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In which Avatar puts the omnomnom in nominee.
February 2, 2010 9:10 AM   Subscribe

The Oscar nominees are in... and Avatar seems to be up for practically everything, except for anything having to do with great acting. But let's focus where the MeFi fun is... animated short films! Sneak a SLYT peek at "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty", "French Roast", "The Lady & The Reaper", "Logorama", and Nick Park's latest Wallace & Gromit, A Matter of Loaf & Death".
posted by markkraft (101 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
If Christopher Waltz doesn't win for Inglorius Basterds I'll print out this thread and eat it.
posted by Adam_S at 9:12 AM on February 2, 2010 [18 favorites]


I said in a recent thread that Jeff Bridges would get a Lifetime Achievement Oscar someday. Perhaps they'll just give him the Scent of a Woman prize for this country music picture of his to take care of it.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:15 AM on February 2, 2010


If Christopher Waltz doesn't win for Inglorius Basterds I'll print out this thread and eat it.

In the interest of making this punishment severe, I would just like to say that Apple Computers operated by skinny people are better than PC's operated by large people.
posted by Hiker at 9:17 AM on February 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


I'll get the linguist snark out of the way, so we can carry on talking about animated shorts: SLYT means Single Link YouTube, referring to those posts are made of only a single link to a YouTube video. (Note: this is not an issue for this post alone, but a broader misuse of the term.)

Example A: SLYT news report, starting with a lackluster establishing shot of a significant location.

With that, here are direct links to more info for the shorts:
* Nick Park: A Matter of Loaf and Death
* Nicolas Schmerkin: Logorama
* Javier Recio Gracia: The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
* Nicky Phelan and Darragh O'Connell: Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
* Fabrice O. Joubert: French Roast

Thanks for the MLYT!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 AM on February 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Avatar was a good-looking really-bad movie. I seriously hope it doesn't win.
posted by elder18 at 9:21 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


No nod for Sam Rockwell's performance in Moon? Criminal!
posted by cyphill at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2010 [14 favorites]


I'm still trying to process the fact that there are 10 best-picture nominees.
posted by blucevalo at 9:25 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Severely disappointed that Moon is nowhere on that list. Well, fingers crossed for a BAFTA or two.
posted by fight or flight at 9:27 AM on February 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm still trying to process the fact that there are 10 best-picture nominees.

Yeah, I really thought they used some sort of complicated selection algorithm that (for the major categories at least) always meant there were at least 5, but never more than 6, nominees for a given category. What happened?
posted by 23skidoo at 9:30 AM on February 2, 2010


If Christopher Waltz doesn't win for Inglorius Basterds I'll print out this thread and eat it.

I understand that Metafilter makes for a delicious hamburger.
posted by MidAtlantic at 9:32 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


mega

SHARK
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:33 AM on February 2, 2010


Anyone seen the Secret of Kells? It's up for best animated feature. I hadn't heard of it until today.
posted by HumanComplex at 9:34 AM on February 2, 2010


The Academy upped the limit to 10 this year, presumably to boost ratings for the telecast. Years and years ago, there were as many as 12 Best Picture nominees.

That being said, as Ebert said earlier on Twitter, there are, really, only five-- the five that overlap Best Director. This year, that means Precious, Inglourious Basterds, Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Up in the Air.

My professional but untutored guess is that Avatar gets Best Picture based on its box office and Bigelow gets Best Director because Hurt Locker is a goddamn tour de force.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:35 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Avatar gets Best VFX. But you all knew that and did not need me to tell you.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:36 AM on February 2, 2010


Yeah, I really thought they used some sort of complicated selection algorithm that (for the major categories at least) always meant there were at least 5, but never more than 6, nominees for a given category. What happened?

This was an intentional decision by the Academy to increase interest in the Oscars by insuring that a few more mainstream films would gather nominations. Check out the nominees for best director, those are probably the films that would have been nominated under the old system. Now, fans of The Blind Side and District 9 have a rooting interest to watch the broadcast.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:37 AM on February 2, 2010


dammit, fairytale of los angeles said it faster and better.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:38 AM on February 2, 2010


I agree about the Moon snubs. I thought that was a great movie.
posted by elder18 at 9:40 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry. Hurt Locker is way overrated.
posted by phaedon at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


How to win an Oscar, according to Cracked.com, Blogcritics, "an American academic" (Emanuel Levy), Mutant Reviewer Justin, Plum Noire, and Happygrrls.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sooooo, this is a chat room for exchanging Oscar theories? Or are we talking about the animated shorts?
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on February 2, 2010


I'm sorry. Hurt Locker is way overrated.

I've said it before, but if we were ten years earlier in this game, Hurt Locker would've been a summer blockbuster and not an art film. Almost every single one of the 10 films this year has some element that the critical populace is overrating.

For my own grumbling, I thought Up had the best first 15 minutes of any film all year... that totally wasn't matched by the rest of it. I dug District 9's concept, but found the depiction of Nigerians revolting. Avatar was butchered in the edit compared to the scriptment and screenplay, and it's still pretty formulaic aside from its performance capture and VFX. I understand that some African-Americans find Precious problematic in its treatment of light-skinned vs. dark-skinned blacks (I'm white; I'm nowhere near capable of formulating an opinion there, as it's rather more subtle from the outside than D9's "GIVE ME THE PLOT DEVICE, I MUST EAT IT HURF DURF" setup.)

There's always gonna be something.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:51 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I suck at reading comprehension this morning and will stop derailing. I need to check out the animated shorts still.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:55 AM on February 2, 2010


If Christopher Waltz doesn't win for Inglorius Basterds I'll print out this thread and eat it.

I understand that Metafilter makes for a delicious hamburger.


But sometimes it just tastes like an ordinary plate of beans.
posted by Kabanos at 10:04 AM on February 2, 2010


I thought Up had the best first 15 minutes of any film all year... that totally wasn't matched by the rest of it.

I thought Up's opening sequence might be one of the best I've ever seen, ever. As for the rest of the movie, the dog jokes were outstanding, including "cone of shame."

think it is OK to mention up on this thread, which does refer to the best picture nominees up front. Plus, Up was animated if not short.
posted by bearwife at 10:08 AM on February 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


I dug District 9's concept, but found the depiction of Nigerians revolting.

I actually thought that District 9 put a pretty big stink on all humans in general (an attitude I'm fairly comfortable with).

I agree with others who are disgruntled by the exclusion of Moon, and in particular Sam Rockwell's fucking great performance.

As far as overrating goes, Inglorious Basterds wins my SKOT SAYS MEH award for this year. Tarantino's starting to wear me out with his "looka me!" dialogue and ridiculous stunt casting (e.g. Eli Roth, who's sort of embarrassing).
posted by Skot at 10:09 AM on February 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Granny O'Grimm also sent along some disturbing seasons greetings awhile back...

Charming old lady, but I have a feeling that she's going to lose to "The Lady & The Reaper".
posted by markkraft at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2010


Interesting commentary on the steady decline of Oscar broadcast ratings from Michael Medved:
"The problem wasn't the quality of the hosts or the clumsiness of the big musical numbers, but the year-after-year nature of the top nominated films, with deeply depressing, art-house fare reliably crowding out more popular releases."
Do others in the industry think there's something to this? I'm certainly no Hollywood insider and in fact have a lot of contempt for most films these days, but I'd be more inclined to think that the rise of the internet and YouTube-like sites has just diminished the public interest in these big industry wank-fests. We just don't care that much anymore. The idea that Oscar ratings would be start to rise if there were just more lighthearted, cheery fare seems like some industry pundit's fantasy to me.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2010


If Michael Medved said it, I'm probably going to dismiss it without even considering it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ugh, Michael Medved. Let's see what idiotic hobbyhorse he's riding today!

There is, however, a downside to the expansion of the Best Picture category: By swelling the number of nominees, the Academy contributes to the ongoing fragmentation of our culture.

*stops reading*

No offense, BeerFilter, but he's a shithead.
posted by Skot at 10:19 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"We just don't care that much anymore."

...unless it's that great film that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, in which case we cheer mightily.
posted by markkraft at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2010


Yeah, I don't know him, hence my asking. None taken.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2010


Medved's idea of "interesting commentary" on Avatar:

Writer-director James Cameron expresses the usual politically correct prejudices of the Hollywood establishment, treating the U.S. military as brutal and corrupt while a primitive society victimized by our soldiers, and by the greedy corporation they serve, comes across as noble, nature-loving and spiritually pure. ... As the most expensive movie ever made, and a visionary technological breakthrough, “Avatar,” like its main character, shows only contempt for the advanced, wealthy society that produced it.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:22 AM on February 2, 2010


For my own grumbling, I thought Up had the best first 15 minutes of any film all year...

Sure, if you want to watch the grown man that is me start bawling like a kid with a skinned knee, yeah... the best. (no really; The Best. It was fantastic.)

I'm pretty ok with Avatar taking all the technical awards. It seems like that movie was a bit of leap forward on all fronts behind the scenes. But I'd vastly prefer that the rest be spread evenly across Hurt Locker, Up, and Inglourious Basterds.

I'll have to reserve judgment on Up in the Air as I haven't seen it yet, but have heard great things.
posted by quin at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2010


The Academy upped the limit to 10 this year, presumably to boost ratings for the telecast.

And to boost DVD sales.

As the most expensive movie ever made, and a visionary technological breakthrough, “Avatar,” like its main character, shows only contempt for the advanced, wealthy society that produced it.

Frankly, he has a point. It's straight from the techno-dystopia tradition of science fiction. Which is a great tradition, granted, but there is a bit of irony in that the movie required so much technology to make.

That said, I found it thrilling to be watching an American movie in which Americans were the bad guys. Of course, the natives needed a handsome, dumb white guy to save them....
posted by mr_roboto at 10:33 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm... and the Directing Category is basically a two-way race between James Cameron and either Kathryn Bigelow or Quentin Tarantino, so the question will be whether to award vacuous prettiness or someone who can actually tell a story worth telling.

Spoiler: prettiness is gonna win.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:34 AM on February 2, 2010


Sooooo, this is a chat room for exchanging Oscar theories? Or are we talking about the animated shorts?

I think that any hope of confining this thread to discussions of the animated shorts was at best quixotic.
posted by blucevalo at 10:34 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm... and the Directing Category is basically a two-way race between James Cameron and either Kathryn Bigelow or Quentin Tarantino

Isn't that a three-way race?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:34 AM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just realized how wrongly my previous comment could be taken, so let me clarify: James Cameron is the one who is vacuous.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2010


Isn't that a three-way race?

It'll be a two way race between Cameron and whichever one of the other two support starts to flow towards. Probably Bigelow, but hard to say.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2010


I don't understand how The Story of Anvil was overlooked for best documentary.
posted by jeffj at 10:39 AM on February 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sooooo, this is a chat room for exchanging Oscar theories? Or are we talking about the animated shorts?

We can't watch videos at work, but if we type like this (clickety-clickety-clickety), it sounds like we're still working. Thus, we shall comment on the Oscars as a whole.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


but I'd be more inclined to think that the rise of the internet and YouTube-like sites has just diminished the public interest in these big industry wank-fests. We just don't care that much anymore.

Yes we jolly well do, BeerFilter.

We are pitied by our husband, and we are laughed at by our own nearly grown kids (who will eat all the snacks we provide, though) and we hate ourselves before, during and after the obscene, bloated, godawful ceremony.

But it IS only once a year, so we care all we can.

(Actually we watch all the industry wank fests this time of year. We are truly a lost cause.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:43 AM on February 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


but the year-after-year nature of the top nominated films, with deeply depressing, art-house fare reliably crowding out more popular releases

The problem is that The Oscars wants to be both (a) awards for true artistic achievement, and (b) television show selling ads. They gotta pick one.
posted by davebush at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2010


Personally, I think it's kinda awesome that it could go to either James Cameron or Kathryn Bigelow. I just found out they used to be married and am imagining this as the culmination of a great battle between them.
posted by quin at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2010


and am imagining this as the culmination of a great battle between them.

Actually, the two apparently get along better broken up than they did married. Cameron wrote Strange Days for her after their divorce.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:47 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Secret of Kelis?

Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And the milkshake is a euphemism. It's not much of a secret.
posted by mhoye at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


This means it's time for Metafilter's own waxpancake's Pirating the Oscars spreadsheet, where you can see how quickly this year's screeners go from Academy members' inboxes to bittorrent.
posted by ardgedee at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2010 [9 favorites]



It's worth noting that this is only the second African-American director ever nominated, and only the fourth female director ever nominated. Only white men have ever won.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Director
posted by soupy at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2010


Actually, my comment about only white men winning is completely incorrect. Sorry. I was just stunned by the lack of female and black winners that I wrote something crazy. Ignore me.
posted by soupy at 11:10 AM on February 2, 2010


Wait... Nine got nominations? WHAT THE SHIT?
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on February 2, 2010


Did Avatar even have cinematography?
posted by rocket88 at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I started caring about the Oscars a few years ago, in my immediately post-college days. Everyone else I know turned to sports teams. It is, for me at least, about the same thing - you win some, you lose some, you enjoy rooting for and against, but deep down you know its pretty silly. Goddamnit, I am just not going to be a jock, no matter how easy it is to socialize using sports small talk as a social lubricant!

That said: what a crazy selection. I mean there aren't a lot of surprises, but instead of just limiting itself to well intentioned but crappy social commentaries and tear jerking Hollywood fairytales, this year we also got action movies, animation, medium and big budget sci fi movies... Let's face it: District 9 and Up just couldn't be farther away from each other in terms of tone. The idea of Inglorious Basterds competing against the Hurt Locker is interesting, given that I think they're both really well done and ostensibly cover similar subjects (although war is a vast subject), but they approach those subjects so differently - in Tarantino's case as complete fantasy, but in Bigelow's case in super-realism. Then there's Avatar and Up in the Air: the one that looked great but had no characters, and the other that had great characters but no real plot. (Up in the Air is basically the Graduate, but without any ending at all, much less the Capital E Ending that the Graduate had.)

All in all, a pretty good race. But don't get me started on the acting Oscars. Damnit, Matt Damon was so great in the Informant! Etc. Etc.
posted by Kiablokirk at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2010


I don't get District 9. I wanted very badly to like it, to have it be smart sci-fi... and most of it was. Until the last third just became an unironic Michael Bayesque "blowing stuff up is fun!" movie.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:25 AM on February 2, 2010


in Bigelow's case in super-realism

Yeah, that's the thing, really. I really enjoyed Hurt Locker, and thought it was incredibly tense. However, a significant amount of the commentary I've read on it is "This is not at all accurate to bomb disposal in Iraq." And yet it gets praised for realism.

Plus the 'midnight solo raid into Baghdad' thing is completely ridiculous.
posted by graventy at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2010


I sure wish Moon got some more recognition, but I am glad they didn't outright troll with a Star Trek nod.
posted by graventy at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2010


Star Trek did get a nod - for Make-Up.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:31 AM on February 2, 2010


I don't know anything about the movie "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Saffire". I've just heard of it now. But with a title like that, it really seems like someone somewhere has compromised their artistic integrity.
posted by rlk at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2010


Well, getting back to the post, Logorama is friggin' genius. Plus, I love the thought that just for once an animated short that isn't for kids might win.

Plus, when one of those companies sues for trademark infringement, I'd love to read the opening line of the court decision - "Plaintiff sued for the use of its trademark in the Oscar winning animated short film . . . ."
posted by Muddler at 11:41 AM on February 2, 2010


I've was gonna get all hurf durf, never take the Oscars seriously again, about the likely possibility of cliche-ridden Avatar or just not that good Hurt Locker getting best film but then I remember that bad as they were, we've got a long way to fall to get Crash bad.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:47 AM on February 2, 2010


Logorama

I was picturing something more like this.
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2010


Medved's idea of "interesting commentary" on Avatar

If you ignore the troll, it will go away.



I'm speaking of that idiot Medved, of course, not the poster.
posted by cjets at 11:53 AM on February 2, 2010


Logorama

I was picturing something more like this.
posted by Artw


Y'see, I was picturing this.
posted by COBRA! at 11:57 AM on February 2, 2010


Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were so awesome as Holmes and Watson that it's a shame you can't nominate a pair of actors.
posted by Anything at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


the scody Best Picture/Best Screenplay rule: since the '90s, Best Screenplay (whether original or adapted) is frequently the consolation prize for the cool film that should win Best Picture, but gets robbed because the Academy doesn't have the guts and/or taste to resist giving it to some awful blockbuster or sentimental weepie. See: L.A. Confidential (robbed by Titanic), Pulp Fiction (robbed by Forrest Gump), Fargo (robbed by The English Patient), Gosford Park (robbed by A Beautiful Mind).

Depressing conclusion: Avatar wins Best Picture, robbing Up in the Air (which will get Best Adapted Screenplay).
posted by scody at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I nominate them for "Most likely to inspire 20 volumes of homerotic slash fan fiction."
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh. It drives me nuts that Inglorius Basterds is winning all this praise. Was Pulp Fiction not 10X better than this horrible, extended farce? One or two good scenes does not a good film make. I know the Academy has given Best Picture to some stinkers before, but if this walks off with it this year, I... I...

/gives up
posted by stinkycheese at 12:20 PM on February 2, 2010


Also, Avatar gets Best VFX. But you all knew that and did not need me to tell you.

And yet to my mind, District 9's FX served the story whereas Avatar's FX served Avatar's FX. But of course Avatar will win in that category!

(Note: James Cameron made another film that is apparently so good it transcends the need to be nominated in the screenwriting category!)
posted by crossoverman at 12:30 PM on February 2, 2010


I haven't seen Avatar (it's actually getting to the point where I'm almost proud of not seeing it), but the sheer amount of loathing it generates amongst some people puzzles me. Whether it's a good movie or not, it seems hard to deny that it's a stupendous technical achievement and that it's gone a long way towards establishing whole new ways of making movies, roads that will eventually be open to deeper filmmakers with more things to say. It'll probably take some time for that to happen, but I still think Cameron deserves more credit for that than some are willing to give.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 12:38 PM on February 2, 2010


That being said, I liked Inglourious Basterds enough that I might actually watch the Oscars. So, screw Avatar.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 12:40 PM on February 2, 2010


Toby you sound like me when Pulp Fiction first came out.

"What? Everyone loves this movie? Its alright but ... haven't you seen his first movie!?"

I loved Inglorious but will be happy if Waltz is able to take the supporting actor category. Remember a couple of years ago when they pretty much handed everything to Scorsese for The Departed because they felt like they owed him? That'll be Tarantino in 5-10 years.
posted by mannequito at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2010


Oh, OK, as long as everyone else is OK with it, I'm on my lunch break.

Yes, I agree that District 9's FX were incredibly well-integrated and really served the story. Avatar, though, represents the bigger technological achievement overall-- a largely performance-captured film that didn't come off as a total violation of the Uncanny Valley, unlike most of the previous efforts (Polar Express, anyone?). Often, Best VFX just goes to the biggest possible problem-solving effort-- last year, I thought Iron Man solved a lot of problems with superhero FX work very cleverly (the in-helmet camera composites for Tony and Obadiah were brilliant-- no one had to get their mask cheesily ripped off so we could see their reactions), but Benjamin Button (full disclosure: Mr. F did a lot of their data I/O) came out and tore the roof off the "realistic head replacement" thing, and it won.

As far as Avatar having cinematography or not-- yes, it does. The performance capture featurette they put out makes that a little clearer; there are (digital cinema) cameras in use, including ones Cameron, as is often his wont, had built especially for the production. Images are being recorded, angles considered, etc. etc.-- it's just that all of that collected data is then applied to the CG environments, characters, and models. On the TV show I worked on, the directors still thought in terms of conventional camera work (1800-frame takes all the way through a set, etc.) and that's how it was discussed among the stage and post production crews.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of the links above, "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" and "French Roast" are actually links to the full short films and rest are links to trailers.

Wallace and Gromit are, well, Wallace and Gromit. I like them, but I have seen them before and this looks like more of the same. I found it interesting that the first three: "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" , "French Roast" and "The Lady and the Reaper" have older people as main characters. I don't watch many animated short films, so I don't know if this unusual or not. I liked it.

I liked French Roast a lot, it had a fairly complicated story (for such a short film) and managed to give a lot of humanity to all the characters. Granny O'Grimm was a simpler story, but I liked the balance it had between funny and sad. Logorama and The Lady and the Reaper looked interesting but the trailers were really too short to tell. Logorama seemed visually the most interesting.
posted by severiina at 1:22 PM on February 2, 2010


District 9 being up for best adapted screenplay is a bit odd. Adapted from the short I guess...
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on February 2, 2010


District 9 being up for best adapted screenplay is a bit odd. Adapted from the short I guess...

I was a bit stumped by that... same with In The Loop, which I suppose is an adaptation of the television program The Thick of It
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:55 PM on February 2, 2010


Up's opening montage (HD)

Carl reads the Adventure Book (HD)

Here's hoping Giacchino wins for that excellent score.

(Speaking of which, Lost premiere tonight!)
posted by Rhaomi at 2:13 PM on February 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Up's opening montage

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH, HOLY SHIT

That is fucking shattering. Jesus Christ, Pixar.
posted by Skot at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


That is fucking shattering. Jesus Christ, Pixar.

The first time we saw it was with our four year old, who struggled to understand why Mom and Dad were suddenly all weepy and choked up.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:35 PM on February 2, 2010


IT'S SOMETHING IN MY EYE
posted by scody at 3:00 PM on February 2, 2010


I still think Cameron deserves more credit for that than some are willing to give.

Well, yes, Avatar is a very entertaining and absorbing and memorable movie, plus it breaks new technical ground in a very exciting way. As for everyone (here) hating it, just a reminder that it is the biggest grossing movie ever.

Re Inglorious Basterds, I have to admit I will never get tired of seeing Hitler die. It was a fun movie, but that series of scenes alone will always make it a personal favorite for me.
posted by bearwife at 3:04 PM on February 2, 2010


That being said, as Ebert said earlier on Twitter, there are, really, only five-- the five that overlap Best Director. This year, that means Precious, Inglourious Basterds, Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Up in the Air.

Actually, when there were five best picture nominees, often four of the five Best Picture directors would be nominated for Best Director. The fifth one would be a consolation prize for some director in an unnominated film; this director would never win Best Director. It happened every year of the last decade except 2005 and 2008.
posted by dw at 3:22 PM on February 2, 2010


Here's something fun. Avatar, while nominated for 9 awards, is not nominated in a single writing or acting category. Not only does this mean that the academy sees it for what it is - an outstanding demo reel - but the last time a film won best picture without an acting or writing nods was Grand Hotel in 1932. The only other time it happened was with Wings, and even that is arguable since there was no "Best Picture" award the first year and the "Best Production" was split between Wings and Sunrise, which got the acting awards.

In conclusion, Inglourious Basterds should win because it is the best.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:43 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, yes, Avatar is a very entertaining and absorbing and memorable movie, plus it breaks new technical ground in a very exciting way. As for everyone (here) hating it, just a reminder that it is the biggest grossing movie ever.

And it will grow and inspire other filmmakers. Yippee!

Biggest grossing movie at inflated prices is one thing, but even though I liked it, I personally can't imagine watching it again.
posted by crossoverman at 3:44 PM on February 2, 2010


the scody Best Picture/Best Screenplay rule: since the '90s, Best Screenplay (whether original or adapted) is frequently the consolation prize for the cool film that should win Best Picture, but gets robbed because the Academy doesn't have the guts and/or taste to resist giving it to some awful blockbuster or sentimental weepie.

Heh, even earlier than the '90s -- I've heard that called the "Citizen Kane rule."
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:48 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


prettiness is gonna win.

I got a $100 that says you're wrong.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:48 PM on February 2, 2010


Avatar...I personally can't imagine watching it again.

I kinda wish I'd missed it the first time.
posted by telstar at 4:03 PM on February 2, 2010


That is fucking shattering. Jesus Christ, Pixar.

Someone put it on for the kids over Christmas. I'd seen it before, I thought I was made of sterner stuff...

Nope, blub blub blub.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on February 2, 2010


I just realized Where the Wild Things Are wasn't even nominated for Visual FX, when everyone and there mom knew that those creatures faces looked more real then anything in District 9.
posted by cyphill at 4:51 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Secret of Kelis?

I hope I never learn what it is, because it apparently makes you think this outfit is a good idea.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:07 PM on February 2, 2010


monique for best supporting actress - great final scene.

I loved 'a prophet' but the deeply boring white ribbon will prevail.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:41 PM on February 2, 2010


HumanComplex: "Anyone seen the Secret of Kells? It's up for best animated feature. I hadn't heard of it until today."

I just watched it and think it's the best film I've seen this year. But then, I'm a Medievalist. It is very tastefully done in the motifs of the Book of Kells. Beyond the great art, good story (though a bit flat at the end), good music, good characters.
posted by stbalbach at 5:50 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mightygodking basically has the exact same predictions I would make and with nearly the exact same reasons, with the exception of his trepidation about Christoph Waltz. Heath Ledger had less of a chance to win than Waltz does.

Up was the best film of 2009, so I'm already going into this knowing there won't be justice. But my money is on Avatar taking both of the top two, if only because there's no way Avatar's not winning, and without a screenplay or acting nomination it needs something to not make it winning look even more ridiculous than it already will be.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:02 PM on February 2, 2010


Oh, and French Roast truly deserves to win best animated short, but will likely lose to Nick Park.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:02 PM on February 2, 2010


If movies.go.com can't be bothered to include on their index page the goddamned names of the films for which each actor and actress were nominated, then I can't be bothered to click to another page and more ad impressions for "nominee info".

Really, that's just too much.
posted by Spatch at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2010


I was surprised to see The White Ribbon nominated for best cinematography. Is it common for a foreign film to be placed in that category? It surely deserves it; it was a great-looking film.

Also, I'm disappointed (but not surprised) that there's no mention of the Herzog-directed, Lynch-produced "My Son My Son What Have Ye Done." It had what may have been the most unsettling acting I've ever seen, mixing Herzog's love of insanity with Lynch's love of uncanny, inhuman behavior. In my opinion Grace Zabriskie deserves the best supporting actress award for portraying one incredibly creepy, clingy mother.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was glad to see Up in the extended field, since that is the best film of 2009, in my opinion.

I thoroughly wish an animated film would win Best Picture, and this film is a solid candidate, but since animated features have their own category now, that's just not going to happen. I'll be content with Best Animated Film and a score win for Michael Giacchino.

As for the shorts, I haven't finished them all yet, so I can't pick. I think the favorite would be Nick Park. I love W&G, but we've seen this before. Surprised Partly Cloudy didn't make it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:08 PM on February 2, 2010


XQUZYPHYR: No, Moon was the best film this year, though Up was admittedly excellent.

Unfortunately, Moon was not nominated.
posted by pts at 9:07 PM on February 2, 2010


I really hope Avatar sweeps all its nominations. That movie was great fun.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 9:33 PM on February 2, 2010


I was glad to see Up in the extended field, since that is the best film of 2009, in my opinion.

Really, extending their options to ten essentially gives them 9 best films and that Pixar movie. It's just a nod, and I expect it to happen nearly every year there's a Pixar film. Kind of like how they win the animated feature Oscar nearly every time they're nominated for it.

(OK, four of six times so far. I can't believe Shrek beat Monsters, Inc. Ugh.)
posted by graventy at 9:38 PM on February 2, 2010


I hope Precious wins every award it was nominated for. Especially Gabourey for Best Actress. She deserves that wholeheartedly.
posted by shii at 9:46 AM on February 3, 2010


It's just a nod, and I expect it to happen nearly every year there's a Pixar film.

The next two are Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. I don't think either will get a nomination.
posted by dw at 6:04 PM on February 3, 2010


cyphil I just realized Where the Wild Things Are wasn't even nominated for Visual FX, when everyone and there mom knew that those creatures faces looked more real then anything in District 9.

I seriously read this thinking, "wait, didn't they just use costumes in WTWTA?" That has to be saying something (though clearly the Academy thinks "something" is "I'm an idiot", not that the film's FX were great).
posted by isnotchicago at 11:11 PM on February 3, 2010


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