — that’s an accomplishment.

    (4) I’d see parts of Pi and Les Mis again, and The Impossible, but most films this year don’t require a second viewing. Silver Linings? Already regretting I paid to see it. (David O. Russell’s direction was TV-movie style. JLaw is not the most desirable woman on the planet. Bradley Cooper’s character is annoying, even if he’s supposed to be. Will the fans understand it’s not for everyone?)

    Argo? It was solid and probably plays better on TV anyway, but I don’t have to see it again and won’t go out of my way to do so.

    And Django? I loved Waltz, but there was nothing there to really see again. It was a massive slump from Inglourious.

    So don’t anybody make sweeping claims about which movies are rewatchable and which ones are getting people to pay twice to see them — NONE of these movies have great rewatch potential on the big screen except for Pi and The Impossible because of the visuals. It’s a non-factor.

    (5) @Jerry. He was the King of England. He didn’t have a real job.

  112. January 24, 2013

    Christine Lahti is an Oscar winner because of the shorts.

    hmm, and Jennifer Lawrence will be an Oscar winner because of the tights.

  113. January 24, 2013

    Lol Ryan. I walked into that one.

    And fieldz was better in norma Rae than Sybil. In Sybil, she had too much competition.

  114. January 24, 2013

    @ryan
    I’m glad to see you have a sense of humor tonight! yet when I attempt to make jokes or use sarcasm/irony, you call me stupid. double standard? quick temper? or am I just terrible at humor?

  115. Glenn UK
    January 24, 2013

    For me, if feel good is going to win then that means Les Mis. I know it has no chance except for possibly SAG but holy shit how I would love a shocker of a year. To me, it still feels like a split year and I will kind of be disappointed if that does not work out. Lincoln ticks lots of boxes (I haven’t seen it btw) but knowing how fickle the AMPAS members are will they reward Spielberg, DDL and possibly Sally a third? Is Life of Pi waiting in the wings to steal everyone’s thunder? But I would not be disappointed to see SLP win either – I thoroughly enjoyed it ….. got lost in it’s characters and was mesmerised by Jacki Weaver ….. she nailed it and she had me for whatever reason. I left the theatre on a high. So for me, feel good works.

  116. January 24, 2013

    Christ, Christophe, it was You who first crawled up my ass about this:

    - me: “Obama is not an Academy member”
    - you: Thx Ryan! Very insightful remark as always

    Thx Smart-ass! I was being playful. I was playing around yesterday afternoon, and now it seems you will never get off my back.

  117. January 24, 2013

    no one I know has seen it twice and the way its numbers come in do not indicate people are seeing it more than once

    Ew. What do you want to indicate that people are seeing a movie more than once? 75% declines each weekend? Massively frontloaded box office? $30 million and counting?

    The way Lincoln’s numbers have been coming in do indicate that people are seeing it more than once, then telling other people how much they enjoyed it. Just no people you know.

  118. CB
    January 24, 2013

    As always, Jerry, I agree. Though I hope SLP wins Picture. It’ll still influence young filmmakers.

  119. January 24, 2013

    no one I know has seen Lincoln twice

    I paid to see it 3 times. 2nd and 3rd time I brought friends along to share it with me.

    Maybe I don’t count, CB, since you “don’t know me”

    Or maybe there’s something really seriously wrong with all the people you know?

  120. January 24, 2013

    Dear Lord, reading some of the absolutely idiotic comments on this board today, I truly feel for Sasha and Ryan!

    And CB, your bashing of the most intelligent screenplay written in the last five years, proves you know shit about film. But then your referring to ‘Sally Fields’ actually says it all.

  121. FrankieJ
    January 24, 2013

    Oh, and CB, for the record I saw LINCOLN 4 times. Paid 3 times. You ignoramus!

  122. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Lincoln is the best screenplay of the last five years? Are you serious?

    Better than Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, or Another Year to name just three?

    Oh no! I called Sally Fieldz ‘Sally Fieldss’ or something, ah!

    Ryan, I do know you, which is why I’m sorry you wasted so much time watching the most boring movie of the past 35 years.

  123. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Frankie, I bow to your genius.

  124. Big G
    January 24, 2013

    I hope Silver Linings Playbook wins so it can be proven once and for fucking all that the Motion Picture Academy is nothing more than Harvey Weinstein’s personal be-yotch!

  125. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    As always, Jerry, I agree. Though I hope SLP wins Picture. It’ll still influence young filmmakers

    To do what? Write weak female parts, end your film in a predictable fashion, introduce bipolar disorder only to have it completely disappear in the second half? I hope tomorrow’s filmmakers learn from Haneke, Zeitlin, Bigelow, and yes, Spielberg, Ang Lee instead. Learn from the masters. If you want to watch a brilliant David O. Russell film, before he craved winning an Oscar, check out Flirting with Disaster, one of the all-time greats.

  126. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    no one I know has seen it twice and the way its numbers come in do not indicate people are seeing it more than once

    Da fuq? Seeing movies twice does not an Oscar best picture winner make. $162 million for a supposedly “boring” movie is astounding.

  127. Terometer
    January 24, 2013

    Got to give credits to Lincoln for curing people’s insomnia problems. haha.

  128. January 24, 2013

    Flirting with Disaster should have won all the Emmys that year.

    People give Tom Hooper a hard time for directing with a TV mentality, but Russell has been making dirtier and dirtier feature-length sit-coms for the past 15 years.

  129. CB
    January 24, 2013

    Sasha, I disagree on all your points. There are two strong female parts in SLP – Jennifer Lawrence and Jacki Weaver’s. Maybe JW isn’t a ‘strong’ person but the part is strong, and I wouldn’t say any character in the movie is necessarily ‘strong’. And at least they’re characters, unlike in ZD30 who are tired-eyed talking props.

    Lots of boring movies make lots of money. I already cited Transformers, but I found the Hangover boring. I found Les Miz boring. I found Dark Knight Rises insufferable.

  130. January 24, 2013

    Yeah, Jessica’s performance would have been much better if she created an explosion in the kitchen while making crabby snacks.

  131. Jerry Grant
    January 24, 2013

    Flirting with Disaster is such a gem; so unique and hilarious. Richard Jenkins is amazing.

    My David O. Russell history would go something like this:

    Flirting with Disaster and Three Kings—wow, this will be a very interesting filmmaker! (like payne, coens, jonze)
    I Heart Huckabees—ugh. the ambition led to something flat.
    The Fighter—clearly a visionary filmmaker is back, but this project is uneven. but shit he’s good with actors
    Silver Linings Playbook—undeniably the combination of his best talents. seizing on being good at awkwardness, strangeness, comedy, large social settings, a unique natural feel, family anxieties, but also aware there is something to be gained by a happy Hollywood ending. will probably be a classic

  132. January 24, 2013

    And at least they’re characters, unlike in ZD30 who are tired-eyed talking props.

    Or normal, believable, real people. Sorry we can’t all be interesting enough for you.

  133. January 24, 2013

    SLP will inspire filmmakers to beat their partner’s lover when cheated on, and be pursued by someone younger hotter and sassier as a reward. She lost her job recently because she’s a slut. Nobody’s perfect. But if I looked like Jennifer Lawrence I would probably also share the wealth.

  134. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    I can’t wait until the sequel when Tiffani has to sell plasma to buy medicine for Pat the third because Pat Sr gambled away all the welfare money because he heard Michael Vick has an optimistic horoscope.

    And Pat, Jr steals a loaf of bread to feed his family and ends up in a French Prison guarded by a bull dyke that looks suspiciously like Russell Crowe.

  135. January 24, 2013

    I didn’t get to this topic until it had 116 comments. Some of you guys are hilarious. Rufus especially. :D

    As far as the state of the race goes, I kinda feel like we’re in a holding pattern until the ballots go out. I hope there is a blitz right around that time. It could be fun.

  136. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Got to give credits to Lincoln for curing people’s insomnia problems. haha.

    Only lazy minded people.

  137. Karl
    January 24, 2013

    Gosh, Lincoln is boring, just for that doesn’t deserve win, I prefer Life of Pi or Argo

  138. daveinprogress
    January 24, 2013

    Antoinette, you beat me to it. I was considering if i had anything to contribute to this thread. The race is not yet at a point where the landscape is clearer as to who is leading or challenging the strongest. SAG and PGA will certainly trigger more debate. I still believe Lincoln is in the strongest position right now. SAG will spread the love around, but PGA will add some cache to a contest that has been getting a bit ragged of late.
    The advocacy for films and stories we love and believe in is the creed for me in this process. History and stats are always well and good, but at the end of the day, the filmmakers and actors are the reasons i venture into the cinemas and into this site, so bounce off and sift through other perspectives.

  139. Scott
    January 24, 2013

    It’s hard to truly predict the Oscars but when I am in doubt I imagine what it will look like historically in the book of record. It ain’t foolproof but at least it can eliminate some personal waffling.

    Lincoln and Spielberg sounds like a really good Oscar fit ten years down the road.

  140. Byron gray
    January 24, 2013

    I think your description of George VI’ s story as the “triumph of the male ego” was reprehensible and sexist. If you read any biography of George VI you will realize this man overcame much more than stuttering. Among other things, he overcame his own weaknesses and flaws in his character. We should all wish to have such courage. Winston Churchill placed a medal on the king’s coffin which was inscribed with the words: For Bravery. I think it’s fait to say Churchill knew guts when he saw it.

  141. Jack Traven II
    January 24, 2013

    Well, at least two of the films that are granted a lot of chances are the ones I liked pretty much. With regard to Lincoln: Despite being released nationwide on Thursday it doesn’t play in my city. Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn! How fucked up is that? is all I can say about that. ;-)

  142. Edkargir
    January 24, 2013

    Beasts of the southern wild wins PGA and wins the 4 Oscar it got nominated for.other words the film with the least nominations wins. I l

  143. Daveylow
    January 24, 2013

    If SLP wins the best picture Oscar I will be super depressed.

  144. January 24, 2013

    Worst film of the year: the movie framed in pi’s narrative Device about a guy who unartfully shoots a bunch of racists and needs to be fixed told at Lincoln’s pace with Danny cohen’s camerawork via Tom Hooper. The climax is more nail-biting than taxiing down an Iranian tarmack. It ends with a shot of a French couple crying for having to sit through it. But uh oh, little girl just set her room on fire gotta go.

  145. Daveylow
    January 24, 2013

    @Ryan Adams — I didn’t think I Heart Huckabees was sit-commy at all. One of Russell’s stranger films, which I liked a lot.

  146. Byron gray
    January 24, 2013

    Wouldn’t Lincoln fit the feel-good category since Spielberg chose to depict the easy uplift of the thirteenth amendment and not the more complex and interesting narrative of Goodwin’s book: How Lincoln, through his immense political and people skills, won over the men of his cabinet who were his embittered rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

  147. January 24, 2013

    If you read any biography of George VI you will realize this man overcame much more than stuttering. Among other things, he overcame his own weaknesses and flaws in his character. We should all wish to have such courage.

    Nah. I just wish to have so much money.

    Fucking royal cunts.

  148. Unlikely hood
    January 24, 2013

    These comments are hysterical.

    Hey does anyone else think Sasha has become more fatalist/eeyore-like about these things? I don’t remember her being quite so “well the best film can’t win we’re stuck with Weinstein pap” quite this early two years ago. Or was she? Or did that race really change her?

    It’s like the site has become Inside Baseball from a Cubs fan.

  149. January 24, 2013

    I see a trend.

    LINCOLN supporters, in this site, tend to write insightful, sometimes comprehensive, defenses of their positive opinion.

    Haters just come here and say it is “boring” or “whitewashed”.

    What can one think about this?

  150. January 24, 2013

    While I wouldn’t classify Rufus Sondheim as a hater, I would describe him as a critical non-supporter of Lincoln. (Please correct me if I’m wrong). I believe his arguments have been more articulate than a few dismissive, generic words. Also, all you need to do is scroll up three comments to Byron Gray.

    Now, using Gustavo’s logic, I could make a snide knee-jerk remark about his reading comprehension skills or, at the very least, the veracity of his suggestion that he actually has invested much time into examining the pro and con arguments regarding Lincoln on this sight and suggest he suffers from tunnel vision.

  151. January 24, 2013

    NPR just announced that rotten tomatoes handed Argo the Golden Tomato. I hope they didn’t throw it at the recipient. Ouch.

  152. Bryce Forestieri
    January 24, 2013

    Anyone who doesn’t like LINCOLN is an asshole. Plain and simple. No analysis required since it’s just a fact.

  153. James
    January 24, 2013

    The funny thing about Russell is that I’m sure he will make a great flick one day again. This wasn’t it. This is the kind of flick that I could take my family to see. Not challenging. Not honest. Not real. It all ends in a nice tidy contrived and cliched package manipulating us to overlook the how self centered these characters really are. I do want to see a sequel to Silver Linings Playbook more than any other film. I want to see what would happen to them realistically. It wouldn’t be pretty.

  154. January 24, 2013

    Honestly, this years Oscars are a write-off, with the exception of Amour. I enjoyed and admired The Hunger Games, and it had more actual psychological and political depth, more relevance, than any film this year that I’ve seen – bar none.

  155. January 24, 2013

    Well, Bryce, I certainly wouldn’t ever mistake you for a poet.

  156. January 24, 2013

    “Now, using Gustavo’s logic, I could make a snide knee-jerk remark about his reading comprehension skills”

    Be my guest. I like to be amused.

    VINCE SMETANA: “or, at the very least, the veracity of his suggestion that he actually has invested much time into examining the pro and con arguments regarding Lincoln on this sight”

    I can’t prove to you that I have. Feel free to doubt. One can always doubt everything.

    “and suggest he suffers from tunnel vision.”

    I, too, would like to suggest something, while we’re at it. I’d like to suggest that, if you have read all user comments on Lincoln-related posts in this site and did not realize most attacks resort to one simple argument (“boring”), then it is you who have tunnel vision.

    By the way, I wrote “haters tend to”. Antoinette, for instance, might not be in love with the film, but she writes detailed responses explaining why. Therefore, someone like her is not a hater. Also, I didn’t write “always”.

    So, next time you pick a random fight, at least do yourself the favor of not twisting your oponent’s words.

  157. ramiro
    January 24, 2013

    i don’t think this awards matter for the oscar race. people who vote for it are not the same as the oscars. SAG has the triple of members, all actors. DGA has it too, but only with directors. PGA has more producers than the whole academy members.
    it can enlight a movie, but it won’t change what film is most likely for AMPAS.

    lincoln is going to win director and film at oscars.

  158. January 24, 2013

    I didn’t think I Heart Huckabees was sit-commy at all.

    Daveylow, you’re right. It’s not. Of course, Three Kings isn’t either. I need to see I Heart Huckabees again. I want to. Which is not something I can say about Silver Linings.

  159. Akumax
    January 24, 2013

    Saw Lincoln 3 times. Great great movie. Some minor editing issues for me. I’m glad that makeup and hair didn’t get nom cause it’s really weak work here and there. If it wins best picture (I don’t think so) I’ll be happy. This year I’ll be happy for the win of 6 out of 9 films nominated:

    3 masterpieces: Zero Dark Thirty – Life of Pi – Amour
    2 great great works of art: Beasts of the southern wild – Lincoln
    1 great Hollywood movie (in the best modern way possible) Argo

    Far far behind there are 3 good enjoyable movies that make no big difference in the world but are well done: Le Mis – Django – Silver L P

  160. Bryce Forestieri
    January 24, 2013

    @Vince

    I son wanted to be a member of the DEAD POETS SOCIETY to be close to one of my crushes, young Ethan Hawke. He needed a hug all along and I wanted to :/

  161. Bailey Lovell
    January 24, 2013

    “one could argue that giving that important speech WITH the stutter would have gone a long way towards helping people with stutters, and and shown a strength of personal resolve”

    Was that on purpose? :) Because, if so, brilliant.

  162. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    Remember the rumor that Charlie Kaufman was planning on writing a film about blogs and commentors? What ever happened to that? Every year, about 30 days before Oscar, this one is loaded with some gems coming from every direction and intent.

  163. Scott I.
    January 24, 2013

    I acknowledge that the cast of Silver Linings Playbook had incredible chemistry on-screen, but it was not a film that I thought about the next day, which is generally how I judge a film to be exceptional. (This explains my disappointment at how Cloud Atlas wasn’t better received.) But as far as this year’s nominees, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild stuck with me the most, and hauntingly so.

    Two other films had some flaws but still I was left thinking long afterward. While I loved the visuals, story, and especially the island scene in Life of Pi, I didn’t care for the bookend/frame story. The male leads Foxx and Waltz in Django Unchained had great chemistry, but there was some underdevelopment in the supporting roles of Jackson and Washington (which the script includes) that would have made it a home run.

    Argo and Zero Dark Thirty both had satisfying yet (obviously) predictable endings, tremendous tension and pretty decent acting. They were more about the journey, and yet once they were over, I thought no more of them.

    Les Miserables and Lincoln… just didn’t engage me. Oh they had *fantastic* performances – DDL/Field/TLJ and Jackman/Hathaway/Barks/I even loved Russell Crowe! They just felt long. It don’t think it makes me lazy minded… they just didn’t connect with ME.

  164. January 24, 2013

    “Haters just come here and say it is “boring” or “whitewashed”.”

    “What can one think about this?”

    Vince Smetana thinks Gustavo hasn’t bothered to read the articulate comments of one Rufus Sondheim, who, has been pretty relentless of his criticisms of Lincoln (for better or worse) and completely ignored Bryon Gray’s comment that was just three comments away from his.

    If that’s twisting words, then, guilty as charged.

  165. January 24, 2013

    Remember the rumor that Charlie Kaufman was planning on writing a film about blogs and commentors? What ever happened to that?

    Oh yeah. I remember that. *looks over her shoulder*

    Maybe he’s writing it right now.

    *runs away*

  166. kirenaj
    January 24, 2013

    Have now seen every nominee but Lincoln, will watch soon.

    Seven of the eight I have seen are pretty evenly matched and are all good to borderline great movies, while the last one is borderline bad but I respect what I think the movie tried to do. Ranking them is very difficult, but so far it would go like this:

    1. Zero Dark Thirty. Not without flaws; it gets bogged down in procedural stuff a little too long in the middle hour and not everything seems 100% realistic, but when it is good it is borderline brilliant. Few directors come close to Bigelow when it comes to shooting action, and this is a real improvement on The Hurt Locker; that movie was much more uneven, but won in a bad year. The torture controversy is why we can’t have nice things. A-

    2. Amour. An intensely difficult sit, and not a movie I would recommend to anyone, but it sticks in your head. Probably the best acted movie this year, but not really as good as The White Ribbon; this is kind of Haneke channeling Ozu in that he tries making the space around the couple a part of their relationship, and he doesn’t really do it as well. B+

    3. Life Of Pi. The kind of “good taste” based on a successful novel kind of movie that rarely works, but Ang Lee nearly pulls it off. Maybe too pretty, but that can be defended as an important part of the setup for the ending. The ending could have been great, but it gets a bit too obvious. B+

    4. Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Some scenes do play too much as poverty porn, but the parts that does work are some of the most vivid and exciting I have seen in movies this year. Wallis is great, but the father is probably even better. B(+)

    5. Argo. About 80% on the way to being a great movie, but is let down by too many close calls and improbable events in the last half hour. Don’t know what Arkin was nominated for, didn’t really register at all. Affleck is already a very competent director, but not yet a great one. B.

    6. Silver Linings Playbook. It is quite an achievement to make a movie with this many cliches and this much ACTING work as well at it actually does. Russell does have a knack for taking well worn concepts that shouldn’t work and kind of pull them off by sheer force of will. Lawrence is memorable, but feels too young for the role, Cooper is as good as I have ever seen him. B

    7. Django Unchained. Sometimes thrilling, sometimes ludicrous, too long. Waltz (really a lead) and Jackson best in show. At best when people are talking, action scenes curiously unengaging. Needs editing, and Tarantino should stay away from acting. B-

    8. Les Miserables. Everybody sings a LOT, and feels a LOT, and sings about their feelings a LOT. I had read the book in my youth, but in the end I had to laugh about how appropriate the title really is. The first half was interminable with too many unmemorable songs and rushed plotting, but it worked quite well after a while when the choruses and quodlibets started. I kind of respect that the movie shows feelings unironically; that is why I love a movie like Magnolia which really pulls this off; but this really didn’t work for me. It should be noted that lots of people, especially younger ones, in the audience I saw it with cried heavily the last 15 minutes, and it received applause from many, something I rarely see here in Norway. Maybe some people need movies like this sometimes? C-

    It is difficult to predict who will actually win, but the last few years have seemed to honor the least divisive films, which is probably Argo, Pi or Silver Linings in this batch. Can’t imagine Lincoln as being divisive either. So Lincoln or Argo it is.

  167. James
    January 24, 2013

    So you actually like the flick more because of the criticisms? It’s not just hate for hate sake. Many have pretty legitimate circumstances of it.

  168. m1
    January 24, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook has to be one of the best romantic comedies ever. Rarely have I seen a movie in which EVERY actor-even the ones only on screen for 2 minutes-gets the chance to shine. THAT is the sign of an amazing ensemble. Even Lincoln had too many character actors that were underused. Not the case with SLP. It deserves the SAG Ensemble and I hope it is rightly acknowledged.

  169. Larry
    January 24, 2013

    Boy, after reading all the comments here and on other threads, the slogan of this website should be “The trick is getting along with other Oscar fans…”. :)

  170. Ávila Souza Oliveira
    January 24, 2013

    I honestly don’t see any evidence to support a Silver Linings surge.

    And I HOPE it doesn’t happens!

  171. JJ
    January 24, 2013

    SLP is winning SAG over Hot Meserables because EVERY performance was good and each performance truly supported the other performances within the context of the film and in individual scenes.

    Hot Mes had a bunch of weird, isolated performances in a disjointed film. And Crowe RUINED those beautiful songs. He didn’t even seem threatening or authoritative in his role. I’m sorry people are so thin-skinned about Hot Mes right now but, in time, you’ll see this movie got it wrong.

  172. JJ
    January 24, 2013

    Lincoln also had beautiful ensemble work.

  173. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    @JJ

    *Les Miserables

  174. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Cliif’s Notes of Lincoln Criticisms.

    1) The film is a fantasia rather than an exegesis.

    Is that good enough for ya, Gustavo?

  175. sonny
    January 24, 2013

    you cant stop whats coming??

    come on you have been using the same quote 15 thousand times since No Country came out… how about being more creative???

    thank you

  176. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Try as you might, sonny, you can’t stop what’s coming. So gird your loins for next year right now. If I see you with the same comment next year, I’m gonna say “I told ya so”

  177. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    you cant stop whats coming??

    come on you have been using the same quote 15 thousand times since No Country came out… how about being more creative???

    thank you

    How about taking a long walk off a short pier?

  178. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Lincoln also had beautiful ensemble work.

    Yes, it is. The best of the year.

  179. Alfredo
    January 24, 2013

    @Larry LMAO Amen! Can’t we all just get along?

  180. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Boy, after reading all the comments here and on other threads, the slogan of this website should be “The trick is getting along with other Oscar fans…”.

    Right? When you say “the trick is not minding” you’re imagining, I hope, G. Gordon Liddy holding his palm over a flame. The trick is not minding that it’s burning a hole through your hand.

  181. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Rarely have I seen a movie in which EVERY actor-even the ones only on screen for 2 minutes-gets the chance to shine.

    You mean besides every single movie that has a happy ending ever? This is especially true in animated films.

  182. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    All this hate towards Silver Linings Playbook has made me love this film even more

    An example of free thinking individual who knows why he loves films and ought to be held up to a certain high standard. This is how we should always appreciate great cinema: only loving what other people hate. Middle schooler are you?

  183. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    I really hope Silver Linings Playbook (or Amour) wins everything!

    Lol.

  184. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Anyone who doesn’t like LINCOLN is an asshole. Plain and simple. No analysis required since it’s just a fact.

    The smart critiques I can read and appreciate but the “it’s boring” critiques make me at best sad, at worst, disgusted. People who are campaigning on the “anything but Lincoln” message are assholes, plain and simple. So what if mediocre crap beats it this year that doesn’t change the film itself.

  185. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    The Rotten Tomatoes people are basically the same as the Broadcast Film Critics and the Online Film Critics. They all jumped ship like rats when Zero Dark Thirty was embroiled in controversy and THEN they started huddling around Argo. Sad.

  186. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    It’s like the site has become Inside Baseball from a Cubs fan.

    It is the old expect the worst, hope for the best. And yes, the King’s Speech year, followed by The Artist, followed by THIS year especially when “the internet” turned like ugly beasts and attacked the wonderful film which should have had the Oscar in the bag: Lincoln. This has been, I’d say, one of the most depressing Oscar years I’ve ever watched. I don’t have much of a fight in me anymore – I really just want to surrender. If these are the kinds of films internet people and voters want, what can I do about it. Not a whole lot. Just finish out the year and look forward to Cannes where things are a lot brighter.

  187. KT
    January 24, 2013

    The Rotten Tomatoes people are basically the same as the Broadcast Film Critics and the Online Film Critics. They all jumped ship like rats when Zero Dark Thirty was embroiled in controversy and THEN they started huddling around Argo. Sad.

    Possibly the HFPA too. I completely agree! Have some damn integrity!
    It’s like Tom O’Neill says, everyone wants to be on the winning team.

  188. Pierre de Plume
    January 24, 2013

    it is physically impossible for anyone to call Avatar b*ring.

    And that’s a miracle, Watermelons, as the beloved Kate Winslet doesn’t appear in even one frame.

    And phantom, I agree with you completely.

  189. Aragorn
    January 24, 2013

    You can say many things about Lincoln. But boring??? Really? I was sooo excited througout the movie for different reasons. Sometime a smart dialogue, sometimes great acting by DDL or others, sometime James Spider’s character or sometimes just the look in the eye of the black maid. And during the voting scene. I was at at the edge of my seat, much more exciting than many other so-called action thrillers.
    Again, you can say many things about it but boring aint one of them…i think this is Twilight effect. Many people are just used to meaningless action with stupid story and dialogue that anything that requires listening, following a smart dialogue and some level of smartness is seen as boring. Oh well. Their loss….

  190. January 24, 2013

    I wish I had a dollar for all the people who keep coming up to me, and feel compelled to say to me ” I LOVED ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’!” I didn’t but I liked J.Law.

    I think with the Weinsteinmachine working its’ magic this year I could win Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and yes, maybe even Best Director.

    Best Picture is going to go to “Argo” Harvey can’t have EVERYTHING. Can he?

  191. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    re: Pierre
    as the beloved Kate Winslet doesn’t appear in even one frame.

    A spectre is haunting Avatar – the spectre of Oscar-winning screen legend Kate Winslet (Titanic, Iris).

  192. Bob Burns
    January 24, 2013

    Warner is an underappreciated Oscar player.

    Argo/SLP is a fair contest between Warner and TWC…. the films themselves are equally OK Oscar contenders. The contest is about which studio can deliver the most heat. Harvey cares more than the conglomerate, but the Warner conglomerate has infinitely more available power.

  193. Umair
    January 24, 2013

    Comment

  194. Umair
    January 24, 2013

    People really need to stop this anti-SLP attitude b/c in the end it was a good movie, not the “best” but a good movie. Yes I agree that Lincoln made 162 million and still counting but a movie’s box office success should not correlate to it winning best picture at the Oscars, heck after all Avatar made 10x more than Lincoln but it still didnt win. Lincoln was one of the better movies of the year but it deserves to win NOT b/c it was a box office success but b/c it was a well rounded piece of cinema. There is a difference between those two and people just need to get it right.

  195. daveinprogress
    January 24, 2013

    Sasha, i may have offered a comment similar to this one a year ago and two years ago, when the outlook was not good and movies that you were so impassioned about were being overlooked by the major awards.

    When I returned to this site several weeks ago, having been absent all year, i was struck by the almost palpable feel of the joy and passion that was emanating from your threads about Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty especially. The season was gearing up for nomination overload, and as a follower of your writing and site for many years, I was curious as to what the barometer was for this particular year.

    I am always saddened when i read (or read between the lines) your resignation today from the investment in the race; the very raison d’etre of your site and i suspect life long engagement with films and the Oscars.

    You probably wrote it at some point, but i take this away from YOU when i get submerged in the rights and wrongs of who is and isn’t included/bestowed etc at the end of the day – love the movies you love and wax lyrical about them. (Not your words of course, but my way of expressing that).

    The advocacy that you imbue the site with and the often robust discussions that follow are the essence of this blog. I don’t even feel right calling it a blog. It is more than that. Yep, we all care about who is and who isn’t nominated and exalted with the big prizes, but beneath that is that cherishing of the celluloid experience. Don’t lose sight or heart of that. That’s what propels a new generation to love and honour movies in ways that AMPAS can never do as a 6000 member exclusive pompous institution.

    Hugo, The Social Network, Lincoln – any number of movies that have come out that invigorate the artistic process and advance storytelling, are memorialised and preserved for ongoing enjoyment. They stand the tests of time. I hope i’m not sounding too much like a big brother, but don’t give up just yet. This season is still a work in progress.

  196. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    “I honestly don’t see any evidence to support a Silver Linings surge.”

    Ávila Souza Oliveira – I don’t know where you are, but here in Canada on the US feeds, the SLP ads are swarming like a plague of locusts, just like they did for The King’s Speech. Only this time, they make sure it’s known that this is the first film in ## years that is nominated in all acting categories. On the tabloid shows, like ET, they’re having contests to spend the day with the cast while every “host” and “hostess” slips in a few lines about what a great movie it is.

    (BTW – when did Rob Marciano decide that this shit was better than standing on a slant in hurricanes, wet clothes all clingy and that baseball cap? He was the only reason I watched the coverage.)

  197. steve50
    January 24, 2013

    And I second what daveinprogress just said. It can get to you – don’t let it.

  198. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    Inside Baseball from a Cubs fan.

    To twist a Lawrence of Arabia quote: well, we can’t all be Yankees fans.

  199. James
    January 24, 2013

    This whole My Cherie Amour has been on everywhere I go. It’s crazy.

  200. James
    January 24, 2013

    This whole week My Cherie Amour has been on everywhere I go. It’s crazy.

  201. Bball_Jake
    January 24, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook winning Best Picture? This just made my day! It truly deserves it.

  202. Jack
    January 24, 2013

    We’ll see what happens, but I honestly think that the impact that the guilds have on final outcomes has been seriously diminished by the change in dates and that was proven when the nominations were announced.
    I also think the Academy had this in mind when they made that date change…

  203. rufussondheim
    January 24, 2013

    Avatar was not an engaging movie.

    Aragorn, you say that people who found Lincoln boring are suffering from the “Twilight Effect.” But you neglect to consider something, maybe the people who find Lincoln to be boring desire something more substantive in their “films of ideas.” Perhaps, Aragorn, you are the one with a stunted intellect and the others are cinematic geniuses.

    I point this out not because I dislike you, but because I find your position to be completely arrogant.

  204. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Thanks Daveinprogress. I really appreciate it. The truth is that for all of the readers who chafe and irritate there are so many more good ones. I love reading the comments when they’re so insightful as yours. So thanks.

  205. daveinprogress
    January 24, 2013

    :)

  206. comedywontwin
    January 24, 2013

    PGA: Argo
    DGA: Argo
    Oscar best Pic: Argo or Licolm
    SAG Ensemble: not sure, but it means nothing for oscar best pic.

  207. Aragorn
    January 24, 2013

    Rufus,
    I cannot get upset over what you said especially since you have that picture in your profile:) and lets not discuss my intellect here as i dont need to prove anything to you or anyone else….
    Yeah some of those cinematic geniuses think SLP ahould win BP. Not will win, but should win.. Over Lincoln, ZDT, LIfe of Pi and even Argo. Thank god i am not one of those cinematic geniuses….

  208. James
    January 24, 2013

    Sasha you need find to find a silver lining. Would you like me to write you a fake letter?

  209. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    Sasha you need find to find a silver lining. Would you like me to write you a fake letter?

    I really don’t. But thanks. I’d rather poor hot wax on my head and pull my hair out after it dried.

  210. James
    January 24, 2013

    Fair enough Sasha. Apparently I also need to spell check before I hit submit.

  211. James
    January 24, 2013

    Now if you’ll excuse me my cartoonish police officer who is always right around the corner where ever I am is stopping by.

  212. Watermelons
    January 24, 2013

    “Avatar was not an engaging movie.”

    Its theatrical engagements broke many BOX OFFICE records. Please stop spreading falsehoods about James Cameron’s Avatar: The 3D Experience Of A Lifetime.

  213. SallyinChicago
    January 24, 2013

    Strange, how ZD30 has lost momentum, even though Kathryn is all over the media giving interviews. Anyway for Oscars Best Picture, I’m sticking with BOTSW because it fits all that Sasha described: Little movie with heart, unknown actors, unknown director, a real Cinderella story for a movie. I think it will surprise the pants off of everybody.

    SAG – Lincoln
    The others, I don’t know, but I’m po’d that Zemeckis for Flight is not being considered for anything.

  214. montfort
    January 24, 2013

    For me, the only movie I can see the Academy choosing as Best Picture is Lincoln, which I loved (though it was not my favorite film of the year). I think you have to take the refusal to nominate Ben Affleck as a sign. I think Zero Dark Thirty has a lot of problems, since it claims it is based on a true story but veers comically away from the facts in several places. Amour was genius, but austere, and has Best Foreign Film available as a consolation prize. I liked Silver Linings Playbook, but I don’t remember it. Life of Pi was fascinating, and beautiful, but the framing device ultimately let the whole movie sag a little. Django Unchained….Beasts of the Southern Wild…I’m not seeing anyone throwing their votes away on those two films. I do think people have completely underrated the appeal of Les Mis, which I also loved (though not without a consciousness of its flaws). And – uh – I am one of those people who saw Lincoln twice. I say one because there are a lot of people who have seen it twice. A whole lot of people. And it has twelve nominations. Why? Because it was boring? I am perfectly willing to believe the subject matter and the stakes don’t conform to the attention span of most Americans, who know as little about history as they do about math. But the Academy voters are so old, many of them probably voted for Lincoln! I mean, for President! Seriously, the movie is incredibly good and only has one less acting nomination than Silver Linings and that’s because there was no female lead. Spielberg did a genius job of filming a brilliant script. One little point I have not seen mentioned anywhere. The film begins with Lincoln seated, in his Memorial Pose; he listens to soldiers of both races back away from him speaking some of the words carved in the marble of that memorial. Kushner hands us Lincoln the Myth. Daniel Day-Lewis rises, breaking the marble, and becomes a living man, complete with flaws and troubles with his family and an impossible task that requires more sacrifices than most humans could make. He makes the grave decision to continue a war when he could make peace because he wants to end the scourge of slavery. And then, having paid for this decision with his life, Kushner returns the human Lincoln to the flame of myth, using the other words from the Second Inaugural, also carved into the marble of the memorial. It is the most brilliant framing device I have ever seen on film, and everyone associated with Lincoln did a great job of showing just how difficult breaking a horrifying status quo could be. Whether or not Lincoln wins the Oscar, it will always be a great movie – a work of art that accidentally succeeded commercially – and one of the very best written films of its kind. And the people who were bored by Lincoln? I hate to say this: but you’re probably all a little boring yourselves.

  215. Sasha Stone
    January 24, 2013

    The others, I don’t know, but I’m po’d that Zemeckis for Flight is not being considered for anything.

    Agree. Wish it was one of the ten BP nominees.

  216. January 24, 2013

    Hey Sasha–
    What DaveinProgress said, I wholeheartedly echo. Back in December, I got very excited about two films in particular: ZERO DARK THIRTY and LINCOLN. I got excited because these films were actually about something! And they were well-crafted on every level–acting, directing, writing and every tech aspect were impeccable. I got that feeling watching both where I knew there was hope for the medium (pretentious but the truth). I was excited because I felt there was no way that pablum-ized, feel-good hokum could overtake the year. There was no THE ARTIST to entrance AMPAS. There was no KING’S SPEECH lurking to make everyone feel good about their fucking miserable lives. What happened to catharsis??? I grew up (in the 80s) watching seventies films like NETWORK and NASHVILLE and CUCKOO’S NEST and CABARET and DAY OF THE LOCUST and…fill in the brilliant title–all films that did not have any type of conventional happy ending but films that made you feel good about being alive nonetheless because they challenged you and made you think about your place in the world. THE SOCIAL NETWORK did that. HUGO did that. ZERO DARK and LINCOLN do that. So I had hope. And then the ZERO takedown began. Followed closely by the LINCOLN smear. I have no idea what is wrong with people (film journalists and bloggers in particular) that they can’t stand by films they purport to love. All I know is I feel a sense of shame and doom. But…even reading so much of the crap that’s spewed in comments here and elsewhere, I still have hope that the Academy will one day return to rewarding good films that are about ideas and have something to say about the world we live in.

    I don’t often blather on here so forgive me but I felt compelled.

    For now I still have some hope Chastain can rightly beat Lawrence’s ass. That Day-Lewis and Sally Field (no fucking “s” assholes) can rule the day. That Kushner and Boal find their way to the podium. That Spielberg triumphs. And that LINCOLN or, by some ridiculous miracle, ZERO DARK THIRTY triumph. I’d even settle for some of the above. Thank God Adele is performing so something will stop me from knocking over my Bravia if feel-good rules the night.

    Keep up the fight. I can’t help but mind. I will always mind.

  217. Don
    January 24, 2013

    I am not entirely sure why Sasha keeps insisting that Lincoln doesn’t have the “feelgood love drug.” I left Lincoln feeling very good. Lincoln exemplified idealized view of the power of the American spirit. It reaffirms the notion that when things are bleak, the great and moral minds and leaders of America will rise to the occasion and the nation will endure. It provides viewers with extended looks at past heroes like Thaddeus Stevens, and of course, adds to the mighty legend of perhaps, our greatest hero, Abraham Lincoln. Is this not as warm and fuzzy as you would want to feel? Lincoln is a wonderful film and to me, certainly gives the audience plenty to feel great about.
    Sasha, you’re not going to like this, but having said all of that, Lincoln was not my favorite film of the year and, to me, lacks the gripping, raw force of Zero Dark Thirty, the crisp fluidity of Argo, and the simple yet existential beauty of Life of Pi. While Lincoln would be a fine winner, I don’t believe it to be the Best Picture of the year, and if it doesn’t win, I don’t believe it’s not for lack of hope or happiness for the viewer when the end credits begin to roll.

  218. Don
    January 24, 2013

    Sorry about that last typo, the last line should read: “While Lincoln would be a fine winner, I don’t believe it to be the Best Picture of the year, and if it doesn’t win, I don’t believe a lack of hope or happiness for the viewer when the end credits begin to roll will be the reason.

  219. Zach M.
    January 25, 2013

    I liked Lincoln, though far from loved it. I haven’t been a fan of Spielberg’s work since 2002 (still yet to see Munich, granted), Tintin was blander than a saltine cracker, and War Horse was a saccharine schmaltzfest. Lincoln was a step in the right direction, he clearly had more passion for this project than both War Horse and Tintin, but I still think it was fairly uneven.

    I will give credit to Spielberg for going against his own “type” and appearing to step outside of his comfort zone; Lincoln is the least-”Spielbergy” film he’s ever made. And for a good part, the dialogue-intensive film is often engaging and interesting, though I’ll go ahead and say it, I think it was also a bit tedious at times. Not all the time, but I think the film would occasionally lose its focus (IMO, too many characters were spotlighted, including some that really added nothing of value to the story overall. Looking at you, JGL). I say this not because I have a staggering dislike of dialogue-driven films, as so many Lincoln naysayers are accused of. In fact, the talkies are often my favorite films of the year;The Social Network remains one of the most hypnotic and enthralling moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had (still very bitter about The King’s Speech), it occupies a spot in my top 3 of all time, and I can say this with confidence, Lincoln is no The Social Network.

    Questioning if whether or not a film “should” win an Oscar is an exercise in futility; Oscars are never about what “should” win, but what “will” win. Should DDL win Best Actor? In my opinion, no. He is great, no doubt, but this wasn’t a Daniel Plainview role for him. He transforms himself, but the film is so distant from Lincoln the person, and that’s one thing I was really hoping the film would explore with an actor like DDL at your disposal. Joaquin Phoenix “should” win the Oscar this year. He accomplishes things I’ve never seen any actor do before, and delivers what I think is the most memorable and uniquely compelling performance of any actor this year. Will he win? Of course not, DDL will.

    “Should” Lincoln win Best Picture? It probably goes without saying, but if it were up to me, no. There are far more deserving films worthy of the title, some not even on the Best Picture shortlist. I’d easily pick Argo, Zero Dark, Amour, maybe Life of Pi, and even Silver Linings, before Lincoln, because I think there was a lot of missed opportunity in the Lincoln story and I know Spielberg can do better.

    Alright, so I’ve expressed a moderate-to-mediocre opinion on Lincoln. Have I lost my credibility with Awards Daily yet?

  220. Sammy
    January 25, 2013

    Up in the Air in 2009 was a feel good movie, it had the DGA nod and Globes BD nod (SLP did not have that) and it scored three acting nominations and ultimately it won nothing. You might think that SLP will win something – if so, their best chance is supporting actor for DeNiro. Adapted screenplay would be a long shot.

  221. Sammy
    January 25, 2013

    @Zach M. – Many people here (including me) think Phoenix deserves and should win the award this year. Yes, Lincoln is not Daniel Plainview but the oscars have its won balance. I mean Lincoln is a great character in American history and people want to award that performance.

  222. Unlikely hood
    January 25, 2013

    I was at a dinner party and I’m glad daveinprogress said what I wish I would have.

    In Hugo Melies says “happy endings only happen in the movies.” but then he’s proved wrong. I have a feeling such a denouement is coming. By this I don’t mean a silly dance competition – I mean Lincoln winning it all.

    James -

    You mention My Cherie Amour and I just want to air a grievance that I’ve not seen anyone discuss. Did anyone else notice that My Cherie Amour was never actually referred to by name, nor did anyone start to sing or lip-synch a lyric or hum it or just go la la la la la la (a la Eddie murphy)? The first time Pat said “our wedding song” I thought, ok fine, the producers hadn’t cleared the rights to any particular song during principle photography, no big deal. But the fucking tenth time he said “our wedding song” I felt: ok now this movie is just cheap. Don’t make a song into a big big deal when you don’t even know what the song is.

    It’s just more evidence of the half assed sitcommy nature of SLP. 100% agree with whoever upthread said that Russell has another great film in him but this so ain’t it.

  223. January 25, 2013

    Ryan Adams quoting another reader: “no one I know has seen Lincoln twice.”

    Then his response: “I paid to see it 3 times. 2nd and 3rd time I brought friends along to share it with me.
    Maybe I don’t count, CB, since you “don’t know me”
    Or maybe there’s something really seriously wrong with all the people you know?”

    I have paid to see LINCOLN five times, and always with a new group of people, though my wife was always with me on all the viewings. So yeah, don’t know where this guy is coming from.

  224. January 25, 2013

    Unlikely Hood, It’s too bad that just didn’t just dub in references to the song ala Jennifer Lawrence’s Daniel skit on SNL.

  225. Elton Almeida
    January 25, 2013

    “Lincoln only has momentum because it’s about Honest Abe. As a film and story, it’s boring to many. Life of Pi only has momentum because it’s supposed to make me believe in God, I think. Other than that, I’ll repeat again, it’s a 2-hour screensaver.”

    Loved this, CB <3

    I think it's REALLY REALLY FUNNY how people fights and discuss about Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo or SLP getting an Oscar, which one is the "best" movie. C'mon, guys. It's just a funny horse race. The Academy Awards are not about the "best" or the "deserving", otherwise we would be talking about "AMOUR" or "HOLY MOTORS" – called by critics of different countries as one of the most originals achievements of the last years and the movie that will be remembered in the future -, "No" – a masterpiece that is nominated in foreign – or BEYOND THE HILLS! Have you guys seen "Beyond the Hills"? It's far better than any movie nominated at the Oscars.

    Stop being rude, let's just have fun.

  226. jgalt312
    January 25, 2013

    I get the feeling that Sasha is rooting for Lincoln, maybe that’s clouding her judgement/wants to influence the race.
    Well, she ain’t no Weinstein and will see if she’ll get it right…

  227. Unlikely hood
    January 25, 2013

    Vince: nice

  228. John
    January 25, 2013

    I think I would have liked SLP if a) they addressed their age difference b) I saw more evidence of Cooper falling in love with Lawrence throughout the second half of the film c) if they were getting 5s, then the competition needed to be getting 9s.

    I also wonder if I would have liked the movie more if it came out in, say, the Summer, and without awards expectations.

  229. John
    January 25, 2013

    I should have said ^ “liked SLP BETTER”

    I liked it fine, 7/10/ But I think it could have been better with some different dir/writing decisions. Just my opinion.

  230. Chris
    January 25, 2013

    You count Life of Pi – with its international box office, co-production status, Canadian novelist, Asian director, story of a young Indian man – as a win for the home team (presumably America)… and yet Mr. Tarantino’s Django is left off the list? I think he counts as a bit more telling a story of the Civil War South, using American actors across the board (except Waltz), crafting the story himself, and bathing it in the excitement and entertainment that America loves.

  231. CB
    January 25, 2013

    So good to see my fellow SLP-lovers out there. Jerry, you nailed it on Russell’s artistic career trajectory. Perfectly put.

    And I agree – SLP is destined to become a classic film, the kind of romantic story both men and women, cinephiles and casual film goers, will respond to. It’s the ‘As Good As It Gets’ of the last 15 years.

  232. Vu Dinh
    January 25, 2013

    I don’t hate Lincoln or anything because I think it’s a great movie with such a strong and convincing performances by Sally, Daniel and Tommy. But be very honest here, the story itself is quite boring and slow and I can see why people keep saying that. It obviously based on history so it can’t be changed too much… But look at Argo, it does make thing more interesting with the way the story unfolds itself. This is a movie after all… And by the way, don’t use Lincoln’s theater performance to imply that it’s interesting. A lot of people are gonna watch it because of Steven Spielberg and the famous cast the movie has… Also, this is awards season… Those Oscar-nominated movies are everywhere… Some people just go with flow…

  233. Holly
    January 25, 2013

    Can someone please explain to me how the Weinstein Company is able to achieve what they do come awards season when everyone knows they campaign so heavily and aggressively? I just don’t get why voters aren’t turned off by their tactics. I enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook, but it’s not Oscar worthy. If this movie ends up winning, I don’t think I’ll believe in what “Oscar” is supposed to stand for ever again. Of course, I guess I should have stopped believing that a long time ago. But this movie doesn’t deserve to win. It’s a rom com with a cheesy dance sequence and a pretty cheesy ending also.

  234. January 25, 2013

    I just don’t get why voters aren’t turned off by their tactics

    I’m certain that a large percentage of the Academy are turned off by it. (Notice that Weinstein films haven’t won every year since 1995).

    How come 47% of Americans aren’t turned off by GOP vote-grab tactics?

  235. steandric
    January 25, 2013

    Peers support continues for Naomi Watts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tscppNMp67Q

    Bruce Davidson adds his support of Naomi Watts for the Oscar Best Acting Award, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

  236. James
    January 25, 2013

    Watched SLP again since November. Don’t get it. Say what you will about The Fighter, but those characters were able to overcome their differences and support Mickey without ulterior motives. “I was trying to be romantic.” -Pat. Oh boy we got two characters with the mentality of a 16 year old when it comes to love.

    Why couldn’t Weinstein get Blue Valentine nominated for BP? You know a flick with actual real people that go through real hurdles. I’m not saying it’s a great relationship, but it actually seems less doomed than SLP even if SLP ends with the happy ending.

    As far as recent BP dramadies go like Juno, Up in the Air, The Kids Are All Right, and The Descendants, this is way behind. While not all of those films are perfect, they occasionally had honest and revealing moments and were more character driven than contrived plot driven.

    You’re film is in trouble when you have….

    1. Characters exchanging letters
    2. A bipolar character going to a football game where he will inevitably get into a fight
    3. A late reveal that shows the mother and the low self-esteem Tiffany were working together when we could have had scene where Tiffany stopped by to see the mother instead, but then I guess we wouldn’t get the “gasp” reaction from the audience. (Why would Pat Sr. being tell Pat to stay away from Tiffany? Clearly he knows his wife has played a part in this. Maybe it’s best Pat Sr. and his wife get on the same page for their son)

    Oh and there is so much more.

  237. rufussondheim
    January 25, 2013

    What an interesting comparison, Blue Valentine and Silver Linings Playbook! The two are extraordinarily different, but, yes, if you were to watch SLP after BV, you would never believe SLP even for a minute. You’d have to turn it off instantly!

    Just got done watching Keep the Lights On, a film far, far, closer to Blue Valentine than SLP. If you liked SLP I would suggest you skip Keep the Lights on. If you hated SLP than I guess Keep the Lights on would be for you.

    While I wasn’t exactly sure where Paul’s head was at in the final scenes (I’m not sure we’re supposed to know) I can still call this a brilliant and true film. Applause!

  238. rufussondheim
    January 25, 2013

    And to encourage some people to see some less known films, I will give you my current top 10 for 2012!

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Oslo, August 31st.
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Les Miserables.
    Liberal Arts
    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
    Keep the Lights On
    How to Survive a Plague
    Safety Not Guaranteed
    Take This Waltz

  239. James
    January 25, 2013

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Perks of Being a Wallflower gave me what I wanted from SLP and what apparently many got. I felt like a million bucks after Perks. Moving, sad, funny, and beautiful. It’s also not as conveniently plot driven as SLP cause I hate to break it to people, but life is not like SLP.

  240. James
    January 25, 2013

    “apparently many god.” I meant “got”. Wow. I must be tired. Screw it, yea. Lets go with the first one. What many “god”.

  241. Scott
    January 25, 2013

    I loved Blue Valentine. The leads were so connected and every moment made me feel like a lucky voyeur who stumbled onto something private and personal.

  242. Winston
    January 25, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook was the most interesting film I saw this year and the only one I saw twice. And I’m still not totally sure what to make of it. It was just a striking oddity. The tone of the film and the performances shift with maniac abandon. It’s an unusual hybrid movie and the acting was so good that you go with it. The caste acted their asses off in a way that reflects Russell’s style.
    Do I think it will win Best Picture? No. But it still made the biggest impact on me of the current contenders. On paper it was not supposed to work and it did.
    Lincoln is a strong choice but it can be viewed as the DDL show. I’ll go with Argo. Heck anything but Les Miz.

  243. Winston
    January 25, 2013

    Actually it would be cool if SLP won. Some of the people on this thread would haved a nervous breakdown. That would be worth seeing. Twice.

  244. rufussondheim
    January 25, 2013

    Yes, Perks is a great film and definitely outshines SLP in every way. The fact that it was #3 means there were two films I enjoyed more which means it’s an amazing year.

    Heck, when I got to thinking where to put Keep the Lights On and fitted it in at #7 I was kinda shocked, it’s definitely good enough for #3 for most years and it would be number one in several years over the past three decades.

  245. Scott
    January 25, 2013

    I don’t know what movie you were watching cause Sally Field held her own every moment she was on screen with DDL and so did Tommy Lee Jones. I don’t think you could call it the Daniel Day-Lewis show by any stretch of the imagination.

  246. Winston
    January 26, 2013

    Lincoln was very much like a stage play. It’s the type of film you could have seen in the 1930s. That’s not bad at all. But it places a huge amount of emphasis on the performances. DDL was the central, essential role. He pulled it off so the film worked. If he doesn’t the film crumbles. I thought the script as good and I thought Tommy Lee Jones was very compelling. Didn’t care for Field as much but her character was annoying. Still, pulling off Licoln convincingly was the main challenge of the film. DDL did it, so it kind of was his show to win or lose.

  247. Sonja
    January 26, 2013

    For me Lincoln sound so like the film practically MADE for Academy Awards and of course I don’t mean that in any way of insulting like “shameless bait” and so on.
    It’s just their type of movies.

    But Harvey…. knows what to buy, when to release and how to campaign.
    He’s so aggressive at campaigning and it just baffles me that it still works!
    It worked for The King’s Speech, it worked for The Artist, hell, it even worked for The Iron Lady!!!
    And he does it again with Silver Lining Playbook and Argo. Hard.
    Though, I’m not sure SLP will win BP this year. Harvey Weinstein or not. Argo on the other hand…. A strong possebility at the very least.
    My feelings still stays on Lincoln. But we’ll see.

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