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The State of the Race: The First Gurus of Gold of the Season

I love the Oscar race. I hate the Oscar race. And yet, the season is upon us.

We have to start the year by remembering what the Oscar race is and what it isn’t. What it isn’t: a reliable barometer for the greatness or quality of high artistic achievement. The Oscars themselves are supposed to be that. But there is way too emotion involved for that to be the case. Greatness does not always rely on emotion. Sometimes greatness is in the absence of emotion. Sometimes greatness is a way of seeing ourselves as we really are. Greatness, sometimes, is truth.

What the Oscar race is? A competition to woo a consensus. The critics, though they really chafe against this notion, are themselves a consensus. They get together and they vote on the year’s best. Much of the time they will never admit to wanting to influence the Oscar race. But somehow, it is impossible to completely opt out of the process when you yourself are a voting consensus pitting films and performances against one another. There isn’t that much of a difference between the critics awards and the Oscars except the number of people that make up that consensus.

The Oscar race can do great things for movies. And it can do horrible things to movies. It can completely transform careers. It can make you and it can break you. It can sully a perfectly fine film so that by the end the poor thing is limping along with a broken heel, a torn and tattered dress, mascara smeared under the eyes — wrecked, ruined until time wipes away the dirt and tears and remembers how good it all really was before it was pummeled by the awards machine.

It is therefore necessary to always have two conversations simultaneously. “What is going to happen at this year’s Oscars” and “Have you seen this really great film?” In a perfect world those two conversations merge and the awards race backs the best films and people flock to those films because they have been given the golden seal of approval by the industry and the critics.  In a perfect world no one is sullied. There are no losers and the winners are just happy to be there.

Already I’m thrilled with some of the films I have seen so far this year — one I can’t really admit to having seen (I’ll never tell), a few I saw in Cannes (Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, The Homesman) and one I’ve just seen that came out of Sundance, Boyhood.  So many great films are on the horizon. The New York Film Fest, Venice, Telluride, Toronto — by the time those festivals close Best Picture will likely be mostly sewn up.

Why, you might wonder, is that so? Around 2003 the Academy decided to shift its date back one month. In so doing, and eventually, the Oscar race would change in dramatic ways.  The biggest change was that the public was effectively shut out of the awards race. Where the Oscars used to see their biggest contenders released at the end of the year, now releasing a film that late means you likely don’t get in at all. The Oscar race is mostly finished by the time many of these films ever even hit theaters. It turns out that a lot of the Oscar movies are popular with audiences, like Gravity, like Argo, like Inception, like The Social Network, like The King’s Speech, like the Wolf of Wall Street, like American Hustle.  Sometimes they aren’t popular with audiences. Sometimes audiences never see them at all until they arrive on VOD. It doesn’t matter what the public thinks because the awards are mostly decided behind closed doors, with industry voters picking their favorites almost at the exact same time, give or take a week or two.

What do we look for in determining what movies will go all the way, even if we haven’t seen them?  We go by filmmakers and subject matter, mostly. But we also go by which publicist is handling the film. They tend to know if they have a strong contender — that is what makes them good at their jobs. So if one of them says “you need to see this movie” chances are it’s going to be a strong player in the race. Also, these strategists and publicists will work tirelessly to make sure their films are seen and paid attention to. The team behind Boyhood, for instance, is one of the best in the business. Ditto for The Theory of Everything, American Sniper, The Homesman, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Birdman, Into the Woods, etc.  Nothing is ever 100% certain, of course.

That brings us to the snake eating its own tail process of predicting films that haven’t been seen.  These films are essentially herded into a smaller group that the voters then decide from. The bloggers and critics do the early separating — so in a way it is a self-fulfilling prophecy: we predict the films that then end up in the race because we predicted them to be in the race.  Either way, the two biggest groups are Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby and David Poland’s Gurus of Gold.

The Gurus of Gold has changed slightly over the past few years, with two or three members shifting positions.  To that end, comparing years prior is not an exact science. But there are some things we know for sure.  First, let’s look backwards in time.

In 2012, the early Gurus had all nine of the ultimate nominees on their preliminary list, without rankings:

1. Zero Dark Thirty 
2. Les Miserables 
3. Lincoln
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild
6. Argo
7. Anna Karenina
8. The Master
9. Life of Pi
10. Django Unchained
11. Amour
12. Silver Linings Playbook
13. Cloud Atlas
14. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
15. Flight

The year previously, 2011, the gurus chart around this time was:

1. War Horse (sight unseen)
2. The Ides of March (sight unseen)
3. The Artist (seen at Cannes.)
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (sight unseen)
5. The Descendants (not yet seen? Telluride.) 
6. Midnight in Paris (seen)
7. J. Edgar (sight unseen)
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (maybe seen in the UK?)
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (not seen)
10. Tree of Life (seen at Cannes) 

Missing: The Help, Hugo, Moneyball

The Help was one of those underestimated films that must fly under and over the radar of bloggers and critics because it’s never going be their kind of movie. Hugo was a New York Film fest entry and Moneyball also came kind of late and seemed to need some advocating to get off the ground.

2010:

1. Inception (seen)
2. The King’s Speech (seen)
3. Toy Story 3 (seen)
4. The Kids Are All Right (seen, Sundance)
5. The Social Network (seen)
6. Black Swan (not seen)
7. True Grit (not seen)
8. Another Year (seen, Cannes)
9. 127 Hours (not seen)
10. Winter’s Bone (seen, Sundance) 

Missing from this, The Fighter.  

2009

The Hurt Locker (seen)
Invictus (not seen)
Nine (not seen)
Up (seen)
Up in the Air (not seen)
Precious (seen)
An Education (seen)
The Lovely Bones (not seen)
Bright Star (I actually did add this to my list but too late perhaps)
A Serious Man (seen, I think)
The Road (not seen)
Amelia (not seen)
Capitalism: A Love Story (seen)
Avatar (not seen)
The Informant! (seen)
Inglourious Basterds (not seen I think)
Julie & Julia (seen)
District 9 (seen)
Where the Wild Things Are (seen)
Star Trek (seen)
The Tree of Life (seen at Cannes)
500 Days of Summer (seen)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (seen)

Missing: The Blind Side

That was an “under the radar” movie.

My own prediction of how last year was going to go looked like this:

American Hustle
Monuments Men
Nebraska
Wolf of Wall Street
Foxcatcher
Captain Phillips
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis
Gravity

I personally had six out of nine predicted.  I also added the following titles as maybes:

Osage County
The Butler
Before Midnight
Fruitvale Station
Labor Day
Dallas Buyers Club
All is Lost

Sum total of seven out of nine predicted heading into the season.

The Gurus 15 from last year looked like this:

Screen-Shot-2013-08-23-at-2.05.46-PM

That’s seven out of nine predicted. If you drill down a little further on their list you find Dallas Buyers Club on there as well, with myself, Nathaniel Rogers and Pete Hammond all putting our faith in it.

That brings us to today, pre-Telluride, as all of these aforementioned lists were. David Fincher’s Gone Girl which has been seen by a few people and already has a vibrating hum of buzz — not for being an “Oscar movie” necessarily but for being a really great fucking movie. Sometimes that is enough to overcome the softies in the industry looking for feel good fare, sometimes it isn’t. Either way, Gone Girl topping the list shows that expectations are high.

Gone Girl (seen by some, priority placement at NYFF, like Social Network)
Birdman (seen by some, early buzz)
Boyhood (seen, the highest reviewed film of the year)
Unbroken (unseen)
Foxcatcher (seen at Cannes)
Selma (unseen)
Interstellar (unseen)
Wild (unseen)
Fury (unseen, test screened)
Inherent Vice (seen by some, high placement at NYFF)
The Theory of Everything (not seen)
The Imitation Game (seen by some, smattering of good buzz)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (seen)
Into the Woods (not seen)
American Sniper (not seen)
Big eyes (seen by some)
A Most Violent Year (not seen)

 

Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-10.28.09-AM

 

Mr Turner (seen at Cannes)
Exodus (not seen)
Men, Women & Children (not seen)
St. Vincent (not seen)
Rosewater (not seen, I don’t think)
Trash (seen by some)

Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-10.29.09-AM

It annoys me slightly that Gone Girl has to be the film with its ass hanging out this early on.   That means expectations are going to shoot up and that makes it ripe for attacks. The idea with the Oscar race is to sneak past the alien mom without her seeing you — you tiptoe gingerly by — because once she spots you it’s time to bring out Ripley’s pulse rifle and flame thrower.

But that genie can’t be put back into the bottle once the wheels are set in motion.  And a great film can’t be made ungreat because it awakened the monster. The film is still the film. The perceptions around it are the only things that change as fast as ripples on the water’s surface once the wind picks up.

Tomorrow I pack up the car and drive two days to Telluride, Colorado. And thus, the adventure begins.

27 Comments on this Post

  1. Bryce Forestieri

    Into The Woods is way too low. No matter. I don’t ever care but I will laugh last when it sets a new record # of nominations

    [machiavellian laugh] “HA HA HA HA” –Said Meryl Streep’s wicked evil witch. I presume.

  2. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    There isn’t that much of a difference between the critics awards and the Oscars except the number of people that make up that consensus.

    One other major difference. Critics see all the movies.

  3. Richard B

    12YAS and Argo both survived being the frontrunner. I’m not so worried about that. In my mind, I’m just wondering what will benefit if Unbroken isn’t the big fish after it’s seen. I think either Birdman or Foxcatcher, but I’m not too sure.

  4. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    It doesn’t matter what the public thinks…

    And, ordinarily, thank god for that.

    How do we measure what the public likes? There is only one way: Box Office. That’s how we used to get occasional Best Picture nominees like The Towering Inferno and Airport. (but even then, those movies got BP nominations because they were just as popular with Oscar voters and as they were with the public).

    We don’t want “the general public” to influence the Oscars, and in fact it’s pretty hard to make an argument that they ever have.

    Sure, sometimes in the past a movie that appealed to the public would almost accidentally match up with a movie that appealed to critics and industry insiders. But we want to be careful not to assign an Oscar win to those instances as any sort of cause of and effect.

    The Oscars have never given a shit what the public wants to win. In fact, just the opposite. The reverse is true: The Oscars have always been designed to try to coerce the public into seeing the movies that the industry wants the public to see. Not the other way around.

    There has never been an Best Picture winner that the Oscar voters chose just because “the public” liked that movie. Never.

  5. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    “…one I can’t really admit to having seen (I’ll never tell)”

    If Sherlock Holmes wasn’t so busy winning Emmys I bet he could read this whole post and figure out pretty quick which movie you’re talking about.

    :)

  6. Benutty

    The omissions from last year’s Best Picture line-up that most of the GoG thought would be in there (The Butler, August: Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks, Fruitvale Station) lead me to believe that this “critics decide the race” argument doesn’t really hold up, Sasha. Also, many of the films listed for this year have quite late openings and there is no word of most them showing at a fall festival yet (Selma, Unbroken, Big Eyes, Exodus, American Sniper) and some may not even come out (A Most Violent Year) so that kind of negates your argument that late openings hinder a film’s chances.

    It’s also pretty silly to suggest that it’s something extraordinary that a group of Oscarologists can correctly predict the 9 Best Picture nominees in providing a list of 15+.

  7. Benutty

    Re: Richard B. – “I’m just wondering what will benefit if Unbroken isn’t the big fish after it’s seen.”

    Fury will benefit most from this. It’ll be more likely to get the Sound nominations (usually going to war-based films) that Unbroken would leave behind. And might even pick up Cinematography, Score or Editing, too. With that many below-the-lines, a Best Picture nomination will (statistically) happen easily.

  8. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    t’s also pretty silly to suggest that it’s something extraordinary that a group of Oscarologists can correctly predict the 9 Best Picture nominees in providing a list of 15+.

    I never said it was extraordinary. It’s not all that hard to do actually if you’re familiar with the process.

  9. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    After reconsidering what I said about public influence on the Oscars, I need to amend my thoughts a little.

    While it’s true that I think we should be glad that the Oscars don’t pay much attention to what movies the public likes the most (as represented by the top movies at the box-office) … I do agree with Sasha that the Oscar voters will certainly sit up and take notice if the public has no interest in a movie at all.

    If a movie flops, or even if it significantly under-performs at the box-office, that can usually be a death-knell for its Oscar hopes.

    The Oscars very rarely try to force-feed a movie to the public as “Best Picture” if that movie has already slumped with the public.

    So in that sense, I do see Sasha’s good point — movies that studios release to the public AFTER the industry has already made up their minds and voted can benefit in the peak of the awards cycle from not having to be certified by the public.

    Example? You betcha. The Artist. Earned only $12 million before Oscar nominations were announced. And how much did The Artist earn after Oscar night? Just another $12 million.

    “But Ryan,” says the Strawman, “You’re wrong. The Artist was released on Nov 25th! Lots of time for people to see it!”

    Nope. The Artist only screened in 17 theaters nationwide before Christmas. (and for 2 weeks it could only be seen at 7 theaters.

    (I love kicking that strawman’s ass. Jerk.)

    So right up until Oscar nominations, only 1.5 million people in “the public” had any idea what The Artist was. And after Oscar night, only 1.5 million more were interested in finding out.

    I’m not saying that The Artist would have failed to win BP if Oscar voters had seen it fall flat on it face on 3000 screens at Thanksgiving — but one thing’s for certain, Harvey Weinstein was smart enough to not let his pony get tainted with the public failure he probably knew lay ahead.

    (Note: The Artist was cheap to make so it still made a tidy profit — but it sure wasn’t King’s Speech money.)

    So yes, Sasha, has a great point: The festival circuit and “limited release” strategy is often deliberately orchestrated in order to exclude the public from saying, “um, No Thanks”

    Not until after ballots are in.

  10. Benutty

    But Sasha the entire thrust of this post is examples of how many nominees the Gurus have chosen (by your observation: HAND-SELECTED) by this time in previous years. That kind of insinuates that it is something extraordinary or, in less dramatic terms, evidence that critics choose the nominees.

  11. I realize both Into the Woods and American Sniper have not been seen yet but I think both are ranked too low. Best Pix Oscar noms for both I bet.

  12. The Great Dane

    “Into the Woods” is directed by the man who did “Chicago”. But it’s also directed by the man who did “Nine”. So all this “it WILL be nominated” from fans doesn’t hold up. It could just as easily be horrible as it could be amazing – Chicago is maybe one of the best musicals ever made, but Nine truly is one of the worst. Misguided in every way, from the staging of the songs to casting (Day-Lewis’ worst performance). It all boils down to the directing, the choices and staging – all done by Marshall, and it was terrible.
    PS: He also did “Pirates of the Caribbean 4″. Just saying. But here’s hoping for a great movie and for it to be so good that it truly DESERVES to be nominated. :)

  13. I’m just hoping “Boyhood” will make it as a Best Picture nominee. A risky project to direct (it took vision and guts to back this movie), it contains great acting, a wonderfully refreshing screenplay, and is a movie everyone can relate to on a human level.

    I don’t feel its enormous popularity with the critics and with the public will in any way hurt its chances. In the case of “Boyhood”, it will add credence to its nomination. I just hope the Academy REMEMBERS it; the membership is mostly old white men, after all, with fuzzy brain cells sometimes.

  14. Into The Woods reeks of Dreamgirls desperation to be loved. That was the year that taught me that voters do not like being told what to choose.

  15. Menyc: I had the same thought myself about “Into the Woods”. I remember when “Phantom of the Opera” was released in December and everyone had such high BEST PICTURE hopes for it as well. What a stinker. Considering the Streep / Depp double combo, however, its chances are infinitely better for recognition.

  16. I find it interesting that there seems to be a collective decision to count The Imitation Game out of the race in favor of Theory of Everything. I’m curious as to why.

    I also have little faith in American Sniper (Eastwood’s Oscar glories are behind him), Into the Woods (I’m not a huge fan of the show itself), Wild (I’m not sure, I just don’t think it’ll break through), or Trash (please God no).

  17. Isaac Quesada

    In 2009 Tree of Life was not seen because it was not released that year at all. I think Unbroken will bomb critically, even with all the pedigree it`s got, sounds to me like “Secretariat”. And I belive people might start looking closer at Inherent Vice and Men, Women and Children. Potential on both films, big potential.

  18. JamDenTel, I’m sure many people said Eastwood’s Oscar glories were behind him between Unforgiven and Mystic River. Granted his stuff is pretty featherweight these last 5 years but between Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima that was a solid 3 or 4 years of creative triumph. I even think Changeling missed out on a few nominations. For his age he does much better than most modern directors in their prime.

    Isaac, I don’t think Unbroken will bomb but the hype is placing it firmly in the Munich/War Horse territory. Munich was good but people were saying so early on “how can it lose?” Same with War Horse. It was nominated but sort of dudded out. Secretariat is a great example of what the hype train can do. If a movie looks too extraordinary it can get the backlash. Now I’ve said it already on this site, I think it looks too extraordinary, too polished, too sentimental, too “LOOK AT WHAT THIS MAN DID” and I feel this artificiality to it even though it has the Coen and Roger Deakins attached to it. I also guessed it’ll land at 68 on Metacritic. Now I’m not writing it off completely, I’d love to be proven wrong about this movie because any great movie to watch is a great few hours wasted.

  19. rufussondheim

    Here’s a secret. A movie musical is only as good as its source material. Back when Nine and Dreamgirls were both in the mix I knew that they were doomed in the BestPic race since the original musicals are not strong. The films that contend for BP are strong musicals – Chicago, Les Miz. Into the Woods is a very strong musical. That’s the difference.

    (Note, Sweeney Todd is a strong musical, but was stripped of its strongest musical elements and suffered as a film as result. I don’t think Marshall will make that mistake)

  20. Rufus, thanks for that bit of info. As somebody who’s not well versed in theater and musicals I had no clue which were strong and which were just short of good. I guess source material truly matters in this genre.

  21. The Great Dane

    Rufus: So what is your take on Evita and Phantom not getting nominated for The actors, director or picture? Bad source material?
    Great source material does not automatically turn into a great or even good musical.
    And a lot of people would disagree that the stage versions of Dreamgirls and Nine weren’t very good. Otherwise they would never have been turned into films in the first place.

  22. rufussondheim

    Phantom is a pretty dull musical overall. On Broadway it was a huge spectacle, most known for it’s staging. It had a good performance and a couple of good to great songs. But mostly it’s a stodgy affair, too slow moving too repetitive. I have no clue why it’s been so successful, but then so are the Transformers so the mystery will always be. While Phantom did get the Best Musical Tony it’s important to note that it lost the two that really matter when it comes to the quality of the material, and it lost Best Book and Best Music and Lyrics to Into the Woods.

    I don’t think Evita was that far off from getting a nomination. It’s a better musical than Phantom to be sure, but it’s still not in the same league as Into the Woods, Chicago or Les Miz. I’d wager that there was some Madonna backlash that went into effect here. She was fine, but Meryl Streep was rumored to be considered for the role. With a stronger female lead it could have been a true contender.

    Musicals are extremely difficult to adapt into a film. Seeing someone sing and dance live is a great deal more fun than on film. So you can’t just make any musical into a film, you need strong characters and strong thematic content in addition to strong music. Phantom completely lacks interesting characters and thematic content. Evita suffers because it plays more like a bio-pic and the songs, while good, don’t really move the story forward as much as they should.

    The music in Into the Woods is extraordinarily strong. Not a line is wasted, every word either moves the plot forward or defines the characters. The songs are short and when they accomplish their goals they end rather than repeat. Most songs are less than three minutes (compared to 5 to 7 minutes for Evita). The plot for Into the Woods is extremely complex for a musical (I can’t think of a musical that has more beautifully woven narrative threads), The only worry I have in the film adaption is the final scene in which two main characters that have left the narrative make an unexpected and impossible return visit. How Marshall handles that will be a strong determining factor if the film works or not.

    As for Dreamgirls, it’s remembered only for Jennifer Holliday (who played the role on Broadway for 4 years, and when she ended her participation, the show pretty much died.) Outside of her two big numbers, none of the songs are particularly memorable (Quick, think of a song that her character doesn’t sing.) And lo and behold, check out the Oscar Winner, the actress who played Holliday’s part. The rest is completely forgettable.

    Nine is completely forgotten. Yes, it won a Best Musical Tony and it underwent a revival, but in the annals of musical theater history it’s an also-ran. None of the songs have become standards, The composer, Maury Yeston, has had success, but none of his work has become well-known and his two Tonys for Score mostly occurred because the competition that year was pretty low. He has no presence or lasting influence on today’s most interesting composers. He doesn’t have tributes or celebrations in his honor. No one bothered to film any of his Birthday Celebrations. You will likely not see Nine performed by a regional or community theater anytime soon. It’s not iconic in any way shape or form. It’s a non-factor.

    Rent is a strong musical that was a disastrous adaptation. Whoever let Chris Columbus direct it should have been fired. The Producers is another musical whose adaptation was a failure, but I think the musical was overpraised when it was on Broadway, and I think time will show that it’s not as good a show as people thought.

  23. New Oscar predictions

    Picture
    Birdman
    Boyhood

  24. New oscar predictions

    Picture
    Birdman
    Boyhood
    Foxcatcher
    Fury
    Gone girl
    The hobbit: the battle of the five armies
    Interstellar
    Serena
    Unbroken

    Animated feature
    The boxtrolls
    The congress
    How to train your dragon 2
    The Lego movie
    The princess kayuga

    Foreign films
    Leviathan
    Mommy
    Two days one week
    White god
    Wonder tales

    Documentary feature
    The case against 8
    The green prince
    Life itself
    Return to home
    Rich hill

    Lead actor
    Steve carrell in foxcatcher
    Benedict cumberbatch in the imitation game
    Michael Keaton in birdman
    Matthew mcgouhaney in interstellar
    David oweylwo in Serena

    Lead actress
    Amy Adams in big eyes
    Patricia arquette in boyhood
    Felicity Jones in theory of everything
    Rosamund pike in gone girl
    Reese Witherspoon in wild

    Supporting actor
    Ethan hawke in boyhood
    Mark ruffalo in foxcatcher
    Changing Tatum in foxcatcher
    J.k Simmons in whiplash
    Tom Wilkinson in Serena

    Supporting actress
    Emily blunt in into the woods
    Anna Kendrick in into the woods
    Keira knightley in the imitation game
    Julianne Moore in map to the stars
    Emma stone in birdman

    Director
    Alejandre Gonzalez innaritu for birdman
    Richard linklater for boyhood
    Bennett miller for foxcatcher
    Christopher Nolan for interstellar
    Ridley Scott for exodus: gods and kings

    O. Screenplay
    Birdman
    Boyhood
    Foxcatcher
    The Lego movie
    Serena

    A. Screenplay
    Gone girl
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The imitation game
    Theory of everything
    Unbroken

    Coming soon the tech awards

  25. Okay here are the behind the scenes category

    Visual effects
    Dawn of the planet of the apes
    Guardians of the galaxy
    The hobbit the battle of the five armies
    Interstellar
    Noah

    Production design
    Big eyes
    Exodus gods and kings
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The hobbit the battle of the five armies
    Into the woods

    Sound editing
    Birdman
    Dawn of the planet of the apes
    Fury
    The hobbit the battle of the five armies
    Interstellar

    Sound mixing
    Dawn of the planet of the apes
    Fury
    Interstellar
    Into the woods
    Unbroken

    Film editing
    Boyhood
    Foxcatcher
    Gone girl
    The hobbit the battle of the five armies
    Unbroken

    Makeup
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The hobbit the battle of the five armies
    Into the woods

    Original score
    Gone girl
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The Homesman
    Interstellar
    Unbroken

    Original song
    Begin again
    Into the woods
    The Lego movie
    Muppets most wanted
    Noah

    Costume design
    Exodus: gods and kings
    Foxcatcher
    The grand Budapest hotel
    Guardians of the galaxy
    Serena

  26. Cinematography
    Birdman
    Exodus; gods and kings
    Gone girl
    Interstellar
    Unbroken

  27. I can’t wait for the articles about how the Academy isn’t bold enough to reward ‘Gone Girl’!! I wonder why it will be this year! old white men, feminism, squeamishness, not being able to see its place in the future, publicists, plain bad taste. mmm… the possibilities!!

    Who cares that most movies haven’t been seen. This articles need to start being written now to save time.

    From a comment I made on this site in Jan 2014
    “I know the articles here are mostly about constructing a narrative around Sasha’s opinions and believes (it’s her site after all!). But every year is similar, the movies she liked are the best. If they win then the academy is bold, brave, stepping forward, etc. (Departed, No Country, Hurt Locker), if she didn’t then it’s a group of old white men who like dumb down movies with lots of young sexed up women and/or sappy stories centered around men (the past 3 years, Crash, etc.). Oh, and Scorcesse is normally the director of the best movie of the year, or Fincher.”

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