AWARDS CHATTER

Ugh. In case you need a reminder what a government tangled up with religious fundamentalists would be like.

(Jakarta Globe) Iran said on Monday it would boycott the 2013 Oscars to protest against the making of a crude anti-Islam video in the United States that has caused outrage throughout the Muslim world.

Despite tough censorship and the repression of leading film makers, Iranian art cinema has earned international acclaim over the past 20 years.

Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” won the Oscar for best foreign language film in February, the first Iranian film to do so.

Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said Iran would boycott the next Academy Awards “to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet and because of the organizers’ failure to take an official position (against the film),” the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

He also urged other Islamic countries to boycott the Oscars.

Who’s being punished? What filmmakers pay the price for the sustained idiocy? Iran’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film was to have been Reza Mirkarimi’s dramatic comedy “A Cube of Sugar.”

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Outstanding Drama Series: Homeland
Outstanding Director for a Drama Series: Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Outstanding Writer for a Drama Series: Alex Ganza, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Homeland
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: Damian Lewis, Homeland
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Clair Danes, Homeland
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family
Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series: Steve Levitan, Modern Family
Outstanding Writer for a Comedy Series: Louis C.K. for Louis
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series: Jon Cryer
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family

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(Thanks, Paddy M!)

arbitrage

 

“This could change your life, but you can’t fuck up. If you really do this and you listen and you bring your best self to it, it’ll change your life.” – Richard Gere’s advice to director Nicholas Jarecki on making his narrative feature directorial debut with Arbitrage

When I think of Richard Gere, I picture the intense early ’80s Richard Gere – Days of Heaven and American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman – pacing back and forth across the screen like a cat in a zoo cage, brains and emotions wheeling, pent up and waiting to snap. Subconsciously, I sort of expected that version of the actor as I was escorted into his suite for an interview recently, but the man who stood to shake my hand and offer me a seat on the couch was… casual. He looked handsome and fit in jeans and a denim-colored button-front shirt. His tan face has a few more lines, but he’s still got the trademark full head of hair even if it’s now silver. The eyes are now behind spectacles, but they’re still piercing and they could still cut you in half. Yes, this was definitely Richard Gere, but he was unexpectedly relaxed and comfortable. And why shouldn’t he be? After more than 30 years in an unforgiving industry that swallows as quickly as it can chew, Gere has endured and thrived. There have been highs and lows, but here is a man with nothing left to prove and he has the luxury of supporting a film that’s getting him some of the better notices of his career.

The film is Arbitrage and Gere stars as a Robert Miller, a Wall Streeter whose professional and personal lives have both hit serious speed bumps, each threatening to unravel the other. With a fuse burning at both ends, Miller juggles a series of lies in an increasingly dangerous effort to get things back on track.

Arbitrage opened last week in limited theatrical release and on VOD. I spoke with Mr. Gere on Sunday.

Craig Kennedy: Let’s start with Arbitrage first and if we have time maybe we can talk about your career more generally. What particularly drew you to the role of Robert Miller?

Richard Gere: The first time I read the script actually was on a plane. It was one of the few times I was in L.A. and I was heading back to New York. It wasn’t just the character. It was the script. This was the first read and it was a beautifully written, smart, character-driven piece which is extremely rare. And they apparently had enough money that they could make a go of it at that time. Beyond that obviously is the character who was very interesting to me. Robert Miller is someone who has a compromised side, but I had no interest in painting him as a villain in that black and white kind of villain way. He seemed very deeply human to me with all the flaws and all the problems and with that, kind of, lack of empathy that some of us have.

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Don Mischer will direct the 85th Academy Awards telecast, telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. This marks the continuation of Don Mischer Productions’ multi-faceted relationship with the Academy, which includes producing the Oscars® red carpet pre-show and producing the annual Governors Awards.

“For a very long time, we had always hoped to work with Don Mischer,” said Zadan and Meron. ‘His talent and reputation are unsurpassed and we’re so happy he will be our collaborator on the 85th Academy Awards.”

“I am so very excited to be directing the Academy Awards again this year and to be working with creative producers like Craig and Neil,” said Mischer. “All of us at Don Mischer Productions are also thrilled to be producing the Oscar® pre-show, and most significantly to continue a wonderfully gratifying relationship with the Academy.”

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Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal’s retelling of the classic fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, debuted on blu-ray yesterday with the usual compliment of extras, knick knacks and DVD gewgaws. Among them is a commentary track by director Rupert Sanders, co-editor Neil Smith and visual effects co-supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. The track itself isn’t necessarily as illuminating as the best tracks can be, but it’s much better than average with all three men fully engaged by the film they’ve made together. Of the three, Nicolas-Troyan (who got his start working in commercials before graduating to feature work on films like The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) is easily the most enthusiastic and what immediately comes across is his interest and knowledge, not just in his own terrific effects work, but about every other aspect of the film as well. I spoke with Cedric by telephone from France last week in anticipation of the film’s blu-ray release and it turns out he’s got very good reasons to be focusing on more than just the film’s effects.

Craig Kennedy: You’ve described yourself as just a kid from a small fishing town in France. How did get from that place to being visual effects supervisor on a major Hollywood motion picture?

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan: I’m in that small fishing town now as a matter of fact in the southwest of France. It’s just one of those things where I loved movies. In 1977 I went to see Star Wars at a small cinema where I lived and it was the first time on my own without my parents and I was just blown away. I wanted to live there. I came back and told my mom I wanted to move there and she was like “What are you talking about?” After that I just really loved movies and I loved comic books. I was one of those geeks. I just loved that stuff. And frankly, where I’m from, making movies in Hollywood is not really an option. You say you want to make movies and people just laugh like you want to be an astronaut or something. So, as I grew up, I never really knew if I could make movies. I was a pretty good illustrator though, so I thought about doing comics or whatnot, and then eventually I just said “You know what? I’m going to go to Paris and try to do this.” From there I ended up in Santa Monica and Hollywood and now I’m like a kid in the candy store. I’m living the dream. Somebody said the American Dream is dead, but it’s not for me. I never would’ve believed I could make it this far.

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Sasha nearly missed Stories We Tell because she was feeling under the weather. Resolving to soldier on, tap into energizing mountain air and make the extra effort on the last day it screened, she says in her capsule review, “of course it turned out to be one of those films that changes how you see the world.”

Tom Hall at Hammer to Nail has written a full-fledged review from TIFF but it’s hard for me to pull a proper excerpt because I think this is one of those movies I want to know next to nothing about when the lights go down.

What is so thrilling about Stories We Tell is not that the film ineffably expresses its themes, but rather how it directly confronts them, constantly calling into question the adequacy of what the film is setting out to do and drawing in different opinions about what might be accomplished by telling Diane and the family’s story. This constant questioning of its own premise and presumptions gives Stories We Tell a real power, forcing viewers to not only examine the film’s storytelling devices and strategies, but ultimately, their own position in their own lives, their own secrets and those of the people they love, the memories that they can no longer fully call to mind, the way in which their own lives are re-created in the stories they tell themselves.

Argo feat

[buzz]

As we head into Toronto, we still don’t have our presumed front-runner for Best Picture, unless it’s Argo, which it very well might be. Recent history has shown us that we’ve already seen our winner someplace by now. That makes it all the weirder that we’re headed into TIFF without one bobbing to the surface. Since 2007 when No Country for Old Men won, every BP winner has been seen before Toronto. The Hurt Locker was seen first at Venice, then Toronto, but not released until the following year.

The way it usually goes is that the movies everyone expects will do well, don’t. And the solid hits building buzz throughout the year and, to a degree, flying under the radar, tend to do better. Argo has a good chance because it is being underestimated by almost everyone. Ditto Beasts of the Southern Wild. No one expects either of those to win which automatically gives them the edge. Funny how that works but it seems to have all to do with expectations and very little to do with reality. If you expect a movie is going to blow you away chances are it won’t. Unless it does: Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Artist are three that were never diminished by their hype. Emotion drove them all the way to the win. With No Country, Hurt Locker and The Departed the slow and steady film won the race. These films didn’t win on emotion, but rather they stood out among lesser titles. Each of them can be argued as deserving or not but what I remember from those years is that they were the reliable steadies.

The Artist – Cannes
The King’s Speech – Telluride
The Hurt Locker – YYear prior but Venice (4 days before TIFF in 2008)
Slumdog Millionaire – Telluride
No Country for Old Men – Cannes
The Departed – October release… not on fest circuit.
Crash – TIFF 2004, US Premiere 2005
Million Dollar Baby – late comer

Really, Clint Eastwood’s win for Million Dollar Baby came at a year when another film was supposed to win. Actually, it often happens that the littler, more reliable film that makes voters feel like heroes discovering a hidden gem can often trump the bigger production, or the more highly praised film. The Social Network was supposed to win but they chose The King’s Speech instead. Avatar was supposed to win but they chose Hurt Locker instead. Benjamin Button was supposed to win but they chose Slumdog Millionaire instead. Brokeback Mountain was supposed to win but they chose Crash instead. The Aviator was supposed to win but they chose Million Dollar Baby instead. I lived through all of these years and remember them well.

To a degree what tips the balance for Best Picture isn’t always the film that wins but often the film that doesn’t. A vote against The Social Network was a vote for The King’s Speech. In a way, finding your Best Picture winner means finding the film they will actively vote against for whatever reason: it cost too much, we don’t like the director, it cost too much, it didn’t make enough money, it was badly written, it was cold, I didn’t feel anything. When you vote for a movie like The Artist or Slumdog Millionaire you are voting because it feels good, not because you should or because you believe one is better than the other — but voting for the impoverished Indian kids? Way better than a story about aging backwards (Oh Fincher, you genius). You could say Hugo should have made voters feel better last year but to feel better about Hugo they had to deal with their Scorsese issues, and the film’s budget compared to its profit. No such baggage attached to The Artist.

Avatar’s baggage was Jim Cameron, motion capture (actors would never vote for something that was going to replace their faces), and the terrible screenplay. The writing is so bad Avatar is almost impossible to watch now. And besides, voting for the first woman in 62 years to win Best Director and Best Picture? What could feel better than that. Many readers of this site will always say Avatar deserved to win. But no one will ever convince me that it is a better film than The Hurt Locker, a masterpiece I continue to stand behind (even though the critics that hailed it to the high heavens turned tail and ran when it came to compiling the Sight & Sound list, ditto The Social Network).

Crash and Brokeback Mountain is a can of worms in and of itself. To me, I’d have felt better voting for Brokeback Mountain. But I remember seeing Crash and crying at the end. I remember that it was a movie that might make voters feel better about the world by voting for it. It’s either that or their irrational fear of Brokeback Mountain prevented them from even seeing it — so how could they vote for it?

And if you were around for the Aviator vs. Million Dollar Baby you would have watched a car wreck. Then again, more people “out there” will name Million Dollar Baby as their favorite film compared with The Aviator. Best Picture winners, give or take a No Country for Old Men here or there, are almost always general audience movies: you can sit anyone in front of them and they will get it if not love it. The more complex the film the less likely it is that it will win. Which was why, after 13 years on the beat, I was stunned that there was that run of winners — The Departed, No Country for Old Men and The Hurt Locker. Those wins were not “business as usual” but represented more thoughtful voting. Perhaps this was because the voters reacted to being savaged by the press after choosing Crash over Brokeback. The next mini-quake would come when they failed to nominate The Dark Knight for Best Picture.

But none of that means anything for this year because this is a new year. The Oscar race, I have always believed, is fluid, not static. It is movable, changeable, unpredictable. And it remains that way until the inevitable happens. But because I’ve seen big surprises happen I always leave that door open. Who knows what might walk through it. Who knows how this year will turn out.

To find Best Picture, though, you might have to start by finding that movie everyone thinks will win but won’t because A) everyone already thinks it will and B) it is too delicious of an option to not vote for it.

Films that have already been seen and are reliable contenders:
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
Amour
Ruse & Bone
The Master

Films that will be seen in Toronto that have not yet been seen
Cloud Atlas
Anna Karenina
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Silver Linings Playbook

Films that are already churning in the hype machine but haven’t been seen:
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi (New York)
Flight (New York)
The Hobbit
Trouble with the Curve
The Promised Land

Total wild cards:
The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers
The Sapphires

The only thing we know for sure is that this probably isn’t going to be a year like Slumdog Millionaire, The Artist or The King’s Speech, unless Argo or Beasts win. It might be like Million Dollar Baby or The Departed. Most would agree that, sight unseen, it’s a race between Les Miserables and Lincoln. The New York Film Fest might have our Best Picture winner in either Flight or Life of Pi.

Based on what I know about Oscar the winner will either be a runaway hit by a virtual unknown (King’s Speech, The Artist) or it will be one that is owed to a veteran of film who either hasn’t ever been acknowledged or is overdue for another Oscar win.

To that end, my instincts have me thinking of Best Picture this way:

  • Lincoln (Spielberg is overdue, written by the brilliant Tony Kushner, adapted from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Pulitzer Prize winner, in an election year, a film about the greatest President who ever lived).
  • Les Miz (it could pack an emotional punch, plus help validate the Academy’s bet that Tom Hooper has the stuff)
  • Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest American filmmakers yet to be honored with a Best Director or Best Picture win)
  • Flight (Zemeckis has been off course for a while now but will Denzel put him back on track?)
  • Joe Wright’s Atonement and Pride & Prejudice together have 11 Oscar nominations. Anna Karenina could conceivably rack up that many alone, combining literary pedigree with epic grandeur and promising to kick it all up a notch?
  • Life of Pi (the beloved Ang Lee might finally cash in on the Best Picture win his Best Director Oscar promised)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan is long overdue and this last film in the trilogy could finally give him the acknowledgement he deserves, but…)
  • Argo (just a really good film that might win because it isn’t the other movie that voters don’t want to win)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (the film is so emotionally affecting it might be the only one voters LOVE).

If there are any potential winners beyond that they are off my radar. The Master, while being hailed as brilliant, will be too obtuse to win over the middle of the road voters. The Hobbit, Peter Jackson was too recently rewarded (though it’s possible, of course), Cloud Atlas is still a mystery, The Silver Linings Playbook will probably be too light, The Place Beyond the Pines will probably be too depressing, Moonrise Kingdom too obtuse, etc.

This is how it stands on Wednesday, September 5. Once anything changes I’ll be sure to let you know. And I do sort of hope it changes and keeps on changing. Those are the best Oscar years, when nothing is as it appears and the twists and turns come so fast you can barely keep track of them.

Not much is known about the Argo mission in the late ’70s to free American hostages in Iran. And what little was known up till now gave credit to Canada for their release. In fact, it’s referred to in pop-history vernacular as the Canadian Caper. If you grew up in Canada you would have felt enormous national pride that day and if you were American, you never would have known that the CIA and Hollywood had come together to create a team of invisible heroes. You also wouldn’t know that although President Carter was in charge at the time, he could never have taken credit for any involvement. Instead, he was shamed out of office for not having released the other American hostages in Iran. Had it been revealed that a fake film crew sneaked in and freed Americans being held hostage the sensational news would have likely turned Carter’s whole image around.

Someone had to tell this story. Turns out Ben Affleck is the man for the job.

Affleck’s Argo comes at a time when we could all use an injection of American pride. Pummeled by a bad economy and torn by an extremist, partisan election, things are not looking good lately. The Republicans promise us that they can undo the bad economy because Congress will magically start working again if their guy can sit in the Oval Office. They’re the real American Americans, after all. The Democrats are trying to keep the faith, to convince us to give them one more at bat to turn things around from an economy pillaged by the Wall Street collapse, sapped by extravagant tax breaks, and ravaged by 10 years of war. But Argo takes place in the vacuum of history and Affleck says he worked hard with screenwriter Chris Terrio to make sure it wasn’t partisan. There are no long preachy speeches about the glory of US-exported democracy. There are no evil Republicans to mock as reckless incompetents. It’s simply an expertly written, flawlessly directed, brilliantly acted thriller. You could leave it right there and it would succeed on those merits. Or you could go a little deeper to talk about how few smart, meaty stories like this are even made anymore. Wonder why not, and marvel that this one was.

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The rain continued its moody descent upon Telluride village, ebbing and flowing at its own discretion. The festival can’t stop for the rain, nor can we whine about having no sunshine because that would be unseemly. Telluride looks the way it does because of the rain. Nonetheless, it made for a somewhat less celebratory mood. My morning started out with a trip up the gondola for an early screening of No, written and directed by Pablo Larraín about the election to unseat Chilean Augusto Pinochet in or around 1989.

You never know what kinds of conversations you’ll be having on the ride up the gondola, depending on what combination of people you end up with. I met a couple this time, on their first trip to Telluride but already so much more organized about it all than I have ever been. They knew what time was the best time to get into the long lines. They knew where the best wi-fi was and how to tether their computers to their blackberries, if the wi-fi didn’t work. They’d been going to Sundance for years but it became “too much of a zoo.” Since there had been so much buzz around Telluride in the last few years they figured they’d give this a try. I wondered what it would be like to just come here for the sheer fun of it, for the love of cinema, to hang out with someone who really liked doing film festival stuff for fun.

The large number of senior citizens who attend this festival is a hopeful harbinger of what might lie ahead for some of us. When kids aren’t at home, when there’s no more 40-hour work weeks, there are film festivals in beautiful cities all over the country. It’s a thing to do, anyway. “How are you doing,” the coffee barista at Between the Covers asked one of the elderly customers. “I wonder if I’ll remember anything later,” she said.

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Time slips away faster than you think, especially when all you want to do is sleep and watch the sky change. A 9am screening means getting up and out as early as you can, especially when you’re going to The Nugget, the teeny tiny theater on the main drag in Telluride. If you don’t get there early you will not get a seat. If you want to get coffee at the Steaming Bean next door that’s an even longer wait.

The fresh coffee inside the theater was as good as any I’ve ever had so I just waited and got it there. I spotted Kris Tapley from In Contention and Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal — I’d been tipped off by Tapley who is smart about picking which movies to see and when. If you ever attend a fest with Tapley, it’s not a bad idea to just follow him around if you can get him to tell you where he’s going. He was one of the first of our “Oscar blogger” community to come to Telluride and since then it’s morphed a bit into a pre-Oscar stop. This year, though, it feels less like a mini-Toronto and more like what it’s intended to be: smallish films attended by a faithful community of devotees.

The Central Park Five might end up being among the best films I’ll see here. Sarah Burns began studying the horrifying case of five black teens who were caught in Central Park the night a jogger was raped, bludgeoned and left for dead. After being kept up all night, with no food, no water and no lawyer, the teens started lying to get out of there. They confessed to a crime they never did because the cops and the DA promised them that’s what they had to do to get out of jail. It had become such a high profile case that they had to catch the perps, no matter if it meant coercing young men, aged 14 even, to falsify a confession. Without checking any of the hard evidence in the case first, the boys were charged, tried and found guilty. All the while, the press fanned the flames, the public was alarmed and angry, politicians used the case to urge for the Death Penalty (super-genius Donald Trump is quoted). The parents of the boys knew the truth but no one would listen to them.

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Just try to walk away from political subtext in movies this year. Good luck. From Sasha’s Cannes review we know Killing Them Softly is layered with sinister insinuations about the American Dream> Very cool how the marketing soaks the artwork in hints without hammering too hard.

See this star-splattered banner full-sized after the cut.

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The Obama “documentary” has now earned a whopping $12 million.  It was made for roughly $1.5 million (with donations from conservative billionaires).  It has been clear from the Republican National Convention that they are pulling no punches. Their campaign, this “documentary” and all of the seething pockets of hate that have been unleashed (a plot to kill the President by members of the military, the Navy SEAL book wherein soldiers “badmouth” Obama), prove that there is only one thing the GOP is united by and that’s out and out hatred of our President, the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama.

It is a horrifying thing to watch. You always wonder how group hatred can build into a movement but it has. With two automatons spewing scripts dictated to them by the Koch brothers and Karl Rove, a large portion of Americans have showed their true colors this week as they applaud any time someone brings up a negative against Obama. You can almost feel the spittle sprinkling forth, can’t you?

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Telluride 2012 feat

  • THE ACT OF KILLING (d. Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark, 2012)
  • AMOUR (d. Michael Haneke, Austria, 2012)
  • AT ANY PRICE (d. Ramin Bahrani, U.S., 2012)
  • THE ATTACK (d. Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon-France, 2012)
  • BARBARA (d. Christian Petzold, Germany, 2012)
  • THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE (d. Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon, U.S., 2012)
  • EVERYDAY (d. Michael Winterbottom, U.K., 2012)
  • FRANCES HA (d. Noah Baumbach, U.S., 2012)
  • THE GATEKEEPERS (d. Dror Moreh, Israel, 2012)
  • GINGER AND ROSA (d. Sally Potter, England, 2012)
  • THE HUNT (d. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, 2012)
  • HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (d. Roger Michell, U.S., 2012)
  • THE ICEMAN (d. Ariel Vromen, U.S., 2012)
  • LOVE, MARILYN (d. Liz Garbus, U.S., 2012)
  • MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN (d. Deepa Mehta, Canada-Sri Lanka, 2012)
  • NO (Pablo Larraín, Chile, 2012)
  • PARADISE: LOVE (d. Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 2012)
  • PIAZZA FONTANA (d. Marco Tullio Giordana, Italy, 2012)
  • A ROYAL AFFAIR (d. Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark, 2012)
  • RUST & BONE (d. Jacques Audiard, France, 2012)
  • THE SAPPHIRES (d. Wayne Blair, Australia, 2012)
  • STORIES WE TELL (d. Sarah Polley, Canada, 2012)
  • SUPERSTAR (d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2012)
  • WADJDA (d. Haifaa Al-Mansour, Continue reading…

Robert Redford directs and stars in “a thriller centered on a former Weather Underground activist who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity.” Fantastic cast includes Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Jackie Evancho, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick , Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, and Susan Sarandon.

(thanks, Mikhail)

Let us not kid ourselves – 1990 was the year the academy got it wrong, very wrong. This was the year that an instant classic by one our greatest living directors got stripped of the big prize by a fairly well made western directed by a well respected 80’s actor. Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” with its ambitious tracking shots, -now constantly ripped off- narrative structure and incredible performances lost to Kevin Costner’s earnest, well meaning, sincerely decent “Dances With Wolves”. We all know which film stood the test of time, in fact Scorsese’s classic is still consistently revisited in film schools and is one of the most ripped-off films of the 1990’s and Aughts. Whereas it turns out that Costner’s film -which does have its fair share of fans- is nothing more than a well made western that seemed to come out in the right place and at the right time. To make matters worse, just look at some of the other best picture nominees; “Ghost”?, “The Godfather, Part III”? And as much as I liked Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings” I’d substitute it all 4 of the above mentioned films -including “Dances With Wolves”- to give a Best Picture Nomination to Stephen Frears’ “The Grifters”. In fact “The Grifters” is the one 1990 film that comes closest to achieving the greatness of “Goodfellas”. Honorable mentions would include Barbet Schroder’s “Reversal Of Fortune”, Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”, Joel Coen’s “Miller’s Crossing”, Charles Burnett’s underrated “To Sleep With Anger” and even David Lynch’s kinky, twisted “Wild At Heart”. ALL of these films were better and more lasting than 4 of the 5 nominated films.

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