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The State of the Race: Who Controls the Academy Awards?

2012 Oscars Backstage

It’s been a rough year for Zero Dark Thirty fans, a rougher year for Lincoln fans.

Starting as far back as October with the systemic and relentless takedown over at Hollywood-Elsewhere.com, Lincoln could not catch a break. The top pundits in the field like Steve Pond and Dave Karger knew in their bones Lincoln was “too boring” to win, that too many people “didn’t like it.” It didn’t pass the “kitten in a cup” test.  Their predictions flew all over the map as the result. They knew what couldn’t win but they didn’t know what could. They’d seen Argo and written it off as a fairly bland choice to take Best Picture.  It was good but not good enough.   When Zero Dark Thirty came out it especially seemed to take away much of Argo’s luster.

But then Zero Dark Thirty was taken out by a continual debate. But then Zero Dark Thirty was taken out by the blow-back of continual debate. If Bigelow and Boal said it wasn’t based on true events they would be branded as reckless torture advocates. If they said it was based on true events they would be accused of perpetuating a right-wing ideology that seemed to justify torture by making it appear effective and claiming it was key to getting Bin Laden.   Bigelow was called Leni Reifenstahl and took the kind of hard fall you can only really take now, with the news cycles in fast-motion and a hungry beast that needs continual news, preferably scandal, to keep it going at such high speed.  We feed the beast because the beast must be fed and Zero Dark Thirty was the perfect sacrifice: not one, but two women set to take a fall, both the film’s director, headed for her second Best Director nomination in three years, and the film’s star, who was and is the only female lead in the Oscar race that isn’t defined by her male co-star. (You could make a good case for Beasts of the Southern Wild in this regard).

Add to this witch’s brew an October surprise by Affleck groupie/Congressman Joe Courtney out to really hit Lincoln as hard as possible on the one hand, and a tamped down Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor keeping mostly quiet about the “who really cares in America” detail that yeah, that whole Argo thing? It was kind of Canada, not really the US.  But Joe Cortney waited until the peak of Oscar season (as any good politician knows, timing is everything) to really try to shame that mean ol’ Spielberg who was attempting to paint Connecticut on the wrong side of history. In typical Maureen Dowd fashion, she piled on hard.  Blood is in the water, you see, and the sharks are circling.  Not just satisfied to be aiming at Spielberg she had to paint writer Tony Kushner as defensive and arrogant. Her commenters picked after her crumbs happily.  No one noticed because all it did was drive the “anything but Lincoln” meme further along.

Sorry, Connecticut, changing the film Lincoln to show you voted yes on the 13th amendment can’t wipe away your shame, nor should it wipe away the same of anyone who voted yes back then, nor the shared shame of America overall.  It was a sneaky move by a smart politician who essentially tricked Congress into passing the 13th amendment. Racism continued unabated for decades, and continues to this day.  Someday everyone involved in this clusterfuck will look back in amazement that a film that good, that well intentioned was maligned so miserably by people who really thought what they were “concerned” about any detail that actually mattered.  “It’s history!’ They will cry. And I would say to them, history? You don’t really want to know, my friends, especially haughty politicians from Connecticut.

12 nominations put Lincoln in an elite category of Oscar films that usually take along with them Best Picture and Director.  Except when they don’t. And this year a movie star director crashed the party.  And he finally made a movie people really liked — not only that but it was praised in Telluride and Toronto which is what put it in the race to begin with.  But it was only after Zero Dark Thirty’s fall that the critics realigned behind Argo.  And when Affleck was left off the Oscar Best Director list — it set into motion the one thing people will remember from Oscars 2012: the Affleck snub.

From that point on, Argo could not be stopped.  It seemed to be the perfect film that wasn’t Zero Dark Thirty — the CIA are good guys! They aw-shucks their way into Iran and aw-shucks their way into Hollywood and then Hollywood aw-shucks its way to saving the hostages.  Funny, light, cute, nice, everything turns out well in the end.  Argo is satisfying enough to win the Oscar these days when satisfying and non-controversial is what matters most.  Imagine The Deer Hunter, The Godfather, No Country for Old Men trying to run the gauntlet now.  Imagine any film that was, in any way, steeped in history that wasn’t aw-shucks about its themes making it through today’s litmus test.

The way my fellow predictors follow the race, and the way Anne Thompson, Kris Tapley, Steve Pond, Tom O’Neil cover the Oscars is to make them not personal. The tail wags the dog and they watch what is happening, report on what’s happening but never do they comment on what’s happening particularly. They are journalists.  And a detached journalist working in the Oscar race makes you a weatherman.  As Bob Dylan says, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.  But many people do — they look to the pundits to give them the simplest basic clarity in a nutshell. Who knows more? Whose predictions will turn out to be right? It’s “analysis” of something that has no business being analyzed.  The masses all vote the same way over and over again. And?

Right now there are two weather narratives running through this “anything but Lincoln” year — the first is that Ang Lee is making a rise. Just as many predicted Ang Lee would win the BAFTA until Affleck took that award too so are they now predicting he will win the Oscar because “they” aren’t going to give it to Spielberg.

The other strong narrative is that no, it won’t be Lee it will be David O. Russell because he surprise-won Best Screenplay at the BAFTAS.  Most of my colleagues value the BAFTAS over other precursors because in the past the surprise winners at the BAFTAS usually became surprise winners at the Oscars, like Marion Cotillard, like The Pianist. But the BAFTAs changed their voting this year. They have probably lost that unique ability to predict a winner since they just proved themselves to be just another consensus vote.   When your Oscar race is nothing but one consensus vote after another we all begin to feel like we are wasting our precious time, but don’t think twice, it’s all right.

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

life_of_pi_35830

So if Ang Lee wins, it will likely be credited to those pundits who saw it coming first, the Tapley/Thompson/Pond/Karger pundit circle. They are basing this on general buzz around town and an LA Times article that gives Lee the “headwind” heading into the race.  This headwind and general support for Lee irks me a bit because where was it weeks ago?  Given a chance to linger further, and indeed it might prove to be the case on Sunday, Life of Pi AND Ang Lee could both be winners.  Sure, it would be an oddity in Oscar history but no more an oddity than Argo winning.  Argo’s momentum won’t have stopped by the ballot deadline but if there was more time — sooner or later they probably would have rallied around Pi.  Indeed, whenever someone sticks a mic in a movie star’s face they almost always say Life of Pi was their favorite.  11 nominations shows its popularity and more to the point, many pundits are predicting it to win between 4 and 7 Oscars.

Just for history’s sake (because clearly no stat matters anymore after this year) — the most Oscars a film with 11+ nominations has won without winning Best Picture is 5, and only two of those has won Best Director without picture: Steven Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan and the other is Warren Beatty for Reds.

From the handy dandy filmsite.org

Films with 11 nominations – 24
11
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2003
11
11
 West Side Story
1961
10
11
Gandhi
1982
8
11
Amadeus
1984
8
11
Out of Africa
1985
7
11
 The Godfather, Part II
1974
6
11
Oliver!
1968
5
11
Terms of Endearment
1983
5
11
Saving Private Ryan *
1998
5
11
The Aviator *
2004
5
11
Hugo*
2011
5
11
 Sunset Boulevard *
1950
3
11
 The Godfather
1972
3
11
Julia *
1977
3
11
 Rebecca
1940
2
11
Sergeant York *
1941
2
11
Judgment at Nuremberg *
1961
2
11
A Passage to India *
1984
2
11
 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington *
1939
1
11
The Pride of the Yankees *
1942
1
11
 Chinatown *
1974
1
11
The Turning Point *
1977
0
11
The Color Purple *
1985
0
11
Life of Pi
2012
?

With 11:

The Aviator won 5: Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Costumes, Best Supporting Actress
Million Dollar Baby won 4: Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor
Hugo won 5: Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing, Visual Effects
The Artist won 4: Picture, Director, Actor, Costumes
Saving Private Ryan won 5:  Director, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Sound Effects Editing
Shakespeare in Love won 7: Picture, Actress, Supp. Actress, Art Dir, Score, Screenplay

With 12: Zero films won 5 Oscars without also winning Best Picture.

With 13:
Mary Poppins won 5: Actress, Visual Effects, Editing, Score, Song
 My Fair Lady:  Pic, Director, Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume, Score, Sound.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf won 5: Actress, Supporting Actress, Art Dir, Cinematography (b&W), Costume
A Man for All Seasons: Pic, Director, Actor, Screenplay, Cinematography (color), Costumes               (color).

Cinematography is a common thread that runs throughout.  I suppose that’s because they tend to like to award the movies that won’t win with big prizes where they can.  That could benefit either Pi or Lincoln.  You have to figure out which is their number 2 choice.

More likely, if you’re edging towards 5 Oscars for Life of Pi, you would start to get into Best Picture territory.  If I had the guts to do it I would predict for Life of Pi: Picture, Director, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Visual Effects and Score.  Seven Oscars.

But I don’t have the guts so I might instead go for Pi for Cinematography, Visual Effects, Score, Sound and Sound Editing.  5 Oscars.  But it could make history and win more.  It might also lose Sound to Les Miserables.

When all is said and done, I’m wondering if this year will prove that the Academy is no longer at the wheel.  Someone else is driving this car but who is it? Is it, finally, the BAFTA? Have the Brits gotten so tight a chokehold they make a nominee “respectable” just by voting for it?

Or is it the 100,000 voting members of the SAG, the 4,500 voting members of the PGA and the 14,500 voting members of the DGA?  Can Oscar ever wriggle out from underneath that and will this now be called not the Oscar race but the guild race?

And again, the argument comes full circle because most analysts conveniently forget what a big deal this was the minute the Academy turned in their ballots without the DGA or the PGA to guide them. For the first time in Academy/DGA history we got to see what the directors branch in the Academy, and the Academy as a whole, would do without the big guilds to guide them. They deselected Argo as one of the best films in the race by leaving off Affleck, and did the same with Zero Dark Thirty. No one wanted to accept this, least of all the industry.

 

For the first time ever we have the opportunity to test influence.  We all assume the Academy will buckle, “admit their mistake” and award Argo the big prize.  But there’s that tiny little chance that they will assert their own authority over this dog and pony show and pick something else instead, something that does have a director nominated.  No outcome has a precedent, however, whatever you pick to win, it is a longshot.

Ira Deutchman just wrote a piece about how different Oscar voting has been this year from his perspective as a voting member. He said that online voting has made everything a lot easier, and the extra time they got to actually see all of the movies might impact how they vote, particularly, he said, the younger voters.  What that means, we’ll have to see, but he predicts it will screw with everyone’s predictions.

But if all goes as planned, that means, at least until Oscar goes back to five, every year we will know that once the Producers Guild reads their winner the Oscar race is over.

Interview: Breakfast with Curtis

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82 Comments

  1. The Zach
    February 21, 2013

    THE ARTIST won 5 Oscars — you forgot Score.

  2. The Zach
    February 21, 2013

    Also — and I suppose this is more directed to filmsite.org — but the AMPAS only recognizes 10 of THE GODFATHER’s nominations since its score was disqualified after nominations were announced (http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1361428328236).

  3. daveinprogress
    February 21, 2013

    I no longer have the energy or the inclination to follow the other writers that you mention in this article, Sasha – and just as well, as i don’t feel i would get much sense of the pulse if they keep changing their minds everytime the wind seemingly changes direction. It is most telling that 4 days before the big event, for the first time in many years, we really dont know who will win Best Picture or Best Director. The acting races are a little more focused, but even a couple of those (Actress, Supp Actor) could also be wildcards. The technicals will probably go the way that most people are predicting (Pi, Skyfall, Les Mis etc) and Screenplays are hardly done deals.

    This season started with a definite flavor – an array of delicious tastes and qualities, and by twist of fate and timing, ended up as a fairly bland and boring set of appetisers before the main event. We really won’t know how much AMPAS wanted to go its own way until all those envelopes are opened. Then the analysis can take off. Amazing what a four letter word can do for the perception of, and/or the direction of the Oscar race. SNUB.

  4. Henry Z.
    February 21, 2013

    I don’t see voters looking up stats prior to submitting their ballots – you are overanalyzing this race.

  5. CMG
    February 21, 2013

    I feel like I am missing something. How was Lincoln the ultimate victim in this race? Not to play a game of victimhood among two films I really love, but how did anything involving Lincoln ever get as ugly as the ZD30 debates? I think the Riefenstahl comparisons by Wolf and Greenwald (and were using mediums like The Guardian and MSNBC as forums with no pushback aside from critics and writers who saw the film, and not pundits who reach a higher viewership/readership, before the film ever had its wide release) place it at a much higher plane than any other film nominated.

    But that Maureen Dowd hit-and-run piece, that scratched the surface on any of her qualms (yet hardest on Lincoln), is easily among the group of worst Oscar season pieces of this past year. Nice to know those terrible ZD30 pieces (and I will include Chris Hayes’ entire MSNBC show on ZD30 that was just fascinatingly terrible viewer illiteracy group-think) have company.

    Sasha, was there whisper campaigns that some of us not based in LA or NY could not know about? Or can we not really say about the parties involved because the Oscars have not happened yet?

  6. Terometer
    February 21, 2013

    “Someday everyone involved in this clusterfuck will look back in amazement that a film that good, that well intentioned was maligned so miserably”

    No wrongdoings should be justified by good intentions. Lincoln is a good film, but distorting historical facts is wrong.

  7. KT
    February 21, 2013

    I see Life of Pi winning 4 or 5:

    Definites:
    Visual Effects
    Cinematography

    Likely:
    Score

    Possible:
    Directing
    Sound Editing (very hard to predict)

    Not Likely:
    Sound Mixing—I think Les Miz has this
    Production Design—this could be close, but I think the fact that most of the movie takes place on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean rather in buildings, more staged settings hurts it

  8. Jorge
    February 21, 2013

    Nice summary Sasha. Sadly, I think it’s over but the crying. Argo will win.

    I am sick of it, and added to the TKS year, sick of the process for a while.

    I won’t say I won’t be back next year, cause that would be a lie.

    But the perspective on it does harden year after year.

    I always used to think that people who mock the Oscars don’t get it, don’t understand how important they are. More and more I am starting to think the joke has been on me all along.

  9. Christophe
    February 21, 2013

    Henry Z. + 1 nor blindly following the guilds or precursor awards, like sure the riva win at the baftas may spur hesitant voters to support her knowing she might actually have a shot, but at the end of the day this category (just like BP) will be so tight that we can’t really draw any conclusion. Every voter is different, every year is different, and once you think you’ve got it all figured out, whether you’re relying on stats, experience, insider info or sheer intuition, that’s when the unexpected or even the impossible happens and sends all your beautiful theories flying by the window. and when i say you i say pundits in general. so i’ve had a great time following the awards race all year long, but for the sake of my love of cinema, i think i’d better stop and go back to only caring abt the oscars during the month and a half between the nominations announcement and the ceremony. all these endless talks abt politics and punditry and vain theorizing are quite fun but also very tiring.

  10. February 21, 2013

    saw 5 already, and out of the top 4 fighting for the big prize, Life of Pi is a masterpiece and my #1 of the year, Lincoln I haven’t seen yet (probably tomorrow), Argo is just above average and a misfire of the claustrophobic marvel it could have been in the hands of, say, Roman Polanski… and Zero Dark Thirty earns every single Leni Riefenstahl comparison you can imagine of, but Bigelow isn’t Leni, aesthetically speaking. ZD30 is, formally, a really good film but with a nausea inducing agenda in manipulation of the audience. I wrote this morning a whole review deconstructing it, its cheats, its ways to manipulate, and why the people calling it a film in favor of torture and government ordered murder, is completely accurate.

    I understand why some people may prefer to be blindfolded with that film. But I happen to call things, by its real name. ZD30 is the w-o-r-s-t thing that happened in 2012 to the cinematic art. Its damage is even worse than Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor combined, maybe more, ’cause what a good film it is.

  11. daveinprogress
    February 21, 2013

    Jorge, i get what you’re saying. As long as you continue to love the movies you love and support them, the Oscar race doesn’t have to be a mirror that reflects your (or our or my) tastes – but a piece of theatre and a circus all of itself. Following it doesn’t mean you have to endorse it. Just observe and chuckle at it.

  12. February 21, 2013

    “It seemed to be the perfect film that wasn’t Zero Dark Thirty — the CIA are good guys! They aw-shucks their way into Iran and aw-shucks their way into Hollywood and then Hollywood aw-shucks its way to saving the hostages. Funny, light, cute, nice, everything turns out well in the end.”

    hahahahaha!!! Love it!!!!!

    The director’s race is a hum-dinger. I have called Haneke in an upset, but I am wondering if that was even a responsible prediction. It does seem to be Spielberg or Lee, and a slim majority seems to stand behind the director of LINCOLN.

  13. Christophe
    February 21, 2013

    also, I’m very glad you put a picture of Alexandra Lamy at the top of the page :) Of course, nobody knows her outside France and many commenters/haters ridiculed her when we saw her freaking out during Jean Dujardin’s speech, but she’s a really great gal, a fine actress and she’s simply hilarious!

  14. Andrew
    February 21, 2013

    It’s not film versus film, but campaign team A against B.

    Best Supporting Actor–Tommy Lee Jones has enough support to be the frontrunner, against the popular Waltz, so Weinstein campaign targets the veteran vote to erode support for Tommy, in favour of De Niro.

    As some of the older members flock to De Niro, at the expense of Tommy, this strengthens Waltz. If enough go to De Niro, he wins. If not enough, Waltz is safe and comes through.

    The game is to beat Tommy Lee Jones by using De Niro, so either Waltz wins or De Niro wins, it’s a Weinstein win.

    So think not film versus film, or actor versus actor, etc, think of rival campaign teams.

  15. KT
    February 21, 2013

    ^^^ That seems like a strong analysis of the Weinstein game. The Weinstein Co knows how to play, and if there’s an upset in Best Picture and one film pulls a Crash, it will very likely be Silver Linings.

  16. February 21, 2013

    I also think Argo was hit by a reluctance among critic groups to align their voice firmly behind a strong contender. That was how it looked like the race would turn out, but I think they got a little scared, and didn’t want to suffer the same humiliation that they suffered when the industry snubbed them over The Social Network. But certainly, the whole torture debacle killed ZDT hard.

  17. February 21, 2013

    If Argo wins, the Academy will be confirmed as the guilds’ bitch.

    If Lincoln / Life of Pi / any other film except Silver Linings Playbook wins, the Academy will be confirmed as the kind of smart thinkers we thought they were when they nominated Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin.

    If Silver Linings Playbook wins, the sun will explode.

  18. February 21, 2013

    It didn’t pass the “kitten in a cup” test.

    You know, I’m fairly certain that in the olden times of Abraham Lincoln, they had both kittens and cups. So this is just a missed opportunity and really Spielberg only has himself to blame.

    If I had the guts to do it I would predict for Life of Pi: Picture, Director, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Visual Effects and Score. Seven Oscars.

    That’s okay. I’ve been saying Lee and PI for a while now. I’ve got the whole guts thing covered. I’m still gonna go ahead and root for SLP because it’s my 2nd favorite after DJANGO which has no chance.

  19. February 21, 2013

    If Silver Linings Playbook wins, the sun will explode.

    @Paddy You rang?

  20. JP
    February 21, 2013

    The problem is that some would have a heart attack if SLP won (Sasha, Ryan and I put myself here), some would if Lincoln won (Jeff Wells), the more conservatives if ZDT won, many top critics if Les Mis won, most actors (i also put myself here) if Life of Pi won… Same for Django, Amour and Beasts. But if Argo won, the heart attack rate would be insignificant. And thats why it will win.

  21. Zach
    February 21, 2013

    I’m sticking with Spielberg because it would be…unique…for a director like Lee of a CGI-fest to win Director, but not also Picture, over an actor-friendly film like Lincoln or even SLP. But if Lee wins, it won’t be the most unprecedented thing. One, he made the unfilmable, and two, he is the only director with a nomination from every key precursor including the Academy.

    But I don’t even see Pi sweeping the techs anymore, given the strong presence of Les Mis, Skyfall, and even Anna Karenina. It’s back to the original 3 — cinematography, score, and visual — because I don’t see the film as having the broad-based support of, say, Hugo.

  22. Zach
    February 21, 2013

    What is surprising is that we’ve never had a year when so many major winners may be people we weren’t even confident would be nominated on the morning of — Lee/any director other than Spielberg, Riva, and Waltz/De Niro.

  23. Scott
    February 21, 2013

    I wish they’d go back to five best pic nominees. It’s cleaner and less dependent on a general bland consensus. I doubt Midnight Cowboy would have won had they been doing preferential voting.

  24. Scotty
    February 21, 2013

    How did The Last Emperor pull off a win without any actors nominated or without actor support? Were the 1980s just a time to reward sweeping epics after the social-consciousness of the 1970s?

  25. CMG
    February 21, 2013

    Yeah, yeah, Jesus, I am a blindfolded sheep. Your illiteracy of the images in the film, that raid of that government-ordered killing also shown women shot and shoved around by Navy SEALs and children frightened, traumatized by the events, is astounding. Why have those images if they are trying to advance an agenda? And if this were a government-pushed propaganda agenda, why was it not produced by a bigger studio than Annapurna? Why did Bigelow and Boal have a project on the failed Torra Borra capture in 2001 of UBL if they wanted to promote that killing and torture work? I really want to hear an answer to that last question because nobody who has said you spiel has at all.

  26. February 21, 2013

    That’s it, we’re all going to die.

    Now look what you’ve done, David O. Russell. I don’t think your autistic son will care when he’s DEAD!

  27. February 21, 2013

    Were the 1980s just a time to reward sweeping epics after the social-consciousness of the 1970s?

    Yes.

  28. d.p
    February 21, 2013

    Lincoln reminds me of…Tracy Flick. Has the experience, brains, ambition and establishment support. She was supposed to cruise through her Election until Paul Metzler happened. (I guess she still won at the end…regardless of the efforts of Mr. McAllister [does this make him the pre-cursors? bloggers?] ).

    Anyway, I still don’t see how Lincoln is a bigger victim that ZD30.

    Also…

    Benjamin Button: 13 Noms, 3 wins (No Best pic)

    Not sure if that stat applies to the stuff above.

  29. m1
    February 21, 2013

    According to RT top critics the Best Picture nominees rank as follows (from best to worst):

    Amour
    Argo
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Lincoln
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Life of Pi
    Django Unchained
    Les Miserables

    So I can’t really see how people are stating that Lincoln is better reviewed than Argo or something along those lines. It’s also interesting that Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln are essentially have the same amount of praise and Life of Pi is closer to the bottom than many people would expect.

    Personally, I do think Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are better than Lincoln. Even Looper was better than Lincoln. So, I can’t say that I’m not happy about how this awards season has turned out.

    If Silver Linings Playbook wins, the sun will explode.

    If that’s what it takes for the sun to explode, then I hope it does.

  30. The Dude
    February 21, 2013

    Andrew- Your analysis actually makes sense.

    And of course Harvey has a 3rd candidate in the race, and some of the older voters will choose Arkin.

    As for Best Director, Lee is winning. Here’s why:

    * Everyone that votes for Life of Pi as BP will vote for him. It’s very, very much a director picture, even more than Brokeback Mountain was.

    * Meanwhile, many SLP voters will think that it’s more of an actor’s piece, or simply not vote for Russell because he’s a prick. Some Lincoln voters might think that Spielberg has enough Oscars already and/or think the success of the movie is more because of DDL and Kushner. Some BSW voters will think Zeitlin is too green.

    *With this polarization between Argo and Lincoln, I don’t see many voters of the former voting for Spielberg.

    *Everybody likes Ang Lee, and he had the riskier, possibly career-killer project.

  31. rufussondheim
    February 21, 2013

    When a forgotten betting site I once used to play poker on decided to give me 14 to 1 odds on Russell and Haneke to win best director. I put 10 each of my remaining thirty odd dollars on them to win. I certainly hope it’s Haneke that wins this category now.

    I put my remaining money on Chris Terrio who lagged significantly behind Kushner as the #2 option. He would win me 19 dollars.

    So I’m hoping to have 182 dollars in my account come monday morning. Pretty nice for an account I forgot I had until a friend of mine reminded me I had it.

  32. Joao Mattos
    February 21, 2013

    I have a feeling that we will see tons of surprises next sunday.

  33. Scotty
    February 21, 2013

    Although I wouldn’t mind if any of the Best Director nominees win (except for David O. Russell whose work I have enjoyed in the past, but not SLP), I really would love it if Lee could pull it off.

    I am biased though because Lee is my favorite living director.

  34. The Dude
    February 21, 2013

    M1- RT isn’t that reliable, because it simply shows which movies have more critics liking them, not taking into consideration how much are they liked.

    For example, Iron Man has a RT score bigger than most, if not all of the nominees.

  35. Scotty
    February 21, 2013

    Hey, I just noticed Tina Fey in the picture.

    I forgot she presented at the Oscars last year.

  36. L
    February 21, 2013

    Really … you think it’s been a tougher year for Lincoln fans than Zero Dark Thirty fans?

  37. February 21, 2013

    m1:

    Overall, according to criticstop 10, ARGO ranked 4th while LINCOLN was 5th. Not such a big difference.

  38. Scotty
    February 21, 2013

    Although I pay attention to groups like the New York Film Critics Circle, L.A. Film Critics Association, and the National Society of Film Critics among other groups, I find myself not really caring what the consensus of critics say.

    I think I’ve read too many inarticulate or extremely cynical or snarky reviews that oftentimes care too much about writing up scathing witticisms to promote their own reputation rather than earnestly exploring the films themselves to really care about RT and MC scores. I’m not only singling out reviews I disagree with either. I have read excellent reviews where I disagreed with the conclusion, and horrible reviews that ultimately gave a movie I loved a high score.I know that’s an incredibly generalized post I made, but I can’t help but be cynical when reviews for a film come out.

  39. Yvette
    February 21, 2013

    That’s right Dude.
    Argo was the least polarizing – the one most likely to please hte most critics.
    Unlike ZDThirty or Lincoln. But the postive reviews of both of those films was on another level.
    Not all A+s are created equal, so accumulative RT scores are misleading.
    Yeah, they all liked Argo, but many critics really loved and respected Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. That’s the big difference.

  40. CMG
    February 21, 2013

    Looking at the photo, somebody is clearly sitting in Melissa McCarthy’s seat (guessing Melissa was backstage if not on stage with the Bridesmaids cast) because that is clearly her husband. They’re sitting behind Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin, and I believe Penelope Cruz. Outside them, Fey, Tony Bennett (?) and McCarthy’s husband, I recognize nobody else.

    Metacritic (which I do not entirely love but it is much better service than Rotten Tomatoes), Zero Dark Thirty leads in among the nominees in most #1 appearances in the Top Ten (only The Master had more first place votes), followed by Lincoln, Amour, and Argo (all had a #1 appearance on top ten lists 7 times versus ZD30′s 17). Even in terms of #2 appearances or just being on a top ten list, ZD30 made more appearances than any nominee. In terms of score, ZD30 has a 95 while Argo and Lincoln are both at an 86. RT is measured by the simple good review. Metacritic at least tries to measure the level of praise, hence why Argo’s grade on RT is inflated and makes their whole system look easy to exploit (which it is).

  41. Daveylow
    February 21, 2013

    This has been a strange year for me to follow. Since my favorite film Life of Pi hasn’t had a chance of winning best picture or best director, I can just follow without going too crazy. Unlike last year when I kept thinking Marty might pull off another win.

    I’m pretty sure Ang Lee doesn’t think he’s going to win so if he does I imagine he will be very happy and will give a gracious speech for he’s a man who has had nothing but praise for all the artists who worked with him this year. And there were a lot who work on Life of Pi.

    I would be personally shocked if Pi won best picture. I don’t think that will happen.

  42. Daveylow
    February 21, 2013

    Zach wrote: “But I don’t even see Pi sweeping the techs anymore, given the strong presence of Les Mis, Skyfall, and even Anna Karenina.”

    I don’t think there’s a strong presence for Les Mis or Anna Karenina, and I don’t think the Academy loves Skyfall as much as the Brits do.

  43. February 21, 2013

    Being a Les Miserables fan wasn’t exactly a picnic in the park either. We saw glory and the bashing on all web sites left us gory. Whatever changes the Academy wrought were more than overwhelmed by the feeds, forums, and various enclaves of trolls and twitterers to the point of being suspect. I too suspect that consensus has become the safe space to be without any consideration of daring or genius. The Academy (they need to rethink that Oscars stupidity) needs to reclaim their position as the arbiter rather than just the last voice in the chorus.

  44. richard Crawford
    February 21, 2013

    Lady Gaga?

  45. m1
    February 21, 2013

    “RT isn’t that reliable, because it simply shows which movies have more critics liking them, not taking into consideration how much are they liked.”

    Actually, this isn’t the case. RT does calculate an average that shows how much critics liked a movie. They also separate top critics from everyone else, which does make that section of the site similar to Metacritic. I used that section of the site to form the list. Any movies that have the same average had that tie broken by using the percentage.

    “Overall, according to criticstop 10, ARGO ranked 4th while LINCOLN was 5th. Not such a big
    difference.”

    But that’s the point. Many people on this site are trying to paint Lincoln as the more beloved movie, which isn’t really the case.

    On another note, I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this week and I have no idea why people were elevating it to Best Picture status. Sure, it’s a very good movie with Oscar-worthy performances from the three leads but the screenplay rushes over the things that made the book so fantastic. Could someone please explain why I’m supposed to love this movie?

  46. CMG
    February 21, 2013

    I’m certain RT only separate scores among top critics and somebody like me on the web that write reviews with absolutely no press bona fides. But whatever, could be wrong. Not a fan of scoring in general until I want to explore everybody’s top ten list of films I had not seen, so I usually just read from people I trust.

    Jamie,
    I think some critics not only hate musicals but hate that musical in particular and what they believe and perceive what that musical did to Broadway. Not to mention I definitely think people have it out for Tom Hooper ever since they let him, as a rather unknown quality to most in the States (despite directing the superb John Adams mini-series that was a hit among TV critics), beat David Fincher and The Social Network. So those were two big strikes to it. Even if there was some casting misfires, I still think it turned out pretty well.

  47. Houstonrufus
    February 21, 2013

    I’m exhausted with the season. I’m baffled at how you can find material for these long pieces every few days.

  48. Mr-Cinema
    February 21, 2013

    daveinprogress / February 21, 2013
    “It is most telling that 4 days before the big event, for the first time in many years, we really dont know who will win Best Picture or Best Director.”

    Huh? Argo has swept all of the major precursors, Slumdog style, and we really don’t know who will win Best Picture? What other evidence is needed to make the selection?

  49. steve50
    February 21, 2013

    “Argo was the least polarizing…”

    That’s it, Yvette. Each of the other nominees has passionate supporters, but those are offset by an equal number of detractors for various reasons. Many people positively adored Amour, Lincoln, Life of Pi and Les Mis, but some people weren’t open to the stories they had to tell or the way they told them.

    Good old likeable Argo sails right down the middle, unimpeded by just about anything, with the extra wind of the Affleck omission (NOT snub) giving it added momentum. I doubt the passion factor is there compared with the other nominees, but neither is the other side of the coin.

    The category should be renamed “Best-Liked Movie.”

  50. Bob Burns
    February 21, 2013

    you left out Boal’s crap reporting that fucked a great film and got Bigelow in trouble to begin with.

  51. February 21, 2013

    I would say ZD30 had it rougher. People really loved it, but it fell victim to an unfounded, misguided attack on its narrative content. Few questioned ZD30′s quality.

    Lincoln’s critics nitpicked here and there, but its biggest hurdle were a great number of people didn’t care for it.

    And considering I visit this site more than any other, I would be conditioned to think the reverse. But, I don’t.

  52. steve50
    February 21, 2013

    Yes, Vince. Argo was questioned (not enough, imo), Lincoln was criticized, but Zero Dark Thirty was pummelled to the point of no return (and by people who should have known better).

  53. steve50
    February 21, 2013

    If anyone is interested, there is a conversation tomorrow, 10:00 AM PDT, on CBC radio about learning history from movies and, in particular, three of this year’s BP nominees:

    Film critics David Haglund of Slate and Daniel D’Addario of Salon debate the truth controversies around this Sunday’s best picture Oscar contenders Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.

    http://www.cbc.ca/q/weekly/2013/02/20/this-week-on-q—feb-18-2213/index.html

    It may or may not be simulcast, but a podcast will follow.

  54. February 21, 2013

    Great article Sasha really sums up the state of the race these days!

    I really think that the “shifting winds” exist so much that in any given year most best picture nominees might have an opportunity to win if the awards were held earlier (which would save studios millions of dollars in campaign financing)/later. I think this year ZDT might have been able to win in late December at the pinnacle of it winning critics circles, Lincoln had an opportunity in early January before the Argo express really hit its stride, Now Argo has so much momentum that it is seemingly unstoppable, but in this final week the consensus seems to be that it is fluffy and smooth around all edges, and that if we were to go pointing for a 4th film that would be Life of Pi (kind of a shame that this wasn’t a year where there was a substantial animated film or a more feel good/flashier Foreign because they could have had a solid chance. Imagine if Ratatouille or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (or really any of the early 2000′s big Foreign films was in this race).

    If there was even more time perhaps the media or people’s opinions in general would shift to Django Unchained or Silver Lining Playbook, Or Beasts of the Southern Wild, Or even Amour. Or maybe there were even a few days in January where Django Unchained or Silver Lining Playbook had a shot. Screw it, I kind of think if we had a year to come to our senses Zero Dark Thirty would win best picture. But it is what it is, The Oscars is a all about campaigning, having a good media spin, and ultimately timing, for some reason Argo seemed to hit the buzzer on this one. I don’t think it really good of been predicted ahead of time that people would write Argo off only for it to come back in, but who knows maybe Warner Brothers were geniuses for the early October release date. I guess we will have to wait till Sunday to know for sure…

  55. MikieRotten
    February 21, 2013

    Can someone give me some insight as to why (the best ((and only)), film of the year in my opinion), The Master was not nominated?
    Also how did something like Django Unchained, which came across like a cartoon western receive so much praise? I don’t get it, I felt that Tarantino was parodying himself but I knew that would/will never happen and the end result was Django is a sorry sign of the times. The end of art is the end of man.

  56. Victor Barreto
    February 21, 2013

    “it set into motion the one thing people will remember from Oscars 2012: the Affleck snub.”

    I for one will always remember Joaquin Phoenix got a deserved nomination after I’m still Here. Also, ZDT, Django and Amour.

    If it feels wrong a movie like Argo will win BP, how do you choose the best choice available, then? I think quality should ALWAYS come first in the BP category, fuck the logic or the precedents, Zero Dark Thirty should win even without Bigelow, it’s one hell of a movie that I bet will age better than any of the other nominees (although I do see a bright future for Amour and Django aswell). I just don’t understand those who pray for the Academy following “their logic”, even if it’s a terrible one. If you (people) want Lincoln to win, I respect more those who say “because it’s my favorite” than the ones that say “because I want the BP/BD”. To me it’s almost a matter of OCD to wish this just for the sake of it (no offense, i hope).

  57. February 21, 2013

    Can someone give me some insight as to why (the best ((and only)), film of the year in my opinion), The Master was not nominated?

    My theory? The Master was too smart for the room. It didn’t hit the expected predictable narrative beats and I wonder if a lot of ticket buyers and Oscars voters didn’t know what to make of it.

    Django & Itchy & Scratchy Unchained was easy for anybody to follow and it practically had a laugh track to cue people in to what was ok to laugh about. (That laugh track was provided by the crudest person in the audience at each screening across the country).

  58. Pierre de Plume
    February 21, 2013

    m1 – If you go by box office Lincoln ($177 million, released 11/9/12) is more beloved than Argo ($128.6 million, released 10/12/12).

    I don’t see voters looking up stats prior to submitting their ballots – you are overanalyzing this race.

    Looking up status isn’t the job of Academy voters — it’s the job of reliable, methodical prognosticators.

    I feel like I am missing something. How was Lincoln the ultimate victim in this race? Not to play a game of victimhood among two films I really love, but how did anything involving Lincoln ever get as ugly as the ZD30 debates?

    I agree to an extent. ZD30 really is the big loser because, not only was the criticism unjustified but some of those who retracted their criticism did so too late for the film to recover. Thing is, it’s reasonable to believe up front that a film like ZD30 would attract controversy — but what ended up happening was way overboard.

    On the other hand, Lincoln took some hard knocks, as well. And as a film more likely to win the top Oscar, it really had a lot to lose. Not to mention the fact that the criticism against it didn’t really amount to much at all — it was industry politics blown out of proportion.

    Regarding the central question of this post, “Who controls the Academy Award?” I think it’s too early to drawn conclusions about the future. What happened this year isn’t necessarily a trend. It maybe was just a perfect storm — and one that’s not even over yet, I might add. Factors that include the timing of the Oscar nominations combined with the omission of Affleck by the directors somehow steamrolled into what we have now. This doesn’t nececessarily mean there’s a trend. I mean, when No Country for Old Men won I think that had something to do with the writers’ strike and how online activity therefore had an increased effect on the race. When The Hurt Locker won, the preferential ballot was new but yet it was anything but the so-called compromise or consensus choice; the narrative that year was David v. Goliath.

    Next year the rules may change. Even if they don’t, there’ll be a new set of circumstances that may blow all this talk about the guilds running things right out the window. (And besides, haven’t we always relied on the guilds anyway in making our predictions?)

  59. Dominik
    February 22, 2013

    “Bigelow was called Leni Reifenstahl”

    It´s Riefenstahl, actually. ;-)

  60. February 22, 2013

    One of the biggest things I take from this post is HOW AMAZING WAS THE B&W CINEMATOGRAPHY IN WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF??

  61. Horace
    February 22, 2013

    A bit of controversy in the Live Action Shorts

    thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/boys-go-from-kabul-to-the-oscars-but-who-benefits

  62. gbocampo
    February 22, 2013

    NGNG

    Jackie Weaver wins.
    A Tie for Best Actress
    Moonrise Kingdom for Original Screenplay

  63. CMG
    February 22, 2013

    Thanks for the explanation on Lincoln, Pierre.

  64. Dennis Bee
    February 22, 2013

    I don’t know how you can say there’s no precedent for any of this year’s scenarios when the precedents are 1985 and 1995, the two years when the director’s branch screwed with expectations and didn’t nominate favored directors for movies about which there were a lot of misgivings. The DGA, the industry precursor that matters then, got to stick its finger in the Academy’s eye, the Academy stuck to its guns and treated THE COLOR PURPLE and (almost, it won two) APOLLO 13 like they didn’t exist, and life went on.

    There weren’t the SAGs and the PGA to confuse things then, but now, just when the Academy had gotten back some of their credibility after the BROKEBACK/CRASH fiasco, here comes the Ben Affleck snub to threaten to turn the Academy Awards into little more than a ratification of the precursors. I think the Academy voters are proud; they think of themselves as the cream of the industry (and they kind of are).

    And what did the Oscar directors do that was so terrible? They opted for a magical, haunting little film that they had probably been waiting to nominate since last summer when it was released, maybe since Sundance. They listened to the National Society of Film Critics (not for the first time) and took another look at AMOUR. ZERO DARK THIRTY, a difficult film to get on a first viewing, somehow got lost; maybe it was that Bigelow just won three years ago, while Michael Haneke, 70, one of the world’s most honored directors, had never been nominated before.

    And about actors-turned-directors: Yes, Ben Affleck has come back, to put it mildly, from a late-night punch line to a fine director. But things have changed since the early ’80s when actors-turned-directors won three years in a row. Those things are “Kevin Costner” and “Mel Gibson.” Costner-over-Scorsese-for-GOODFELLAS and Gibson-at-all are the two events–besides CRASH–that make Oscar an icon one might see in the dictionary next to the word, “laughingstock.” Affleck still has to prove to the Oscar directors that he isn’t a flash-in-the-pan, that he won’t wander off and make THE POSTMAN next.

    Other things: The directors may have felt that ZD30 is as much Mark Boal’s film as it is Bigelow’s. (Isn’t it?) While I don’t think the Academy is going to give a big “Never mind” by voting ARGO for BP–the Ang Lee-LIFE OF PI scenario might be much more plausible (and similar to the ’85 results, especially), Screenplay to Boal would be a “makeup” to ZD30. There is a precedent for this. In 1989 there was a big sense in the (pre-internet) media that the nominations that year had gone really wrong and shown how out of touch AMPAS was. Not only was the groundbreaking DO THE RIGHT THING (now the best-remembered film of 1989. Surprise Surprise) snubbed and the safe, retrograde DRIVING MISS DAISY, a film so dull the directors didn’t even think of it, in the lead by default, but a fine historical film, GLORY, won five nominations, but no majors (Picture, Director, Screenplay). On Oscar night, however, GLORY won three (and two of the five BP nominees won nada), to Denzel Washington, which was expected, but also for Cinematography and Sound, which weren’t. I recall reading articles, pre-Oscars in which voters were rueful that they had somehow missed GLORY, a late-year release, and they made up for it with a few “Oops” Oscars.

    “Oops” Oscars have never been given in the major categories, however, and the Academy had better realize that their credibility is on the line (Isn’t it always? Don’t they always have something to atone for?). The Director field in 2012 is merely the best in years; there would have needed to be seven or eight slots to hold all the deserving nominees. LINCOLN is such an aberrant film–a movie that the historians and political writers rally round but the industry shrugs–that the system can’t handle it. I agree that “Spielberg” has so many pat meanings to so many people that LINCOLN just doesn’t compute as a Spielberg film. I think that Tony Kushner could still well end up in the winner’s circle (Actually, any of the Adapted Screenplays could win at this point; even a delicious shocker like Alibar and Zeitlin for BEASTS wouldn’t be that far out of left field, given the film’s nominations).

  65. Valerie
    February 22, 2013

    I have to say I find this whole alleged backlash at ZD30 and Lincoln overblown. There was nothing IMO deliberate about it. It’s no secret I find ZD30 a good yet, overrated film, but let’s not pretend the controversy surrounded it didn’t help generate interest and box office $$$$. And the secrecy surrounding it and limited information released only heightened the interest. They knew darn well events in the film were going to be questioned and challenged. And outside of the US, there is very limited support for the US’s war on terror. It’s a subject , movie or not, that still very much is at the forefront and controversial and folks have the surprise that the movie surrounding the same subject matter might be considered controversial. Yeah ok.

    As for Lincoln, I don’t think the movie really got significant backlash or any of significance. It just never seemed to gain momentum. I’m not sure why. It’s a great film with a terrific performance by DDl and TLJ and James Spadef and the list goes on. Maybe there is a bit of its Spielberg, he’ll be here again factor, not sure. It’s actually the film I expected to be the Oscar favorite, it’s historial, epic, great story. Go figure.

    Amour was my favorite film. I don’t expect that means it should win. It was a stark film, in some ways similar to ZD30, but was emotionally draining. I personally haven’t felt this kind of emptiness walking away from a film since United 93. The performances were this film and all 3 actors, including IH, deserved a nod.

    Frankly if the academy really wants to expand and pick something that might resonate worldwide, Life of Pi should have been the favorite and IMO its the best universal film released not only this year but in several years. Its also a huge directing achievement and a crime this fantastic inspirational film and it’s director don’t even be considered a contender.

    Argo is a good film. I honestly don’t see shame in awarding this dramady an Oscar. why is being crowd pleasing and not serious enough considered not to be as good ill never get.

    I also don’t have an issue with SLP. A good film with wonderful performances and upbeat. Again, does a film have to be serious and dark to be good or the best. That seems to be what critics think.

  66. CMG
    February 22, 2013

    Valerie, I definitely think Bigelow and Boal did know this was a topic they would face. Sony, however, did not and silenced them favoring profit (since Bigelow and Boal already had the distinction of the lowest grossing BP winner ever, I think there was a part of them who also wanted a hit too) and they let the accusations stick when it was being slowly rolled out into theaters that really exhausted the debate. This was a story of Sony having no idea how to deal with being a front-runner, learning nothing from The Social Network campaign. The roll-out really hurt them. Those of us who were anticipating the film and not in a major cities were just watching these salvos and attacks being thrown against the film from a distance and really could only sit there to wait to form our own opinion that at this point went beyond whether or not we thought the film was good or not. Sony also did not anticipate the critical switch when they were the darlings (not realizing some movie critics became a little timid trying to defend a film against major ZD30 critics who, while knowing very little about film, know a lot about the subject matter). I think Sony counted on a critical groundswell (they had some reason to believe it with the movie being the BP contender on the most critics end of year lists) helping them not only with their reputations but also with its box office. With the latter it was a mix of the controversy and it still being hailed as a good, well-crafted film. With the former it was a house of cards that fell apart in the perfect storm of the day when they only got 5 nominations (arguably could have gotten more in the 7-8 range) and losing at the BFCA in the director and film category later in the day. Its wide-release felt like after-shocks as many people who read the pieces and the debates already knew a lot about the film without ever seeing an image. It was almost impossible to have a formed opinion without retracing some of it to first reading those pieces of those few who saw it (or in Greenwald’s case talking about it before seeing it and doubling down after seeing it).

  67. Dennis Bee
    February 22, 2013

    CMG, I’ve thought about the ZD30 rollout too. While I can’t imagine the movie opening wide as a Christmas movie, and am sure it did much better on Jan. 11 than it would have coming out against THE HOBBIT, LES MIZ, AND DJANGO, the rollout was unusual these days. The experience of ZD30 Oscar-wise makes me wonder if studios will be even more loathe now to open films in December. The early Oscar deadline obviously didn’t help, but had ZD30 opened in November, it would have had plenty of time not only for the controversy to abate as fast as it formed, but also would have had more time to sink in. The NYFCC sweep turned out to be a curse, as the awards became practically the first publicity the film got. It had the “highly acclaimed” wrapper on it before anyone not a New York critic knew what the film was. But I wonder if it would have been a Best Picture if the rollout had been Weinstein Bros.-quality.

  68. eclipse22
    February 22, 2013

    are you going to do a post on the “cesars” awards starting in under an hour now in france?

    until ben affleck got snubbed for best director, i had no inkling lincoln was having such a rough time as you say, or that zero dark thirty was having trouble!

    perhaps that’s due to me not exhausting myself reading every article and every site talking about the awards season , or newspapers giving tribune to people to take shot at a film….

    i felt the snub because i had just recently seen ARGO and was still on a high from viewing it, of course reading your articles saying how it was just a good film but lincoln was a masterpiece, i figured i had to watch lincoln to compare wich i did, and my opinion about ARGO didnt change, even as i could see that lincoln would be a worthy winner just not my top choice as it didnt elicit emotions in me the way another film on a historical character did ” the king speech”

    its just my perspective on films, i guess now that all is said and done, votes are in and there’s no turning back may the best man win , and in the end they’re all winners because they were the select few nominated for the big prizes.

    should lincoln or life of pi win BP i’ll be disappointed but i won’t be pissed off and bitter about it!
    should SLP win i’ll be as blue as anyone was when crash beat brokeback mountain but still won’t be upset beyond the next day
    truth is i want les miserables to win but that’s not happening nd my next best pick is ARGO so that’s that and i’ll be very happy for clooney and affleck

  69. February 22, 2013

    are you going to do a post on the “cesars” awards starting in under an hour now in france?

    yep yep,eclipse22. thanks. anyone know of a live stream?

  70. eclipse22
    February 22, 2013

    thanks ryan, no i’m not stream savy, but i am watching it live on tv ,canal+ channel….

  71. linc4jess
    February 22, 2013

    Ryan Adams says..”? The Master was too smart for the room.

    Why. Because you would like for us to think your smarter than the others in the room. Your no smarter today or have more superior insight as to what makes a good picture than when you were a kid posting and making your uninformed comments back in what was it..2004 and or 2005. Then all of a sudden Sasha plucks you out of obscurity and now you are the smartest guy in the room. Give us a break.

  72. Lyn
    February 22, 2013

    “Django & Itchy & Scratchy Unchained was easy for anybody to follow and it practically had a laugh track to cue people in to what was ok to laugh about. (That laugh track was provided by the crudest person in the audience at each screening across the country).”

    Unfortunately, the laugh track in the Upper West Side theater where I saw it must have malfunctioned, since the fanboy sitting next to me laughed at the terrifying shot of the escaped slave up a tree and surrounded by growling dogs. He cut himself off once he realized the rest of the audience was in stunned silence. I think Tarantino’s fans are his worst enemy.

  73. February 22, 2013

    - Ryan Adams says..”? The Master was too smart for the room.

    - Why. Because you would like for us to think your smarter than the others in the room

    you’ve skipped a few too many steps for me to follow your airtight logic, so I must not be as smart as you think I want you to think that I want everybody in the room to think.

    Your no smarter today…

    well, that’s you’re opinion.

  74. Question Mark
    February 22, 2013

    ZD30 got unfairly treatment in the press given that so many people crucified with the movie without actually seeing it. Lincoln didn’t get nearly the same backlash — I’ve literally never seen anything about the Joe Courtney thing anywhere except on this website, which obviously has a very pro-Lincoln slant.

    I think the problem with Lincoln is just simply that it didn’t capture many people’s imaginations. The Lincoln story and persona is so well-known that it’s hard to get a fresh angle on it, no matter how good Day-Lewis’ portrayal might have been, and even then I thought he kind of played it safe by simply sticking to the accepted version of Abe as a calm, homily-spouting quiet leader. I thought it was a solid, professional, well-done movie but that was it. Lincoln was, to me, essentially a very good episode of The West Wing set in the 1860′s. That’s not enough to be a Best Picture and the majority of critics shared that opinion.

    Looking at that 11-nomination list, all I could think of a) so few of those movies actually won Best Picture and b) wow, there have been some LOUSY movies that racked up 11 nominations.

    I would absolutely love it if Life Of Pi (my favourite movie of 2012) won Best Picture and Lee won Best Director, but I’ve made my peace that that upset isn’t happening. I’m fine with Argo winning; while I’d rank it maybe 9th or 10th of the year, it’s “good enough” that its victory would be justified in my mind.

  75. CB
    February 22, 2013

    I think The Master wasn’t nominated for BP, BD, or Screenplay because it is a strangely unaccomplished movie, an empty pseudo-masterpiece.

  76. rufussondheim
    February 22, 2013

    I think The Master is tough for many to enjoy because of Phoenix’s character. You get what he’s trying to do, or you don’t. I didn’t. I think it was horribly unrealistic and annoying (although at some points he was admittedly electrifying nonetheless.) But midway, it really started to get tedious as you begin to give up on that character. By the end, you’re so sick of the guy you begin to hate every tick and grimace. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s my take.

  77. February 22, 2013

    Oscar Winners Predictions & Buzz – Actor & Actress… http://themoviefrog.blogspot.com/2013/02/oscar-winners-predictions-buzz-actor.html?spref=tw … Post-nomination coverage of the Lead Acting categories!!!

  78. February 22, 2013

    Oscar Winners Predictions & Buzz – Supporting Play… http://themoviefrog.blogspot.com/2013/02/oscar-winners-predictions-buzz_13.html?spref=tw … Post-nomination coverage of Supporting Actress & Actor!!!

    Thank You Awards Daily for keeping us up-to-date to the minute!!! We Love You!!!

  79. Reichdome back with AVENGEANCE
    February 23, 2013

    I gonna draw everyones attention to the following points from a previous article

    re the title of that article: ‘oscar turns its back on the rules’ how about this one?
    quite bemusing, amusing and extremely sad for the passionate movie going public.
    But i add to that they most certainly right for oscar are:
    -abandoning 3/4 of a century old principle that the most nominated film wins and most of the time deserves to win best pic and the big ones
    -abandoning common sense and logic= a film that is both universally acclaimed and embraced with upmost enthusiasm by the public is a deserved oscar winner
    -abandoning common sense of the principal that AMPAS stands for academy or motion picture arts and sciences meaning in translation the best of the best is either memorable in ensuring years to come or is innovative or groundvbreaking or bold
    -abandoning the principle that films for best pic winner is not determined by celebrity status or iowe u nonsense, but rather the director that put the most time effort and energy and the hype by the public and critics leading to it and the pay off and outcome is as good as the speculation.
    -effectively abandoning the core principle that rational and makes sense that a film that does not win best director as well as best picture at least is not a deserving winner only a deserving contender
    -potentially risk of jeopardizing oscars integrity and repuation to the public that incidentally propr up it ratings by giving barely 3 oscars at the most to the best pic winner with potentially only one or 2 of those ‘big’ awards
    -abandoning the wisdom that the fiilm that wins a balance between most acting awards and tech awards shoudl win best picture.
    I predict lincoln will win 3 oscars sadly not best pic but i really hope i wrong…and that will tie it with the so called best picture bullshit of the year which in itself only will win 3 and i wonder has there been any time in oscar history where the best picture film winner wins only as muany awards as the runner up?

    EDIT I NEED TO ADD IMPORTANT TO CONTEXTUALIZE THIS POINT ABOVE: “-effectively abandoning the core principle that rational and makes sense that a film that does not win best director as well as best picture AND A MAIN ACTOR AWARD OR ALTERNATIVELY AT LEAST 3 TECH ACHIEVE AWARDS at least is not a deserving winner only a deserving contender”
    that what i meant

  80. December 12, 2013

    I am a keen letter writer, and would really like to know if there is anyhow of creating a letter writing community by way of this. Creative letter writers writing to creative letter writers the planet over. I will reply to all those who wish to write and not just receive. 51 Lavender Sweep, London SW11 1DY. England

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