Just a Reminder of 2012’s Best Picture Contenders

It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype of awards season. Most people vote with their emotions, I totally get it. But someday people will look back on this year with astonishment.  And much of that will have to do with this:

 

Screen-Shot-2013-02-10-at-2.56

And when you further add on 12 Oscar nominations for Lincoln, 10 BAFTA nominations, and 13 Critics Choice nominations – it is inexplicable – but perhaps that’s the juicy part of it for voters, seeing a movie like this, so well reviewed, having made so much money take a tumble. We build them up, we tear them down. Most right now will be tempted to look upon this as Lincoln’s failure to win the vote. But I look at it more as the way the wind blows. Lick your finger and you can feel the direction of it. But no one is any position to judge this film’s quality. Not with the evidence we have before us. It’s how the awards race “works” but it doesn’t mean anything and should never be used to judge the worth of a film. Fight that instinct, Oscar watchers. Remember.

114 Comments on this Post

  1. Michele Innocenti

    It is a very unusual year, Sasha, but at the end of the day even with Argo winning I don’t see the big scandals we’ve seen in the past few years. Slumdog Millionaire, Crash, The King’s Speech, even The Hurt Locker, which I know you love but I find completely unworthy of the Oscar.
    All of the nominees for best pictures are very good movies, at least there’s no “overrated as hell” movies beating down a masterpiece or a well more desevererly movie…

  2. Michele Innocenti

    …And still, I think it is not a closed race yet…

  3. Question Mark

    Who cares about box office? Hurt Locker made about one-thousandth as much as Avatar but was clearly the better film and the better choice for Best Picture.

  4. Poor sugarish anacronic melodramatic Spielberg =/

  5. Lincoln still has a shot. There’ll be people who decry its chances outright now, after Argo’s BAFTA wins. But they’ve done the same with every major award that’s gone Lincoln’s way thus far this season, and Lincoln has hung in there. We’ve seen bigger shocks, and the evidence is there that the Academy likes Lincoln. It’s a very long shot, I don’t deny, but it does exist. And I’ll be willing to claim that it did stand a chance even after Argo has won the Oscar, for that won’t be proof that it ever didn’t.

  6. Poor sugarish anacronic melodramatic Spielberg =/

    How is it sugarish? 300+ critics are wrong in putting it at number 1?

  7. There are two graphics above you. Please note both of them.

  8. I don’t think Argo is a bad film. But I protest it winning without a director nomination. That is a dealbreaker for me and should be for the Academy.

  9. Paddy, Lincoln already had a shot… In 1865. Bad dum tsh.

  10. i dont see what point youre trying to make. what is so astonishing? zero dark thirty got plenty of nominations. the master had good acting but it didn’t connect with non-critics. holy motors/moonrise kingdom never had a chance. every year there are plenty that don’t get in which deserved to. why is this year so astonishing?

  11. “I protest it winning without a director nomination. That is a dealbreaker for me and should be for the Academy.”

    personally I agree. I would never want a BP winner director to miss the nom in the best achievement in directing category.

    That is why right now my ballot would (is) like this:

    1. Life of Pi
    2. Zero Dark Thirty
    3. Amour
    4. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    5. Argo
    6. Lincoln
    7. Les Miserables
    8. Django unchained
    9. Silver Linings Playbook

    If K Bigelow and Ben Affleck had been nominated…

    1. Zero Dark Thirty
    2. Life of Pi
    3. Amour
    4. Argo
    5. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    6 7 8 9 the same.

    nominations in key categories change the final vote I strongly believe.

  12. HI Sasha,

    I consider that Lincoln is a very good movie, It’s without a doubt a master piece without. I do however think that it’s also a little boring, and that’s why it won’t win the Oscar.
    Life of Py is great, and my favorit is Zero Dark Thirty, but I don’t think this last one will win. I found Argo so likeable, with a true happy ending story, which makes it so easy to win. Amour is so beautiful but it won’t get the oscar either.

  13. filmboymichael

    instead of protesting a film for a lack of a best director nomination, maybe we should be protesting that there are 9 nominations for best picture but only 5 best director nominations? I do have the attitude with how did a best picture direct itself. For me, it harkens back to Baz Lurhmann’s inexplicable snub for Moulin Rouge which was a triumph of directing. Maybe we’ll see a change next year?

    I do think the Affleck and for what it’s worth, the Bigelow snub to be egregious.

  14. yeah, i don’t think argo should win without that directing nom either. it sets a horrible precedent going forward. director and picture should always be tied together, and if there’s a split at LEAST have the guy be nominated

  15. Paul@laughingstock.us

    Honestly, as someone who loves both “Lincoln” and “Argo” (but would easily choose “Lincoln” if I had a vote), I feel that a split is bad for both films. Both are films where the direction and the film are so intertwined that it feels wrong for either film to win without the other. And because I am absolitely certain that overtime will be seen as an all-time classic, the kind of film that makes the AFI’s next revised 100 best films list, “Argo” will get the same sort of backlash that “Shakespeare in Love” and “The King’s Speech” have gotten. The best choice is to give “Lincoln” both awards.

  16. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian is just as baffled the Argo won over “the very fine historical drama” Lincoln

    For me, Argo was a decently made film, if a little shallow and naïve, and the depiction of the Iranians as simply foolish or malevolent is uncomfortable.

    +1

  17. call me crazy but I’m still not predicting ARGO to win Best Picture.
    I’m predicting SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.

  18. Bryce Forestieri

    Where did Bradshaw say that?

    “For me, Argo was a decently made film, if a little shallow and naïve, and the depiction of the Iranians as simply foolish or malevolent is uncomfortable.”

    It’s still a sensible opinion. I’m subscribing too

    +2

  19. Roberto P.

    Dear Sasha,
    the scandal is not Argo – eventually – winning without a BD nomination… The scandal is that an artist winning Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Guild Award and BAFTA wasn’t even nominated for Oscar… You are a stats-fan. I wonder, has it ever happened? In any Category…?

    The Academy’s directors branch had clearly an agenda. They wanted Affleck off in order to advantage someone else…

  20. “For me, Argo was a decently made film, if a little shallow and naïve, and the depiction of the Iranians as simply foolish or malevolent is uncomfortable.”

    count me in…

    +3

  21. Sally-n-Chicago

    I’m still hoping for some upsets at Oscar (please god!)….but it looks like a walk for Argo –

  22. Here’s the link

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/feb/10/baftas-2013-ben-affleck-argo

    Bradshaw is a big champion of “Lincoln” and I think he’s taken aback that it only won one award and lost to “Argo”

    “Argo” is a good film but it would not be out of place as a HBO movie special. Its dominance this award season is really surprising. Or maybe not. “Kings Speech” smacked of television and lost out to the cinematic Social Network.

  23. Another money quote:

    I can’t agree with the Bafta decision that, on the basis of the films under discussion, Affleck is better than Tarantino or Haneke, but he is certainly providing the industry with something they love, in art as in life: a comeback story.

    No argument there either.

  24. Erik Anderson

    @Sasha

    “But no one is any position to judge this film’s quality. Not with the evidence we have before us. It’s how the awards race “works” but it doesn’t mean anything and should never be used to judge the worth of a film. Fight that instinct, Oscar watchers. Remember.”

    Honestly though, would you be saying this if Lincoln had been winning everything?

  25. Roberto P.

    To add to what I said Before:

    Argo has the same score of Lincoln on Metacritics
    Argo has a better score than lincoln on Rotten Tomatoes
    Argo was chosen by Roger Ebert as Best Picture of 2012
    It was chosen as best picture (and for best director) by the most important american critics group (BFCA) and by the most important international critics group (HFPA)
    Worldwide, as of today, Argo grossed 200 M to Lincoln’s 220 M

    I dont’t really see what astonishment people will see when they look back at 2012… Maybe they’ll see that Sasha Stone LIKED Lincoln better, which is her right, of course, but just a matter of taste. They’ll see that Sasha Stone, who should be a poundit, really campaigned and rallied for Lincoln… This is maybe the only thing astonishing I see.

  26. Bryce Forestieri

    The Top 5 directorial achievements of 2012 (originality, command of performance, technical ease, form, style, you name it)

    AMOUR – Michael Haneke
    THE MASTER – Paul Thomas Anderson
    MOONRISE KINGDOM – Wes Anderson
    LINCOLN – Steven Spielberg
    DJANGO UNCHAINED – Quentin Tarantino

    Just missing the cut is PROMETHEUS’ Ridley Scott, as his film suffered from the script’s imperfection, but his direction was immaculate. I could name others with for which there should be more outrage, but still none of them are handsome movie stars completing a “second act/comeback” or some shit.

  27. Houstonrufus

    It won’t be the story of film of the year for me, but definitely the story of this awards season for me will be the almost total resistance among awards bodies and guilds to give Lincoln/Spielberg anything but Best Actor. It has been bizarre and fascinating to watch. And I say that as someone who placed Argo in my personal top ten, along with Beasts, Amour, The Master and Moonrise Kingdom among others.

  28. Sasha, just like you always say James Cameron lost the Oscar when he won the Globe because it DIDNT FEEL RIGHT (which made you happy), it feels that Lincoln lost the Oscar when everyone realized that the huge amount of nominations might imply a sweep, and that DIDNT FEEL RIGHT, specially when Affleck was left out. Why should that be a bad thing?

    1. “It’s about Mr. Right now”. I get how that’s not “fair”, “right”, won’t pass the test of time.

    2. I get how movies who “don’t challenge us, make us think” etc are not regarded as such an achievement.

    3. And… “The heart wants what it wants”. Now, what is wrong with that and why is it used to undermine a movie’s quality? Is it bad that it appeals to the heart?

    Shouldn’t an ‘awardable’ movie be one that is liked by most, builds consensus around it, connects with people and has them rooting for it?

  29. Roberto P.

    @lollipop… I agree with everything!

  30. Houstonrufus

    A certain amount of insanity has creeped into this race. I’m starting to wonder if Affleck could STILL win best director as a write in vote. Not sure the rules allow that. But the unanimous devotion to this film has started to feel kind of, well, loony. Again, I say that as a fan of the film. But when it won the Best Ensemble at SAG, that’s when I knew things were getting a little bonkers.

  31. Robert A.

    “I don’t think Argo is a bad film. But I protest it winning without a director nomination. That is a dealbreaker for me and should be for the Academy.”

    Sasha, Spielberg didn’t get a director nomination from BAFTA. If Lincoln had won BP this afternoon from BAFTA, would you have felt that BAFTA had chosen wrongly and was setting a bad precedent? I’m honestly curious.

    Spielberg and O. Russell didn’t get a BAFTA nomination. Affleck and Bigelow did. Affleck and Bigelow didn’t get Oscar nominations but Spielberg and Russell did. The DGA nominees only match 2/5 with Oscar. My guess is that there were probably about 8-9 directors in serious contention this year for five slots in each of the competitions (DGA/BAFTA/Oscar), and the margin between who got on and who was left off each list could have been extremely narrow. More and more I suspect Affleck’s omission from the director Oscar slate is simply an anomaly in a hotly-contested category.

    @gbocampo

    “call me crazy but I’m still not predicting ARGO to win Best Picture.
    I’m predicting SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.”

    No wonder you’re hiding behind your hand! :)

  32. Robert A.

    Drop the write-in vote talk, people! It’s not going to happen! It happened once in the mid-1930s that a write-in candidate won, and since then I believe AMPAS has rules against write-ins.

  33. @lollipop

    Great post! There is nothing wrong with rewarding movies that make people feel good. There’s enough depressing stuff on the news every day. Movies should be an escape, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Basically all of this Lincoln hysteria comes down to: “I’m mad because the Academy doesn’t like what I like.”

  34. Astarisborn

    Sasha, I have admired your strong conviction and your bold love for Lincoln. To me it is one of the most engaging, enthralling, amazingly scipted and acted, tense to the end fims I have ever seen. Even without effects, action scenses, and epic feel, Lincoln has a quiet greatness to it. But stil I have to thank you for your amazingly beautiful review of Life of Pi..into the Mystic. I did not read the book or knew much about it at all other than it was directed by the great Ang Lee. Your review alone prompted me to see it as soon as I could. I’ve said it before, Life of Pi is pure directed perfection in all its glorious aura. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve seen it 5 times with family and friends. There is no denying that Argo is a good film but knowing
    that it will not win best directed film is satisfying enough for me. I wish for a rare split. I hope Lincoln wins the well deserved best picture and Ang Lee wins the well deserved best director. Trading places for best picture and director for each fim is just as rewarding to me.

  35. marlonbrando020

    You know, I look back at 1976 (before i was born) and am astonished that a piece of crap like Rocky won out over Network, All the Presidents Men and even Bound for Glory. Then I remember that they’re just movies and that I’m happy that the movies were even made. I could care less about the Oscars…they’re just fun to watch (especially when something you want to win is victorious).

  36. Sasha, the fact that Argo didn’t have a BD nom and won BP (a la Driving Miss Daisy), will be overshadowed by all the precursors it won- no film has ever won all these and then lost BP.

    You would have to think that some in the director’s branch assumed Affleck was going to make it so sent their votes elsewhere.

    As much as you loved Lincoln, the lack of precursor love would make a BP win for Lincoln much more shocking than that of Argo, and THAT might be more memorable.

    And I think it is misleading to compare total noms between a film like Lincoln which is far more suited to many of technical noms, and Argo.

  37. “I don’t think Argo is a bad film. But I protest it winning without a director nomination. That is a dealbreaker for me and should be for the Academy.”

    I was going to add my own cents to this, but I think these two comments addressed it pretty much perfectly:

    “the scandal is not Argo – eventually – winning without a BD nomination… The scandal is that an artist winning Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Guild Award and BAFTA wasn’t even nominated for Oscar…”

    “Spielberg didn’t get a director nomination from BAFTA.”

    As for this one. . .

    “yeah, i don’t think argo should win without that directing nom either. it sets a horrible precedent going forward. director and picture should always be tied together”

    I think this is an overreaction (and it’s not really setting a precedent, since it’s happened before). While it’s usually best for them together, there are times when a film deserves the top prize but best director should go to something else, not necessarily because said film was direction-less, but maybe because the second film was more of a masterclass in expert directing. For example, No Country should have won Best Picture, but Diving Bell and the Butterfly deserved Best Director.

    Also, the fact that a film has the most nominations doesn’t always mean it’s the best, or even the frontrunner. Some films happen to hit all of the tech boxes (Benjamin Button; Dreamgirls; The Aviator).

  38. I don’t have the same problem with a movie winning Best Picture without a director nomination. I think that Best Picture means that the film is greater than the sum of its parts and that the direction is one of those parts. I wouldn’t begrudge a film BP if it was missing a nomination in the other categories. Best Director is a category that covers everything a director does as far as I’m concerned.

    Having said that, it’s entirely possible that Ben Affleck just missed getting a nomination for director. And it’s also possible that the reason for that is that everyone assumed he was getting in and voted for someone else.

  39. there weren’t nearly as many precursors back in the driving miss daisy days though. no sag, no bafta, i think no pga. just golden globes and dga, really. now, with all these precursors it’s turned it into this circus of insanity. there is nothing that justifies this kind of a sweep for a movie like argo. all these groups are just trying to predict and influence the oscars, it’s completely ridiculous. and if the guilds decide, sasha’s right, what’s the point of having an academy? i would love nothing more than for them to knock everybody on their asses this year and completely reject the other group’s choices, if only to say we make our OWN decisions. but obviously i won’t hold my breath

  40. Argo doesn’t so much remind me of Drving Miss Daisy as it does Rocky. In the 1976 race, Rocky beat out Network, All The President’s Men, and Taxi Driver. Now few people today would say Rocky was better than those three other moivies, but it was a crowd pleaser and that counts a lot for Oscar. Similarily, Argo is a crowd pleaser but in time it probably won’t be considered better than ZD30, Lincoln or SLP.

  41. Terometer

    “But no one is any position to judge this film’s quality. Not with the evidence we have before us.”

    Face it! It’s been judged by SAG, PGA, DGA, and the Brits. They like Argo better. The evidence before you belongs to the past. The new evidence: Argo assasinates Lincoln.

  42. “I don’t have the same problem with a movie winning Best Picture without a director nomination. I think that Best Picture means that the film is greater than the sum of its parts and that the direction is one of those parts.”

    – Nicely put.

  43. Just because Lincoln isn’t going to win the Oscar – doesn’t mean it’s not worth anything.

  44. And Argo deserves to win Best Picture without a directing nod, if I had it my way I would cast a vote towards Zero Dark Thirty.

    Tradition is dying…last year a silent film won, another year a woman won for directing, and two years before that a film with very strong violence resembling a “slasher flick” won.

    So no, this isn’t the early years of Oscars – things are changing, and they are changing for the better.

  45. Thank Sasha again for trying to make sense of this clusterfuck of an awards season.
    Lincoln ‘sugary’ ..’anachronistic’
    Those kind of throwaway comments reveal themselves.
    My only hope is that Lincoln, Pi snd ZD30 become genuine underdogs now.
    This Argo shytfest just astonishes and dismays me.
    Note to TJ and the gang of meatheads: It’s NOT just about Lincoln and if they bothered to read all you’re posts and other comments they would get that. Then again, maybe they would’nt . …
    No wonder they thought Lincoln was boring.

  46. Since when box office numbers should be part of the Oscar decision? This is the same site that we were told box office sholdnt matter much for awards when Hurt Locker was runnning against the biggest box office movie of all times. If it didnt matter then why shold matter now?

    Also, number of nominations are important but what matters at the end is the number of wins. Unfortunately Lincoln has done with nominations but in terms of wins it is not doing well…i think a similar chart of wins instead of nominations only could be relevant here…I loved Lincoln and many people have seen it ( by the way they are not the academy voters just regular people) but it failed to win anything major at any award show other than that Best Actor. And again at the end, wins matter more than nominations, unfortunately for Lincoln.
    We have exactly 2 weeks and 90 minutes until they announce BP. I am still hopeful but i made my peace with the fact that Argo may win BP given th support across the board and pond!

  47. “I don’t have the same problem with a movie winning Best Picture without a director nomination. I think that Best Picture means that the film is greater than the sum of its parts and that the direction is one of those parts.”

    Awards Daily – POST OF THE YEAR!

  48. That’s cute Terometer.
    Somehow you not liking Lincoln makes sense. What are you.. 11?

  49. unlikely hood

    If SLP was winning everything Argo was, half of the comments on this website in the last 2 weeks would include the word “Harvey” or “Weinstein.”

    I asked before, what exactly does Harvey do better? And why doesn’t anyone copy that? Now it looks like someone has – without us knowing exactly what that is.

    Who is the Harvey Weinstein of the Argo campaign?

  50. @Sasha,

    Spielberg is always sugarish melodramatic. It’s part of his trademark.
    I actually don’t call “critics” the people you’re talking about. They are entertainment journalists, in my opinion, and, like most part of audience, they like Spielberg sugarish melodramatic style.

    I’m sure film theorists, those who produce researches about cinema and influence the way we’ll see film language, those who could see people like André Bazan as a father, well, I’m sure they don’t think “Lincoln” is the top of the year. In my personal opinion, they are the ones who deserves being called film critics.

  51. Who is the Harvey Weinstein of the Argo campaign?

    George Clooney

  52. Bryce Forestieri

    “I’m sure film theorists, those who produce researches about cinema and influence the way we’ll see film language, those who could see people like André Bazan as a father”

    Wait who again?

    LOL

  53. Bryce Forestieri

    “‘Who is the Harvey Weinstein of the Argo campaign?’

    George Clooney”

    Yup. The most universally liked human being in Hollywood. No less.

  54. Elton,
    Pauline Kael was an ‘entertainment critic’ as well. I mean, they’re published in publications that comment, critique in the arts..whether it’s A.O. Scott or Stephanie Zacharek or Owen Gleiberman etc…
    Give us an example of a ‘film theorist’ who gave Lincoln a negative review. Don’t just throw out some pretentious declaration of film elitist bullshit that has no bearing on the topic at hand.

  55. Watermelons

    I’m sure film theorists, those who produce researches about cinema and influence the way we’ll see film language, those who could see people like André Bazan as a father, well, I’m sure they don’t think “Lincoln” is the top of the year. In my personal opinion, they are the ones who deserves being called film critics.

    I have a strong hunch that film theorists do not dismiss Spielberg so easily, be they particularly Bazinian thinkers or not. But what do I know?? I’m just a simple fan of Oscar-winning legend Kate ‘The GREAT’ Winslet (Iris, Revolutionary Road).

  56. Each year Sasha gets stuck championing the cause of contenders she, through the season, had developed a passion short of obssession- Viola Davis last year, The Social Network the year before that, and now Lincoln. Her blog, her right (to “attack”, pardon the lack of a subtler word, Meryl Streep, The King’s Speech which I personally feel was a truly bad choice for Best Pic, and Ben Affleck/Argo.) if I were a nominee, I’d be afraid to get Sasha’s support as those mentioned lost. The thing with awards shows or critics choices, is it’s totally subjective unlike sports where who sprints fastest wins. Clearcut. Or we would have seen Pulp Fiction, Mulholland Drive. A Separation, Taxi Driver win. The trick is to enjoy. Thanks for this lively blog. I remember the days of Gold Derby forums when a certain Hypothermia was so intense in his support of Whale Rider and the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Sasha now reminds me of him.

  57. @Yvette

    I wasn’t talking about negative reviews. I was talking about reviews that put Lincoln at top #1. And actually I was responding a comment of Sasha who asked if I thought that the “300+ critics” that picked Lincoln as number 1 were wrong.

  58. Okay, I’m watching the BAFTAS now, and Affleck must have known he would win here, too, because his acceptance speech was the best one he’s given. It also had a sense of finality to it (this is the last big one before the Oscars, after all). I’ve actually enjoyed seeing him win over the last few weeks.

  59. Elton,
    The point being that among top critics, Lincoln was lauded as a great achievement….
    Ist, 2nd, 3rd etc .. is subjective. It stood along with Pi, ZD30 and Beasts. I was commenting in your pretentious comment about ‘film theorists’ dismissing Spielberg.
    What is this? Some kind of hipster Spielberg hate-on? Or a real opinion… I honestly can’t tell the difference because all the same catch phrases are there. Ad Nauseum and without any context.

  60. rufussondheim

    Am I the only one who caught David O Russell’s expression when Riva won? He looked like he was utterly disgusted.

    Well, he can fuck himself.

  61. rufussondheim

    Here, check it out, it’s at like 2:47. It’s really quite abominable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37u99sEhfKY

  62. Bryce Forestieri

    @rufuss

    I just saw LOL

    What a dick…Still like his movies tho

  63. Pretty repulsive. Russell’s exaggerated slow clap was another touch of class.

  64. Bryce Forestieri

    Let’s see what face he makes when Riva wins the Oscar

  65. rufussondheim

    I guess he did do JLaw a favor though by distracting us from seeing her big sourpuss of a reaction.

  66. Bryce Forestieri

    She was rocking the Mystique hair I chuckled when I first saw that

  67. “That is a dealbreaker for me and should be for the Academy.”

    That’s just a silly thing to say, Sasha. Would you be saying the same thing about Lincoln if Spielberg didn’t get a director’s nod? The director’s branch made a mistake by not nominating Affleck. But he may have missed a spot by one vote, who knows? Anyway, the Director’s Guild selected Affleck.

  68. JamDenTel

    Oh, LINCOLN…not my favorite film of the year…not in my top 10…or 25…barely even in my top 50. It’s just…being about an important person, and the vital things they did, does not automatically make a film good. And LINCOLN, while good, for my money plays it too safe, is TOO tastefully restrained, to avoid being an Important Film. And, as such, a rather boring one at times.

  69. Robert A.

    Wow. When I first read comments about David O. Russell’s reaction to Emmanuelle Riva’s win, I thought people must be exaggerating.

    Now I see that people…weren’t.

  70. Eh I can breathe easy I think. I’m fine if Argo is the winner. I don’t think it’s as clear cut dry as Sasha thinks regarding Lincoln’s superiority. I mean this isn’t like The Social Network vs. The King’s Speech where Network for me was far superior. Truth be told I don’t if Argo or Lincoln will be heavily discussed or debated. I wouldn’t call them inspirational films. Their not game changers. That isn’t an attack on them at all. Argo is superbly made. It’s great entertainment and the first 10 minutes are detailed top notch filmmaking. Actually the whole film handles suspense exceptionally well. The trailer for Lincoln was a nightmare, but the overall film was a fairly more restrained effort than Spielberg’s latest films and it’s one of his best in some time. The last 4 months was a smart choice on his and Kushner’s part and the performances are terrific, but I did find Field slightly missed cast.

    Still neither really knocked my socks off, but I can still see myself revisiting them. If Silver Linings Playbook won then I’d be shaking my head. Kind of hoping that flick goes home empty handed. Some might not like to hear that, but Lawrence is too good to win for a role like this. I want her to have a character. A real character. I get it. She’s a movie star. Hunger Games this and Hunger Games that. She’s attractive. She’s a natural. She’s gonna be the it girl. She’s down to earth. She does a shitload of interviews. Enough already. I want to be a long term actress and not a movie star of the month. I’m gonna be Lawrenced out if I see a trailer for The Hunger Games 2 where it says “Academy Award Winner Jennifer Lawrence.” This doesn’t even come close to her work in Winter’s Bone.

  71. Rufus! I agree with you for once!! Things really are getting weird…
    That reaction shot from the entire SLP row was revealing. This seems to be what Harvey does: he gives these people a sense of entitlement.

  72. rufussondheim

    I really can’t stop watching it, it makes me laugh so much.

    It’s the highlight of this awards season for me. Oh God, what a dick! I hope some fearless reporter gets to the bottom of this reaction.

  73. David O Russell is hardly the Jimmy Stewart of new Hollywood. His look of disgust doesn’t surprise me. I am however still amazed at how his movie won 8 Oscar noms, and he won the BAFTA for his screenplay. Look of disgust and derision right here from me

  74. christiannnw

    @rufussondheim: Totally with you on the O. Russell/Lawrence sourpussing. I actually didn’t catch it the first time around, even though I watched it on television (New York here, avoided internet to avoid spoilers), but I was probably too elated over Riva’s win to notice anything else.

    Will this impact voters in the coming days? Probably not, but at least it will stand as a digital testament to the sense of entitlement that pervades the entire Silver Linings crew at this point (especially Lawrence, who I had actually just started warming up to, and O. Russell, who.. well, I don’t wanted to be deleted for obscene language).

  75. Harvey: I want you two to look at the mirror everyday and say to yourself “You are the shit! You are the shit! No one is better than you!”

    Russell: You are the shit! You made a rom com with more convenient plot circumstances than other ones in recent memory a bona fide Academy Award contender. You have convinced others of gravitas within ur flick.
    Lawrence: You are the shit! Sure you struggled a little bit in the stat scene with all the others, but you nailed it overall. You made a 2 dimensional character…a 2 dimensional character. You made audiences love a character they would normally strangle due to your incredible hotness and your recent movie franchise. No one deserves to win more than you.

  76. Maybe we’re reading it all wrong. Could be David O. Russell is one of many celebrities who have trouble modulating the Spielberg face.

  77. It is funny how he couldn’t control himself for like 10 seconds. It’s not like it was an open and shut case for Lawrence to win.

  78. It is funny how he couldn’t control himself for like 10 seconds.

    Didn’t you see Silver Linings Playbook? Chicks dig dudes who can’t control their frustrations.

  79. One more time, like one fella wrote here, the naked truth:

    “the scandal is not Argo –

    eventually – winning without a

    BD nomination… The scandal is

    that an artist winning Critics’

    Choice, Golden Globe, Guild

    Award and BAFTA wasn’t even
    nominated for Oscar…””

  80. I just watched David O. Russell, twice undeserved Academy Award Nominee, reaction when Rive won.

    Russell: best asshole of the year!

  81. To be fair, when Russell picked up his BAFTA for best adapted screenplay he said:

    “I want to thank my son who inspired the story.”

    (and if the author of the novel has a problem with that, Russell will gladly kick his ass in the parking lot).

  82. daveinprogress

    It’s no scandal – it’s a matter of numbers.

    Ang Lee, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Michael Haneke, Tom Hooper, David O Russell, Ben Affleck, Behn Zetlin, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson all considered likely Best Director nominees this year.

    Hypothetically there were at least 9 maybe 11 strong contenders for Director – there are roughly 370 voting members of the Director’s Branch AMPAS – it doesn’t take many votes for this many worthy nominees to be #6 or #7 etc.

    If the 5 eventual nominees account for 250 votes (e.g 65,55,50,45,35) the remaining 120 votes could have been split 33,25,20,18,14,10 among the other 6 directors scoring votes. Using this example, just 2 votes might have separated the 5th and 6th highest scoring directors.

    Whatever happened is done and dusted. It will either become folklore after 24th if Argo wins BP or equally if it loses, and a Pi or Lincoln wins – the movie with the most precursor BP prizes will never be an Oscar winner.

    Either way that last prize is going to be a biggie!

  83. Ryan are you implying that SLP isn’t realistic? Seriously? My favorite thing is that I learned that lying is good.

    Weaver: Aren’t you worried about lying to him?
    Tiffany:………….maybe.
    Me: No Pat’s mom. She’s done it before.

    What would happen if Nikki didn’t show up and Pat was still into her.

    Pat: Dad, where’s Nikki? You said she was coming.
    Pat Sr.(thinking): What did Tiffany say if I get into this situation? Lie again.
    Pat Sr.: Yea, I don’t know pal. I guess Nikki’s a lying whore. She said she would be here. Just know that I didn’t lie and that you have the best father ever. Listen I need you to focus on winning tonight. I gotta a lot of money on the line. Double even though technically if I win I don’t get double. Only he does. So in the end I still shouldn’t have enough money for the restaurant. So I don’t know why I’m doing this bet. Don’t worry though. I got superstition on my side.

  84. I like your scene rewrite, James. You might have a bright career ahead of you in Hollywood.

    Since you raise the issue:

    Tiffany arrives, berates Pat, and argues in detail that the way she “reads the signs,” Pat Sr. was luckier when Pat was practicing with her. Pat Sr., now convinced of this, makes a parlay with his gambling friend that if the Eagles win their game against Dallas, and if Pat and Tiffany score at least a 5 out of 10 in their dance competition, he will win back all the money he lost on the first bet. Pat is reluctant to participate in the dance contest under those conditions and re-reads Nikki’s letter. After noticing that the phrase Tiffany had said earlier, “reading the signs”, appears in the letter supposedly written by Nikki, he realizes that Tiffany actually wrote the letter, hoping that Pat would let go of Nikki and begin a new relationship with her.

    For the record, none of that bullshit is in the novel. In the book, there’s no showdown when Tiffany berates the family; Tiffany never rattles off a string of Magic Spell football scores; there’s no gambling on the games; no “parlay” to win back lost money; the dance contest isn’t a contest at all — in the book the dancers aren’t scored and there are no winners, no losers. Pat never figures out on his own the letter was written by Tiffany. None of those absurdities exist in the novel. David O. Russell invented all that. Because I guess the book wasn’t wacky enough for Russell already.

  85. “Ang Lee, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Michael Haneke, Tom Hooper, David O Russell, Ben Affleck, Behn Zetlin, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson all considered likely Best Director nominees this year.”

    ^ Agree with all of these except the last Anderson. His film might have had an outside BP shot, but he never seemed to be a serious contender for Best Director

  86. daveinprogress

    ^And all that piffle still won the BAFTA adapted screenplay award! Mentioning his son and his inspiration does him no favours either. I discovered that he utilised his son’s experience for the movie, from this site, and if that is the impact of his own child’s battle with mental illness, the screenplay is still severely lacking in authenticity and genuine moments. That only adds insult to the injury.

  87. Ryan……….you gotta be freaking kidding me. I……wow. I uh hahahaha my god. I’m speechless. I just thought Quick wrote a generic novel that Russell stuck to. You’re telling me Russell came up with those cliches? Those contrived moments? That unrealistic reaction to a letter? That silly bet? That emasculating crap from the biggest hypocrite? lol oh christ. Russell really wanted to make a movie for Middle America. He really wanted to make a movie that cops out. The funny thing is that there are films I like about unlikable characters, but some of them have characters I empathize with. Not at all with SLP. It wouldn’t be so problematic if the flick wasn’t trying so hard to be an obvious crowdpleaser. It’s clear Russell wants us to like these characters, but I can’t. They don’t act like grown adults. Their children. They don’t have what it takes to support and love one another.

    I mean if the Academy awards likability and that the character plays a large part in this, its funny how Lawrence stands an actual chance. I would strangle that character. I would want to strangle her and not in a Lord Haven Philadelphia Story kind of way where she’s completely infectious.

  88. lol the stats. I didn’t buy that scene at all. Actually I kind of did only because I’m betting Tiffany spent every day and night preparing for that rant. She probably practiced it in front of a mirror since her life revolves around this man.

    My favorite bit is where she gets half naked and just stands there with the mirror reflection before Pat has even left. I mean it’s just sad. You really want her to gain some freakin confidence.

  89. Ryan, what’s the deal with Nikki? Do we hear more from her in the book? I don’t want to have a one dimensional view of her, but the film never gives me a reason to think more of her and yet it seems to come from the perspective that she is completely in the right and yet we never hear her reasoning and see things strictly from Pat’s point of view. It wouldn’t really validating cheating, but I’d understand her more.

  90. terri woods

    Well now I think it would be a bigger shock if Lincoln won. Argo is clearly the frontrunner now having won so many awards already and been judged a better film by these groups of people. I am actually really happy for its success though I would have been just as happy with wins for Life Of Pi and Lincoln. It has just been such an exceptional year and I refuse to pick fault with such a great film as Argo in order to promote another favorite.

  91. Tero Heikkinen

    Best news of the year is that apparently the Pope is resigning. The next one couldn’t be any MORE evil, could it? We need a meme with Pope’s “I will resign” picture and Russell’s “Whaaaaattt?” reaction to it. This, before Grumpy cat just says “good”.

  92. Christophe

    Tero,

    OMFG!! This is so shocking! Methinks HRH Queen Elizbeth II should do the same… I hear the pope was tired of chastity and wants to enjoy himself before he leaves this world.

  93. @Spacey – Yeah, George Clooney is the new Harvey Weinstein.

  94. I still think Argo has no chance at winning the BP. After all these stuff going on around Argo (awards-wise) they will opt to differentiate themselves from the mainstream and go for the arthouse movie.

  95. We get it, Sacha. You realy realy like Lincoln. Well, I didn’t (and a lot of people I know didn’t either). I think Argo was a much better film by far. The scandal isn’t that Lincoln won’t win; the scandal is that Ben Affleck isn’t nominated for his brilliant direction.

  96. “Russell: best asshole of the year!”

    I’d say worst biggest asshole of the century… his face and clapping were so disgusting I hope this thing hurts his few oscar chances… Not only he had the weakest screenplay of the 5 and won, he (as Ryan says) thanked his son for inspiring the story… inspiring to who, the author of the book?!) an finally he had to make this F face at Riva’s win. I know it is silly but right now I really don’t want Lawrence to win I want him to show that face at the world during the Oscars… asshole!

  97. Christopher

    Honestly, if I hear one more short-attention span twenty-something say that Lincoln is “boring” I think my head is going to explode. And if you are over 30 and think Lincoln is “boring” maybe you just need some new ADD medication.
    I have no problem with another film being someone’s favorite, but the “boring” comments just make me question peoples intelligence.

  98. Elton, sorry to burst your elitist bubble, but – just to give you one example – Film Comment’s Philip Lopate selected LINCOLN as the best film of the year.

    Will you please quit acting all superior, now?

  99. Tero Heikkinen

    “I hear the pope was tired of chastity and wants to enjoy himself before he leaves this world.”

    The 12-year-olds (boys, of course) have already been lined up for him. It will be done bareback, as Catholics refuse condoms. AIDS will now spread even more. Thanks.

  100. Ryan, what’s the deal with Nikki? Do we hear more from her in the book? I don’t want to have a one dimensional view of her, but the film never gives me a reason to think more of her

    hey James, I was asleep before you asked this last night (3 a.m. Central)

    The novel Silver Linings Playbook is written in strict first-person narrative voice. Every word in the novel is something “Pat” wrote. It’s in the form of a confessional or memoir or journal. Every person and every event in the novel is relayed to us through the filter of Pat’s eyes. We figure out on Page One that Pat is going to be the classic “unreliable narrator” and have to accept his flat prose, emotionally-stunted POV and high-school level syntax for 300 pages.

    Pat names Nikki hundreds of times. I mean, he talks about her nearly every two pages. Nikki Nikki Nikki — he never shuts up about her. He never stops idolizing her either. She takes on the quality of a mythological creature who can do no wrong. It gets tiresome.

    Nikki does not get to utter a single word throughout the whole novel. She appears in no scenes first-hand. She does not get to interact with Pat or anybody else in the present-tense at all.

    At the very end of the novel, Pat talks his brother into driving him to Nikki’s new home. But he never talks to her face to face. He stands at a distance, unobserved by Nikki, and Pat watches her for a few minutes, sees how happy she looks and realizes she’s better off without him.

    Nope, in the novel Nikki never shows up at the dance ‘contest,’ never sparks a jealous little fit from Tiffany, never has the blunt melodramatic face-off with Pat in front of all the other characters.

    Because that would be like a big dumb expensive soap-opera climax, wouldn’t it?

  101. This has been insightful Ryan. I think Russell might be a hack now. I mean the book doesn’t sound much better, but the movie is even more Hollywood than I thought. I just thought he was being close to the material and that the material was ripe for Hollywood cliches. It’s funny too because the last 40 minutes is where my real problems with the flick start to come into play.
    lol I love how Tiffany runs away too. What….he’s not gonna go over to his wife who he has been trying to get back together and say hello?

    Pat: I love you.
    Tiffany: I love you!
    Pat: By the way…..why did you leave and run away?
    Tiffany: I saw you walk over to Nikki.
    Pat: Uh….yea. I’ve been trying to get back together with her for months. I don’t want to now, but she made the effort of coming down here. I was gonna say hello to her no matter what. You’re mind immediately went to the gutter?
    Tiffany: So you want to be friends with her?
    Pat: Uh yea I guess. Ut’s part of that whole forgiveness thing from the mental hospital. Plus you asked me one day if I could forgive. Well I did. Sure I’d be okay being friends with her. (music cuts with record scratch)
    Tiffany: Well that’s not gonna happen! This is a case scenario where you don’t forgive! You have to hate her.
    Pat: Because she’s my ex?
    Tiffany: Yup.
    Pat: Ahh man you’re not gonna be like…that girl…are you? What if Nikki and I had a kid before. Would you want me to fuck up that kid by saying how bad his/her mother is?
    Tiffany: Yes and then you would have to say “Tiffany’s your new mommy now.”

  102. I don’t understand too. Are they technically still married? She got a restraining order fairly quickly? He’s been in a mental hospital for 8 months. Why hasn’t she gotten the divorce papers yet as well? I mean some divorces aren’t quick, but in a case like this with no kids or custody issues involved….it would certainly be quicker. Maybe she didn’t get them in the chance that she wanted to get back together with him. Maybe the marriage isn’t as over as all the other side characters though. Then again if she wants to get back together with him, it might be a good thing to….remove the restraining order….or call him….or do something. lol does she just like wearing the ring?

  103. lol I love how Tiffany runs away too.

    Not only does she run away — Just the mere knowledge that Pat’s ex is in the same building causes Tiffany to head directly for the nearest bar stool, throw back a couple of stiff drinks, and shamelessly flirt with first guy at the bar who notices her drunken ass.

    Perfect match for a guy with jealous rage issues, yeah?

  104. Ryan, what about my favorite token black character of 2012? Is he in the book? Does he tell Pat to “black it up”? And what about my favorite cop character? Is he always around the corner no matter where Pat is?

  105. Ryan, what about my favorite token black character of 2012?

    the novel is 300 pages. “my black friend Danny” (I’m not kidding, exact quote) shows up finally around page 260.

    See, first there’s the dance ‘contest’ (in the novel it’s a therapy exhibition thing called “Dance-Away Depression” so of course there are no ‘losers’ because that would be rather depressing and cruel). Tiffany’s fake letters from Nikki continue (in the novel it seems like there are about 30 of these letters and their lengthy contents are all repeated verbatim by Pat so we have to endure all that). After the dance, Pat tries to arrange a meeting with Nikki, but of course Nikki is not getting Pat’s letters, so Tiffany shows up at the rendezvous instead. Now that she’s done using Pat as a dance partner Tiffany can confess to Pat that she’s been lying to him for months. Pat is furious, he flips out (wow, shock), and now HE runs off, gets lost in a “bad neighborhood” (i.e. “black neighborhood”), and gets mugged. Gets the shit kicked out of him.

    Like magic, Danny happens along. By chance. This is the first we’ve met Danny — 40 pages from the end of the book. Danny takes Pat to a hospital where he recuperates from his injuries for literally weeks. Danny is around during those 10 pages, but then *poof!* he’s gone. “My black friend Danny” never meets Tiffany.

    So that means this never happens in the novel.

    And without that ass how do you get guys in the Academy to care about this crazy lying manipulative lady?

    (Tiffany is not 22 in the novel. Tiffany is, like, 42 years old in the novel. Pat tell us, “she is a few years older than me but has a fit body…”)

  106. “the novel is 300 pages. “my black friend Danny” (I’m not kidding, exact quote) shows up finally around page 260.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ah…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Well that would explain why Lawrence feels a bit miscast although the idea of a 42 year old woman writing fake letters is even worse than a 22 year old woman. It baffles me how anyone can think this is a realistic movie. Sure it doesn’t have big robots or superheroes, but realistic? Uh no. No one in this flick acts like a normal human being would.

    “And without that ass how do you get guys in the Academy to care about this crazy lying manipulative lady?”

    You do it by making her hot. That way people will overlook character flaws and their not even charming character flaws. At least you said she tells Pat the truth. To fact that doesn’t in the flick ticked me off.

    “You let me lie for a whole week?” Whoa Tiffany don’t turn this around on him.

    Talk about a calculated movie without a sense of honesty. It rings so false.

    Friend of mine: How is he stupid? I’ve known people that have lost their cars on bets.
    Me: I agree. Those people exist. We don’t see the ramifications of his gambling. That’s the problem. Like every other character he seems to be validated for the wrong things. I wanted him to lose something valuable. Everything works out for him. Plus he bases his bets on his favorite team with the help of superstitions. That’s remarkably stupid. I don’t want Tiffany to provide him crazy logic. The last thing old Pat Sr. needs is to think his son is lucky with this woman. I want her to tell him “Get a grip you crazy old kook!” There’s no such thing as luck or at least consistent luck. We don’t see him lose anything because that would be depressing for the audience. This is comfort fluff. It’s too scared to alienate audiences.

  107. “Plus he bases his bets on his favorite film with the help of superstitions.” Don’t know why I said film. I meant team. Yea so I guess I realized I…uh….hate this movie. One could make the argument that Russell never had the intention of making a realistic movie, but now that seems to be what Weinstein is pushing for. As if this flick has some gravitas and weight.

    Examples
    -De Niro crying
    -pushing of Russell’s son
    -Lawrence speech at the SAG which was followed with applause regarding what the film address. I mean really? This is the film that opens up mental health issues? Unbelievable.

  108. Don’t know why I said film. I meant team.

    paging Dr. Freud.

    I already saw that and fixed it before you called attention to it :)

  109. Maybe I’m not far off with “film” actually. The characters actually seem to base some of their choices on romantic comedies they saw.

    Tiffany: You didn’t like the fake letter?
    Pat: No!!! Why would I like a fake letter? I want a real letter from my wife even if it told me to fuck off.
    Tiffany: But it was romantic in the rom com I saw.
    Pat: Wait…what? You base your choices on movies you saw?! You……I……this kind of stupidity should be outlawed. Who stared in this romantic comedy?
    Tiffany: Katherine Heigl. It’s called We Lie to The Ones We Love.
    Pat: You based your actions on a Katherine Heigl rom com?!
    Tiffany: You don’t believe in a good lie?
    Pat: Yea I believe in a good lie to like…a child. If I had a 6 year old son who asked me what happens when you die, I would tell him you go to heaven. I wouldn’t tell him he rots in the ground cause nothing good can come out of that, but I don’t believe in lying to a grown adult. I treat that adult like an adult and tell them the truth. Did you even give my letter to Nikki?
    Tiffany:…………
    Pat: Are you f*cking serious?!

  110. rufussondheim

    I love this conversation. It actually makes me want to read the book and see the movie again. This movie is so bad, I have the desire to study it mercilessly so when someone in the 98% of America that apparently likes this film tells me how great it is, I want to be able to come back with an arsenal of arguements. I want to be able to reduce fans of this movie to tears.

  111. Rufussondheim,

    I think what annoys people like you, myself, Ryan, and several others with this flick is that characters contradict the things they say. People say Pat Sr. loved his son. Well that may be true, but his actions don’t seem to indicate that. Pat Sr. saying “I love you son” isn’t enough. This is a film that too often uses dialogue to telegraph feelings rather than action and when characters do take action they are the wrong ones, but because they are never punished for it, caught in the act, or apologize, their choices seem validated to the audience when everything works out just fine. Pat’s acceptance of Tiffany’s lie makes her action seem okey dokey. It’s not. Normal mature adults don’t act the way these people do. Perhaps some people do act like these characters, but I certainly wouldn’t want to meet them.

    Just look at the scene with the whole family.
    Pat Sr.: You’re a loser!!!

    (3 minutes later)

    Pat Sr.: I have faith in my son.
    Pat: Dad you shouldn’t do this bet.
    Pat Sr.: Shut up. You’ve already done enough.

    His dad sends completely mixed signals. Why? Because he’s a confusingly written character. I’m sorry, but I can’t overlook the ulterior motives of both Pat Sr. and Tiffany. I’d like to think what they want comes first and Pat’s happiness comes second to them. Even Pat has ulterior motives. When he stopped by Tiffany’s house and defended her against that creep, it’s hard to say if he even gave a damn about her. He just wants the schmuck away from the house and get a hold of Tiffany so she can deliver his letter to Nikki.

  112. rufussondheim

    James, I just got the sense when I watched it that during the last 30 minutes every character was just saying their dialogue because the movie needed them to say it at that moment, and so much of the time, I couldn’t imagine the character I had seen up to them would ever say such a thing. It was like I entered the twilight zone.

    It’s easy to mock the 5.0. But that’s the least of the film’s problems.

  113. Tiffany: You know for a while I thought you were the best thing that happened to me, but now I think you might be the worst.

    I can kind of understand what she is saying, but you think he would ask what is wrong rather than just trying to pull her along. Still her reaction is kind of silly. Not his fault Nikki is there and she only likes him when it’s feasible that she can still get him as a bf. So she isn’t the kind of person that would just be happy that he’s happy. He has to be with her. I was waiting for him to say

    Pat: Uhhh did I miss something? What did I do? I’m confused.

  114. I can kind of understand what she is saying, but you think he would ask what is wrong rather than just trying to pull her along. Still her reaction is kind of silly.

    That’s the handy thing about calibrating your screenplay with a cavalier attitude toward mental illness: Nothing your characters say or do needs to make much sense to sane people.

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